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Best Tarp 2024 for Camping, Trekking, Bushcraft, Outdoor (with Buying Guide and Recommendation)

Find the best tarps 2024 for camping, trekking, bushcraft, outdoor. Learn in the buying guide what you should definitely pay attention to when buying a tarp.

from Martin Gebhardt | Gear | no comment yet | reading time 26 Min
Updated on 12 June 2024 90.419 views 100% found this guide helpful
Best Tarp 2024 for Camping, Trekking, Bushcraft, Outdoor (with Buying Guide and Recommendation)

Martin Gebhardt

From Martin Gebhardt. Check out my “About me” page.


👉 The key facts from this guide

  • A tarp is a versatile tarpaulin that can be used as a tent, rain shelter, sunshade, awning, sleeping bag cover, groundsheet, windbreak or outdoor shelter.
  • There are different types of tarps, including square or rectangular tarps that are often used as sunshades, shelters or for camping. The size of the tarp depends on your specific needs.
  • The Unigear Tarp is a good choice for beginners as it is a good compromise between durability, lightweightness, and flexibility.
  • The DD Hammocks tarp, the MC 4 x 4 Camo, is made of ripstop nylon and is 100% waterproof. It is ideal for groups and offers plenty of space.
  • The Aqua Quest Defender Tarp is sturdy and reliable, made of 100% waterproof, durable nylon, and is UV-resistant.
  • The AMAZONAS Ultra-Light Adventure Tarp is perfect for outdoor trips as it is ultra-lightweight and therefore easy to carry.

When it comes to finding the best tarp for your outdoor needs, there are a few things you should consider.

Firstly: What do you want to use the tarp for? There are different tarps for different activities, so it is important to find one that is suitable for your specific needs.

Secondly: What is your budget? Tarps can cost anywhere from a few euros to hundreds of euros, so it's important to find a product that fits within your budget.

And finally: What size and weight should the tarp you need have?

Lighter and smaller tarps are easier to transport and set up, but they may not be large enough to cover all of your equipment. Heavier and larger tarps can be more difficult to transport and set up, but they offer more protection.

Now that you know what to look for, here is my selection of the best tarps for 2022:

Tarp Test Overview: Which Tarps are the Best?

Do you want to get started right away?

First is the Unigear Tarp, and I recommend it to you if you don't already have a tarp and want to get one.

Unigear Hammock Rain Fly Waterproof Tent Tarp, 9.8x9.8ft, UV Protection and PU 3000mm Waterproof, Lightweight for Camping, Backpacking and Outdoor Adventure

Data updated 8 hours ago

Unigear Hammock Rain Fly Waterproof Tent Tarp, 9.8x9.8ft, UV Protection and PU 3000mm Waterproof, Lightweight for Camping, Backpacking and Outdoor Adventure

  • STAY DRY IN THE RAIN: Unigear tent tarp is made of super strong 210D rip-stop Oxford fabric, PU 3000mm waterproof. It offers an excellent protection against rain, sudden downpours, snow and high winds. Open size is 300x300cm/10x10ft.
  • NO MORE RIPPING & LEAKING: To offer a safer and tougher shelter, all the 8 fix points on the rain fly are reinforced a triangle dual layer. Besides, all fix points are used double reinforced stitches, which can prevent ripping and leaking even in extreme conditions.
  • BLOCK THE SUN: Coated with PU Inner layer, Unigear lightweight tarp can provide a UV protection in the sun. Perfects for hammock camping, backpacking, hiking, or other adventure.
  • MULTIPLE USES: The rain fly can be widely used as survival tarp, hammock shelter, outdoor kitchen cover, simple tent, tent footprint, ground sheet and instant shade. Come with 6 stakes and 6 ropes, you can set up different shapes easily.
  • AFTER-SALES SERVICE: If you meet the installtion or any quality problems, please simply e-mail us the problem at any time, and we’ll take care of you.

$25.99

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Here are my 9 best compact tarps summarized in a table.

Tarp Weight Price
The all-rounder: Unigear Tarp 1.02 - 1.67 kg $
Proven and robust: DD Hammocks Tarp MC 4 x 4 Camo 1.29 kg $$
Cheap and durable: Aqua Quest Defender Tarp 1.69 - 2.08 kg $$
Brand quality: AMAZONAS Ultra-Light Adventure 0.380 kg $$$
Large and durable: AMAZONAS Ultra-Light Traveller Tarp XXL 1.06 kg $$
Perfect for one person: PURE HANG Premium Tarp 0.95 kg $
Cheap: KALINCO Tarp 1.08 kg $
For beginners: FREE SOLDIER Tarp 3 x 3.2 m 1 kg $
Lightweight for trekking: Sea to Summit Escapist 0.3 to 0.44 kg $$$

Now you can see that there are quite heavy tarps and also very light ones. The heavier tarps are all suitable for Bushcrafting or camping where you don't hike much.

However, if you go on a trekking tour, you cannot carry a 2 kg tarp with accessories. For this requirement, you should definitely rely on an ultra-light tarp, such as the AMAZONAS Ultra-Light Adventure or the Sea to Summit Escapist.

But let's now really get into the topic and start with what a tarp actually is.

What is a Tarp?

A tarp is a sheet that can be used like a tent. The sheet is usually made of a lightweight, tear-resistant material that can withstand the elements.

Tarp tents are usually of high quality and can be expensive. When choosing a tarp, make sure it is suitable for your planned outdoor activity. You can buy tarps in most outdoor stores or online outdoor shops.

A tarp is a piece of fabric or other flexible material used to provide protection from rain, snow, or wind. It is often used for overnight stays during bushcrafting, trekking, or survival training.
A tarp is a piece of fabric or other flexible material used to provide protection from rain, snow, or wind. It is often used for overnight stays during bushcrafting, trekking, or survival training.

Who are tarps suitable for?

A tarp can be a suitable solution for someone who wants to travel light and easy, prefers sleeping closer to nature than in a tent, or needs a sun protection while camping.

