Hammock tenting is a unique way to enjoy the outdoors. It gives you a different perspective while altering the way you engage with nature instead of closing yourself off in a typical tent.
When the weather is perfect, there is no problem with lying out under the stars, swaying until you fall asleep. However, it is when it is humid, misty, or rainy that it becomes more uncomfortable.
Hammock tarps are an excellent way to protect yourself from the elements while still enjoying the benefits of hammock tenting. To provide you a guide within the sea of product options, we have selected the top 6 best hammock tarps along with a buyer’s guide for making a priority list when it comes to making the final purchase.
- Hennessy Hammock Rain Tarp: Best Overall Hammock Tarp
- REDCAMP Waterproof Hammock Tarp: Best Budget Hammock Tarp
- OneTigris Bulwark Hammock Tarp: Best Hammock Tarp in Any Season
- UST Multifunctional Tube Tarp: Best Hammock Tube Tarp
- Bear Butt Double Hammock Tarp: Best Ultralight Hammock Tarp
- Oak Creek Advanced Hammock Tarp: Best Hammock Tarp for Wind Protection
- Dyneema Fiber Standard Tarp with Doors: Best Hammock Tarp With Doors
The Best Hammock Tarps to Protect Your Hammock System
Best Overall: Hennessy Hammock Rain Tarp
- Dimensions: 143″ x 120″ (363cm x 304cm)
- Attachment Points: 6
- Material: Polyester
- Hexagonal and symmetrical design highly adaptable
- Guylines pockets are sewn in at attachment points
- Waterproof with a PU coating over 70D polyester
- Packs down to only 3.5″ x 11″
Hennessy Hammock crafts a Rain Tarp that is highly adaptable in its simplistic design. It has a symmetrical, hexagonal shape, meaning that it reflects the same shape on either side of the ridgeline. It is one of the more common designs for a hammock tarp because it works well in almost any scenario.
With six attachment points, it is easy to fix to the spot without having so many guylines get tangled and create a mess. To further this goal, each attachment point has a pocket sewn into the underside that snuggly fits folded guylines.
If a hammock tarp isn’t waterproof, then most of its purpose is lost. Hennessy acknowledges this by making the rain tarp from a durable 70D polyester with a polyurethane coating. A tarp is only as waterproof as its weakest sealing. To this end, the seams are factory sealed and checked before being released.
Many minimalist packers prefer to use a hammock tenting system since it is much more lightweight than a typical tent. Hence, the packability of the tarp in the system is important. The Hennessy Hammock Rain Tarp weighs only 27 ounces or 765 grams. It packs down to 3.5″ x 11″, or 9cm x 30cm.
Finally, although not all-important, the color blends with the natural environment as a shade of bark. No matter where you are, blend in, and be protected.
Best Budget: REDCAMP Waterproof Hammock Tarp
Star Rating: 4.5
- Dimensions: 118″ x 118″ (300 x 300cm)
- Attachment Points: 9
- Material: 210T Ripstop Polyester
- Two setup styles increase versatility
- Made from 210T polyester with a PU coating
- Comes with six stakes and guylines
- 100% money-back guarantee on anything covered by warranty
The recognition for the best budget option goes to the REDCAMP Waterproof Hammock Tarp. You might only look for a simple solution to a weekend problem or are just want to get started with hammock tenting. In these cases, a budget option is preferable to a large investment.
Although most hammock tarps only come equipped with six attachment points, this one features nine. The reason for this is to give you the choice of setting it up in a rectangular fashion, or in a symmetrical triangle on either side.
Depending on your style of hammock tenting or the way you wish to use the tent, either of these could be more convenient, and thus it gives you more options.
This tarp is successfully made to be waterproof, crafted with 210T polyester ripstop fabric, and having received a PU2000mm treatment over the material. The straps to tie the guylines into are made from nylon with a grommet and loop that is fortified on either side.
When you purchase this tarp, you are not only getting the tarp itself but an entire setup kit. It comes with six stakes, recently having been updated by the company. They are made with aluminum and coated red to increase visibility. There are also six guylines that come with and are reflective of increased nighttime safety. Finally, it has its own storage bag.
REDCAMP offers a 365-day full manufacturer warranty with almost all of their products, including this tarp. You have a 100% money-back guarantee on any issues covered by the warranty, giving the buyer greater purchase confidence.
