A tarp shelter can be a great piece of gear for any camper or backpacker. At this moment, the market is oversaturated with numerous tarps from different brands.

But only the best of the best tarp shelters would be a good choice for avid campers. Other than that, you might fall into the trap of spending money on a cheaply made tarp.

That’s why we have compiled a list of the best tarp shelters including a detailed buying guide which clarifies most of the common misconceptions and doubts about choosing a tarp shelter. And, we will share all of this information with you in this post.

Best Tarp Shelters

Rain Fly EVOLUTION Tent TARP

Aqua Quest Defender Tarp

Foxelli Rain Tarp

Gold Armour Extra Large Tarp

FREE SOLDIER Waterproof Portable Tarp

Kelty Noah's Tarp

UST Tube Tarp and Camping Shelter

Chill Gorilla Hammock Rain Fly Camping Tarp

Wise Owl Outfitters Rain Fly Tarp

W UpBird RipStop Rain Fly Hammock Tarp

WildVenture Rain Fly Tent Tarp

Legit Camping Rain Fly Camping Tarp

Best Tarp Shelter - Reviews

1. Review of Rain Fly EVOLUTION Tent TARP

If you camp in severe weather conditions, then you will need a robust tarp. In that regard, the Rain Fly EVOLUTION tent tarp is a great choice. It comes in 8 colors and 2 sizes which are 12 x 10 and 10x10.

Typically, it is perfect for 2 persons. It is manufactured with 210T diamond ripstop fabric.

The dimension and the weight of the tarp is 13x4x5 inches and about 1.5 pounds respectively. This tarp comes with a lot of additional survival kits like carabiners, adjustable ropes, stakes, a 5-in-1 survival bracelet.

These accessories can come in handy while you are camping or overlanding.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Most of the current owners are happy about this. They said that it is a bargain for the price. And the free survival kits are also a great addition.

PROS:

  • Water/weather/dustproof
  • Lightweight yet robust build quality
  • Comes with 90 days money-back guarantee and lifetime warranty

CONS:

  • The free cords could be better

2. Review of Aqua Quest Defender Tarp

Aqua Quest has been making a number of high-quality camping and hiking gear. When it comes to durability and versatility, it is hard to find an alternative to this ‘Defender’ tarp of Aqua Quest.

It comes in 3 sizes which are 13x10, 10x10, and 10x7. And, this one comes in a camouflage pattern.

The Aqua Quest Defender tarp comes with hydrostatic resistance up to 20,000 mm. So, you can be assured that there will be no leakage and it can withstand harsh weather with ease.

Added to that, it is manufactured with 70D Nylon and heavy-duty TPU coating. Due to this heavy material, the tarp weighing about 3.5 pounds.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Frankly, buyers were glad about the premium build quality of the tarp. But, some buyers also though it is a bit heavy.

However, for the people who want heavy-duty and extremely durable tarp, it can be one of the best tarp shelters for them.

PROS:

  • Comes with 2 years of warranty
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to set up 

CONS:

  • A bit heavy

3. Review of Foxelli Rain Tarp

The Foxelli rain tarp comes with sturdy corner loops, laminated centerline stitch and double stitching all over the tarp. It is made with 210D polyester Ripstop material. So, you won’t face any issues where you use it in the sun, rain or snow.

You will get all the necessary kits for setting it up. On top of this, it is very easy to set up as well. All of the 4 sides are about 7.5 ft. each. And, it weighs just over 1 pounds. It is a multipurpose tarp shelter as well.

What Previous Buyers Said?

The majority of the previous buyers are very satisfied with the purchase. They liked it because of the low price, portability and the premium build quality of the tarp.

PROS:

  • Lightweight (about 18 ounces)
  • Quick and easy to set up
  • 120 days money-back guarantee with 3 years of warranty

CONS:

  • For some, it could be a bit small

4. Review of Gold Armour Extra Large Tarp

The Gold Armour tarp shelter comes in 12ft.x10ft. size. And it is also available in multiple colors. To top all these, it comes with several survival kits and gears for free.

There are 33 tie-down points on the tarp and 2 centerlines. All of these are reinforced with double stitching. This is made with higher-grade ripstop polyester which makes it UV resistant as well.

What Previous Buyers Said?

The current owners very much liked the tarp. However, some of them also had a few minor complaints about the free accessories it comes with.

They said those are of low quality. But, it is true that the tarp is of top quality.

PROS:

  • Comes with 5 years of warranty
  • Lightweight, portable yet durable
  • Water and weatherproof

CONS:

  • Additional accessories are of cheap quality

5. Review of FREE SOLDIER Waterproof Portable Tarp

This tarp shelter comes in a size of 126x118 inches and 2 colors to choose from. So, it can be ideal for 2 persons.