Typically, people who consider trekking as their hobby prefer to use a tarp because it is available in ultralight versions. But also Bushcrafters, who like to camp in a more natural way in the forest, mostly use a tarp to spend the night.

Tarps are also a great option for those who need extra protection from the elements. A tarp can be used as a groundsheet or to protect important utensils from the elements, making them a versatile tool for campers and hikers.

In summer as well as in winter, a tarp is a great way for a bushcrafter to protect their sleeping area from the elements
In summer as well as in winter, a tarp is a great way for a bushcrafter to protect their sleeping area from the elements

What types of tent tarps and tarps are there?

There are different types of tarps or tarps that can be used for different purposes. The most common type is the square or rectangular tarp, which is often used as a sunshade, shelter or for camping.

These tarps are available in different sizes, such as 4 x 4, 3 x 3 m or 4 x 6 m. The size you choose depends on the purpose for which you are using the tarp. A smaller tarp may be sufficient, for example, for sun protection, while a larger tarp may be required for a shelter.

The accessories for tarps include pegs and poles, which are used to secure the tarps and provide additional support. Finally, there are also triangular tarps that can be used as awnings or shelters.

What can a tarp be used for?

A tarp can be used for a variety of purposes, such as a tent, rain shelter, sun shade, awning, sleeping bag cover, groundsheet, windbreak or outdoor shelter. In an emergency, you can also use a tarp to collect rainwater or as an improvised duffel bag.

There are many display options that can be used depending on the purpose. They are well suited for a variety of activities and models.

There is the A-frame construction form, where your tarp is set up like an A. The setup can be close to the ground or higher up - either you are protected or you have more airflow.

The Tarp Setup Flying A-Frame - Great View and Close to Nature, but Exposed to the Elements
The Tarp Setup Flying A-Frame - Great View and Close to Nature, but Exposed to the Elements

Tarps are also waterproof and provide excellent sun and rain protection. They are a great addition to any camping equipment and the pack size usually doesn't matter.

They can be quickly and easily assembled, making them a great choice for a variety of situations.

Also read

35 tarp hacks that every outdoor lover should know - Think you know your tarp? Think again! I reveal 35 incredible tarp tricks that will take your outdoor experience to the next level.

Checklist: What distinguishes the best tarps?

When it comes to tarps, size matters. The best tarps are large enough to cover everything you need, but not so large that they are difficult to carry, unwieldy, or difficult to set up.

Square tarps are often the best choice as they provide the greatest protection and are still relatively easy to handle.

Guy lines and poles are essential for securing your tarp, and stakes can help keep it in place. Make sure you have everything you need before heading into the wilderness - a checklist will help you not forget anything important.

Here's what you need for a tarp setup:

  1. Tarp
  2. Guy ropes
  3. Pegs for various set-up forms
  4. Possibly, a tarpaulin that you use as a base

What skills you need:

Bestseller: My 9 most popular tarps and recommendations

Below, I have selected and evaluated the best tarps for you. Based on the facts as well as the pros and cons, you can compare the tarps.

The All-Rounder: Unigear Tarp, Waterproof, with Eyelets + 6 Pegs + 6 Ropes

The Unigear Tarp is a waterproof tarp equipped with eyelets and 6 pegs. It also includes 6 ropes for easy setup. This tarp is great for camping, bushcraft, or other outdoor activities where you need protection from the elements.

Unigear Hammock Rain Fly Waterproof Tent Tarp, 9.8x9.8ft, UV Protection and PU 3000mm Waterproof, Lightweight for Camping, Backpacking and Outdoor Adventure

Data updated 8 hours ago

Unigear Hammock Rain Fly Waterproof Tent Tarp, 9.8x9.8ft, UV Protection and PU 3000mm Waterproof, Lightweight for Camping, Backpacking and Outdoor Adventure

  • STAY DRY IN THE RAIN: Unigear tent tarp is made of super strong 210D rip-stop Oxford fabric, PU 3000mm waterproof. It offers an excellent protection against rain, sudden downpours, snow and high winds. Open size is 300x300cm/10x10ft.
  • NO MORE RIPPING & LEAKING: To offer a safer and tougher shelter, all the 8 fix points on the rain fly are reinforced a triangle dual layer. Besides, all fix points are used double reinforced stitches, which can prevent ripping and leaking even in extreme conditions.
  • BLOCK THE SUN: Coated with PU Inner layer, Unigear lightweight tarp can provide a UV protection in the sun. Perfects for hammock camping, backpacking, hiking, or other adventure.
  • MULTIPLE USES: The rain fly can be widely used as survival tarp, hammock shelter, outdoor kitchen cover, simple tent, tent footprint, ground sheet and instant shade. Come with 6 stakes and 6 ropes, you can set up different shapes easily.
  • AFTER-SALES SERVICE: If you meet the installtion or any quality problems, please simply e-mail us the problem at any time, and we’ll take care of you.

$25.99

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Cheap and reliable, the Unigear Tarp is my recommendation for beginners. The tarp is a successful compromise between robustness, lightness, and flexibility.

The Unigear Tarp 3 x 4 meters in use in the forest with a hammock
The Unigear Tarp 3 x 4 meters in use in the forest with a hammock

Facts:

  • Sizes:
    • 3 x 3 m
    • 3 x 4 m
    • 3 x 5 m
  • Packed size:
    • 3 x 3 m: 28.7 x 18.29 x 10.41 cm
    • 3 x 4 m: 31 x 19.8 x 10 cm
    • 3 x 5 m: 38 x 17.1 x 13.6 cm
  • Weight:
    • 3 x 3 m: 1.02 kg
    • 3 x 4 m: 1.29 kg
    • 3 x 5 m: 1.67 kg
  • Water column: 3000 mm

Advantages

Does not rustle

Cheap

Robust

Seams cleanly sewn and tear-resistant

Disadvantages

Only 8 attachment points

Proven and Robust: DD Hammocks Tarp MC 4 x 4 Camo

The tarp from DD Hammocks, the MC 4 x 4 Camo, is made of rip stop nylon and is 100% waterproof. It includes 4 pegs, 4 guy lines of 2 meters each, and is 4 x 4 meters in size. It weighs 1290 grams without pegs and lines.

