Best Tarp for Hammock Camping and Backpacking in 2024

Best tarp for hammock camping

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Hennessy Hammock Hex Rain Fly

Hennessy Hammock Rain Fly | best tarp for hammock camping

Offers extra coverage, especially against wind-driven rain.

Best Budget

Pro Venture Waterproof Hammock Rain Fly

Pro Venture Rain Fly | best tarp for hammock camping

Its design allows for multiple setup configurations.

Best for Backpacking/Best Lightweight

ENO Eagles Nest Outfitters ProFly Rain Tarp

Suitable for various weather conditions and comes with a stuff sack for easy transport.

The tarp is a crucial piece of gear that can make or break your outdoor lounging experience. We know how important it is to find the right gear for a great camping session. Whether it’s from wind or rain, the best tarp for hammock camping is your trusty shield against nature’s surprises. Along with other essential camping gear, choosing the perfect tarp is a decision that deserves some serious thought. 

Size, shape, material – every detail matters. So, before you pack your cooler, sling your hammock between two trees, and kick back, let’s get you a reliable tarp first!

How to Choose the Best Tarp for Hammock Camping

Selecting the perfect tarp isn’t just about color or price. Let’s break it down:

How’s the Weather?: Wind Coverage and Rain Protection

best tarp for hammock camping
Image source: Gary Allman

Before anything else, consider the weather you’ll be facing. Are you braving torrential downpours, or just dodging light showers? High winds or gentle breezes? Your tarp choice should be weather-appropriate. Think waterproof and wind-resistant for harsh conditions.

Tarp Shape

The shape of your tarp dictates its coverage area and how well it shields against elements. Hexagonal and catenary cut tarps offer a good balance between weight and protection, while square or rectangular ones provide more coverage but can be heavier.

1. Hexagonal

  • Design: Six-sided, with angled edges.
  • Features: Offers a good balance between weight and coverage.
  • Best For: Backpackers looking for a versatile tarp that provides adequate protection without too much extra weight.

2. Rectangular

  • Design: Traditional tarp shape with four corners and straight edges.
  • Features: Usually offers more coverage area than other shapes.
  • Best For: Campers who prefer a simple, spacious setup and don’t mind carrying a bit of extra weight for increased protection.

3. Diamond/Square

  • Design: Equal length and width, offering a symmetrical setup.
  • Features: Versatile in terms of pitching options but may provide less coverage lengthwise for a hammock.
  • Best For: Minimalist backpackers or those new to hammock camping who want an easy-to-handle and straightforward tarp.

4. Asymmetrical

  • Design: Designed with uneven sides, typically lighter and smaller.
  • Features: Provides targeted coverage, ideal for protecting against rain coming from a specific direction.
  • Best For: Solo hikers and light packers who need basic protection without the bulk, and are camping in mild weather conditions.

5. Four-Season

  • Design: Heavier and more robust, designed to withstand harsh conditions.
  • Features: Often equipped with additional panels or flaps to block wind and snow.
  • Best For: Campers facing diverse weather conditions, including heavy rain, strong winds, and snow.

Size

Ensure the tarp extends at least 8-12 inches beyond each end of your hammock. This extra length is crucial for full protection when the rain comes at an angle.

Material Type

Lightweight materials like Silnylon and Dyneema are great for backpackers who count every ounce. However, if durability is your priority, heavier materials like canvas might be the way to go. Remember, the material affects the tarp’s weight, packability, and longevity. Each of these materials offers different trade-offs between weight, durability, weather resistance, and cost. Your choice depends on your specific camping style, the conditions you’ll face, and your budget.

Canvas

  • Properties: Heavy and robust, canvas is a traditional material known for its durability.
  • Benefits: Excellent for long-term setups and provides good protection against heavy rain and wind.
  • Drawbacks: Its weight and bulkiness make it less ideal for backpackers or those who need to travel light.

Nylon

  • Properties: A common, synthetic material, nylon is lightweight and relatively strong.
  • Benefits: It’s more affordable and offers a good balance between weight and durability, making it a popular choice among casual campers and backpackers.
  • Drawbacks: It may stretch and sag when wet, and its UV resistance is lower compared to other materials.

