Monday, October 31, 2022

Not a Dollar Over Retail - It's Good but Not Great - Helikon-Tex SuperTa...

After a great deal of testing Luke is ready to review the Helikon-Tex SuperTarp.  Is it worth your hard earned money or does it have flaws that are simply too great to overlook.
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Helikon-Tex SuperTarp 
What it is : This is a fairly inexpensive polyester tarp from the company known as Helikon-Tex. 

Size Setup : 10 x 10’ 

Size Packed : 12” x 6.5” x 1.5”

Materials : 100% rip-stop polyester, YKK zippers

Weight : 1lb 12oz with storage bags

Colors : Black, Olive Green, PL Woodland, US Woodland

Price : Retail $65 - prices are raised on Amazon - some are around $100.  I’m not sure what is happening there - it says that Helikon-Tex is the seller and it is they who are charging more on the site.

19 reinforced Attachment points - check the placement of these 
Taped seams 
Storage bag allows for easy packing even when wet - I want to test that out specifically as storing a wet tarp is always a struggle. 

Two methods of storage included - zippered sleeve and drawstring bag

Pros :

Excellent size especially for the money - there is plenty of space for two individuals under this tarp in a pinch, a ton of space for one person.

Good quality considering the price and the materials - not great but good. There are some loose threads and the tie off points are very small.

Strong considering the low price - suitable for summer time conditions and potentially low impact fall and winter camping.

No issues when it comes to waterproofness in fact, it has held up well to strong thunderstorm downpours with heavy rainfall.  

Talking about wind, this tarp has seen mild to moderate winds with the highest gusts being around 15mph.

Versatile - large enough to be used any way that you like; with a tent, by itself, etc.  You can even use it as an awning and it works well in that regards

Pack size is reasonable 

Two storage bags are included and the mesh zippered bag is smart.  I also like the shape.  Both fit the tarp with little effort including guys lines.

Weight is reasonable for the price

Cons :
Not the best in terms of quality
small tie off points

For some a con could be the lack of guy lines and stakes; some less expensive just as good tarps will come with those items. In this case, you will have to supply your own.

Note : 
I mentioned the materials and made my recommendations on use; with the materials and the build quality, summer time use is fine, fall and winter is going to be fine as well as long as it isn’t too windy and as long as heavy snow isn’t laying on the tarp.  

If a stronger tarp is needed, then I would highly recommend looking at tarp made from a stronger nylon.

Summary : After countless months of testing, I can tell you that this is a good budget tarp. I had concerns about the overall quality but it has held up well for realistic and sensible 3 season conditions.

Something to remember, this is not a 4 season tarp meaning that it is not going to be strong enough to handle the worst that winter has to offer.

If you don’t need a winter strength tarp this is a good option to consider.  If you are looking for a strong tarp that can handle a lot of wind, heavy snowloading, I would look elsewhere.  

Note : I’ve mentioned that some sellers on amazon are trying to sell this for a higher than the suggested retail price.  For what this tarp is and the materials, I personally wouldn’t pay anything more than retail; otherwise there are better tarps out there for the money.
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