Few things in life are better than spending the night in a hammock.
Fresh air, the great outdoors, swinging away under a starry night sky…it’s an epic experience.
But only in good weather!
Surprisingly enough, being in an uncovered hammock when the rain comes down is far less enjoyable. It’s like trying to sleep in the shower.
Needless to say, there are places you’d rather be!
Having a hammock and tarp camping combo makes a mighty difference.
A waterproof tarp is a lifesaver when you’re outside, in the middle of nowhere, and desperate to get some shut-eye in spite of the bad weather.
With lots to choose from, though, the real trick is finding the best hammock tarp for the job.
Looking for a quality hammock rain fly to take hammock camping? I’ve put together a set of hammock rain tarp reviews to help you find the right one for the job.
Sound good? Keep reading to discover the best hammock rain fly for your upcoming trip.
[Last checked and updated: January 2021]
Heads up, this post contains affiliate links!
The Best Hammock Tarp- Summary Table 2020
How to Choose the Best Rainfly for Hammock Camping
Not every camping rain tarp is created equal. Here’s a selection of considerations for picking the best hammock tarp possible:
The right hammock tarpaulin will depend heavily on the weather in which you’ll be using it.
Keep the climate/season in mind and think ahead to what the weather conditions might be like when you’re sleeping in the hammock.
For instance, a lightweight rainfly with minimal coverage should be fine for summer camping. But it’d be useless against the bitter winds and high chance of rain/snowfall in winter.
Roughly speaking, worse weather demands greater coverage (more on this later).
The size of the hammock is another key consideration here.
Needless to say, it needs to be big enough to cover you and the hammock! Aim to find a hammock tarpaulin with enough of an overhang.
In other words, it should easily cover the hammock and extend even further beyond the ends. Any shorter and you risk your head or feet getting wet when it rains!
Bigger products made from thicker material tend to be heavier.
Sure, the quality’s going to be top-notch, but the extra weight in your pack might not be worth it- especially if the chance of inclement weather isn’t very high.
Think about the available space in your pack and how much weight you’re willing to carry; look for a size to weight ratio that you’re happy with.
Coverage (aka the hammock tarp dimensions) is a major deciding factor.
It impacts three things of importance: privacy, ventilation, and weather protection.
Bigger tarps offer more coverage, which leads to more privacy in camp and better protection from bad weather. However, you sacrifice the amount of air that can get inside during the night.
The opposite is true for small tarps: less privacy, worse weather protection, but better ventilation.
What constitutes ‘appropriate coverage’ will vary between campers. Weigh up your personal needs/preferences and go from there!
Heads up, though, that larger and more complex tarp designs (more on these below), generally take longer to pitch and weigh more too.
The last thing you want is for the tarp to rip or let water through in the middle of the night!
That’s why the quality of the material is crucial. There’s no point taking a tarp with you into the bush, only for it to let you down when you need it.
You need to make your hammock waterproof!
Always opt for rainfly hammock tarps that’ll do the job properly. They should be made from high-quality waterproof materials that can withstand the elements you could encounter.
Heads up, you might also like this post about the best hammock underquilts. Check it out!
The Different Types of Rainfly Hammock Tarps
You might think that a tarp is a tarp is a tarp.
That’s definitely what I thought until I started learning a bit more about them.
But there’s actually a number of different tarp varieties from which to choose. Each has its own particular uses and pros/cons to think about.
The following list of different hammock tarp types works its way down in order of coverage and simplicity. They steadily increase in coverage, as well as weight and difficulty pitching.
With all that said, here are the different hammock rain fly tarps you can find:
A-symmetric options are lightweight camping tarps that are simple to pitch, and great when the weather isn’t all that bad.
Imagine a thin, rectangular-shaped tarp that attaches to either tree from the top corner of one side and the bottom corner of the opposite one. The two remaining corners are then attached with pegs/guy lines into the ground.
You end up with an ‘alternating effect’ with one half of your hammock covered on the left-hand side and the other half on the right.
Diamond tarps are the most common ones you come across out there.
A step up from a-symmetric tarps, they provide more coverage, but with slightly more weight to carry. The process of pitching a diamond tarp is essentially the same.
This time, though, you’ve got a square-shaped tarp. You create a diamond effect by attaching two opposing corners between trees (hence the name).
In so doing, you basically get one ‘wing’ on either side of the hammock offering equal protection from the weather.
Hexagonal/Catenary Cut Tarps
As the name suggests, hexagonal/catenary tarps are six-sided.
Expect another step up in coverage, and more material too- not to mention more corners that need to be tied/pegged. That puts these tarps in the middle-range of weight and pitching difficulty.
To do the pitching itself, you attach the farthest left and right-hand corners of the hexagon to a tree each, before pegging out the remaining 4 corners into the ground via guy ropes.
You end up with (almost) a full ‘wall’/flap on either side of the hammock.
Cleverly, each edge is curved inwards too, which delivers more tension when you’ve got it pitched. This helps keep everything nice and taut when it’s in use.
Imagine a piece of A4 paper that you’d folded in half (down the long edge).
That’s pretty much what you’re looking at when you pitch a rectangle tarp.
