Tyvek noise

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    Travis B.


    Last year we used painter's drop sheets as groundsheets. They worked fine, but I'm not comfortable using it with my neo-air for fear of punctures. I'd like something that offers a little more protection for my sleeping pad.

    I finally was able to round up some tyvek, and am willing to accept the weight penalty. But does anyone else find the tyvek incredibly loud and annoying? It's like sleeping on tin foil. Any suggestions outside of tyvek and drop sheets as sleeping pad protection? Or, anyone find a way to deal with the crinkly noise of the tyvek?


    Stephen M
    BPL Member


    Locale: Way up North

    I read somewhere on BPL that putting Tyvek in a washing machine helps to soften it a bit. I tried it and to be honest not sure if it makes any differnce.

    Chad B
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southwest

    I heard about the washing machine method also but have never tried it. I had a piece that I kept rolling up, twisting and crumpling and that worked pretty well. Got rid of a lot of noise and softened it up.

    J R
    BPL Member


    I've done it, and it works. Just be sure to use no soap/detergent, cold water, gentle cycle, run it through a couple of times. The tyvek will soften and feel more like a "cloth", and will only continue to get softer with use.

    Travis B.


    Alright. Giving it a wash or two it is.

    Though, I just came to the realization that if both my girlfriend and I carry tyvek ground sheets we are looking at about 10oz. Our emergency blanket is 10oz, is very durable, large enough for both of us, can pull double duty as lunch tarp, and isn't crinkly at all. Hmm…

    Joe Lynch
    BPL Member


    Locale: Northern California

    The tyvek sheet I use has softened over time so I don't hear much sound from it. Plus, I never noticed it because of my snoring…

    I now use Duck brand window film. Light as can be, waterproof and no noise. I keep the tyvek for car camping.

    Franco Darioli


    Locale: Gauche, CU.

    "I just came to the realization that if both my girlfriend and I carry tyvek ground sheets we are looking at about 10oz"
    For 10oz you get 2x 6'x4' pieces of Tyvek.
    Do you need them to be that large for one person ?

    Travis B.


    I was quoting 5oz off the top of my head. I just re-weighed the tyvek sheets. They are both just over 6' and 3' wide. One weighs 4.4oz and the other 4.1oz. I could probably trim both down a bit more. But regardless, it's still a pretty small weight savings over an emergency blanket.

    Mitchell Ebbott


    Locale: SoCal

    Don't forget also that Tyvek is breathable. That's a great property for certain applications, but not for a ground sheet. You don't want moisture from the ground to come up through your breathable Tyvek ground sheet and condense on the inside of your non-breathable tarp.

    I use an inflatable pad on a polycryo ground sheet and it doesn't worry me much. I keep a few pieces of Tenacious Tape with me to patch any holes that come up (none so far) and make sure to kick the ground clear of pointy things before laying my stuff on it. I don't think the slight extra thickness of Tyvek is worth all of its disadvantages.

    Dale Wambaugh
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    +1 on washing.

    You can buy Tyvek 1443R through kite supply stores that is softer and a bit lighter. It comes in 60" widths and weighs 60g/m2.

    Charles Grier
    BPL Member


    Locale: Desert Southwest

    Tyvek is actually several different products; I suspect that you are talking about the "House Wrap" type. If you do a search online for kite making suppliers, you will find a Tyvek that weighs about 1.3 oz per square yard and is used for making kites. It is the same WPB stuff as the House Wrap but is lighter, softer and quieter. It is durable; I'm still using a piece I bought in 2005 and it is still working just fine. You can buy it by the yard at the Kite supply outfit, IIRC it comes in 60" widths. You can sew it if necessary. They use it, or something similar, for making disposable HazMat suits. Like any of the Tyvek products it suffers from "static cling": needles and other bits of surface organic matter cling to it and a good shaking doesn't get it completely clean.

    Marko Botsaris
    BPL Member


    Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA

    Interestingly, I have a tyvek ground sheet (of the thicker type) that is over 10 years old and has been used I guess maybe 200+ nights. Also washed in the washing machine many times. It feels like linen at this point, but it stopped crinkling forever after about the second wash. Not sure why I keep it, but I guess it has accumulated a lot of "quality" over the years.

    Delmar O’Donnell


    Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio

    Light weight + protection? Consider floor underlayment.

    John L


    Locale: West

    I am new to this community. Something you might want to give a try is Typar. I am a contractor / carpenter. It is a different brand of building wrap. It is not nearly as noisy or as slippery as Tyvek. Is might be slightly heavy or lighter I don't know the specs. May be worth trying.

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