The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping – Stay Dry and Comfortable!

The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping

Our team researched 12+ hours to select the Rain Fly EVOLUTION Camping Tarp as the best tarps for hammock camping. For 4-season camping we were blown away by the tent-like protection of the ENO HouseFly Rain Tarp.

As awesome as hammock camping is, uncooperative weather can quickly ruin your trip

The elements can wreak havoc on an exposed hammock, whether it’s a searingly hot sun or an unexpected rainshower. (Oh, and bugs don’t help either! Check out our favorite hammocks with mosquito netting!)

Bringing a camping tarp (otherwise known as a rainfly) is almost non-negotiable.

So to ensure you have the best trip possible, we wrangled up this list of our favorite tarps for hammock camping.

Our top choice is the Rain Fly EVOLUTION Camping Tarp. We were impressed by how well this tarp combines ample coverage and weather resistance with a lighter weight and price.

Meanwhile, the ENO HouseFly Rain Tarp is an incredible option for 4-season camping. It features 2 doors that can be left open on nice days or pulled shut like a tent if conditions deteriorate.

Table of Contents

Top Recommendations – The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping

Best Tarp for Hammock Camping Overall – Top Recommendations

Best 4-Season Tarps for Hammock Camping – Top Recommendations

Best Small Tarps for Hammock Camping – Top Recommendations

Best Large Tarps for Hammock Camping – Top Recommendations

In addition, we created this buyer’s guide so you can decide which tarp makes the most sense for your trip.

1. The Rain Fly EVOLUTION 12×10 Lightweight Camping Tarp – The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping

The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping
The Rain Fly EVOLUTION 12×10 Lightweight Camping Tarp
  • Space & comfort (40%) – 9/10, 12×10’ provides maximum protection from sun and rain
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 9/10, handles storms with ease
  • Build quality and durability (20%) – 6/10, guy lines are slightly weak; exchange them
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 8/10
  • Weight & Portability (5%) – 8/10, 1.5lbs is extremely lightweight, especially for the size

Best for: taller backpackers who want a large tarp for minimal cost and weight; $$

If you carry a lot of gear or are particularly tall, the Rain Fly EVOLUTION Camping Tarp is for you. 

At 12×10’, it provides ample coverage and protection from sun and rain.

And since the Rain Fly EVOLUTION offers UV protection, you’ll be cool and safe from the sun’s harmful rays in your own shaded canopy.

When it comes to rain, this tarp handles it like a champion. One camper particularly cited waiting out a 3-hour long storm with sustained gusts of around 45mph. 

Even so, the tents – and campers – beneath all stayed dry

That said, campers weren’t huge fans of the included guy lines. They felt too flimsy, but a quick change to paracord remedied the issue.

Pros – The Rain Fly EVOLUTION 12×10 Lightweight Camping Tarp

  • 12×10’ is quite large but weighs only 1.5lbs
  • Remains affordable, especially compared to other tarps of similar size
  • UV protection
  • 2000 PU nylon withstands heavy winds and rain

Cons – The Rain Fly EVOLUTION 12×10 Lightweight Camping Tarp

  • Guy lines are a little flimsy

2. The ENO HouseFly Rain Tarp – The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping

The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping
The ENO HouseFly Rain Tarp
  • Space & comfort (40%) – 8/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 9/10, extremely waterproof and windproof
  • Build quality and durability (20%) – 8/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 7/10
  • Weight & Portability (5%) – 8/10, take this 1lb, 9oz tarp anywhere

Best for: a backpacker willing to invest in an all-in-one, 4-season, tent-like solution; $$$

For backpackers who worry that the tarps presented thus far won’t cut it for extreme conditions, allow me to present the ENO HouseFly Rain Tarp.

This tarp is essentially a floating tent – it has 2 doors to prove it! 

The doors can be pulled shut when the weather starts getting severe to keep you warm and dry. Now there’s no chance of a chill blowing in at your head and feet.

Regarding staying dry, the ENO HouseFly is constructed of ripstop nylon and coated with silicone (not polyurethane!). Many users have waited out thunderstorms under the protection of this floating tent.

When the elements cooperate, you don’t need to worry about getting stuffy inside a tent cocoon. 

Instead, you can tuck away the doors for a more open, hammock-like experience. 

Finally, the ENO HouseFly can be your go-anywhere companion. That’s thanks to its meager weight of 1lb, 9oz, which makes it a perfect choice for backpackers

Pros – The ENO HouseFly Rain Tarp

  • Closing double doors provide tent-like coverage and protection.
  • Users have confirmed its hardy waterproofing abilities.
  • Extremely lightweight, it can be carried anywhere.
  • Doors can be folded back on nice days.

