Which is the best Tarp for Hammocking in Britain?

Erbswurst

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Mar 5, 2018
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I usually use a poncho and bivvy bag lightweight set up and I own a couple of tents, but I am not so experianced with hammocking.

I recently bought a light camouflage hammock and think about buying a tarp to use it in combination with it.

Off course I don't really need it, because I really own enough of stuff. So, if I buy a new tarp I have enough time to save up the money I need to buy it.

Being everything else than a beginner I surely will not burn any spark holes in the fabric and my secret behind is that I mainly will use it in French summer conditions and not often next to a campfire.

But I wish to read here your opinions about hammocking in British weather conditions, because similar weather off course can happen in France and Germany too.

I do not ask about your opinions about value for money relations.
Everyone can buy what fits to his wallet.

I simply ask you, which tarp is in your opinion the best I could buy for hammocking in Britain, regarding weight, durability and especially the right size.

I looked up a few options here and would like to read here your opinions about it and perhaps about other high end quality options.

Hilleberg Tarp 10, dark olive green
3,5 x 2,9 m
UL or XP version
750 g / 1000 g (INCLUDING CORDAGE)

ALL DD TARP WEIGHTS
EXCLUDING CORDAGE !

DD hammocks Tarp M olive green
3,5 x 2,5 m
740 g

DD hammocks Tarp 3,5 x 3,5 m camouflage MC
1050 g

DD Superlight Tarp XL 4,5 x 2,9 m olive green
690 g
 
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Erbswurst

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@Nice65

Is the 2,9 x 3 m version large enough in whet and windy conditions? Do you NEVER get diagonal rain hitting the hammock?

Which hammock do you use?

DD Super Light Tarp 2,9 x 3 m olive green
460 g
 
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SaraR

Full Member
Mar 25, 2017
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Ceredigion
I've got a hex tarp for my Hennessy and I think it's great, with fabric where you need it but not lots extra in weird places.

For winter/ exposed/ populated sites, I'd like to try a winter tarp with "doors" on the ends but the weight and cost has put me off so far.
 
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C_Claycomb

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I have used two hex shaped tarps and been very happy with them. A Hennessey Hex and a UKHammock CAT hex. I have used Hennessey Exped Asym, UKH WoodsmanX and now a Dutchware Chameleon (which has been used no further than my garden due to lock-down).

During the heavy rain we had a few weeks back, just after the hot spell, I had the Chameleon hammock up in the garden and put an asymetric tarp over it (wide fabric, one piece, like the Dutchware Asym Wide design). I was pleasantly surprised that even in the heaviest rain I have ever seen in the UK, with wind coming from every direction, the hammock and underquilt barely got damp. However, I was not in it at the time (was day light), and had I needed shelter, it would not have provided much in the way of dry ground to sit on. I think this tarp had a 12" diagonal ridge while the hammock is a little over 9 foot for the ridge (110")

My view is that a hammock tarp still needs a ridge length of at least 11" (3.35m) to offer enough rain protection in wind. I generally prefer to use rectangular or hex rather than diamond or asym since I like the living space, room for gear. You seem to have hit that in all your options. I would be hesitant of going beyond 3.7m (about 12") because it can start to be difficult to find trees the right distance apart, the middle of the tarp can sag and require extra staking if rectangular, but most of all, the hammock suspension will tend to clash with the tarp more than I like.

The height that you pitch a hammock is fairly constant, a comfortable seat height. The length of the hammock can vary a bit, but the angle at which the suspension comes off is pretty similar in all cases. The wider the trees, the higher you must go with the tree straps. You don't want to raise the tarp too high so there comes a point where hammock suspension will rub tarp edge.

The Hilleberg looks the perfect size, but the price is a little high. The DD Hammock M looks a good size. I wouldn't consider the other two unless for winter...which you say it isn't.
 
