Buying Guide To Finding The Best Tarp For Camping

To get the most out of the great outdoors during your camping trips, there is specific equipment which is a necessity. Although camping can be an enriching experience, it can also be a very trying one if you are not adequately prepared.

There are some items which are essential to pack for your trip to ensure you are properly protected from the elements.

This best camping tarp review provides solid information about the ideal tarp which you will need to take on your trip. The best backpacking tarp is one which is multi-functional and can be used for a variety of applications. Within this article, we will explain the differences between tarps for you to determine which one is the best for your needs.

A camping tarp.

Camping can be a gratifying experience which allows you to get outside and get some much needed fresh air and activity. It also gives you an excellent opportunity to unplug and take a break from your daily routine. However, camping is one of those activities where extensive preparation is essential since it can end up making or breaking your trip.

The following is an extensive summary of the best heavy duty tarp for your camping trip. Stay tuned after our list for our buying advice section in which we will cover the most essential aspects to look for in all of the best camping tarps on the market.

Regardless of whether you are new to buying camping tarps or you are an experienced camper, this list will have a little something for everyone.

Best Tarp For Camping

Winner – OUTAD Waterproof Camping Tarp

  • Tarp can be utilized as a tent footprint, picnic mat and for camping
  • Made from high density waterproof 210D Oxford fabric construction
  • An easily portable mat which includes a drawstring bag
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    Item dimensions folded: small (6.3 x 4. 0.8 inches), medium (8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches), large (6.3 x 8.7 x 0.8 inches)
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    Item dimensions unfolded: small (59 x 87 inches), medium (71 x 87 inches), large (94 x 87 inches)
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    Item weight: small (11 ounces) medium (13.4 ounces) large (17 ounces)
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    Colors: blue, green, dark green, orange

The OUTAD Camping Tarp is constructed from a high-density 210D Oxford fabric material which rates it as the best waterproof tarp on the market. This is a quality tarp which has multiple uses including being utilized as a tent footprint, being spread out for picnics and also to offer protection from the sun.

Specifically, this camping tarp can be placed over your tent to provide a significant amount of shelter from a rainstorm. This tarp can also be used as a ground cover, keeping the floor of your tent comfortable and dry.

OUTAD Waterproof Camping Tarp for Picnics, Tent Footprint, and Sunshade

This tarp can also be attached vertically and be utilized as shelter from the wind. If it is imperative that you save space, this tarp can also be used as a tent. Showing its versatility, this best tarp shelter can also be used for protecting your food from insects by draping it over the food.

This camping tarp is available in three different sizes and four different colors. Easily portable, this best lightweight tarp comes with a drawstring bag, making it a snap to take with you.

With all these benefits, it is easy to see why the OUTAD camping tarp is rated as the best waterproof tarp for camping and other outdoor activities where it can be used. Depending on the size of the tarp, it is very reasonably priced at approximately $10-$20. This is a very small price to pay to enhance and protect your other expensive camping gear. 

Runner Up – OUTRY Waterproof Multi-Purpose Tarp

  • Constructed from 210D Oxford fabric making it waterproof and ripstop
  • Can be used as a ten footprint, picnic mat, a covering for ground and hammock rain fly
  • Equipped with six grommets in sizes medium and large and 4 in size small (8 mm in diameter)
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    Includes tent stakes and stuff sack
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    Item size & weight folded: S (6.7 x 4.7 x 1.6 inches, 12.7 oz) M (8.3 x 5.5 x 2 inches, 16.6 oz) L (8.3 x 6.3 x 2.8 inches, 20 oz)
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    Item size & weight unfolded: S (4.9 x 7.2 feet, 12.7 oz) M (5.9 x 7.2 feet, 16.6 oz) L (7.9 x 7.2 feet, 20 oz)
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    Colors: blue and green

Rated as the second-best tarp for camping, the OUTRY Waterproof Multi-Purpose Tarp is made from 210D oxford fabric which is both waterproof and ripstop. This is a very versatile item which can be used as a footprint for a tent, hammock rain fly, a ground cover and a picnic mat.

With stuff sack included, this lightweight and waterproof item is easy to carry with you when going on that outdoor excursion.

This tarp features four small grommets and six medium/large grommets. Included with the tarp are four small tent stakes and six medium/large stakes. This allows you to properly fasten and stabilize the tarp when setting it up for your particular use. The tarp comes in the choice of colors green and blue.

OUTRY Waterproof Multi-Purpose Tarp

The OUTRY is a well-constructed item which has a nice feel to it, compared to the usual type of material used for tarps. The material is completely waterproof and has a similar texture to that of a sleeping bag.

Water seems to just run off of it, making for superior protection from the elements. Combine that with the strength of the material, and you have a well-built tarp which should last for multiple uses.