DD Hammocks Tarp 4x4 - MC (13ft x13ft**) - 100% Waterproof - Lightweight & Multifunctional Rainfly Square Camo Tarp Tent Group Shelter for Camping Bushcraft & Scouts

Data updated one hour ago

DD Hammocks Tarp 4x4 - MC (13ft x13ft**) - 100% Waterproof - Lightweight & Multifunctional Rainfly Square Camo Tarp Tent Group Shelter for Camping Bushcraft & Scouts

  • Mulitple set up options - Ideal for team or group shelters - it can cover a small number of hammocks, provide day shelter for team activities. You can also set it up on the ground as a tarp tent or bivi
  • Built to last: 19 tough reinforced attachment points - the central seams are taped and fully waterproof. All side attachment points have reinforced PVC patches and are incredibly strong
  • Strong and Stormproof: Made from 190Tpolyester with a PU 3000mm waterproof coating to provide protection against the harshest of elements
  • Packs down small to fit into most rucksack or daysacks. Included with shelter for quick set up; 4 x pegs, 4 x guy ropes, stuff sack. 45oz (excl. pegs & guy lines)
  • Blend into nature: DD Multicam camo pattern allows you to keep your favourite campsite hidden in a huge range of natural outdoor environments

$99.95

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You can already tell that the tarp is quite heavy, but it offers a lot of space. 4 x 4 meters is great for sheltering your equipment or sleeping two people underneath.

Furthermore, the tarp offers enough attachment options (19 attachment points, including 5 attachment points in the ridge area) and it hardly makes any noise in the wind. It is also inconspicuous because it does not reflect sunlight. It is pretty well camouflaged in our latitudes due to its relatively good camouflage pattern.

Facts:

  • Size: 4 x 4 m
  • Packed size: not specified
  • Weight: 1.29 kg
  • Water column: 3000 mm

Advantages

Tear-resistant rip stop nylon

100% waterproof

Camouflage pattern

Suitable for groups

19 attachment points

Disadvantages

Expensive

Heavy

Affordable and Durable: Aqua Quest Defender Tarp - 100% Waterproof, Tough Nylon

If you're looking for a sturdy and reliable tarp, the Aqua Quest Defender is a great choice. It's made of 100% waterproof, tough nylon and is built to withstand the elements and keep your gear dry.

AquaQuest Defender Camping Tarp - Heavy Duty Tent Shelter or Rain Fly - Waterproof Camping Essentials for Hiking, Bushcraft & Hammock, 13 x 10 ft, Woodland Camo
4,4 (1733)

Data updated 10 hours ago

AquaQuest Defender Camping Tarp - Heavy Duty Tent Shelter or Rain Fly - Waterproof Camping Essentials for Hiking, Bushcraft & Hammock, 13 x 10 ft, Woodland Camo

  • SUPERIOR QUALITY materials and precise fabrication go into each and every AquaQuest camping tarp. Established in 1994, AQ is the tarp brand you can trust for maximum confidence in your shelter.
  • MOST WATERPROOF camping tarp on the market. The Defender's unique dual coating formula produces an industry-leading waterproof rating of 20,000 mm, keeping you dry and comfortable even in the most extreme conditions.
  • HEAVY DUTY nylon fabric, rugged webbing tie-outs, reinforced ridgelines, and burly stitching have earned the Defender a reputation as the toughest tarp for camping and bushcraft.
  • THE DEFENDER 13 x 10 (Large) Tarp has 25 tie-outs, weighs 4.2 lbs and provides up to 122 ft² of coverage. The ample dimensions mean that ridgelines can be effectively run either length or widthwise, enabling more pitch options. Can accommodate up to 4 users.
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY included on all AquaQuest products, plus knowledgeable and responsive Customer Service based in the USA & Canada. With 30 years of experience, enjoy full confidence and no risk from a proven industry leader.

$139.99

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It's also UV-resistant and features reinforced grommets for added durability. Whether you use it as a shelter, ground cover, or for storage, the Aqua Quest Defender provides the protection you need.

Facts:

  • Sizes:
    • 3 x 3 m
    • 3 x 4 m
  • Packed Size:
    • 3 x 3 m: 38 x 21.2 x 8.3 cm
    • 4 x 3 m: 37.8 x 17.6 x 9.6 cm
  • Weight:
    • 3 x 3 m: 1.69 kg
    • 4 x 3 m: 2.08 kg
  • Waterproof Rating: 2000 mm

Advantages

Material 70D Nylon

Heavy TPU Coating

Reinforced Seams

Heat Sealed Seams

19 Tie-Down Points

Disadvantages

No Camouflage Style on the Inside

Heavy

Brand Quality: AMAZONAS Ultra-Light Adventure Tarp 340 x 280 cm, 380 grams

This ultra-light adventure tarp is perfect for your next outdoor excursion. With a size of 340 x 280 cm, the AMAZONAS Ultra-Light Tarp weighs only 380 grams and is therefore easy to carry.

AMAZONAS Ultra-Light Adventure Tarp 340 x 280 cm Eigengewicht 380 Gramm

Data updated 8 hours ago

AMAZONAS Ultra-Light Adventure Tarp 340 x 280 cm Eigengewicht 380 Gramm

  • Durable lightweight hammock tarp
  • unisex
  • One Size
  • Mountaineering and Hiking / Camping

no price can be determined (B071X71181)

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It is made of durable rip stop fabric and has welded seams for added stability. Thanks to the surrounding eyelets, it can be set up and taken down easily.

The included pack sack ensures compact storage. Whether you're hiking with a backpack, camping, or just spending time in the great outdoors, this tarp is awesome.

