Home / Gear Reviews / Hammock Gear Standard Cuben Fiber Tarp with Doors

Hammock Gear Standard Cuben Fiber Tarp with Doors

manufactured by :
Philip Werner

Reviewed by:
On March 14, 2016
Last modified:August 26, 2016


I really like the Hammock Gear Cuben Fiber Tarp with Doors and have enjoyed using it. It’s nice to have a tarp that can be pitched in so many different variations with so little associated weight. I chose to buy this tarp from Hammock Gear because it’s made by hammock enthusiasts for hammock hangers who really understand the needs of their customers. I think that’s an important consideration to keep in mind when choosing specialty camping and backpacking gear.

Hammock Gear Cuben Fiber Tarp with Doors
Hammock Gear Cuben Fiber Tarp with Doors. The color of this tarp is a bit greener than it appears here, but it is still quite transparent.

I like having a hammock tarp with doors at the ends because they provide more wind and weather protection. Doors can reduce the amount of colder air flowing over, under, and around you. Doors can also increase the amount of usable space under a tarp in blowing rain.

However, hammock tarps with doors are significantly heavier than those without so it makes sense (if buying any new backpacking gear does) to get an ultralight cuben fiber hammock tarp with doors for the weight savings it provides. For example, a silnylon Warbonnet Superfly Tarp (MSRP $140) with doors and no guylines weighs 15 ounces while the Hammock Gear CF Tarp with Doors (MSRP $295)  reviewed here weights just 6.5 ounces.

While that’s a big price difference, it is relatively inexpensive cost per ounce ($18.23) when compared to other ultralight gear tradeoffs you might consider. Anecdotally, it costs me about $25-$30 to reduce my gear weight by an ounce when purchasing UL gear, so this is a relatively inexpensive weight reduction in my experience.

Pros and Cons of Cuben Fiber

There are pros and cons to all backpacking gear choices, including cuben fiber. While cuben fiber tarps are strong and lightweight, they’re quite noisy in the rain when it can sound like you’re inside a snare drum. Most cuben fiber shelter material is also fairly transparent so it doesn’t provide much privacy, it doesn’t block daylight from filtering through, and you can “cook” underneath in direct sunlight if you don’t have adequate ventilation.

While potentially troublesome in a ground shelter, these issues are less annoying for a hammock tarp that you’d pitch under the protection and shade of trees. For me, the weight savings outweigh those other concerns, particularly in colder weather when I have to carry a hammock with an over cover, a warm underquilt, and a top quilt.

Bonded and sewn ridgeline webbing, including a plastic D-ring
Bonded and sewn ridgeline webbing, including a plastic D-ring. Dutchware Stingerz is extra.


The Hammock Gear Standard CF Tarp with Doors is made using 0.52 ounce per square yard cuben fiber. I purchased mine with an 11′ ridgeline (10′ and 12′ are also available.) It is 8’6″ wide with a glued center seam, so no seam sealing is required. The tarp has a total of 14 guy-out points, two on the ridgeline, four on the doors, four on the side corners, and four on the side panels.

The tarp has a catenary cut – note the curved side wills and door in the photo above – which help maintain a taught pitch without wrinkles or flapping when compared to a tarp with square corners, and help to further reduce the tarp’s weight since less material is required.

All of the guy-out points have webbing that is bonded and sewn to the tarp to prevent leaks from needle holes and add strength. Hammock Gear also puts D-Rings on all the webbing, large D-Rings on the ridgeline and small beestie D rings on all of the other guy-outs. Beestie D rings can be used to capture a pole tip to create a porch. It’s also easy to use the beesties on the side panels to tie open one or more doors when you want more airflow through the tarp.

Beestie D rings can be used to hold trekking poles tips when pitching the tarp in porch mode.
Beestie D rings are used to hold trekking poles tips when pitching the tarp in porch mode.

I really like the fact that all the plastic hardware is included with the tarp and not something I need to source on my own. But that’s my personal preference. You don’t strictly need D-rings on a tarp if it has webbing loops sewn on. I do find that’s it easier to change suspensions or tensioning systems when they’re attached to a plastic clip rather than to webbing directly, but that’s because I’m always tweaking and experimenting with different gear and situations.


While Hammock Gear sells some tarp hardware and cordage, it’s curious that they don’t sell a continuous ridgeline suspension system to go with their tarps. That would probably eliminate some confusion for hammock newbies.

If you’re interested in using a continuous ridgeline, I would recommend that you check out one of the variations sold by Dutchware Gear. If not, Dutchware also sells components like Stingerz, a wide variety of cordage, and Dutch Hooks that make a more static ridgeline easy to manage.

Interior view with doors at far end mostly closed
Interior view with doors at far end mostly closed


I really like the Hammock Gear Cuben Fiber Tarp with Doors because it’s so lightweight but still fully featured. While not a full four season tarp like the Hammock Gear Winter Palace, the end doors do help cut down on wind and airflow during the colder shoulder season months when I still want to use a hammock.

