View Full Version : Sunforger or oilskin tarp?

04-02-2012, 02:39 AM

I have read the specs on both. can someone that has used these types of
canvas/treatments tell which is better, treated sunforger canvas standard or the oilskin treated, what canvas wgt is best, overall for the money...and long term use..

and which will hold up over time better, advise pls, will be buying one or the other next week.

size 8x8 is what im looking at in size,



04-03-2012, 12:22 AM

04-03-2012, 12:31 AM
Personally I'd go with the Sunforger.....been in a lot of tipi's that were made of it...I think it might be a significant weight difference(lighter to carry) than oil skin....and probably cheaper

04-03-2012, 01:00 AM

+1 for standard treated Sunforger Canvas...ok

Still would like to know why one would work better then the other...I know
there all people here who know....


04-03-2012, 02:52 AM
The main consideration would be weight.

Sgt. Mac
04-03-2012, 07:14 AM
I have an oilskin, so thats all I can comment on. Its a 10x10, it does have some weight to it, but I like it in that the rain just beads off of it

Scott Allen
04-03-2012, 07:41 AM
I have both and as has been said, the oil cloth is heavier. That being said, I have carried my 9' x 9' oilcloth from Panther Primitives for about 17 years and it shows no sign of wearing out and I use it a lot. I do like the fact that the brown oilcloth doesn't scream out where your camp is compared to the bright white of the sunforger. I guess you could dye the sunforger though. Good luck with your purchase. I'm sure you will like you choose.


04-03-2012, 07:46 AM
I have both sunforger 10 oz canvas and oil skin trail tarps. I have camped out in all kinds of Weather in them and both materials work just fine for me. I have a 7x7, 9.5 x 9.5 and a 10X10. All of them have plus and minuses regarding their size. Are you planning on packing it in on foot? If so perhaps a modern lightweight material might work better. Although my 7x7 oilskin does not really weigh all that much. The larger sizes would be a pain to carry on foot a long distance.
8x8 is a good size in my opnion.

04-03-2012, 09:52 AM
Never used either as a trail tarp but my wife works for a custom canvas maker who specializes in outdoor awnings, boat covers & such. Sunforger is their top recommended material for outdoor applications. It literally lasts for years exposed to the elements 24/7/365. It also comes in many different colors and patterns. Hope this helps.

04-03-2012, 11:15 AM
Good question and great postings. Thanks to everyone for providing experience on somehting I have wondered about also.

04-03-2012, 12:36 PM
thx all for help,

I'm going with oil skin, 8x8 should last a long time for solo treks...

yes, ill be humping it with me...i'm used to it..

which company?

Tent Smiths or pather primatives? or is both ok?


04-03-2012, 12:36 PM
oilskin tarps are easier to find locally.
oilskin weighs more
sunforger can be treated with a fire retardant
sunforger will mildew if put away damp or stored in a high humidity area
oilskin has a stronger smell

all that said, I used to do a lot of reenacting and used an oilskin tarp for my bedroll, but slept in a lot of sunforger tents.

04-03-2012, 12:39 PM
I have just recently started using the BCUSA Sunforger Tarps and must say for the money they are a very soild option. I have use Sunforger canvas tarps and tents in the past and they have all held up very well. I don't care for the smell that comes with the oil skin tarps. But, that's just me.

Scott Allen
04-03-2012, 02:19 PM
I've always used Panther Primitives, but know that Tentsmith's is a great company too. You can't go wrog with either.

04-03-2012, 04:36 PM
I believe Tentsmiths carries a 8x8. Panther Primitives carries 7x7 and 9.5x9.5 Oilskin Trail Tarps. I like Panther primitives service. Maybe they can make up a 8x8 if they do not offer one. Both are decent to deal with.

04-03-2012, 05:05 PM
This is from tentsmiths website: They have a bunch of sizes.

People have come to us for the past few years requesting we build OILSKIN TARPS for "Trekking". We have done so on a limited basis. Constructed of the same fabric as our WATCHCOATS, the oil and wax finished cotton makes a wonderful tarp for a great early feel. The dark brown fabric starts at 6.5 oz. per square yard but the oil and wax bring the finished weight very close to the standard Sunforger Army Duck. You will not save a great deal of weight but the tarps do roll smaller and have a more "period" look.

7' x 7' ~ $110
8' x 8' ~ $140
9' x 9' ~ $165
10' x 10' ~ $185
12' x 12' ~ $245

Tarps are finished with loops, every 3’, on all 4 sides and on all the seams

04-03-2012, 05:12 PM
From Panther Primitives site:

Panther’s Trail Tarps are built for versatility, with rolled loops and triple layered reinforcements
at the corners, center, and the mid-points of each side. We add a ½” wide,
18” double tie every 24” or so around the rest of the perimeter. All these loops and ties
enable you to set our trail tarps up in any of the styles shown above. We offer them in
any of our tent canvasses, as well as our ultra-lightweight 8 oz. Dk. Brown Oilskin.
10 oz. Water Repellent,
Flame Retardant
Mildew Resistant
10.38 oz. Sunforger
with Flame
13 oz. Sunforger
with Flame
10’ x 10’ $210 $165 $192 $208
7’ x 7’ $120 $104 $115 $118
12’ x 12’ $285 $217 $255 $283
14’ x 14’ $340 $260 $305 $338
16’ x 16’ $430 $320 $380 $425
finishes to 9’6” x 9’6”
OILSKIN SEAM SEALER (2½” Tins) Cat. No. 1000-100-7.......................$5.00 ea.

04-03-2012, 05:17 PM
BCUSA 10 x 10

■Fabric: Sunforger 10.10 oz Army Cotton Duck
■Color: Natural (white)
■Treatments: water repellent, mildew resistant, fire retardant ■Tabs: Nylon
■Thread: UV treated outdoor thread
■Tabs: 16 perimeter and 3 ridge line
■Weight: 8.1 lbs

This product and its components are 100% made in the USA.