Best Hammock Tarp for a Dry Night’s Sleep

Photo by Oisin Patenall / CC BY-SA 2.0

Editors Choice

Kammok Kuhli Pro Shelter

Kuhli Ultralight (Crater Gray)

Weighing in at only 10 oz., the Kammok Kuhli Pro Shelter tops our list for best hammock tarp.

In general, less weight means less durability for a hammock tarp. However, this tarp breaks that stereotype being amongst one of the most durable models we reviewed yet weighing in at around half the amount of all other available hammock tarps.

The ripstop nylon construction makes this tarp resistant to tears, breaks and fraying, and the 1,200 mm polyurethane coating creates a waterproof seal.

The Kammok Kuhli Pro Shelter has a multitude of uses with its eight reinforced guy points allowing you to configure the Kammok Kuhli Pro Shelter in dozens of different ways. When not utilized as a rainfly, it can become a camp kitchen cover, ground cover, or emergency shelter.

Bottom line: If you are in the market for a high quality, versatile, ultra-low weight hammock tarp, this is your best option.

Hammock Camping: Luxury In Minimalism

Looking for the Best Hammock Rain Cover for Weather Protection?

You’re in the right place! In this guide, we will be covering the following:

    • What features to consider when choosing a tarp with the best hammock weather protection.
    • Pick the right tarp shape for you
    • Reviews of seven of the best hammock tarps on the market
    • Our unbiased #1 pick for the best tarp to keep you dry

Although tents and trailers have long been the dominant shelters for most campers, hammock camping has seen a recent upsurge in popularity. For the minimalist camper or backpacker, the benefits are aplenty.

They are lightweight, do not require complicated poles to set up, and allow you to sleep above ground level, making the chances of an unwanted nighttime snake or rodent visitor much less likely.

But how do you stay dry when weather conditions deteriorate? Like a rain fly for your tent, your camping hammock needs a tarp to protect you from the elements. Our choice for the best hammock tarp for dry sleeping is the Kammok Kuhli Pro Shelter because of its versatile design, lightweight, and durable waterproof construction.

If you are interested in learning what makes a great hammock rainfly, read on.

Further reading: Bought a hammock for camping trips & need a little advice?

Considerations When Buying A Hammock Tarp

Best Tarp Size

To keep you warm and dry a good size tarp for hammock camping must firstly cover your whole hammock. In general, a tarp should overhang by at least six inches on each side so that rain drains away from you and cannot just be blown from the edge of the tarp coverage into your cozy space.

If you are planning on camping in windy areas, you will want at least a foot of overhang to ensure you stay dry during storms.

A tarp’s width is generally more important when you want it to function as something other than a rain fly, like a camp kitchen cover or stand-alone shelter. Wider tarps provide more coverage & protection from the weather, as well as having a wider range of uses. However, keep in mind that wider tarps are also going to weigh more.

Different Tarp Shapes & Benefits

Tarps come in a variety of different shapes. Choosing the right shape depends on how much coverage from wind and rain you are looking for. All tarps sit above your hammock on a ridge line, so really, the main difference is in how their shape lends itself to weather coverage and anchoring.

Rectangular

Rectangular tarps have 4 anchor points, one at each corner, with either stakes or tree straps (check out our guide to the best hammock straps). This is the classic tarp design and has been used for decades as it is sturdy and reliable. Airflow is minimal, but rectangular tarps offer the best amount of coverage from windblown rain.

Catenary

Similar to rectangular tarps but with a U-shaped crest, catenary tarps weigh less than their rectangular counterparts. They offer almost the same level of coverage as rectangular tarps, and their aerodynamic shape makes them sturdier in high winds.

Diamond Square Tarps

Diamond square tarps anchor at only two corners, so they are generally the least stable in windy conditions. They comprise some of the lightest-weight options but diamond shape tarps typically do not provide as good coverage as catenary or rectangular tarps do in high winds.

For calm, rainy conditions where you need to pack light, diamond square tarps are the gold standard.

Hexagonal

Hexagonal tarps anchor at four edges and their unique design makes them lighter weight than rectangular tarps that offer the same coverage. These provide excellent coverage and airflow but also tend to be the most expensive tarps for hammocks.

