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Reviews > Shelters > Tarps and Bivys > Integral Designs Siltarp 2 > Owner Review by Kurt Papke

Integral Designs Siltarp 2

Owner Review by Kurt Papke
January 22, 2015

Tester Information

Name: Kurt Papke
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Height: 6' 4" (193 cm)
Weight: 220 lb (100 kg)
Email address: kwpapke at gmail dot com
City, State, Country: Tucson, Arizona USA

My backpacking venues have included a combination of Minnesota hikes where I have lived most of my adult life, and Arizona trails where I moved to take a new job about five years ago.  I have always been a "comfort-weight" backpacker, never counting grams, but still keeping my pack as light as easily attained.  I have been a tarp user for most of my backpacking career due to my passion for hammocks, but I do own a tent.

Product Information

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Manufacturer
Integral Designs
Model
Siltarp 2
Year of manufacture
2008
MSRP
US $120
Manufacturer website
http://www.integraldesigns.com/
Color
Grey
Also available: Yellow and Olive
Weights
Listed: 13 oz (378 g) minimum (without stuff sack)
Measured weight:  same as listed
Dimensions
8 ft x 10 ft (244 x 305 cm)
Materials
silicone impregnated 30D ripstop Cordura®

Manufacturer's listed features include:
  • 80 sq ft (7.43 sq m) of coverage
  • Waterproof
  • Can be set up with trekking poles or trees
  • Reinforced corner and center guyline points
  • Stuff sack

I originally purchased the tarp to use with my Warbonnet Blackbird hammock (see my test report on BackpackGearTest.org).  Over the last six years I have used it with hammocks and ground sleeping configurations.

Test Conditions

Some pictures of the Integral Designs Siltarp 2 on the trail
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This is a brief listing of backpacking trips and usage of the tarp - it is incomplete, but at least gives a flavor of the variety of conditions I have used this shelter in:

Date
Location
Trail
Pitch

Weather
June 11-14, 2009 Northern Wisconsin North Country Tail (NCT), Chequamegon section A-frame
41 F (5 C)to 74 F (23 C), very light winds.  Mostly sunny with rain shower June 13.
July 11-12, 2009 Mt Lemmon just north of Tucson, Arizona
Mt Lemmon Trail (section of Arizona Trail) A-frame
60F (15 C) to 88 F (31 C)
August 29-30, 2009 Mt Lemmon just north of Tucson, Arizona Samaniego Ridge Trail Diamond
80 F (27 C), low of 60 F (15 C)
September 12-13, 2009 Coronado National Forest in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson, Arizona in the Madera Canyon Old Baldy and Agua Caliente
Diamond
55 F (13 C) to 75 F (24 C). Thunderstorms developed in the afternoon and rain persisted throughout the night
September 19-20, 2009 Coronado National Forest in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson, Arizona in the Madera Canyon
Four Springs
Diamond
53 F (12 C) to 70 F (21 C)
October 9-11, 2009 Mogollon Rim in the Coconino National Forest just north of Payson, Arizona Cabin Loop Diamond
25 F (-4 C) to 78 F (26 C)
February 7-9, 2014 Grand Canyon National Park Grandview Loop
A-Frame
Mix of sun and clouds, 25-60 F
(-4-16 C)

Outcomes and Experiences on the Trail

I have had nothing but positive experiences with the Siltarp 2 shelter.  It has been bulletproof and flexible.  I've been impressed with the variety of configurations I have been able to use the tarp in - that is the beauty of the design and form factor.  After 6 years of use and abuse, it is unscathed today.  I have never had to wash or clean it.  It has required no patching or repair - it just works.

I can only recall being frustrated with it once on a trip through the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota where it was *very* windy, and I had some difficulty getting it pitched.  On the flip side, all the tent campers with me on that trip had the same problem with their shelters - when the weather is bad there is a bit of struggle no matter how the gear is designed.

The main purpose of a tarp is to keep the camper dry.  I have never gotten wet beneath the Siltarp 2, and I have been through some nasty, windy rainstorms under it over the years.  The key is to pitch the tarp with anticipation of the intensity and direction of the rain.

One thing I do not have a good close-up picture of is the use of elastic tieouts.  I use these more often than not, and they really help keep a taut pitch in the tarp under varying wind conditions without subjecting it to undue stress.  I highly recommend their use with any tarp.

The Siltarp 2 is a little heavy and bulky in comparison to some of the catenary-cut tarps that are now available from many vendors specifically for use with hammocks.  I have purchased one of these, and will likely use it more often in the future with my hammocks.  When sleeping on the ground (something I do only when I have to, such as the Grand Canyon where hanging from trees is not allowed) I will likely continue to use the Siltarp 2 for its flexibility and coverage.

Summary

Good Things

  • Reliable, durable
  • Light weight in comparison to a tent
  • Flexible pitching options due to geometry and the many tieout points provided

Areas for potential improvement

  • It is a bulletproof rectangular tarp with tieouts - pretty tough to improve on



Read more reviews of Integral Designs gear
Read more gear reviews by Kurt Papke

Reviews > Shelters > Tarps and Bivys > Integral Designs Siltarp 2 > Owner Review by Kurt Papke



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