Cons – The ENO HouseFly Rain Tarp

  • Expensive option.

3. The Free Soldier Portable Tarp – The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping

The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping
The Free Soldier Portable Tarp
  • Space & comfort (40%) – 9/10, has been used to shelter 2-3 people
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 9/10, quite weatherproof
  • Build quality and durability (20%) – 8/10, campers were surprised at the quality build
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 7/10
  • Weight & Portability (5%) – 6/10, 2lbs isn’t super light

Best for: a camper looking for customizable and extremely weatherproof protection at an affordable price; $$

The Free Soldier Portable Tarp is a beast of a tarp shelter, capable of withstanding gusty winds and rains of lightning storms, as some reports have confirmed. 

Coupling a 2500 PU waterproof rating with heavy-duty 210D ripstop polyester materials, it’s little surprise that people have had such success with the Free Soldier in the field.

Users also praised its construction and overall durability. Some tarps have felt cheap, but the Free Soldier seems to go almost overboard, especially regarding reinforced and double stitching. 

Additionally, we were impressed by the crazy amount of guy points. 

This tarp has 19 of them, meaning you can set up the Free Soldier in almost every configuration imaginable. Need a lean-to shelter? Got it. How about a standard rectangle? Yep, no problem.

You can even use this tarp on the ground to provide tent-like protection. The front two flaps can be pulled almost shut with a single loop.

Lastly, the Free Soldier comes in at a pretty attractive price. This is almost astounding, considering all the protection and customization features.

Pros – The Free Soldier Portable Tarp

  • High amount of customization available for setup; 19 guy points.
  • Impressive weatherproof specs have proven themselves through bad weather.
  • Amazingly affordable option when you consider the features.

Cons – The Free Soldier Portable Tarp

  • Heavier weight of 2lbs.

4. The ENO ProFly Hammock Rain Tarp – The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping

The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock
The ENO ProFly Hammock Rain Tarp
  • Space & comfort (40%) – 6/10, could be larger.
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 8/10, incredibly tough in bad weather.
  • Build quality and durability (20%) – 8/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 8/10, users appreciate the easy pitch.
  • Weight & Portability (5%) – 8/10, 1lb, take it anywhere.

Best for: backpackers that want a no-fuss solution that’s incredibly lightweight and weatherproof; $$

If you’re looking for a no-nonsense, lightweight tarp for backpacking, the ENO ProFly Hammock Rain Tarp is where it’s at.

Weighing a mere 1lb, this tarp is a highly portable solution for any backpacking trip. 

But don’t mistake its lightweight for flimsiness; the ENO ProFly has earned its popularity. 

Campers have called it “bombproof” against storms, even withstanding hours of Alaskan downpours and the accompanying billowing winds.

Additionally, users have praised its’ easy pitch. Considering that it’s a simple rectangle with 6 guy points, this may be expected.

One major issue with the ENO ProFly is its size. There were a lot of concerns that the tarp is just a little too small. 

This could be a marketing move on ENO’s part since they offer an XL version, which provides an additional 2.5’ coverage.

So if the size is what’s holding you back, we’d suggest investing in the larger option.

Pros – The ENO ProFly Hammock Rain Tarp

  • Easy setup; no-fuss, no-frills
  • Exemplary weatherproofing; campers call it “bombproof” through storms
  • Lightweight means you can take it anywhere; 1lb

Cons – The ENO ProFly Hammock Rain Tarp

  • A little small, but an XL version is available
  • Somewhat pricey

5. The KALINCO Hammock Tarp – The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping

The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping
The KALINCO Hammock Tarp
  • Space & comfort (40%) – 7/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 8/10
  • Build quality and durability (20%) – 8/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 7/10
  • Weight & Portability (5%) – 6/10, 2.3 lbs, a bit much for a small tarp.

Best for: campers who want a versatile tarp in small and affordable size; $$

If you don’t need a large tarp, but you’re drawn to the numerous guy points featured on large tarps, the KALINCO Hammock Tarp could be a good fit.

At 10×10’, this is certainly a small but mighty package. It’s large enough to offer sufficient protection from the elements while remaining a manageable size.

More importantly, it’s equipped with a whopping 19 guy points. That’s a large amount for such a small space! 

Thanks to this, you’ve got plenty of setup options, regardless of your surroundings.