Together with the "Adventure Mosquito Hammock Thermo" and the "Adventure Ropes", it makes up the world's lightest hanging tent (approx. 940 grams).

Facts:

  • Size: 3.48 x 2.8 m
  • Pack size: 24.2 x 17 x 7.8 cm
  • Weight: 380 g
  • Water column: 2000 mm

Advantages

Extra stable nylon rip stop (20 D) with high-quality silicone 2-fold coating

Featherweight

Adjustable carabiners and Y-aluminum pegs

German brand manufacturer that has been developing outdoor products for over 25 years

Disadvantages

Small

Somewhat expensive

Large and Durable: AMAZONAS Ultra-Light Traveller Tarp XXL

The Amazonas Ultra-Light Traveller Tarp XXL is a weatherproof and waterproof tarp made of 100% rip stop polyester. It is coated with PUR (polyurethane) to provide additional protection against the elements.

This tarp is 400 x 300 cm in size, weighs 1.06 kilograms, and has a water column of 3000 mm. It is available in the color green.

AMAZONAS Hammock tarp, 100% Ripstop Polyester (210T), PUR-Coated, Green, XX-Large
4,5 (33)

Data updated 10 hours ago

AMAZONAS Hammock tarp, 100% Ripstop Polyester (210T), PUR-Coated, Green, XX-Large

  • Extra large XXL 12 m² tarp from Amazon
  • Ultra lightweight with a weight of only 1.06 kg
  • Extremely waterproof and tear-resistant 100% ripstop polyester (210T), PUR-coated
  • Super versatile as a rain roof, awning, wind protection, weather protection
  • Many features such as 4 additional eyelets for securing on the side edges, storage pockets for the ropes, adjustable carabiner and 4 Y-pegs

no price can be determined (B07CCKXRP6)

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This tarp is ideal for camping, backpacking, and hiking. It is made of strong, tear-resistant material and has reinforced eyelets for added durability. The tarp also includes storage bags for ropes and pegs as well as a high water column.

Facts:

  • Size: 4 x 3 m
  • Packed size: 30.5 x 12 cm
  • Weight: 1.06 kg
  • Water column: 3000 mm

Advantages

Large tent tarp

With accessories (pegs, guy ropes)

Includes storage bags for ropes

High water column

Reinforced eyelets

Durable material

Disadvantages

Somewhat heavy

Perfect for one person: PURE HANG Premium Tent Tarp 3 x 3 m for Hammock, Outdoor, Camping

The high-quality tent tarp from PURE HANG is 100% waterproof and has eyelets for easy hanging. It is perfect as a sunshade, umbrella, or rain protection for bushcraft or camping. It is ultra-light and compact and can be easily taken on your next adventure.

Camping Tarp by NatEtoile - Versatile 10X10 ft Portable Rain Fly for Hammock with 19 Tie-Outs,PU 5000mm Waterproof Sunproof Tarp Shelter - Ideal for Camping, Hiking, Backpacking, and Hammock Cover

Data updated 8 hours ago

Camping Tarp by NatEtoile - Versatile 10X10 ft Portable Rain Fly for Hammock with 19 Tie-Outs,PU 5000mm Waterproof Sunproof Tarp Shelter - Ideal for Camping, Hiking, Backpacking, and Hammock Cover

  • ✔️ 𝐌𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐩𝐮𝐫𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞: Featuring 19 tie-out points and 10x10ft square shape, the camping tarp easily adapts to meet a range of needs. Whether using it as a rain fly for a hammock, covering for a tent, survival shelter, sunshade, tarp tent, footprint, or picnic mat, this tarp transitions seamlessly. Perfect for camping, hiking, fishing, backpacking, and any of your outdoor exploits, it's a must-have for your gear collection.
  • ✔️𝐖𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐨𝐟: The heavy duty tent tarp for camping is crafted from 210T ripstop fabric featuring a PU5000mm coating, ensuring remarkable water resistance and superb waterproof capabilities. Taped seams on the ridgeline avert water leakage, while UPF50+ protection shields you from harmful sun damage. In addition to preventing moderate to heavy rainfall, it also furnishes shelter for sun protection and shields against wind.
  • ✔️𝐃𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐏𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞: Our hammock tarp is designed for strength with a high-density plain weave, making it stronger and more rip-resistant than most on the market. Weighing in at only 1.06kg, it is incredibly lightweight for the backpacking tarp and easy to transport to next camping destination.
  • ✔️𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭'𝐬 𝐈𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐝𝐞𝐝 : Inside the 1.06kg carrying bag, you'll find everything you need: 1pc 10x10ft tarp, 4 x 10ft guylines, 2 x 13ft guylines, 1 x 26ft ridgeline guylines, 8 upgraded aluminum guyline tensioners, 2 extra freekies carabiners for added ridgeline security, 4 aluminum stakes, and assembly instructions for your reference.
  • ✔️𝐆𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐞: NatEtoile is committed to addressing any product or service issues and ensuring the best experience for all buyers. Stay tuned for more outstanding products coming soon.

$32.99

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Facts:

  • Size: 3 x 3 m
  • Packed size: 25 x 13 cm
  • Weight: 0.95 kg
  • Water column: 2000 mm

Advantages

Robust rips top nylon

Reinforced fastening at the corners

Additional reinforced eyelets

Strong and lightweight pegs

Reflective guy lines

Incl. carrying bag

Disadvantages

Only 9 attachment points

Affordable: KALINCO Tarp for Hammock, Rain Protection, Sun Shade for Outdoor and Camping

The KALINCO Tarp is an essential item for any hammock lover. It provides protection from sun and rain and is made of waterproof and UV-resistant fabric (190T Oxford fabric). It is quick and easy to set up and perfect for use in the forest.

