The best part about hammock camping is sleeping under the starlit sky. But what happens when the storm clouds roll in?
As the old saying goes, “hope for the best and plan for the worst.” Just as you’d never go traditional camping without a tent, you shouldn’t pack a hammock without a tarp. This minimalist shelter is lightweight, easy to set up and take down, and provides all the protection you’ll need against inclement weather.
Of course, there are a few different types of hammock tarps designed to thrive in different environments. There are simple overhead tarps that offer basic protection from the rain, and there are more advanced tarps designed to withstand heavy downpours and wind.
You’ll even find some tarps that mimic the functionality of a tent, adding doors and additional tie outs for maximum protection from the elements.
To help you find the perfect tarp to pair with your hammock, we’ve compiled a list of the best hammock tarps of every shape and size. Whether you’re looking for a simple minimalist shelter or a four-season workhorse, we’ve got you covered (literally).
The ProFly features a hex-cut shape with six attachment points, providing ample coverage to keep you and your gear out of the rain. It’s easy to set up and take down, and packs nicely into the included stuff sack for convenient storage.
The 70D ripstop nylon material includes a 1000mm polyurethane treatment with fully-taped double-stitched seams for superior water resistance. The PU coating and double stitching also improve the tarp’s long-term durability.
The ProFly is designed specifically for ENO hammocks, but it works well with most third-party gathered-end hammocks. The caveat is the tarp’s 126″ length may not be enough to cover longer hammocks. In this case, consider upgrading to the ENO ProFly XL for an extra two feet in length and three feet in width.
Eno also offers both the regular and XL sizes in silnylon, offering a little extra weight relief as well.Check Amazon Price Check REI Price
- Shape: rectangular
- Guy-out points: 6
- Material: 70D ripstop nylon
- Dimensions: 126” x 76”
- Weight: 22 oz.
Kammok has a solid reputation for incorporating premium materials and innovative features in their products, and the Kuhli doesn’t disappoint. With 108 square feet of coverage and more than 6 ways to set up shelter, the Kuhli is a quick and versatile weather fortress. It’s backed by a lifetime warranty, too, so you know it’s built to last.
The Kuhli uses lightweight Patagium™ 15D Silicone/PU/DWR-coated 1200mm fabric that’s virtually impervious to wind, rain, and snow. The shelter’s stitched seams are sealed with waterproof tape for a leak-proof finish.
The Kuhli features 10 Hypalon-reinforced guy-out points with cord lock adjustments for maximum adaptability and superior protection from high winds and inclement weather. The reinforcement points are laser cut and sewn with a circle bartack stitch to create a secure opening for telescoping or trekking pole tips.
The Kuhli features a new knotless design with built-in line-lock tensioners and cord hooks. Setup is easy and seamless, so there’s no more fumbling with knots in the rain. The tarp includes cord pockets near each anchor point where you can stash unused cords, and reflective guylines to avoid getting clotheslined in the dark.
Kammok uses their proprietary Diamond Shell™ fabric for the stuff sack, making it water-resistant and abrasion-resistant. The stuff sack includes button snaps that easily attach to your hammock’s gear loops, backpack, or ridgeline, so you can stash some gear off the ground.
The Kuhli comes with four industry-leading DAC J-Stakes built with TH72M-T6 aluminum. There are notches at the top to secure your guylines, and notches halfway down so you can put the line flush against the ground. You’ll find designated stake pockets in the stuff sack for easy storage.Check Amazon Price Check REI Price
- Shape: rectangular
- Guy-out points: 10
- Material: Patagium™ 15D ripstop nylon
- Dimensions: 144” x 108”
- Pack size: 4.5” x 8”
- Weight: 20.5 oz.
Editor’s Choice: Warbonnet Outdoors Superfly
Those of you who’ve read our other hammock camping guides should know we’re big fans of Warbonnet Outdoors. They’re one of the best cottage companies in the industry, handcrafting every product with exceptional attention to detail.
The Superfly is the most popular hammock tarp from Warbonnet Outdoors. Also their largest tarp, the Superfly is essentially a combination of the popular Mamajamba tarp and their removable Tarp Door Kit.
