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Anyone have a preferred tarp system? NRS River Wing, MSR Sun Shield 200, a big blue tarp? Or f**k wings-I marinate in the elements.
 

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I have a big agnes wing and it's been very good to us. I've only had it for 2 years but it's been great. IF you are thinking of buying a wing for this year be aware that NRS is currently forecasting availability as LATE june this year.
 

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I just bought a Dragonfly recently, haven’t even gotten a chance to set it up yet, but it seems really bomber. What sold me was the fact that they are made in the USA and the company seems to stand behind its product. They appear to be willing to repair for a very reasonable price. Very expensive but I’m hoping it’ll be a worthy investment in a long-term piece of gear. Two things I didn’t like. I bought it from Cascade River Gear online, and they didn’t have pictures of each color online, only the blue. I ordered the dark grey, but it’s really more of a light grey if anything. I’d prefer the darker color since darker colors help keep it cooler underneath the tarp, but I’m sure it’ll do fine. I wish either CRG posted pictures of the colors they sell, or the Dragonfly website labeled the pictures as to what colors they are. Other than that, my only gripe was that the CRG branded bag it came with (not sure if this is any different from one bought directly from Dragonfly) has a cinch that is too tight for the opening, so it doesn’t open as much as it could, making it harder to get the tarp in the carrying case. Easily replaceable, but something that shouldn’t happen at the price point. Overall, I’m sure I’ll be happy with it for years to come.
 

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Best? Dragonfly is far and away the best.

But I don't own one, they're spendy!!!
I have a Luxe wing and an REI wing. They're both decent at ~16' square and ~$100.
The Luxe is a little more bomber, the REI wing is thinner and packs smaller.

Luxe has limited stock, REI sometimes has limited stock, and as donutboy mentioned, NRS is out until late June.
 

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Was going to tell you Luxe was on sale for $61 today. Don't know if they have any left. As far as what you should buy, you are the only one that knows what your financial situation and gear budget is like. My advice is to figure out what you have to spend, and then try to find the best deal that fits that amount. The people who tell you that the top of the line gear they own is the best are right, but the fact is that for the price, it should be.

I have a big Agnes deep creek and a Nemo tarp, both I got on sale. The Nemo has a funky shape, it works OK, but I wouldn't get it again, the Big Agnes pitches fine, but the fabric is not that tough. I have ripped mine and repaired it, which seems to work fine. No tarp is a bad idea. For a long time a I never used one, but then I went on a trip where it rained 7 out of 10 days. We had tents, and jury rigged a small blue plastic tarp to cook under, but most of the trip was spent in our individual tents staying dry. A cheap tarp is better than no tarp at all. That year I hunted around and bought a tarp, and am glad I did, even if it isn't perfect.

Whatever you get, figure out a foolproof way to pitch it in the worst wind and weather you will encounter. This usually involves oars as poles and really bomber stakes. Work that system out and you will be fine. Also size your tarp for the group you will have. As an example, my big Agnes is really only good for 6-8 people, bigger groups get crowded in a hurry. Another consideration is how much space it takes up when folded. A super huge tarp isn't really great for a small group. Unfortunately, now is not the best time to find a really great deal on a tarp or anything else for that matter.
 

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I have the NRS and Luxe. Picked both up on 50% off sales over the years. Very similar. Not sure the NRS is worth the premium price compared to the Lux. They are about the same size, construction, and quality. One is good for small groups, both for a bit bigger group and they both pack up and fit in the NRS bag it comes with. My buddy has a Big Duck and it's sweet but much harder to set up and much heavier to pack around. Is really nice for big groups. We mix what we take on trips depending on the needs.
 

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Back in the day, I picked up a Moss Outfitter and the smaller Moss Parawing.

On river trips the Outfitter size is the place for group snacks, drinks and rain times with the Parawing being the cook tent. On one middle fork rainy day mostly just rain we made camp early. Set up the tarps. Used the cook tarp to make up awesome snacks and spent that afternoon visiting, card playing and drinking in style.

Both these tarps are still working fine after decades of use. If the outfitter ever goes the big Dragonfly would be my choice for replacement. Just save up till the cash is there.

The main thing I can say on tarps especially the size of the outfitter is spend money and get super long 15 inch or longer metal stakes for normal ground and the largest sand stakes you can find for sand. I purchased a length of aluminum angle and made my own tarp sand stakes. Standard chop saw metal cutting blades work well on this stock to cut the angles. Angle stock is available from several web sites just search for the best deal.