KALINCO Waterproof Camping Tarp Tent Hammock Rain Fly, 10X10FT/10X15FT, Mutifunctional Tent Footprint Lightweight Tarp for Camping, Hiking and Survival Shelter

Data updated 8 hours ago

KALINCO Waterproof Camping Tarp Tent Hammock Rain Fly, 10X10FT/10X15FT, Mutifunctional Tent Footprint Lightweight Tarp for Camping, Hiking and Survival Shelter

  • MULTI-FUNCTIONAL: The camping tarp rain fly can be widely used as survival tarp, hammock rain fly, outdoor kitchen cover, simple tent, tent footprint, picnic blanket, ground sheet , instant shade, etc
  • WATERPROOF: The waterproof camping tarp tent is made from 210T polyester with PU 3000mm waterproof coating, and has a taped central seam, quick-drying fabric ideal for rain flies because it will not fail under stress
  • DURABLE & NO MORE RIPPING: 19 reinforced attachment tie loops including 3 in the ridge line for overhead hanging, can got all angles covered. Besides, all fix points are used double reinforced stitches, which can prevent ripping and leaking in extreme conditions
  • LIGHTWEIGHT: Large camping tarp tent of 118inx177in/300cmX450cm but only weighs 2.9lbs/1.3kg. Includes 6 guy lines, 6 stakes and 1 carrying bag. Easy to keep in your backpack
  • EASY TO CARRY & USE: This camping tarp has a carrying bag, making it convenient to travel. Unfold the camping tarp and lay it on ground use as tent footprint; with the stakes and ropes when take it as sun canopy or rain fly

$39.20

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Facts:

  • Size: 3 x 3 m
  • Packed size: 26.6 x 21 x 8.8 cm
  • Weight: 1.08 kg
  • Water column: not specified

Advantages

Affordable

Reinforced eyelets and loops

19 attachment points

Disadvantages

Loops could be 1-2 cm longer

Heavy

For Beginners: FREE SOLDIER Tarp 3 x 3.2 m

The FREE SOLDIER Tarp is an extremely versatile product that can be used as a tarp, awning, or tent.

It is made of high-quality materials that are waterproof and UV-resistant, making it ideal for all types of outdoor activities. The tarp also comes with a set of pegs for securing it.

FREE SOLDIER Camping Tarp Waterproof 3m x 3.2m Large Hammock Tent Tarp Portable Tarpaulin Anti-UV Shelter Sun Block Sunshade Awning for Camping Hiking Traveling Outdoor Sports (Brown with Nails)
4,6 (905)

Data updated 10 hours ago

FREE SOLDIER Camping Tarp Waterproof 3m x 3.2m Large Hammock Tent Tarp Portable Tarpaulin Anti-UV Shelter Sun Block Sunshade Awning for Camping Hiking Traveling Outdoor Sports (Brown with Nails)

  • Waterproof & Anti-UV - The camping tarp is made of 210T ripstop polyester fabric which is tear resistant and puncture resistant, with 2500 PU coating and the waterproof treatment at the seams, the camping tarp is completely waterproof and anti uv, it could offer long-lasting protection and keep you dry in the rainy weather, and also protect your skin from the UV in the sunny days
  • Large Size - 118 * 126 inch / 300cm x 320cm large size perfect for more than 2 people. Great oversized hammock tarp for families, couples or friends. Whether you're lying down or sitting with friends, our hammock tarp is the perfect size.
  • Strong & Stable - Each stress point of the camping tarp is reinforced with multi-stitching nylon webbings, and the surface of the webbings are evenly stressed, which improves the durability and stability of the entire tarp. With tear resistant & puncture resistant material, the camping tarp can be fixed strong and stable.
  • Lightweight & Portable - Weighing at only 1 kg (2.2 lbs), the hammock tarp can be easily folded into a pouch, which is portable and easy to carry. The package include 1*tarp, 1*storage bag, 1*pouch, 4*ropes, 4*fixing nails.
  • Multi Purpose - There are many way and styles to shape the tarp, suit many situations, can be used for camping, traveling, picnic, backpacking, sporting events, festivals and beach.

$63.06

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Facts:

  • Size: 3 x 3.2 m
  • Packed size: 27 x 14 x 10 cm
  • Weight: 1 kg
  • Water column: 2500 mm

Advantages

Available in many colors

Inexpensive

Comes with accessories (pegs and ropes)

Reinforced seams

Tear-resistant material

Comes with a storage bag

Many attachment points

Disadvantages

Heavy

Lightweight for Trekking: Sea to Summit Escapist 15D Tarp / Tent Tarp

The Sea to Summit Escapist 15D Tarp is a great tent tarp for anyone who wants to enjoy the great outdoors without having to worry about the weather.

Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp Ultralight Shelter, Medium

Data updated 8 hours ago

Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp Ultralight Shelter, Medium

  • Ultralight and compact; made from tape seam-sealed waterproof 15 denier Ultra-Sil Nano nylon
  • Eight hypalon and bar-tack reinforced tie-out points
  • Reinforced corners with cord lock and guy lines (which can be adjusted from under the tarp)
  • Color-coded guylines on the apex, corners and midpoints simplify pitching
  • Tarp can be pitched in a variety of configurations using trees or trekking poles, and adjusted for extra protection in changing weather conditions

$229.00

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This tarp is made of a waterproof and breathable material (silicone-coated nylon fabric) that will keep you dry and comfortable in any weather (water column of 1200 mm). The tarp also has a UV-resistant coating that protects you from harmful sun rays.

The tarp can be used as a standalone shelter or as an addition to your existing tent (such as the Ultra-Mesh Bug Tent from the same company). The tarp comes with all the necessary materials for setup, including guy lines and stakes.

Facts:

  • Size:
    • Medium: 2 x 2.6 m
    • Large: 3 x 3 m
  • Packed size:
    • Medium: 8.5 cm x 19 cm
    • Large: 9 cm x 23 cm
  • Weight:
    • Medium: 300 g
    • Large: 440 g
  • Water column: 1200 mm

Advantages

Very lightweight

Eight Hypalon guy points

Brand product

Eyelets have support for the tip of a trekking pole

Reflective guy lines

Reinforced corners with cord closure and guy line

Disadvantages

Expensive

Purchasing criteria: Using these criteria, you can compare and evaluate tarps

When buying tarps, you should compare and evaluate them based on weight, shape, model, pitching options, waterproofed, and size.