The Superfly’s permanent doors make this an excellent all-season tarp, capable of adapting to any conditions. When it’s warm and sunny, fold the doors underneath to let in the fresh air. When it’s cold, rainy, windy, or snowy, tie out the doors for maximum protection from the elements.
There are a few configurations to choose from when purchasing a Superfly tarp. You can choose an 11-foot or 13-foot ridgeline, and you can opt for nylon or polyester fabric.
The nylon is stronger and more durable, while the polyester is stretch resistant and absorbs less water. Both fabrics feature a 2000mm hydrostatic head waterproof rating.Check Current Price
- Shape: hex
- Guy-out points: 14
- Material: 30D NeverMist™ Silnylon, 20D NeverMist™ Silpoly, 30D NeverMist™ Silpoly
- Dimensions: 132” x 120” (11’), 156” x 120” (13’)
- Weight: 18 oz. – 20 oz. (11’), 22.5 oz. (13’)
Best Value: Hennessy Hex
Hennessy hammocks usually come with a standard rainfly, so why would you buy a second tarp? Simple: the Hennessy Hex is twice the size of the standard rainfly, providing you double the protection and privacy.
The Hennessy Hex is a versatile rainfly that you can pitch a couple different ways. For a solo shelter, pull the guylines down to the ground on both sides for maximum protection from the wind and rain.
For a group shelter, angle the tarp but attach the guylines to nearby trees for wide coverage that’s large enough to cover several hammocks.
Like the Kammok Kuhli, the Hennessy Hex also includes storage pockets near the corners. Use these to stash unused cords to avoid tripping over them at night.Check Amazon Price Check REI Price
- Shape: hex
- Guy-out points: 6
- Material: coated polyester
- Dimensions: 143” x 120”
- Pack size: 3.5” x 11”
- Weight: 27 oz.
Arrowhead Equipment Toxaway Tarp
Arrowhead Equipment is a cottage company based in southwest Idaho. The Toxaway Tarp is their most popular rainfly — a simple, effective catenary-cut hex tarp that’s great for beginners and pros alike.
The Toxaway Tarp features a 12-foot ridgeline with more than enough coverage for most hammocks. Despite being larger than average, the tarp employs a weight-saving design with a rolled hem construction and ½” D-rings for perimeter guy-out points that cuts excessive overbuilds and saves ounces. The result is a surprisingly lightweight tarp, weighing just over 15 ounces.
The standard setup uses basic D-rings, or you can upgrade to Beastee Dees or Line Lock 3s. You can also opt to have Arrowhead Equipment seam-seal the ridgeline, which we absolutely recommend.
They’ll stretch the tarp at each corner with a 30 lb load to ensure the ridgeline seam is fully expanded, allowing the sealer to penetrate every stitch hole for an even, clean coating of sealer.Check Current Price
- Shape: catenary-cut hex
- Guy-out points: 6
- Material: Silnylon
- Dimensions: 144” x 127”
- Weight: 15.5 oz.
UGQ SilPoly Winterdream Tarp
The SilPoly Winterdream Tarp from UGQ is engineered to keep you and your gear dry in harsh conditions. The waterproof tarp features double doors with high-strength snap closures, so you can batten down the hatches when the storm clouds roll in.
For materials, you can choose between UGQ’s 2nd generation 20D Silpoly ripstop or their new 15D Silpoly Membrane fabric. The 20D Silpoly ripstop fabric features a silicone/PU layer on each side for a completely waterproof, windproof finish with increased UV resistance.
The 15D Silypoly Membrane fabric offers the same benefits with an overall weight that’s 15% to 30% lighter. Simply put, it’s the lightest waterproof polyester fabric on the market.
