tarp

8:45 p.m. on December 15, 2011 (EST)
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Hi, I am looking to get a tarp just for backpacking uses, I am wanting a good quality one that dosn't let in rain, easy to set up and has good tie in,

I have narrowed it down to two tarps, I don't know the difference between them and if anyone has some ideas on which would be better, that would be appreciated,

anyway here it is,

http://www.equinoxltd.com/the-gear/tarps-and-bivis-and-ground-cloths/myotis_ultralite_sculpted_tarp.cfm

with this ground sheet

http://www.equinoxltd.com/the-gear/tarps-and-bivis-and-ground-cloths/tyvek-ground-cloth.cfm

or

http://www.outdoorgearheads.com/AffiliStore-2_1/index.php?case=product&proddb=1&pid=3242,

cheers

9:46 p.m. on December 15, 2011 (EST)
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Not sure what all tarps you have looked at, but I suggest looking at Warbonnet Outdoors, and Outdoor Equipment supplier for tarps. They are mostly 'for hammocks' but can be used flush to the ground as well. If you look at them they are cut the same as the two you were looking at, are about the same price and are also made by small cottage industries here in the USA like equinox.

Like I said, not sure what all tarps you looked at just wanted to give you some more options for some high quality tarps.

I strongly recommend you get a tarp with side pull outs/panel pulls. They really do make a huge difference during windy weather, and give you alot more room underneath by pulling away the side walls.

I use the Superfly from Warbonnet which is a tarp with doors so you can close off the ends in foul weather. Otherwise i just keep them pulled back to each other with a small piece of shock cord.

Regarding the two tarps you linked, they both look like they would be good choices.

10:26 p.m. on December 15, 2011 (EST)
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Hilleberg has a tarp(2 sizes(1P & 2P)which is made from their Kerlon material which I believe to be the strongest on the market and its definitely waterproof with a hydrostatic head rating of 3000mm. :)

Here is a link:

http://www.hilleberg.com/home/products/tarp/tarp.php

The difference between the Kerlon and the materials(Silnylon) is that Kerlon is coated twice on the outter and once on the inner(3x.)

Silnylon is impregnated with silicone. The Kerlon material crushes silnylon in tear strength and waterproofing imho. 

Granted they are not cheap but ya get what ya pay for. 

7:41 a.m. on December 16, 2011 (EST)
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Wow, those hille tarps are heavy!

Yes, it's true that standard silnylon depending on the manufacturer ranges from about 700-1600mm hydrostatic head pressure rating. This is why it is absolutely critical that you know for a fact that the company you are buying your silnylon tarp from tests every single batch of silnylon they get. Silnylon is made esentially by dipping a sheet of ripstop nylon into a bit pot of silnylon(ok not exactly but you get the idea). This method has inconsistencies which directly change the HH rating.

Warbonnet for example tests every single batch and only buys the absolutely highest quality silnylon.

Silnylon has a major flaw, and it is directly related to its low HH. That is it is not really completely waterproof. If it rains hard enough you will get minor 'misting'. I have experienced this once or twice, and to be honest it doesn't make a lick of difference. It doesnt even amount to someone spraying you with a spray bottle once. But in anycase it is a flaw, and to go light weight with your gear sometimes has some minor trade offs.

12:30 p.m. on December 16, 2011 (EST)
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Hydrostatic Head is not as big an issue with a tarp because of the angles in which you can pitch.  Having said that, silnylon has improved over the past couple of years.  Many manufacturers using silnylon that has additional silicon coating producing HH of 3500mm to 4500mm.  (Mountain Laurel Designs, Lightheart Gear, Bear Paw, etc).  Silnylon was always watrproof until the past few years when 'seconds' hit the market that were around 800mm.  I still have a silnylon tarp from Integral Designs from 1992 and I can spray a hose on it for 20 minutes and it won't 'mist' (some indications that misting is actually condensation).

It is also very hard to define waterproof.  1200MM in a jacket may mean wetting through in really hard rain.  But that doesn't seem to be the case with most canopies to that rating (even Big Agnes rates their flies and floors close to that).  Part of this is the pressure against the fabric.  If you put additional pressure on it and it is raining hard you could wet through a bit (remember the old cotton fibre canopies?).  I believe the British Army considers 1000mm functionally waterproof - I am looking for the link now.

