10 Best Backpacking Tarps of 2024

Dragging a heavy tent and all its accessories can be a literal pain for any hiker’s back. On the flip side, transitioning from a tent to a backpacking tarp is an excellent way to reduce weight. Tarp setups are simple in design and require only a handful of equipment to install properly.

However, making the right choice is crucial to avoid an uncomfortable night’s sleep. With the wide range of outdoor tarps available on the market, selecting the best backpacking tarps can be challenging. We have dedicated several months to testing over 40 tarps, and we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best hiking tarps for 2024. Our selection process considered factors such as price, quality, quantity, and reliable customer support.

Best Backpacking Tarps Reviews 2024

Without further delay, let’s see our ranking of the best backpacking tarps in 2024:

Let’s see in-depth…

1. Rain Fly EVOLUTION Hammock Tarp – Best Overall


  • Weight: 1.5 lbs.
  • Material: Diamond Ripstop
  • Size: 12 X 10 Feet
  • Heavy Rains: 100% Waterproof

The Rain Fly Evolution backpacking tarp is designed with comprehensive features for staying safe and dry. It serves as an alternative to a tent. The 12 X 10 feet size makes every survival task easier under the tarp, even cooking food. It weighs only 1.5 pounds, which is actually lower than a higher-quality hiking water bottle.

It is made of heavy-duty and authentic Diamond Ripstop material with the highest quality 2000 PU waterproof rating, making it an ideal sunshade for camping and ultralight backpacking adventures.

It is free from sun rays, snow, or torrential rains and the fabric won’t make as much noise as a blue poly tarp (if secured properly). The 5-in-1 military-grade survival kit bracelet and compass make navigating in heavy rains easy. It features a WHISTLE that saves your voice, so you can hear 10 times farther, scaring away all dangerous animals.

This evolution backpacking tarp is also designed to keep you safe from high winds. However, the stakes are not long or stout enough to secure this fly. But for the price, the build quality of the fly itself as well as several of the kit components will impress you.


  • Ultralight backpacking tarp
  • Ample space for any activity
  • Good coverage and ready to use
  • Block rain and UV rays protected
  • Looks very pleasant


  • Instructions are not clear
  • Grommets are sloppily placed

2. Tinkenken with Hammock Rainfly Backpacking Tarp


  • Weight: 4.4 lbs.
  • Material: Polyester
  • Size: 9.8 X 13.1 Feet
  • Heavy Rains: 100% Waterproof

If you are looking for the best survival backpacking tarp with all the necessary accessories, then don’t look further. Tinkenken hammock rainfly is made of ripstop polyester with silver coating on the inner surface, which makes this tarp waterproof, sunscreen, and weather resistant.

This rainfly is made of a solid material and PU coating that definitely won’t let any water through. All parts are good and the outer edges will not be coming apart. The pole is widely adjustable; you can adjust the poles as 2.9ft 4.4ft or 5.9ft for assembly; just need to press the spring and push in. And for disassembly, just pull it.

Tinkenken tent tarp is lightweight (not ultralight) and compact. It is a complete package and includes a tarp kit with 2 poles 1 hammer 6 aluminum stakes and 6 nylon guy lines. You don’t need anything to buy separately. However, the poles feel somewhat flimsy, but I’ve managed okay with this set. I’ve been able to set it up solo through perseverance.

The 9.8 x 13.1ft size is big enough to cover the entire hammock or tent to protect gear from bad weather whether it is sun rays or heavy rain. It has 8 metal grommets for easy setup. Overall, this Shelter tarp could be perfect for camping, backpacking hiking, traveling bushcraft, or other outdoor activities.


  • Easy to set up
  • Built in high quality
  • Excellent choice for multi-purpose
  • Large size and adjustable poles
  • Plenty of cordages come in the kit
  • Very cheap price


  • Included stakes could be better

3. Wise Owl Outfitters Backpacking Rain Fly Tarp


  • Weight: 1.625 lbs.
  • Material: Nylon
  • Size: 11 x 9 Feet
  • Heavy Rains: 100% Waterproof

We have had a great experience with Wise Owl Outfitters because of its family-friendly customer service. Now all of their products seem to be high quality, and the price is reasonable. This is a heavy-duty backpacking tarp under $50 that provides reliable foul-weather protection to keep campers and hammock sleepers happy and dry.