The SilPoly Winterdream Tarp features a triple-stitched polyester modified french seam ridge with a double split ring ridge connection, black polyester double-stitched reinforced structural edge tape detail, and UGQ’s unique double split ring “zero stress” tie outs. You can also opt for taped seams for a small additional fee, which we recommend doing for maximum waterproofing.Check Current Price
- Shape: catenary
- Guy-out points: 10
- Material: 20D Silpoly, 15D Silpoly Membrane
- Dimensions: 132” x 116” (11’), 144” x 116” (12’), 156” x 116” (13’)
- Weight: 15.4 oz. – 21.0 oz. (depending on configuration)
Hummingbird Pelican Rain Tarp
Hummingbird Hammocks is all about reliable ultralight gear. The Pelican Rain Tarp lives up to the reputation, weighing in at just 12.8 ounces with sturdy stitching that meets FAA parachute rigging standards. If it’s good enough to jump out of a plane with, rest assured it’ll keep the wind and rain at bay in the backcountry.
The Pelican Rain Tarp combines a lightweight Silpoly fabric with a meticulous design to deliver heavyweight protection in an ultralight, compact package. T
he Silpoly fabric features a thin silicone coating that makes it waterproof and windproof. The hydrophobic fabric won’t stretch when wet, and you can easily shake off the water before packing it away in your bag.
Hummingbird Hammocks employs proprietary Quick Adjuster Hardware to make setup a cinch. All you have to do is pass the cord through the triangular opening, pull the tarp tight, and wrap the cord through the three small slots to create a friction lock.
No complicated knots, no more issues trying to get the tension just right, and no more unbreakable knots in the morning. The hardware glows in the dark, too, so it’s easier to set up at night.
The Pelican Rain Tarp features a second layer of fabric and bar tacking through the hemmed seam to withstand heavy winds and rain. When the storms roll in, you can seal the door flaps and sleep well knowing you’ll be safe and dry all night.Check Amazon Price
- Shape: hex
- Guy-out points: 10
- Material: 0.9 oz. Silpoly
- Dimensions: 137” x 112”
- Pack size: 8” x 4” x 4”
- Weight: 12.8 oz.
Upgrade Pick: DutchWare Hex Tarp with Dyneema Composite Fabric
DutchWare is a legend in the hammock camping industry. These guys produce innovative, high quality products with a minimalist approach to design and production. Everything is handcrafted in the USA, and they offer an incredibly diverse line of products that’ll satisfy the pickiest hammock hangers.
DutchWare’s Hex Tarp with Dyneema Composite Fabric is the king of ultralight hammock tarps. At 6.9 ounces, it’s less than half the weight of most competing tarps. It’ll keep you high and dry through the wind and rain without wasting an ounce of pack weight.
This tarp is an excellent choice for hardcore minimalist backpackers who prioritize ounces and pack size, but it may not be the best tarp for backpackers and campers who don’t mind a heavier tarp. The minimalist design doesn’t offer as many guy-out points, it’s smaller than most other tarps, and the waterproofing level isn’t as high as what you’ll find in other tarps.Check Current Price
- Shape: hex
- Guy-out points: 6
- Material: Dyneema Composite
- Dimensions: 136” x 102”
- Weight: 6.9 oz.
Hammock Gear Dyneema Fiber Standard Tarp with Doors
The Dyneema Fiber Standard Tarp with Doors from Hammock Gear uses a special Dyneema Fiber fabric. Sometimes referred to as Cuben Fiber, it’s is a high-performance, non-woven fabric that’s quickly gaining traction in the backpacking community. Take a glance at the final weigh-in for this tarp, and you’ll quickly see why.
This four-season tarp is designed to be as light as possible without sacrificing durability. The catenary-cut tarp features two ridgeline tie outs, eight perimeter tie outs, and four panel pullouts. You’ll find ½” D-rings on every tie out except the ridgeline, where they upgrade to ¾” Beastee Dees. All of the guyline reinforcements are bonded and sewn for maximum strength.
You won’t find any seam sealing here, but then again this tarp doesn’t need it. The ridgeline isn’t sewed, so there’s no need for seam sealing.
The Dyneema Fiber Standard Tarp with Doors doesn’t come with guylines or stakes, but it does come with a Dyneema Fiber stuff sack and repair kit for field repairs.Check Current Price
- Shape: catenary
- Guy-out points: 8
- Material: Dyneema (Cuben) Fiber
- Dimensions: 120” x 102” (10’), 136” x 102” (11’), 144” x 102” (12’)
- Weight: 6.7 oz. – 9.26 oz. (depending on configuration)
Factors for Choosing a Hammock Tarp
Generally speaking, your tarp needs to be able cover your hammock. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 6 inches / 15 cm coverage on either end of the hammock. As such, you will need to know the length of your hammock (when hanging) to determine the required length of your tarp. If you plan on hanging in extreme weather (high wind, heavy rain, snow, ect.) you might want your tarp to be extra long for more coverage.
The width of the tarp is less important than the length, but again, if you plan to hang in extreme weather, you may want a wider tarp. Do consider that a “wider” tarp means that the sides will drape closer to the ground. This not only adds extra protection during storms, but extra privacy when in your hammock. A wide tarp is not a necessity for most hammock campers, but may be a preference for many.
The size of the tarp can also be a determining factor for the tarp’s weight (more on that below). A tarp’s size is often determined by the tarp’s shape (more on that below as well).
Weight is mostly of concern when backpacking, as opposed to car camping, kayak camping, etc. If you fall under the category of either a lightweight or ultralight backpacker, you may be especially concerned about lightening your load. Just know the biggest factor for determining weight is the tarp’s material. In the hammock world, there are three common tarp-building materials:
- Ripstop Nylon: The heaviest of the three materials, ripstop nylon is still the fairly light in weight. However, if you are a weight-conscious backpacker, you will likely want a lighter material. Of course, the benefit of a heavier material like regular ol’ ripstop nylon is top durability.
- Silicon-Impregnated Ripstop Nylon: Commonly known as sil-nylon, this is a nice middle-of-road material that is light in weight and fairly durable.
- Dyneema Composite: The lightest of the materials, dyneema composite is a favorite among ultralight backpackers. Just be wary that it is also the least durable material.
As you may have noticed above in the weight section, a tarp’s weight and durability act as a balancing act. If you want a more durable tarp made out of ripstop nylon, you will have to take a weight penalty.
Also note that a secondary factor in the tarp’s durability is build quality of the tarp. A tarp that is poorly made tarp is more likely to tear than a well-made tarp.
The most common tarps shapes are:
Rectangular: The old standard, rectangular tarps offer the most coverage but also use more material so are often the heaviest and bulkiest.
Square: Similar to the rectangular tarps, square tarps can come in a variety of sizes. As such, some are very small and are used by ultralight backpackers for ultimate weight savings. However, the larger square tarps can offer big weather coverage and be quite a bit heavier.
Hexagon: Hex-shaped tarps are quickly becoming the most popular hammock camping tarp because of balanced combination of good weather coverage while being lighter and less bulky than rectangles. For the majority of hammock campers, this is the best choice.
Diamond: Also known as asymmetrical tarps, these are often designed to go with asymmetrical hammocks such as the Hennessy Expedition. They are also often used by ultralight backpackers for their efficient use of space and material. However, care must be taken when orientating them so that the open end is not facing into the wind or you could have a very cold and wet night.
Build Quality and Price
This will likely seem obvious, but the overall build quality will effect the durability, usability, and life-span of the tarp! The biggest factor at odds with build quality is price. If you buy a super cheap tarp, it will likely fall apart much faster than if you invest in a well made tarp. If you are on a tight budget you may have to live with a crummy tarp, but may be better served saving up a little for a tarp that will last for years to come as this is often more cost-effective in the long run.
What else do you need to hang your hammock?
For such a simple approach to camping, setting up your hammock arsenal requires more parts than you may expect. You’ll need a solid hammock, a suspension system, and of course a tarp to cover your gear. Your old sleeping bag isn’t going to cut it in a hammock, so you’re also going to need to invest in a top quilt and underquilt to stay toasty warm all night.
Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t sweat it. We’ve done all the research for you, compiling comprehensive lists of the best hammock gear components:
- Best Camping Hammocks
- Best Hammock Top Quilts
- Best Hammock Underquilts
- Best Hammock Straps
- Best Hammock Bug Nets
Get some gear together and experience the joys of hammock camping.