Tarp Materials, Weight & Durability

As with most outdoor gear, what the tarp is made of will determine its overall weight and durability. From heaviest to lightest, the most commonly used materials are:

Ripstop Nylon

“Heaviest” is a relative term when it comes to hammock tarps. While it is true ripstop nylon is the heaviest material, many tarps made from this— like the Kammok Kuhli Pro Shelter — weigh just over half a pound. Ripstop nylon is the most durable material, making it very popular with all but the most weight-conscious backpackers.

Silicon-Impregnated Ripstop Nylon

Also known as sil-nylon, this fabric is not quite as durable as traditional ripstop tarps but generally weighs quite a bit less. This fabric finds an excellent middle ground between the durability of plain ripstop nylon and the low weight of Dyneema composite.

Dyneema Composite: Dyneema composite tarps weigh the least of all available fabrics and are mainly utilized by ultralight backpackers. It tends to be more expensive than the other two options and is the least durable.

However, if you are backpacking in a temperate region and your primary concern is trimming weight, the Dyneema composite is the clear choice.

Waterproofing and How it is Rated

How waterproof a material is measured in millimeters with a rating system called Hydrostatic Head (HH). Essentially, a cylinder of water is placed on top of a fabric, and water is added to the cylinder until it begins to seep through the fabric due to the increased hydrostatic pressure of the water.

All you need to remember is: the larger the HH rating, the more waterproof your tarp will be. Generally, an HH rating of at least 1,000 mm means a material is considered “fully waterproof.” Anything under 1,000 mm is “water-resistant.”

For tarps that will need to stand up to the worst weather conditions, like wind-driven rainfall, the higher the HH rating, the better.

Ease of Setup

If you can set up your hammock, you will have no problem setting up a tarp for it as well. However, practice makes perfect, so set up both a few times at home before heading off to the woods.

Consisting of a ridgeline as a peak and multiple guy lines for stability and support, a hammock tarp is generally faster and easier to set up than most tent rain fly. Experiment with different tensioners and guy line configurations to see what works best for you.

Further reading: Check out our guide which gives you the lowdown on hammock tarp setups.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hammock Covers

How to Pitch a Hammock Rain Fly

Generally, a tarp will sit above your hammock supported by its own ridgeline. The two ends of the ridgeline are usually tied off to the same tree that your hammock is secured to.

Depending on what style of tarp you have, the outer guy-out points can either be tied to adjacent trees or tied to stakes.

Since water always flows downhill, it is important to tie a drip line on your ridgeline. A drip line is a simple piece of rope or cloth that collects and drips off water before it has a chance to follow the ridgeline down to drip above your head.

A splayed tarp will provide the most ground cover in wet conditions but will block less wind than a tarp that is secured closer to the base of your hammock.

HELP! My Tarp Is Sagging!

A sagging tarp can be annoying and can also let water pool, which could eventually cause a tear in the tarp itself. Generally, a sagging tarp means the ridgeline is not tight. Check your knots or tensioners to make sure they have not come loose.

Tarps often sag after heavy precipitation because of water in the line. If the line is saturated, it may have slackened, meaning you will have to re-tie it.

Also, if you have tied your ridgeline directly on to your hammock suspension, try re-tying it about six inches higher on each side. This will make the ridgeline tighter and help prevent sagging.

Need To Purchase More Hammock Accessories?

Reviews Of The Top Hammock Rainflys

ENO ProFly Hammock Rain Tarp

Best Value

ENO, Eagles Nest Outfitters ProFly Rain Tarp, Ultralight Hammock Accessory, Olive

Weighing in at 22 oz., this tarp is a light, hexagonal tarp for hammock camping that combines maximum coverage with superior airflow and ventilation. With six attachment points, this is an extremely sturdy hammock tarp that should stay rooted in place in even the most inclement weather conditions.

Composed of 1,000 mm polyurethane-treated 210D Ripstop nylon, this hammock tarp is both waterproof and resistant to tears and punctures. If you are a backpacker who does not want to compromise adequate waterproofing just to cut weight, this is a good hammock tarp to consider.

This rain fly for hammock camping stretches out to 10 ft. 6 in. x 6 ft. 4 in., meaning it is large enough to cover even the largest camper comfortably. Its six-point attachment has the added benefit of blocking out the wind from almost every angle, so even on a gusty night, you should stay cozy and dry with maximum protection from the elements.

Also, if you need coverage for your camp kitchen or small seating area when your hammock is packed, this tarp size is ample to keep other areas around camp dry.

