Is Rip-Stop Nylon a suitable material for a shade structure?

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Is Rip-Stop Nylon a suitable material for a shade structure?

Postby davidhard » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:09 pm

Hey! I'm sorry if this has already been asked a million times. I was wondering if white rip-stop nylon is enough to keep the harsh sun out of a shade structure? I bought a yard of it to test and I like how lightweight and thin it is. however, it almost seems like it's too thin. I know that camping tents are made out of the stuff. I was just wondering if anyone has experience with using it on a large scale (30' dome) as a Playa shade structure and what I should expect with it.
Thanks!
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Postby much2naughty2 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:19 pm

Whoooosh...............................
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Postby davidhard » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:51 pm

Yes. I've heard that about rip-stop and parachute shade structures. I've factored in a fair amount of ventilation at the top and I plan on staking it down with plenty of rebar stakes.
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Postby davidhard » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:03 pm

Ugh! I think I've answered my own question. Ripstop nylon (or at least the white stuff I have), just is not opaque enough. I hung a large piece up in a sunny window and it's blazing hot in the room AND super brite white light. NOT good for the eyes.
If anyone else is considering using white ripstop as a shade structure material. DONT.
Anyone else have suggestions for a CHEAP material that is light weight, easy to sew, wont get shredded in a gust of wind, keeps out the dust, sun and heat?
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Postby Mr.? » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:15 pm

Billboard vinyl.

Here is why:
1. It's cheap or free.
2. It's VERY sturdy and easy to fabricate.
3. Almost always white it's reflective and has a very high UV protection rating (I'm guessing)

I've covered my domes and shade structures with Tyvek, Poly tarps (both white and silver) canvas, parachute and vinyl. I believe BY FAR vinyl is the best option for covering any sturdy structure such as a dome, carport or scaffolding. The only draw back to billboard vinyl is there is advertising on one side and it's pretty heavy compared to other materials.
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Postby falk » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:54 pm

But it's quite heavy and bulky. Keep that in mind.

My camp typically uses billboard vinyl over a quonset hut skeleton to make a shade structure for about a dozen tents. Worked great, but you have to brace the skeleton because the material is so heavy.

Silver tarps also work pretty well.
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Postby Martiansky » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:24 am

I went to a local billboard company last summer that in the past I had gotten a large billboard vinyl from and to my dismay they are no longer using vinyl anymore but are using a material just like the woven plastic blue tarps! So if you can find the older tarps then get them if you can!
I covered my dome with the vinyl and it can be cut and sewn to custom fit your dome and it is very sturdy.
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Postby moonrise » Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:57 am

In the costco carport thread, there is another thread for ez shelter, it mentions several good shade structures with photos and links. plus search for shade should dig up some recent info.
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Postby Herring » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:02 am

I'm considering using a vinyl mesh to cover my shade structure (something like this: http://www.sailrite.com/Phifertex-Mesh- ... een-DC3-54) which would allow air to pass through but still offer as much shade as your usual breathable patio parasol. Seems like all these tarps just aren't good in the wind.

I guess the problem with breathable fabric is that it let's the dust in?
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Postby Lord Of Ruin » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:12 am

Folks....good ol' gardening shade cloth or Aluminet are among the popular choices.

Aluminet can get pricey, but it lasts for years and is truly reflective.

70+% shade cloth does a fine job....just Google it and you'll find dozens of places that sell them to order. Harbor Freight and other box stores will sell them in standard sizes like 10 X 10 & 10 X 20. They are actually mesh, so they hold up very well in the wind. You'll get 5+ years outta them.

People use either PVC or EMT to make structures to drape them over. LIkewise, search here is your friend (try "monkeyhut" and "EMT" and you'll get lots of threads).

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Postby gaminwench » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:13 pm

I love my aluminet... 5 years and going strong...
become one with the dust...
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Postby delle » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:23 pm

I'm guessing the word is out on the aluminet being a good option.

This place actually calls the product "Desert Festival Shade Cloth"
(tho the link clearly gets even more specific!!!)

http://www.catalogclearance.com/product ... cloth.html
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Postby Herring » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:54 pm

So net or mesh material is okay for a shade structure? So many photos I've seen people use tarps to cover monkey huts or they use solid carports. But I'd prefer something that allows the wind through, but I don't know how bad the dust is, maybe something more solid would be better for keeping the dust out? Or is keeping the dust out a pipe dream and I should just go for a breathable shade structure?
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Postby jella » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:09 pm

We used a costco car port frame and doubled up army surplus camo net last year, It wasn't so great in the rain but did very well as shade. No parachute effect since the wind goes right through 8)

I second the " be one with the dust"
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Postby CapSmashy » Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:04 pm

Herring wrote:So net or mesh material is okay for a shade structure? So many photos I've seen people use tarps to cover monkey huts or they use solid carports. But I'd prefer something that allows the wind through, but I don't know how bad the dust is, maybe something more solid would be better for keeping the dust out? Or is keeping the dust out a pipe dream and I should just go for a breathable shade structure?


We use a costco carport frame covered in 70% shade fabric over our kitchen area.

On the windward side, we double it up (140% shade, drops the temp by 40 degrees!) and it provides a decent windblock and does a remarkable job at cutting down the dust blowing through.

Until you touch it anyway...
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Postby Lord Of Ruin » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:35 am

Herring wrote:So net or mesh material is okay for a shade structure? So many photos I've seen people use tarps to cover monkey huts or they use solid carports. But I'd prefer something that allows the wind through, but I don't know how bad the dust is, maybe something more solid would be better for keeping the dust out? Or is keeping the dust out a pipe dream and I should just go for a breathable shade structure?



Ahhahahhahahahahaha....<clutching>...hahahahahaha....<points>...hahahha....He actually said "better for keeping the dust out!"

Man, you ARE a comedian. Well played...well played.

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Postby actiongrl » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:28 pm

Parachute material - designed to catch the wind. So expect whatever you'd attach it to to...blow away! Not a good choice, but it sounds like you've sorted that out.

Dust - will be in everything, the end. Nothing will keep it out, especially not a shade structure. Embrace it!
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Postby TomServo » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:53 pm

Herring wrote:I'm considering using a vinyl mesh to cover my shade structure (something like this: http://www.sailrite.com/Phifertex-Mesh- ... een-DC3-54) which would allow air to pass through but still offer as much shade as your usual breathable patio parasol. Seems like all these tarps just aren't good in the wind.

I guess the problem with breathable fabric is that it let's the dust in?


The dust is gonna get in anyways. Black Rock Roller Disco uses a similar material...colored black, and I think Home Depot sells it. It works great! As long as its secured well.
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Postby Bob » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:34 pm

You can use anything you want, dark nylon tarps are fine for a bit of shade if you rig them securely.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Postby Bob » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:48 pm

actiongrl wrote:Parachute material - designed to catch the wind. So expect whatever you'd attach it to to...blow away! Not a good choice, but it sounds like you've sorted that out.


DPW has been using miles of black wind-opaque polypropylene fabric to shade First Camp, Media, Rangers, Playa Info, and all the other org camps that ring Center Camp for a decade. Success depends on how you rig it.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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