Regarding the Hilleberg UL10 tarp - you are right.  It is really, really heavy for the size of it - 27oz on my scale without pegs!  It has proven no more waterproof than any other silnylon tarps I have used.  You also won't need the additional perceived strength of fabric with a tarp because it won't be used in as extreme, exposed conditions as an alpine tent.

 

1:14 p.m. on December 16, 2011 (EST)
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I was refering to the light weight tarps out there that are not double coated. The double coated silnylon is 2500mm+, however if its not double coated its 1500mm ish.

The Superfly that I use is 11x10 and has a sewn reinforced ridgeline, corner pull outs, doors, and side pull outs and weighs 19oz, the same version without doors is 13.5oz

For comparison sake a the UL hille tarp 11.5x9.5 without doors is 25oz, the non UL version is 34oz. The equinox tarp linked above is 10x10 and weighs 21oz but is only 1.1oz ripstop.

Misting will only occur on silnylon that is single coated, such as the more UL tarps.

I am by no means an UL backpacker, but do try and save weight where I can. I am completely satisfied with my tarp, and have experienced misting, but like I said it makes little to no actual impact.

My whole point here I guess is that if your going with a tarp your obviously going the 'minimal' route. So why not save some more weight. The physical material strength is exactly the same. The only difference is the amount of silicone in the material. So what if you get a miniscule mist of water on you once in a blue moon(it really does have to rain HARD for silnylon to mist)

1:56 p.m. on December 16, 2011 (EST)
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Hey Rambler - I agree with you.

 

I have heard that there will be a Super Fly 2.0 out in early 2012.  Dare to dream.  I always liked that design.  I am assuming you are speaking about the MLD one....?

3:10 p.m. on December 16, 2011 (EST)
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I was refering to the Superfly tarp from Warbonnet Outdoors

5:31 p.m. on December 16, 2011 (EST)
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I have both Integral Designs and Hilleberg tarps and the Hille is FAR stronger material than the silnylon of the ID tarps. One does not always require this level of strength, however, if you pitch a tarp to cook under when hunting sheep in northern BC, far above timberline, that extra is nice to have when the wind is so strong that one can hardly stand erect without support.

I can't recall just what I paid for my Hille. tarp, it is the heavier, larger size for use with my Saivo, but, the lighter version is probably the most rugged "backpacking" tarp I have ever seen and what I would choose for really harsh conditions. So, it becomes a decision based on one's personal needs and I can say that silhylon tarps by good makers and I like the look of those Warbonnet rigs are among the most useful items of gear one can buy.

I love sleeping under a good tarp in spring or autumn rain, making tea on a canister stove and watching the rain fall. But, then, there are BUGS...........!!!!!

9:59 p.m. on December 16, 2011 (EST)
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Well Dewey - time to test it.  I would like to know the actual tear strength of both.  You say FAR.  I say it will be closer than you think.

"if you pitch a tarp to cook under when hunting sheep in northern BC, far above timberline, that extra is nice to have when the wind is so strong that one can hardly stand erect without support."

Have any pics?  Setting up a large tarp like that above treeline would be an exercise in 'nylon dancing.'  A must see for Youtube!

This is the point that Rambler was making.  Rectangle tarps are ideal for BELOW treeline use.  Given that, the lighter the better.  Otherwise, there is much argument as to why one would use a heavy tarp given there are full shelters that weigh as much as the Hilleberg UL10.  Bug proof too.

11:39 p.m. on December 16, 2011 (EST)
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TheRambler said:

The physical material strength is exactly the same. 

Actually this is not true.

Typical tear strength of ripstop nylon ranges from 2kg/4.4lbs to 3kg/6.6lbs.

Kerlon 1200 has a tear strength of 12kg/26.5lbs (4x stronger than ripstop)

Kerlon SP has a tear strength of 15kg/33lbs

Kerlon 1800 has a tear strength of 18kg/40lbs (9x stronger than ripstop)

These ratings are based on independent testing(ISO 13937-4) not "in-house" by the manufacturer.

So if ya take a look at the numbers there is a substantial difference in strength between the fabrics. 

