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Reviews > Shelters > Tarps and Bivys > Hammock Gear Stnd Cuben Tarp with doors > Owner Review by Derek Hansen


Hammock Gear — Standard Cuben Fiber Tarp with doors

Owner Review by Derek Hansen


NameDerek Hansen
Height5' 10" (1.78 m)
Weight170 lb (77 kg)
Email Address pix-obfuscated
City, State, CountryFlagstaff, Arizona, USA


I am a lightweight backpacker with a typical overnight pack weight of 15 lb (7 kg) and a multi-day weight of 20 lb (9 kg), which includes food and water. Because I pack less than 20 lb (9 kg), I prefer lightweight trail-running shoes. I prefer backpacking with a hammock as part of my sleep system.


Manufacturer Hammock Gear, Ohio, USA
Year of Manufacture 2012, made in USA
Manufacturer’s Website
MSRP $295.00 USD
Listed Features

Lightweight Cuben Fiber material.

No sewn ridgeline (which means no seam sealing needed). All guyline reinforcements are bonded and sewn. for maximum strength.

4 panel pull outs and 10 perimeter tie outs.

Manufacturer Recommendations

None listed.

Specifications What They Say What I Say
Weight (packet) 6.5 oz (184 g) 7 oz (198 g) (with guy lines attached)
Dimensions 130 x 51 in (330 x 129.5 cm) 130 x 50 in (330 x 127 cm)
Material Cuben Fiber


26 MAR 2013



Illustration courtesy Hammock Gear

The Hammock Gear Standard Cuben Fiber Tarp with doors is a lightweight yet fully enclosed tarp for hammock camping and other outdoor activities. The tarp features a bonded ridgeline, requiring no seam sealing. All guy line reinforcements are bonded and sewn for additional strength.

The tarp features 8 perimeter tie outs and two (2) tie outs for the ridge line. Each tie out is made with a nylon strap and a plastic D-ring.

The tarp is designed to be pitched in an A-frame configuration, which allows the "doors" to fully enclose the tarp, giving it four sides--very close to a wall tent design.

One of the key features of this tarp is the fabric. Cuben Fiber is a laminated fabric constructed from Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) fiber monofilaments and polyester films. According to fabric vendors, "Cuben Fiber retains 100% of its original strength after being folded 250 times." It is not affected by salt water nor does it soak up water. It has great UV resistance and is extremely water resistant. Cuben Fiber was originally developed and used as sails for competitive sailing, but it has been gaining a foothold in the outdoor industry due to its weight, strength, and water repellence.



I've been using this Cuben Fiber tarp for more than a year now, and I have taken it on at least six (6) backpacking events. Here are some highlighted trips:

Jul 15-20, 2012: Camp Geronimo, near Pine, Arizona. Summer camp with the Boy Scouts! Thanks to the monsoon rain season, overnight temperature was a cool 40°F (4°C) with the high during the day in the high 60s°F (15s°C). Elevation was roughly 5,000 ft (1,500 m).

Sep 14-15, 2012: Kachina Peaks Wilderness, Flagstaff, Arizona. I joined a Venture Crew on a 20-mile (32 km) backpacking trip along the Inner Basin Trail and the Weatherford Trail. The overnight low was in the upper 30s°F (3°C) and around 70°F (21°C) in the day. Elevation ranged from 8,600 to 11,300 ft (2,530 to 3,400 m).

Oct 26-27, 2012: Kachina Trail, Arizona. I went on a 13 mi (21 km) backpacking trip with my troop on the San Francisco Peaks. The high temperature was around 50°F (10°C) and the overnight low was around 30°F (-1°C). Elevation was 9,200 ft (2,800 m).

Nov 2-3: Upper Lake Mary, Arizona. I joined the older boy scouts on a short 4 mi (10 km) backpacking trip near Lake Mary. The high temperature was around 50°F (10°C) and the overnight low was 35°F (2°C). Elevation was 7,000 ft (2,100 m).


I am very protective of this tarp. It is by far the nicest (and most expensive) tarp I own. In fact, I am very selective of which trips I take this tarp on because I'm not always confident it won't get battered up by the Scouts. During our week long summer camp, I purposely pitched my hammock over craggy rocks to make the hammock (and tarp) more difficult to approach, especially as the boys would run around the area.

I know that Cuben is super tough and has amazing resilience to tears, it's just that I don't want anything bad to happen at all. It's a nice tarp.

What makes this tarp nice for me is how light it is. It really feels like tissue paper that has been reinforced. It is so thin and light. For a fully-enclosed tarp, 7 oz (198 g) is an amazing package. And, it packs down so small, it's hard not to consider bringing this tarp on any of my trips.


During summer camp, I experienced rain deluges every day. It was so bad, in fact, that the camp flooded twice, making a very soggy. Typically, I am very selective about where I pitch my hammock so I can face the tarp against the prevailing winds and moisture, but I didn't have to worry so much with the Cuben tarp because I could pitch down the doors and enclose my hammock to the elements. I stayed wonderfully dry, which is more than I can say for my troop of scouts whose walled platform tents were so drenched, they all moved up into the 3-sided "Adirondack shelter" (or lean-to) for the remaining few nights.

While the extra protection from the large side panels and doors is convenient in some ways, it does require a lot of tie-outs to pin down the tarp. A total of eight guy points increases the pitching time significantly. When the doors are not needed, they can be folded back onto the main tarp body by using a guy line to "tie" the two doors toward each other.


Another common modification to large tarps, such as this Cuben tarp, is to pull one side up and prop it open with trekking poles or sticks to create a "porch." This was a very nice option when I was camping with the scouts at Lake Mary. I pitched the tarp against the wind and propped open the other side to face the campfire.

Cuben Fiber is thin, and as a result the material is somewhat translucent. I didn't find this to be a problem, as I enjoyed the light streaming through in the morning and I feel a little more connected with the woods.

One real "negative" with Cuben, however, is that during the rain, the tarp makes a pretty loud noise as each drop hits with reverberating concussion.

When packing, I must note that Cuben does not stuff well. To pack it down small, it is best to fold it down and then roll it to fit into a stuff sack. This can be a little more time consuming, but the payoff is a smaller package.


The Hammock Gear Standard Cuben Fiber Tarp with doors is a fantastic lightweight and packable full-season tarp. While it can be loud during a rain storm, those looking for an ultralight shelter should just plan on bringing a pair of ear plugs and enjoy the weight loss.

PRO—Lightweight, strong, with full coverage.

CON—Must be rolled and folded to pack. Loud in the rain.

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Reviews > Shelters > Tarps and Bivys > Hammock Gear Stnd Cuben Tarp with doors > Owner Review by Derek Hansen

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