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Going camping in the rain? Planning an adventure in the heat? Invest in a good quality tarp. Don't let the elements ruin your next camping trip!

We’ve compared all the top tarps on the market to help you make the best purchase possible. Whether you’re looking for something lightweight and compact or a heavy-duty option that can withstand harsh weather conditions, there's the perfect tarp out there.

Make sure your camping trip is as comfortable as possible by investing in a good quality tarp. With so many different options on the market, it can be tough to decide which tarp is right for you. That’s why we’ve done all the hard work. Grab an amazing tarp without having to waste hours of your time doing the research yourself.

Scroll down to read our guide to the top camping tarps and find the perfect one for your needs!

How We Uncover The Best For You

One of the best and worst things about shopping for a camping tarp is the number of options - there are just so many out there! It can take hours to narrow it down to a few options, and then they're so similar, how do you choose between them?

We understand how frustrating that can be. That's why we have spent ages looking through thousands of reviews of camping tarps, narrowing down the whole market to a few brilliant options. We've done this so you can spend less time choosing a tarp and more time planning your next amazing trip!

Most Waterproof Tarp

Aqua Quest Defender Tarp

A Cracking Choice for A Highly Waterproof Camping Tarp


We Chose This Because

  • Extremely Waterproof
  • Heavy Duty
  • Secure Fastenings

Things We Love

There are so many things to love about the Aqua Quest Tarp but the most impressive is that it is 100% waterproof - no drops will ever get through this amazing tarp! It will keep you completely dry in rainy conditions with its hydrostatic resistance of 20,000 mm. So you can stay by the campfire all night without worrying it will get rained on.

The other incredible thing that also makes it a perfect tarpaulin for camping, is its ability to be packed down super small in its stuff sack, a great space saver!

Things To Know

It is slightly heavier than some camping tarps, but that is a compromise worth making since it is incredibly tough and durable.

Depending on size, the Aqua Quest comes with 19 - 47 reinforced webbing loops, including loops for overhead hanging and pole inserts in all four corners. So whatever size you choose, you’ve got all angles covered.

Set it up in virtually any situation - remember to pack some camping poles (or even use your hiking poles) and you don't even need trees! Say goodbye to regular camping tarps, and hello to a tarp that’s stronger, quieter, more compact, more versatile, longer lasting, and more waterproof.

Best Tarp For Hammocks

Wise Owl Outfitters Hammock Tarp

A Cracking Choice for Keeping Dry In Your Hammock


We Chose This Because

  • Easy Setup
  • Durable
  • Large enough for Hammocks

Things We Love

All you hammock campers out there! When you are thinking of hammock camping, who says you can't have your cake and eat it too? With the Wise Owl Outfitters Hammock Tarp, you can enjoy the best of both worlds - the protection of a tent and the comfort of a hammock.

Measuring 11ft x 9ft, this easy-to-set-up tent tarp provides ample coverage for most hammock shelters, keeping you dry and comfortable no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.

Things To Know

Made with high-quality ripstop nylon fabric, this tarp is built to last. If you're looking for a fabric that can stand up to wear and tear, ripstop nylon is a great option.

Ripstop nylon is a type of fabric that's made with reinforcing threads woven in at regular intervals. This gives the fabric extra strength and prevents tears from spreading.

The aluminum tent stakes and six 10" corner guy lines cords provide a sturdy foundation. Just feed them though the metal stake grommets at each corner to ensure a tight, weatherproof fit.

Most Robust Tarp

Redcamp Waterproof Camping Tarp

A Cracking Choice for Durability


We Chose This Because

  • Durable Tough Fabric
  • Versatile
  • Reinforced Attachments

Things We Love

Looking for an extra layer of protection for your tent? This versatile tarp can be used as a ground cloth or tied up to create a sun or rain canopy.

Made of durable 210D oxford ripstop polyester fabric material, the Redcamp tarp is perfect for protecting your tent from moisture, dirt, and debris. The tarp is waterproof to PU 1000mm and very robust.

It's also great for keeping you cool and comfortable on hot days, or shielding you from the elements if unexpected weather strikes. The grommets and reinforced stitching at the corners make for easy attachment.

This tarp is perfect for camping, hiking, picnicking, or any other activity where you need reliable protection from the elements.

Things To Know

The compact size (15cmx10cmx2cm / 6"x4"x0.5") makes it easy to pack and carry, and it comes with a drawstring pouch for neat storage. Best of all, it only weighs 0.8lbs/370g, so you won't even notice it in your pack.