Kerlon 1200 & SP is what is used on the Hilleberg tarps. 

1:27 a.m. on December 17, 2011 (EST)
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Well, that answers CWF's query concerning the relative strengths of the tarps concerned, so, I cannot improve on his comments.

Now, let me be VERY clear here on living above timberline in BC, which I have spent hundreds of days-nights doing since the mid-1960s. If, one reads what I actually wrote, based on real experience, the point I was making is clear, however, I can try to explain further.

One uses a tarp above timberline to COOK under and this is safer than attempting to cook in an enclosed shelter, it is the generally practiced method of augmenting one's mountain tent in BC alpine hunting. I have been doing it since 1964 and have never had major problems erecting the tarps.

The strength issue is important here as sometimes the winds come up very suddenly and can damage your camp if you use less than the optimal gear and do not know how to set it up correctly. I did not state that I use my current Hille. tarp for this particular situation, but, I meant to point out that the light Hille. tarps would be more rugged than the ID ones in such uses, based on owning tents-tarps from both makers.

Tarps are ideal for BOTH below and above timberline uses, it simply involves the skills to deploy them appropriately in each situation and that comes from experience based learning. I prefer the "long hex" style tarps to the rectangular types for use in mountain weather and especially when dealing with heavy snowfall.

In any event, I seriously doubt that any material now in use for backpacking tarps is stronger than Kerlon 1200 as used by Hilleberg. Their tentage seems the choice of a great many very accomplished adventurers and researchers all over the globe and is certainly superior to anything else I have ever used, but, each to his own, some prefer to use other makes or avoid remote wilderness treks and sojourns.

6:08 a.m. on December 17, 2011 (EST)
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I guess i was kinda vauge regarding tear strength. I wasn't refering to the Kerlon fabric. I was speaking apount ripstop nylon. Most tarps are made of 1.0-1.3oz ripstop nylon, this nylon is then made into silnylon with a silicon treatment. The nylon has the same tear strength no matter if it is single or double coated.

Kerlon obviously is a much tougher and heavier material. Basically when I am comparing any material for any reason  I am usually not comparing hilleberg material haha. Yall have pulled the Kerlon card alot lately, i get it, it's tough. lol

11:06 a.m. on December 17, 2011 (EST)
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Yup, Kerlon is outstanding stuff, but, I use my silnylon tarps more as they meet my needs and are lighter. Where the Kerlon fits, for me, is in the base camp tent-tarp that is my "failsafe" refuge for longer fly-ins, horsepack-ins and relay packs mostly in hunting season, when we seem to always get the most miserable storms of any given winter. There is a feeling of security when in my Saivo in ugly weather that makes the high cost of it worthwhile to me.

Now, that Warbonnet tarp you have is EXACTLY what I have been wanting for quite some time, sort of a larger version of my ID Silwing, which I like very much. I can visualize a light camp using one of these and my tiny ID MKI Lite in high country and I would appreciate it if you would post Warbonnet's phone number or pm it to me, if you have it. That is one fine-looking and well designed rig and I can really use one.

11:16 a.m. on December 17, 2011 (EST)
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No - it doesn't answer my question.  We have the relative tear strength of Kerlon 1200.  But what about other manufacturered tarp materials?  How can you definitively say that Kerlon 1200 is FAR stronger than any other tarp material when you don't have tear strengths of other tarp material at your disposal?  I never said that there were stronger tarp fabrics (the new cuben tech / nylon hybrid probably is) but you said FAR stronger.  Kerlon 1200 might be - I just want a comparison.  BTW, it isn't the fabric that is strong - it is the 3 coats of silicon that provide the absolute strength, and weight.

And why do you need such a strong material when you are not using a tarp in high snow load scenarios?  Even Hilleberg isn't using Kerlon 1200 on their new 3 season shelters.  It is Kerlon 1000 now for 3 season use.  See a trend here?  Maybe they will start using it for their tarps - in 3 years.  Hilleberg is a slow adopter.

Kerlon 1200 is strong but I question whether it is strong for it's weight.  For a tarp, the answer is no.

