Top 5 Camping Tarps for Your Next Adventure

Top 5 Camping Tarps for Your Next Adventure

Camping tarps are a great way to stay dry and comfortable when you’re out in the wilderness. They can also be used as a shelter or to cover your gear. In this blog post, we will take a look at 10 of the best camping tarps on the market. We’ll discuss what makes each one unique, and help you decide which one is right for your next adventure!

1. Best Overall: WHITEDUCK Heavy Duty Canvas Tarp

WHITEDUCK Heavy Duty Canvas Tarp

If you’re looking for a quality tarp made from mostly natural materials, the WHITEDUCK Canvas Tarp is a great option. It’s made from canvas material, which is more durable than synthetic materials used in other tarps. The grommets are rust-proof and the seams and hems are double-stitched with rot-resistant thread, so they will last for years to come.

Because there are multiple size options, you can adjust the tarp to your liking. While it isn’t one of the most popular among backpackers, we enjoy using it for base camping, car camping, and Overlanding. The strengthened grommets create a secure shelter quickly, and the wax-treated canvas gives excellent gear coverage in case of rain or other weather conditions unexpectedly.

Rips are inevitable with any tarp, but canvas tarps can be repaired more easily. Most Tarps might tear near a seam or grommet which would otherwise significantly weaken the materials. However, because the canvas is stronger as a whole, it provides a better patch and longevity for the tarp altogether.

Key Features

  • Weight: varies depending on size
  • Dimensions: 6×8, 7×9, 8×10, 10×12, 12×16, 16×20, 20×20
  • Materials: Vinyl, Polypropylene (PP), Cotton


  • Four season protection
  • Available in several sizes
  • Durable materials 
  • Versatile


  • Not the best option for backpacking

2. Best for Rugged Use: Super Heavy Duty Xpose Safety Mil Brown Poly Tarp

Super Heavy Duty Xpose Safety Mil Brown Poly Tarp

XPose Safety’s super heavy-duty camping tarp is extraordinarily thick and sturdy, able to endure harsh usage while also being UV-resistant. With different size options available, you’re bound to find the perfect one for your needs. Whether you need a ground cover for your tent or a rain and snow fly for your hunting camp, this tarp can do it all!

The rip-resistant fabric is made of very durable polyethylene materials and metal grommets, meaning it will last much longer than a standard tarp. Additionally, being UV resistant helps prevent premature breakdown when used outdoors or left to sit in the sun.

Tents make excellent shelters, providing security and protection from the elements. The all-weather tarp is perfect for any season, giving you peace of mind no matter where you camp. If durability is important to you, then the Xpose Safety Tarp should be at the top of your list.

Key Features

  • Weight: 8 oz per square yard
  • Dimensions: 4×20, 6×8, 6×20, 8×10, 10×10, 10×12, 10×20, 12×16, 12×20, 12×25, 12×30, 12×40, 15×15, 15×40, 16×20, 18×24, 20×20, 20×30, 20×40, 24×36
  • Materials: Polyethylene (PE)


  • Weatherproof materials 
  • Reinforced corners for added durability 
  • Multipurpose use
  • Rip resistant materials 
  • Available in several sizes


  • Thick materials make it heavy

3. Best Ground Tarp: REDCAMP Waterproof Ultralight Tent Footprint

REDCAMP Waterproof Ultralight Tent Footprint

The REDCAMP Ultralight Tent Footprint is a great, budget-friendly option for those who need an affordable ground tarp. This product provides a relatively universal option and is more affordable than many brand-specific footprints on the market.

The sleek design not only makes this the most functional tent footprint, but it can double as a picnic blanket or canopy if you so desire. Its synthetic materials are treated with a waterproof coating to ensure that moisture won’t penetrate the floor of your tent.

This product is light enough to carry in your backpack or tent bag and can be used as a waterproof shelter. Some campers enjoy using traditional tarps as footprints because they are easy to pack, but if you don’t mind the extra weight, ground tarps might better suit your needs.

