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Lightweight Affordable Tarps
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Just In Time
(ArcturusBear1) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lightweight Affordable Tarps on 05/05/2014 13:09:16 MDT Print View

(to Richard) Do you think that the Tyvek would degrade similarly to, slower than, or faster than a decent quality silnylon fabric?

How much use does one wash/dry cycle really equate to in real world terms?

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lightweight Affordable Tarps on 05/05/2014 13:59:12 MDT Print View


My GUESS (I only did one crude aging cycle) is that Tyvek would degrade slower than a decent quality silnylon fabric because their is no coating to exfoliate. When I analyze silnylon fabrics using the much more refined Cubix procedure, I look at a sample of the bath water with a microscope after each major aging interval. I always see a roughly proportional increase in suspended silicone particles to the silnylon's HH degradation.

One silnylon crude wash/dry cycle provides similar degradation to what I experience in approximately 5 days of windy/rainy weather or about 3 weeks of dry weather.

Silnylon's degradation curve is typically shaped like a hockey stick; so it tends to slow down after an initial more rapid degradation. Each shelter material type has a differently shaped degradation curve.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Hi Lawson on 05/05/2014 16:00:31 MDT Print View

Hi Lawson

Don't be too concerned about the negative comments. There will ALWAYS be some, often from just a few people, often quite vocal ones. Comes with the human race.

The critics may of course make some good points, so it is worth noting what they say. Some of the points will be for real, but others will be 'perception' which may be factually wrong. Sorting the two out can be hard.

There seems to be a lot of myth and fable around about Tyvek - and about silnylon. Both materials have changed in quality and construction over the years - not always for the better. Richard N has posted some interesting test results which conflict a bit with popular belief, but whether hard facts will matter ... who knows. I DO know that the specs for the Westmark silnylon have gone down over time - sadly.

Yeah, we all pursue gear dreams, usually at 0$/hr ... :-) But what else can you do?

"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"
Admiral David Farragut during the Battle of Mobile Bay


Just In Time
(ArcturusBear1) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lightweight Affordable Tarps on 05/06/2014 10:03:02 MDT Print View

Thank you for the reply/further information Richard.

Roger, while 1443R tests better than i thought it would as far as water resistance, i still don't think it's a good material for a tarp. I DO have experience with this material. Most people on here who have experience with it, don't think it's a good tarp material. I hope that Lawson takes note, because it might save him some time, trouble, and money. Silnylon's water proofness may degrade faster and more extremely, but it's a relatively easy process to renew same. When 1443R degrades, you have to throw it away.

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: Lightweight Affordable Tarps on 05/06/2014 13:38:49 MDT Print View

I am a customer of Lawsen and always will be.
There must be something to Tyvek since Shires dumped the silnylon version for Tyvek. And his tent is not that cheap; maybe all labor costs :O
Silnylon is a condensation magnet only 2nd to polycro. It’s a hassle drying out and does add water weight. So to get a material (Cloud Tek) that is not a water magnet is highly appealing. Also Tyvek is known to be cooler in hot weather.
However, I’m not a tarp guy because I’m out too many times with mosquitoes. And a bivy is too confining for me. But a tarp with bug netting, i.e., mimicking zpack technique will have me REALLY leaning towards buying.

Someone mentioned GG tarps. That got me excited so I went to their website. No; too expensive again :(
I love brainstorming here BTW. Keep it up all you inventors!

Quote of the Day from 5/6/14
"Always listen to the experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it."
Robert Heinlein

-The mountains were made for Tevas

Just In Time
(ArcturusBear1) - F
Re: Re: Lightweight Affordable Tarps on 05/06/2014 15:04:55 MDT Print View

Barry, if a company ever uses a similar process to make an equivalent material out of UHMWPE instead of HDPE, I would be all over that material for tarps, provided it had some kind of treatment for UV, because polyethylene does have some nice properties being so hydrophobic.

Edited by ArcturusBear1 on 05/06/2014 15:47:43 MDT.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - MLife

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: Re: Lightweight Affordable Tarps on 05/22/2014 19:15:24 MDT Print View

This thread made me interested enough to buy some Tyvek 1443R from Quest Outfitters. Specifically, I purchased Tyvek Style 14M which Quest says: "Style 14M is more water resistant than our previous 1443R style yet the same low weight"

Strength: I am able to tear the material at a raw edge; however, if I fold the material over (as would be done in any normal hem or seam), I am unable to tear or visibly damage the fabric.

Waterproofness: I wrapped a sheet of the material around me like a cape and stood in the shower for 5 minutes. My back was about 18-24 inches from the shower head. I felt no water come through the material and the dry side felt dry.

While my "tests" are completely unscientific, I think this material could potentially make a good shelter. Later this summer, I may try making a pyramid tarp out of it.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Lightweight Affordable Tarps on 05/22/2014 20:24:45 MDT Print View

If you are so inclined...

Saturate a bath towel, lay the Tyvec over it, lay a dark cloth (T-shirt?) on that, and kneel on it.

Get any water penetration?

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - MLife

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: Re: Re: Lightweight Affordable Tarps on 05/22/2014 22:01:17 MDT Print View

@ Greg: I saturated a towel, laid the Tyvek over it, put a cotton t-shirt on top, and then stood on it for a minute.

Not surprisingly, I did get some water penetration. The t-shirt had a few damp spots (approx 25% of the area was damp). I don't know if I'd want to use the material as a groundsheet, but I am thinking that if used in a shelter with steep walls, it would do fine with regards to water.

I performed the same test with some 30D silnylon seconds and the t-shirt had no damp spots.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Tyvek 14M on 05/27/2014 12:13:23 MDT Print View

After John Harper's post above, I sent an email to Material Designs to ask what the HH spec was for Tyvek 14M. The response:

From: []
Sent: Friday, May 23, 2014 8:48 AM
Subject: RE: Material Concepts Contact Form

Hello Richard.

Tyvek 14M has not been tested for hydrostatic head. Nor has Tyvek 1443R or 1622E. As such, we unfortunately do not have any data with which to advise you.

Thank you Richard.

Edited by richard295 on 05/27/2014 18:25:39 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Lightweight Affordable Tarps on 05/27/2014 17:11:45 MDT Print View

From Barry P
"There must be something to Tyvek since Shires dumped the silnylon version for Tyvek"

That is not correct.

Tarptent had two versions of a shelter called Sublite.
One , still in production, is made with 1443R Tyvek , the other now replaced by the Notch, was made with silnylon.
(both came out in 2006)
The Sublite Tyvek is a very niche type shelter made for hot and or high humidity environments.
We do not recommend that for exposed areas or where heavy prolonged rain can happen.
The point here is that TT has certainly not dumped silnylon in favour of Tyvek.

Kevin Haskins
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
Tyvek on 05/29/2014 21:49:44 MDT Print View

You know... it seems to me someone would design their tents with floors that snap-in/out and are replaceable. Why carry ground-sheets when you could just have a simple bathtub Tyvek floor, or double floor, that was easily replaceable if you ever damaged it.

Should be fairly do-able. You could offer Cuben, Tyvek, coated nylon etc..etc.. all at different price points.

Mark Armesto
(marmesto) - MLife
I'm interested on 08/22/2014 13:44:57 MDT Print View

Sil nylon's rain stretch is a pita. Cuben is expensive. Your idea sounds interesting. I'd like to hear less bickering and more constructive writing (chart) advantages/disadvantages of the three materials side-by-side. How does Tyvek stand up to wind? Is it easy to add reinforced tyeouts? How well does it stuff? I have a Tyvek ground cloth for under my hammock, and it is quite stiff. Looking forward to your responses.