8 of The Best Hammock Tarps of 2017 – 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.

best hammock tarps

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

Considerations when Choosing a Hammock Tarp

When it comes to tarps, your preference will determine the kind that you need. There are those who prefer skimpy coverage and those that want full. There's no wrong or right answer here and your choice will be depended on a variety of factors that include durability, versatility, coverage, and weight.

  • Tarp Size: When it comes to tarp size, the first thing you will need is something that provides adequate coverage for your hammock. In other words, the ideal tarp will extend at least 8 inches past the ends of your hammock. This will make sure that your ends stay dry, which is important because if they get wet, water can seep into your hammock in the night. Typically, a 12-foot long tarp provides enough coverage for the average camping hammock. But, there are still other considerations, for instance, a big tarp will provide complete coverage when dealing with bad weather. But, the downside is that they tend to be heavier and have limited ventilation, which can lead to condensation forming in your hammock. In other words, you may wake to find yourself covered in sweat. If you are not expecting bad weather, a smaller tarp will be less. These tend to be lighter and encourage more airflow.
  • Tarp Shape: Typically, tarps come in square, catenary, hexagonal, or irregular shapes and each one provides different coverage. In addition, they have different anchor points, which can affect the simplicity of your hammock set up.
  • Tarp Materials: When choosing a tarp, you must keep in mind that the ideal material is lightweight and saves space. Heavy tarps can be a problem because they can be noisy, especially during a storm.
  • Tarp Weight: Camping sometimes requires miles of hiking before you get to a suitable site to lay your head and rest. After a few miles of trekking through the wilderness, 20 pounds can seem like a 100. Thus it’s safe to say that the amount of weight that you can car. Thus, it’s important that your tarp is lightweight.

​ Best Hammock Tarps

Our Rating:

This tarp 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 polyester fabric that is very water resistant, while still remaining lightweight. Furthermore, it has taped seams that were specifically designed to prevent any water breaches. 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
  • Sturdy but lightweight
  • Made with water resistant polyester
  • Seams are taped to prevent water from breaching
  • Great for backpacking, camping, etc.
  • Easy setup
  • Durable
  • Easy on the eyes
  • 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

willing to buy a hammock? Check out 8 of the best camping hammocks of 2017

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

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.

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