An Introduction

For what little coverage there is online about this tarp, I thought it at least deserves a review. You’d be hard pressed to finder a cheaper, lighter tarp than what’s on offer here. Hopefully this short term review provides a bit more information on the performance of this budget-friendly tarp.

When looking for outdoor gear on AliExpress, you should be tread lightly when you’re relying on its performance. I’ve had good experiences in the past with 3F UL and their tents. so I bit the bullet and ordered this 20D SilyPoly tarp. I could only found the following information about the product when purchasing:

Material: UL level double side silicon coated nylon,( for more ultra light, and for better performance, we use better double silicon coated nylon,so have no seal tape, but Compared with other sellers, we provide the buyer free glue,you can brush the glue on the sewing by yourself, easy to do it )

Weight :about 310g ( no include the weight of the accessories )

Image from Aliexpress listing

Waterproofing the Tarp

It’s required to seam seal the tarp, since this isn’t done at the factory. My tarp came with a tube of glue to complete the seam sealing, but not all AliExpress listings include this. I applied the seam sealant along the major ridge lines on a sunny summers afternoon and left it to dry over the next couple of days.

I tested the tarp to make sure all seams were adequately sealed. The tarp was able to withstand the high pressure hose I fired at it with no leaks. This left me with a lot of confidence that I’d be able to fend off the bad weather I was expecting in Norway.

Downpour Testing The Tarp

Post Trip Analysis

Considering this tarp deserves a lot more love than it currently gets, I gave it a full test in the mountains of Norway.

Pitching Process 8/10

This is a really simple tarp to pitch. I used a walking pole to support each end of the tarp, then secured the guy-lines with stakes. The stakes that are provided with the tarp are heavy, so I used some lightweight ones from another tent instead. I’d recommend doing this for more flexibility when it comes to pitching with rocks too.

Adjusting the tarp is a breeze due to the included adjustable guy-line hardware. I’d give the pitching process a 8/10. It could be difficult in strong winds due to the weight of the tarp, although this is a recurring problem for all tents and tarps.

Size/Shape 7/10

This tarp is a good size for one person. It offers comfortable living space either side of where your bivy goes to place your pack and smelly shoes. When the guylines are adjusted to accomodate a storm pitch, the main ridgeline of the tarp tends to get quite close to your body. This makes things a little uncomfortable in the morning if there’s any condensation. This is my biggest gripe with the tent. This can be aided by adding guylines to the bottom end of the tarp, but I wish the bottom edge had an extra half-metre of SilNylon in width.

Despite the narrow end, the tarp looks great and is tapered in a way that makes any wild animal turn its head.

Durability/Bomb-proofness 6/10

This is where a 310g tarp starts to fall down a little. You don’t bring this tarp to the North Pole. Even though I see myself using the tarp for many nights in the future, the material is extremely fragile. This is likely the lightest SilNylon you can buy, so wouldn’t stand up to abrasion very well. Luckily, I try to take good care of my gear and didn’t experience any problems with build quality during initial testing. SilNylon sags considerable when wet, which can make things even more cramped inside. I can’t imagine a 30cm dumping of snow would trade too well with this tarp. This isn’t a bomb-proof tarp, but that’s not what this was made to be. You use this tarp when you want to move fast and light, where you’re usually not fighting adverse conditions.

Photo Reel

Summary

I would buy this tarp if:

  • You’re obsessed about lightweight things
  • You’re after a tarp that can protect you from the elements
  • You’re on a budget
  • You’re about that tarp life
  • You look after your gear

Pros

  • Only 310g
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to pitch and adjust
  • Non-abusive colour option

Cons

  • Questionable manufacturing ethics
  • Considerable air miles on delivery
  • Sil-nylon sags considerably when damp
  • Easy to tear with a knife, or claws if a wolverine attacks you in your sleep

What’s great about the Aricxi is that it’s a compelling option for trying a tarp without breaking the bank. If you’re unsure whether a tarp is the right system for you then I’d recommend testing the waters with this tarp.

Thanks for reading,
Benjamin

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. What bivy did you use (their own 4 season bivy with the little mesh opening at the top). If so, how was it? Was it big enough for you and bag? Did it cause condensation on your bag? Did you have room for anything else?

    1. Hi Dani,

      I did indeed use their own bivy, although it was the one with a mesh upper covering the entire area. I wanted to initially try this but now hope to upgrade to a borah bivy or similar for colder temps. I only just fit inside the mesh bivy and wouldn’t really recommend it for anybody over 6 foot.

      Hopefully that helps a bit,
      Benjamin

  2. what was the total weight including bivy? doesn’t look like a half bad set up for being so cheap!

    1. Hi! It’s certainly a cheap setup and comes in at a total of 560g. 320g for the tarp and 240g for the bivy.

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