Silnylon (Silicon-Infused Nylon)

  • Properties: Nylon treated with silicone to improve waterproofing and tear strength.
  • Benefits: Lightweight and more waterproof than regular nylon, it’s great for those who prioritize a light pack over everything else.
  • Drawbacks: It’s more expensive than plain nylon and can be a bit slippery, which might affect the tarp setup.

Silpoly (Silicone-Coated Polyester)

  • Properties: Polyester fabric coated with silicone, similar to Silnylon but with polyester as the base.
  • Benefits: Less prone to sagging when wet than nylon, and it typically retains its tautness better in damp conditions.
  • Drawbacks: It may be slightly heavier than Silnylon and can be on the pricier side.

Dyneema (formerly Cuben Fiber)

  • Properties: An ultra-lightweight, high-performance fabric known for its exceptional strength-to-weight ratio.
  • Benefits: Waterproof and incredibly strong, Dyneema is ideal for ultralight backpackers and those who want the best in terms of weight savings without sacrificing durability.
  • Drawbacks: It’s the most expensive tarp material on the market, which can be a significant consideration for many campers.

Guy Lines

Guy lines are cords that attach to the edges or corners of your tarp and anchor it to the ground, trees, or other stable objects. They are essential for tensioning the tarp and keeping it in place.

They are usually made of durable, lightweight materials like nylon, polyester, or Dyneema. Reflective materials are a popular choice for visibility at night.

Many guy lines come with tensioners or line locks, allowing easy adjustment of the tarp’s tension without having to retie knots. 

The length and thickness of guy lines can vary. Longer lines offer more versatility in where you can anchor but add weight and can create tripping hazards if not managed properly.

Tie-Outs

Tie-outs are attachment points on the tarp itself, where the guy lines are connected. They determine the shape and stability of the tarp when pitched.

More tie-outs offer greater flexibility in how you can pitch your tarp. They can be along the edges, corners, or even in the middle of the tarp.

For durability, tie-outs are often reinforced with extra material or webbing since they endure a lot of tension. 

Some tarps have metal grommets for tie-outs, while others use fabric loops. Loops are generally more durable and less prone to damage under tension.

Best Tarps for Hammock Camping

Best Overall: Hennessy Hammock Hex Rainfly

Sale
Hennessy Hammock - Hex Rainfly - Rain Tarp (Coyote Brown)
  • Weight: 27 oz / 765 g, Packed Size: 3.5" x 11" / 9cm x 30cm
  • Weight: 27 oz / 765 g, Packed Size: 3.5" x 11" / 9cm x 30cm
  • Can be angled out to provide a large covered area for cooking or relaxing or can be staked down near the ground on both sides of the hammock.

Our top pick offers extra coverage, especially against wind-driven rain. The Hennessy Hammock Rainfly can cover an 11′ hammock with no problem. It comes with a dual-layered ridgeline that stays rigid when the corners are firmly staked down to the ground. We also appreciate the dual-stitched seams that run along the entire length of the tarp. Putting it up and taking it down is also a no-brainer, so you’ll have more time to lounge in your hammock. It comes with polyester cords but we suggest you get more durable paracords as an extra precaution.

Quick Specs:

  • Material: 70D Polyurethane Coated Polyester Rip-stop
  • Shape: Symmetrical Hex
  • Weight: 27 oz
  • Dimensions: 12’x 10’
  • Included accessories: Polyester cords, Guy lines

Pros

  • Wide coverage
  • Waterproof
  • Rigid ridgeline
  • Easy to set up
  • Dual-stitched seams
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Pricey
  • A bit bulky when packed
  • Heavier than most tarp brands

What Customers Say

Works great, big enough for different setups and very good material.Held up in a thunderstorm! Has guy lines on each corner in a nice tucked-away location. Ridiculously easy setup. Folds easy, and is relatively light, might be just too big for an “ultralite” set-up – but the extra size and material strength may be worth the trade-off!

