Thursday, 22 March 2018

The EK Kayaker's Tarp


Our range of locally designed & manufactured paddle-specific products is growing each year, prefaced as they all have been by an exhaustive testing & prototyping process to make sure we get as close as possible to the perfect item.

Adding to products developed locally with trusted & skilled artisans such as the BigFoot & SkegFoot plate systems, Flat Earth Kayaks Sails, our own Audax (which involved more than  a dozen local experts and manufacturers), Dave Winkworth's excellent Silver Storm seat & water bags, we have now finalised the design of a tarp system that we think is an excellent addition to any kayakers kit bag.

The EK Kayaker's Tarp was conceptualised by a sea kayaker, Simon McGuire from Tier Gear in Tasmania. Rob and Simon put their heads together to work out what was important for a paddler, especially from the perspective of getting it up without always having rely on trees. It's shaped in a caternary rectangle, a shape designed to provide better performance in the wind, which also helps you achieve a more taut pitch. 

Measuring 3.5m x 3.2m, the tarp features reinforcement patches in Dyneema Gridstop, a  210 denier nylon with a reinforcement grid of Dyneema fibre. The tie-out hardware is a 20mm Beastee Dee, made from Acetal with a reinforced design for superior strength. There are four mid panel pulls, which provide the ability to create more space internally under the tarp when needed.The position & construction of anchor points allows for a wide range of pitching options.


The tarp comes complete with a full set of high quality, high vis. 2mm Spectra guy lines, with a simple v-cleat tensioning system, on each line (for people with dodgy knots)!


It packs away into a 28cm x 22cm lightweight bag with a roll top closure, and weighs just 600gm. 

The ridgeline construction, something unique to Tier Gear, allows the stitching to pass through multiple layers of fabric for added strength and durability, using a high tenacity polyester continuous filament thread which is made in Germany.

Our test model was used throughout our Bass Strait crossing, sometimes as a sun shade, most often as a base camp shelter against inclement weather - anyone who has seen our video will know we had our fair share! Having the tarp on our trip was pure gold, and where space and weight are at premium it was a luxury to have such an expansive shelter that weighed less than a water bottle.


In short, no expense has been spared to build a light, strong, and supremely designed tarp that goes up quickly and easily.

We don't think it's use is limited to expeditioning, it's so slim & fast to erect, especially with a set of Mont Batwing poles or two paddles, that it will win many friends on trips with your paddling mates. We reckon you'll soon see this as an essential piece of kit for day trips with a lunch stop.

You can order through our online store HERE, price is $295 including free delivery within Australia ($50 for overseas orders, please get in touch with us by email to order if you're overseas - mark@expeditionkayaks.com).

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