8 of The Best Hammock Tarps of 2018 – Review & Rating

One of the biggest issues with hammock camping is finding a way to stay protected from the elements. But with the right equipment, like tarps, it’s possible for you to stay dry no matter the weather. This is simply a piece of fabric that stretches over your hammock so that bad weather doesn’t place a damper on your camping trip.

But, just like there are a ton of hammocks to choose from, there are just as many tarp configurations and rigging options to match.

Thankfully, there is some good news, you are able to customize your shelter system to match your specific conditions.

best hammock tarps

Considerations when Choosing a Hammock Tarp

Choosing the right tarp for your hammock is actually more difficult to do than you may think. You can’t just pick up any tarp you find laying around or invest in the first one you see. Instead, you need to consider the tarp size for your hammock, the shape of the tarp, the materials a tarp is made of, and the weight of the tarp.

  • Tarp Size for Hammocks

    The first thing you need to keep in mind when looking into a tarp size for a hammock is how much coverage you’re going to need. You need to check the weather conditions for your trip before you make your decision, which include the region you’re going to be going to for your camping trip.
  • Best Size Tarp for Hammock Camping

    The best size tarp for hammock camping will, again, depend on the amount of coverage you need depending on the weather conditions and what they may bring. For example, are you going to need one of the largest ones, also known as a winter tarp, for four season camping or cold conditions? If so, these are the best to keep out moisture, the cold, wind, you name it.

    If you’re going to be camping in warm or mild conditions, however, you’re only going to need a simple cover over your hammock to keep the bugs off you in the middle of the night and to protect you should it rain.
  • Different Tarp Shapes

    Tarps don’t just come in square or rectangular shapes. In fact, there are quite a few different shapes to choose from, so your best best is going to be choosing a tarp shape based on your hammock and the amount of coverage it’s going to need based on the above category.

    - Rectangular tarps offer 4 anchor points and a ridge line that is set above your hammock. Though the ventilation with these tarps isn’t great, it offers the most coverage and protection from the elements.

    - Catenary tarps use curved areas that make them light, are less likely to sag on top of you, and are a great choice for windier conditions.

    - Diamond square tarps are the lightest tarps you’ll ever find. Unfortunately, they don’t offer a whole lot of coverage, but they do have 2 anchor points that allow for an easier setup compared to other shapes of tarps.

    - Hexagonal tarps are much like rectangular tarps with different corners that are angled inward instead of outward. Because of this, they require less material to make them and are a lightweight option with better ventilation. They do tend to be pricey, however.

    Choosing the right shape based on the coverage you’ll need is a lot more important than you may think.

  • Tarp Material – Lightweight Hammock Tarp or Heavy?

    Choosing between a lightweight hammock tarp, or even a lightweight rain fly, compared to a heavier tarp should never be a last minute decision. In truth, the material of the tarp you bring will affect how heavy it is.

    Typical backpackers tend to lean toward nylon material for their hammocks because they’re an ultralight hammock tarp that doesn’t take up much space in their packs.

    Traditional polyethylene, however, tends to be more expensive and heavier, but it’s also thicker and provides better coverage depending on the shape it’s in.
  • Choosing Tarp Weight

    As we mentioned before, the weight of your tarp will depend on the material that it’s made of. You will need to take where you’re going and how long you will need to walk to get there into consideration.

    If you’re on a long trek that requires you to carry a couple of pounds of gear already, you’re probably going to want to lean toward an ultralight hammock tarp that’s made out of nylon. This is especially what you’re going to want if the weather isn’t going to be too bad.

    Although, if you’re not carrying too much with you and/or the weather isn’t exactly going to be in your favor at any point during your trip, you’re going to want to go with a heavier tarp that’s made of polyethylene.

​ Best Hammock Tarps

#1 Recommended: OAV Brand 40D RipStop Nylon Waterproof Tarp

Our Rating:

This tarp (see it for sale here) provides campers with simple, lightweight protection from the elements. It comes with both reinforced guy-out points and adjustable guy lines, which means that you can spread it out to your specifications. This makes it very flexible and one of the best in terms of hammock camping.

It's also made out of a sturdy rip stop nylon fabric with a 5000 mm polyurethane coating that is completely waterproof, while still remaining lightweight. Furthermore, it utilized 40D Ripstop Nylon Fabric that is tear and puncture resistant! In this way, this tarp is able to offer instant protection and shelter from the sun or bad weather conditions.

Additional benefits include:

  • Adjustable corner guy lines
  • Uniformed guy out points


  • Made with 40D waterproof Ripstop Nylon
  • Great for backpacking, camping, barbeques, everything!
  • Easy setup
  • Durable
  • Very aesthetically pleasing color and design
  • Simple construction

Our Rating:

Interested in effective bad weather protection but don’t want to walk around with a bomb shelter? This rain tarp is the perfect solution. It has six guy points that give it a streamlined shape that's perfect for dealing with virtually any weather condition.