Key Features

  • Weight: 8.96 oz
  • Dimensions: 8.6” x 3.14” 
  • Materials: 210T Ripstop Polyester


  • Affordable price
  • Lightweight and Packable
  • Multipurpose design 
  • Available in several sizes


  • Not the most durable design, but versatile

4. Best Emergency Tarp: Lewis N. Clark Nylon Tarp

Lewis N. Clark Nylon Tarp

The Lews N. Clark Tarp is a standard tarp option that is more durable and lightweight than the cheap blue tarps at Walmart. It comes with a zippered carrying case, making it easy to store in your pack on hikes or other outdoor activities. The 6×8 foot size weighs less than one pound, so you won’t even notice the weight difference when carrying it on your back.

This tarp isn’t going to knock your socks off, but it’s dependable and does the job. It’s surprisingly lightweight for its size and offers decent weather protection. If you’re looking for an upgrade from your emergency tarp, this is a great option that will provide better security and last longer.

Key Features

  • Weight: 14.4 oz
  • Dimensions: 8×6
  • Materials: Nylon


  • Affordable
  • Simple design
  • Functional materials 
  • More durable than a standard blue tarp


  • Nothing special, just a tarp

5. Best Budget: Stansport Reinforced Brown Rip-Stop Tarp

Stansport Reinforced Brown Rip Stop Tarp

The Stansport Reinforced Ripstop Tarp is an excellent option if you’re looking for an affordable tarp that will get the job done. With a few size options to choose from, you can find the perfect tarp for your needs.

The blue tarp is a great, affordable, and accessible option for many people. They are waterproof but their water resistance wears down over time. This is a decent buy if you want a versatile tarp that will last you for years with proper care.

Key Features

  • Weight: varies according to size
  • Dimensions: 6×8, 8×10
  • Materials: Polyethylene (PE)


  • Waterproof
  • Relatively lightweight 
  • Durable for the price
  • Rust resistant grommets


  • Don’t expect too much from this low-priced tarp.


What is the most effective way to hang a tarp when camping?

You can set up a tarp for camping easily by tying one corner or side to tree trunks and weighing the other side/corners down with rocks or sticks. By doing this, you create a space that is both covered and taut.

Are camping tarps worth it?

If you’re planning on using a tarp as part of your shelter while camping, it’s worth investing in one. Tarps can provide shade, act as rain shelters, and even extend the life of your gear by protecting it from the elements. Plus, they can also be used as ground tarps to help protect the bottom of your tent. When choosing a tarp, make sure to pick one that fits your intended use so that you can get the most out of it during your next camping trip.

How much do camping tarps cost?

The price of camping tarps varies depending on the quality and intended use. For example, you can get a tarp for $5 or pay upwards of $150. Product materials, durability, size, versatility, and waterproofing all contribute to the final cost.

What kind of camping tarp should

When choosing a camping tarp, it is important to consider your needs and how you plan to use the tarp. Waterproofing and durability are two key factors to look for when selecting a camping tarp. Versatility may not be as essential, but it can be a nice perk. Read through our buying considerations below to help narrow down the best camping tarp for your needs.

How thick should a camping tarp be?

The thickness of a camping tarp is based on the desired use. A ground tarp only needs to be around 2mm thick, for example, whereas 5mm or thicker is ideal for general use like providing shelter.

Is a tarp better than a tent?

In general, tents provide better protection than tarps. Tarps are great for survival situations, ultralight setups, and hammock camping. They offer full coverage from rain and help to keep out bugs and other pests. However, tarps are more packable and have versatile uses.

What is the strongest tarp material?

Tarps made of vinyl-coated polyester or high-density polyethylene are stronger and more durable than other materials like canvas or nylon. However, they don’t always do as well in packability and waterproofing.

Final Thoughts

Although a camping tarp’s size is important, it is better to have one that is too big than too small. It doesn’t matter if you don’t use the entire tarp because you can always fold the excess over. Tarps are not very expensive, so buying one will prove to be a wise investment.

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