Having a tent for camping is not preferred by all. Not just because they are costly, also the hassle to carry it. If you are adventurous and frequently go for camping or hiking, you would like to have something handy and lightweight. Also, to have the most thrilling experience and enjoying nature closely, nothing can beat the idea of staying in a tarp. But, amidst the thousands of tarps, how do you find the best camping tarps?
And how do you know which one you are looking for? Truly, it’s a hectic and time-consuming job to research and shortlist the high-quality camping tarps, then purchase one. Not to worry at all. We are here for you. You can focus on your next camping destination and let us handle the job to find the best quality tarps for you. Spending 48 hours on research and analysis, we have picked 5 best camping tarps that are top rated and best-selling at present.
On the basis of your study, user review and experience, we are going to review the details of each item including their benefits and shortcomings. Additionally, to help you find your ideal camping tarp, we have also explained some of the necessary information that you need to know for camping and finding the right tarp for you.
Let’s get started!
Top 5 Best camping tarps in 2020
No matter how high-quality camping tarps and accessories you have, a tarp will always act like your friend in need during your camp days. This scenario is applicable from an amateur to an expert tracker or camper. We also acknowledge its an inseparable part for any outdoor activities, thus we have picked the best camping tarps in the market. Each of the items belongs to renowned brands with advanced features. Let’s not waste any more of your time and get started with the review!
1. Stansport Reinforced Multi-Purpose Tarp
Our first reinforced multi-functional tarp belongs to renowned brand Stansport. This tarp comes with all the necessary features and built-in quality that you need for camping. Let’s discuss what they are.
The most remarkable feature of this tarp is, it’s made of washable polyethylene material. Due to this fabric, the tarp is renowned to be the best water resistant and no shrinkable tarp. So, when you are using it, you don’t need to worry about getting wet, ripping or shrinking the material.
Additionally, the size of the tarp is appropriate to comfortably use by 2 to 3 people. Are you worried about its rope reinforced edges? Not to worry, because they are made of rust-resistant material. Overall, considering all the qualities, this multi-purpose tarp can be used as a blanket, tent, and groundsheet.
So, if you are looking for a tarp that is strong to deal with natural calamities or animal attack, you can have this durable multi-purpose tarp. It’s one of the best tarps you definitely wouldn’t want to miss.
What We Liked
- It’s washable and resistant to shrink
- Strong and durable rope reinforced edges
- Comes with anti rip and water resistant polyethylene material
What We Did Not Like
- It’s a bit heavy and complicated to fold
2. Kelty Noah’s Tarp 2013
This Kelty Noah’s tarp is renowned for its water resistant capacity. Whether you need a tarp for normal events to regular outdoor activities like camping, or boating, you can use this tarp for different uses without any doubt. It’s another tarp that is made of polyester taffeta which is available in different sizes.
So, according to your preference, you can choose the size you need. Another important feature of this tarp is the built quality and versatility. Even though it’s a simple design tarp, it will take less time to set up. This feature also makes the tarp handy and lightweight. You can easily carry it in your backpack whenever you need.
So, no matter if you are camping on an extremely rainy day or heavy snowfall. You can use this tarp as groundsheet or downsides. If you are looking for a tarp to camp in the rainy season, you can consider purchasing this popular weatherproof tarp 2013 by Kelty Noah.
What We Liked
- Easy to set up
- Lightweight and portable
- Available in different sizes
- Durable and weather resistant
- Best suitable for camping, boating, picnic, etc.
What We Did Not Like
- The tarp is not square which makes it difficult to straighten on the ground
3. Sanctuary SilTarp
Here is our thirst best camping tarp from Paria Outdoor Products. Just like any other outstanding quality tarp, it comes with the advanced features that any camper would look for. So, if you are looking for an ideal tarp to use as a tent, then you should check out the details of this Sanctuary SilTarp.
The tarp is made of nylon along with dual coated silicon. It means it will stand strong during heavy rain or wind. Another significant feature to mention is, this tarp comes with different cut and sizes. You can choose the right size and shape that suits your requirement.
Overall, it’s a strongly built tarp that is easy to set up and carry. For regular usage in moderate weather condition, you can casually use this tarp in every way you want. Also, to maximize your camp enjoyment, you can choose from the different sizes and cuts of this tarp.
What We Liked
- It’s lightweight and portable
- Can stand strong in heavy wind
- Available in different cut and sizes
- Made of waterproof and anti-rip nylon material
What We Did Not Like
- Not recommended for extreme cold weather
4. ENO Eagles Nest Outfitters
Are you searching for the best tarp for the winter season? Then this Eagles Nest outfitters tarp is rightly made for you. This polyurethane-treated tarp can save you and keep you dry during rainy days camping. Besides, the material and construction make it a strong and durable tarp that you can use for years.
The ENO Eagles Nest Outfitters is one of the most popular tarps that are used by the professionals during rainy to the winter season. You can casually use this tarp without any worries of getting wet, rip or damage. It’s a great quality tarp comes at an affordable price. You can have for camping or other outdoor events to use all the year around.