When it comes to weatherproofing, the KALINCO’s got your back. It features a 210T polyester build, coated with 3000mm PU to keep you dry.

Pros – The KALINCO Hammock Tarp

  • The small size still carries 19 guy points for any configuration.
  • 3000mm PU coating for superior resistance to rain.
  • Seam taped.
  • Comes in a 10×15’ version if needed.

Cons – The KALINCO Hammock Tarp

  • Heavier at 2.3 lbs; somewhat disappointing considering its small size.

6. The Azarxis Hammock Camping Tarp Rain Fly – The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping

The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping
The Azarxis Hammock Camping Tarp Rain Fly
  • Space & comfort (40%) – 5/10, too small for some campers
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 8/10, good weatherproof specs for a budget option
  • Build quality and durability (20%) – 7/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 7/10
  • Weight & Portability (5%) – 9/10, astonishingly lightweight: 10oz

Best for: a smaller camper looking to try out hammock camping with little financial commitment; $

We get it – camping is expensive. So if you’re trying to cut costs while still gearing up for hammock camping, check out the Azarxis Hammock Camping Tarp.

Surprisingly, this tarp carries some decent weatherproofing specs. Made of 1,500mm coated polyester, you can rest assured that you and your gear will be kept dry.

But there’s a small caveat to that rain coverage: this tarp won’t offer that much shelter from the rain if you’re a taller camper.

Unfortunately, the Azarxis’ overall dimensions are 7.5 x 4.5’, making this the smallest tarp on our list. 

Yet, to be fair, this is an incredibly affordable model; tradeoffs have to happen somewhere! Not to mention, the entire package only weighs a mere 10oz. 

This makes it an appealing choice for someone looking to travel light. It could also be attractive to anyone wanting to dip a toe into hammock camping without breaking the bank.

Pros – The Azarxis Hammock Camping Tarp Rain Fly

  • Incredibly affordable option
  • 10oz weight is super light
  • 1,500mm waterproof rating and PU coating is surprising for a cheaper product

Cons – The Azarxis Hammock Camping Tarp Rain Fly

  • Extremely small tarp won’t offer full coverage to taller campers

7. The Kelty Noah’s Tarp – The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping

The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping
The Kelty Noah’s Tarp
  • Space & comfort (40%) – 8/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 8/10, highly waterproof.
  • Build quality and durability (20%) – 8/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 7/10
  • Weight & Portability (5%) – 6/10, not the lightest choice.

Best for: campers looking for multiple configuration and size options; $$

If you’re searching for a tarp that will work for 1 camper or 16, the Kelty Noah’s Tarp could be a great fit.

This diamond tarp comes in 9’, 12’, and 16’ options, though we’d recommend the 12’ as the sweet spot between coverage, weight, and price.

Speaking of weight, the Kelty Noah is definitely one of the heavier options on our list. The 12’ option weighs in at 2.3 lbs, so this probably isn’t optimal for a long-distance backpacker.

On the bright side, this tarp offers a high level of customization regarding setup options. 

Featuring 19 guy points, you’ll be able to pitch the tarp in various ways to maximize coverage and keep you and your gear dry.

For weatherproofing, the Kelty Noah lives up to the flood reference in its name. 

It’s fully seam-taped, and the no-snag coated polyester fabric can be pitched quite tight to allow for easy rain runoff.

Pros – The Kelty Noah’s Tarp

  • Multiple sizes for different groups; 9’, 12’, 16’
  • Lots of guy points for custom setups
  • Highly waterproof according to numerous campers
  • Reported to keep cool in 90 degree days
  • Corner pocket is a great bonus for storing the guy lines when not in use

Cons – The Kelty Noah’s Tarp

  • Heavier weight; not the best for backpackers
  • Have to purchase the poles separately

8. The Gold Armour Rainfly – The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping

The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping
The Gold Armour Rainfly
  • Space & comfort (40%) – 9/10, 12×10’ is plenty of space.
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 9/10, amazing in the water.
  • Build quality and durability (20%) – 7/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 7/10
  • Weight & Portability (5%) – 6/10, a little heavy at 2.5 lbs.

Best for: a camper who needs an incredibly waterproof shelter for soggy areas; $$

If you’re looking for a flexible hexagon tarp to accompany you on rainy-day trips, consider the Gold Armour Rainfly. 

The 12×10’ shape provides more than enough room for your hammock and gear and extra space for a camp chair if desired. Lounge in your personal canopy, rain or shine!

