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Afternoon gear test -Nordisk Voss Diamond tarp

My Nordisk Voss Diamond PU tarp arrived earlier today and I couldn’t resist opening it up and testing it out before the rain came. For me, it’s a more of an unusual shaped tarp with a catenary cut design and irregular shape that I never would have considered until I stumbled over their features while browsing and researching tarps. Truth be told, all those odd shapes and angles started to look like lots of fun. Plus it’ll be something I reckon I can actually use in perfect combination with my bivvy throughout winter…

The tarp comes in a dark olive colour if you choose the polyester PU backed construction and a dark forest green for the silnylon version, which is harder to pick up. Straight away I could see the quality in the finish of the tarp – this is a very strong product. The stand out feature are the six reinforced corners which enable the tarp to be pulled dead tight with no risk of damage in wind gusts. These feel a bit like a rubbery, flexible plastic. On top of this there are also eight pre-attached reflective guylines with metal Nordisk runners, some tie out points had two guylines attached. Ripstop material and 3,000HH are the final things that put my mind at ease and give me confidence that this tarp will hold out in vicious storms straight off the ocean where I live. The word Voss can be translated as ‘sea’.

On the inside of the reinforced corners are little pockets which are designed to fit a tarp pole or hiking pole with a rubber stopper. I didn’t use these in the test since I forgot the rubber stopper.

I briefly touched on the fact this tarp can be used in many ways, which also include a veranda for Nordisk tunnel tents. It’s not the reason I bought it but because of the many different pitching options which are even suggested on the back of the stuff sack. This afternoon I tried two of the suggestions, plus one design (above) I had in mind and the chief reason I decided this tarp was going to suit me. Which it does. This location is far from ideal tarp ground – plenty of brambles lay under the grass, along with tree roots and overhanging branches, all set in a soggy ground. Even in such conditions it was so easy to get a tight pitch and I’m really rating the tarp already.

This above is a suggestion from Nordisk which is also great, although you will need a better tree than mine…. Here I had to use one of the secondary tie out points, of which there are eight, located approximately 50cm apart all around the border. Guy rope stashing ports are the most convenient feature of this tarp because there is nothing more frustrating that trying to set things up and first having to untangle all those strings.

Truth be told, all those odd shapes and angles look like lots of fun.

The tarp at its longest is 310cm and widest is 300cm which gives a really good useable space. the weight including guylines is 600g and it packs into a generous sized stuff sack of 22x35cm with space for pegs. The catenary cut keeps this tarp from being unmanageable regarding size and space compared to another of my tarps, 3mx3m that I never use because of its bulk. I can’t wait to get outside and test it out properly.

PS Here is a photo from the aftermath of anther night where I took my tarp and bivy out, encountered a heavy rainstorm – including thunder – before I was set up properly, got flooded out and went back home!

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