If you want to use a tarp as a sunshade or hammock, you should also pay attention to it.

Rectangular tarps are great for use as tent tarps, as they are small and offer good protection. However, when choosing a tarp, be sure to consider your needs.

A tarp with a hammock that is closed at the ends - so you can protect yourself even better from the weather
A tarp with a hammock that is closed at the ends - so you can protect yourself even better from the weather

How big should a tarp be?

The size of the tarp you need depends on the size of the area you want to cover. A 2x2 meter tarp is sufficient to build a small tent or protect a picnic table, while a 3x4 meter tarp covers an average-sized tent and still has some extra space.

I recommend that you buy nothing less than a 3x3 meter tarp if you have no special requirements. I own a 2.8x2.8 meter tarp and a 3x4 meter tarp and am very satisfied with them. The 3x4 meter tarp is still light enough, and I have enough space for another person or my equipment.

With a large tarp (here in the picture 3 x 4 meters), many children have space in case of sudden weather changes
With a large tarp (here in the picture 3 x 4 meters), many children have space in case of sudden weather changes

Weight of a Tarp

With a tarp, the weight can vary greatly. It always depends on the size of the tarp and the material used. The rule of thumb here is: the bigger, the heavier.

Furthermore, you should also pay attention to the material used. I will introduce the individual materials with their advantages and disadvantages below.

Also remember that the accessories of a tarp add weight. If you want to travel ultralight, you can either choose stakes that are extremely light or carve your own on site. You can also save weight on the ropes by looking for very thin and tear-resistant cords.

A tarp with hammock and underquilt
A tarp with hammock and underquilt

Thickness of a Tarp

Choosing a thick tent tarp can be life-saving in many ways while spending time in nature. It not only provides better protection, but also makes the tarp more stable when set up like a tent with hiking poles.

Thicker tarps are also more stable than thin tarps. The disadvantage is clearly the weight. Thicker tarps also weigh more and are hindering for ultra-light trekking.

When trekking and hiking for long distances, you should definitely use very lightweight tarps
When trekking and hiking for long distances, you should definitely use very lightweight tarps

What does a good Tarp cost?

The cost of a good tarp can vary depending on the brand, processing, size, and design. In general, prices for tarps range from €15 to €150, but there are also tarps available that cost more than €300.

A good tarpaulin should be made of strong material that is waterproof, tear-resistant, and UV-protected. Additionally, it should be easy to clean and maintain.

Some offers include accessories. I recommend checking what is included in the price. If it is only the tarp itself, additional costs for tent accessories (pegs, ropes, etc.) will apply. However, the costs are not particularly high, depending on which products from which manufacturer you choose.

What shapes are available for tarps?

It is common to find tarps in various shapes, such as triangular, rectangular, or hexagonal. However, the most popular shapes are rectangular or square. Ultimately, you must make this choice yourself.

One thing should be said: The rectangular tarp is the most versatile. It can be laid flat on the ground to give you a large surface area, or used with a rope to create a makeshift tent.

I highly recommend the rectangular tarp - especially for beginners - because it is the easiest to set up.

How weather-resistant should my tarp be?

Your tarp should be able to withstand sun, snow, rain, and weather conditions.

  • Rain: Most tarps are designed to provide protection from rain. How waterproof each tarp is depends on the coating and material used. Below, I will introduce you to the different materials. Some materials expand when wet. Furthermore, pay attention to how quickly a tarp dries.
  • Snow: Tarps are very versatile and can be used in snow or snowfall as long as they are waterproof. When setting up the tarp, make sure it can sag quickly due to the weight of the snow. If your tarp is covered in snow, I would advise you to either remove the snow or re-tension it.
  • Wind/Storm: In most cases, tarps are not reliable in the wind. Therefore, I recommend setting it up relatively flat in strong winds - there are great construction forms that are well suited for this. To prevent wind from blowing through the tarp, let the windward side touch the ground. Read more about camping in winter storms here.
  • Sunshine: You can also use a tarp as sun protection or awning. You should consider whether it offers UV protection. You will read about the different materials of tarps below.

What sizes are available for tarps?

The size of the tent tarp largely depends on the number of people and amount of luggage that will seek shelter under the tarp. You should also consider the height of the people. The size of a tarp also depends on its shape.

Most sellers indicate the size of tarps in length x width in meters. Occasionally, the size is also given in cm. Less commonly, the size is used as S for "small", M for "medium", L for "large", or XL for "extra large".

The following common sizes I have found.

Square Tarps:

  • 3 x 3 meters
  • 3.5 x 3.5 meters
  • 4 x 4 meters

Rectangular Tarps:

  • 2.4 x 2.2 meters
  • 2.85 x 3 meters
  • 2.85 x 4 meters
  • 2.95 x 3 meters
  • 4.25 x 4.45 meters
  • 3 x 2 meters
  • 3 x 3.2 meters
  • 3 x 3.5 meters
  • 3 x 4 meters
  • 4 x 5 meters
  • 4 x 6 meters

Triangular Tarps:

  • 3.6 x 3.6 x 3.6 meters
  • 4 x 4 x 4 meters
  • 5 x 5 x 5 meters
My square self-sewn tarp is 2.8 x 2.8 meters long and wide
My square self-sewn tarp is 2.8 x 2.8 meters long and wide

Which well-known manufacturers of tarps are there?

You can buy tarps from various manufacturers. Below is a list of well-known manufacturers who, according to my research, offer tarps in their range in German-speaking countries.

  • Amazonas
  • DD Hammocks
  • Aqua Quest
  • Coleman
  • Quechua
  • Salewa
  • Bessport
  • Tatonka
  • Dyneema
  • Hilleberg
  • LYDUO
  • Wechsel

Of course, there are many other manufacturers.

