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609 Zing 2012-03-28

MSR Zing Tarp

It is springtime. Time to get out and enjoy the outdoors and time for the REI Dividend to come in the mail. It is sort of like Christmas in March!

We generally spend our dividend on something extra and perhaps even extravagant. With the 20% off coupon and the dividend applied to the purchase, items that were not affordable suddenly are at least more feasible. Okay, that is our rationale, but it works for us because my wife loves gear even more than me!

Deciding what to buy was not difficult this year. We are planning to spend almost a month in the southwest this summer and need to upgrade our tarp. A better shelter might give us some relieve from the heat and sun. We had a great Kelty tarp, but wanted something bigger and sturdier.

A few years back at Jenny Lake Campground in the Tetons, we met a camper with a Zing, a large MSR tarp. We wanted one, but it was expensive. This year, we decided to use our dividend and discount to take some of the sting out of purchasing a Zing.

Monday, we had gone for an afternoon hike and when we arrived back home the box had been delivered. In minutes, the Zing was set in our backyard. It was really big!

A few Zing notes ...

The set-up was quick and easy. The hardest part was tying all the guylines to the Zing.

The Zing comes with two poles. The poles are reinforced in the middle to keep them from bending.

We originally set the shelter using just two poles, but then tried an alternate setup using four poles. The four pole system gave even more headroom. The extra poles were not included.

The Zing's poles use a Green Anodizing process.

The poles are not adjustable.

Our friend and fellow tarpologist (one who loves tarps), Jon, suggested that we set our tent under the Zing.

The image above is the Zing, four pole setup, with a Marmot Swallow tent under the tarp and a bamboo-like beach mat covering the ground. We did not put the fly on the tent. In Nashville we are expecting some afternoon storms, we will see how the Zing does and if the tent gets wet without the fly.

Our setup looks lush and very inviting. There is enough room under the tarp for the tent, storage, and lounging.

The Zing weighs 6.5 pounds and covers 200 square feet.

The overall dimensions of our setup was 30 feet long and 24 feet across (longest distance between stakes - front to back and across)

We are concerned with the possible issues of setting such a large tarp in a crowded or small campground. But, being a tarpologist, tricky setups are what we live for!

MSR suggests sleeping 6 to 12 campers underneath the Zing. Perhaps it would work as a sleeping shelter, but would probably require an alternate setup using shorter poles. Trekking poles might work.

MSR used a small narrow stuff sack for the Zing. I don't know if we would ever be able to get it back in there. We will store the Zing in a cotton bag and stuff it in a user friendly stuff sack when going on trips.

It's fun to say, Zing!

The Zing was a special purchase for us. The dividend and discount coupons helped us to be able to afford the Zing. We highly recommend the Zing, but whatever you buy with your REI Dividend, if you are going to buy it online, please think of us. It is not much harder to first click the REI button in the sidebar and buy it using us as the affiliate. We get a few dollars and it does not cost you anything extra. Oh, using the standard, free shipping, our package was delivered in two days.

Happy Zing trails


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