Ultralight Waterproof Fabric

I am after some light waterproof fabric to make one of my new 10 x 10 Tarps and new versions of my Pocket Poncho Tent and my Deer Hunter’s Tent. I would like to source the fabric out of China (where most of it is made anyway) and have been trying and trying (with Alibaba) so far with little success.

If I can purchase it cheaply enough (eg for less than US$2/metre) I will then see whether I can have some whipped up (eg by someone in Vietnam) into tents etc to sell on the website…In the meantime I will source some eg from the suppliers below, possibly using a shipping agent to save on freight.

I will make the silpoly version of the 10 x 10 Tarp out of some of the .93/yd2 (above) or the 1.06/yd2 4000PU (but I will certainly use this for a groundsheet – for its extra waterproofness). As I will need 9 metres to build the tarp the material for the tarp will weigh 284/326 grams. I expect the tie-outs and guys to add less than another 50 grams to this, so I should have a very light tarp (approx 330 grams).

The Tyvek model was made out of 1.85/yd2 Homewrap (ie 2.21oz/m2 or 63 gsm) so the Tyvek must have weighed 568 grams of this, therefore my tie-outs and guys only added 44 grams.

I like the ‘Dark Olive’ colour. I made my Pocket Poncho and Siligloo tents out of it (in a 1 oz/yd2 which Tier Gear and Dutchware used to sell under the name Xenon) and have found it to be very serviceable. Sambar deer also seem to completely ignore it and will walk right up to it even in the daylight – which is nice!

I will probably make a simple 7′ x 4′ (2.1 x 1.2 m) groundsheet for it (for Della and me) – as I say out of the 1.06/yd2 material. It should weigh 87 grams. 330 + 87 + approx 10 x 6 gram stakes = 447 grams for the complete tent/shelter! Not bad for the size and flexibility this has. It can also be used as a hammock tarp.

Because this fabric has polyester on one side  (instead of silnylon) you can tape or glue to it, so that I will finally be able to make my inflatable bathtub groundsheet out of it, if I choose. I will try the simple ‘valve that the Graham pillows use for a start. If these do not work, the DIY Pack raft people have suitable valves. A 7′ x 4′ (internal) inflatable ground sheet should still weigh less than 100 grams!

I am going to make a slightly bigger Poncho Tent (one which will accommodate taller people – and in a pinch two; at least Dell and me!) I will use the .7 oz/yd2 fabric for this.  As the original weighed 185 grams (complete), I expect the new one will weigh somewhere above .7 times this – somewhere between 130-150 grams perhaps. Quite a spectacular weight for a completely enclosed shelter, (nearly) big enough for two! Of course I have to add a space blanket or piece of polycro to that (<50 grams) for an ultralight groundsheet.

The Deer Hunter’s Tent should come in at under 400 grams in the .93 oz/yd2 fabric, including floor.It is a lovely little tent.I have really enjoyed the Tyvek model. Time to finish it off in a lighter material.

Below are some of the waterproof fabric products I am looking at:


1.4 oz/yd 47.46gsm 1 silpoly https://ripstopbytheroll.com/collections/waterproof-polyester-fabric/products/1-1-oz-silpoly-pu4000?variant=11054730177 58” 4000mm

1.3 oz/yd2 silnylon https://www.questoutfitters.com/Coated_2.htm#SILNYLON%201.1%20OZ%20RIPSTOP 62-65″ US$5.65/yd

72” wide  1.3 oz/yd2 44gsm silpoly https://ripstopbytheroll.com/collections/waterproof-xl-wide-fabrics/products/1-1-oz-silpoly-xl?variant=35045467469 US$8.50/yd 2500mm

1.24 oz/yd2 42gsm silnylonhttps://ripstopbytheroll.com/collections/waterproof-nylon-fabric/products/1-1-oz-silnylon?variant=11168938177 US$4.75 58” 2000mm

1.06 oz/yd2 36 gsm: https://www.extremtextil.de/en/ripstop-nylon-tentfabric-silicone-coated-20den-36g-sqm.html?number=70777.SAND E9.90/m 1.5 m wide 1400-5000mm

1.07 oz/yd2 36.28gsm https://ripstopbytheroll.com/collections/waterproof-polyester-fabric/products/membrane-silpoly-pu4000?variant=10662993601 US5.50/yd 58-59″ 4000mm

.93 oz/yd2 31.5gpm US$7.50/yd: https://ripstopbytheroll.com/collections/waterproof-polyester-fabric/products/membrane-silpoly?variant=21841469185 58-59” 2,000mm

.7 oz: http://rockywoods.com/7D-Ultralight-Coated-Ripstop-Nylon-Fabric 23gsm US$14.49/yd

.76 oz/yd2 25.76 gsm Mountain silnylon: https://ripstopbytheroll.com/collections/mountain-series/products/0-77-oz-mtn-silnylon-6-6?variant=28828264202288 57″ 2000mm US$14.95 /yd

.51oz/yd2 17.29gsm cuben https://ripstopbytheroll.com/products/0-51-oz-dyneema-composite-fabric-ct1e-08?variant=1030734849 US$32/yd 54” wide

See Also:

10 by 10 Tarp Update

The Pocket Poncho Tent

The Deer Hunter’s Tent:






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