Hey folks. This week I want to talk to you about a recent Ali Express purchase I made – the 3m * 3m Flame’s Creed Tarp. Since the weather has been forgiving here lately, I was in the market for a decent tarp that I could take on overnight trips in lieu of a tent. The Flame’s Creed seemed to fit the bill perfectly. But before we get into how it performs, let’s take a look at the specs for it:
Design & Materials
The Flame’s Creed tarp is made from a very lightweight 15D Silicon-coated Nylon, with a waterproof rating of 5000 mm. The stitching on this tarp looks very robust, and I honestly couldn’t find a single fault or shoddy join on mine.
It’s designed to be used as an all-round shelter, and features 18 attachment points for a trekking pole or guy lines. There is one eyelet on each corner, three on each side, and two in the centre of the tarp. This design gives you a lot of flexibility – more attachment points means more ways you can set up the tarp. Whether you’re using it as a personal shelter, for gear storage, or just to keep something important dry, the only limit to how you can set this tarp up is your own ingenuity.
Size & Weight
The tarp is a square 3 metres by 3 metres. Square tarps tend to have more configuration options than rectangular ones, and the sheer size of this thing makes it a very viable tent replacement. And then there’s the weight – a ridiculously low 510 grams! Of course, if you’re using this as a shelter, you’d want to add in the weight of a couple of trekking poles, guy lines and stakes too. But even factoring in a generous 500 grams or so for that, you’ve still got a shelter that comes in at around the 1 kg mark. Not bad at all.
Pitch & Usage
So like I said, this tarp comes with 18 attachment points, which comes in very handy if you’re not sure what conditions you’re expecting. Let’s say you head out on a day that’s overcast, and it could go one of two ways: clearing up to some sunshine, or an impending monsoon. Well, if the weather holds, you can set up an open style shelter to sleep out under the stars. If it turns not so nice, you can set up a more traditional A-frame type shelter, or anything else that would keep the rain at bay.
Having this kind of versatility is useful in itself, and that’s before we even factor in…
Wallet & Weight Impact
So, how does the Flame’s Creed tarp impact your wallet? Well, it’s probably one of the most affordable shelter options we’ve seen yet on Ali Express – less than half what you’d expect to pay for an entry level ultralight tent. And even when comparing it to other tarps, the Flame’s Creed still comes out a winner – it’s hard to find anything this well made at such a low price point.
As for weight, it’s pretty damn competitive there too. There are certainly double skinned tents you can find for less than the ~ 1 kg the Flame’s Creed weighs as a shelter. But not many of them, and they certainly aren’t cheap either. There’s also the fact that, if you’re taking trekking poles on your next trip anyway, then the weight impact of those is already priced in. This means your pack will only really weigh the ‘extra’ 510 grams of the tarp. All in all, this tarp gets mega Thrifty points.
If you’re thinking of ditching your tent in favour of a tarp, you could do a lot worse than this offering from Flame’s Creed. It’s highly configurable, and a very affordable way to get into first time tarp-camping. Sleeping under a tarp definitely isn’t for everyone, but at this price, there’s almost no drawback to giving it a go.
Well folks, that’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed this review of the Flame’s Creed tarp. Don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more tips, tricks and gear reviews from the trail. Until next time!