Besides the water-resistant capability, this tarp can protect you from a heavy storm. However, it’s lightweight, thus you can easily fold it and carry anywhere. It’s also a multi-purpose tarp that can be used for covering the firewood, kitchen, clothes, gear, etc.
What We Liked
- Easy to set up and packing
- Available in affordable price
- Best use for the rainy season
- Made of weather resistant material
What We Did Not Like
- The tie-strap may need an additional cord to tie with distant branches
5. Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp
Here is our fifth but one of the most versatile tarps which belong to Sea to Summit. It’s a colorful and stylish tarp that will make your mind joyful on a sunny day morning campsite. Along with the appreciating appearance, the tarp comes with extensive quality as well.
This tarp is made of seam-sealed Sil coated nylon. As you already know this material can protect you from rainwater. Additionally, to help you set up the tarp easily, it comes with Hypalon and back tack tie out points. All you need to do is find a suitable place to set up the camp and tie the knots. Moreover, due to this feature, you can easily set up the tarp as an A shape tent.
But, if the tie out points is not long enough for distant points, you need to use an additional cord. Apart from that, this tarp is extremely lightweight and easily packable in your backpack.
From the overall construction and water resistance capacity, this can be an ideal tarp for the regular campers and Adventist who wants to try all types of thrilling experience at the campsite.
What We Liked
- Easy to set up
- Designed with tie-knot
- Lightweight and durable
- Can be used as A shape tent
- The package comes with a manual
- Made of water-resistant material Nylon
What We Did Not Like
- Need additional cord to tie as a hammock
What Is the Difference Between a Tarp and A Tent?
It’s a common question a lot of people ask who do not have much knowledge and experience about camping or similar activities. Often, people mistakenly think a tarp and tent are the same things. Definitely, they are not.
A tarp is just a piece of large, water-resistant sheet that can be used in multiple ways for multiple purposes. If you want to use it as shelter, you can manually make one using rope and poles. Usually, tarps are made with durable material, lightweight and easy to carry anywhere.
On the other hand, a tent is like a portable house. It’s a ready shelter that comes with space for sleeping, storing items, vestibules to slide the rainwater, doors, and windows. You can use a tarp in different ways, but a tent is meant to be used only for shelter.
What is high-quality camping tarps and why do you need it?
A tarp is the short form of Tarpaulins. From the above discussion, you already know that a tarp is a large sheet which can be used for many purposes. Nevertheless, the tarp is actually a lightweight sheet that can be used as a shelter or a protector. For instance, if you are camping during the summer, you can simply use the tarp as a DIY tent.
The materials used in tarps are usually breathable. Besides, they are water resistant which will protect you from rain or snow. Now that you understand what a tarp is, let’s discuss why you need it.
Well, if you are in a limited budget and trying hard to make a trip plan, how would you cut the cost? You might be thinking about taking only the most necessary and limited items. But, finding the right alternative in the best price without minimizing the list would be a great idea. Isn’t it! Likewise, one of the beneficial alternatives for camping would be using tarps instead of a tent.
Moreover, it’s a budget-friendly item that you can use for shelter or other purposes. Tarps are not only cheap but also lightweight, easily portable and useful for outdoor activities in any season. Especially in summer, you can use it as a shelter with proper ventilation, or use it to protect yourself from rainwater. Additionally, in winter, you can also use the tarp to use layer beneath the tent or above to save yourself and the tent or use it for keeping your necessary items.
The Benefits of Using a Tarp for Camping
Their benefits of using a tarp during camping are huge. Even though it’s just a piece of sheet, you can use it for any purposes from accommodation to protection. Here are some popular uses of tarps that you can also consider to use during your campsite.
A good quality tarp can be used as a budget-friendly comfortable tent. You can make your own customized tent for a group of people without any worry of getting drenched.
If you don’t want to hurt your shoulder with a heavy tent, you can use a tarp. They are lightweight compared to the tent thus you can just easily fold and carry it anywhere you want. Also, it will make your journey less tiring.
You can use a tarp as a base of your tent. It will protect you from getting cold, snow or dew during winter. And during summer, you can use the tarp as vestibules or enjoy the nature remaining under the tarp.
When you are camping in a forest or open space or sunbathing at the beach, it’s a great accommodating item to just sit or sleep or read books during the daytime. The tarp helps you to remain close to nature.
When you are camping with a lot of people together and feeling the scarcity of place to sleep. You can use the tarp for sleeping arrangement or enjoying the night time fun.
You can also use the tarp as a floor for bathing, changing clothes, picnic, and bathtub bottom and so on. Also, during winter you can use the tarp as a blanket.
Points to remember during camping with a tarp
An experienced camper or traveler knows how to make the best use of a tarp. If you are an amateur adventurer, you need to remember a few things while camping with a tarp. Definitely, a tarp can be used for several purposes. However, you need to be cautious about certain things and make additional arrangements considering the below mentioned factors.
1. How to stay warm while camping with a tarp in winter
A tarp is not a tent. If you want to use the tarp during winter camping, warmth might be a matter of concern. So, if you don’t prefer to have a tent and planning to sleep in a sleeping bag, you can use the tarp as a ground sheet. On the other hand, you can also use the tarp as a roof during the rainy season. However, if you are planning to use a tarp as a tent during winter, make sure you have the additional accessories like thermal, warm clothes, blanket, etc. to keep you warm.
