Stingerz by Dutchware are the perfect tool for tensioning a tarp between two trees. This is one of those rare items deserving of a 5-star review!
- Easy to use (even with gloves)
- No knots
- Wish the 'biner was slightly bigger (but this is a negligiable con)
I have been searching for some time for a quick and easy way to set up my tarp, especially with cold, wet hands. I know my knots frontwards and back, but I also know the frustration of trying to tie or untie a knot in "Zing-It" cords with frozen fingers. A few popular-market items have proven to be unreliable in this area.
About a year ago, I first heard about Dutchware, a cottage industry manufacturer with a great reputation among hammock campers (http://dutchwaregear.com). I started off with Dutch's titanium Ridgeline 'Biners. I was very happy with this product, but again, I found cold weather to be a challenge--the gate is hard to open wearing gloved hands.
Enter the Stingerz:
In what is conceivably the greatest invention in human history, Dutch added a small antenna to the original 'biner. That addition allows the user to leave the 'biner continually clipped onto the tarp, while taking the running end around the tree and back onto the antenna.
In cold weather I can still use very fine cord with my gloves on. Last weekend I took my tarp down with a windchill of °F without having to remove my gloves.
At 1/10th of an ounce, I don't even notice the "extra weight" on my tarp.
I had planned on shooting my own video on this product. I was out last weekend, started shooting an introduction, and then discovered I couldn't hold my camera phone and set the ridgeline at the same time. So here is Dutch's video demonstration:
In Dutch's demonstration, he clips into the tarp. As I mentioned, I mostly leave the Stingerz continually attached to the tarp, negating the need to open the gate.
He also clips into a nice, narrow D-ring. My tarp has wider woven-nylon tie-outs, which aren't quite so perfect to clip in. In this regard, I wish the Stingerz was a bit wider in the throat. It's not a big "con" to me—just a thought to play around with.
Also, Dutch demos his product with a line already spliced onto the eye of the Stingerz. I own so much Zing-It, I simply tied my own line onto the pair I own. If you don't own any Zing-It, then this is a nice option.
At $9 per Stingerz +s/h (add $5 per unit to have the line spliced onto it), this isn't the cheapest way to tension you tarp. However, the ease of use is well worth the price, especially in cold and wet conditions.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $9
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Reviewers Paid: $9.00