Plus, for those who have to hike for miles to get to their camping site, they will be happy to know that this tarp is incredibly lightweight, weighing in at a mere 22 ounces. All in all, it's’ safe to say that it's a solid investment, especially when you consider the amount of coverage that it provides. It will definitely make your hammock campsite a lot more comfortable.

Its other benefits are as follows:

  • 100% Nylon
  • Excellent water shedding ability
  • Made out of polyurethane treated 201D ripstop nylon
  • Long lasting wear
  • Great full weather protection
  • Streamlined shape
  • Weighs less than 1 1/2 pounds
  • Covers a large area
  • Easily portable
  • Versatile usage
  • Comes with its own stuff sack, complete with carrying handle
  • Compacts down to the size of a 1L water bottle
  • Easy to set up and take down

Our Rating:

This tarp looks good and feels great. Plus, it’s user-friendly, effective, and can help make your camping site a lot more comfortable. It is, without a doubt, one of the best rain tarps currently on the market. Not only is it very high in quality, it’s field tested as well. And, although it's designated as an all-protection weather tarp, it can be used as a sleeping tent as well. Its top side is colored safety orange to ensure that you are easily visible in times of emergency.

And, the other side is aluminized and reinforced to boost the thermal insulation that can be garnered from this tarp. Plus, for your added convenience, it comes with everything you need for easy, no hassle setup, this includes steel stakes.

Additional benefits include:

  • Shelter tube tarp
  • Reverse side can be sued for reflective signaling
  • Flame resistant
  • Ultra compact and very lightweight
  • Can even be used as a sleeping tent
  • Colored safety orange on one side so you can be spotted easily
  • Aluminized on the other side to provide thermal insulation
  • Comes with steel stakes, guy lines, and stuff sack

Our Rating:

All tarps aren’t created equal. And, while they seem like simple pieces of gear, they can be quite complex. Hennesy Hammocks have been in the hammock camping game for a long time, which ensures the quality of its products. And, it’s no different when it comes to the Hex Rain Fly Rain Tarp.

It is built with a hexagonal shape that’s perfect for hammock camping. As such, it is ideal for camping trips in rough hilly terrains or dense forest cover. And, it because of its wide spread angle, you can relax knowing that you have absolute privacy.

Other benefits include:

  • Works with all Hennessy brand hammocks
  • Made with Polyurethane coated polyester for great protection from rain
  • Can be angled out to increase coverage area
  • Weighs less than 2 pounds
  • Simple design so setup is easy
  • Relatively affordable
  • Well built
  • Works well with virtually any type of hammock
  • No ridgeline
  • Very durable
  • Comes with nice waterproof carry case

Our Rating:

There’s no doubt about, this selection is one of the rain tarps on the market, mainly because it comes with a ton of cool stuff. This tarp can be used for multiple purposes, including thermal blanket or ground cloth. Furthermore, it comes in a unique hexagonal designed for great protection, no matter the weather conditions.

It also comes with two different sides, one is bright orange so you can easily be seen in emergency situations and the other is aluminized. This particular feature means that this tarp offers not only additional thermal insulation but reflectivity as well. This makes it perfect when in a distressed situation. Lastly, the park is very lightweight, making it extremely portable.

Additional benefits include:

  • Offers great sun protection
  • Versatile in use
  • Single person design removed the needs for a large bulky tarp
  • Hexagonal design provides great coverage in virtually all weather conditions
  • Can also be used as thermal blanket and ground cloth
  • Lightweight and compact
  • One side is high visibility orange
  • One side is aluminized for reflectivity and thermal insulation

Our Rating:

This tarp is a must when hammock camping. It’s an excellent shelter that will ensure that you, your hammock, and your gear are well protected. It has four anchors, 2 on the ground and 2 at the peak. It is an amazing bargain and it has its own unique charm because it doesn't pretend to be something it isn’t. Still, it’s amazingly lightweight and durable.

All in all, it's a basic, low frills trap. And, its diamond design not only will provide great coverage, it provides more than enough coverage in virtually all weather conditions.​

Additional benefits include:

  • Comes with a stuff sack
  • Easy setup
  • Integrated guy line tensioners
  • Reinforced corners for more durability
  • Comes with 2 metal stakes and 3 guy lines with tensioner
  • Made out of 190R polyester with polyurethane coating
  • Comes with one year warranty
  • Weighs less than one pound
  • Great for backpacking
  • Keeps your hammock protect in all weather conditions
  • Offers extra large coverage
  • Comes with high visibility guy line with reflective traces so you can easily be spotted during the day or night
  • Big enough to provide coverage for most single or double size hammocks

Our Rating:

This particular tarp was designed by avid outdoorsmen and military veterans, making it one of the most versatile multi-purpose conditions including snow, rain, wind, and sun. It can also be used for various purposes like a lean-to shelter, pup tent, and more. In other words, this all weather shelter has endless possibilities, you are only limited by your imagination.