Best All-Season: OneTigris Bulwark Hammock Tarp
Star Rating: 4.5
- Dimensions: 156″ x 120″ (396 x 304 cm)
- Attachment Points: 19
- Material: 210T Polyester Taffeta
- Versatile number of setup solutions
- Comes as a full kit with a stuff sack, pegs, and guylines
- Stealth color and anti-UV material
- PU treatment on both sides of the material
- Larger than average hammock tarps
For some people, more attachment points mean more versatility and protection. For others, it can mean confusion when setting up and too many places that could be tied down when all they want is a quick setup.
OneTigris crafts its Bulwark Hammock Tarp with 19 different attachment points with reinforced webbing loops at each. Three of these are along the ridgeline. It is up to you whether this is a convenient thing or if you would prefer something more straightforward.
The point is to try and give the most versatile of setup options. It is most often set up in a rectangular format but can be symmetrical as well. Although it isn’t possible to seal a tarp to the ground, having so many points to fasten it gets you as close as possible to it.
Although this product is more expensive, it does come as a full kit with a focus on quality directed towards each part. It comes with a waterproof stuff sack that allows it to pack down to 12″ x 4″, or 30cm x 10cm. It has six hexagonal aluminum pegs and six 4 meter guylines with as many guyline adjusters.
It has a slightly larger size than most other hammock tarps. This makes it a little heavier than normal, weighing in at 2.4 pounds. Stealth camping offers an appeal to those trying to blend with the wild. OneTigris offers this kit as a solution, with a coyote brown color and an anti-UV material. It is made from 210T polyester taffeta that has received a PU coating on both sides.
Best Tube Tarp: UST Multifunctional Tube Tarp
Star Rating: 4.5
- Dimensions: 39” x 84” x 35” (99 x 213 x 89 cm)
- Attachment Points: 6
- Material: Unspecified plastic
- Multiple formats including a tube shape
- Aluminized side makes it an effective emergency blanket
- Flame retardant
- Comes with a manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty
- Quick set up in any scenario
A tube tarp is a unique way to go about hammock tenting. It gives you increased protection from the elements around you by fitting you inside a triangular-shaped tube strung between two trees.
You can hang it so that you are lying within the triangle in your hammock, or you can set it on the ground and string it up. In the second format, it is like sleeping in a tent without two of the ends being sealed.
It doesn’t have to be a tube, either. A zipper is concealed at the top of the triangle format. When unzipped, it forms a typical, symmetrical tarp shape over the top of the hammock.
Ultimate Survival Technologies wants you to be prepared for any outdoor scenario. That is why this tube tarp can be turned into an emergency blanket for thermal insulation. To accomplish this, the reverse side is aluminized. It helps to keep your heat sealed against you and is also more reflective to act as an emergency signal if necessary. Not to mention that it is flame-retardant.
The tarp comes as a kit, including a stuff sack, a couple of guylines, and steel stakes. It sets up in a matter of minutes no matter what format you choose. Packability is high as well, with a packed size of 4″ x 15″, or 10.1cm x 38.1cm, and a weight of 1.7 pounds or 794g.
All of this comes with a manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty to protect both you and your purchase.
Best Ultralight: Bear Butt Double Hammock Tarp
Star Rating: 4.3
- Dimensions: 154″ x 112″ (391 x 284 cm)
- Attachment Points: 4
- Material: 190T Polyester
- Lightweight packability is the main focus for this tarp
- Made with a PU coating over the top
- Only four attachment points mean simple setup
- Guylines, aluminum stakes, and stuff sack are included
Bear Butt knows that for minimalist hikers and backpackers, a tarp is one of the most important gears to keep in a backpack but it should be barely noticeable. It is because of this focus on this hammock tarp that it has gained our notice as the best ultralight hammock tarp currently available.
It has an average length of 12 feet along its ridgeline and extends further with four provided guylines. The stuff sack is also included to get it to pack down as small as possible when you are ready to pack up and continue towards your next adventure. It packs down to 10″ x 4″ and weighs 17 ounces.
Just because it has a focus on being as lightweight as possible does not mean that the company held back on the overall quality of its design. It is 190T polyester with a PU coating that makes it 100% waterproof.
Setup is quick and straightforward with this hammock tarp since there are only four attachment points. It forms a symmetrical pattern, with the ridgeline extending between two outward-facing triangles.
There are only four attachment points, two at the ends of the ridgeline and two at the top of the triangles that can be fastened with the aid of the included aluminum stakes. Each attachment point is reinforced since they experience the most pressure during use, especially in inclement weather.
