Oct 5, 2007 at 10:43 am #1225331
Ron BellBPL Member
I wanted to ask folks what color tarp / shelters / bivy bottoms they prefer.
Background: I have always offered a med/ light gray as the standard tarp color- as do many other small makers. One reason is that color is widely avialble to a small cottage builders like me from various mfgrs in smaller rolls/lots. Looking ahead to a possible large dye lot custom color, I wonder if there is another most prefered color. It would be a great investment/risk so I wanted some feedback from users.
It would be a steathly type color- gray is pretty good already with out looking military- but perhaps folks would prefer tarps in the most stealthy single color possible useful over a wide range of enviornments?? A med brown/green blend???
1: Would a more stealthy color like a brown or a brown/green or green/gray or a brown green/gray green mix be preffered over a gray?
2: Is a med gray stealthy enough and is that prefered over a more military type color because it does not look military?
3: If the choice was a military color ONLY, would you definately not buy that because of the color?
(Camo is off the table due to no mfgrs make that in SIlnylon. It would have to be a solid color.)
RonOct 5, 2007 at 10:55 am #1404635
@tomcat1066Locale: Southwest GA
I like the idea of the brown/green blend, or even a gray/green, for some of your stuff.
As for if they were in military colors only, it wouldn't keep me from buying anything just because it was military. In fact, I'm the kind who would be more likely to buy it.
Hope this helps.
TomOct 5, 2007 at 12:21 pm #1404644
@pa_jayLocale: on the move....
I think gray is a solid choice if there has to be only one. It's reasonably subdued, but still lets some light pass into the shelter. The main down-side is that standard med gray can sometimes look surprisingly bright at night, not very stealthy at all.
Brown tarps look WAY too much like big game animals, seriously. This would be a deterrent for me. I bought a brown tarp once before realizing this, and it wasn't even hunting season… let's just say, never again!
A gray/green blend would be great, just a bit darker than med gray.Oct 5, 2007 at 12:29 pm #1404646
I think if you started using a different color, particularly one of the ones you mentioned, people would buy it if only because it's different from the standard grey. Grey is kind of boring, especially when it's the standard color that many other tarp manufacturers widely use. A custom grey/green would be pretty interesting to see, I think.
I have no aversion to gear with army connotations, unless it's actually army surplus gear, in which case I'd have to inspect the quality of the gear before buying it. However I think you've made enough of a name for Mountain Laurel Designs that you can use whatever color you want and you won't be in danger of anybody thinking it's army surplus gear.
My own preference for tarp color would be black. I don't know how to explain why, exactly. Black is just sexier than any other color.Oct 5, 2007 at 2:44 pm #1404663
@eaglembLocale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Wow, a manufacturer asking my opinion! I like this guy!
When is the last time someone else asked???
Considering the diversity in just "the shades of green" occuring naturally in the US, stealthy in one place may be 'outstanding' in another.
Med (or even light)Gray is nice because it doesn't show dirt as well as white tarps, and lets some light through (if you like star/moon light at night).
Mil / non-mil is not really a criteria for me in colors.
If the product appears to come from a quality vendor / and or has good reviews from someone / forum I trust, price is an order of magnitude more important to me than color.
Thanks for asking,
MikeBOct 5, 2007 at 4:31 pm #1404666
Phil BartonBPL Member
Ron, thanks indeed for asking.
I have a MLD Pro Poncho in blue. Not my favorite color. But I sure like the poncho.
I have been really pleased with medium gray tarps and shelters. That color is subtle across a wide range of terrain.
Natural tones of green and brown are fine too. The bright green silnylon used Campmor/Equinox isn't so great.
Mil/non-mil makes no difference to me.
Bivy bottoms would be the same for me. More neutral and even darker ranges of color are good. I have one bivy that's purple. Good function but not such a great color.Oct 5, 2007 at 6:32 pm #1404678
Doug JohnsonBPL Member
@djohnsonLocale: Washington State
1) clear Cuben is of course, the first choice.
2) if it's made by Mountain Laurel Designs, it's not going to matter the color, at least to me.
Gray is fine but an interesting combination of subdued colors would be even better. That is, unless it adds even a fraction of an ounce to the design. :-)Oct 5, 2007 at 6:42 pm #1404681
I like gray, its a muted color that blends in without being to "natural". If i wanted earth tones I would go back to the Ansel Adams days of 20 pounds of wet wool blankets. Stumbling around camp exhausted I want to be able to find my sleeping bag.Oct 5, 2007 at 7:53 pm #1404687
@theturkLocale: SF Bay Area
I've always liked gray for a tarp (and just had a backpack made in light gray).
I'm tired of anything in blue.
I have no problem with any earth tones, especially if they're muted. (But there's no hunting where I hike so I've never had to be concerned about not looking like prey.)
But, to paraphrase Doug, any color from MLD is fine as long is it doesn't add "even a fraction of an ounce to the design."
Thanks for asking!
SteveOct 6, 2007 at 6:06 am #1404701
george carrBPL Member
@hammer-oneLocale: Walking With The Son
Hey, Ron. A wise man once said,"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Are you getting tired of the gray? I agree with the others who stated that if it's MLD it'll sell. I personally like the gray color. I never thought about the brown being a danger. Green, gray, whatever, just keep up the great work!! If it's to increase your sales, you do have other products you're waiting to roll out. I'm personally looking forward to the hyperlight sleeping bag you had talked about…………Oct 6, 2007 at 12:54 pm #1404714
@greyhoundLocale: Sierra Nevada
While this particular company caters to military/ outdoors people who have a military bent, I think the multi-environment green as sceen here:
Is not widely recognised as military like olive drab green, and would be a good grey/green compromise that would lend itself to stealth camping in many areas.