Free Soldier used 210T ripstop polyester fabric which is durable, puncture/water/UV ray proof. For stability, it comes with 19 guy points and 5 grommet points. It weighs about 2.6 pounds.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Almost every previous buyers were surprised about the low price of the tarp. Some of them specified that they thought they would receive a low-quality tarp.

Instead, they are very pleased with the quality, features of the Free Soldier tarp.

PROS:

  • Water and UV ray resistant
  • Reasonable price
  • Multipurpose tarp shelter

CONS:

  • A bit heavy

6. Review of Kelty Noah's Tarp

The Kelty Noah's Tarp Shelter is a 3 season tarp shelter. It is made with 68D polyester and has a fully taped seam. You will also find that it has a storage pocket attached to the corner guy line.

 For setting it up anywhere with the best stability, you can use the multiple reinforced guy out points. It comes in multiple sizes and weights. But at the moment, you can get the Noah's Tarp 9’ and 12’ which weighs 1.68 lbs. and 2.18 lbs. respectively.

What Previous Buyers Said?

A lot of buyers disliked that it is not a waterproof tarp. However, it is advertised as one. So, if you are looking for a real waterproof tarp, you should avoid this one.

PROS:

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Multipurpose tarp shelter
  • Sets up in a snap

CONS:

  • Not waterproof

7. Review of UST Tube Tarp and Camping Shelter

Available in 2 colors, this multi-purpose tarp shelter from UST has become a popular camping gear for a lot of backpackers. The dimension of the tarp is 39x84x35 in and it weighs about 1.75 lbs. Mainly it is a tent.

But, you can also use it as a tarp shelter by just unzipping the special zipper it comes with. All the necessary accessories to set it up as a tarp shelter also come with this 1 person tarp shelter.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Overall, it has got positive feedback from the current owners. They liked it mostly because of the versatility and high-quality construction. Plenty of backpackers has loved it as it is lightweight and portable.

PROS:

  • Can be set up as a tent or a tarp shelter
  • Comes with a lifetime limited warranty

CONS:

  • Not suitable for 2 persons

8. Review of Chill Gorilla Hammock Rain Fly Camping Tarp

Chill Gorilla is a prominent name in camping and survival gear community. This tarp shelter comes from them with a size of 10ft.x10ft. 

That means it is perfect for a couple of persons. Also, it is available in 5 appealing colors.

This is a waterproof tarp that can set up as either a rectangle or a diamond rain tarp. It is made with 210D ripstop nylon fabric for longevity. ​

All the corners, centerlines, tie-down, and grommets points are reinforced as well. You will also get the carrying bag, tensioners, ropes, and stakes for setting it up with this tarp for free.

What Previous Buyers Said?

There seems to be a positive reaction towards this Chill Gorilla rain fly tarp.

Some customers said that it is a bit pricey. But for the quality, they were happy to spend a bit more money on it.

PROS:

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Easy to set up
  • Multifunctional 

CONS:

  • The grommets are very soft

9. Review of Wise Owl Outfitters Rain Fly Tarp

If you are looking for a reasonably priced yet high-quality tarp shelter, you can check this one out. This one is made with 210T ripstop nylon which makes it waterproof.

Also, taped seams and reinforced connection points are an indicator of the longevity of this tarp. It weighs just about 1.6 lbs. whereas the size is 11x9 ft. which makes it perfect for 2 persons.

All the necessary installation tools will come with this one for free as well.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Maximum previous buyers are content with this tarp shelter. They liked the ease of use and the waterproof features of this one.

Also, they have praised the customer support of Wise Owl. According to them, the price is also very reasonable.

PROS:

  • Waterproof
  • Easy setup
  • Robust built quality yet portable and lightweight

CONS:

  • Free cords could be of better quality

10. Review of W UpBird RipStop Rain Fly Hammock Tarp

For the campers who are looking for a budget-friendly tarp shelter, this might be a great pick for you. It is constructed with 210T Dacron fabric which gives it durability.

This one comes packed with the accessories you will need to set it up like the ropes, adjusters, and stakes. It weighs about 1.86 lbs. And the size is 10x10 ft.

It is a great option for outdoor activities like camping, backpacking, picnic, and overlanding, etc. 

What Previous Buyers Said?

Everybody said it is a great deal if you're looking for a tarp shelter without spending tons.

It might not be the lightest tarp shelter around. But for the price, it is pretty hard to beat this one as it comes with premium quality and lots of useful features.

PROS:

  • Waterproof
  • Very reasonably priced
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

CONS:

  • A bit heavy

11. Review of WildVenture Rain Fly Tent Tarp

This is another large tarp shelter that has a size of 9.8x9.3 ft. You can choose from 2 colors such as green and white. It is an all-season tarp from WildVenture.

