The GT ultralight tarp shelter is designed for folks who want to sleep under a tarp, but on the ground, it’s design is very similar to that of the Superfly in that it has doors on the ends which can be used to create enclosure on all 4 sides. It could be described as a tarp that can be pitched to create a floorless pup tent. When compared with the Superfly the GT has a shorter ridgeline and an extra “middle” ground tie-out on each side. Comfortably sleeps 3 people plus gear.
We are currently offering these ultralight tarp shelters in both Polyester and Nylon options (camo print available in Polyester ONLY). The Polyester fabric is more stretch resistant and has lower water absorption, while Nylon is a stronger more durable fabric. Both are good options; weights are similar for each. Both fabrics have a minimum 2000mm hydrostatic head waterproof rating.
Be sure to check out the extra options and modifications available in our Custom Tarp Builder section.
- 2 ridgeline tie outs
- 6 main ground corner tie outs
- 4 panel pull tie outs
- Stuff Sac
- 7oz tube of silicone for seam sealing
NOTE: “tie outs” refers to the guyline attachment points, not the guyline itself which is not included. Tent stakes and guyline are sold separately in our accessories section.
Recommended Items (not included with the ultralight tarp shelter)
- (2) TarpTicks
- Minimum of (6) Tent Stakes
- (1) Spool of 100′ Guyline
- (2) Micro Carabiners for door management
30D 2000mm NeverMist™ Silpoly: 17oz
Ridgeline Length: 9’0”
So, on an 11′ end-gathered style hammock, an 11′ ultralight tarp shelter will give more coverage down low than 13′ would. But on our Ridgerunner bridge hammock, there is no ridgeline, and the hammock is usually hung a little flatter, so you can get a 13′ ultralight tarp shelter to come down for sufficient side coverage. The 13′ also allows the doors to fully shut on the Ridgerunner, the shorter 11′ tarp is also appropriate for a Ridgerunner but the apex of the RR’s suspension triangle will poke out between the doors, creating a small opening. Bumping to a 13′ eliminates that issue, but is not necessary… the opening is a narrow vertical slot that is about 3 feet beyond the ends of the hammock fabric. There is a photo of the RR suspension triangle poking through the door slot in the gallery on the Thunderfly page for reference.
The MiniFly and ThunderFly are both good ultralight 3-season tarp shelter options. You also can add our Underquilt Protector to the bottom of your XLC/Eldorado and turn either of these tarps into a solid winter shelter. On their own, both provide good 3 season coverage. For someone looking to go minimal I would recommend the Thunderfly for a true 3 season tarp in the Rockies or Sierra/Cascades where you might actually encounter snow, freezing temps, and high wind in spring and fall, while the Minifly would be more than adequate as a 3-season ultralight tarp shelter in anyplace you don’t expect lots of cold wind. The ThunderFly is simply 12″ wider so offers more wind block (which is more important the colder it is)
The Superfly is our best-selling model because it is our “all season/all weather” tarp model. The main reason someone might select a different model tarp would be if they want to save pack weight in the warmer months when the Superfly coverage is overkill for the conditions and weight savings is more desirable. Other than a little extra weight, there is no real downside to using the Superfly in warmer conditions. For information on choosing the right ultralight tarp shelter for you, see our Tarps 101 page.
The 30D Silnylon is slightly more durable than the 20D Silpoly.
In general, nylon has a higher tear and tensile(breaking) strength than the same-weight polyester simply because nylon is all-around stronger pound for pound than polyester is. Poly will stretch less (when soaked or otherwise) and it will absorb less water weight. Poly still stretches some, just not as much as nylon. The extra stretch of nylon adds to its strength though, in that it acts as a built-in shock absorber during a heavy wind gust, so with poly stretching less in that situation, in theory, the nylon ultralight tarp shelter would have a lower wind load due to extra stretch.
We’ve had excellent long-term durability results from our 30d Silnylon.
Poly is said to have better UV resistance, but don’t think you can treat your ultralight tarp shelter any differently than before, we tested a polyester tarp outside for about 2 months and the fabric lost ALOT of strength from the sun exposure, so you still want to avoid things like that regardless of whether your tarp is poly or nylon.
Our 11-foot hammocks have a ridgeline length of 112″ (the body fabric hangs in an arc) so with an 11′ (132″) tarp this gives you 10″ of tarp overlap at each end of the hammock. If the ultralight tarp shelter has doors, then those doors will be able to shut or overlap enclosing you all the way around. How far down does the tarp come? This depends on tarp width but also how high you hang it up above the hammock, hang it higher and it doesn’t come down as far. Your hammock suspension runs uphill at an angle and the tarp is longer than the hammock, so you can only pitch the ultralight tarp shelter so low that it contacts the hammock suspension. So, the longer the tarp length the higher you have to pitch it above the ridgeline of the hammock and the more coverage you lose down low. Generally, go for the 11′ Fly series tarp with any of our 10′ or 11′ end gathered models like the Blackbird, XLC, and Eldorado. This will give max wind block down low near the bottom of the hammock.
All of our ultralight tarp shelter models come with a single-ended stuff sack included. Recommended items are listed on each tarp page.
Mark H. (verified owner) –
Just wanted to say what a great product you have. I ordered the tarp 5 days before going on a 10 day backpack elk hunt. I received it just in time to set it up once and attach paracord to it. Used it everyday through many rain storms and hail. It was awesome! So much so that my other hunting buddy used his tarp for gear and slept in mine. Would recommend this to anyone wanting a great lightweight tent.
Jed Sides (verified owner) –
This thing is the ultimate ground shelter. I combined it with the MSR Thru-Hiker Mesh House 2 and it’s like they were meant for each other. Super sturdy. I’m sitting at about 2 lbs 12 oz with everything including stakes, dyneema for guys. Porch mode works great and I am even able to still sit in my chair under it. Friggin Awesome!!!
Just gotta say I love this tarp. I took it out on a really windy 2 night backpacking trip with my bivy and slept like a baby. Really easy to set up and super spacious. easily fits two people plus gear.