It’s a bit like suspending a waterproof bedsheet above your hammock! You attach each side to a tree, from a point that falls midway along each short edge.
With the two halves folded down, you then peg each corner out via guy ropes.
Expect epic coverage and shelter from the weather! However, it comes at the cost of weight and ventilation. You carry more material and have less air coming in at night.
Winter/4-season tarps are the whole shebang.
Picture the hexagonal tarp, but with ‘doors’ that you can close when it’s pitched. You get complete coverage around your hammock, which makes it perfect for the very worst weather conditions.
In all honesty, these tarps are probably too heavy and diffilcult to pitch to justify taking unless you’re confident the weather could suck.
Most of the time you’ll manage with a much simpler tarp that offers less coverage.
Read about the best mosquito net hammocks for hammock camping too!
The Best Tarp for Hammock Camping
With all that said and done, let’s move onto 8 of the best tarps for hammock camping I could find online.
1. Free Soldier Multifunctional Backpacking Tarp (Epic Hammock Rain Tarp)
The Free Soldier hammock tarpaulin is a versatile rectangle-shaped tarp made from high-quality waterproof materials.
Because with connectors along every edge there’s no real limit to how you can use it. Set the tarp up above your hammock as usual, or as a standard awning, or simply peg it to the ground in tent-fashion.
At roughly 10’ x 10’, you should have plenty of space underneath, regardless of how you end up using it. The connectors also allow you to ‘close the doors’ for full hammock coverage in inclement weather.
The durable materials are a mixed blessing though. On one hand, you can expect the taped seams and 2500 PU waterproof rating of this tarp to withstand the most serious conditions.
On the other, you can expect it to weigh a bunch as well. For ultralight campers, it’s probably going to be too bulky to bring along.
Another downside is that it doesn’t come with pegs included. Be sure to buy some separately if you fancy this Free Soldier rain fly.
Strong and durable materials
Includes 4x guy ropes
Good size- big enough for everyone
Versatile design allows an array of pitching options
Full cover if you need it
Pegs not included
2. Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) ProFly Rain Tarp for Camping
The ENO ProFly is another top-quality tarp that comes highly recommended online.
The hexagonal shape means you’ve got more than enough cover from the elements, and the extra points of contact with the ground make it super stable in strong wind.
Overall, it seems very hard to fault! You’ve got strong, lightweight materials that offer great coverage and that, by all accounts, perform amazingly well in bad weather.
For anybody looking to pack light regardless of what the weather’s doing, the ENO ProFly seems a great bet.
My only issue is that, like the Free Soldier, it doesn’t come with its own set of pegs.
That’s obviously not a major issue in terms of the tarp itself! But it would be the cherry on top of an otherwise perfect hammock fly.
Lightweight camping tarp
Hexagonal design provides great cover and stability in wind
Pegs not included
3. Eagles Nest Outfitters HouseFly Hammock Camping Tarp
The ENO HouseFly tarp is a 4 season hammock tarp alternative to the hexagonal option above.
Once again, though, you’re looking at a top quality hammock tarp that offers unparalleled protection from the elements.
At the end of the day, you’re basically buying a floating tent to suspend above your hammock!
With the doors down (they're stowed away until you need them) you get full coverage from the elements; the high-quality waterproof materials mean no water’s going to get through any time soon.
Various reviews described how straight-forward the HouseFly is to put up as well (even though you’ll need your own pegs again). That’s good news given the standard reputation of 4-season tarps taking time/hard work to pitch.
Considering you get full coverage from the weather, the 27oz weight isn’t bad either.
All told, this is a winning tarp if you’re heading into bad weather and don’t want any risk of getting wet.
Lightweight camping tarp for 4-season coverage
Pegs not included (from what I can see)
4. Wise Owl Outfitters WiseFly Premium Rain Tarp for Hammock Camping
You see nothing but top reviews online about the WiseFly.
It seems like the real deal: a durable, light-weight, diamond-shaped tarp with waterproofing of the highest level.
The devil’s in the detail, and the reinforced stitching alongside its taped seams mean this tarp should stand up to any downpours you encounter.
As we know, diamond tarps have a reputation for providing less coverage than other designs. However, this 11x9ft tarp should be big enough to provide quality cover regardless. From all reports, you’ll have no issue in the rain.
I love the convenience of the WiseFly as well. You buy one reasonably-priced package and come away with everything you need: tarp, 10ft guy lines and high-quality aluminium pegs.
The fact that it folds up into a 26oz, 9”x5” stuff sack makes it even better.
Lightweight hammock tarp (26oz all up)
Packs up small (5”x9”)
Comes with pegs!
100% ‘satisfaction guarantee’ from the company (contact them with any issues)
Related Post: How to Tie a Hammock to a Tree (+ Top Hammock Knots)
Looking for a different type of shelter? Check out this guide to the best canopy tents for camping and outdoor use.
5. Go Outfitters Apex Camping Shelter
The Go Outfitters Apex hexagonal tarp is another versatile hammock tarp with 20 tie-off loops, allowing unlimited rain tarp camping configurations.