Don't let the elements ruin your next camping trip - be prepared with the Redcamp waterproof camping tarp!

Most Multifunctional Tarp

FREE SOLDIER Waterproof Portable Tarp 

A Cracking Choice for Versatility


We Chose This Because

  • Versatile
  • UV Protection
  • Waterproof

Things We Love

Looking for a versatile and lightweight tarp that can handle all your outdoor adventures? Let me introduce the FREE SOLDIER tarp.

This tarp is great for blocking out the sun, providing UV protection and keeping your campsite cool and comfortable. So it's great for tarp camping in hotter weather.

In addition, it boasts a 2500 PU waterproof rating, making it ideal for use in very wet weather conditions too.  Whether you're looking for a simple sun shelter or a full-fledged rain fly, this tarp has you covered - literally!

Things To Know

Made of high-quality materials, this tarp is puncture-resistant and features a reinforced ridgeline seam for added strength. The tarp is well constructed.

There are heat-taped seams as the manufacturer uses a heat sealing and melting process to further reinforce the seams and prevent water infiltration.

Plus, its generous tie-out tabs make it easy to secure it to virtually any surface. This tarp provides numerous rigging options for all those creative campers out there.

If you're out hiking you can use your trekking poles to build a quick tarp shelter to protect you from extreme weather or a passing rain shower. So you have the freedom to tailor it to your specific needs. Let's see where your imagination will take you!

Best Tarp For Survival

Arcturus Heavy Duty Insulated Thermal Reflective Tarp

A Cracking Choice for Adventures


We Chose This Because

  • Reflective Safety Features
  • Multi-purpose
  • Warm and Dry

Things We Love

The Arcturus Heavy Duty Insulated Thermal Reflective Tarp is special! It is so versatile, I was impressed at its usefulness. The first thing that struck me was that this tarp can work as a blanket too. The tarp is made of mylar fabric which reflects 90% of body heat, making it perfect for those cold nights.

In addition, it has two layers of polypropylene for added warmth and provides a waterproof layer to keep the dampness away.

Of course, you can use it as a tarp shelter too. Whether you need groundsheet or a tent shelter this tarp delivers. Add this tarp to your stuff sack so that no matter what the weather throws at you, you'll be prepared!

Things To Know

Now the fun bit: the reflective surface of this tarp is what makes it really special. Because it reflects the sun, not only is it ideal for keeping the dangerous UV rays off, but it also means it reflects the light itself.

So if you are caught out in the great outdoors and find yourself in danger, you can use the reflective surface to signal for help.

Something else you can consider: the tarp is strong enough to be attached as a backdrop to your campfire. With the reflective surface facing the fire, it does an admirable job of reflecting heat too. We think the Acturus is a cracking choice!

The Best Camping Tarp For You?

A tarp can be an essential piece of gear, providing both shelter and protection from the elements. But with so many different tarps on the market, how do you choose the right one? Here is a mini Buyers Guide to things to consider when choosing a camping tarp.

There are a few things to consider when purchasing a camping tarp. The size, shape, and material of the tarp will all play a role in how well it functions as a shelter or an addition to your campsite.


Size is important when choosing a camping tarp. You'll want to make sure that it's large enough to provide adequate coverage for your needs.

If you're using it as a standalone shelter, you'll need to account for the height and width of the tarp.

If you're using it as an addition to your tent, you'll need to make sure that it's wide enough to cover the entire tent.


Consider the weight of the tarp. Heavier tarps will be more durable, but they will also be more difficult to carry.

If you're planning on doing any backpacking or hiking, looking at smaller, lightweight tarps may be a better option.

On the other hand, if you're mostly camping close to your car or RV camping, you can afford to go with a larger, heavier tarp.


Shape is also important when choosing a camping tarp. Tarps come in a variety of shapes, including rectangular, square, and hexagonal. The shape of the tarp will affect how well it shelters you from the elements.

Rectangular tarps are the most versatile and can be used in a variety of ways.

Square and hexagonal tarps are best suited for specific purposes, such as covering a picnic table or creating shade.


Material is another important consideration when choosing a camping tarp. Tarps are made from a variety of materials, including polyester, nylon, and canvas.

The material of the tarp will affect its durability, weight, and price. Those with greater durability can withstand more wear and tear.

Polyester and nylon tarps are the lightest and most affordable options. Canvas tarps are heavier and more expensive but are more durable.