This tarp has a very reasonable price of $15-$20, which is a very small investment compared to the benefits you get from it. For the best hammock tarp on the market, you cannot go wrong with this item. It will certainly enhance your experience of the outdoors.

Alternative – Terra Hiker Camping Tarp

  • Made from 210D Oxford cloth which is waterproof and durable, protecting against damp conditions
  • Versatile tarp can be used as tent footprint, picnic cover, sun canopy and more
  • Ease of use by laying on the ground or utilizing stakes
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    Drawstring pouch included for carrying a traveling
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    3 Item sizes: 59 x 86 inches, 70 x 86 inches, 94 x 86 inches
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    Item weight: 0.83 lbs
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    Available in 3 colors: blue, green and dark green

The Terra Hiker Camping Tarp is an extremely durable and waterproof item which is constructed from 210D Oxford cloth. This tarp can be easily folded into the included carrying pouch and fitted into your backpack. There is also a drawstring handle for the carrying pouch, allowing you to take this tarp with you wherever you go easily.

A good quality camping tarp is essential in that it allows you to be comfortable regardless of where you decide to use it. The versatile and multi-functional design means that it can be used during a picnic at the park, a day at the beach or during your camping trip.

Terra Hiker Camping Tarp

Of course, it is also perfect for placing it at the base of your tent to prevent the space from becoming damp and uncomfortable.

Depending on your specific needs and taste, this camping tarp comes in three different sizes (small, medium and large) and three colors (blue, green and dark green). It allows you to enjoy the outdoors with a certain level of comfort and ease.

Since it weighs less than a pound and folds into a very manageable compact size, this tarp is very easy to take with you.

Priced from $14-$17, the Terra Hiker is very affordable, making it a must for that memorable camping trip or day out at the beach or park. Any way you look at it, you will definitely get your money’s worth from this item.

Best Heavy Duty Tarp

Xpose Safety Super Heavy Duty Brown Poly Tarp Cover

  • Extra strength and thickness, 16 mil thick, 8 oz per square yard, 16 x 16 weave count
  • Provides sufficient protection from all types of weather conditions as it is UV resistant and waterproof
  • Metal grommets spaced 18 inches apart permit it to be easily tied down
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    Multiple uses such as protecting your automobile, keeping floors clean and covering materials
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    Designed to last – constructed from polyethylene
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    Item Sizes: multiple
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    Item weight: 5.67 lbs
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    Color: brown

The Xpose Safety Heavy Duty Poly Tarp is suitable for all types of weather conditions to protect your valuable possessions. This tarp is waterproof, rustproof and UV resistant, which is sufficient for in protecting your items from both the sun and rain.

Made of excellent quality material with reinforced edges, this heavy duty tarp is 16 mils thick and is also rip resistant. This will ensure that it will last for many uses and for an extended period of time.

Xpose Safety 10' x 10' Super Heavy Duty 16 Mil Brown Poly Tarp Cover

Unlike other thinner and lesser quality tarps which continuously rip, become damaged and have to be replaced, the Xpose is the only one you will need for a long time to come.

This tarp can be utilized for a multitude of applications, such as covering and protection of your automobile, protection of firewood, construction materials and other items which are susceptible to water. To protect your floor, you can also use this as a drop sheet when you are painting or doing other types of similar work.

With metal grommets positioned every 1.5 feet apart and in each corner, this tarp can be easily tied down and secured. It comes in the color brown and in numerous sizes for your specific needs. Simply put, this is the only heavy duty tarp you will need to protect your valuable items.

Best Lightweight Tarp

Aqua Quest Guide Tarp

  • The Aqua Quest Guide tarp is 100% waterproof, offering a hydrostatic resistance of 20,000 mm
  • Extremely light and compact design makes it easy to carry and travel with
  • Features 12 reinforced webbing loops, one top center loop for overhead hanging, four Boa adjustable strap sets and four pegs
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    Durable construction of 40D RipStop fabric, silicone & PU coating, reinforced stitching and heat taped seams
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    Can be used for making a teepee or many other applications
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    Packed size: 12 x 5 x 1.5 inches
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    Finished dimensions: 9 ft 7 inches x 6 ft 7 inches
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    Total area: 64 square feet
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    Item weight 1.1 lbs

The Aqua Quest Guide Tarp allows you to thoroughly enjoy your outdoor experience and provides for a rather lightweight item. Although it is lighter in weight, it is extremely durable, made from 40D RipStop nylon fabric which is dual-coated with silicone (non-toxic) and polyurethane, ensuring a waterproof experience.

This unit features a total of 13 reinforced webbing loops and is an ideal ultralight shelter which is adequate for almost any type of environment. It comes with a stuff sack for easy carrying, travel, and storage.