Owl Outfitters backpacking tarp built to last and protect you from rain to shine. There is plenty of coverage to protect you from the sun’s rays. It is made with ripstop waterproof nylon, taped seams, and an impenetrable water barrier for cover against all unacceptable weather conditions.

This hiking tarp is equipped with aluminum tent stakes, tie lines, and cords that tighten at every corner, and you can set it up like a breeze. However, this rain fly might cause problems for some users in the shape but you can choose different sizes to find the solution.

We can conclude that if you’re a lightweight backpacker or prioritize minimizing the weight you carry, the Wise Owl Outfitters tarp is a suitable option. It serves well for various occasions, such as hiking, camping, and other adventures. The convenience of a waterproof carrying bag adds to its practicality and ease of transport.


  • Extremely light
  • High-quality and ultra-durable
  • Combined with anti-insect interior
  • Tight string adjustments
  • Works great in rainy weather


  • Size is a bit small
  • Packs a little bulky

4. Sanctuary SilTarp Versatile Backpacking Tarp


  • Weight: 1.2 lbs.
  • Material: 30 denier rip-stop nylon
  • Size: 12 x 10 Feet
  • Heavy Rains: 100% Waterproof

Sanctuary Tarp Shelter is one of the lightest silnylon models on our list, thanks to its ultralight 30 denier rip-stop nylon. It features 60 feet of 1.5 mm reflective Dyneema guy line, six micro line-lok adjusters, and six aluminum Y-stakes. These components collectively enable a wide range of configurations.

The 30 Denier ripstop nylon also has silicon/PU dual-coating and fully taped seams, which provide up to 5,000 mm of hydro-static resistance, making it ideal for camping, picnic, hiking, and more vacations. We assure you that you can be sure you’ll stay bone dry even in heavy rainy weather.

The 12 x 10-foot flat tarp weighs only 22 ounces, while the full kit is 27 ounces. The stakes and lines are also pretty compact. The included 9 x 5 x 5-inch stuff sack helps you organize your tarp perfectly after use.

The flat shape with 16 perimeter attachment loops and one center loop ensures unlimited flexibility. You can pitch the perfect shelter or hammock setup. Sanctuary backpacking tarp can also be used as a ground shelter. The manufacturer also offers a lifetime warranty.


  • Package includes everything you need
  • Many shelter configurations
  • Waterproof and lightweight
  • Flexible to carry
  • Lifetime warranty


  • While it is effective in withstanding wind, it produces noise when rustling
  • The logo stamped on the tarp is backward and crooked

5. OneTigris Bulwark Backpacking Tarp for Camping


  • Weight: 2.4 lbs.
  • Material: 210T Polyester Taffeta
  • Size: 13 x 9.2 Feet
  • Heavy Rains: 100% Waterproof

OneTigris is an all-season lightweight hiking and camping tarp. It is 100% waterproof and anti-UV. The inner space is large enough for 2-3 people with plenty of space to move around the tarp. It is made of 210T Polyester Taffeta with dual PU coating with heat-taped seams that provide long-lasting protection and keep you completely dry.

You can set it up in different ways and gives you the most coverage. For example, you can use it as a hammock tarp, a tent fly, a groundsheet, a quick shelter, etc. With 19 reinforced webbing loops or grommets including 3 on the ridgeline, the quality of the tarp itself is phenomenal.

The waterproof rating is 2000mm, which makes it the perfect choice for hammock camping or as a bushcraft shelter. The practical coyote brown color ensures better blending in the wild. Because of its multiple tie points, you can configure this in many different ways.

OneTigris Bulwark Camping Tarp comes in a waterproof stuff sack for easy storage. It is certainly well-designed, crafted, and compact enough for group backpacking trips. Remember, if you don’t fold the rainfly properly as you received it, it will not fit back into the stuff sack.


  • Versatile and durable backpacking tarp
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Suitable to use around the year
  • Superb waterproof
  • Large space


  • Stuff sack is nice but a little small
  • There is no instruction

6. WildVenture Backpacking Rain Fly Tent Tarp – Best on a Budget


  • Weight: 2.0 lbs.
  • Material: Nylon
  • Size: 13 x 13 Feet
  • Heavy Rains: 100% Waterproof

WildVenture Rain Fly Tent Tarp comes from an ultralight backpacker’s dream. However, it is waterproof and total weighs less than 2 pounds. It is large enough to protect you when the weather gets tough. It has 16 different fasteners – four on the corner, two for the ridge line, three on each long side, and two on each wall.

