The Winter Dream offers superior protection from the…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Prices start at $150 in solid color. MultiCAM, pole mods, are upgrades.
The Winter Dream offers superior protection from the elements for hammock campers. Closing the doors cuts the wind and creates a cozy, dry, happy space from which one may enjoy sitting out the storm.
- Made in U.S.A.
- Quality construction
- Lightweight protection
- Sil-poly fabric packs small and doesn't absorb water
- As with any tarp, can be vulnerable to extreme wind
UnderGround Quilts Outdoor Equipment is one of my favorite cottage industry suppliers. I have two hammock under quilts, one Renegade top quilt, and five different tarps from UGQ. All feature top notch quality in every stitch.
This review is intended to be about the Winter Dream tarp. It should be noted that they have offered the Winter Dream with 11 foot and 12 foot ridgelines for some time, and they just recently added a 13 foot ridgeline version. I have one 11' and one 12'. Rather than dividing as separate models I will review them as variations on the same product.
My first was the Winter Dream 11' in olive brown sil-nylon.
The 11' ridgeline is plenty long enough for the Clarks NX-150 hammock which is only about 9 feet long.
After getting an 11' length hammock (Dream Hammocks Thunderbird) it became apparent that a 12' ridgeline would give better protection. UGQ had also just introduced tarps made from MultiCAM sil-poly fabric and I was chomping at the bit for an MC camo tarp.
The MultiCAM 30d Intruder fabric has an additional benefit besides just the camo pattern. The roll of sil-poly fabric is wider than the fabrics available in sil-nylon. It is possible to make a tarp with 126" width. This allows the tarp to be tied down nearly all the way to the ground, yet still have enough headroom to stand under the tarp. Stooping or crouching gets old after awhile. It's really nice to be able to stand erect while waiting out a long rainstorm.
Regardless of ridge length, the defining characteristic of the Winter Dream is the tarp "doors." Closing off the doors on each end can significantly reduce wind and most importantly, completely block wind blown rain. It creates a huge footprint of dry ground under and around the hammock.
Of course, in fair weather the doors do not need to be snapped closed. They may be extended in "porch mode." In light rain, without wind....one may sit under the canopy. There is plenty of room for cooking on the stove, or just enjoying the rain.
All UGQ tarps have triple stitched polyester French seam ridge with double split ring ridge connection. Black polyester double stitched reinforced edge detail is standard but other colors are available as a custom option.
The cat cut tarp has four tie outs per side, counting the doors.
Other options include mods for poles to increase support. UGQ offers a single pole mod and a two end pole mod. I chose the single pole mod, but honestly I use the tarp without the pole a vast majority of the time. There's nothing wrong with the pole and having the option, I just find that it's not really needed.
It's worth noting that the cutting edge cottage industry suppliers are quickly making the transition from sil-nylon to sil-poly. Within two years the big corporate companies will follow. The advantage is that sil-poly does not absorb water. When it's time to pack up after a rain you'll be carrying much less water weight in the pack.