Top 5 Best Backpacking Tarp Shelter Reviews of 2019


When backpacking, I have often found myself in a situation where I need to carry only stuff that will not prove to be too heavy. I have since come to realize that with the best backpacking tarp shelters.

I can reduce the weight of the things I carry and save myself a lot of time when it comes to setting up a shelter either to protect me from the sun or a passing storm.

Since I hike quite a lot  to the extent people think I should turn it into my profession, I think I would be in a very good position to give you an insight into how to find the best tarp shelters.

FREE SOLDIER Waterproof Portable Tarp

Wise OWL Outfitters Tarp Shelter

Luxetempo Tarp

WEHE Camping Tent

WEHE Backpacking Tarp

The Outdoors Way Tarp Shelter

The outdoors way Tarp Shelter

1. FREE SOLDIER Waterproof Portable Tarp

FREE SOLDIER Tarp is a nylon tarp shelter that measures 12 by 12 which gives it ample coverage. It comes with 6 ropes and stakes, a 6 ft pole and a carry bag.

Its total weight is slightly over 3 pounds which makes it reasonably light. The combination of nylon and polyester gives it the ability to resist water from penetrating.

It is possible to have it set up within 5 minutes because of its simple design. The poles, rope, and stakes are all easy to throw into a bag and go.

2. Wise Owl Outfitters Hammock Rain Fly Tent Tarp

    Wise OWL Outfitters Tarp Shelter is a square canopy that measures 11 by 9 ft, it comes with adjustable poles with a maximum height of 6 ft, stakes, rope and carry bag.

  • It provides protection from harmful UV rays from the sun as well as shelter from rain
  • The shape makes it possible to set it up in many ways to suit your preference
  • The adjustable poles make it easier to set up according to my preference
  • The material is very durable
  • The stakes are stainless so no worry about rust

3. Luxetempo Tarp

Luxetempo Tarp is very wide at 12 by 12 and can be used for a number of purposes. It comes complete with 4 poles, stakes, guy lines and a carry bag.

  • It is multipurpose, I once used it as a shelter for my car as well just after it had been detailed
  • Of all the ones I have tried, this one has the best protection from rain waterIt has a wide coverage;
  • It could fit 3 hammocks under it
  • It comes with all the tools you may need

4. WEHE Camping Tent

WEHE Tarp Shelter is impressively designed and covers 3 by 2.95 meters which is sufficient for one or 2 people depending on the way you set it up.

  • It is one of the lightest you can find weighing slightly less than 2 pounds
  • It is made from strong nylon which can withstand a lot of punishment
  • It comes with a manual that offers different ideas for set up
  • Very impressive for its price
WEHE Backpacking Tarp

5. The Outdoors Way Hammock Tarp

The Outdoors Way Hammock Tarp is a really tall tarp standing at 12 ft and you can share the shelter with a number of people.

  • It is pretty wide and tall ideal for sharing the shade at the beach or a concert
  • Because of its size, there are a number of options for set up, more than most of the other tarps
  • I have a tall friend (6,7ft) and he likes that he can stand up under it
The outdoors way Tarp Shelter

What to Look for Choosing the Backpacking Tarp Shelter

Just so that we are clear, a tarp shelter is not a tent, while it can provide similar shelter as one, there are certain times when they may not be appropriate

So The Most Appropriate Times When You Can Use A Shelter Are:

  • When you just need a cover over your head to provide shade from the sun or cover from the rain for example when you decide to have a water break during your hike or you come across an unexpected rain shower.
  • When you go camping and it is a bit too hot to sleep in a tent but you need cover just in case it begins to rain. Or you some kind of protection
  • At a picnic by the beach or in the park when you need reasonable cover from the sun
  • When backpacking and you want to reduce the weight you are carrying but you will still need some kind of shelter

Sleeping Comfortably Under A Best Backpacking Tarp Shelters

I remember the first time I had to use a tarp, I kept on wondering about my safety as well as comfort but I learned that it is possible to adjust the set up so that you can feel both safe and comfortable.

You may find that the flat tarps make the best backpacking tarp shelters because of the many ways they can be set up depending on your need.

When it comes to sleeping, it may be a good idea to carry a mat or something similar that you can place on the ground before you put your sleeping bag. 

If you are in an area with animals, light a fire to keep them at bay. With a lot of creativity, you can be reasonably comfortable and safe.

What to Consider When Buying a Tarp

The considerations begin with what you intend to use the tarp for. The best backpacking shelters are all purposes. However here are the main considerations.

1. Size

In most cases, bigger ones will take up more space and weigh more but if you are going to share it or want more cover, then the bigger, the better.

2. Weight

In most cases the reason you choose a tarp shelter is you want to have less to carry so finding one that weighs the list but provides the right functionality is best.

3. Waterproof

this should go without explanation. It is always best to get one that will keep you reasonably dry if it is raining.

4. Set Up Time

It is best to have a shelter that will not take all day to set up considering you will either be tired or just trying to get it up before you get drenched.

5. Price And Durability

Find something that fits into your budget but does not compromise the quality of the best backpacking tarp shelters.

With these four concepts in mind, we set out to take a look at five different best backpacking tarp shelters and how they measure up in our search. Let's start by taking a look at our five best backpacking tarp shelters and how they fare when compared to one another.

In Summary

It is really hard to make a pick for someone which would be the best backpacking tarp shelters and at times the situation will vary when determining which would be the best.

For example if I was going to the beach I would choose the Wise OWL Outfitters Tarp because of its UV rays protection but if I was backpacking I would prefer a much lighter tarp like the WEHE Tarp Shelter.

So it really is hard to recommend just one as the best backpacking tarp shelter. Though if you can only have one, it is best to go with one that will be multipurpose and meet any need that may arise.

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