The fabric component is constructed from superior ripstop nylon, known for its tear-resistant properties. It features a waterproof coating, making it effective in repelling water, and it is designed to be anti-UV, which offers protection against the sun’s rays.  Whether you’re in the desert, forest, beach, backyard, or living off the land survivalist-style, WildVenture waterproof rain fly has everything you need to construct the perfect shelter.

It is easily foldable and equipped with a storage bag so that users can easily carry or store it. With the huge 13′ x 13′ size and 25 fixing points, you can pitch this tarp in multiple configurations.

This tarp can be used as an awning tent canvas, hammock shelter, picnic blanket, parasol, or beach mat. It can be set up and taken down in mere minutes. The package also includes an extra set of stakes that will ensure your tarp is getting the maximum anchoring power. We highly recommend this model if you’re looking for a long-lasting backpacking tarp without breaking the bank.


  • Include an extra set of stakes
  • Made of durable and lightweight materials
  • Shelter from all weather
  • Easy to set up
  • Cheap price


  • Doesn’t have tie outs in two places
  • Very large size

7. LiteOutdoors Silnylon Ultralight Backpacking Tarp


  • Weight: 16.9 oz.
  • Material: Silnylon
  • Size: 10 x 10 Feet
  • Heavy Rains: 100% Waterproof

LiteOutdoors backpacking tarp made with 20D ripstop nylon with a silicone coating on both sides. The square dimension of 10 x feet is largely sufficient to create a waterproof flysheet above a tent, a hammock, or a cooking area.  There is also an 8′ x 10′ size available.

LiteOutdoors tarp rated at over 2000mm hydrostatic head and 100% waterproof. The material is so thin but durable. The high-quality polyurethane (PU) coating enhances the tarp’s suitability for picnic camping, ensuring it keeps you warm, dry, and safe during your hike. This coating provides effective protection against direct sunlight, snow, or torrential rains.

It offers a complete tarp kit, eliminating the need for additional accessories. Each tarp comes equipped with 18 tie-down points and 16 Line Lok micro adjusters positioned around the perimeter. However, it is not seam sealed but comes with a tube of silicon sealant for you to do at home.

Overall, if the weight or space is a big issue for you, this tarp is the way to go because this is one of the lightest tarps on the market and it can pack down amazingly small. You will be amazed by its versatility and multiple pitch configurations!


  • Versatile design
  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Compact
  • Looks fantastic
  • Cheap price
  • Complete package


  • Not seam sealed
  • Doesn’t available in large size right now

8. Aqua Quest Green Guide Waterproof Backpacking Tarp


  • Weight: 1.5 lbs.
  • Material: Nylon
  • Size: 10 x 10 Feet
  • Heavy Rains: 100% Waterproof

If you’re looking for a waterproof and durable backpacking tarp for long time use, look no further than the Aqua Quest Guide. This tarp has a square cut and 16 fasteners for maximum versatility. You can also add an Echo mesh insert for extra protection from the rain and pesky bugs.

It is very light and packs down well. You can use it perfectly as a hammock because it allows for enough coverage in case of inclement weather but not so much that you are unable to feel too enclosed.

The Aqua Quest tarp will keep you completely dry, even in heavy rain. And with dual coatings of non-toxic Polyurethane and Silicone, you will be safe from a single drop of water. It provides a total coverage area ranging from 64 to 234 square feet. The design ensures coverage from all angles.  If the square is too big, you can make it smaller with the rectangular version.

The Guide packs up incredibly small, making it almost unnoticeable in your load, allowing you to fit it into almost any small space. The integrated webbing for easy staking and the webbing in the center for straightforward attachment to a higher point are features that we particularly appreciate.


  • Versatile
  • Very well made
  • Packs down well and small
  • Ultralight and compact
  • Lifetime warranty


  • Color is too visible
  • Very light material

9. Bearhard Camping Tarp Rainfly – Portable & Durable


  • Weight: 2.5 lbs.
  • Material: Polyester, Nylon
  • Size: 10 x 12 Feet
  • Heavy Rains: 100% Waterproof

The Bearhard tarp rainfly boasts a rectangular-shaped design, presenting itself as a seamless flat tarp equipped with 16 fasteners. Despite being a small camping tarp, it is easily assembled even in limited spaces. Weighing in at just 2lb, it offers a perfectly balanced and lightweight option.

