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Old 04-16-2012   #1
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,928
Tarps: NRS RiverWing v. MSR Zing

Hey Folks,

We are looking at getting a large, cantilevered tarp for car camping and rafting. We have narrows it down to either the NRS River Wing or the MSR Zing (previously called Outfitter Wing). Does anybody have experience with either? Feedback?

We have just pulled another Grand Canyon permit, this time in May 2013. I am prone to heat problems so having a shade shelter is keen to prevention above 85F. We also do a ton of off-season camping and rafting so we need a tarp that holds up precipitation.

Do either of these perform better for wind and rain? Does one hold up to UV degradation better (for the cost I want it to last)?

Thanks in advance.


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Old 04-17-2012   #2
malloypc's Avatar
Albany, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 256
Look into the Kelty Noah's tarps - much cheaper and just as functional.

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Old 04-17-2012   #3
Rifle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 93

I own an Outfitter Wing. It's huge. Good Quality. Depending on how you set it up, you may need a two other folks. MSR warranty is solid.
I also own a large Walrus (extinct I believe). Good quality and light. Buy one if you find it.
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Old 04-17-2012   #4
kikii875's Avatar
Orem, Utah
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 207
I got the River Wing for our Grand trip last year. I was very happy with it. It stood up to some strong winds and worked well the one time it rained while we were cooking. It is very well built and although it is pricey it was worth it to me. It looks like it is built to last a long time.
You had me at 'Hey, Row'
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Old 04-17-2012   #5
Roddy's Avatar
Park City, Utah
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 51
I have the zing. I like it, I got it because it is lightweight, but I was disappointed to discover the seams are not taped. It has held up well the few times I have used it, including heavy rain on the Lochsa. I hope the seams hold up through time. The stakes that came with the zing are too small to hold up to much wind. I bought beefier stakes, which made the whole set up a bit heavier.
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Old 04-17-2012   #6
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,012
I have the NRS wing. I like it and it does hold up well in winds. The poles that come with it are nice, but when the wind really kicked up, the poles would bend. If the winds are heavy, you can use oars at the poles to prevent this from happening. The stakes that came with it held in strong winds, but were bent afterward. I will need to get some beefier ones.

The Whitewater Innovations Big Duck shelter would also be worth considering if you are going with a big group. Anyone have experience with these?
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Old 04-17-2012   #7
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 90
We had both on our grand trip, and I thought the msr was better built and would hold up longer. I had used both previously, and didn't think there was much difference, but after seeing them side by side I thought it was obvious.
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Old 04-17-2012   #8
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,928
Originally Posted by malloypc View Post
Look into the Kelty Noah's tarps - much cheaper and just as functional.
I have been on a couple trips with the Kelty tarps and never found them as functional. They leaked every time, massively (two different ones each trip) and they just never seemed to as taut due to design (one side point versus 2-3) and therefor blew around a lot more than desired (and we all have minors in tarpology).

I have a design similar to the MSR in a smaller tarp and really appreciate the diversity of setup opportunities and ability to tie tautly.

We went ahead and purchased the MSR tarp. We found it for $80 less than the others and I have always had good luck with MSR customer service (hopefully that is still true). Being a dork I also like how MSR provides the full dimensions and sketches with their products so I know exactly what I am purchasing.

Was curious about the Duck Tarps but they look much more complicated to setup and ultimately require an extra $50 in purchases to use to their full ability. It also did not look as modular in design but their website lacked much information.

Thanks for all the input.
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Old 04-17-2012   #9
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 488
The duck is a cool system but is crazy heavy & bulky.

My kelty, and others i have hid from the rain under, work just fine in my book.
Never get out of the boat
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Old 04-18-2012   #10
fdon's Avatar
Christopher Creek, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 288
The MSR as well as the NRS wings are great as they can be deployed in many different ways with the poles, lines and stakes provided. On high wind/heavy rain situations, I find additional comfort in setting a heavy line such as a rescue bag between heavy anchors and propped up with oars for additional support for the wing.

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