Ultralight Tarps

Part 1 of 4. In the May issue of AMC Outdoors, I highlight the different types of backcountry shelters that weigh less than 2 pounds. This four-part blog posting highlights the specific brands and styles available in each category. In this first post, I round up the ultralight tarps. Included weights are from the manufacturers and typically do not include guy lines.

Gossamer Gear
Specializes in ultralight backpacking gear, including the asymmetric SilTwinn Tarp (10.5 ounces, $140) and lighter weight SpinnTwinn Tarp (8.6 ounces, $175). Both are approximately 110" x 101" and feature some nice design elements for a taut pitch.

Integral Designs
Canadian company produces a line of Siltarps. The product line includes a wide range of cuts and configurations, including the basic rectangular versions (5' x 8' Siltarp, 7 ounces. $75; 8' x 10' Siltarp 2, 14 ounces, $145; 10' x 12' Siltarp 3, 20 ounces, $200). Asymmetric cuts include the 2-person Silwing (pictured, 12 ounces, $135) and Silshelter (16.5 ounces, $170).

Brooks Range Mountaineering Equipment CompanyThe California-based company makes a range of ultralight tarps, from a 5' x 8' solo tarp (8.7 ounces; $75) to a 10' x 10' Guide+ Tarp (13 ounces; $179).

Venerable outdoor gear maker offers its XPG Ultralight Wing (10' x 10', 15 ounces, $80; 12' x 12', 19 ounces, $100). Excellent value for an ultralight tarp.

Crazy Creek Products
Montana-based company makes their Crazy Standard Tarp, a larger-sized (77" x 104"), heavier-duty tarp made from 70d ripstop nylon. Good value, but on the heavy side (28 ounces, $60).

ExpedSwiss company offers the Scout Tarp Extreme (pictured), a substantial (11.4' x 9.4') tarp designed to be pitched as an A-frame with coverage for up to four people (28 ounces, $175).

Granite GearMakes the only tarp designed with winter use in mind: the Northern Light (8' x 8', 21 ounces, $140), which features snow flaps along the sides (pictured). Also offers the White Lightnin' for three-season use in three different sizes (19-26 ounces, $130).

Ultralight tarps are available from other manufacturers—these are just the ones that caught my eye.

Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.