It’s equipped with a massive 25 guy points, meaning you can rig it up however you want. Additionally, the extra guy points mean you’ll never be put in an un-pitchable position.

Regarding weather protection, the Gold Armour Rainfly doesn’t mess around.

It boasts a 5,000mm waterproof rating, the highest on our list. But of course, we know that HH ratings aren’t the only factor in staying dry.

Thankfully, the proof is in the harrowing stories of campers, who recount taking shelter amid 30mph winds. The tarp withstood the wind without damage, nor did it leak or sag in the rain.

As such, it’ll make an ideal companion for damp weather.

Pros – The Gold Armour Rainfly

  • 12×10’ hexagon is large enough to sit on a chair
  • 25 guy points allow you to configure the tarp any way you’d like
  • A massive 5,000mm rating has proved that HH numbers matter after all

Cons – The Gold Armour Rainfly

  • 2.5lbs is a little heavier than desired

How to Choose the Best Tarp for Hammock Camping – The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping

At first glance, tarps seem like incredibly simple pieces of gear. 

But there’s a bit more to tarps than meets the eye. A good tarp will not only meet the needs of your specific trip, but it’ll also be packable and easy to carry.

So, let’s check out a few things to remember when picking your new tarp.

(Heads up! Did you know tarps vs tents for backpacking is actually a hotly debated topic in the outdoors world? Check it out in our article!)

Size – How to Choose the Best Tarp for Hammock Camping

Tarps are rated at two different capacities but come in several sizes.

It’s common to see single-person and double-person tarps, but you can usually get away with a single tarp even if you’re camping with someone else. 

Two people don’t typically hang their hammocks in the same two trees.

Like the ENO ProFly Hammock Rain Tarp, a single tarp is generally around 9-10’ wide by 6-9’ long. If you have a lot of gear you want to keep protected, err on the side of a wider tarp for more coverage.

Regardless of your choice, just remember that your tarp should extend at least 6-12” beyond the hammock on either end.

Shape – How to Choose the Best Tarp for Hammock Camping

The simple rectangle is the most recognizable tarp shape, seen here on the Rain Fly EVOLUTION Camping Tarp

It’s the same concept as an A-frame-style tent. Simply fold the tarp in half and hang it over the ridgeline. 

Rectangle tarps are ideal for maximum coverage and ease of setup. However, some campers dislike the extra weight of the full rectangle shape.

Hexagon-shaped tarps, such as the Gold Armour Rainfly Tarp Hammock, are also quite common. 

They’re especially favored among lightweight backpackers since it uses slightly less material than rectangle tarps and is, therefore, less weighty.

Finally, we have tent tarps, sometimes called winter tarps. 

As their name implies, tent tarps wrap around you like a tent or a cocoon. They provide unrivaled coverage and protection from the elements. 

(To learn how to stay even more warm and protected while hammock camping, we wrote all about this as we attempted to settle the question of sleeping pad vs underquilt in hammocks)

Thanks to their robust nature, unlike the other tarp shapes, can be used in all four seasons. The Free Soldier Portable Tarp is a great example of a sturdy and waterproof shelter.

Guy Points – How to Choose the Best Tarp for Hammock Camping

Similar to tents, the areas where the ropes stake down your tarp are called guy points. 

These areas are subjected to the most amount of tension. Thus, they must withstand a lot of force when strong winds kick up.

Typically, you’ll see 6 guy points on a standard rectangle tarp. However, it’s always great to see more guy points because they dictate how many configurations the tarp can be pitched in.

Kelty Noah’s Tarp is an example of a tarp that features extra guy points.

Materials – How to Choose the Best Tarp for Hammock Camping

Nylon is pretty much acknowledged as the champion of synthetic fabrics. It’s incredibly lightweight while still remaining surprisingly durable. See, for instance, the ENO ProFly Hammock Rain Tarp.

Because of this, you’ll see nylon featured on pretty much any outdoor product, from tents hammocks, and tarps.

Meanwhile, polyester is a close runner-up. It’s often used on car camping tents and anything meant to be a little bulkier. 

This is due to polyester’s heavier weight. But on the bright side, this tradeoff results in a much more affordable fabric than nylon. 

Weather Protection – How to Choose the Best Tarp for Hammock Camping

Since you’re looking for a tarp primarily to offer protection from the elements, it’s important to pay close attention to its weatherproofing.

First, we suggest checking a tarp’s hydrostatic head (or HH) rating. In a nutshell, this number indicates in millimeters how much water can build up before the fabric leaks.