Mobious

Best Budget: Pro Venture Waterproof Hammock Rain Fly

Pro Venture Waterproof Hammock Rain Fly [12ft x 9ft] - Portable Large...
  • Outstanding Water Shedding for True All Weather Protection: Our Rain Flies are made from PU 3000 Diamond Ripstop Nylon making them extra durable, tear- and puncture-resistant, giving you long-lasting...
  • Versatile Hex Design: The 12ft by 9ft Asymmetrical hex design gives maximum coverage, even in a torrential downpour. When set up, the 6 tie-down loops and 6 reinforced grommet points give a...
  • Backpacker Approved: Lightweight, Portable, Reliable & Easy To Set Up. The rain fly and accessories weigh only 1.8 lbs in its waterproof stuff sack, measuring just 10x5x5 inches. No instructions are...

Despite its budget-friendly price, the Pro Venture Waterproof Hammock Rain Fly is constructed from durable, polyurethane-treated ripstop nylon, offering a great balance between durability and weight. Not to mention the leak-proof taped seams that serve as double protection against the elements. It provides ample coverage so both you and your hammock stay dry. The size is generous enough to protect against rain and wind, yet it remains compact when packed. 

It’s lightweight and comes with a carrying bag, making it easy to transport and ideal for backpacking trips where every ounce counts. The design of the Pro Venture Rain Fly allows for multiple setup configurations. This means you can set up the tarp in various environments and weather conditions.

Quick Specs:

  • Material: Waterproof ripstop nylon 210D
  • Shape: Asymmetrical Hex
  • Weight: 29 oz
  • Dimensions: 12’x 9’
  • Included accessories: 6 x 118″ (3meter) guylines, 6 Adjustable tensioners, 4 Aluminum tent stakes, 6 Tie-down loops/ 6 reinforced grommets, Internal accessory bag, Tarp bag: 10 x 5 x 5in

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Wide coverage
  • Waterproof
  • Taped seams
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Slightly heavier than our top pick
  • Not suitable against strong winds

What Customers Say

First use and we had 5 inches of heavy rain. Not a drop entered my hammock and I slept like an angel. Set up is straight forward. Good length. Seems durable and well made. I know it passed it’s first test with flying colors. It dried down quickly the next day, too.

C. Vernon

Best Lightweight: ENO Eagles Nest Outfitters ProFly Rain Tarp

Sale
ENO, Eagles Nest Outfitters ProFly Rain Tarp, Ultralight Hammock...
  • Rain, rain, go away: Made of polyurethane-treated 210D ripstop nylon, the ProFly offers long-lasting wear and features the best water-shedding capabilities. Stay dry and cozy all night long.
  • Safe from any storm: Features six points to connect, so you can feel secure lounging underneath. Ideal for weathering sudden downpours or building a waterfront basecamp.
  • Adventure ready: Weighing only 22 ounce, the ProFly includes a stuff sack, making it convenient to take on trips or store when not in use.

Constructed from polyurethane-treated 210D ripstop nylon, this tarp offers robust protection from the elements. Its six connect points make it extremely easy to set up and provide ample coverage, ensuring you stay dry and comfortable. It features a versatile design suitable for various weather conditions and comes with a stuff sack for easy transport. It would have been better, however, if the ropes were longer for when tying around larger trees.

Quick Specs:

  • Material: 70D Ripstop Nylon with 1000mm PU Coating
  • Shape: Hexagonal
  • Weight: 22 oz
  • Dimensions: 10’6”x 6’4”
  • Included accessories: 4 stakes (Sold separately)

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Taped seams

Cons

  • The ropes are too short
  • Pricier than most of our picks

What Customers Say

This is the best tarp I have ever used, it is so easy to set up and so durable. Just hiked 20 miles in below freezing temps with 50 mph winds and when I put up the this tarp it stayed put. This adjustment on the corners to tighten and loosen are so easy and work great. I love that I do not even need to tie a knot. Excellent design ENO.

