A great tarp, though a little on the minimalist side.
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample provided by Sea to Summit for testing and review)
A great tarp, though a little on the minimalist side. Looking to go lighter? The Sea to Summit Hammock Tarp may be the tarp for you.
- Comes with guy line
- Grommets on each tie-out point
- Line tensioners at each tie out for ease of tensioning
- Very minimal coverage on the head and foot end
- Ridgeline guyline comes a little too short to be useful
This review is a part of a review of the entire Sea to Summit Ultralight Hammock System. Please refer to my Sea to Summit Ultralight Hammock review to see the full review of the Ultralight Hammock and its components. Most of the information below is separated out here again for visibility purposes.
The Hammock Tarp is made of Ultra-Sil Nano 15D Nylon fabric, which provides a high strength-to-weight performance, and measures 11 feet 10 inches by 9 feet 2 inches. Two tie-out points are provided on one side of the tarp for enhanced performance in wind or wind driven weather, and for weight savings the opposite side is a narrower cut that tapers to a point with only one tie out. All seams are properly sealed, and I had zero leakage throughout my testing period.
This Hammock Tarp is solid. It kept me dry and comfortable in some pretty severe thunderstorms with wind driven rain. I would like to see both sides have the same cut though, as some thought does need to be put into site selection with a more minimalist tarp such as this.
In a light or moderate rain the tarp is more than adequate. It is only in regards to wind driven weather where setup is critical for adequate protection. The side that tapers to a point does leave some area exposed, and with even a light blowing rain you can get a little spray inside the covered area.
The tarp comes with guy line included on all tie outs. However, in my opinion, the ridge line cords should be significantly longer. They were several feet too short to hang between two moderate to large diameter trees approximately 13 feet apart.
The length for all other ground level tie outs was more than adequate. Tensioners on guy lines are easy to use and hold strong. I left the tarp rigged for the a stretch of 17 days in which I only had to adjust the tarp tension after the first day, and I suspect that was from the new silnylon stretching a bit.
The tarp is definitely functional, however it does require some forethought to ensure adequate protection. In light to moderate rain it works perfectly well, with no issues whatsoever. The only potential problems arise when you will be encountering a wind driven rain. I found myself on one occasion getting a little wet because the winds shifted during the night and the tarp was no longer providing adequate coverage.
The tarp is not cut the same on both sides. One side is more squared off and has two tie out points, whereas the opposite side tapers more to a point and has only one tie out. This design reduces the weight and bulk of the tarp, but it also means that thought must be put into its setup to ensure you orient the broad side towards the wind. The vast majority of the time the coverage was more than adequate I found, and that tapered side allows for some great views from the Sea to Summit Ultralight Hammock.
The side that tapers to a point provides adequate coverage as long as there is no wind blowing towards the hammock from that side. The narrow taper really does leave a large area right on the coverage edge. I could feel some light spray on several occasions from wind driven rain, especially at the head and foot end of the hammock.
Even in heavy downpours the tarp kept me dry. All I am trying to stress is that since it’s a pretty narrow coverage area on that side you can feel spray and moisture on occasion, but I was far from getting wet. We are literally talking a matter of a few more inches of coverage that would eliminate this entirely.
I would definitely call this a one-season tarp, or a 1.5 season tarp maybe...a big maybe on three seasons. It's perfectly fine for a minimalist summer setup, but can very easily get marginal if you're going to be in the storm seasons, and for me the stormy weather typically reserves itself for spring, fall, and winter.
If I were to take this tarp on a lengthy trip in anything other than the summer season I would probably bring along a lightweight hammock sock also.
If the tarp was cut the same on both sides it would be a very solid full three-season tarp, and quite possibly the best commercially mainstream tarp available.
Otherwise, I do like the Sea to Summit Hammock Tarp. It is well made and fully functional for how it was designed provided you understand its limitations. It comes with guy line, which I was surprised by, but also thankful for. In darkness, despite its blue and grey coloring, there is also a high visibility line that reflects light well, much like Triptease etc. However, the supplied cordage length for the ridgeline was a bit too short to be useful.