Ok so I am now into hammock camping like most here, and have been brainstorming ideas for a rain fly. I am going to build a couple of my own hammocks before spring for the boys and they need a fly each. I was browsing through Sportsman Guide magazine and spotted these shelters that appeared to be more of a rain fly than anything. So I decided to get two and try them out. SG states that these are in “used, in very good shape”. When mine arrived I would say they are in like new and do not appear to have been used. This is how mine arrived. They still had that new smell to them and not the musty smell like old ponchos. Yes the material seems to be about the same thickness from what I can tell and remember of an USGI poncho if not a bit thicker.
I think the materials and webbing used along with the sewing construction are top notch. This photo depicts that…
At first I was quite skeptical about the DPM ( disruptive pattern material), however I think it will be usable. I wonder if I could Krylon in some black & green. However the color is kind of natural and will be nice on those hot summer days to keep the absorbed heat down.
I guess being only four years old is not that bad, if you count the cost it is an inexpensive option by all means. A new Hennessy fly is around $60 or so for the hex.
Unfortunately these are not your lightweight by any means. Each one weighs 2 1/2lbs. My rough measurements are approximately 8 ½’X7’. What does surprise me is the amount of grommets and tie offs the shelter has. I tried with my 28mm lens to get the whole width into the frame from across the porch but was unable to do so.
Here I laid the shelter/tarp over the railing and covering my kid’s bike. You can see the amount of light the material and colors allows to pass through. I must also mention on the center of the shelter and the top and bottom edges the nylon webbing is continuous from end to end. The only place webbing is not present is from those edges back towards the center.
The seams are sealed and taped; hopefully this photo shows you just that. This saves the aggravation of having to do so later.
The four corners of the tarp/shelter have these reinforced loops embedded into the webbing. You can use the loop or the grommet in either case it is a strong connection.
On the sides of the tarp you can see these loops that are nicely positioned on the center exterior edge. This provides you with an alternative method for securing the side if need be.
About 1/3 and 2/3’s on the top webbing you have the loops, which would allow you to hang or mount the shelter in odd ways.
Also on the outer edges where you find a grommet you also have a section of webbing that covers the grommet. I am not sure what purpose this serves. It does however provide another tie off point if the grommet is in use.
The ridgeline webbing that runs from end to end also has these types of handles. Even though on the ridgeline there are no grommets.
I have yet to experiment with these shelters but for $40 a pair, I feel that having a 100% waterproof shelter or tarp if chosen is a nice option to have. I think these will really shine over the homemade hammocks I have planned.