Sterling MaGee

OneTigris Bulwark Camping Tarp

OneTigris Bulwark Camping Tarp, 100% Waterproof Bushcraft Shelter,...
  • Durable: Made of 210T Polyester Taffeta with dual PU coating, heat taped seams that's 100% waterproof (2000mm) and provides long-lasting protection, keep you completely dry
  • Versatile: With 19 reinforced webbing loops or grommets including 3 on the ridgeline, gives you the most coverage, and you can set it up in different ways with all these loops stable and strong, be it...
  • Stealth Camping Gear: Anti UV, waterproof, one tarp for ALL conditions and seasons, practical Coyote Brown color for better hiding out in the wild, a perfect stealthy gear for those who want to blend...

The OneTigris Bulwark Camping Tarp is a solid choice for those needing a reliable, waterproof, and easy-to-set-up shelter for hammock camping. It features 19 reinforced webbing loops, including 3 on the ridgeline, giving you a variety of setup options.

It would have been better, however, if the tarp bag was a bit roomier for easier packing. The seams are fully taped and sealed, but we noticed that the material used in this tarp is not as durable as other brands.

Quick Specs:

  • Material: 210T Polyester Taffeta Fabric with a PU coating
  • Shape: Hexagonal
  • Weight: 38 oz
  • Dimensions: 12.7’x 9.5’
  • Included accessories: 6 aluminum pegs and 4 guylines

Pros

  • Anti-UV
  • Waterproof
  • Reinforced webbing loops
  • Reasonably priced
  • Taped seams

Cons

  • Average-quality material
  • Difficult to pack

What Customers Say

The seams are fully taped and sealed, and the size is perfect for a hammock setup or a sun shelter. The bottom is curved to allow for a tighter pull. The only downside to this tarp is the style and number of tie-out points, but even then they work just fine. This tarp held up in a severe storm in the boundary waters. While the other tarps were flapping in the wind, mine was secure and quiet, and the size kept me dry. Purchase this tarp, you won’t regret it.

Nicholas Krueger

REDCAMP Hammock Rain Fly

The Redcamp hammock rainfly serves its purpose for half the price of its competitors. Now don’t get us wrong, it’s not the most durable tarp out there, but if you only need protection against the sun and light rain, it will suffice. It features taped and well-stitched seams like all our other picks above. What we liked most about this brand is that it comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. 

Quick Specs:

  • Material: 210T polyester ripstop
  • Shape: Hexagonal, Rectangle, Square
  • Weight: 29 oz
  • Dimensions: 12’x10’, 10’x10’
  • Included accessories: 6 aluminum pegs and 4 guylines

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Comes with a limited one-year warranty
  • Waterproof
  • Taped seams
  • Comes with a storage bag

Cons

  • Needs quality improvement
  • Heavy

What Customers Say

It may not be as lightweight as advertised but this fly kept the roasting sun out of one of my tents as well as rain during some unpredictable weather in Colorado over the summer. Glad I purchased it when it wasn’t on my original list while buying camp supplies.

Carol Davis

FAQs

What size tarp do I need for a hammock?

The size of the tarp you need for hammock camping should ideally be 12 inches longer than the hammock on either side. This provides ample coverage and protection from the elements. For instance, if you’re covering two hammocks in tandem, you might opt for a tarp size of 10 x 10 or 12 x 12 feet (like our picks above).

What is the best thickness for a tarp?

The best thickness for a tarp depends on its intended use. Generally, a thicker tarp is more durable and suitable for heavy-duty applications, while a thinner tarp is more suitable for light-duty tasks.

Final Thoughts – Best Tarp for Hammock Camping

Selecting the best tarp for hammock camping involves balancing various factors such as size, material, shape, and seasonal use. It’s important to choose a size that extends beyond your hammock’s length and width for adequate protection. Materials like polyethylene, ripstop nylon, and canvas offer different benefits, from lightweight convenience to weather endurance. Shapes like asymmetrical, hexagonal, and rectangular cater to varying coverage needs and preferences. Remember that the best choice is one that aligns with your specific camping conditions, ensuring comfort and protection in the great outdoors. Here’s to a dry and worry-free lounging experience!

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Last update on 2024-05-22 / Images from Amazon Product API