Surprisingly, this compact tarp manages to cover over 100 square feet of ground while maintaining extraordinary durability. With a waterproof rating of 3000mm and numerous setup configurations, it ensures reliable protection in various weather conditions.

It is designed to serve as a camping tarp, hammock rainfly, tent footprint even a simple tent all-in-one. The special reinforced design makes it easy to set up within 2 minutes and gives you convenience in different activities like camping, hiking, backpacking, fishing, climbing, hunting, etc.

It has 3 layer corners with reinforced pole ring, triangle tensioner, and double stitching edge that give you extra confidence in bad weather. This hiking tarp comes with 6 nylon ropes, 4 aluminum stakes and 16 holes. It’s a complete set-up and comes well packaged. Both the carry sack and tarp are well made. This model is available in rectangular and square shapes, both cost less than 40 dollars.


  • Reliable outside protection
  • Reinforced materials and design
  • The seams are well sealed
  • Easy to set up and carry
  • Affordable


  • Doesn’t have color options

10. Gold Armour Backpacking Rainfly Hammock – for All Demands


  • Weight: 2.3 lbs.
  • Material: Ripstop Fabric
  • Size: 12 x 10 Feet
  • Heavy Rains: 100% Waterproof

The Gold Armour Backpacking Tarp offers an exceptional size-to-weight ratio. At just 2.3 lbs, the tarp covers an impressive 108 square feet, which allows three people to sleep comfortably. You can choose from the different sizes that work best for you. The available sizes are 14ft x 12ft, 12ft x 10ft, 10ft x 10ft, and 10ft x 8ft.

The material is ripstop polyester, backed with Polyurethane Coating that won’t stretch and sag like nylon. It has a Durable Water-repellent application on the face. It will keep you dry and comfortable with unparalleled weather protection with a water-shedding capability of up to 5,000mm.

With 33 tie-down loops for multiple anchoring points, this model can be used as a tent tarp, hammock shelter, simple tent, tent footprint, groundsheet and blanket, instant shade, and more. However, the stakes are a bit flimsy and it’s difficult to drive without bending them.

Gold Armour tarp bears a striking resemblance to the DD tarp, yet it comes at a significantly more affordable price, less than half of the DD tarp’s cost. The package includes a rainproof gear sack, enhancing the ease of storage and transport. An added advantage is the 5-year warranty offered by Gold Armour,


  • Best value in one complete package
  • High quality and durable tarp
  • Weatherproof
  • Versatile design
  • Handle the rain flawlessly
  • 5-year warranty


  • A little bit heavy
  • It doesn’t pitch adequately tight

Best backpacking tarps buying guide

When embarking on the journey to find the best backpacking tarps, a comprehensive buying guide can be invaluable. Here are key considerations to keep in mind:

The weight

If you’re considering purchasing a backpacking tarp, it indicates a desire to reduce weight. However, not all tarps are created equal. Weight can vary significantly based on factors such as material, thickness, and size, ranging from 0.7 lbs to 4 lbs or more. When a tarp becomes excessively heavy, it may be more practical to consider a tent.

Regrettably, the lighter the tarp, the higher the cost. If you value ultralight hiking and the ability to move swiftly, the additional investment might be justifiable. On the other hand, if you plan to stay in one location for a few nights, you might be willing to tolerate some extra weight in exchange for improved quality.

The size

A tarp that folds compactly not only trims down weight but also enables you to use a smaller backpack. If you find it challenging to allocate space in your larger backpack for all your essentials, opting for a smaller tarp can be a space-saving solution.

While the packed size is crucial, it’s equally important to consider the unpacked size. Why? Because the size of your tarp matters when it comes to sleeping and storing your belongings. A larger tarp not only provides more space but also offers greater flexibility in construction techniques to adapt to various weather conditions. Since tarp camping exposes you to the weather, opting for a larger tarp is advisable for enhanced protection and comfort.

For a single person, we recommend a tarp of around 7.43m² or more, and 9.29m² would be ideal for two people. Most two-person tarps have room for two sleepers and a few storage bags, along with backpacks and extra gear. However, if you want more interior space for camping comfort, you can increase one size larger.

The materials

Modern tarp shelters are generally made of three materials, namely silnylon, silpoly or Dyneema Composite Fabric, also known as Cuben Fiber.

Silnylon and Silpoly are made of a nylon or polyester base covered with silicon to improve the seal. Both are great choices in terms of durability, reliability and cost. Nylon is extremely abrasion resistant, while polyester does not “stretch” as much and can be manufactured at lower costs than nylon.

