Sometimes a picture says it all:
And, yes, it’s completely transparent. So what’s the material that makes this possible? Per the web site, the shelter is made from “cross-linked polyolefin (also known as “polycryo” and “polycro”), an incredibly tough, light plastic.”
So what is this stuff? And how durable can it really be? Polycro is an uncommon material used in outdoor equipment—its primary use seems to be for shrink-wrap insulation on electrical equipment—so it’s a bit hard to say, especially since I have no direct experience with this stuff.
A handful of ultralight gear makers do offer ground cloths made from polycro, including Gossamer Gear, which has a couple of glowing testimonials about its durability, so it does seems to be pretty puncture resistant at the very least. Given the ultralight weight and low cost of the system, gram-counting ultralighters may want to add it to their list of possibilities.
“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.