This is made with high-quality 210T ripstop fabric which makes it waterproof as well as long-lasting. It weighs about 2.75 pounds and all the required tools like ropes, stakes, and adjusters are free with it.

What Previous Buyers Said?

The previous buyers were happy because it is a true waterproof tarp. Also, it can cover a lot of space.

They also liked the idea that it can be set up in multiple configurations.

PROS:

  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Waterproof and durable

CONS:

  • A bit heavy

12. Review of Legit Camping Rain Fly Camping Tarp

This one is a 10x10 ft. tarp shelter with a 170 inches centerline. This is made with ripstop nylon (Polyurethane-treated) which makes it extremely durable. And it has 9 guy points so you can set it in either square or diamond shape.

The tarp shelter weighs about 1.58 lbs. As a result, it is a favorite choice for a lot of backpackers from all around the world.

What Previous Buyers Said?

A lot of buyers haven’t liked that it doesn’t come with an equal amount of pegs and guy lines to the tie-off points. However, because of the affordable price tag, they said it is worth it.

All in all, the majority of them recommended this one.  

PROS:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Compact, lightweight, and durable
  • Waterproof and UV resistant

CONS:

  • Could have provided more stakes and ropes for free

Best Tarp Shelter Buying Guide

Things to Consider

Dur​​​ability

You should always opt for a durable tarp shelter. Normally, most of the tarp shelters are manufactured with ripstop nylon or polyester.

These are some lightweight yet long-lasting materials. And, we have kept only the most durable tarp shelters on our list. So that you don't spend your money on generic tarp shelters.

Tarp Capacity and Coverage

Generally, you will find mostly 2 types of tarps in terms of capacity which are '1-person and 2-person' tarp.

The 2-person tarps should have a dimension of at least 10x8 ft. And, the 1 person tarp should be of at least 8x6 ft. In the case of tarp coverage and size — the more the merrier.

Weight & Portability

One of the main reasons for using tarp shelters is portability. Normally, most of the tarp shelters are very lightweight.

Also, some of the best tarp shelters come with carrying bag. So, it becomes easier to carry it around.

Construction

Best quality tarp shelters should use waterproof, puncture-resistant and lightweight material.

Otherwise, it won’t come in handy in harsh weather conditions. Also, a lightweight tarp shelter is always better than a heavy one.

Accessories:

There are a few tools you will need to set up a tarp without much hassle. Most of the best tarp shelter manufacturers provide those accessories for free with the tarp.

So, try to spend your money on one of those for a better deal.

Types of Tarps

There are various types of tarps available depending on the construction material and the application of the tarp. For example:

  • Poly Tarps

  • Canvas Tarps

  • Mesh Tarps

  • Vinyl Tarps

  • Insulated Tarps

  • UV protected Tarps

  • Polyester Tarps

  • Dacron Tarps

  • Nylon Tarps

  • Flame Retardant Tarps


How to Set Up a Tarp Shelter?

Required Things

  • Poles or trees

  • Pegs or stakes or anchors or rocks

  • Paracord

Setting up a tarp can be tricky for newbies. However, if you practice a few times attentively, you will get the hang of it quickly. Normally, if you buy a premium tarp, you will get all the necessary tools for free with the package.

Once you want to set up the tarp, you better know some important knots. That way, you can make the process effortless and fast.

Here are a few knots you should learn to take your tarp and tent setup game to the next level. 

Taut-line Hitch Knot

It is best for guy lines. This knot is popular as it doesn’t slip under tension and also adjustable.

Bowline Knot

This is a must-know knot. Once you master it, it is easy to tie and untie the knot.

This knot will come in handy frequently. So, try to learn it as soon as possible.

Adjustable Prusik Knot

It is used for attaching the tarp tie-off points to the ridgeline.

Trucker's Hitch Knot

It is used for adding or releasing tension.

If you already know these knots, then you can start to practice setting up a tarp yourself. It is always better to follow the instruction manual that comes with your particular tarp.

Conclusion - Best Tarp Shelter

In the list above, we have included only the top and best tarp shelters that are available at this moment. So, there’s nothing wrong buying any of these tarps.

However, to simplify the process of choosing the best tarp shelters for you, we have a couple of recommendations.

We think the Rain Fly EVOLUTION tarp shelter and the Chill Gorilla Rain Fly Tarp are the top choices on our list. Both of these products come with a strong, durable, waterproof fabric.

Also, these are loaded with beneficial features. On top of these, both of these tarps have a lot of additional tools/kits for free.

As a result, we would recommend them to our readers without a second thought.

So, is there a tarp shelter on our list that seems right up your alley? Let us know in the comments!