Best for Wind Protection: Oak Creek Advanced Hammock Tarp
Star Rating: 4.0
- Dimensions: 110” x 70” x 62” (279 x 178 x 157 cm)
- Attachment Points: 10
- Material: 190T Nylon
- Extended walls from the top offer complete wind protection
- Covered with a PU 2000 waterproof coating
- Ripstop fabric and included repair clips keep it easier to maintain
- Accompanied by six varying guy lines and six metal stakes
Sometimes the desire is there to take your hammock out on adventures and yet it is simply too cold to only cover yourself with a typical tarp, this product from Oak Creek will often do the trick. It forms an entire protective tent shape around your hammock, extending from top to bottom and closing you and your hammock inside.
Oak Creek is voted the best for wind protection, but it also a handy addition to a winter hammocking system. It is designed by seasoned campers to give you a more comfortable experience wherever you are.
The material is a 190T Nylon treated with PU 2000 waterproof coating. It is a ripstop fabric to keep it more durable no matter the wind or weather around it. It forms a triangular roof over your head while featuring extendable walls that go to the ground and fasten with reinforced strips.
The hammock tarp comes as a full kit, including two 12 foot guy lines, four 8 foot guy lines, and twelve 6″ metal stakes. There are even three tarp repair clips added into the carry bag just in case something goes wrong in the wilderness. Altogether it takes less than five minutes to set up.
Best Tarp With Doors: Dyneema Fiber Standard Tarp with Doors
Star Rating: 5.0
- Dimensions: 120-144” x 102” (304-366 x 259 cm)
- Attachment Points: 12
- Material: Dyneema Composite
- Custom non-woven fabric is ultra-durable and premium quality
- Each attachment point is equipped with D-rings
- Customization options depending on your setup
- Not a sewn ridgeline
- Extremely lightweight at only 7.28 ounces
Dyneema has crafted an exquisite example of a high-level product. Although you pay for the premium material, many have decided that it is well worth the investment. This hammock tarp is made with a unique material, specific to the company. It is a non-woven fabric previously known as Cuben Fiber.
The shape of this hammock tarp is unique, being a catenary design with sections cut for doors. It includes two ridgeline tie outs at the top for proper support and then four panel pull outs. To secure it and set it up properly, there are 10 perimeter tie outs, all equipped with ½ inch D-rings.
The doors are added onto the hammock tarp for protection, which is why this tarp does such an excellent job at holding up during inclement weather or windy conditions particularly when winter camping. You can also select upgrades if desired to make parts of this even more durable and weather-worthy.
This material comes all in one piece, meaning the ridgeline isn’t sewn like it is on many. This gives it a great capacity to protect and stay waterproofed. With all of the material included, you would guess that the weight would be outstanding. Instead, the whole tarp weights only 7.28 ounces in its stuff sack.
Depending on the length of your setup, you can select 10, 11, and 12 foot lengths for the ridgeline. Choose to make sections reflective at night as well for extra safety.
There are many different kinds of hammock tarps, even though it seems like such a straightforward material.
If you are unsure about what characteristics will work better for you and your scenario, then examine the buyer’s guide below to form a more complete idea. Investing in a hammock tarp, even one that easily fits into a budget, is more satisfying if it fits in well with your system.
What Size Tarp Do I Need for My Hammock?
The size of the tarp depends on the size of your hammock. For a single person setup, the average sizes are around eight to ten feet by seven to nine feet. For two hammocks to fit under comfortably, the width needs to be increased by between four to six feet.
The size also depends on the way that you prefer to set up your hammock and the accompanying tarp. Rectangular shapes extend differently than symmetrical shapes do and need to be longer hexagonally to extend as far.
To determine the best size for you and be assured that it will cover your camping space, set up your hammock and place the material below in the way that you typically would. Measure out the area. A hammock tarp that suits that area well will extend beyond the measurements of the hammock anywhere from 6″ to 12″.
If you have gear that you like to store underneath, then make sure that it is large enough to not only cover you from head to toe safely but also extend to the side to cover your gear. Typically, symmetrical shapes work better for this since the sides extend much further than they do in a rectangular format.
What are Hammock Guylines?
Hammock guylines are often a polyester weave with some kind of polyester or nylon core to make them strong and flexible within limits. They are the thin ropes that tie from the edges of the hammock to the stake in the ground and secure your hammock tarp in one place.
You need enough hammock guylines to string up your hammock tarp between the trunks of two trees and cover the attachment points on the ground. There are normally only two or four of these, depending on the format of your tarp.
Some hammock guylines have reflective material woven into the exterior fabric. This is a feature we appreciate in the REDCAMP Waterproof Hammock Tarp. It gives you extra safety during the night since it illuminates them as you move around. Otherwise, they can present a tripping hazard.
