Appy Trails Mark III
If you want to "lighten the pack" without going "all…
Source: bought it new
If you want to "lighten the pack" without going "all in" this could be for you. Same weight class as many tarps but has the advantage of zipping up for foul weather and privacy. Requiring only one (1) guy-out at the rear and pegs around perimeter makes this tarp simple to pitch.
- Low cost
- Size and weight
- Ample space for 2-plus gear
- Stake grommets not gusseted
- NOT rip-stop sil-nylon
This is a good low cost alternative to an expensive sin-nylon tarp tent. It is 185T polyester and as a result a few grams heavier than what some may want but not enough for me to care about the difference. It has ample room for two (2) "hikers" plus packs.
It mashes down about the size of an MRE. I've seen travel pillows that pack bigger so don't expect the Taj Mahal. Zipper quality is OK but I've had the flaps snarl up a few times. I wish that the stake grommets had been gusseted, especially the one near the door flap (aftermarket mod required... oops). I can set it up in the dark now that I know the sequence well. Uneven or rocky ground can make this challenging and stability will suffer if you only have poor soil to stake into .
If you plan to ditch the factory poles and substitute your walking sticks be careful to match lengths w/ sharpy marker. Variation in pole length will make this tricky to pitch. As with all floorless tarps bring a good ground cloth(Tyvek) and the expectation for some condensation. If you pitch as intended, with tight ground contact, bugs will "mostly stay out" but air flow will be restricted unless you roll up/crack the door. Air flow will improved if you simply pitch it higher than factory and add guy extensions to the lower grommets.
I've have the Appy Trails III nearly two years and alternate between it when hiking and an A-Frame Timberline 4 when we "car camp" w/ scouts. I'm happy enough with it to recommend to a friend and I'll probably get another if/when this one fails.