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Billy-o

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Apr 19, 2018
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I have that Hilleberg Tarp 10. It is great. The other one I like is a plain green Australian army one - like the auscam pattern ones, only dark green. But I sold that. I think I must have been on some kind of protracted drinking binge or something. I certainly regret doing it, and putting it in the mail to its new owner was a great feat of mental strength. (Actually, I seem to remember that it was a noticeably heavier than the auscam ones).

Another I like is the Tatonka Cotton one.

I have a Hennessy tarp and hammock, which I'd recommend you look into.

If I was ever going to buy another, I'd look more carefully at that Cuben/Dyneema stuff, I think. (Laurel Mountain, Hyperlite .. those kinds of manufacturers)
 
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Hammock_man

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May 15, 2008
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I have the DD 4x4. Having used the DD 3x3 the amount of useable extra space the 4x4 offers is well worth it. I can hang my 2.9m hammock under it knowing the head and foot are well covered. If the weather is foul I can drop the sides right down and yet still leave room under it to shelter kit and give space to get in and out of my hammock. If the weather is playing nice then the sides can be rigged out almost horizontal to give a huge working space.
 

Erbswurst

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Yes, @C_Claycomb, I tend to the A-frame shape, because I would like to look outside if the weather is nice and because in southern French summer conditions I need to create a large shadow to survive a siesta in the hammock.

I would carry tarp, hammock, insulating mat and central zipper sleeping bag and ultra light bivvy bag with central zipper (Snugpak SF). So I would get both options, sleeping on the ground, for example if I find just one tree, perhaps on a touristic camping ground or why ever, or sleeping in the hammock.

As you see, I mainly think about a compact packing lightweight additional 3 seasons option and not about a bulky underquilt winter equipment.

If I set up the tarp as an A-frame, does the DD size M with 3,5 x 2,5 m really protect my hammock in all weather conditions or is there a risk to get a whet hammock in diagonal coming rain, for example if camping somewhere at the Atlantic coast line.

(A few years ago I started one summer day in Biarritz to speak English with the people and they immediatly understood my thoughts that this weather originally would belong to Scotland...)

I ask myself mainly if the DD size M is the better option or the Hilleberg 10. Both don't have too much sail surface for windy areas, both are pretty light and compact packing.

The Hilleberg fabric has an outstanding quality.
I use my Nallo2 tent, which is made of the same fabric as the Hilleberg UL Tarp 10, since more than 25 years.
I count it to my most long lasting equipment and if one keeps that in mind, the price isn't so expensive as it looks in the first view.

Somewhere I read, that someone attached one of the ropes of his Hilleberg tarp to his car. Later he forgot this fact and drove away. He lost the rope, but his tarp was still OK.

I tend to believe this story.
 
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Billy-o

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The Nallo 2 with the Hilleberg tarp out front as a giant vestibule must be one of the great camping rigs if you are staying put for a little while.
 

Nice65

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Apr 16, 2009
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@Nice65

Is the 2,9 x 3 m version large enough in whet and windy conditions? Do you NEVER get diagonal rain hitting the hammock?

Which hammock do you use?

DD Super Light Tarp 2,9 x 3 m olive green
460 g

I don’t really go out camping in diagonal rain, and one of the things about hammocking is you’re generally amongst trees, so mostly sheltered from the wind. The tarp hasn’t let me down yet. I always have the option of setting it up low and in a rectangular shape if it’s very windy.

I have a couple of hammocks, an Easy Hammock made by Bigmonster on here, with a built in under quilt, and a Mosquito Hammock (Jungle) with an envelope for a sleep mat.
 
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TLM

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Nov 16, 2019
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I would not worry so much about diagonal rain, it is the horizontal and upwards going that are the problem.

Rain drops fall at a speed between 0-9 m/s, the 9 m/s requires a tropical deluge. So the smaller rain drops easily go with the wind upwards as does the mist. As Nice65 said at places where one sets up a hammock violent updrafts are not so common but an all night mist gets you wet quite nicely. I guess in that situation blocking the whole windward side is the best option, a diamond configuration might not really protect.
 