It’s also critical to check other factors, like whether or not a tarp is equipped with taped seams. 

Seams will always be a potential weak point where water can sneak in through the fabric’s pinholes. 

To combat this, some tarp manufacturers lay down a thin layer of polyurethane to plug up those pesky pinholes.

Lastly, look for tarps coated with either silicone or polyurethane. These coatings further boost a tarp’s waterproofing capabilities. 

If you’re interested in learning more about weatherproofing, check out our article on the 10 best tents for bad weather.

Conclusion: Final Verdict – The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping

The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping
The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping

To sum it all up, our favorite tarp for hammock camping is the Rain Fly EVOLUTION Camping Tarp

Offering an ample 12×10’ of coverage, it still only weighs in at 1.5 lbs. In addition, it’s equipped with UV protection and a 2000 PU coating that’s protected campers in both rain and sun.

Yet even with all this, it manages to remain wildly affordable.

For 4-season camping, we loved the ENO HouseFly Rain Tarp

This tarp is a floating tent – pull the doors shut when it rains or leave them open when the weather is fair. 

This tarp can accompany you on even the most harrowing of adventures thanks to its insulation, waterproofing properties, and lightweight.

Frequently Asked Questions – The 8 Best Tarps for Hammock Camping

1. What are the Different Types of Tarps Available for Hammock Camping? – FAQs

Many types of tarps are available for hammock camping, including UV-resistant, waterproof, and lightweight nylon tarps. Some specialty tarps, such as shape-shifting hexagonal tarps or double-layered shelters made of mesh and ripstop nylon, also exist.

2. How Do I Decide Which Size and Shape Tarp I Should Buy? – FAQs

The size and shape of the tarp you should buy will depend on your intended use. If you plan to use it as an emergency shelter during unexpected weather conditions, you can opt for a more basic rectangular tarp that is large enough to cover your hammock in case bad weather strikes. Meanwhile, if you plan to use it more extensively for lightweight backcountry trips, then you may want to purchase something like a hexagonal or diamond-shaped tarp that offers optimal coverage while still keeping weight and bulkiness down.

3. Are There Any Special Considerations to Make When Selecting a Tarp for Hammock Camping? – FAQs

When selecting a tarp for hammock camping, consider factors such as the type and material used (e.g.: ripstop or mesh), the waterproof rating (e.g.: 5k or 10k mm), its size (width & length) in relation to the size of your hammock bed, whether or not it comes with grommets/tie-outs/etc; features like guyline loops/stake pockets – all these things will provide greater flexibility when setting up your shelter system in various environments around the world!

4. Are There Any Benefits or Drawbacks to Using a Tarp for Hammock Camping? – FAQs

The primary benefit of using a tarp for hammock camping is its quick setup time due to its lighter weight compared to tents and providing additional protection against rain and sun by creating shade over top of your bedding area. One potential drawback is the lack of protection from bugs since many tarps don’t include built-in bug netting; however, they typically offer plenty of ventilation needed while sleeping out under the stars!

5. What Types of Materials are Used in Making Tarps for Hammock Camping? – FAQs

Tarps specifically designed for hammock camping are typically made from ripstop nylon or mesh fabrics to strike a balance between durability and lightness without compromising on quality standards such as waterproofing capabilities. Popular manufacturers like ENO often utilize proprietary materials such as their own “Ventrix” fabric, which provides superior airflow yet retains excellent resistance against UV rays and rain showers!

6. Where Can I Find Good Quality Tarps Suitable for Hammock Camping? – FAQs

Many brands offer high-quality tarps suitable for hammock camping ranging from renowned manufacturers such ENO Hammocks, who specialize in this type of gear, to smaller family-run companies producing traditional style square cut shelters with durable grosgrain grooves perfect even novice campers!

7. Is it Worth Investing in an Additional Tie-Out System When Purchasing a Tarp? – FAQs

Yes, investing in an additional tie-out system when purchasing a tarp allows campers more freedom when customizing their own unique setups tailored specifically to their needs; be it extra anchoring points, useful open areas where trees may not be present or adjustable lengths enabling them quickly adjust height settings depending upon location – packing some extra guylines can go a long way offering campers increased flexibility setup no matter situation might arise!

Ben Wann- Tent Camping Expert

My name is Ben Wann, and I’m a lifelong tent camper and backpacker who jumps on every opportunity to get out and enjoy nature! I created this site to inspire others to get outside and to make the process easier for you.