For sand there is a monster plastic stake I see in the big box hardware stores. Look on Amazon (I know many detest them) or duckduckgo for metal stakes and you will find many choices. Plastic is not as good as metal my opinion, but have worked ok thus far. Dragonfly uses cam straps for his lines and this is bomber. I set up my Parawing with cam straps and for me the weight did not justify them so I went back to climbing grade cordage. It was not the webbing it was the metal cam locks that got in the way when packing up.

I have also replaced my tarp lines with climbing grade rope (not full bore climbing rope) but the smaller diameters that fit your tarp design.

I have used the line that came with the Moss and military grade parachute cord and both will work till the real Rocky Mountain or Montana grade wind storm hits. Until I went to climbing grade cordage, I have had lines break, stakes pop and both create big problems. So far no issues with solid long stakes and cordage. One thing I have found is the Moss design will handle considerable wind gusts on the side long as the sides are pitched tight and not too high off the ground. If wind force gets underneath look out.

Also over the years the Moss metal poles bent and all the aluminum replacements did the same.

The most solid poles I have found are the US Army 4 foot section poles some surplus stores offer. But they are heavy. When truck or big raft camping these have been bomber. Colemans Military surplus is where I found my poles.

The gent who makes Dragonfly Tarps also has poles that he reports work well and resist bending. Much lighter weight than the military versions. I purchased two sets of his poles and so far good results. No monster wind storms on these poles yet.
 

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My buddy has a Big Duck and it's sweet but much harder to set up and much heavier to pack around. Is really nice for big groups. We mix what we take on trips depending on the needs.
I have a Big Duck as well. It's a handful to set up (usually takes at least 3 people) but has saved my butt on a few different trips. Fantastic in the rain or blistering sun. Unless it's a low water Middle Fork trip I'll always have it on my boat. If it is a low water Middle Fork then I'll take along my smaller Big Agnes tarp. Either way, on any trip, I'm taking a tarp with me.
 

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Has anyone ever used the Snowpeak Tabiki Tarp Octa? I'm quite interested in it because it has a fire resistant inner layer that allows you to use it over a fire. So in a pouring rainstorm you can still have a fire and enjoy it without getting soaked. Thoughts? Takibi Tarp Octa
 

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Dragonfly tarps are the bees knees for sure... I'm ballin on a budget though and don't personally have one.

We have a Big Agnes Depp Creek and have been extremely happy with it over the course of 2 seasons. The only time I haven't tried to set it up was when my friends NRS wing was already struggling. The NRS wings are nice, but we were able to get the Deep Creek on discount and haven't regretted it yet...

I was resistant to add a "real" wing to the gear pile for the longest, and used tarps. That game eventually got old, and the setup is way easier with the wing...
 

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The Luxe is $61 "Today Only!" every day so far, since long before Christmas, not that it matters. The site also says "only 1 in stock" as well. It said that the day I bought mine, as well as every day since.

I got the white one thinking it would be cooler in the heat with the UV reflective side up. I have no idea whats best but my green Kelty is hot AF if the sun is beating on it.

What color is best for hot sun?
 

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The Luxe is $61 "Today Only!" every day so far, since long before Christmas, not that it matters. The site also says "only 1 in stock" as well. It said that the day I bought mine, as well as every day since.

I got the white one thinking it would be cooler in the heat with the UV reflective side up. I have no idea whats best but my green Kelty is hot AF if the sun is beating on it.

What color is best for hot sun?
It worked on me...I just picked one up. At $60, it's tough to lose on that one.
 

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I guess I must not have bought the last luxe tarp as it still says only one left. Great sales tactic, however, at that price I have to try it out.
 

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I guess I must not have bought the last luxe tarp as it still says only one left. Great sales tactic, however, at that price I have to try it out.
Thought the same thing. I bought mine before noon and it still says one left.
 

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Almost pulled the trigger on one too.... probably would have if it came with poles. At the end of the day I have a huge Walrus one similar to the MSR 220 and a smaller personal one...so don't need a third.

I have the Luze Megahorn pyramid hot tent and its well built and well designed. I brought it on a winter Grand Canyon trip along with a titanium wood stove but only set up the Megahorn once just to try it and never used the wood stove (its the Lite Outdoors 18" cylinder stove). Not sure I'll ever use it...thinking about selling them as package.
 
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