Cuben is like a Synthetic Sandwich. It is made of several layers of high-strength synthetic fibers. However, it offers excellent tensile strength (so it is difficult to tear) and is extremely light. But as you might expect, the added complexity dramatically increases its price.


Maintaining and repairing various tarp materials is generally straightforward, as most manufacturers provide repair kits for easy use. However, it’s important to note that a basic roll of duct tape can be sufficient for a quick midnight repair on a Cuben tarp. In contrast, repairing silnylon or silpoly can be more intricate, as it involves using a silicon-based adhesive along with patches for both sides.

Tarp shape

In the past, acquiring a flat tarp usually meant opting for an older model, and squares or rectangles were challenging to come by. Fortunately, advancements in manufacturing technology have expanded the available shapes. Modern tarps often feature a curved line in the center or curved edges, facilitating the creation of a waterproof surface when all corners are properly threaded and anchored. This design minimizes loose fabric that could flap in the wind.

Nevertheless, there’s a trade-off. Tarps with these designs require consistent threading in the same position each time, limiting the incredible flexibility associated with a flat tarp. If you opt for the traditional flat tarp, consider whether a square or rectangular shape aligns better with your needs. The square tarp, owing to its symmetry, tends to be more versatile. However, depending on your preferred tarp configuration, a rectangular tarp may suit your requirements better.


Regardless of its size or lightness, a tarp without an anchor point is useless! It is necessary to make sure that the backpacking tarp you choose has enough eyelets around its perimeter. This will allow you to secure the tarp in your preferred configuration.

While four is the smallest setup for one per corner, six or eight are preferable. It is not essential but can be very practical if the tarp includes one or more “points of support” in the middle. This allows its support from the inside. This will create more free space and help keep the walls taut, reducing movement in strong winds and improving drainage.

It is also common to see backpacking tarps offered with some degree of modularity. This means that besides the basic waterproof tarp, you can buy an internal base installed under the main tarp that can protect against insects. Similarly, some manufacturers offer a floor mat removable. Essentially, it turns your tarp into a non-standalone tent! These expansions come with additional weight and cost.


A backpacking tarp should offer exceptional weather protection to ensure your safety, keep you dry, and provide warmth when used appropriately, even in extreme weather conditions. A hydrostatic resistance of 20,000mm provides a high level of confidence that your tarp will effectively repel water and ensures not a single drop penetrates through the fabric. Some hiking tarps also have canopies, apses, or doors for better protection against bad weather.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of using a backpacking tarp?

Backpacking tarps are lightweight and compact, making them ideal for backpackers and hikers who need to travel light. They are versatile and can be set up in a variety of configurations to suit different camping situations. Additionally, tarps provide better ventilation than tents, which can be especially helpful in warmer climates.

Are backpacking tarps suitable for all seasons?

Backpacking tarps can be suitable for all seasons, depending on the design, material, and setup. Some tarps are specifically designed for warmer seasons and offer better ventilation, while others are equipped with additional features like doors, panels, or extra guy lines for improved weather protection in colder or more challenging conditions.

How do I set up a backpacking tarp?

There are many ways to set up a backpacking tarp, depending on the configuration you choose. Some popular configurations include the A-frame, lean-to, and pyramid. Practicing the setup of your tarp before embarking on a trip is crucial to ensure that you are familiar with the proper techniques for securing it and can make any necessary adjustments.

How do I care for my backpacking tarp?

To care for your backpacking tarp, be sure to clean and dry it after each use. Avoid storing it in damp or humid conditions, which can lead to mold and mildew growth. If your tarp becomes damaged, repair it promptly to prevent further damage.

Can I use a backpacking tarp as a hammock tarp?

Yes, many backpacking tarps can be used as hammock tarps. However, be sure to choose a tarp that is large enough to provide adequate coverage. Also, consider any extra hardware or accessories necessary to effectively secure the tarp to your hammock and the surrounding trees or supports.


An ultralight tarp is the most useful gear you should carry during your wilderness adventure. Each of our chosen tarps excels in different aspects, providing options for a range of preferences and needs. However, before making the final decision, make sure the fabric is authentic or familiar to you. It is better to choose a hiking tarp that is durable, waterproof, affordable, and easy to use. To avoid fatigue and fully enjoy your hiking trip, it is best to choose a tarp that is more compact and lightweight.

If you have any questions on this topic, you can ask them in the comment section below.

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