11:59 a.m. on December 17, 2011 (EST)
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Brandon from Warbonnet Outdoors is an awesome guy and makes top notch gear. It is a small cottage industry located in Colorado and it is really just him and I think a seamstress or two that help make everything. I can't seem to find a phone number, but his email is warbonnetoutdoors@gmail.com

He typically responds fairly quickly, if you ask him for his phone number I am sure he would be happy to talk to you about his products. I have a tarp and a hammock from him, and could not be happier with the products and his customer service. Really top notch quality stuff.

 

1:56 p.m. on December 17, 2011 (EST)
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Thanks, bud, I just e-mailed him and hope to hear back on Monday as I will buy 1-2 of his tarps. This is perfect for my usual uses and I am happy that you posted about them, good old Trailspace, I find more really useful info. here than any other site.

2:14 p.m. on December 17, 2011 (EST)
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To the OP, also consider:

http://www.bearpawwd.com                 

They have some excellent beaked tarps at a great price which provide more coverage than your standard rectangle tarp.

http://www.bearpawwd.com/tents_tarps/canopy_tent.html

4:27 p.m. on December 17, 2011 (EST)
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CWF said:

No - it doesn't answer my question.  We have the relative tear strength of Kerlon 1200.  But what about other manufacturered tarp materials?  How can you definitively say that Kerlon 1200 is FAR stronger than any other tarp material when you don't have tear strengths of other tarp material at your disposal?  I never said that there were stronger tarp fabrics (the new cuben tech / nylon hybrid probably is) but you said FAR stronger.  Kerlon 1200 might be - I just want a comparison.  BTW, it isn't the fabric that is strong - it is the 3 coats of silicon that provide the absolute strength, and weight.

And why do you need such a strong material when you are not using a tarp in high snow load scenarios?  Even Hilleberg isn't using Kerlon 1200 on their new 3 season shelters.  It is Kerlon 1000 now for 3 season use.  See a trend here?  Maybe they will start using it for their tarps - in 3 years.  Hilleberg is a slow adopter.

Kerlon 1200 is strong but I question whether it is strong for it's weight.  For a tarp, the answer is no.

 

Well.... I guess you can go and contact every company that manufactures tarps out there and provide us with your findings in the next year or so. :)

So maybe you can get back to us around 12/17/2012(hopefully earlier being the world is coming to an end on 12/12/12.)

On a side note Kerlon 1000 is rated at a tear strength of 10kg/22lbs.

Ok, back to the conversation...

CWF, since you know what a proper strength to weight ratio should be what is it? I don't know. 

This should be somewhat interesting, especially based on the fact that you don't even have a clue yet of what other materials tear strength is.

What makes this even more interesting is that you said Kelon 1200 is not strong for a tarp for its weight? Compared to what? As stated above you don't even know what the tear strengths of other fabrics actually is.

What I am saying is this. If you are going to post things like this make sure you can back it up with proof and fact. Not being snarky; just straight forward.

As you see when I posted the above I also posted the necessary info to back up my claim(These ratings are based on independent testing(ISO 13937-4) not "in-house" by the manufacturer.)

I like the fact that Hille's tests are done independently. To me this makes the results alot more trust worthy as compared to in house findings. For instance Terra Nova does its fabric testing in house. They also don't typically make their findings public in regards to posting them on their product specs.

They do state from what I hear that their material is comparable to Kerlon but do not publicly provide the proof to facilitate said claims.

Makes one wonder why not?

I mean if the fabric is strong then why not list the findings? I personally think this would help sell the product although I could be wrong in regards to what I think. 

Now as far as the coating, well, unless you are going to buy a tarp of uncoated material(special order) it does not truly matter how it is coated.

The fact is that its stronger & more resistant to water period which means although its heavier, it will take more abuse in the field, and typically outlast other materials for that simple fact.

CWF also said: Hydrostatic Head is not as big an issue with a tarp because of the angles in which you can pitch.  

How so being rain can come down at multiple angles as well? Is this more effective if the rain is coming down at a 90 deg angle or is this compromised if the rain is coming in at a 45 with high wind... Doesn't this fact somewhat negate the angles that can be generated with a tarp?

Here is one better, how are these angles any more drastic that of an A frame tent such as a Eureka Timberline? I am really confused here.  

