Wilderness Logics Tadpole Tarp and Door Mod Review

tadpole-scene

Wilderness Logics Tadpole Tarp and Door Mod

I’ve had the pleasure of testing the Wilderness Logics Tadpole tarp for a few months now. This tarp has quickly become one of my favorite to take out on trips because it is light weight, small pack size, and all the accessories to convert it into a truly storm-worthy shelter.

Available Features/Specifications

Features

  • 1.2 oz double-coated ripstop silnyon
  • Door kit (optional)
  • Pole kit (optional)
  • Side panel pulls (optional)
  • Cord pockets (optional)
  • Extra loops (optional)
  • Tri-loops or line-loch (optional)

Specifications

  • 132 × 92 in (335 × 233 cm)
  • 11.5 oz (326 g)

Product Description

tadpole-packed

The Tadpole tarp is the smallest and yet the most popular tarp design from Wilderness Logics. And while small, the dimensions are perfectly sized for a hammock and still provide plenty of coverage. The design is a standard hexagonal shape with open ends. Catenary curves shape the edges, including the ridge line. The catenary curves reduce the fabric flapping when the wind blows and provides a very taut pitch.

Recommendations and Review

Suspension System

The tarp doesn’t come with ridge line tie outs or corner tie outs. I had to add my own line once I got the tarp. I prefer continuous ridge lines, so I used one of my own systems to make it work.

 

One of my backpacking trips where I took the Tadpole.

One of my backpacking trips where I took the Tadpole.

Modularity

Tarp designs like the Tadpole provide a lot of modularity. In some weather conditions, you can pull one side up and create a porch for coverage and views. In heavy storms, the sides can be pitched lower and tight for better shedding and protection. Really, basic tarps like this have such variety that it is limited only by your imagination and time.

You'll note my backpack is attached to the end of my hammock, yet still covered by the end of the tarp.

You’ll note my backpack is attached to the end of my hammock, yet still covered by the end of the tarp.

The pole kit helps to pull the center out a little, which provides a little more rom inside the tarp, particularly in stormy conditions when wind or precipitation can pull the sides down. To be honest, I didn’t find that the poles added too much to the performance of the tarp in regular situations. In storms and wind, the poles helped the most, in my estimation.

The door kit is one of my favorite features. The doors are designed as a single unit and connect quickly and easily with some toggles that attach at the three guy points. Small velcro strips seal the two door panels together, along with a center toggle that securely holds the ends together. Long elastics with mitten hooks at the ends help pull and seal the doors around the sides of the tarp. One of the doors has a toggle and the other some guy line. This allows one door to remain closed and guyed down and the other can be pulled open.

The door kit is versatile enough that it can be used on other tarps. With the doors fastened, the Tadpole makes a great 3-season and even 4-season tarp with extra protection and coverage.

Price and Value

I think this tarp is a great value for its size and material. The fabric is a little thicker and more substantial than most silnylon tarps on the market, but it doesn’t really add much to the overall weight. It just feels more durable. I wish it would have come with some guy line, so be prepared to make your own or buy some ready-made.

Best Match

I recommend this tarp to anyone who is looking for a solid-performing hammock tarp. The door kit option really adds value and modularity.

Aesthetics

I think sharkskin grey has become the official color for hammock tarps. There are some different colors now in the market, but I think I’ll always have a special respect for the color ever since Brian from OES made cat-cut tarps popular for hammocks. The Tadpole has the “look” and function of hammock tarp.

Construction and Craftsmanship

As I’ve come to expect from cottage vendors, the Tadpole is high quality, both in material and workmanship. The hems and seams are tight and well crafted. Straight, even stitching is the norm.

The only piece that was a bit of a struggle was the grosgrain loops on the guy points. They are very thin and flat, which made it a little more difficult to clip line, carabiners, or even the toggles for the door kit. The tight loops do help keep the toggles tight. A simple twist in the loops during construction would make them much easier to use. As they are, they are completely functional and well-made, just not as easy to use until they are broken in.

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Disclosure of material connection: The author (Derek Hansen) was provided with a free sample from the manufacturer for testing and evaluation purposes. The comments in this post (written & spoken) are of my own opinion, which I formed after personally handling the gear. I was under no obligation to publish a review of this item.

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7 Responses

  1. Mykyta says:

    What is the coverage and size compared to a stock HH asym tarp? Also, could it fit a Thunderbird?

  2. Mykyta says:

    What I mean is how much more will it cover and by how much. Could you include a picture of the comparison?

  3. Mykyta says:

    Ok, thanks.

  4. This is probably the wrong place to ask this but do you think this tarp would work if I pitched it for ground sleeping? I would use trekking poles and just stake the lines to the ground. Thanks!

    • Derek says:

      Absolutely. Almost every hammock tarp will work great for ground sleeping. They will be longer than you need if you are only tarp camping. Hammock tarps need to be long enough to cover the hammock.

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