I am finally going to move beyond the traditional blue tarp and pick up a commercially made Tarp/shelter. I primarily use it as a gathering place/kitchen during two man float trips. I have has experience with the old Moss wing, but they have gone out of business. I am currently looking at the various MSR wings, the NRS river wing and the Kelty ones offered at Campmor. Does anyone have any opinions or suggestion on which is the better option?
I have used MSR Wings and now own two Kelty Noah's Tarps; 12x12' and 16x16'. The MSR tarps generally come with poles, and the Kelty's don't, but since I mostly use it on raft trips with more than enough oars laying about, I think this is a good idea.
I think the MSR is built better and has 7 tie down points, so it could/should be better in the wind. However, the Noah's tarps can also be tied down with more than the normal 4 corners, as there are several additional places to add lines to stiffen them up. I've never had only four lines become an issue though. They do pitch pretty tight and shed water (or sunshine) quite well. The advantage to only four corners is the simplicity to set up. another advantage to the Noah's Tarp is price. It's quite a good deal. They are also very light.
The 12x12' version is probably best for a 2-4 person camp, the 9x9' would be tight for anything more than one person I think, but obviously others disagree. The one in this picture is 16x16', taken a couple weeks ago on Tazlina Lake at Mendeltna Creek. Because of it's size it becomes more susceptible to wind issues but it covers a lot of real estate for larger groups. We had 11 people here. It also needs tall poles, and the 9' oars I was using needed a little help. That's why they are standing on top of a box. It wasn't absolutely necessary, but it did make things seem more spacious.
I have used the 12x12 with just one oar with the other end on the ground along with the side corners. This makes a good 1-2 person sleeping arrangement that blocks the wind and rain well. I kicked my IK under it, removed the seat and had a great bed.
Thanks, The Kelty price is pretty attactive and I also have oars laying around. Im still eyeballing the NRS product though.
I got a Parawing for an upcoming trip in SW Alaska. It has only been used in the yard but shows great promise. Very well made. My suggestion, take some cheap nylon or mesh bags about gallon size to hold rocks and use paracord to attach them to the Parawing. That would offer alot of support in windy/heavy rains. I would suggest this setup without hesitation.
Just wante dto throw in a second pitch for the NRS river wing. It's spendy, but trualy is well constructed. Its the only tarp I've ever owned that is seemingly incapable of pooling up water on it. Very robust, even in moderate winds. usable as an emergency shelter, too. AND all of teh guy lines at each end has a little pouch to collect and hold the cord, so it's not tanged all over teh place. I'm all about the NRS River Wing
I bought one from Hilleberg a few years ago. I got it at Barney's. I have been very happy with it. It comes with guy lines attached all around the sides and has a built in stuff sack. The guy lines have built in tensioners as well, so it is easy to get the tarp set up how you want it. I carry a few tent stakes with it and keep it with me. Gives me a very light emergency shelter when I'm out hunting for the day.
It's a little more than the Kelty, but a little lighter as well.