ENO Housefly Review

Photo by Gronkca / CC BY 2.0

Eagle Nest Outfitters Housefly Overview

ENO Eagles Nest Outfitters HouseFly Rain Tarp, Ultralight Camping Tarp

If you’re a hammock enthusiast, you know the joy of sleeping beneath the stars and taking in the full view of mother nature and the vastness of the night sky. This is one of the most significant benefits of hammocking, but foul weather can come up at any time in the wilderness. 

Measuring a massive 10’8″ by 8’10”, the ENO Housefly rain tarp is one of the largest on the market, providing more than adequate coverage from the elements for any hammock camper. When you add a set of overlapping doors at each end of this rectangular tarp, you’ve got yourself 360° protection from the wind and the rain..

The ENO Housefly is made from 30D Silicone Impregnated Nylon, which is durable but allows it to shed some weight compared to the typical ripstop nylon used by many tarps. This allows the Housefly tarp to weigh a pretty reasonable 29 oz despite its large size. The material has a HH rating of 1,000 mm, making it suitable for all but the worst of rainstorms.

The 10 point guy system and the included aluminum stakes make it easy to set up the tarp straight “out of the box.”

PROS

  • Provides “all-round” protection from the elements
  • Huge tarp
  • Full kit weighs a reasonable 29 oz.

CONS

  • Waterproofing may be too low for heavy rainstorms

Bottom line: If you are looking for complete protection from the elements when hammock camping, then the ENO housefly’s large size and stowable doors will provide more than adequate weather protection.

Things to consider before buying a hammock rainfly

A rainstorm is a sure-fire way to turn hammock camping into a miserable experience if your rainfly isn’t up to snuff. Choosing the right rainfly for you, and the weather you usually encounter is a pretty essential piece of kit to help you enjoy your time outdoors.

To help decide if the Housefly is for you, or you’d be better suited with another product, let’s take a look at some of the critical features to consider when purchasing a new tarp for your hammock system.

Further Suggested Reading: Check out our in-depth review of the top brands to find out which was the best hammock rain fly.

Intended use

Start by determining how you use your hammock rain tarps – are you a backyard or car hammock camping enthusiast? Or are you an ultralight backpacker who is willing to forgo some “extras” for a low packed weight?

Protection from the Elements

The essential quality of any outdoor tarp is the extent to which it can protect you from the elements. At an absolute minimum, you should be looking for tarps that have a hydrostatic head rating (HH) of 1,000mm or above. Anything below 1,000mm is considered water-resistant rather than waterproof.

Also, the size and shape will play an important role in protecting you, particularly from the wind (and wind-blown) rain. Again, at a bare minimum, make sure to buy a hammock tarp that covers your whole hammock plus an additional six inches on each side.

Weight & Packed Size

More of an issue if you plan to “hike-in” your kit on your back than if you are a backyard or car camper. If space is at a premium, and you don’t want to carry an extra pound in weight on your back, very carefully compare products for their packed-size weight – finding a hammock tarp kit of about ~1.5lbs in weight is about as low as you go (currently).

Materials and Durability

Hammock tarps tend to be made from three different materials:

  • Ripstop Nylon
  • Silicon-Impregnated Ripstop Nylon
  • Dyneema Composite

The list above starts with the heaviest but most durable material, ripstop nylon, and moves down to Dyneema composite, which is favored by ultralight backpackers due to its low weight. Of course, the low weight does come with a tradeoff, as it’s the least durable material of the three. The silicon-impregnated ripstop nylon occupies a middle ground between the other two.

About Eagle Nest Outfitters

ENO is a trusted brand that started with two brothers from the Florida Keys who needed a solution for fast and reliable sleeping quarters after concert events. They made their own hammocks, and soon, there was a demand from other concert-goers, campers, and other hammock enthusiasts. The brothers graduated from selling them at campgrounds and other community events to selling them wholesale. ENO has become a leader in the hammock and outdoor gear industry. 

Features/specifications & benefits

ENO Eagles Nest Outfitters HouseFly Rain Tarp, Ultralight Camping Tarp
  • 15D Sil-Nylon Ripstop w/ PU
  • Overlapping Doors
  • Stitched and Taped Seams
  • Large Coverage for Dry Gear Storage

Moving to our review of the Housefly, let’s take a look at some of its features, specifications, and ultimately what does this product excel at.

Generous size

This Housefly is large enough to cover the length of most hammocks to make sure that no moisture gets in to ruin your night. When unfolded, the rainfly measures 10 ft 8 inches by 8 ft 10 inches, making it one of the largest hammock tarps on the market.

360° Protection

Probably the stand-out feature in our review of the Housefly is the overlapping doors situated at each end of the tarp that can give all-round protection from whatever the weather can throw at you. These doors entirely overlap and come with buckles to ensure no rain or wind will sneak in. 

Simply put them in “porch mode” if the sun is out, and you want a little more airflow into the hammock space.

Balancing Durability & Weight

The Housefly is made of 30D Silicone-Impregnated ripstop nylon, which, while not the most durable of materials, does allow the Housefly to weight in at a reasonable 29 oz in weight. This isn’t a relatively middle of the road weight for a hammock tarp. Still, considering the size and protection offered by the Housefly, this is significantly lower than one would maybe expect.

Waterproof

The Housefly tarp is rated to 1,000mm HH, meaning it is waterproof and should see you through all but the most severe of storms without precipitation seeping through the material.

Secure & Easy Anchoring System

The ENO Housefly comes with a 10 point guy system that allows you to set up the tarp with minimal fuss easily, and no knowledge of advanced knot tying required.

Sustainably sourced

Eagles Nest Outfitters is a company that attempts to reduce any potential waste by using every piece of the fabric that is produced for its products. This is why you may see some variations in the color of the stuff sack or in the stitching. You can depend on each product to be strong, durable, and well-made, but to do their part for the betterment of the environment.

Downsides

If there was one thing in our review that we would have to rag on the Housefly for, is that it is trying too hard to fill the middle-ground at EVERYTHING. The large-size and doors are great for stormy weather, but the 1,000mm HH rating is maybe a little on the low side to make it “bombproof” from heavy rainstorms.

The other issue is the use of Silicone Impregnated Nylon, which is done to keep the weight down. Still, if the intention is to protect from windy, rainy nights, then the use of the more durable (but heavier) ripstop nylon may have been the more appropriate choice. Although at this point we admit, we are splitting hairs a little.

Conclusion

ENO Eagles Nest Outfitters HouseFly Rain Tarp, Ultralight Camping Tarp

If you plan on hammock camping in less than perfect weather conditions, then the ENO housefly is an excellent tarp for (almost) all-round protection from the elements. It’s a large tarp with “porch doors” to keep the rain and wind out, and is surprisingly lightweight for its size.

Last update on 2020-08-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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