Onto the whole hydrostatic head subject:

I guess they are "not a big issue" if you don't care about being dry if you know what hits the fan. If it were so irrelevant:

A) companies wouldn't test to find out the ratings in the 1st place

B) they wouldn't make these results known to the consumer(which some companies do not publicly as stated above)

C) they wouldn't waste the money on the R & D and testing

Yeah, it mists but its light lol.

My Copper Spur mists under heavy water load. Truth be told dependent upon how my Hille works in the summer(with pole kit/tarp) I may be selling the Copper Spur in the future.

The more I think about it the more I think that the whole UL thing is getting rediculous. Yeah, ya may feel dampness but its light.

For $400 that is about the silliest things I have ever heard.

For $400 I shouldn't feel anything other than being completely dry.

Then again, its a 3 season tent for a reason....

...then again, it still rains summer through fall from what I know. 

11:13 a.m. on December 18, 2011 (EST)
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I don't find your comments snarky at all.

If you look back at all of my 324 posts, you will see that I am a big Hilleberg fan having owned a few different models.  I don't believe there to be better 4 season shelters available.  I could be wrong.

But when someone tarps, it is generally less for the views but for the simplicity and weight savings.  In some cases - massive weight savings.  But tarps have their limitations as we all know.

With respect to HH not being as big an issue with tarps comes from the fact that you can pitch a tarp so that it is measurably away from your person, which minimizes the potential of getting wet.  You may not be so lucky with tent walls. Misting is not leaking.  In fact, some fabric testers believe that it is a combination of some soak through and condensation.  It is not like it sprays violently all over and it is not like it happens all the time.  Misting has only occurred to me once and it was so minimal that my sleeping bag's DWR had zero problem with handling the 'issue.'

Most people don't understand HH.  When a column test is completed, it is a constant pressure against a fabric.  Rain doesn't happen like that.  The water droplets in rain disperse energy over a wider range helping to minimize the effect of PSI.  This is why HH for floors is so key.  Your knee, for example, will provide a much more significant pressure on the tent floor testing the HH of the fabric to a much greater degree.

Angles - tarps can be pitched at varying angles which can help dispurse rain. Tents can't and are limited to the original design.

Is Kerlon 1200 strong for it's weight?  No.  In fact, 1.24 Cuben Fibre is far stronger for its weight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gfcuCh7h04

Is the UL10 tarp too heavy.  Yes, in my opinion.  Especially considering a double walled Hillberg Akto with pole is less than double the weight.

12:40 p.m. on December 18, 2011 (EST)
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I may be one here whom CWF includes in his comments on posts by others and will just make a couple of simple points.

First, I DID NOT state that Kerlon was stronger than any other tarp fabric, I ONLY posted that my Kerlon tarp is far stronger than my ID silnylon tarps. I never make comments concerning gear or other outdoor issues that are not based on actual use and usually ownership of the items in question, I own and use what I mentioned and this is what I have seen.

Fabric is just that, the sum of the threads AND the coating(s) used to produce Kerlon or whatever other fabric one is considering and thus the Kerlon is as strong as we claim it to be. Care in reading and precise usage of language is helpful in discussions of this sort in order that everyone understands exactly what is actually stated in each post.

CWF wants to know why one would use a Kerlon tarp as one is not using it in heavy snowload; again, he is mistaken as I certainly do use my tarps under heavy snowload and in extreme winds, this is WHY I am so impressed by the performance of Kerlon tarps and tents and recommend this so strongly. As I stated, one does not "need" their properties in all backpacking scenarios, however, I specifically referred to the place/time/use that I find mine to be so reliable and there is nothing I know of currently available that will perform as Hille.-Kerlon tarps do in such situations.

One more point here, it is that while such and such a thread type MAY have greater "tear strength" than so and so a type, for it's per gram weight, the real issue is that the final finished product, such as a tarp, has several properties that will make it function as needed in the conditions where one uses it. Kerlon is known for great resistance to UV rays, among other properties and this is of major importance in above timberline camps of longer duration, such as sheep hunting and conducting wildlife research.

Finally, the comparison to the Akto is a bit "A and O" in that the two shelters have quite different potential and the heavier weight ot a tarp is offset by it's greater versatility. In any event, use what you prefer, it is all good!

