splitwing review hosmer1
Photo: SlingFin

Introduction:

The SplitFin SplitWing UL Tarp is a modular 24 oz (680 g), 1-2 person shelter that attempts to bridge the gap between minimalist tarps and fully enclosed tents.

It sets up more easily than a flat tarp and is more adaptable to varying conditions than a traditional double-wall tent due to its modular nature. It is intended as a one-man shelter but can be used by two gram-conscious hikers, especially if one of them is tiny or using a three-quarter length pad.

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The bug net can be attached and stored with the tarp, inserted after the tarp is already pitched or used as a stand-alone shelter in buggy but clear weather.

You can use the groundsheet for cowboy camping, the bug net interior on clear nights, the tarp as a floorless shelter, or mix and match depending on your specific needs or comfort levels. Similar to a traditional A-frame shelter, the SplitWing uses a minimum of four corner stakes and a guyline at each end. Depending on camp and weather conditions, you will need four to ten stakes.

splitwing review hosmer 2
This photo illustrates a little sag after an evening of snow camping. I can attribute the sag to three factors. First, I did not properly anchor the rear guyline. Second, all the frost inside the tent dragged it down (this is a sil-nylon shelter, and you should expect some stretch). I should note that the fabric didn’t wet out by absorbing any moisture. After a brisk shake, all of the frost fell off and the SplitWing dried shortly afterwords. Third, the SplitWing’s central ridgeline is fairly long (see the Length section, in Limitations, below).
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When properly staked out the SplitWing sags a little less than you might expect from a sil-nylon shelter (under usual water and condensation conditions). I attribute this to the double coated nylon (silicon on both sides) and the design.

Features

  • Modular system (bug net and tarp can both set up independently)
  • Dual silicone coated (both sides of the fabric)
  • 30d reinforcements at stake out points
  • Duel trekking pole setup (one front and one back – handle down)
  • Fixed geometry on foot end makes it easy to get a taut pitch
  • Open front end allows for adjustable height pitch
  • The “wings” act as a partial awning in more mild conditions
  • Fixed ground sheet attachments in the rear, adjustable in the front
  • Traction tabs on the groundsheet
  • Bug net connects to tarp with a toggle and ring system
  • You can leave the bug net connected to the tarp for easy storage and faster setup
  • Variable floor space and headroom depending on pitch
  • Floor area can vary from 27- 32 square feet. This is determined by the height of the front trekking pole which should be adjusted to give about 41- 47 in (105-120 cm) of head room
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Traction tabs at the top of the groundsheet prevent sleeping pad slippage. A thoughtful feature!

 

Specifications:

  • Capacity: 1 – 2 people (two is a tight fit)
  • Materials
    • Tarp: 10D Nylon 66 Ripstop Sil/Sil
    • Tarp reinforcement areas: 30D Nylon 66 Ripstop Sil/Sil
    • Mesh body fabric: 15D Nylon No-See-Um Mesh
    • Floor: 20D Nylon Ripstop PE 1800
    • Vestibule: 10D Nylon 66 Ripstop Sil/Sil
  • Coverage: 90 in (228.6 cm) plus an additional 10 in (25 cm) from the wings
  • Total Length (including vestibule): 120 in (304.8 cm)
  • Floor Dimensions: 90 in x 60 – 72 in (at head) 36 in (at foot), 228.6 cm x 152.4 – 182.9 cm (at head) 91.4 cm (at foot)
  • Headroom: variable, 41-47 in (105-120 cm)
  • Floorspace: variable, approx. 27-32 sq ft (2.51-2.97 sq m)

Weights:

ComponentClaimedMeasured*
SplitWing Tarp8 oz (226.8 g)8.63 oz (244.7 g)
Bug net10 oz (283.5 g)10.27 oz (291.1 g)
Vestibule2 oz (56.7 g)2.07 oz (58.7 g)
Ground Sheet3.4 oz (96.4 g)3.81 oz (108 g)
Included Stakes (6)No Claimed Weight2.7 oz (76.5 g)
All Components22 oz (652 g)23.67 oz (671 g)

* All components were measured in the supplied stuff sacks.

Strengths

I would sum up the SplitWing’s strengths in two ways:

  • the lightweight, water-resistant, double-coated material; and,
  • the modular system and smart design features aimed at maximizing versatility.

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