Originally Posted by kazak4x4
I think at that point, I'd pack up and leave lol
Yeah, there were moments when we wish we could. Luckily we couldn't and its a vivid memory of a true adventure. We were at Bass Camp in GC when it started, laid over their for 2 nights and it didn't end for another 4 nights when we were at Matkat. Scariest rockfall in my life happened there at 2 am, soon after the rain stopped. Even Poncho's blew out because it rained so much and 2/3 of the alcove floor was lost to runnels. Spent a grateful but crazy night trying to stay dry under there.
We do a ton of fringe season, bad-weather river trips and camping in general so I put a premium on square footage, which the Zing just has functionally more of. Despite the website claim, the Noah in no way provides the defined "floor space" for shade or rain. You have to deduct a fair amount of that because of its fundamental design (you would have to have it pitched perfectly flat in the air for it to provide the space they claim, which I have never seen be a success in weather of any sort).
Per the cost, no doubt its roughly about $200 more than the 16x16 Noah to the MSR Zing (which is just slightly bigger). That price difference adjusts for the $100 worth of poles the MSR comes with. Some people enjoy using their oars for these structure but I am not one, unless the weather turns really foul. I just don't like wrenching on my one source of propulsion that way....nonetheless others. Plus, its a multi-purpose tarp for me that we use for car camping (i.e. no oars) on a regular basis.
Some other comparisons:
Noah is made from a slightly heavier duty material so it should hold better or be more resistant. However, we do most of our rafting in the desert with lots of pokies and I prefer having the repairability of the MSR's slightly lighter ripstop nylon. Both are "waterproof" but the MSR's rating is 4 times higher at 1500mm. I am guessing the Noah's 450 mm is the problem we ran into in the Grand. As well, the sil/PU coating of the MSR makes it stiffer when combined with the cat-cut design of the Zing. I value that immensely as I have spent far too much time in the rain since 1999 when I began adventuring (not a long time really).
Is the double price worth it? Likely not for the average multi-day or day trips that experience minimal rains and play mostly in summer. With a little extra work the rectangular design of the Noah can be pitched comparably taut. For me, after the winter Grand trip, rainy thanksgiving floats, rain on snow events in the mountains, and backpacking through multiple northeasters and hurricanes along the AT I am done spending undo time in the cold and rain. More than half of our river trips are done in cold seasons so the risk of hypothermia is real. We also boat almost exclusively in small groups so one big, bomber tarp is all we like to carry (versus overlapping Noah's like some succeed with here) I will also never go back to dealing with rectangular tarps if I have my way. The premium for the design and material is worth it to me. I lived under tarps for a total of a year in the Uinta Valley working (2 years of 8 days on, 6 off) and am just plum tired of their inherent limitations. I have a small 10x10 cat-cut personal tarp for bad weather for an extra awning for my tent and love it. But we also waited a while until we got ours on sale for less than $275 so by the time we would have bought good poles then the cost difference wasn't nearly as steep.
Not many one size fits all solutions out there. If we lived in an even rainier environment and boated with more people then we might have even upgraded to some of those bigger rain shelters like Cascade carries. But we don't. To each their own though. And as we all know, a memorably bad experience with a specific piece of equipment can shape how we buy for years.
Hope the OP finds the solution that works for him.