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Has anyone practical experience with the light, soft version of Tyvek used as footprint / groundsheet or tent bottom?

I like the material, used it once so far as a ground sheet (footpint) on grass and had no troubles with moisture migrating through it.

Is this material waterproof? And if so, how waterproof? What conditions should I expect it to remain waterproof?

  • the following questions might be useful How resistant to water is Tyvek in practice and What kind of Tyvek is suitable for footprint material – user2766 Dec 17 '14 at 15:24
  • Is this the house wrap sheeting? – amphibient Dec 17 '14 at 15:40
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    @Liam I disagree; I find the question perfectly relevant and would like to see more questions of the sort. Backpacking requires pragmatic answers with hands on experience. – ppl Dec 17 '14 at 22:29
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    ppl - Stack Exchange as a framework does not lend itself well to this sort of thing though. There is no right answer. Opinions really don't work here. I think Liam's links are relevant, but this question is going on hold until it becomes an answerable question. – Rory Alsop Dec 18 '14 at 8:56
  • @RoryAlsop: is my question precise enough now? I read quite a lot about tyvek specs, but the bottom line is really whether you have experienced moisture wandering through or not. This does seem quite like fact to me. – user5329 Dec 18 '14 at 9:37
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I have tested the 1443R multiple times from multiple roles and it has consistently resulted in water seepage through the fabric after having 200 pounds of weight on top of it (shelter + person). These testings were performed on wet ground, muddy ground, and wet grass.

If you are wanting to have tyvek that will work in all weather conditions, best to go with the heavier weight fabric. However for most dry weather conditions the 1443R is an excellent weight-to-protection ground sheet.

Obviously the smaller body and lighter weight hikers are going to have less pound pressure on top of the fabric and thus less likely to have water seepage through the fabric. All of my tests were with 200 pounds on top of the 1443R fabric, as a baseline for testing. The standard tyvek handled 300 pounds without seepage. So depending on the wetness of the ground you tend to encounter and your overall sleep weight, that should give you a good insight into which to go with.

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