It’s ideal for those who want to move fast and travel light. All in all, it’s a perfect compliment to any outdoor pack and will provide the user with versatile protection from all weather conditions. It's designed to allow us to use it in a variety of tradition tarp configurations as more free standing style (with some help from additional equipment like paddles, walking poles, etc. It can be set up in virtually any environment, without a tree no less.

Other benefits include:

  • Measures 10 feet by to feet
  • Weighs about 2 pounds
  • Shaped like a rhombus
  • Perfect for wild camping, bushcraft, and more
  • Grommets on each corner
  • 100% waterproof
  • Comes with stuff sack
  • Very strong
  • Lightweight
  • Made from nylon
  • Great for all weather conditions
  • Can be used as pup tent, fly, lean-to shelter, emergency bivvy, etc
  • Decent number of webbing tabs on each side and across the spines
  • All seams are taped and sealed

Our Rating:

Because of its easy setup, this rain fly is great for both beginner and seasoned camping enthusiasts alike. And, because it's manufactured by Bear Butt, you can be sure that it's one of the finest on the market. If you don’t think this is true, simply use their easy money back promise to get a refund. Furthermore, you can still keep the rainfly.

Additional benefits include:

  • Comes with everything you need to make set up easy and quick
  • Comes with money back promise
  • Large enough to cover your hammock, your gear, and even a chair or two
  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Packs small
  • Can set up in less than one minute
  • Great prices
  • Taped seams
  • High-quality construction
  • Easily covers an 11 ft hammock
  • Comes with light reflective straps that are easy to spot at night
  • Lightweight
  • Easily fits in your gear pack

FAQ'S

How to Hang a Hammock Tarp

Hanging a hammock tarp is a lot easier to do than you may think, even if it’s your first time. Start by wrapping the standing end around wherever you are hanging it, such as on a tree, for example.

Next, you will need to continue to thread the line over top or underneath of your tarp to the other side.

FAQ best hammock tarp

Thread the standing end straight through to the other side of your tarp, tie it out, and then continue around the other side to the other tree, or wherever you’re hanging it.

Finally, tie a taut-line hitch, or another strong type of knot, to the other side of the tarp, and you’re done!

What Are Some of the Uses for a Hammock Tarp?

Hammock tarps are designed to keep you cover while you take a snooze in your hammock. For example, if you’re going camping in some rainy weather, a hammock tarp will help to keep you completely dry why you sleep. Other uses are to keep bugs off of you, keep the snow and cold away, etc.

Are Hammock Tarps Really Waterproof?

Most hammock tarps are made to be waterproof, but in the end, it all depends on the one you choose. If you need a waterproof hammock tarp, make sure you keep that factor into consideration when you’re looking at one you’d like to buy.

Both nylon and polyethylene tarps can be 100% waterproof, but, once again, it’s all in the details. Lightweight rain fly tarps, for example, are something you should look into if you want something that’s waterproof to keep you dry all night.

Do They Make a Hammock Tarp With Hammock Installed?

Yes, there are quite a few hammock tarps out there that come with a hammock directly installed out there. We’ll be doing a review on these later in the future, so check back soon!

Is it Best to Get a Hammock Tarp With a Bug Net or Without?

Even if the area you’re camping in doesn’t have too many bugs, nothing is more annoying than being woken up in the middle of the night because of them or discovering that you were eaten alive the night before.

In short, yes, it’s never a bad idea to invest in a hammock tarp with a bug net. We’ve done a full review on some of the best ones, which you can check out for yourself by clicking here!

Final Verdict

There’s no way around it, if you want to stay dry while hammock camping, you will need to invest in a trap. This will ensure that you have, at the very least, basic protection from the elements. In this way, there are few things in your backpack that will add more value than the tarp. They can even be used for multiple purposes, include a thermal blanket or a ground cloth. These elements can make all the difference between an enjoyable trip and one that isn't as fun. All the tarps listed above offers campers a comprehensive list of features for a decent price. In fact, it is in our humble option that they are the best in the market.




Jeffrey E. Cook
 

I write exclusive Guides, Reviews and How to's to inform and educate direct campers and hikers as well as intending hikers and campers on how to approach issues and have the type of experience and fun they desire.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments