There’s just something so utterly relaxing about drifting off to sleep in a slowly rocking hammock. Unfortunately, there aren’t many things more shocking than waking up drenched to the bone from a sudden downpour in that same hammock. Hammock tarps are fast becoming an essential piece of gear for ultralight backpackers and day hikers alike. Today we’ll review the best hammock tarps on the market to help you figure out what works for your needs.
- 1 Best Hammock Tarps
- 1.1 ENO Hammock ProFly Rain Tarp
- 1.2 Hennessy Hammock Hex Rainfly Tarp
- 1.3 ENO HouseFly Rain Tarp
- 1.4 Chill Gorilla 10×10 Hammock Rain Fly Camping Tarp
- 1.5 ENO DryFly Rain Tarp
- 1.6 Free Soldier Waterproof Multifunctional Hammock Tarp
- 1.7 Foxelli Lightweight, Portable, Waterproof Rain Tarp
- 1.8 Ultimate Survival Technologies Tube Hammock Tarp
- 1.9 Wise Owl Outfitters WiseFly Hammock Rain Fly Tent Tarp
- 1.10 Chill Gorilla Fortress Hammock Rain Fly Camping Tarp
- 2 Buyers Guide to Buying the Best Hammock Tarps
- 3 Final Thoughts
Best Hammock Tarps
With hammock tarps less is usually more. You want a product that’s durable, sure, but it needs to be as light as possible. After all, you’re probably going to have to hump it across who knows how many miles of hilly terrain.
We’ve picked out several great products all the way from entry level and ultra light to four seasons and top of the line.
ENO Hammock ProFly Rain Tarp
Eagles Nest Outfitters, more commonly known as ENO, is one of the largest and most respected makers of hammocks and hammock camping gear in the world. Their ProFly rain fly is an ultralight backpacking tarp designed to provide excellent protection while weighing just 22 ounces.
It’s made from 70D PU coated rip-stop nylon in a hexagonal catenary shape. It’s 10.5 feet long and 6 feet 3 inches wide. It’s quick and easy to set up and comes in a range of great colors.
The ProFly has a six point guy system and an end-only ridgeline. It uses LineLoc tensioners to get your ridge and guy lines perfectly tight with just a tug. This allows you to adjust them without having to tie and untie annoying knots.
The ProFly isn’t cheap but you get a lot of value for your money. It’s an excellent three season hammock tarp that gives good coverage from the rain wherever you find yourself.
Hennessy Hammock Hex Rainfly Tarp
The Hennessy Hammock Hex Rainfly is a hexagonal catenary tarp. It’s made from PU coated rip-stop polyester and weighs 27 ounces.
It’s 143 inches long on the centerline and can extend out a full 120 inches when set up flat for shade. The Hex is designed to work just as well as a daytime shade tarp as it does as a hammock rainfly.
It uses an end-only ridgeline and has four guy points with lines permanently attached. It’s quick and pretty easy to set up and quickly stuffs down into a small sack for transport.
Overall the Hennessy Hex is a quality hammock tarp made from durable materials. It’s lightweight, easy to set up and dependable.
ENO HouseFly Rain Tarp
The ENO HouseFly is a four season hammock tarp designed to create an oasis of warmth and comfort around your hammock. It’s made from 30D silnylon with double stitched and fully waterproof seams.
It has a 10-point anchor system including two end-only ridge points and eight guy points. This allows you to securely tie it down with end flaps open or closed.
It gives you 10 feet 8 inches of cover along the centerline and is 8 feet 10 inches wide. This gives you exceptionally good coverage in all weather conditions.
One of the things we liked most about the HouseFly is the relative ease to set it up. Unlike cheaper hammock tarps the HouseFly uses a knot free tie-out system. Instead of having to tie and tension your lines you can just pull them taut along the line. It even comes with eight tie down stakes.
The ENO HouseFly is a robust four season hammock tarp at a reasonable price. It provides excellent wind and rain protection yet is easy to pack down and hike with.
Chill Gorilla 10×10 Hammock Rain Fly Camping Tarp
The Chill Gorilla is designed to be a jack of all trades camping tarp. It’s made from PU coated ripstop nylon in a 10 foot by 10 foot square design.
This gives you tons of flexibility for how you use the tarp. You can go for a diamond centerline suspension and get a full 170 inches of coverage. If you prefer a classic rectangle it folds in the middle while still giving you five feet on either side.
It has nine tie-out points, four aluminum stakes, and includes six guylines plus tensioner clips. This allows you to set it up in a variety of positions and configurations without having to worry about complicated knots.
The Chill Gorilla is a quality hammock tarp that’s versatile and priced to sell. You get a good product that provides a ton of value.
ENO DryFly Rain Tarp
The ENO DryFly is basically a reinforced version of their wildly popular ProFly. It’s made from the same 70D ripstop nylon as the ProFly and has mostly the same shape and configuration.
The only real difference between the two is the addition of another pair of guy points. Unlike the ProFly with six total attachment points including the ridgeline the DryFly has eight.
The two extra are right at the center of the hammock and add extra stability in very windy conditions. It’s about the same dimensions as the ProFly and weighs just three ounces more at 25 ounces.
If you like the ProFly but camp in very windy conditions the DryFly is a great option to consider.
Free Soldier Waterproof Multifunctional Hammock Tarp
The Free Soldier multifunctional tarp is designed to fulfill many of the most crucial tarp needs while on a hiking or camping trip. It can be used to provide shade, as a rain fly or to create a makeshift tent.
It’s made from 210T ripstop polyester with a waterproof PU coating. It offers a full 19 guy points. This allows you to set it up in a vast array of configurations and locations. Five of the guy points are actually reinforced fabric grommets for use as ridgelines or other suspension points.
It measures 118 by 126 inches, giving you substantial coverage while weighing 34 ounces. That’s a bit on the heavy side for a hammock tarp but in line with the heavy duty feel of the Free Soldier.
If you’re looking for a more versatile tarp that can work as a rain fly or a basic groundcover the Free Soldier multifunctional tarp should definitely be considered.
Foxelli Lightweight, Portable, Waterproof Rain Tarp
The Foxelli rain tarp is a lightweight camping tarp designed to work as a hammock rain fly or a basic shade tarp. It’s a diamond shaped tarp with a 12 foot centerline that weighs just 18.2 ounces fully outfitted.
That makes it one of the lightest hammock tarps available. It has four total guy points with reinforced metal rings. This offers reasonably good coverage but doesn’t allow for truly windy or blowing rain conditions.
If you’re looking for a basic and affordable hammock tarp the Foxelli rain tarp is a great option. It doesn’t offer the advanced features of some other tarps but it’s inexpensive, lightweight, and gets the job done.
Ultimate Survival Technologies Tube Hammock Tarp
The UST Tube Tarp is a lightweight hex style tarp. It’s designed for a single person and is smaller than many of the other tarps we’ve reviewed here at just 108 inches long.
It’s made using a combination of synthetic fabric and an aluminized coating and weighs 24 ounces. This gives it thermal insulating properties other tarps just don’t offer.
The body is designed to form an emergency tent through the use of a zipper point. This allows you to zip the tarp together into a tube for a single person tent/sleeping bag hybrid.
The UST Tube Tarp is a unique product that combines a lot of interesting features together. It’s not the best or lightest hammock tarp to be sure but it’s affordable and offers some features a lot of campers might really like.
Wise Owl Outfitters WiseFly Hammock Rain Fly Tent Tarp
The Wise Owl Outfitters WiseFly is a hexagonal rain fly made from 210t ripstop nylon. It’s 11 feet long and includes everything you need for comfortable coverage.
Despite its very reasonable price the WiseFly has all the markings of quality. The seams are triple stitched and sealed for maximum strength and water resistance. Despite being extraordinarily large it weighs just 19 ounces.
It comes with aluminum stakes and attached 10 foot guylines. This lets you tie it up just about anywhere, in just about any configuration.
The WiseFly is a large yet lightweight rain fly made from quality materials. It gives you excellent performance for a very reasonable price.
Chill Gorilla Fortress Hammock Rain Fly Camping Tarp
The Chill Gorilla Fortress is a four season rain fly made to stand up to any conditions. It’s made from ultralight silnylon and weighs just under 21 ounces.
It measures 138 inches along the centerline and includes four door flaps to seal out the elements. This gives you ample coverage and a cozy little sealed off space.
It includes everything you need to really batten down the hatches while out camping. The eight tie-out points connect with included three meter guy line with tensioning clips and tent stakes. This lets you securely attach it without having to tie a single knot.
For a rainfly made from silnylon the Fortress is a really great bargain. It’s definitely pricey, but when compared to other top-of-the-line four season hammock tarps you’re getting a deal.
Buyers Guide to Buying the Best Hammock Tarps
When it comes right down to it most hammock tarps are very similar to one another. There are just a few major factors you have to consider relating to coverage and quality.
Before you read our buyer’s guide let me tell you about a few of our other hammock articles you’re sure to enjoy.
- Best Hammock Bug Net
- Best Portable Hammock Stand
- Best Hammock Tent
- Best Hammock Underquilt
- Best Sleeping Pad for Hammocks
- Best Hammock Straps
You can get a reasonably good hammock tarp for about $20-$30. If you want the lightest and most durable tarps expect to spend up to $200.
Within that range you’ll see a lot of excellent tarps around the $60-$100 band as well.
Shape and Style
While most hammock tarps are roughly rectangular there are several different suspension styles and a few specialty shapes to think about.
Asymmetric Tarps – An asymmetric hammock tarp is basically a rectangular tarp with lines connecting to each of the four corners. Two corners opposite each other are connected between two trees or hooks with the other two corners tied down to stakes on the ground.