Suggested Further Reading: Check out the ProFly’s sister product in ourENO Housefly Review.

  • PROs

    • Pretty lightweight (22 oz)
    • Secure, six-point connection
    • Superior wind coverage
    • Polyurethane coating means it dries quickly
  • CONs

    • Stakes are not included

Bottom-Line: This tarp generally costs about half of what the highest-level hammock tarps cost, but its intelligent design and durable, waterproof composition allow it to compete with the big boys.

Kammok Kuhli Pro Shelter

Best Overall

Kuhli Ultralight (Crater Gray)

If a Swiss Army knife were a tarp, it would be the hexagonal Kammok Kuhli Pro Shelter. With eight connection points, this model can be folded and deployed into dozens of different configurations.

Composed of Patagium 15D diamond ripstop nylon and coated with 1,200 mm silicone and polyurethane, this rainfly for hammocks provides superior waterproofing and durability.

Fully deployed, the Kammok Kuhli stretches out to 11 ft. x 7 ft. 4 in., so it is large enough for any sized hammock and can be easily redeployed to shelter any other portion of camp.

This hammock cover weighs only 10 oz. alone and 20 oz. with stuff sack, four stakes, and eight guy-lines (all included). Combined with the durability of the ripstop nylon, this low weight makes this hammock fly appealing to backpackers and average campers alike.

  • PROs

    • Extremely lightweight (10 oz.)
    • Durable, waterproof constructions
    • Guy-lines and stakes included
    • Easy to set up
    • Large, versatile shelter
  • CONs

    • More expensive than most, but worth every penny

Bottom-Line: The Kammok Kuhli Pro Shelter is exceptionally light, sturdy, and highly functional. It is our top pick for the overall superior product for comfortable, dry sleeping.

REDCAMP Waterproof

Best Budget Option

REDCAMP Hammock Rain Fly Waterproof and Lightweight, 10ft Tent Tarp for Camping Backpacking Hiking, Black

Advertised as a tarp that can be used as anything from a tent fly to a car cover, the REDCAMP is a square tarp that measures 9 ft. 8 in. on each side when fully extended. There are nine connection points, but only the four outside corners have grommets, which will impede how many configurations you can get in setting it up.

Weighing in at almost two lbs., this is one of the heavier options on the list. However, it is sturdy, and the fact that it is made of 2,000 mm, 210T polyester urethane-coated ripstop nylon means this tarp should stand up to most abuse you subject it to.

The 2000 mm HH rating means the fabric of this tarp will provide excellent protection from the elements, even in the stormiest conditions.

The one waterproofing concern is that this tarp is taped along the seams. Whilst this is fine for general use, the tape may not hold up well to repeated exposure to high volumes of water.

For the average camper, however, the REDCAMP will be more than sufficient. Properly attaching a drip line to your ridgeline will help keep you snug and dry even if a little bit of moisture does seep through the taped seams.

  • PROs

    • Large enough to cover any size hammock
    • Reasonably priced
    • Adequately waterproof
    • Also comes with stakes and ropes
  • CONs

    • Taped seams may not provide complete waterproofing in all weather conditions
    • Gromets are not reinforced

Bottom-Line: The REDCAMP is more than adequate if you are new to hammock camping and plan on sleeping out in mild conditions. It is affordable and will get the job done.

Hennessy Hammock Hex Tarp

Best Coverage

Hennessy Hammock - Hex Rainfly - Rain Tarp (Bark)

Another hexagonal hammock tarp, the Hennessy Hammock Hex, has six connection points that allow it to be flared out to provide a large covered area or staked close for maximum protection from the wind. Fully deployed, it measures 12 ft. 11 in. along the center line and 10 ft. wide.

Made of 1,000 mm 70D polyurethane-coated polyester ripstop nylon this tarp is a highly durable choice. Its HH protection rating ensures it will remain waterproof in all but the most extreme conditions.

However, due to both its size and composition weighing in at 27 oz, the Hennessy Hammock Hex rainfly is not lightweight. But, considering you could fit two hammocks under this one tarp, it is an excellent choice for two-person camps looking to simplify gear.

  • PROs

    • Polyester rope included
    • Large coverage area
    • Reinforced connection points
  • CONs

    • At 27 oz., this is not lightweight 

Bottom-Line: This is a sturdy tarp that will provide full coverage of your campsite with a large, dry area that can comfortably sleep two hammocks.