Which material should I choose when buying a tarp?

When choosing a tarp, it is important to pay attention to the quality of the material. A high-quality tarp is made of sturdy, tear-resistant, waterproof, and UV-resistant fabric. If you want lighter and extremely durable material, you unfortunately have to spend a little more money, as the high-quality fabrics are pricier.

What distinguishes a polyester tarp?

The main reason why polyester is used for tarps is its water resistance. Polyester is a synthetic material that absorbs less water than cotton, making it ideal for outdoor use. In addition, tarps made of polyester are usually durable and UV-resistant, making them ideal for long-term use. Many inexpensive tarps are made of polyester because the material is cheap to produce, but it is heavier than some other materials.

What distinguishes a nylon tarp?

Nylon is stronger and more elastic than polyester and about 30% pricier than polyester. Tarps made of nylon are lightweight and can be purchased in a variety of sizes to meet the needs of every camper.

Most affordable tarps are made of nylon because it is inexpensive to produce and also elastic and waterproof. However, note that nylon expands when wet and contracts when drying.

A nylon tarp is perfect for beginners
A nylon tarp is perfect for beginners

If the tarp gets wet, you may need to tighten the ropes or pegs and loosen them again once the material is dry. However, this point is only relevant for one-sided coated or completely uncoated tarps.

The disadvantage of nylon is that it is not breathable. If you would rather not get wet from condensation, I recommend ventilating well. This moisture then hangs on the walls of your tarp and can even drip down on you at night. Especially in the cold season, this can be annoying.

What distinguishes a tarp made of rip stop nylon?

Rip stop nylon is a strong, tear-resistant fabric used for making tarps and other outdoor equipment. Rip stop nylon is lightweight, durable, water-resistant, and is used in higher quality tarps. This material is also UV-resistant, making it ideal for outdoor use.

Rip stop without a special coating is not 100% waterproof and needs to be (repeatedly) impregnated. The acquisition costs are higher than with nylon and the fabric becomes stiffer in cold weather, which can cause noise.

What distinguishes a tarp made of Sil-Nylon?

This material combines the advantages of silicone and nylon in one. Sil-nylon is a very lightweight and durable material that is used for the production of tent fabrics and other outdoor equipment items. It is highly resistant to water and UV radiation.

It is a fabric made of nylon fibers that is coated with a thin layer of silicone. The silicone makes the tarp waterproof and at the same time increases the tear resistance of the fabric.

This material also has the advantage of being lighter and more durable than polyester. Due to the high-quality material, tarps made of silnylon are in the higher price range.

What distinguishes a tarp made of Cuben Fibre?

The main feature of Cuben Fibre is its exceptional strength at a low weight. Therefore, it is perfect for lightweight and compact outdoor equipment, such as tarps.

Cuben Fibre is a sail laminate and a lightweight material. Since 2016, it has been known as "Dyneema® Composite Fabric". It is only half as heavy as high-quality Sil-Nylon and offers high tear resistance.

This material is about twice as expensive as Sil-Nylon and therefore the most expensive option when buying a tarp.

The cost of this material is high because it remains dimensionally stable and resistant to bending even when wet, and is also UV-resistant. All of these advantages make it possible to use this material in outdoor applications, to meet the trend towards lightweight and ultra-lightweight products.

What does 210D or 210T mean for tarps?

D stands for Denier. The Denier number indicates how much 9,000 meters of the yarn used weighs (1 Denier = 1 gram per 9,000 meters). For a 15D fabric, 9,000 meters of yarn weighs 15 grams, for a 20D, 20 grams. This indirectly indicates the thickness of the yarn from which the fabric was woven.

So, it's about the fineness of the yarn used. The more Denier (i.e., thicker the yarn), the stronger and more durable the material. For comparison, a human hair has 20 Denier. The more Denier, the heavier the fabric becomes.

T stands for Tex. With Tex, it's similar, only here 1000 meters of yarn are weighed. 1 tex = 1 gram per 1000 meters. 210T corresponds to 210 g per 1000 m.

1 Tex corresponds to 9 Den.

Denier is usually used for nylon (polyamide) and Tex for polyester.

What distinguishes a cotton tarp?

A cotton tarp is particularly robust and durable when well maintained. It is also pleasantly soft and provides good protection against wind and weather. Unfortunately, a cotton tarp is heavy. For example, I sewed a 2.8x2.8 meter tarp myself from oilskin, and it weighs 3.2 kilograms.

Furthermore, you have to ask yourself whether you want a tarp that is coated or uncoated. Uncoated material is hardly used anymore because it expands when moist, dries slowly and rots or molds.

The advantage of this material is that it is breathable and has a pleasant climate.

If weight is not a major concern for you, a sturdy cotton blend fabric can be useful. It is particularly suitable for use near open flames or in the summer, as the heat does not build up too much here.

My self-sewn Tarp made of Oilskin (100% cotton)
My self-sewn Tarp made of Oilskin (100% cotton)

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about Tarps

How to tension a tarp properly?

Most tarps can be secured to the ground with pegs or branches. To tension the tarp, ropes, or cords are attached to the eyelets or hooks and then wrapped around trees, branches, or other solid objects.

With the Prusik knot you can perfectly tension your tarp on the main line
With the Prusik knot you can perfectly tension your tarp on the main line

What are the alternatives to the tarp?

A tarp is a versatile and cost-effective survival tool that can be used in many situations. However, there are some other options that you should consider if you are seeking an alternative to the tarp. Alternatives to the tarp include a tent, a hammock with mosquito net, or a bivy sack.

Also read: Tarp or Tent? What is better? - A list of pros and cons (+ survey results)

Survey: Do you prefer to use a tarp or a tent?
Survey: Do you prefer to use a tarp or a tent?

How to set up a tarp quickly and easily?

A tarp can be set up in various ways, depending on how much space you have and how much protection you need.

A simple method is to lay the tarp over a branch or other stable object and hold it down at the corners. Use stakes to keep it in place, or you can also use ropes to attach it to trees or other stable objects.