Choosing Tarp Weight and Material
Most hammock tarps are made with nylon or polyester. Polyester is the more common of the two since it is cheaper to produce. Nylon is often more durable, but a well-made, high-denier polyester holds up just as well.
More expensive items are often priced like that for a reason. For example, the Dyneema Fiber Standard Tarp has a higher price tag, but the material is custom to the company. Even though it has more bells and whistles and much more fabric in total, the weight is stunningly low.
Investing in a hammock tarp often means paying more for increased denier in either nylon or polyester that means extra durability. Paying even more for a customized material means cutting down on your overall weight.
Factors That Increase Packability
Packability is the capacity of an object to be packed away easily. The factors involved in this are the weight of the object as well as its packed size.
Notice that we said “packed size.” We are not referring to its typical size when all rolled out and set up. High-quality materials often have the ability to be very thin but just as durable and protective. This means that when they roll up, they fit into a small bag and away they go.
You would think that weight and packed size would be related, and in some cases they are. However, it is always better to verify this by looking into the technical specifications before buying. A fabric can pack small, but still have plenty of weight to it.
Think about packing your suitcase. The suitcase size stays about the same, but the more that you pack in and sit on the thing, the heavier it becomes.
It can be the same thing with fitting a hammock tarp into its stuff sack and won’t be pleasant when you slide it into your bag, no matter the overall size.
Types of Tarp Shapes
The tarp’s shape is what we mean when we talk about its format. Some tarps are made with a square shape, some rectangular for longer hammock setups, and some in the shape of a diamond so that two triangles extend away from the central ridgeline. Each one has its benefits, depending on what you need out of the tarp.
Square tarps are a variety of a flat tarp. It does not have much of a designed shape to it but is simplistic to bring as much versatility into it as possible. It has corners that form 90 degree angles and can be set up in all different kinds of terrain.
Obviously, square tarps like REDCAMP’s are equally as long on each side. If we use this tarp for example, then you have 118 inches to work with all the way around. Split it in half in the middle to form a ridgeline, and you have an extension of 59 inches on one side of you and 59 on the other. Then, the tarp will extend 118 inches down.
It is as simple as that, but doing the math is essential if you are trying to figure out if it will fit your entire camping system underneath. If you want to use it for other things as well, like picnicking, sunshade when you’re beach camping, or for rain protection over a lawn area, then measure out that area to ensure that it fits.
Unlike the rectangular shape that we cover below, the draw of a square tarp is that its sidewalls extend down just as far as the length of the tarp. This ultimately results in more coverage than some rectangular shapes or diamond formats have.
Diamond tarps are simply a variation on the square tarps. The difference it that it can be moved around so that the ridgeline doesn’t start and run along the center of the tarp, making it rise up in the middle. Instead, the tarp is hung from two of the edges and the final two extend downward on either side to a point.
If a square tarp is laid out with the right attachment points, then it can be turned into a diamond tarp. It will depend on the format you prefer if you decide to set it up as a square or a diamond.
One of the positives to setting it up in a diamond shape is that the sides extend out farther and you can fit more supplies underneath without them lying directly under your hammock. The negative is that setting it up as a diamond can decrease the amount of space you feel like you have underneath the tarp.
Rectangular tarps are very common since they easily fit the needs of most hammock tenters without excess material that can be included with a square tarp. It is for this reason that we love the Bear Butt Double Hammock Tarp. It focuses on minimalism, reducing the amount and size of the material to give you just the right amount of coverage.
The format of a rectangular shape is probably pretty obvious. It extends longer along the hammock length and has shorter sidewalls. Almost always, the ridgeline is centered in the middle of the tarp and extends lengthwise over the top of the hammock, much like the square format.
A hexagonal shape in a hammock rain tarp combines some of the positive characteristics of both the diamond shape and the rectangular shape. The ridgeline extends from the middle but stretches farther outward, increasing your length over the hammock.
You get more ground coverage than you would in a typical diamond format as well. The walls extend outwards to increase the protected area underneath, while still forming more complete sidewalls similar to a square format.
The Hennessy Hammock Rain Tarp is a perfect example of a well-engineered hexagonal format, which is why it has earned its ranking as the number one product.
Tube or Tent
Although tube and tent formats are not incredibly common, they work well if you want something that offers more protection.
A tube does not form a cylinder in the area like one might picture when thinking about a tube. Instead, with an example in the UST Multifunctional Tube Tarp, it is a hanging triangle you can set up on the ground or hanging between two trunks.