12:41 p.m. on December 18, 2011 (EST)
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OPTION 2

6:33 p.m. on December 18, 2011 (EST)
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Ahhh yes, Cuben fiber. We had a conversation here awhile back about this material.

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/gear-selection/topics/88691.html

6:39 p.m. on December 18, 2011 (EST)
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Dan Mchale of Mchale Packs is now offering a Cuben Fibre option on his packs.  Cuben has spectra fibres so is consistent with the high strength mantra.  His of course, would be of a heavier weight cuben.

I read that thread - interesting how there are comments that the fabric is too expensive but yet we are also talking about Kerlon fabric which isn't exactly cheap.

@Dewey - yes, my comments are directed to you for clarification.

7:01 p.m. on December 18, 2011 (EST)
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CWF, I think that I have posted very clearly as to what I have/use, why I have/use it and what my experiences doing so have taught me.

If, you prefer tarps made from Cuben Fiber, Silnylon, canvas or "pixiedust", great, wonderful and outstanding. I am happy for you and hope that you will use your gear choices in long life, abundant health and great enjoyment.

I have what works for me, will buy one of the Warbonnet tarps that Rambler has as this is a particular type that I wanted Evan Jones to make for some time, but, he was not interested in any further products as he was trying to sell ID and now I can get what I want. I will use this with either my green Hille. Soulo or my OD ID MKI-Lite which is a tent I bought specifically for alpine hunting in BC...some Bighorns on the BC-AB border, actually and have the type of camp I prefer.

I will not hesitate to use it above timberline, although most sheep camps are placed just inside the upper border of the timber, and fully expect that it will work for me as several other tarps have since I started hunting in 1964, the advantage is this is lighter and strong enough for snow. I know this because I have used tarps of this material in heavy snowfall many times and for 1-2 week excursions.

There are three main methods which I use to rig a tarp and these are varied according to weather conditions; this Warbonnet tarp will work in each configuration and that is what I care about, more than what thread-fiber-fabric is "strongest" per gram....which I really have little concern about.

If, you prefer something else, wonderful, that's what keeps the gear industry vibrant and gives us topics to discuss here on this great forum!

9:24 p.m. on December 18, 2011 (EST)
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Anyone have any experiece with Dyneema?

Here is a rundown of some fabrics via MLD.

http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/fabric.php

1:22 a.m. on December 19, 2011 (EST)
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I do, Rick.  Full Dyneema on a Mchale Pack.  6oz per square yard and tough as nails.  Almost completely abrasian resistant.  But it is expensive.

I have also used packs with dyneema gristop, which is strands of dyneema (usually in an 'x' pattern) in a ripstop nylon.  Usually 140d or 210d.  Not as strong as full dyneema but a lot cheaper.  I would consider it stronger than say a comparable 210d cordura (lighter too) but not as tough as say 500d cordura.

I have never seen that fabric on a tarp.  It would be prohibitively expensive and quite heavy.

1:40 a.m. on December 19, 2011 (EST)
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From what I've been reading on it it definitely seems like strong stuff. I saw the X pattern fabric you are referring too on that MLD link I posted above. 

Check this Dyneema tipi out. Surprisingly its really not that heavy.

http://wyominglostandfound.com/dyneema.html

It can be yours for $1000... Oh wait the starting price is $1000 :)

4:41 a.m. on December 19, 2011 (EST)
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There are more of these tipi makers starting up and this is a very good thing for we backpackers, these are useful shelters, especially where wood is plentiful and free for the taking, as here in BC. Each maker has some special points about their tipis and this one has some pretty attractive models, the "Five-man" in foliage coloured silnylon would be an outstanding shelter for hunting/fishing and nature research where one would keep it erected for multiday trips.

With a light stove, there are more of these coming on stream as well, you can really be warm, comfy and enjoy life in the worst weather. I have a Kifaru Eightman and it is a part of my wilderness base camp, used in conjuntion with my Saivo for sleeping, thus giving two partners lots of space, privacy and room to cook, relax and even bathe from a folding sink in warmth and without bugs.

These are not inexpensive, but, they certainly fill a niche in wilderness living that no small mountain tent can.

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