This video shows you how to set up a tarp as a flying A-frame. The video is part of the tarp module from the Wildimpuls program.

It is worth considering the different shapes and construction options, as this will affect how easy the tarp is to use. For example, a tarp that is set up between two trees can sometimes be easier to set up and take down than a tent.

And if you are looking for a tarp that can be used as a shelter in an emergency, it is worth investing in a high-quality tarp that can be securely fastened.

Different setup forms of tarps
Different setup forms of tarps

Can tarps be purchased at Decathlon?

Decathlon sells a variety of tarps for various outdoor activities. The selection of tarps varies depending on the store, but Decathlon usually has a good selection of tarps for camping, hiking, mountaineering, and other outdoor activities. You can find all the current tarps on Decathlon's online shop.

Popular for trekking at Decathlon is the "Tarp Trekking MT900", which measures 2.85 m × 2.40 m. The tarp has many attachment points and can be mounted in various ways. It comes with 8 tent pegs and 8 reflector guy ropes.

Furthermore, it has a water column of 2000 mm and is lightweight compared to other tarps, weighing only 360 grams (490 grams with accessories). The pack sack has a capacity of 1.5 liters and measures 15 cm x 10 cm in diameter. The tarp is made of 80% polyester (PES) and 20% thermoplastic polyurethane.

Tarp Trekking MT900 from Decathlon
Tarp Trekking MT900 from Decathlon

Another good tarp that Decathlon offers for a small price is the Camouflage Tarp for Bushcrafter. It is 2.97 × 2.85 m in size, waterproof, and has 21 fixing points for all possible construction forms. The tarp is made of polyester and has reinforced fixing points. Furthermore, you are protected from rain with a water column of 2000 mm.

Further facts about the Decathlon Tarp "Bushcraft Camouflage":

  • Weight: 815 g
  • Bag dimensions: 22 × 22 cm
  • Tarp dimensions: 2.97 × 2.85 m
The Decathlon TARP Bushcraft 2.97 × 2.85 m Waterproof Camouflage
The Decathlon TARP Bushcraft 2.97 × 2.85 m Waterproof Camouflage

Where can I buy a tarp?

As tarps belong to outdoor equipment, you can buy them in various specialty stores or sports stores. If you want to use online shops, you will find plenty of shops on the internet that sell tarps.

Famous providers in the German-speaking area are:

  • Globetrotter
  • Decathlon
  • Tatonka
  • Obelink
  • Sportscheck
  • INTERSPORT

eBay and eBay Classifieds are both good places to find a good deal on a used tarp. In addition, discount stores like Netto, Lidl, or Aldi occasionally offer tarps as well.

How should I care for a tarp?

To keep your tarp in good condition, clean it regularly and store it in a cool, dry place when not in use. You can also treat it with a waterproofing spray to protect it from the elements.

Why are attachment loops better than eyelets on tarps?

Fastening loops offer better durability and are less susceptible to damage. With eyelets, it can happen that they tear out or rust over time.

If you don't have any eyelets or loops, then use this trick with a knot:

Can you stretch a tarp over a campfire?

It is possible to stretch a tarp over a campfire, but it is not a good idea. The fire could damage the tarp and smoke could also penetrate under the tarp, which could be very uncomfortable for the people under the tarp.

A tarp can be an additional protection for your tent
A tarp can be an additional protection for your tent

What do I need to set up a tarp?

To set up a tarp, stakes, and ropes are usually needed. If you don't have stakes, you can also tie the tarp to trees - this anchoring method is generally more durable than stakes. However, if you want to use stakes but don't have any, you can carve them from sticks (which is a cool Bushcraft project).

What to do if a tarp is not 100% waterproof?

If a tarp is not 100% waterproof, you can cover it with another waterproof material. In general, it is recommended that you always have some fabric tape on hand to seal your tarp in case of emergency. Here you can find 13 survival hacks for fabric tape.

Can I sleep with a tarp in winter?

It is indeed possible if you set up your tarp in a way that protects you from cold wind. A proven setup is the "tent shape". There, you set up your tarp flat on the ground like a tent. However, a prerequisite is that you have a good winter sleeping bag and a well insulating sleeping pad.

You can also spend the night with a tarp in winter
You can also spend the night with a tarp in winter

Final Thoughts

This list contains some of the best tips for tarps, both in terms of size and user-friendliness. Your camping needs and the number of people camping with you will determine the size and features of the right tarp for you.

When deciding on a tarp, also pay attention to the tarp accessories, the materials used, and how tear-resistant it is processed.

Take care, Martin
Martin Gebhardt

Author of the guide


Martin Gebhardt

Hey, I'm Martin. On my blog, you will learn the basics and numerous details about living in the wild. I think survival, bushcraft and the good life in nature are the keys to happiness. Find me here on Instagram or on YouTube. You can find more about my mission on the About Me page.

Since this is a gear guide, here ...


🤝8 reasons to trust my recommendation

  1. Practical Experience: I have tested most of the products I recommend under extreme conditions myself.

  2. Independence: As a wilderness mentor, I am not tied to any specific brands - this means my recommendations are unbiased.

  3. Expertise: My many years of experience allow me to understand the intricacies and details of various products that a layperson might overlook.

  4. Target group understanding: I understand the needs and challenges of outdoor enthusiasts, from beginners to seasoned experts.

  5. Quality focus: I attach great importance to quality and longevity. These are characteristics that are crucial in the wild.

  6. Clear communication: I try to explain the pros and cons of each product clearly and understandably so that you can make an informed decision.

  7. Currentness: I always keep my guides up to date and adapt them to new findings or products.

  8. Community Feedback: I work in wilderness schools, teach courses myself, attend courses and am active in various outdoor and survival communities and therefore integrate the feedback and experiences of others into my recommendations.

So when I introduce the best survival knives or flashlights, you can be sure that every recommendation is based on solid experience and extensive knowledge.

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