Investing in a Cuben Fiber Tarp – Thoughts & Considerations for Hammock Camping

A discussion on Cuben Fiber Tarps for Hammock Camping (specifically, the Hammock Gear Cuben Hex Tarp models, both with & without doors).

I recently received a message from a viewer asking for feedback / advice regarding the potential purchase of an ultralight cuben fiber tarp for hammock camping and backpacking, as well as the pros and cons related to some of the options available for these tarps.

Below are his two main questions, which Mike and I used as a jumping off point for our discussion on these tarps.  While our reference point throughout the video is HG Cuben Hex Tarp line of tarps (also know as Dyneema Tarps), this discussion is pretty much applicable to cuben tarps in general as well as cuben fiber’s properties as a backpacking gear material.

Lyle’s Questions & Talking Points

  • I’m considering purchasing the Hammock Gear Cuban Fiber Tarp, but given the price I thought I’d ask some people who own it a couple of questions.
  • 1) 11ft vs 12ft
    I have an 11ft hammock (Warbonnet – Blackbird XLX)… I’m leaning towards the 12ft length, only because I like the idea of greater coverage.
  • 2) Doors vs no-doors
    This is my biggest question … if I should order it with doors…or can get away without them?I’m primarily a 3 season camper…BUT, I would like to do more winter camping. When would you have preferred a “door” version of this tarp vs. a “non-door” version?
  • I’ve seen you use this tarp in several of your videos.  Is there anything you’d do/choose differently if you were purchasing this tarp again?

Other Topics Discussed

  • Cuben Fiber Cost
  • The advantage of cuben fiber’s lower volume in addition to the more obvious weight savings.
  • Cuben fiber strength & durability considerations for hammock camping.
  • Tarp ridgeline length and finding the right trees.
  • Tarp ridgeline length vs doors for rain and snow camping situations.

Tarps Seen in the Video (all weights are tarp only, no lines etc)

Hammocks Seen in the Video

My New Hammock Gear Zero Quilt Set – Titanium Wide Burrow 0° w/ snaps (gasp!) and Green Incubator 0°

HG Zero Set Laid Out
I was super excited to get my hands on my new deep winter quilt set today – Green HG Incubator 0° (26.5 oz w/ stuff sack) and a wide Titanium HG Burrow 0° (25.75 oz w/ stuff sack). I couldn’t resist running contrary to general consensus, so yes, I went with snaps instead of a sewn foot box on my wide Burrow. I’ve grown to really love the snaps on my Burrow 40° and also anticipate using my Zero in situations that it may be overkill – since my other bag is a 40, waaay at the other end of the spectrum.

Fully aware that my 40° Burrow had a bit of a gap in the foot box area when cinched, I took a bit of a gamble and expected that the Burrow 0° would have an even smaller gap, due to the increased volume of down. If I was wrong, I could simply plug it up with my stuff sack on colder nights, but as you can see in the side-by-side picture below, there’s virtually no gap present on the Burrow 0°. Nice.

Just to continue the theme of keeping things interesting, I also plan to test the Hammock Gear Burrow 0° on the ground with a sleeping pad, during an upcoming snowshoeing trip in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Hopefully, we’ll get some brutal temps up there, so I can share the results in my next video. I can’t wait!

I plan to use the weight savings to bring along my wife’s gi-normous Big Agnes Q-Core SL wide sleeping pad to test it with. Paired up with the wide Burrow, I’m hoping to be sleeping about as classy as one can on the ground. Heck, even if I brought an additional fleece throw as a top sheet, the total weight for all three would still be a couple ounces less that my previous bag alone (Kelty Cosmic Zero, 4lbs!).

Of course, after ground testing, I’ll be have to take it out for a solo trip somewhere frosty to run the whole rig on my hammock, it’s true home.

Fully opened. You can see that the wide Burrow makes for a nice amount of coverage. You could probably ground sleep 2 people under this thing in more modest weather. Assuming your camping partner is down for some light spooning, that is.

HG Burrow 0° wide in closed configuration.

HG Burrow 0° wide in closed configuration.

Close-up view of the Burrow 0°'s cinched end in all it's lofted glory.

Close-up view of the Burrow 0°’s cinched end in all it’s lofted glory.

Side side view of HG Burrow 0° and HG Burrow 40° for loft comparison.

Side side view of HG Burrow 0° and HG Burrow 40° for loft comparison.

Side by side comparison of foot box area cinch on the HR Burrow 40 and HG Burrow 0. Notice that the 0 model has a much smaller gap – a very good thing for those frigid nights!

For more detailed info and a look at other models and options, check out http://www.hammockgear.com/  A quality cottage vendor based right here in the USA.

Dream Hammock Darien – Ultralight Hammock Review

A review of the Darien Ultralight hammock, by Dream Hammock.

Model: Darien
Length: 10ft
Width: 60 inches
Layers: Single Layer
Outside Fabric & Color: 1.0 ACU Camo
Suspension: Cinch Buckle
Asym Lay: Right

Total Weight (including suspension and stuff sack): 17.5 ounces

Also available with whoopie sling suspension, double or single layer, and various color and weight fabrics, DWR, non-DWR, calendared finish, pure finish, rip-stop, taffeta, nylon, polyester, you name it. Just go check out the fabric page at www.dream-hammock.com already! 🙂
Link to my order stats and photo on Dream Hammock website: http://www.dream-hammock.com/order_detail.html?order=1157

Hammock Gear Burrow 40 – Down Top Quilt Review

A video review of the Hammock Gear Burrow 40 Top Quilt.

Specs for the HG Burrow 40 Down Top Quilt (Standard Model)
Length: 74″
Width: 50″
Fill Weight: 7.0 oz
Total Weight: 11.6 oz
**Total weight for Model Shown in the video: 13.7oz + .40 oz stuff sack, due to upgrading outer fabric to the slightly heavier Argon 90.

Outer Fabric: Argon 90 Woodland Camo (.90 oz per sq yard)
Inner Fabric: Argon 67 Black (.67 oz per sq yard)
Fill Weight: 7oz ( Quilt uses a Baffled construction for optimal warmth. Overstuffed by request. )

Other Temp Ratings available in the Burrow series:
HG Burrow 50 (sewn through construction)
HG Burrow 0 (Baffled constrution)
HG Burrow 20 (Baffled constrution)

All models available with down overstuff as desired.

First Look – Hammock Gear Incubator 40 Underquilt

Unboxing my new hammock underquilt, the Hammock Gear Incubator 40 Under Quilt.

This is just a quick look the latest addition to my hammock camping gear list. I plan to take this down under quilt on my next multi-day backpacking trip video, so look for more to follow!