22 Jul 2012

Zpacks Tarp

Several people have asked my advice on shelters. I love the Zpack tarps. However, there are personal decisions to be made here. Do you want the tarp to pair with a bivy bag (suggest MLD Superlight with full bug net head, or Sixmoons Metro). Or if in a bug infested environment and you want some more internal room, will you go for the full internal bug net?

Maybe the tarp with the full sewn in screen floor in combo with the Zpacks cuben ground sheet will do? Go to www.zpacks.com to check out options.

Here are some quick prices and weights that may help - my head was buzzing putting this together, so open to errors & omissions!

Solo Tarp                          weight            cost

With full mesh screen         304g               $US360                        
Requires Ground Sheet         77g               $US95
Total                                 381g              $US455
Just solo tarp                     119g               $US195
Teamed with bivy bag         190g               $US169
Total                                 309g              $US364 

Sub Bivy 4 internal bug
net includes ground floor      215g              $US175 (See photo in the header of this blog)

Solo Plus

With full mesh screen        349g               $US395
Requires Ground Sheet        94g               $US105
Total                               443g               $US500
Just solo plus tarp             184g               $US285
Teamed with bivy bag       190g               $US169
Total                               374g               $US454 

Sub bivy 4 internal bug
net includes ground floor    250g              $US199 (See photo in header of blog - this is a solo)

So as you can see, it's all about personal preference, season, bugs and terrain.


  1. Hi Robin,

    I note that the option of "no mesh and no bivvy bag" is missing from your gram counts above. I find that unusual as this is a combination I, and many others (that do not consider ourselves ultra-light trampers) have been using for many years. (admittedly less than a year for me with a ZPacks Solo-plus)

    For ultra-light gram counting purposes, if one can bare spending USD$95 for a a cuben fibre groundsheet, a sub-200g shelter is quite possible...

  2. Point taken, but personally, for NZ conditions, I would not recommend the fly and ground sheet combo. My friend Dennis Brown uses this, however I can't stand swatting sandflies before I go to sleep and at dawn.
    Plus I have a phobic fear of getting my sleeping bag wet through driven rain splash.
    The bivy is around 185g (ground sheet 94g)for an extra 91g I get bug and rain protection, plus can carry a lighter bag (WM Highlite - 455g) due to added warmth.
    It's a personal choice


Hey, thanks for you contribution - I monitor my blog weekly. I will reply with comments, ideas and suggestions ASAP - In the meantime, remember, hiking is an outdoors experience to enjoy, not an army boot camp training exercise!!