Take into account the weather conditions you'll be facing. Tarps with better waterproofing capabilities and a higher PU rating will keep you and your gear dry during inclement weather.


Finally, think about how easy the tarp is to set up. Some tarps require complex knots and rigging, while others can be quickly pulled over your campsite.

Best Camping Tarp - Your Questions Answered

We've compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions by campers looking for the best camping tarps to take with them on their adventures. We hope this will help you snag one of the best tarps for camping, just in time for your next trip.

Your Answers Are Just A Short Distance Away, Keep Reading!

What Is The Best Size Tarp For Camping?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best size tarp for camping will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of camping you plan to do, the climate and the terrain where you'll be camping.

As a backpacker who enjoys hiking (in the rain), you will know to choose the lightest camping tarp you can find that meets your own personal preferences. That said, generally, a larger tarp will be better suited for more extreme conditions, while a smaller tarp may be more suitable for casual camping trips.

When choosing a tarp size, it's important to consider the following:

If you're using a tent, make sure to choose a tarp that is at least as large as your tent. A larger tarp can provide additional protection from the elements, while a smaller tarp may not provide enough coverage.

The climate and terrain where you'll be camping - in general, a larger tarp will provide more protection from the elements than a smaller one.

If you're camping in an area that is prone to bad weather, or if you'll be camping in a remote location with no access to shelter, a larger tarp would be a good camping tarp to choose.

On the other hand, if you're camping in an area with mild weather and easy access to shelter, a smaller tarp may be sufficient.

Should I Put A Tarp Over My Tent?

It depends on the climate and your camping style. In general, camping tarps provide extra protection from rain and wind. You could put a tarp over your tent if it's raining because it will help keep the inside of your tent dry.

If it's snowing, you might want to put a tarp over your tent to help keep the snow from accumulating on top of it.

Covering tents with camping tarps, however, may make it more difficult to stay cool in hot weather. It can create a stuffy environment inside the tent. So take care to erect it so that it does not interfere with the ventilation system of your tent.

A tarp is advisable if you're camping in wet or cold weather. If you're camping in dry weather, you may not need one.

How Do I Figure Out What Size Tarp I Need?

The most important factor is the amount of coverage you need. The size of the tarp will ultimately be determined by the project you'll be using it for as well as the severity of the weather conditions. 

Depending on what you are using the tarp for, there are a few different ways to determine which size tarp you need:

If you plan on using the tarp as a ground cover, the general rule is to choose a tarp that is at least twice the length and width of your tent. This will ensure that the entire area beneath and around your tent is protected from rain and ground moisture.

For creating shade or shelter from the sun or wind, it is best to err on the side of caution and choose a tarp that is significantly larger than you think you need. 

A good rule of thumb is to choose a tarp that is at least double the length and width of the area you want to cover. This will give you plenty of coverage and allow you to adjust the tarp as needed to get the perfect amount of shade or protection.

When in doubt, it is always better to choose a tarp that is too large rather than too small. A larger tarp can always be trimmed down to size, but a tarp that is too small will leave your belongings vulnerable to the elements.

How Do You Make Your Tarp Waterproof?

Tarps will come with their own waterproofing rating, but it's important to realise that some tarps will be waterproof and some will be water-resistant. So be careful to choose a tarp to suit the level of waterproofing you will need. A water-resistant tarp can be made more waterproof with the application of a layer of waterproofing. Even those with a high waterproof rating can require maintenance. The best way to do that is to apply a waterproof spray to top it up. 

The research that went into this article was great fun. We looked through many, many reviews to make sure we could give you useful information to use in your search for the best camping tarps.

We are itching to try out some of the novel ideas, especially some of the clever tips suggested about alternative ways to use a camping tarp. We are proud to be able to highlight these to you:

Our Choice For The Most Waterproof Tarp

Aqua Quest Defender Tarp

Our Choice For Hammocks

Wise Owl Outfitters Hammock Tarp

Our Choice For Durability

Redcamp Waterproof Camping Tarp

Our Choice For Multi-Functionality

FREE SOLDIER Waterproof Portable Tarp

Our Choice For Survival

Arcturus Thermal Reflective Tarp

Whether you're camping, backpacking, or roughing it in the wilderness, a camping tarp is a must-have item for any adventurer.

We hope we 'covered' enough of the best camping tarps out there, so you have more time for fun and can start packing for your next outdoor adventure!

Keep asking questions and we will keep finding answers for you.

Make Your Choice A Cracking One!

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