Sunday, 17 April 2011

Kifaru Paratrap

During the winter I realized that while my go-lite SL3 is great in the winter its almost a little too large for my needs.  Next winter I will be experimenting with some smaller tyvek tents like I have posted in the past.  However for the summer I wanted a very light and waterproof shelter to hang over my head.  I very much liked the idea of tarp camping so I set out to find something I liked.

I've always been a fan of Kifaru gear and settled on a paratarp for the warmer seasons.  To keep the cost down I order the tent without the door with the intent to fabricate my own if I feel the need for one.

This tent is the smallest one they sell and I find it quite well sized for me plus gear.  It needs about 5-6 stakes at the min to get a real solid pitch.  In this quick test setup I used 6 DAC aluminum stakes from go-lite and 2 extra sticks to help pin the mid point of the sides down.  If you really wanted to nail this thing down you could go crazy and use all 14 stake loops but its more then solid enough with the 6 or 8 main points...anything more is overkill, but I do very much like the fact that there is more then I need which may be helpful in howling winds.

The tent requires 2 sticks or trekking poles to erect.  When I use this during the summer I will most likely be paddling around with my packraft and dont really plan on bringing along my trekking poles.  This leaves me with the option of either using sticks or, as I have in the above photo, use the 2 lengths from my carbon sawyer paddle.  The two poles are just a little to small to pitch this at its optimum height but that is the beauty of tarp shelters, there is no set it stone size they need to be.
Inside I have laid out my tyvek ground sheet (AMK bivy bag) my new go-lite quilt and tossed my pack with packraft on the side (didn't lay out the sleeping pad for this picture).  As you can see there is still plenty of room inside to sleep quite comfortably.  During nasty rain or wind I might sleep diagonally to move closer to the back of the tent to keep my feet further under the overhang.

The weight breakdowns are as follows:

Kifaru Paratarp - 390g
Sawyer Carbon Poles - 384g

I am super impressed with the weight of the tent and considering I have to carry the paddles regardless I cant complain about their weight either.  Its hard to see from the photos but the tarp does have 2 hypalon sections where the poles rest to keep them from tearing thru during heavy winds.  As expected from kifaru this thing is very light yet extremely strong!  The only compaint I have, or the only negative point I can comment on right now is that the label on the integrated stuff sack seems to have been poorly stitched on...every single other stitch on the entire tent is flawless but the one none essential stitch is less then perfect...must have let the new guy attach all the labels to the stuff sacks ;).

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