Like any other activity, hammock camping needs proper preparations. Especially as it is held outdoors, where the weather plays a major role and protection is key. Arguably the single most important item you would need is a rainfly.
Your choice of rainfly (or hammock tarp) could make or break your hammock camping trip experience. So how do you go about choosing one? To help you with this endeavor, we have identified 7 of the best hammock tarps available on the market. We tried to make a list as inclusive as possible, with each camping hammock catering to different needs.
Here is a summary table for each of the products in our list. It contains product specifications, what is included in them, and other specific details.
|Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) ProFly Rain Tarp||Polyurethane treated 210D ripstop nylon||six anchor points|
1 stuff sack
|Hennessy Hammock Hex Rainfly/Rain Tarp||Polyurethane-coated 70D polyester ripstop||6 guy lines||Hexagonal||143" on centerline x 120" wide symmetrical||756g|
|Bear Butt Double Hammock Tent Rain Fly||Coated polyester||1 stuff sack|
4 guy lines (with reflective tracers)
2 aluminum stakes
Reinforced anchor points
|Diamond||11 x 9ft (9 ft. x 4 in. per side)||520g|
|Wise Owl Outfitters Rain Fly Tarp||210T ripstop nylon||4 aluminum tent stakes|
6 guy lines (10 feet each)
Reinforced/extra-stitched at high failure points
|Hexagonal||11 x 9ft||780g|
|Gold Armour Rainfly Tarp Hammock||5000mm polyurethane treated ultralight ripstop fabric||33 tie-down loops|
6 3-meter guy lines
6 guy line tensioners
4 aluminum tent stakes
1 small accessory sack
1 rainfly tent tarp sack
|Rectangular||12 x 10ft||1160g|
|Rain Fly EVOLUTION||2000mm polyurethane treated 210T diamond ripstop nylon|| aluminum stakes with orange reflective paracord ties|
7 adjustable ropes
1 sack for ropes and aluminum poles
1 carrying pouch for all gear
bonus Military Grade 5-in-1 Survival Kit Bracelet
|Rectangular||12 x 10ft||1060g|
|Chill Gorilla Fortress 2 Hammock Rain Fly Camping Tarp||Waterproof 30D ripstop ultralight silnylon||4 doors|
2 ridgeline tie outs
4 main ground tie outs
4 door tie outs
8 panel pull tie outs
6 3-meter guy lines with tensioners
4 aluminum tent stakes
1 small stuff sack
1 gear sack
|Hexagonal||138" on centerline x 112" wide||890g|
A good standard for a quality rain fly for a hammock is the Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) ProFly Rain Tarp. Being versatile, durable, and at a modest price point, the ENO ProFly Tarp has all the important characteristics a hammock tarp should have and makes it one of the most balanced rain tarps on this list.
The tarp is made of 210D ripstop nylon that is treated with polyurethane (which makes the material waterproof). And featuring a 6-point connection, the ENO ProFly Tarp is sturdy enough to withstand heavy rains and still leave you dry. The material itself is very light though with a weight of only 640 grams, which makes the tarp easy to carry around. The hammock tarp size is 10’6”x 6’4”, so it provides modest coverage for yourself but may not be enough to cover other camping trip gear you have with you.
A major downside with this hammock rain tarp is that it does not come with its stakes, so you’ll have to purchase those separately.
If you are looking for a hammock tarp with a large coverage enough for not only yourself but your camping gear as well, the Hennessy Hammock Hex Rainfly/Rain Tarp might be what you’re after. The tarp is quite large with dimensions of 143″ on centerline x 120″ wide. And because of its hexagonal shape, you can angle the rainfly out to provide enough space for even a small covered cooking area.
The tarp is made of durable 70D polyester rip-stop material coated with polyurethane, making it an incredible shelter for everything under the Hennessy Hex. The tarp comes with guylines that are already attached, tie off and come off easily, and have their own storage pockets at the tarp corners so that’s less hassle for you too. The quality of the lines may not be good enough though so it would be safer to prepare your own just in case.
Don’t want complicated rainfly setups that are too much of a hassle? Then the Bear Butt Double Hammock Tent Rain Fly would be an excellent choice for you. Because of its diamond shape you only need to a) lay the tarp out parallel to your hammock, b) tie the two ends to the same trees/posts your hammock is already tied to, and c) stake the other two corners into the ground. This is a lightweight hammock tarp with a weight of only 520 grams, making it really easy to carry around.
