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Gossamer Gear Polycryo Ground Cloth

Gossamer Gear Polycryo Ultralight Ground Sheet
Gossamer Gear Polycryo Ultralight Ground Sheet

I’ve been using Gossamer Gear’s ultralight polycryo goundsheets for years and they’re a fabulous ultralight alternative to much heavier footprints.

Polycryo is a clear, multilayer, cross-linked polyolefin film that is amazingly lightweight, weighing only 1.5 oz for a 40 x 96 inch sheet. It’s perfect for use as a groundsheet under a tent or a tarp, to keep your sleeping gear dry on wet ground and for giving you a dry place to sit. They’re also very puncture resistant and can be used over and over if you fold and dry them after each trip.

Gossamer Gear sells a wide version of the polycryo groundsheet that was ultralight and big enough to use as a tent footprint, in addition to a narrower, medium size which is more appropriately sized for a bivy or tarp shelter system.

Still, for just $9.95 for two ultralight ground sheets, they’re one of the best investments you can make to stay comfortable in wet or damp climates,

Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds. 

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  1. I have used these, still have a couple in fact. I found that water teads to cling to the surface making it harder to dry than other fabrics like silicon. Although resilient the material does tear easily so be careful when flicking the sheet to remove droplet you could find you are holding two groundsheets :)

  2. Is that a bivy on your bag? Do you always use one? Which one? I just bought a Mountain Laurel Designs bivy, but am having second thoughts about the weight even though I always used to use one.

  3. They are a bit delicate, but once you figure how to handle them they rock. To dry, I flick them also but you can also dry them off with a pack towel or dry them very quickly in the sun. I often carry them wet and air them out when I stop for a break.

  4. That is a MLD Superlight Bivy with a big headnet. I got the extra long version. Weighs under 7 oz I think. I got it to control condensation under a MLD Duomid and as extra protection for my down bag on very wet ground.

    Why are you having second thoughts?

  5. The 7 oz are my only second thoughts, although the author of a new article on winter camping at Crater Lake on BPL feels that his bivy contributed to a lot of condensation in his bag on this recent trip with night time temperatures in the 20's and 30's.

  6. I use a Tyvek groundsheet. While a little heavier, it is virtually indesturctable. You can gets scraps for free at pretty much any home construction site.

    • Joshua Rousselow

      I use Tyvek here in the SW to protect my shelter from thorns, however it is not waterproof like the polycryo is so in wet conditions I bring that along instead to stay dry and reduce condensation. I’ve thought about combining the two using a thin adhesive but that comes with extra weight.

  7. I think it depends on the bivy. He was using a Marmot bivy sack. Do you know what it is made out of? My MLD has a very breathable Momentum top and Event footbox. My sack also has a large bug net area, specifically designed to vent moisture in my breath, which limits it's use to under a tarp.

  8. Have to agree – these are well worth the money. Wouldn't go on a camping trip without one!

  9. I use the superlight bivy and have the updated one coming soon. No issues except some frozen ice inside it while sleeping out at -4 under the stars on a sponsored event.

    While using it in around -7 in Wales under a DuoMid I had no issues at all. Used Polcro groundsheet in the Lakes and it is good stuff. Team IO in the UK sell it. Ground sheets make sense to me. Space to organise kit. Not having to use the bivy all the time. You can use duck tape to stick the corners together to make a bathtub floor as well. All said good stuff and good to mention Philip.

  10. I like that duct tape idea. Very good.

    My big question is whether the picture on the home page at Mountain Laurel Designs was taken by you, or is you?

  11. Baz – Henry Shires sells tyvek at tarptent.com

  12. Wish it was Philip. Got a photo on Henry Shires website. Onwards to MLD having one as well.

  13. For those interested in searching this, it's actually "Polycryo" (suggest update in the above post).

    It really looks just like a piece of plastic! Is it really more than something you'd use to keep paint off the floor or something?

  14. There are several different variations of Tyvek material.

    The widest roll width is 9 feet. You can buy it off eBay for less than $2 per linear foot. I ordered a 9 foot x 8 foot piece of eBay for about $17 including shipping.

  15. I should try that. What seller did you buy from?

  16. The eBay seller that I bought the Tyvek from was frequentfire

    He offers two widths:

    9' wide: $1.55/linear foot, $5.00 shipping

    10' wide: $1.90/linear foot, $5.95 shipping

    It definitely weighs more than polycro, but I still like it.

  17. Are the polycryo groundsheets less slippery than traditional plastic? I slide off the plastic sheets….

  18. How sturdy is the material? I gave a tree standing BA Copper Spur tent. If I put grommets in the corners would it hold up under my tent?

    • I’d use a cuben fiber groundcloth if you want to replace a BA footprint and you need gromments to pitch the poles in fast pitch mode. Much better tear strength.Of course, it won’t cost $5.

  19. Just watch for the right Polycro, folks. I just got the bluish colored one off eBay for $17 and it turned out to be a flimsy polyethylene. Even though the guy has provided Tyvek tabs the plastic immediately started stretching from just being taut over my hammock’s ridge line (4 lines at the corners). One corner is completely torn out now. In addition, that cheater doesn’t allow returns! Watch for that as well in the “small print”.

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