Snugpak All Weather Hammock Shelter

Best for Durability

Snugpak All Weather Shelter, Multi-Purpose, Waterproof, Olive

A square tarp featuring six connection points, the Snugpak is another versatile option. Snugpak has been a household name in gear since 1977.

Designed by military veterans, this is the ideal tarp to have on hand if your hammock should somehow fail. Made of 2,000 mm, 210T ripstop nylon material with anti-UV, and polyurethane coating, this tarp has high waterproof protection and will resist degradation due to sun exposure. The reinforced connection points and nylon webbing mean that the Snugpak can easily transition from a tarp to an emergency shelter.

The dimensions are 10 ft. on each side, providing coverage for all hammock sizes and allowing it to be used in other capacities as well.

While this is not ultralight, its 40 oz tarp weight is further indication of its durability. If you want a tarp you could feel comfortable using as an under-pad for a tent as well as as a hammock tarp, the Snugpak is up to the challenge.

  • PROs

    • Reinforced connection points
    • Designed for survival by experienced military veterans
    • Large enough to be versatile
  • CONs

    • Heavy

Bottom-Line: This is durable, well-built and no-frills designed for maximum protection and to stand up to whatever is thrown at it.

Chill Gorilla HEX Hammock

Best Total Kit

Chill Gorilla HEX Hammock Rain Fly Camping Tarp. Ripstop Nylon. 142' Centerline. Stakes, Ropes & Tensioners Included. Camping Gear & Accessories. Perfect Hammock Tent. OD Green

Founded by a former U.S. Marine, Chill Gorilla is an Oregon-based outdoor equipment company. The HEX tarp is hexagonal with six reinforced connection points measuring 12 ft. 11 in. at the center line and 9 ft. in width.

This tarp is made of 2,000 mm, polyurethane-treated ripstop nylon, which gives great waterproofing protection even in high winds or during a downpour. Weighing in at 22 oz., this is not the most lightweight hammock tarp available, but it is pretty close.

If you want to try backpacking with a hammock but do not want to pay a fortune for a tarp, consider this option. It is light enough not to weigh down your pack but still sturdy enough to hold up to multiple trips.

The kit also comes with six three-meter long guy lines with tensioners, four aluminum stakes, and stuff sack each for the tarp and its accessories. This kit has everything you need to cover your hammock adequately, and the included stuff sacks help keep this system organized.

  • PROs

    • Reasonably lightweight (22 oz)
    • Stakes, lines, and stuff sacks are all included
    • Easy to set up with tie-less tensioners
  • CONs

    • Included guy lines are nylon, not paracord

Bottom-Line: This is a fully outfitted tarp kit that gives you a variety of setup configurations and styles. It is an excellent value for the price.

Wise Owl Outfitters Tarp

Most Portable

Wise Owl Outfitters Rain Fly Tarp – The WiseFly Premium 11 x 9 ft Waterproof Camping Shelter Canopy – Lightweight Easy Setup for Hammock or Tent Camp Gear – Charcoal Grey & Light Grey

Wise Owl is a Tennessee-based, family-owned outdoor gear manufacturer. Their tarp is hexagonal and measures 11 ft. x 9 ft., meaning it is more than large enough to double as a camp shelter when it is not in use.

Made of 1,000 mm, polyurethane-sealed 210T ripstop nylon, the Wise Owl provides adequate protection for most weather conditions. However, its seams are taped, which is fine for general use but may not hold up to prolonged soaking.

This kit also includes six 10-ft. cords with tensioners, four aluminum stakes, and a carrying bag. It has everything you need to set up your hammock tarp in a variety of orientations. Measuring just 5 in. by 11 in. packed down, this kit is the most portable hammock tarp on the list from a space-saving perspective.

Weighing 26 oz., this is medium-weight and functional for all but extremely weight-conscious backpackers.

  • PROs

    • Packs down small
    • Guy lines and stakes included
    • Easy to set up
    • Large footprint
  • CONs

    • Taped seams may not hold up to prolonged soaking

Bottom-Line: Wise Owl has conveniently packaged everything you need for easy transport. This kit is excellent if you do not want to have to shop around for stakes, guy line, and tensioners.

Further reading: If you can’t find any trees then consider buying a collapsible hammock stand.

Last update on 2021-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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