I chose to buy this tarp from Hammock Gear because it’s made by hammock enthusiasts for hammock hangers who really understand the needs of their customers. I think that’s an important consideration to keep in mind when choosing specialty camping and backpacking gear.

Disclosure: Philip Werner bought the product reviewed here with his own funds. 

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  1. Slowly it appears the Industry is going back to my old Military Issue Jungle Hammock, piece by piece… from so many different companies. This fiber is just too expensive for what you get..Great idea though… I’ll stick with my ole Silnylon tarp.

  2. Drool… Hammock gear makes great stuff and that’s a really nice tarp. I have an older silnylon (OES macat ultra) that I’m waiting for a tree to fall on before I can purchase this one. The best thing about hammock tarps (besides porch mode) is that you could easily “go to ground” and set it up without trees if need be. Glad to see you embracing the hammock life, even if it’s only part-time. Enjoy it.

  3. FYI if you can order tarp without the bottom cat cuts. This will give a bit more coverage for blowing rain. Unlike silnylon cubin has no stretch so catcuts are purely aesthetic.

    • The cat cuts are there to save weight and make the entire tarp more aerodynamic (read wind resistant) in higher winds. If you want more protection, you hang it lower or get a wider tarp. The weight savings are rather substantial.

      For me, the door protection is good enough (not bad at all) even though its somewhat less than a full door. It’s a balance. I like the lower weight, but switch out this tarp with a Warbonnet Superfly when I want more protection. Like I said, the HG Winter Palace is the way to go if you want a giant size CF version.

      • Agreed, I use the Superfly when weight is less an issue and Z-pack’s CF with doors while backpacking. Both the Z-Packs and Hammock Gear are great tarps. I purchased the Z-Packs with the thought that it might go to ground better with the extra guy outs amidships. It’s kimportant to remember that you “will” at some time in the field need a CF repair kit. I take a 4×4 CF patch and 4 12×1 inch lengths of CF single sided tape (both can be sourced on Z-Pacs). I did experience a pine cone through my CF tarp in the middle of a rain storm. The 4×4 patch was pretty easy to apply in the rain and it’s held ever since.

  4. I have a Hammock Gear sans doors I bought when I decided the extra cost was the price to pay to not have a tarp “wet out” or mist through, the weight savings is a plus and the joy of knowing that a couple of shakes is all it takes to be ready to go on consecutive rainy nights was an unexpected bonus.

  5. WRT “Cat cut” – does the HG Tarp have a cat cut ridge line or just cat cut sides? Back when I was looking for a cuben tarp for my setup (sort of a hammock) I decided to go custom with Yama Mountain Gear just because of the obvious presence of a cat cut ridge line in his products. After putting up with the snapping in high wind from a OES hammock tarp made with a similar “no stretch” fabric called SpinnUL I wanted to make sure I had a tarp that would shed wind when I made the switch to cuben.

    • If it is, it’s virtually undetectable. The cat cuts are on the sides mainly. This is very different from what you’d get with CF tarp that’s really intended for ground use although even that depends on the model and the manufacturer. I’ve had CF ground tarps from Gossamer Gear that have a big ridgeline curve and others from MLD which are also essentially flat.

      I had no idea that OES made anything from Spinnaker cloth. That’s a blast from the past.

    • I’ve built a couple cuben tarps (for wife and I) for hammocking…and have had to go to ground multiple times over the years with those same tarps (or just chosen to use the same tarps). While I could care less about having the cat cut on the ridgeline for hammocking, I would definitely do a catenary cut in the future, simply for those times when one needs to go to ground. A couple windy nights without much sleep, and the little extra effort to do the cat cut seems worth it :)

      • But there’s a downside to a cat cut tarp which is that it can only be pitched in an A-frame shape. If you had a tarp with real corners, rectangular or square, you could pitch it in a much wider variety of more weather resistant shapes giving you more weather protection. Just saying.

  6. I’ve been using this same tarp for the past three years, and been very happy with how well its held up. The “real tree camo” color I opted for provides slightly more privacy, and I’ve liked how it blends in better.

  7. 300 dollars? Geeeeezz. I don’t understand the outdoor industry sometimes. Our obsession about weight is a little much. Sorry.

  8. This is one of my must-haves to have in my pack. It is a bit more expensive, but it makes up for it being so lightweight. Weight, or lack there of, can save you on those long trips.

  9. Way cool I need one for my Hammock. We were sent hammocks to try out but we have been waiting for a epic place to use them.

  10. Just wondering if the doors don’t provide some unwelcome additional breeze blockage in the summer. I can see the advantage in the winter, but wonder if I would really want to use this on hot summer nights too.

  11. Agreed, I use the Superfly when weight is less an issue and Z-pack’s CF with doors while backpacking.

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