There’s basically no limit to how you can pitch it! Mix and match the configuration by attaching the guy ropes wherever makes most sense.
Another bonus of having so many connection points is the extra stability you’d get in strong winds. By attaching more lines and ropes you’ll keep the tarp held tight- no matter the weather.
It also means you can create a hammock tarp with doors.
By pitching it like a diamond tarp, you can then connect the two ends together with the tie-off loops.
You essentially turn it into a 4-season tarp in the process- just with less weight. That (combined with the generous size) makes for quality coverage.
The only downsides might be the durability of the materials. Most reviewers rated the materials (and their waterproofing capabilities) highly, but there were a couple of reports of tears appearing.
Another slight shame is the quality of the add-ons you get. I love that the pegs and lines come as part of the package. However, by all accounts, they aren’t of the quality you’d need for serious weather conditions while backpacking/hiking/camping.
To end with a positive, though, the company seems to take their customer service seriously. From what I can gather, you can expect a quality response to any issues that might come up.
20 tie-out loops around the edge
Comes with pegs and guy ropes
Large design offers lots of cover
‘Doors’ can close for full coverage
The material might not be as durable as others on the list
Pegs and lines are lower quality materials
6. Gold Armour Extra Large Rain Fly Tarp
I’d say the Gold Armour tarp is the most versatile on this list.
With 33 tie-off loops and 9 guy points, you can pitch this tarp in an endless number of ways!
Combine that with its durable materials and unbeatable waterproofing and you know you’ll be well covered/protected from the elements.
You get a risk-free purchase as well, given a generous 5-year warranty. That’s always a good sign- it means the company (based in the US) backs its products and looks after its customers.
The only concern I’d have it to do with its size.
Now, a big tarp is great for providing sufficient cover against the elements. But in dense, tree-filled areas it can turn into a hindrance- finding anywhere to pull the tarp tight and suspend it correctly can be a challenge.
For two people sleeping in a hammock, though, or in areas that are less congested with trees, the size of the Gold Armour tarp seems ideal.
33 tie-off loops
9 guy points
Durable, waterproof materials
Easily covers double hammocks
5 Year warranty/satisfaction guarantee
It’s very big! Maybe too big.
7. Rain Fly Evolution Hammock Tent Tarp (Cheap Hammock Tarp!)
As far as I can tell, you’re looking at a great deal with the Rain Fly Evolution.
You get a relatively lightweight tarp with all the trimmings, including the pegs/stakes, guy ropes, and carabiner-like devices. They also chuck in a ‘survival’ wristband for good measure.
I can’t speak for the wristband, but the hexagonal tarp sounds like a quality purchase at a good price. You’re looking at a cheap rain fly that’ll do the job in poor weather.
From what I gather, though, it might not be the best tarp for camping in serious, expedition-style adventures. It may not match up to other hammock tarps on this list in the very worst weather conditions.
However, for anybody hoping for a good all-rounder, at a decent price, that’s super convenient (given the complete package you buy), then this rain fly for hammock camping seems ideal.
There’s nothing fancy about it, which I like.
The tarp looks smart and gets the job done, with good coverage thanks to the hexagonal design. A 90-day guarantee that comes with it means you can buy in confidence as well.
Includes everything you need (and more)
Fairly durable materials
90-day money-back guarantee
Cheap hammock tarp
Could be lighter
Complex pitching system using a top rope
8. Aqua Quest Guide Best Camping Tarp
Last but not least is this Aqua Quest camping rain taro.
You’re looking at a winning lightweight waterproof tarp that’s hard to fault. It’s a simple, no-frills product- suitable for hammock camping or any other.
Quality materials, unstoppable waterproofing, and tons of versatility.
With reinforced loops around the outside and along the top, you can suspend/pitch the tarp however you choose.
Use it as everything from a tent rain cover and a tepee to the classic hammock with tarp combo! Mix and match depending on your needs in the bush.
There’s a bunch of different sizes to choose from too, with square and rectangle options available. The smallest rectangle tarp is 10’x7’ but it extends all the way up to 20’x13’!
With such enormous sizes available, you’ll never be short of coverage- regardless of how you rig it up the tarp.
At under 1lb, you’re looking at an ideal lightweight tarp for almost any expedition.
The only downside is the absence of guy ropes or pegs/stakes. Of course, once you’ve sourced these elsewhere the weight of the overall ‘tarp package’ will increase too.
In all other ways, though, this tarp is hard to fault. You’ll find hundreds of 5* ratings online saying the same thing!
High-quality, durable and top waterproofing
No pegs/guy ropes
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Time to Choose Your Hammock Rain Fly
Nobody going hammock camping wants to fall foul of bad weather!
I mean, few things in life are worse than getting soaking wet and cold in the middle of the night. It’s a recipe for a bad sleep and a ruined (if memorable) trip.
This is where having a hammock tarp comes in so handy.
Suspending these waterproof covers about your hammock means you’re protected from the elements and kept dry throughout the night.
But with masses of hammock rain tarps to choose from, it can be hard to find the best hammock tarp for the job. Hopefully, though, the info in this post will help you pick out the best hammock rain fly possible.
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Picture #3 photo credit: Tower Paddle Boards