2. A tarp is not a safeguard from insects and animals
During daytime or night time, a tarp can be used as a roof or sitting mat for sunbathing, reading or lying down in the open sky. But a tarp does not come with walls like a tent. So, there is a risk of getting bitten by insects and bugs. Therefore, make sure you take medicine to protect you from mosquitos, bees and so on. You can also light a candle to stay away from bugs.
Also, to be safe from dangerous animals, you can keep a knife, stick or stone for self-defense.
3. Practice to set up tarp beforehand
Setting up a tarp as the tent is a bit complicated. You can stick, and ropes to set up the tarp. Therefore, it would be better if you can practice beforehand. It would be a great opportunity to learn to become a great traveler.
Must have features to consider finding the best camping tarp
As you have surfed the internet finding the best camping tarp, you have already seen thousands of tarp from hundreds of brands. How do you find the right one? Surely, it’s not easy at all. There need to have some identifying criteria that will help you to judge the quality of the tarp. Here, we are discussing the must-have features that should be present in your targeted tarp.
Let’s find out what they are!
Most of the people prefer to have tarp because it’s easy to carry in hand or backpack. Therefore, it’s important to check whether its lightweight or heavy. The weight of a good quality tarp depends on size, material, and thickness. Therefore, the weight may vary from 10 ounces to four pounds. Depending on your necessity, you should check the weight before purchasing the tarp.
The tarp is available in different sizes. If you are looking for a lightweight tarp, consider choosing a smaller size tarp. You can easily fold the tarp in a backpack and carry anywhere. However, if you need a bigger size tarp, don’t prioritize the weight or space consuming factors. Approximately, a tarp within 80 to 100 ft is suitable for two people.
Usually, the best quality tarps are made of fabrics like poly, cuben fiber, Tyvek or silnylon. Among all these types the silnylon and poly are considered to be the most durable and resistant compared to the price. They are made with nylon and silicon coated, thus they work the best with water. But, they don’t stretch.
On the other hand, the cuben fiber belongs to the expensive category since it can stretch and it’s made of layered synthetic fiber. It’s a strong material which makes a lightweight tarp. But, bear in mind that the fiber is not as durable as nylon or poly.
All these materials come with significant strength and weaknesses. It is suggested to have the repairing accessories in hand like adhesive. Also, choose the material depending on how frequently you are going to use the tarp.
Even though it may seem all tarps are featured same, each comes with different versatility. Otherwise, it would not be as useful as you need it to be. Therefore, when you are choosing a tarp to make sure it comes with eyelets around the corners. It will help you to give the tarp a proper shape.
Besides, most tarps are waterproof. But if you can find a tarp that is built with an inner net, it will help you to be safe from insects. Also, some tarps come with attachable groundsheets. You can use those as it is or underneath your tent. It will help you to stay dry and warm during cold weather.
Since versatile features add comfort to use tarp diverse ways. Remember the price would also be a bit higher. However, to make the best use of your tarp, spending a good amount of money is worth it.
We would suggest you refrain from an extreme thick tarp. They are not only heavy but also difficult to manage. Rather, choose the tarp that is thin yet has features like water resistant and anti-tear technology. Again, the thickness of your tarp would depend on how you use it. If you want to use as the groundsheet of your tent, then you can choose a thin one. Otherwise, you would need comparatively a thicker tarp to use as a tent.
Starting from material to the overall construction of the tarp decides how is the built quality of a tarp. Therefore, always check how the tarp is stitched, what material is used, the tie-down quality, design, inner material, etc. each of these sections need to be strongly made and durable. Your tarp will deal with heavy wind, snow or other natural calamities. If the construction is not strong, then it will not last long.
What might happen if you don’t consider the must-have features
Since you are going to spend money on buying an item for camping, it’s a must to consider the significant features. Otherwise, there is a high chance of investing money on the wrong product. More importantly, if the purchased tarp doesn’t serve the purpose, then it will not last long. In the end, you will end up using it as a garbage bag, or kids play material.
Moreover, each of the above-mentioned features is significant because if you overlook one like eyelets, you will have a hard time tying the tarp when needed. Besides, when you go to the market to purchase, the seller will always try to sell their products anyway. But, if you know what needs to be prioritized, you can make the right decision without being dependent on the seller or others’ reviews.
Overall, only you know what purpose and how are you going to use the tarp. Therefore, to find your best ideal tarp, the features are important to consider in order to shortlist your targeted tarp. Then, you can easily decide which one you should go for. Therefore, we highly recommend going through these features before you actually make the purchase.
How to set up best camping tarps by own? Here is the video about it that may give a solution.
We are at the end of our review on best camping tarps. We hope you can find your best suitable and outstanding quality tarp from the recommended list. You can have full faith in our reviews as they include only real information including strengths and weaknesses. We don’t allow any wrong information.
Additionally, to help you take the right decision, we have provided you with a list of must-have features that you should look for in your targeted tarp. So, pick the one you like the most and let us know your camp experience with your desired tarp.