Source: bought it new
I love this thing and use it all summer long for various pack trips in the Colorado Rockies and the Utah desert. Keeps the sun off and the rain out.
- Well built
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $50
Make a great tarp into an ultralight tent.
- cantaleaver design
After I first set this tarp up and realize that it would only cover 3 feet at ground level on each side I set my seamstress wife to the challenge. She put a triangular piece of silnylon on each end and on each side, so it is now a full rectangle (app 6x9).
Next she put in mosquito netting and a door in each end with a velcro closeur and tie backs. The end result is a great 20 ounce tent that is a palace for one or can sleep two if staked high.
You will need hiking poles or close trees to set it up. I used it for three days of downpouring rain and two other nights of below freezing weather and it performed perfect.
Ease of Setup: Couldn't be easier
Price Paid: £60
I recently purchased an MSR E-Wing Shelter/Tarp and couldn't be happier with it! I trawled the internet searching for some information and a couple reviews about it, but didn't find much. All I could seem to find was what MSR had wrote about it on their website, which for all I knew could have been biased, anyway I took the plunge and it arrived on my door step couple days later.
The E-Wing is a multi purpose tarp/shelter, they do say you can use it as a poncho, however at £60 I don't really dare and so I use it along side my bivy as a shelter from the elements. To erect the E-Wing you use the multiple tie points with either a stick, walking pole or really anything you can attach a guy line to... I even used one of my climbing cams to attach the guy line to rock face worked quite well. MSR shows two images on their website of how to set up the E-Wing however after experimenting I found at least another three methods of making a shelter using only guy lines, pegs and walking poles.
I found the perfect way to use the E-Wing is with a bivy, I use a RAB storm bivy. The E-Wing keeps me dry and leave room for me to store my rucksack and depending on which set up method you use there's still room to cook (cooking is not advised if you're using the lower methods of set up)
I am really impressed with durability of the E-Wing, and the versatility, however I was shocked to find that after paying £60 for it, it doesn't come with guy lines or pegs. This is the only disappointment I have had with the MSR E-Wing and to be honest is not major.
Design: Pitches with trekking poles
Ease of Setup: Very easy and versitile
Weight: 6 oz.
Price Paid: $70
When a buddy of mine first bought an E-Wing I laughed in his face. "Who needs a tarp? Just wear a rain coat." That's what I said.
Well the next time we went backpacking it started to rain. Normally I have a pretty miserable time in the rain with everything getting wet. Well my buddy pulled out his E-Wing and I helped him set it up and I have to say that my opinion of it changed right then and there.
I immediately realized how incredibly versatile this piece of fabric is. Use it as a rain fly, use it as a shelter, use it as an emergency tarp or poncho. The possibilities are many. Forgo a tent and save some weight by just using the E-Wing.
I liked it so much that I went out the next day and bought one for myself. I take it on every trip I go on now. With my two trekking poles it makes an awesome cooking and dining shelter or just sunshade. I lay under it to take a nap, I read under it, I cook under it. I love this tarp.
Get two together like we do on occasion and you have a near bombproof shelter. And when it's time to pack it up it compresses to the size of a pop can, literally. A very smart purchase in my opinion.
Ease of Setup: very easy
Price Paid: $79.95
A must have for any wilderness explorer... don't leave home without it!