The utility of a camping tarp is multifaceted. It can shelter you from the rain, sun, and wind when you hang it over your tent. You can also use it as an under-tent mat to give the tent floor an extra layer of protection from less-than-ideal ground conditions. In today’s article, we will discuss the best tarp for under tents.
We have taken the time to scrutinize the best-reviewed tarps in the market. Since we are focusing on under-tent use, water resistance has been the prime benchmark of our assessment alongside other crucial factors. Our search for the perfect ground cover tarp for a tent has led us to 9 excellent products.
Want to know about our ultimate tarp pick without going through the entire article? The KampFit Waterproof Tent Tarp emerges as the best of the bunch. It offers a high water resistance threshold of 3000mm and has a PU-coated 210D Oxford construction. The reasonable price tag has also prompted us to side with it.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s get started with the reviews!
9 Best Tarp For Under Tent Reviews
1. REDCAMP Waterproof Camping Tarp (Large)
We will begin our best tarp for under tent discussion with the REDCAMP Waterproof Camping Tarp. This tent is available in multiple sizes. In this section, we will specifically talk about the 95’’x83″ version. You can buy this tarp in multiple sizes. If you are looking for a smaller ground tarp for a tent, we will review a smaller REDCAMP tarp in the later paragraphs.
REDCAMP is no stranger in the world of outdoor equipment, so when they make a tarp, they know exactly what to do to make it stand out. The 210D polyurethane-coated fabric offers rainwater resistance up to 1000mm. It folds down to a conveniently small-scale dimension and fits within a drawstring pouch.
- 210D Oxford Rip-stop Fabric: The tarp material comes with an impressive denier count of 210. It is made of polyester oxford rip-stop fabric with a polyurethane coating for superior rainwater insulation.
- Spacious: It spreads across a 95’’x 83″ (241cm x 210 cm) area. Which means two to three persons can sit on it at the same time. It also folds down to a very small size (8″ x 6″ x 0.5″) for easier portability.
- Double Sewn Edges: The edges of the tarp have double-layer sewing. Therefore, it stands the test of time. Looking for a tarp for the long haul? The magnificent craftsmanship of the REDCAMP tent makes it a strong candidate.
Amazon Basics Waterproof Camping Tarp is a versatile tarp that can do a great job regardless of the place you set it up. The anti-rust grommets towards the outer rim allow the tarp to hold up against strong winds. This would come in handy when you use it as a shelter. Polyethylene treatment on either side of the tarp makes it incredibly water-resistant.
Amazon Basics products have become the ultimate consumer’s choice in recent years because of their affordable price and outstanding quality. This tarp is not an exception on that front. We picked the Amazon Basics Waterproof Camping Tarp for its ergonomics, durability, and pocket-friendly price.
- Durable & Waterproof: The polyethylene coatings on both sides of the tarp protect it from premature tears and increases its ability to shut out rainwater. The manufacturers have also used reinforced seams to make the tarp more long-lasting.
- Easy Foldability: The Amazon Basics Waterproof Camping Tarp boasts a rugged build. But, when you need to roll it down to a portable shape, you can do so without any difficulty.
- Rust-Resistant Grommets: Over time, the grommets in tarps can catch rust and become fragile. But, you won’t have to worry about that buying this tarp. The grommets are made of a rustproof material to retain their utility.
The Terra Hiker Camping Tarp remarkably barricades the ground from the tent base. Water and heat can barely pass through the 210D Oxford rip-stop fabric. It is one of the best tarps for under tent because of its impressive tear-resistance. For camping on rough terrains, this camping tarp can be a superb option.
There are rust-resistant grommets on the edges and corners. These can withstand sudden bursts of high wind when the tarp is used as a sun or rain canopy. Thick, reinforced corners further guarantee the longevity of the tarp. After use, you can put it away in the small carrying pouch that ships along with the tarp.
Related: best tents for boy scouts
- Multifunctional: Besides keeping your tent floor safe from the adversity of the campsite ground, you can deploy this tarp as a picnic mat, a sun canopy, and also a rain shelter. This is an essential packing item for your outdoor adventures.
- Durable & Waterproof: The 210D fabric will survive the wear and tear of wilderness camping for years. The tarp is highly water repellant. So, you can trust it to keep your tent safe from moistness.
- Stylish Drawstring Pouch: To carry the tarp, you will get a drawstring pouch. It is lightweight and gorgeous to look at. The tarp folds down in a compact size and stows inside the bag with ease.
Rottay Waterproof Camping Tarp is another marvelous consideration for your camping adventures. The 210D Oxford fabric with reinforced stitching makes it almost impossible for water to pass through the tarp. For this reason, it will make good in keeping water and moisture out of your tent.
