Has anyone used Tyvek for a ground cloth? How about a source for small quantities?

Just musing, but would it work as a covering on a SOF kayak? hmmmmm…

Tyvek doesn’t stretch
"Just musing, but would it work as a covering on a SOF kayak? hmmmmm…"

Probably not since it doesn’t stretch very well.

would not work for a SOF, far too weak. It is somewhat tear resistant, but not nearly enough. Also, as already said, it doesn’t stretch. I have used it as a ground cloth and/or temp shelter. In the wind, it makes a fierce racket, but as a ground cloth, it’s not bad. Your best bet for finding a small quantity is probably to check out construction sites and ask if you could have a piece.

Makes good kite material
but after working with it as a building material, there is no way I’m gonna get into a kayak with only Tyvek between me and the water - -

Uh huh - - No way - - Not gonna happen!!!

is way overrated. Builders around here, in a coastal area wrap the houses in 15 or 30 lb felt (roofing) paper. Petroleum and water don’t mix; moisture damage with Tyvek is very common.

Tyvek = Emergency Shelter
We carry a folded 10x12’ section in our bailout bag, along with a hank of light line. Noisy for sure, but a lot tougher than the plastic we used to carry as an emergency shelter. Don’t think I’d venture far offshore in a kayak sheathed in it, but it maybe it could be used to check out an new S0F frame before putting the good stuff to it.

Or save your Fed Ex envelopes

As for a ground cloth
I have a link on my work PC to a company that sells groundcloths. I will post it tomorrow.


Tyvek is not meant to be waterproof…
…it is an air infiltration barrier.

Into the Wind

This is lighter, softer and quieter than the house wrap. I’ve used it for sails to good effect.

a friend of mine wrapped his SOF in plastic wrap he got from Home Depot. (the stuff they wrap around pallets of building materials) Worked fine for a while.

Yes I do
I use it when backpacking. It weighs less than a traditional groundcloth and works well. Initially it will be stiff and noisy but over time it softens with usage. I asked some construction guys that were building a house by me for a 3’*7’ and they were happy to give it to me.

As a kayak cover?
How suitable for Tyvek be as a kayak cover?

Here is a source

Apparently Tyvek does make a good groundcloth.


Source for Tyvek

I’ve used Tyvek both as a ground cloth
and as a kayak cover. It breaths and lets rain that might fall on the edges of your groundcloth and roll under the tent sink through the tyvek rather than sitting against your tent. Because it breathes, mildew doesn’t grow under it when used as a kayak wrap and it’s UV resistant. You can wash it in the washing machine which helps soften it over time. I’ve even dried it in the dryer on very low setting. Pretty useful stuff.

I bought a small amount for a ground cloth on Ebay for a decent price.

Kale: Moisture damage is only due to

– Last Updated: Dec-29-07 1:23 PM EST –

incorrect installation. I rep'ed for Tyvek last winter (before the housing market crashed and I got laid off). It was installed incorrectly about 75% of the time I saw it. So was everything else I saw, only the other stuff HOLDS IN moisture, Tyvek doesn't. At least Tyvek has a specialist network trying to educate people on how to use it properly and will allow moisture to escape. And when installed correctly, AND using their window taping products, they offer a 25 year warranty against moisture damage, covering the entire wall system, right through to the drywall. Unmatched.

It's not overrated. It's incorrectly installed. Do your research before spouting off about something of which you do not know.

Paddlinunit: Tyvek IS meant to be a water barrier. As with Kale, you don't know what you're talking about.

Back OT: Tyvek has no structural properties. It's a wrap. It WOULD make a good sail, but will weaken from UV damage over a long time of exposure. But unless left hanging in the sun, that would take a long time. It would be worthless for a kayak skin, for many reasons. Strength, inability to seal it at the seams, lack of stretching ability, etc. . . .

It also does make a very good ground cloth under a tent, however, it's expensive to buy a 150' roll for that. If you can find scrap at a building site, it would be worth using. Otherwise, a regular tarp is much more appropriately priced for that. I've seen it sold on eBay in 10x10' sections for ground cloth. Do the math. Someone's making a mint on the effort of cutting 10' sections off a 100-150' roll . . . .

To those saying that it softens: Yes, it does soften, but that means it's losing it's water barrier properties. It's getting soft (from laundering, folding, creasing, whatever) because the fibers are loosening up. That means water will go right through it. When new (and in the shape it was intended to be in) it will stop bulk water from passing through it (water proof) while allowing water vapor to pass. When worn, it will not. Wouldn't make much of a ground cloth to me if water underneath can come right through. Best to roll the stuff to avoid creasing and wearing it out faster. I'd never put it in a washing machine & dryer. That pretty much trashes it.

BTW, ground cloth should be slightly smaller than the tent, preventing run-off from rain on the tent to get trapped between the two. Therefore, there's no reason to have a ground cloth that allows water to pass.

Just my $.02. And no offense, but it's an educated $.02. Some of the other opinions here are anything but. . . .

How much is a decent price?
Just curious. A roll of 9’ wide Tyvek sells retail for about a $1.28/ 9 sq foot, or more accurately, $.14 per sq foot.

But, you cannot get it by the foot at
Lowe’s and Home Depot.