- Oct 27, 2014 at 7:37 pm #1322183
Thomas ConlyBPL Member
@conlyLocale: Lots of canoeing and snow
I finished this project a while ago but haven’t gotten around to posting the final product. I wore out my old two person Ray-Way tarp and net tent after several years and a thru-hike, so it was time to replace it. I couldn’t decide for a long time if I wanted to spring for cuben fiber or make it with silnylon again, but then I saw Dutchware had argon silnylon at 1.06 oz and $5.75 a yard and my decision was made. I made a few changes to materials and design from the original.
The tarp is 14 oz on the nose. The only changes I made were I bar tacked the slits in the lifter patches to reinforce them. They held fine on my old one but they definitely showed signs of wear. I also used z-line from ZPacks for the major guy lines. I used 1.25mm for the corners and clothes line and I used 1.5 mm for the ridge and the side pull outs. The 1.5 mm is definitely less tangle prone so I’m glad I used it for the longer lines. I used the 80lb polyester cord for the side pull outs and the beaks. I put glow in the dark micro line locs on the major guy lines. I did that a little differently than you might expect. I put the adjustable loop on the tarp pull and tied a loop for the tent peg. I prefer this because I can tie the end of the guy off to a tree or rock and still use the adjuster. Also, when using an adjuster, you can normally only shorten the length of the line by half. But, with this setup, I can tie a peg off anywhere on the line with a clove hitch, and then adjust from there. I also added a piece of flat cord on the underside of the lifter patches, which I’ll explain in a minute.
The net tent is 11.5 oz. I modified the net tent design quite a bit. I used argon silnylon for the floor, argon 67 for the head and foot end and lighter no-see-um for the walls. I made a large D shaped zippered entry. My original net tent had the flap closure and I was not a fan of that. I added a zipper to my original net tent but kept the bottom flap closure and it just wasn’t effective. After waking up with a large beetle in my pants, I decided I needed a completely closed shelter. I used breathable nylon for the head and foot end because I’ve had three nights when rain found its way under the tarp. All three times were during crazy storms (two night had tornados in the area). It wasn’t significant and I managed to stay dry every time, but the nylon is some extra insurance. Also, it adds some privacy, which is nice. I doubt it will affect the air flow too much. Another big change is that I moved the lifter patch higher up the side of the net tent so it could attach to the underside of the lifter patch on the tarp. The original was pulled out to the side guy line and it helped to keep the walls from sagging too much. The pulls add dramatically to the headroom of the net tent now and makes the inner pitch tighter. I also added peg pull outs to the floor. The original design has a free hanging floor, which is ok, but now I have the option of keeping it in place. I had to reinforce the pull outs carefully to take the stress and I used heavy elastic for the peg loops to take some of the stress too.
Overall, I’m extremely pleased with the finished project. The tarp and net tent weigh 1 lb 10 oz overall which I think is pretty good for a two person, double wall shelter with tons of room. This design is a very nice compromise between a tent and a tarp. Even with a ground sheet and 12 carbon fiber tent pegs, the weight is still under two pounds. I haven’t had it out in the woods yet, but hopefully it works like expected.Oct 28, 2014 at 1:03 am #2144980
Mole JBPL Member
I like how you modded the nest design.
I liked the Rayway tarp I madeOct 28, 2014 at 7:01 am #2145003
What are the approximate dimensions on the tarp and net tent?Oct 28, 2014 at 7:13 am #2145007
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I wonder if that lightweight fabric will have any problems – durability, stretching,… It will be interesting to get feedback after you've used it a few times.Oct 28, 2014 at 8:55 am #2145033
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
Nice work, looks like it pitches really well. I have had my Argon sil pyramid tarp out in some very heavy winds and the material is doing fine. I made a food bag out of Argon sil last week, however, and found that the material is punctured very easily (the corner of a mountain house bag poked right through), so you might need to be careful using it as a floor material.Oct 28, 2014 at 11:05 am #2145065
Thomas ConlyBPL Member
@conlyLocale: Lots of canoeing and snow
If I remember correctly, the tarp is 106" * 104" and the beaks are 14" long, but they slope downward. The tarp has tons of room. The net tent is 48" wide and 84"(?) long. I forgot to mention, I made the net tent taller so the new height is roughly 36". The whole setup has a good amount of room for two people and gear. It's narrower than some other tents but the walls are completely vertical so it's completely useable space. Also, because it's feels so open under the tarp, it doesn't feel as small as it is. I'm usually using it by myself so it's huge when it's just me.
I'm not too worried about the argon silnylon. It doesn't seem much stretchier than regular silnylon and it doesn't feel too light. I nearly always use a ground sheet under my net tent so I think it'll be fine for a floor. I'd rather have a lighter floor and use a ground sheet than carry a heavier floor.Oct 29, 2014 at 10:46 pm #2145475
Kevin ManleyBPL Member
That's a great looking tarp and nest!
KevinNov 5, 2014 at 5:43 pm #2147169
Jeffrey WongBPL Member
@kayak4waterLocale: Pacific NW
An amazing rebuild of the RayJ tarp. Very, very well done. The low weight qualifies you to a free (optional) Howard Dean yell, too.
Our double Ray tarp/net tent combo (long option) weighs 43 oz, light in contrast to a tent, but yours is the king of lightweight RayJ's!
Great response to rain entering under the "beaks"–the beaks make us bend a few inches lower to get in.
Also great to see you have a full size zipper entry. We got the zipper entry, which, at only 16" high, made no sense to us normal sized people.Nov 6, 2014 at 10:58 am #2147295
Gordon GrayBPL Member
@gordongLocale: Front Range, CO
Good work, that is awesome!
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