A tent hammock tarp has a top covering and the sidewalls extend all the way to the ground and fasten there. They offer more protection from the wind and are better during cold weather since they close in your heat. They can have doors, but not always and they can be fastened open if you want. Check out a great example of this by looking into the Oak Creek Advanced Hammock Tarp.
Winter hammock tarps are not always advertised as being for winter usage. The reason for this is that most essential aspects to a winter hammock tenting setup will not be the tarp, but the way you keep your heat within the hammock and a winter sleeping bag.
If you want your hammock tarp to give you another layer of insulation and weather protection, look for options with longer sidewalls and doors. Tent hammock tarps, like the option, mentioned immediately above, give you more protection without adding a significant amount of weight.
When we speak about the ridgelines on a hammock tarp, we are referring to the part that extends over the top of the hammock. It forms the highest point of the hammock tarp and is what is strung up tightly between the two tree trunks.
The difference in the shape and the way you choose to format your hammock tarp will determine where your ridgeline ends up. Diamond shapes extend diagonally across the tarp, while rectangular and square shapes have a ridgeline that runs right across the middle.
The two types of ridgelines that can run across in either format are end-only and full-length.
Full-length ridgelines have a guy line that runs across from one end of the tarp to another. Although these are easier to set up since you can simply adjust the tarp along the guyline, they are not as common.
End-only typically has two attachment points that form exterior strips. These have two separate guylines that tie around the trunks on either side. They need to be pulled tighter for the ridgeline to have a maintained height all the way across and not sag. These are the more common of the two designs.
Guy line adjusters are easy to use and help you to efficiently adjust the length and tautness of your guylines after setup. If these are included with the kit, which they sometimes are, then it makes setup much easier.
Using a guyline adjuster means that you can quickly put the tarp up and even if it is not taut right away, you can move the adjuster in or out and get it to where you want it to be. OneTigris Bulwark Hammock Tarp is one of the few on this list that includes them in the set. However, you can buy them separately since most guylines have the same diameter.
One of the last additions that a hammock tarp kit comes with are hammock stakes. These do not often need to be heavy duty, but can instead be lightweight and simplistic in design. There is often not a lot of weight put on these, and they just need to be ready to stay firm if the wind begins to pick up and gain purchase underneath.
The hammock tarp should come with as many stakes as you need for a steady placement, at least four if not six. You might want to switch them out for those of higher quality, but it helps to get enough to start using the product immediately.
How Do You Put a Tarp On a Hammock?
A hammock tarp hangs over the top of a hammock without every touching or resting on the hammock itself. Just like the hammock has to tie out on both ends, the hammock tarp does as well.
These should have guylines attached to them and then tied just above the hammock’s ropes to give it the most protection over the hammock.
Sometimes, a hammock tarp needs to be strung along an entire line. In this case, tie one end of the long rope to one tree, just above the hammock’s ropes, and then thread the attachment points along the ridgeline onto the rope.
Tie the other side to a tree and adjust as needed until it fits perfectly over the hammock. Following this, tie down the corners to keep it secure.
How Do You Tie Down a Rain Fly?
Each corner of the rain fly should be equipped with guylines. Pull these guylines out until they are close to the ground. Use the provided stakes, or perhaps your own set, to fasten the guylines securely to the spot.
If you have them, you can use adjusters once the ropes have been staked to make it tighter or looser.
Are Hammocks Waterproof?
Hammocks are often made from a water-resistant material but are not normally given a thorough waterproof coating.
One of the reasons for this is that they are a product with an open design. Their shape means that you lie cradled inside with your front-facing out to the wind and elements. Even if the material was waterproof, you would still be covered in rain, mist, or snow.
Instead, the more effective way to protect yourself is by using a waterproof hammock tarp. These can be strung overhead to keep you safe from incoming rain and still get the experience of sleeping in a hammock.
Out of the sea of different options to choose from, we hope that you have found some exciting options in this run up of different hammock tarps.
Always keep your ideal situation in mind when looking for the best option. That way, you should be pleasantly surprised at how easy hammock tarps can be to integrate into your system.
If you simply need a product that doesn’t break the bank but works in almost any situation, don’t hesitate on the Hennessy Hammock Rain Tarp. It takes a hexagonal format to combine supreme protection with an easy set up and a lighter weight.
If getting an immediate ready-to-use kit at a great value is currently your priority, look more into REDCAMP’s Waterproof Hammock Tarp. It is ready for any ensuing outdoor adventure, even if you are just getting started.
From gear junkie to gear junkie, getting a new piece to an already effective system is exciting. Now you are ready to take any hammock tenting trip, come rain or shine.