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Erbswurst

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Yes, @Billy-o , that's a point which I forgot.
Thank you for reminding me!

In one kind of use I can imagine this combination would be absolutely possible. On tours for my job I am camping quiet a lot on touristic camping grounds in Normandy and Britanny in late spring and early summer, usually next to the sea.
So, such a combination of tent and tarp vestibule would be a quiet good additional option!!!

I think I will go for the Hilleberg Tarp 10 UL in olive green, because it's the best quality, pretty light and looks like the most versatile option.

What can't be done with it is such a nearly fully closed folded tent which could be done with most DD tarps, because the Hilleberg Tarp has less attachment points. But because I am a pretty lazy guy that option I wouldn't use so often anyway. Lean to, A-frame and especially plow point shelter are my prefered set up versions if sleeping on the ground, and of course I have the Nallo2 and even think about to buy additional a green Akto which probably would be in combination the best option regarding weight, packing volume and living space if one wants to carry a tent in rough conditions.
I can imagine that it's very nice to live under the tarp during the day but to read something and sleep in this small tent in the end of the day. The weight of the Akto plus the Tarp 10 UL is round about the same as the weight of the Nallo 2.

So that version would be for 1 person a bit less comfortable in camp than living in the pretty large Nallo2 and under the tarp, but it would be off course lighter to carry and more compact packing.

Thanks to everybody who helped me to figure it out!

Last year I thought about taking more stuff with me to use it in northern France to get more comfortable in that rough conditions and to send later probably the bad weather equipment back to Germany with my colleagues car if I continue with the Tarp - Hammock - Sleeping Mat set up in high summer conditions in southern France.

I usually continue than via Périgord and Côté d'Azur and hop in the end from larger town to larger town direction Alsace, often going alone by railway train, where I usually sleep in youth hostels anyway, because the camping grounds close for winter intermission, and to hang up my posters in shops in the town centre it's also nice to sleep in the middle of the towns.

After than having continuously camped for round about three month in all weather conditions I usually don't have anything against renting a hostel bed or bread and breakfast room, and so my light summer equipment still works well during the day, and if not I get a cheap but good Solognac fleece jacket every corner.

(By the way: Should someone who reads this think, that my job would be nice to do for a few weeks, for example a still sporty pensioner or student who speaks quiet good English and a bit French and has a driving licence, he should send me a personal message, please. My agency always looks for people who like traveling, camping, walking a lot in historic town centres and nice little villages and driving around in the car.
For Tours in Scandinavia even persons who just speak English would be welcome.)
 
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Erbswurst

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@TLM
And in this situation a central zipper sleeping bag in a central zipper bivvy bag on an insulating mat in the hammock is perhaps a not so stupid option, even if the underquilt is theoreticly better because better insulating.

I guess, the next we will see on the market will be some kind of bivvy bags for underquilts.
 

SaraR

Full Member
Mar 25, 2017
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It's also worth looking at what sort of attachment points are available on the tarp, as that can make a massive difference in how useful it is for hammock camping.

Just like when choosing where no pitch a tent or a tarp shelter, there are considerations to where and how to pitch your hammock, depending on the wind, weather, terrain and what you want to achieve (warm and cosy or a cooling breeze etc). There's plenty of information available online for those interested. :)
 
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Erbswurst

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Mar 5, 2018
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Do you think that this new Solognac offer would be a good recommendation for beginners?

The quality of Solognac products is usually surprisingly good for the price. I tested a lot of it. (Of course not this set up, because its brand new.)



 

C_Claycomb

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Oct 6, 2003
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adding attachment points to the perimeter of a tarp isn't all that difficult if you have a sewing machine and can get suitable fabric for reinforcing. It is possible to just add grosgrain in line with the hem, as long as you don't load it too much.
 
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