Aqua Quest Guide Tarp

When you are in the market for a tarp which is lightweight and durable, the Aqua Quest is an item which must be seriously considered.

It is manufactured by a company which has a name in creating waterproof items for the outdoors. Priced at approximately $60-$70, this item is an excellent value which will add comfort to your outdoor activities.

On What To Pay Attention To When Choosing The Best Camping Tarp


The size of the camping tarp you intend on buying is something which needs to be considered for various reasons. To best determine the size, it is best to know the intended use for the product.

If the tarp is only to be used as a tent base cover, then it should adequately cover the size of your tent. If you intend to use the item for wind or rain protection, then you might need something a bit larger.

The size also plays a role in the weight of the tarp and how easy it is to transport and carry around. Although many of these tarps are lightweight, a larger tarp will not only be more substantial but also be larger when folded. These are issues which need to be thought about in advance before deciding on which size is adequate for your needs.


As with the size, the mass is also a factor to consider when deciding on the right tarp for your needs. Heavier tarps do tend to be more durable and are less likely to rip. However, there are some newer materials on the market today which are lightweight and also perform at a high level of durability.

Backpacks ready for camping.

If you will be carrying and transporting or traveling with the tarp, it is best that you find one which is light enough to fit comfortably in your backpack. Since camping can require a great deal of equipment, the more you can lighten your load, the better off you will be.

A durable, lightweight tarp should be one of the more lighter items you take on a camping trip.


The durability of your camping tarp boils down to the type of material it is constructed from and how rip resistant it is. You would be well advised to thoroughly research the material and find out how it performs. To do this, you will also have to take a look into the material ratings and apply them to your particular product.

Higher durability adds value to your camping tarp and prevents it from being easily ripped apart while stepping or sitting on it. Also, high wind conditions can also create a situation where your tarp can rip.

If your tarp has holes for tying down, you should also make sure that these holes are properly reinforced. This will prevent the material from ripping from the pressure of the rope.


You should also make sure that your camping tarp is waterproof and does not allow any water to seep through. With the material being waterproof, this will also prevent dampness if you are to use it as a base for your tent. Waterproofing is also vital if you are going to utilize your tarp to cover your supplies.

As with the durability, the waterproof level of the material can be checked quantitatively. With many of today’s tarps and the material they use, the water will just roll off of them.

Design And Color

The design and color of your camping tarp is something which is a personal taste preference more than anything else. For many, it is important that the material is pleasant to the eye and also has a nice feel to it.

Since you will probably be using the tarp to lie down on, the design of the material is of importance to your comfort. And let’s face it, one of the reasons you are purchasing a camping tarp is to significantly increase your comfort and convenience while camping.

A yellow camping tarp.

With regards to colors, you can select from earth tones such as green or brown or even go with blue. Once again, this all depends on your taste and possibly the landscape where you intend to use it.

Some people prefer the discreteness of a black tarp if you are going to use it for shelter. The darker colors will allow less light to get through.


Of course, do not forget about functionality when choosing your camping tarp. As we have mentioned in this article, there are several tarps which are multi-functional and can be used for a multitude of applications.

These tarps can be used as a tent base, a picnic layout, to cover equipment, to block the sun or wind or as a tent itself. How it is used depends on the material and size of the product. You will need to know what you will be using this tarp for and how often you will use it.

If you are using it for traveling or carrying around, a lighter tarp may suffice. In contrast, if you are using it for industrial use and covering your possessions with it, then a thicker more durable tarp will be more than adequate for the job.

With today's tarps, you get a multitude of functionality which you did not with tarps made in years past. This is a result of the hi-tech materials which are used to construct the tarp. Super strong light materials are available today that make the value you get out of the tarp that much more.


Finding the best camping tarp for your specific needs is something which takes a little bit of research and thought. This buying guide has provided a detailed review of some of the top items on the market. It has also provided insight on what things to look out for when selecting a camping tarp.

Whether it is the best ultralight hammock tarp or any other type of camping tarp, this is an item which is often overlooked when going camping. Considering that it is a relatively inexpensive item which provides a great deal of comfort and protection from the elements, it is definitely a must-have.

As you may be aware, camping without the proper equipment can make for a challenging experience and is something which you should not have to go through. Having a camping tarp which is durable, lightweight and easily transportable is well within your financial reach.

A camping tarp.

The difficult job is deciding on what type of tarp to purchase and how you intend to use it. Once you accurately identify your needs, you can go from there and select the product which best suits your needs.

Also, keep in mind the size of the tarp you will need for your specific function. Make sure you obtain the proper measurements for what it is you intend to use it for and go from there. Once you have selected your tarp, you will be ready to experience the great outdoors in all its glory and take advantage of all it has to offer.


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