Just my two centsOct 6, 2007 at 7:13 pm #1404737
"While this particular company caters to military/ outdoors people who have a military bent, I think the multi-environment green as sceen here:
I've got to say, that would be a really nice color for a tarp.Oct 6, 2007 at 7:27 pm #1404740
Steven EvansBPL Member
I personally am not too concerned with the color. If it was bright red or light grey, I would only be concerned with the weight. If you had to pick a color, I think the neutral greys and greens are most desirable…I never thought about my tarp looking like a big animal, but I guess that could be a concern if the area is regularly hunted…remember, when it's not hunting season, it's illegal hunting season!Oct 7, 2007 at 3:53 am #1404750
John S.BPL Member
The M.E. green is not too far off the gray, which I like alot.
Some yellows are nice. The MSR orange isn't too bad if you wanna be seen.
Bright green or blue I don't go for.Oct 7, 2007 at 9:46 am #1404761
@pa_jayLocale: on the move....
Yeah, something like the ME Green would be great – it'd still let a good amount of light through too.Oct 7, 2007 at 9:58 am #1404762
@tomcat1066Locale: Southwest GA
I have to admit, I like that green a lot.
TomOct 7, 2007 at 11:48 pm #1404795
Jason BrinkmanBPL Member
Grays are pretty good, and still my first choice. I have recently been buying mostly grays. However, I am careful to wear or show some article of brighter clothing with it in certain places at some times of year.
Some grays, most browns, and some tans are all potentially dangerous in big game hunting seasons (or alternately poaching season which is the rest of the time). Best advice for not looking like a game animal is to be aware of color combinations. Brown pants, tan shirt, and white pack will have you looking like an elk. But no elk wear orange.
If you were to get into additional colors Ron, I would vote for medium to light greens. No problem with military colors – most UL gear looks distinctly non-military.Oct 8, 2007 at 2:28 pm #1404853
Jan RezacBPL Member
@zkoumalLocale: Prague, CZ
+1 to grey/green, it is my favorite choice for such applications. The perfect tone would be something between the ME Green and slate grey.Oct 9, 2007 at 9:30 am #1404928
@splproductionsLocale: Salt Lake City, UT
I do like gray. I did check out the M.E. Green though, and I join the group in casting a vote for a color similar to that.Oct 9, 2007 at 2:03 pm #1404957
@hellbillylarryLocale: southern appalachians
I would vote for a stealthy green like the ME green. I wish I could get one in realtree or something like that for stealth camping in national parks.Oct 10, 2007 at 7:31 am #1405056
@sabmeLocale: SW UK
If you get to read this:
I've always wished someone would manufacture Silicone Nylon in CAMOUFLAGE.
Personally I'd have a green / woodland camo. I've heard it's not possible for some technical reason with Sil-Nyl but I still want someone to get round this and make it possible.
Other than that I like Brown or Green so I'm not noticed. If I was worried about hunters I'd tie something bring & / or reflective to my camp!
Grey is ok but boring and dull.
CheersOct 14, 2007 at 7:04 pm #1405466
@greyhoundLocale: Sierra Nevada
Now that this thread has gotten most of the feedback it looks like it's going to get, what are your thoughts?
i.e., what do I win for coming up with the best color?
-GreysonOct 15, 2007 at 3:13 pm #1405551
David J. SailerBPL Member
@davesailerLocale: Pacific Northwest
I once had a yellow tent with a brown (or maybe a dark tan) fly. It was cheery inside, but I hated the colors. Then I bought a white tent with a blue fly and started feeling depressed. Whenever I left the new tent I couldn't believe how colorful the world was outside (I live in Washington state), and longed for my other, warmer colors.
The blue was "darker" somehow and also harder to see by, and much colder in feeling. I always felt confined inside the tent.
I generally like gray silnylon, and it does blend in, but it's tiresome to have basically one color available. I would be as likely to buy a medium to green or brown item as a gray one.
And of course aside from stealthiness, the color of a tarp doesn't matter quite so much as the color of a tent, because a person isn't locked inside.
I try to avoid red, yellow, orange, white, and blue whenever possible, except for small items like gloves, hats or bandannas, where bright warm colors can add a little fun, and still be hidden easily.
Hennessy Hammocks (http://www.hennessyhammock.com/) has some good colors.
One off-the-wall idea. If Mountain Laurel Designs did invest in a large order of a different color, would it be possible to sell some of the fabric as either a side-line or as a safety net? This option might reduce the risk.Oct 15, 2007 at 8:01 pm #1405589
Yellowish green feels much warmer. Could be the association of sunlight penetrating foliage.Oct 18, 2007 at 6:38 am #1405908
For me the color of gear is a very important factor. I personally would not buy gear whose color is not at least somewhat stealthy. My personal preference is for greens or black depending on the application. I agree that the green/gray color is very appealing to me and would definitely buy a tarp in that color. I would not buy a gray tarp as it is too visible even though it is a pretty neutral color. Khaki, however, would be cool for all purpose stealth since green may not be too stealthy in some desert locations. Khaki would also be a stealthy enough color for forested areas too. Something to consider.
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