The Ray-Way Net-Tent Kit

Keeping Out the Bugs

Ray-Way Products

Ray & Jenny Jardine

Ray-Way Spitfire Expedition Net-Tent Kit

Our 1-P Spitfire Net-Tent is a one-person model, designed to fit under a Ray-Way 1-Person tarp.

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The Spitfire version of our Net-Tent, 11.6 oz.


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Ray used a 1P Spitfire during his TransAm-2010 cycling trip. Notice the excellent ground coverage under the 1P Tarp after a heavy rain - despite the steeper pitch to avoid the trees on either side.

A stealth camp on the AT, looking at the foot end of the Spitfire. (The head end is higher.)

The Spitfire is designed specifically for the AT where pack-weight is critical, and space on the ground is sometimes at a premium. It is for serious hikers who will be in the wilds all summer, and who want to minimize their pack-weight while maximizing their protection from bugs. I designed and used the Spitfire during my 2009 AT thru-hike. It was my favorite piece of gear. Since then I have used it on several more trips.

As usual I design all my gear for personal use, but make the kits so that other people can use them too. All told, we think this is one of our best kits.

Size L = up to 5' 11"

Size XL = 5' 11" on up.

The size L is for a person no taller than 5' 11". Someone taller would still have sufficient room to lie down, but would not likely be able to turn around (head to toe) unless they were more flexible.

If you are taller than 5' 11", we recommend the size XL. It is 4" wider, 3" taller, and 4" longer. Or if you are more concerned about weight, order the Size L.

Note: as shown on our Gear Video, a person doesn’t turn around while inside the Spitfire. It's too small for that. This is to save weight and bulk. Instead, one simply crawls in, feet first.

The Spitfire requires a few added attachments on one's tarp, but these are easy to sew onto an existing tarp - and our instructions show how.

In addition the Kit, you will also need:

1) Sewing machine and thread (of course), and a zipper foot.

2) Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker, or equivalent.

3) Tape measure with a metal or plastic strip at least 15 feet long, incremented in 1/16ths of an inch. Search "Tape measure," and see Tape Measure Tool

4) A Straight Edge at least 53" long. Search "straight edge tool," or you can use the edge of a straight board or some such.

Spitfire

We have put a great deal of time and effort into the Spitfire kit, with me designing the general layout and the specific parts, and also writing the instructions, and with Jenny sewing prototypes. Why so much effort? Because this was my favorite piece of gear during the its first trip (AT-2009). Also, because I wanted this kit to be easy to sew with clear and easy-to-follow instructions.

However, for the casual weekend hiker we recommend our standard Net-Tent Kit because it's much more simple and quicker to sew. But if you have made a Ray-Way Kit or two, then you will likely find the Spitfire easy to sew also. Or if you are a beginner, and can read and follow directions to a "T", then you will likely find the Spitfire easy as well. The Spitfire is no harder to sew, but takes more time because of the additional seams. The Original Net-Tent is made up of only 5 pieces, and has no zippers. The Spitfire has 11 pieces and 3 zippers. I didn't have the zippers during my AT hike, but could have used them - since ticks have become such a hazard. So now the zippers come standard.

Generalizing: the Original Net-Tent is intended for weekend hikers; the Spitfire is meant for summer-long thru-hiking.

The Spitfire Kit has a few options for the floor. You can choose our urethane nylon Spitfire floor, which I recommend for extended use, like thru-hiking. Among our color options is Urethane-Light-Gray, which will help you spot any ticks crawling around that you had brought inside on your socks or whatever. Or to save 4.5 ounces, you can choose silicone nylon. Personally, I like the Urethane much better, but to each his or her own.

Custom size

Please note that one cannot customize the Spitfire to make it longer, wider or taller. This is because all its panels are computer sized and shaped to fit together, and they are not simple rectangles.

if you need a custom fit, choose the Net-Tent rather than the Spitfire. the Net-Tent panels are rectangles and can be sized according one's needs. The custom fit is not covered in our instructions, but is a simple matter of adding or subtracting a few inches to the panels before they are sewn together. but once again, this does not apply to the Spitfire.

Sewing time

My first ray-way prototype with a gray polyurethane floor weighs 11.6 oz. It took Jenny about 4 hours to make.

Spitfire

"I ordered my Spitfire kit on October 25 and finished it on November 12. I worked on it about an hour each night. The hardest part was convincing our new kitten that I really did not need her help while laying out the fabric on the hardwood floor. The kit did go together easily after I was able to visualize what the instructions were trying to convey. Once I got the mental image and reviewed the 2 pictures on your site it was smooth sailing. It'now ready for my NFT. It weighed in at 11.7oz and 11.9oz with it's stuff bag [green polyurethane floor]. I really enjoyed sewing the netting to the floor. After turning the enclosure right side out I checked the corners. The netting seam and the floor corner seam lined up perfectly. I was very proud of that." -John G.

Note: Jenny takes about four hours to make a Spitfire, and only about a third of that is the sewing.

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