When you get down to the basics of ultralight backpacking, it's hard to beat a tarp's versatility and ability to provide the most shelter for the weight. But many backpackers are concerned that a skimpy one-person tarp or poncho-tarp doesn't provide enough shelter, especially in wind-driven rain. Enter the Gossamer Gear SpinnTwinn. As the name implies, it's a two-person tarp, but since it weighs only 8 ounces (2.2 ounces more than Gossamer Gear’s SpinnSolo tarp), even solo hikers can enjoy extra space at virtually no weight penalty. How well does that approach work in practice?
By Will Rietveld
Will Rietveld Ph.D, Senior Editor for Gear and Apparel, joined the BPL staff in April 2004. In his former career, Will was a research scientist, project manager, and R&D program administrator. Now retired, he lives in southern Colorado where he takes up a new career of backpacking year-round in the mountains and canyon country of the Southwest. During the summer months Will and his wife Janet are volunteer wilderness rangers in the Weminuche Wilderness. He has been a lightweight backpacker for 52 years and an ultralight backpacker for 13 years.