One of the stakes will be on one side towards your feet while the other will be on the opposite side more towards your head. This is one of the easiest hammock rain flies to set up and requires just two ground stakes and a single line across your hammock.
The biggest downside is that it provides less coverage. You pretty much have to sleep directly along the line of the tarp to stay dry.
Diamond Tarps – Diamond tarps are square or rectangular and are suspended in a diamond shape with two corners going across a center line. The other two corners are connected to stakes or other trees directly across from one another on opposite sides of the hammock.
Diamond tarps are easy to set up and take just a few minutes once the lines are attached. They provide good coverage from the rain while still allowing a comfortable breeze to blow through.
These are great for warm to cool weather hikes where you’re more worried about avoiding the heat than the cold.
Hexagon Catenary Cut Tarps – This type of tarp is hexagonal in shape and has 6 corners that keep the material pulled taut. The ridgeline is centered above your hammock with four guy lines at each of the four corners spaced evenly around it.
This gives it excellent coverage from rain and wind blowing from the side. It also maintains the tautness of the fabric so long as all the stakes stay in the ground.
Because it has six points of contact instead of four it takes longer to get properly set up and centered.
Rectangle Tarps – Rectangular tops are the most common and simplest to understand. It’s a rectangular piece of fabric suspended from a ridgeline with four tie-outs staked down.
Each of the corners pulls the material out the side at the top and the bottom. It’s similar to the hexagonal catenary tarp but lacks the additional coverage near the head and feet.
It takes about as long to set up as the hexagonal tarp and gives you reasonably good coverage from rain and wind.
Winter 4-Seasons Tarps – For hammock camping in cold or stormy conditions it’s hard to beat a 4-season tarp. It offers complete enclosure from the elements and is really more like a suspended tent than anything else.
It has the same basic shape as a rectangular tarp with four small flaps added on the ends. These have their own tie-outs and can be connected to close off each end.
This gives you a fully closed area that’s highly resistant to wind and rain. If you use a tarp made from heavier materials it also acts as an insulator and helps trap more warmth near your hammock.
Tarp Material and Weight
Back in the day your only real options for tarps were oiled canvas or maybe heavy duty polyethylene sheeting. Thankfully new materials have been developed that make tarps lighter, stronger, and easier to work with than ever before.
The best quality hammock tarps and rain flies are made from nylon and dyneema. Nylon tarps come in several different varieties depending on the different coatings applied to them and how they’re woven together.
Nylon tarps will range in price based on their weight and the type of coating. PU nylon and silnylon are two popular options for hammock tarps because they’re lightweight and waterproof.
Dyneema tarps are going to be the best available. They’re made using technology developed for creating sails and are actually a single sheet of ultra lightweight polyethylene. They fold into a very compact package, weigh almost nothing for their size, and are totally waterproof.
Size and Coverage
Most tarp sizes will work for hammock camping. The most basic sizing relates to the length of your hammock. Your tarp should extend out at least six inches past each end to prevent rain from dripping in.
Larger tarps offer more coverage and can help keep you warm and dry during wet or cold conditions. The tradeoff for more space is greater weight.
Larger tarps are also harder to pitch alone than smaller ones. If you’re going on a solo trip make sure you practice setting up your tarp before going into the backcountry.
Hammock tarps are generally made with a focus on being lightweight and compact. They aren’t designed to be used as a groundcover so they’re less robust than traditional tarps.
They’re able to stand up well to small branches and other blown debris and resist damage from falls. If you notice a tear or cut early it’s relatively simple to stitch a patch in to stop it from spreading.
When possible purchase a tarp with rip-stop material. These are extra stitches put in place to help slow the spread of tears and cuts.
As long as you remember what hammock tarps should and shouldn’t be used for they’re very robust.
There are two basic styles of ridgelines with hammock tarps:
End-only ridgelines are either permanently attached to each end of the tarp or clip into loops or eye holes. They help eliminate some weight from the reduced use of rope but have slightly lower strength than full-length ridgelines.
Full-length ridgelines run the entire distance between two attachment points. Most of the time they’ll run underneath your hammock tarp and support it from below. There are several benefits to this type of ridge system.
If you’re setting up camp alone you can string up a full-length ridgeline and toss your tarp over it. This makes it a lot easier to get the rest of the guy lines and tie-outs squared away.
With the ridgeline running underneath your tarp you’ve got a handy place to clip lights, hang clothes from, and generally keep yourself organized.
Guy lines work the same on hammock tarps as they do on tents. They attach to different areas on the tarp and connect to stakes firmly planted in the ground.
This helps keep your tarp taut and directs any rainflow where you want it to go. How many guy lines your tarp has and where they originate from is going to impact how easy it is to set up, how much it weighs, and how effective it is as a rain fly.
When considering different hammock tarps it’s important you consider where and how you’ll be using it. If you mostly camp in the spring and summer there’s no reason to pay for and carry a heavy duty four season tarp.
Figure out your budget and find a tarp that fits your needs. So long as you keep the things we mentioned above in mind you’re sure to find one you like.