By Rob Lyon
January 29, 2004
Upside: Its 200 square foot design makes for a lot of dry room
Downside: 4 pounds heavier than the Moss Outfitter Wing
Rating: ^^^^^ (5 out of 5 peaks)
Ideal User: A must for rafting trips, especially in the spring and fall
This baby saved our bacon last fall on a rainy trip down Idaho's Salmon river. Most of you are familiar with the Moss Wing in all of its different
iterations. The River Wing is a subtle ontological step away from the Moss core design, yet provides some big steps in terms of value.
Most portable shelters are tents, chosen for their facility to completely repair from the elements. To be able to stay outside when it rains,
to cook, or just to bivvy under a portable roof with your friends is a pretty neat option to have. And if old Sol is firing up the broiler, a
little portable shade is a pretty neat thing as well.
Nothing puts the kabosh on a good time on the beach though, better than rain and wet sand. The NRS Wing spreads to just under 200 square feet;
what that translates to in real use is a lot of rats in the dry. We had a fire crackling at the edge of the shelter with six of us sitting in a
comfortable half circle in front of it. With three days of steady rain, pitching the Wing was the first order of business when we hit the beach
A perk to having a tarp, even a sail, along on a river or a kayak trip, is that you can use it to collect water. A little clever brain work
create a high volume water collection system in no time. Sometimes this is easiest to do when the Wing is laid flat on sloping ground, especially
during high winds. Stake the Wing on the ground using rocks, if necessary, to keep it from billowing around in gusts. Triangulate the shape so
that it funnels to the end, where tubing or a small trough can funnel the water to your containers. You might be surprised how quickly water
can be collected in a good freshet.
Several adjustments for height are available on the Wing. You can limbo low at 6' center height, limbo higher at 8' or tower up to 10. Low is
best in windy conditions, but mid-height is best for general use. In a stiff blow you might want to anchor a large rock or two on top of the stakes.
In normal conditions, I found that adding a fly rod tube, a walking stick, or half an oar at each of the four corners can help stability and increase
perimeter height. You'll have to lash them into place though or maybe break out that roll of duct tape.
The Wing is tough stuff, made from heavy gauge Oxford nylon, reinforced at the corners and seam taped throughout. Poles are all tubular aluminum,
tie down cord is bomber, comes with 6 sand stakes and the whole Caboodle weighs in in a handy, zippered kit at fourteen pounds, nearly four pounds
more than the Moss Outfitter Wing. This is a good thing though, considering wings are not carried on backs, but rather in boats and vehicles.
Extra weight translates to more durable material, lines, poles and stakes, and in this case, a tad more surface area, and at about 20% less
than the Moss Outfitter Wing, it's a fair value on the buck.
Contact: www.nrsweb; 800-635-5202