The Bear Hammock Rain Fly is also a very affordable quality tarp for hammock camping coming at a lower price point, making it an excellent choice if you’re on a budget. It is made of coated polyester, making it a waterproof tarp. And with dimensions of 11 x 9ft, the Bear Hammock Rain Fly provides good coverage, and the tarp comes with reinforced anchor points also giving the rainfly more protection from the elements.
A downside to the easy setup is that the tarp would be hard-pressed to go up against harsher weather conditions. Because only two anchor points are used, they may not be able to keep the tarp down against strong winds and could expose your hammock to the elements. If you are thinking of using this hammock tarp for longer than an overnight stay, make sure to research the area/areas you plan to go to really well.
Another affordable hammock tarp is the Wise Owl Outfitters Rain Fly Tarp. At a low price point, this rainfly even comes with its own carry bag and stake bag. The tarp also has adjustable high-tension cordage which secures it firmly to trees/posts.
This rainfly does not compromise with the material, which is made of very durable 210T ripstop nylon and is even reinforced at high failure points by extra-stitching. This hammock tarp will protect you from overnight heavy thunderstorms, keeping you dry all the while. And because the tarp gives full coverage, you won’t have to worry about your equipment getting wet as well.
The only downside is that the stakes are a bit short so you’ll want to get separate stakes to be sure. Other than that it is as good as any rain fly – it really gives you value for money.
The Gold Armour Rainfly Hammock is the most versatile hammock rain tarp on this list. With 33 tie-down loops, there are many numbers of ways you can arrange this hammock tarp as you also have a large area to work with, the tarp size being 12 x 10ft. The Gold Armour Rainfly is made of ultralight ripstop fabric that is treated with 5000mm polyurethane, five times the industry standard(1000mm), so there is no doubt that this hammock tarp is definitely waterproof.
The Gold Armour Rainfly is on the heavier side with a weight of 1160 grams or 1.16 kilograms in all, but that isn’t much of a downside by itself. It seems though that even if the material is waterproof, the tarp doesn’t shed water easily. So after heavy rain, the water that remains adds to the rain fly’s weight, making it much heavier.
Another thing is that the stakes and four anchor points may not have the best quality, so you would want to take those into consideration. But at a low price point, this rainfly is good enough for lighter use.
The Rain Fly EVOLUTION probably gives you the best value for money out of any hammock rainfly in this list. With an area of 12 x 10ft and 4 tie points, you could even configure a diamond set-up that provides a much larger coverage than usual. The material is made of durable 210T diamond ripstop nylon coated with 2000mm polyurethane, double the industry standard. This rainfly also includes 6 carabiners, 1 sack for accessories, and 1 stuff sack.
A real plus to the Rain Fly EVOLUTION is the bonus 5-in-1 Survival Kit Bracelet, which includes a compass, whistle, flint, and small scraper knife tool, and 10.5ft military-grade paracord. The Survival Kit Bracelet is a great addition to your camping gear, which you won’t see other tarps come with.
One downside to the Rain Fly EVOLUTION is that the guylines may not have great quality. Also, it would seem that the stuff sack has a sticky coating which makes it a bit harder to put the gear in it. The tarp is also a bit on the heavier side at around 1060 grams. But at its affordable price point, the Rain Fly EVOLUTION is definitely a top recommendation.
If you are looking for the best hammock tarp that shelters you from the elements, the Chill Gorilla Fortress 2 Hammock Rain Fly Camping Tarp will definitely satisfy that need. Its most important feature – which you won’t see regular tarps come with – is its 4 doors, which give you the best rain, wind, and/or snow protection from all sides. You won’t need a bug net and it gives you privacy too.
The tarp is made of sturdy ripstop ultralight silnylon, and coupled with its 8 side pull tieouts, the Chill Gorilla Fortress 2 Rain Fly is more than enough to withstand any inclement weather and provides protection all season long. This rainfly truly is the ultimate outdoor shelter.
Such an outdoor shelter comes at a price though. The Chill Gorilla Fortress 2 Rain Fly is a bit on the more expensive side. Another downside to this rainfly also is that it isn’t seam sealed so you would have to do that yourself. It does have good coverage of 138″ on centerline x 112″ wide. The rainfly also comes with a small stuff sack and a gear sack. This rainfly is an investment you’ll have to really think about.
