There's a few myths about using tarps, starting with the one that a tarp is a lightweight alternative to a tent. Quite simply it isn't! By the time you've combined the weight of tarp, waterproof sleeping bag cover and the guys and pegs you still need to keep your shelter upright you'll find there's considerably lighter tents available.
Using a tarp is more about the experience than the weight or cost. It's about being as close as possible to your surroundings while still having a shelter to protect you from the elements. Compared to a tent there are positives and negatives; ventilation and condensation just aren't issues with a tarp but to counterbalance those advantages there's no protection from midges. A tarp can be set-up in places tents wouldn't fit, but a wind direction change can turn a shelter into a wind tunnel.
Amazonas are a German manufacturer that make high quality hammocks and Simply Hammocks offered us the chance to test and review the Moskito-Traveller Pro from their Ultralight range.
Amok are a relatively new company, dedicated currently to hammock making. This quote from their website pretty much sums up their philosophy well...“Amok Equipment is run by Norwegian outdoor engineers. Exploring nature is in our blood, be it mountains, fjords, boreal forests or the Atlantic ocean.
A good choice for spring to autumn with its mesh inner and good ventilation.
Real World Test
The Marmot Eso 1P is reminiscent of a Vaude crossed with a Force 10. The colour and smooth lines give the tent a quality appearance that's not let down when you take a closer look. Although the Eos uses a single pole with the inner suspended from it, the single pole divides near the narrow end of the tent to raise the area above the sleepers feet in a similar way to the pole system of Vaude tents.
The smallest tent in the completely redesigned Hubba NX Series from MSR, the NX Solo is a lightweight double skin tent for three season use. Featuring a unique pole system the NX Solo is notable for the internal volume with enough room to sit up straight and a vestibule big enough to cook in. The new design is pretty extensive and is more of a new tent than an upgrade for the best selling original Hubba.
Tarps come in all shapes and sizes, and that's not just when they're set-up! Nigor's Iphis tarp looks a bit different with its almost rectangular shape but curved edges and bold dynema reinforced panels but it's the attention to detail and feel of quality that sets it aside from the rest.
Snugpak have taken a look at the problem of cold when using a hammock and come up with a novel idea, a sleeping bag, or Cocoon, that sits around the hammock. We tested the Cocoon in combination with Snugpak's own Jungle Hammock.
Vango's 3x3m classic tarp is like a conservatory for campers, a valuable extension giving you room to sit outside and escape the confines of the tent. Solid 70 denier fabric with a 3000mm hydrostatic head make it something you can rely on.