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2007 Jacks 'R' Better SilNyl Tarp SPOTLITE REVIEW

A tarp that is larger than a stock hammock tarp and extends coverage for wet, cold, and snowy conditions.

Hightly Recommended

Overall Rating: Highly Recommended

The JRB SilNyl is a well designed tarp for use in a 4 season hammock setup. It has larger coverage, tensioning that is independent of the hammock, and the symmetrical design goves a better catenary curve.

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by Doug Johnson |


While the stock Hennessy A-Sym rain fly offers good protection in most 3-season conditions, there are times that you want more coverage. In nasty conditions the Jacks ‘R’ Better (JRB) SilNyl rain fly offers some key advantages over the stock Hennessy rain fly.

Jacks R Better SilNyl Tarp SPOTLITE REVIEW - 1
The Jacks ‘R’ Better JRB SilNyl Tarp offers more coverage than a stock Hennessy rain fly and tensions independent of the hammock.

First, the stock A-Sym fly is asymmetrical (measuring 8 feet on two sides and 5 foot 6 inches on the others) to match the A-Sym hammock. The JRB SilNyl is a 7 foot 8 inch square and extends closer to the ground to provide additional protection and it extends closer to the ground. The square shape also creates a better catenary curve

when staked which helps maintain even tension and better performance in windy conditions.

Another aspect of the SilNyl tarp is that, unlike the Hennessy rain fly, it is set up independent of the tarp. With a stock Hennessy fly is sometimes difficult to maintain even tension because it attaches directly to the hammock lines; when the lines stretch under user weight, the fly also loses tension. However, the SilNyl tarp is unaffected by the hammock because it is set up with its own guy lines.

While this independent setup is great for maintaining even tension it also creates an additional step when setting up your hammock. While the stock fly is set up simultaneously with the hammock, the SilNyl tarp must be set up separately. However, this does give a dry area when setting up or taking down your hammock in the rain, a feature I appreciated during downpours and heavy snow.

Last, the SilNyl offers additional guyout points over the stock fly for use in storm conditions or when using the tarp in a non-hammock setup.

While the stock Hennessy Hyperlight Backpacker A-Sym rain fly weighs 7.9 ounces, the JRB SilNyl weighs 9.3 ounces or 10.1 ounces with the optional Self Tensioning Lines. This is a weight increase of 1.4 ounces or 2.2 ounces with the guy lines.

I used the SilNyl tarp with the optional JRB Self Tensioning Lines. These guy lines include a Therma-Band elastic section that is stretched when pitching the fly and keeps the fly taut as it stretches through the night. At 0.8 ounces for the pair, they aren’t the lightest option but were a great addition to this setup and kept the tarp taut through big temperature changes.

Jacks R Better SilNyl Tarp SPOTLITE REVIEW - 2
The optional Self Tensioning Guy lines. Note that the tarp is set up below the hammock lines.

I found the SilNyl tarp to be well built and very durable during testing. It provided excellent coverage through windblown rain, hail, and moderate snow accumulation and was an integral part of my four season hammock kit which included the Hennessy Hyperlight Backpacker A-Sym hammock, the Jacks ‘R’ Better Ultimate 4 Season Quilt Set, and the Gossamer Gear ThinLight °” Wide Insulation Pad.

Features and Specifications

● Weight- tarp: 9.3 oz (265 g); mfr claimed 9.4 oz (266 g)

● Size (measured): 7 ft 6 in x 7 ft 6 in (229 cm x 229 cm); mfr claimed 7 ft 2 in x 7 ft 2 in (218 cm x 218 cm)

● Materials: silicone-impregnated 1.1 oz. ripstop nylon Cordura®

● Tie outs: ten tie-out/lift tabs

● Features: Square shape with a 10 ft 4 in diagonal ridgeline for use with hammocks

● Accessories: Self Tensioning Lines $9.95, 0.8 oz (22g)

● MSRP: $79.95


"2007 Jacks 'R' Better SilNyl Tarp SPOTLITE REVIEW," by Doug Johnson. (ISSN 1537-0364)., 2007-07-07 03:00:00-06.