At Exzo, we believe there are two components to a successful hammock setup: insulation and a good tarp. No matter what you do outdoors, two of the quickest avenues to unhappiness and danger are being wet and being cold. Being wet is perhaps even more serious than being cold because being wet will inevitably LEAD to being cold. For this reason, a good tarp is absolutely essential gear.
Why is the tarp so important?
Obviously, staying dry is paramount. However, for you to be a happy hammock camper, you need more than just a cover for your hammock. You need livable space. Many hammock tarps on the market fail to realize this key point. This is important because your tarp is your only shelter. You don't have a tent to get into to escape the weather. Your tarp must be large enough to shelter activities like cooking, packing, and just sitting around. If your tarp just barely covers your hammock, you have one place where you can escape: inside your hammock. No one wants to sit in their hammock and try to cook. That's why a large tarp can make all the difference.
The picture below illustrates this well. Despite being deep in the North Cascades wilderness, which is well-known for days-long rain, this Exzo tarp provides plenty of room for cooking, packing, or changing into some new socks.
The Exzo Standard Tarp is what we believe represents the ultimate in simplicity, versatility, livability, and weight. The Exzo Standard is a rectangular 8'x12' silnylon tarp with livability and versatility at its core. Silnylon provides excellent waterproofness and durability while ensuring the tarp is light enough to satisfy the needs of backpackers. The Standard weighs in around 16oz, depending on options. There are plenty of guy line pull out points for nearly endless setup options. It is large enough for winter weather protection, but small enough to not weigh down your pack. Check out the setup options below for an idea of its versatility.
Another thing that sets Exzo tarps apart is our guy line and ridge line system. Pulling knots from climbing, Exzo has adapted the amazing Prusik knot to guy line duty. Using Prusik knots on the ridge and guy lines makes adjustment amazingly simple. With this setup you can move the tarp along the ridge line in seconds, and guy line tensioning is a breeze.
Quality that will last
Because Exzo gear is handmade, we can control every aspect of its quality. Furthermore, because we use our gear hard, we know what lasts and what doesn't. After two years of hard use, temperatures as low as -5*F, sustained winds of 40mph, and one run-in with a rogue stake on the end of a bungee equipped self-tensioning guy line, this brown tarp in the pictures is still holding up well (with a patch from that evil stake). All tie out points are reinforced with fabric patches, and double bar-tacked. Tie out webbing is reflective for easy nighttime visibility.
Of course, custom tarps are also available. If you want an ultralight summer tarp with minimal coverage, Exzo can do it. If you need something huge to cover two hammocks, no problem. Send us the specs.