Before choosing what rainfly to buy for your hammock camping, there are of course plenty of things to consider. But you don’t need to be overwhelmed. You can start by checking with the basics first which are as follows:
Your budget is the easiest thing to check when thinking of buying a rain fly. There are plenty of options for every price range, so setting a budget will greatly reduce your options of hammock tarps which will make choosing a bit easier. Keep in mind that a smaller budget doesn’t automatically mean a lower quality tarp, nor does a larger budget automatically mean best hammock tarps. As shown in the above list, there are plenty of affordable good quality hammock tarps available for different price ranges.
Are you a casual hammock camping enthusiast who just wants to enjoy a relaxing day? Or are you someone seasoned, someone who thrives anywhere in any weather condition?
Either way, the weather is an important factor in choosing the right kind of rain fly. If you are the former type of person, you wouldn’t need something like the Chill Gorilla Fortress 2 Rain Fly for protection, but you will want to research the area you are planning to go to avoid inclement weather. If you are the latter type, a rain fly that does not give proper weather protection is not going to be an option. If you determine what kind of weather you’re comfortable with, your choices of hammock tarps will get narrowed down further.
A lot of available hammock tarps are coated with waterproof materials such as polyurethane or silicon. But being waterproof is not the only quality that should be considered in a material, as shown by the following different types:
- Relatively cheap
- Noisy when hit by rain
- A bit tricky to fix up in case of damage i.e. puncture
- Silicon-impregnated nylon
- Waterproof but tends to stretch
- Not very durable, gets punctured easily
- Silicon-impregnated polyester
- More expensive
- Waterproof with less stretch
- Can be polyester- or nylon-based
- Very durable, highly resistant to ripping and tearing
Almost all of the materials in the above list are in combination with ripstop so that durability wouldn’t be a problem.
The shape of the hammock tarp is an important factor to consider as it has a direct correlation with ease of setup, weight, and size/coverage. The following are the most common hammock tarp shapes:
Diamond Tarps and Square Tarps
- Ideal for use in the summer, pleasant weather
- Easy to set up
- Doesn’t provide a lot of coverage on ends
Hexagonal Tarps and Catenary Cut Tarps
- Most versatile, can use in spring, summer, and fall camping
- Not as lightweight/easy to set up as diamond/square tarps
- Larger coverage than diamond/square tarps
- Larger, has more material than hexagonal/catenary tarps
- Longer to set up
- Larger coverage but less ventilation
- For winter camping
- Most time-consuming to set up
- Protects from the cold, heavy winds, rain, and snow
- Heavier than rectangular tarps
- Have extra material (doors) that can be open or closed
The size or dimensions of a hammock tarp determines the amount of coverage and thus the amount of protection you are going to get during your hammock camping. If you are a regular hammock camping enthusiast who brings extra camping gear, a larger size rainfly tarp would be ideal for you. The average rain fly tarp has a length of 7ft to 12ft, so tarps with dimensions of at least 11 x 9ft are a good fit.
For a casual hammock camping enthusiast, if you don’t really bring much with then a smaller tarp for hammock camping would probably suit you – although it would still depend on how comfortable you are with different kinds of weather conditions. The larger the rain fly the more protection from the elements you’ll get.
The weight of a rainfly is most felt not when it is set up, but when carried from one place to another. If you are traveling only a short distance, you could probably put up with a rainfly that is on the heavier side. But if you have to travel to farther places, you might want to consider the weight you’re comfortable bearing with. If you are worried that you might sacrifice durability if you opt for a lightweight rainfly, do not worry. There are plenty of sturdy enough hammock tarps available that are at a comfortable enough weight.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Every item on our list is a great choice for hammock camping in its own right, but there are some that do stand out. One, in particular, is the Chill Gorilla Fortress 2 Rain Fly. It is the best hammock tarp on this list when it comes to shelter from all of the elements. It is a bit pricey, but if it’s the ultimate weather protection you want you can’t go wrong with this hammock rain fly.
The best hammock tarp all-rounder would be the Rain Fly EVOLUTION. This hammock rain fly is not only versatile but also has a large size providing a lot of protection. It comes at a low price point and even includes a bonus 5-in-1 survival kit which is pretty neat.
For the more casual hammock camping enthusiast, the best hammock tarp choice for you would be the Bear Butt Rain Fly. It has a very easy setup, lightweight, and is very affordable. This hammock tarp is a perfect recommendation for beginners too.
In the end, choosing your own rainfly will depend on your own needs as this differs from person to person. But as long as you make sure to recognize those needs, whatever rainfly you choose will be a great one.