Updated from the original 2008 design this simple British made tarp has been 3 years in the making and now ready for 2012 and beyond.
After the inital introduction to the lightweight world of using a tarp and bivvy bag by Ray Jardine and Ray Mears, we've been exploring the practicalities of using the tarp as a way to make life in a bivvy bag a more enjoyable experience.
After experimenting with all variations of designs, shapes, beaks, lifters, support systems and so on, we've found the KISS principle to be the best. Using a rectangular sheet, with appropriate length tabs, well stitched reinforcements in the right places, we've found that the secret is all in the knots and the tension.
The 2.7m x 1.5m (approx) solo tarp will completely cover one person, or the torso of two, with plenty of storage space, depending on how it is pitched. You have the option to pitch it in the 'A-Frame', 'Flying-V','Lean-To' and 'Cave' configuration.
The 'A-Frame' suits summer weather, lowland camping, slight breeze and all round ventilation. The 'Lean-To' is more to cut out the wind, will take a fair amount of rain from one angle and still provide a good view. The 'Flying-V' is ideal for heavy weather, high wind and maximum protection. The Cave is virtually a pyramid tent and gives maximum protection, although better suited to the Duo Tarp, it can still be erected using this Solo Tarp. All four styles can be mixed and matched to suit your needs at any one time.
Made from siliconized nylon and double stitched around the hem, with reinforcements on every tab support, the tarp will take a variety of pressures from all angles. On the centre ridge line of the tarp there are two 'lifters' which are seam sealed. These are not for central support from a line when pitched as an "A frame', but for 'lifting' cords, to pull back the flat surface area and provide more space underneath the tarp.
Weighing in at 278g (lighter than previous models) including bag, optional extras include titanium ultralight pegs, a 15m length of 3mm paracord and 3m of 3mm shockcord. Depending on which method you use and of course how bad the weather may be, a tarp can be pitched using as little as 4 pegs and as many as 12. Once you find a pitching style which suits your needs, shockcord may be a permanent attachment to certain tabs for swift pegging out.
The bag which comes with the tarp is a loose fit to be able to accommodate cords, pegs and shockcord.
Plus of course every tarp we sell, arrives with a free copy of The Tarp Video on CD-Rom (Mac and PC) which explains in video form, how to tie all the knots you need to know, how to hank cordage and erect your first tarp in the 3 main configurations. As pitching a tarp may be new to your outdoor experience, we suggest you take your time practicing with the various configurations in your back garden before you head out into the wilds!
Using a tarp with a bivvy bag is a great way to see more of the outdoors and feel 'part' of your environment. These tarps are designed to support the lightweight backpacker and bivvy user. Of course there's many ways they can be used, including extending the vestibule area of a tent, as a windbreak on the beach or a 'hide' for photographers.
Size: 2730mm x 1460mm
Material: 40D/230T nylon with silicon treatment +PU2000mm
Attachment points: 16 exterior and 2 lifters
Construction: Double stitched reinforced hem with seam sealed reinforced attachment points.
Webbing and lifters: 15mm polypropylene
Supplied with bag: Loose fit to accommodate pegs and cord. Free CD-Rom (PC and Mac) video explaining how to tie all the knots you'll need and various ways to pitch your tarp.
I brought this back in 2013. It has seen use from camping with the kids in the garden to my wild camping in hurricane Burtha (don't ask) Its taken abuse and so far (touch wood) has no tears or stitching issues. I would recommend a bivvy and tarp over a tent to anyone. I use lineloks which make life easy but recommend learning your knots as a back up. With experience you will learn the best pitches for you and the situation/enviroment. Personally a slightly adapted Lean to, with sides and the flying V have been all that I have used. I have used a mozi head net when the citronella candles couldnt hold the blighters off though. It is the only disadvantage. Happy Camping!
The Solo Tarp folds very small and takes up very lttle space or weight in my pack, I would recommend this product. it would have been good to have had a lower cost/slower delivery option as adding £7 to my order would make me think twice about ordering anything else, if there was another delivery option it wasn't clear at the time of ordering
Recently bought this tarp (along with some associated accessories: ultralight titanium pegs, 3 mm paracord, etc.) in preparation for my summer through-hike from Catalonia to Cornwall. Have only been playing in the garden so far but first impressions are very positive. It seems to be very well made, and the accompanying DVD has been very useful in terms of learning knots and thinking about different set-ups. I'll post another review when I get back from my long walk and have tried it out in the field. Excellent service from backpacking light (all the ordered kit arrived at my home in Catalonia within 3-4 days).
Exceptionally light. Plenty of scope for different conifgurations though could do with being a little wider to allow for an A-frame set-up with sides down to ground level. Would also be useful to have a third lifting loop, between the other two so as to give more options. Nevertheless a very robust, very waterproof item with plenty of options. The video is first rate: very well produced and presented and especially useful for the clarity with which the six knot types are shown. All-in-all a great little package.
First class service from Backpackinglight who must be setting a new high standard of service in the outdoor equipment market. This was combined with a quality product to make me a very happy customer. Used on dartmoor last week and did everything it should. Highly recommend especially if like me you can't afford a ultra lightweight tent.