The consistent pattern of grommets makes it easy to pitch the tarp as a shelter. These grommets are made of galvanized metal. So, the risks of rusting and sudden snapping are barely non-existent. The Rottay Waterproof Camping Tarp is as heavy-duty as camping tarps come. You will get your money’s worth buying it.
- Durable & Waterproof: For higher protection against dampness and abrasion, the Rottay Waterproof Camping Tarp has been constructed with 210D Oxford fabric. The tarp fares well in the most difficult terrains and weather scenarios.
- High Wind Resistance: The metal grommets hold on to the guylines in severe stormy weather. To prevent rust buildup, the grommets have been galvanized with a rust-resistant layer.
- Seamed Borderline: No matter how good your tarp’s fabric quality is, it won’t stop water from seeping inside your tent if the edges are not seamed. The Rottay Waterproof Camping Tarp is seamed along the outer edge.
The V VONTOX Tent Tarp deserves a place in our best tarp for under tent debate on account of its praiseworthy performance. The PU 3000 lamination not only bolsters the tarp’s water resistance but also makes it deflect harmful ultraviolet rays. So, whether you use this tarp for blocking sunlight or keeping your floor dry, it would serve you well.
The 210T polyester keeps the tarp fairly lightweight, but it doesn’t compromise much in terms of durability. In fact, this is one of the most hard-wearing tarps you will find in the market. There is an even distribution of straps across the edges, which makes it easier to pitch, in case you want to use the tarp as a sun sail or a windbreaker.
- Evenly Spaced Straps: There are eight straps along the border of the tarp, and each of them sits apart from the nearest strap by the same amount of space. This attribute makes the tarp easier to set up and achieve various shapes.
- Anti-Tear: Double layer sewing across the edges and corners has made the tarp almost immune from sustaining tear and damage. Therefore, the tarp won’t disappoint in extreme conditions.
- Waterproof: Very few materials are as stubborn as polyester when it comes to water resistance. The high-grade polyester build repels water and won’t let you comprehend that it’s raining cats and dogs outside.
ARAER Tent Tarp is another top-of-the-line product that can keep your tent base dry in harsh weather. This is a 210T polyester tarp, which means you can count on it to last long and continue safeguarding your tent from unwanted moisture. Exquisite sewing and reinforced corners are the distinctive features of this tarp.
The ARAER Tent Tarp has a water resistance rating of 2000mm. Not to mention, it has a UV rating of 50 and stands firm in a strong gust. This is an all-around tent that can appeal to a wide range of campers. It is a large size tarp that can go with a family tent. Portability is not much of a hindrance as it weighs a meager 900 grams.
- 210T and 2000mm Polyester: The ARAER Tent Tarp uses a polyester fabric with a thread count of 210T and a waterproof rating of 2000mm. Besides water and wind protection, the tarp effectively screens ultraviolet rays from sunlight.
- Triangle Reinforced Corner: The triangle-reinforced corners prove to be a great addition to make the tarp withstand high wind pressure. You can find grommet embedded nylon straps in the corner, which holds up pretty well too.
- Flexible Shape: The tarp features nine holes to run through guylines. Eight adjustable ropes and four premium-grade stakes are also part of the package. All these enable you to alter the shape of the tarp to your liking when you are using it for shade.
The Kampfit Waterproof Tent Tarp is a top-quality tarp that is water-resistant up to 3000mm of rainwater and feels virtually weightless on the back. You can convert it to a small carrying size once you fold it. It also tags along with six aluminum stakes, just in case you want to use it as a canopy rather than an under tent mat.
It is made from 210D polyester Oxford fabric with a polyurethane overlay. The denier count is not excessively less that it would make the tarp susceptible to damaging, nor it’s so high that it would make the tarp uncomfortably heavier. This is a 9.8×9.8 feet tarp that can shelter at least six to eight people at a time.
- Waterproof: The KampFit Waterproof Tent Tarp is a 210D polyester Oxford tarp. It boasts an additional PU layer on top of the fabric for water protection. It would prevent water entry in as much as 3000mm of rainfall.
- Lightweight: With a 9.8 x 9.8 feet dimension, the KampFit Waterproof Tent Tarp falls into the category of a “big size tarp.” In contrast with its size, the tarp merely weighs a bit more than one and a half pounds.
- Free Aluminum Stakes: You will get six aluminum stakes upon purchasing this tarp. These stakes are quite sturdy, and they can stay rooted into the ground when a high wind strikes.
8. REDCAMP Waterproof Camping Tarp (Small)
The penultimate entry to our best tarp for under tent list is the REDCAMP Waterproof Camping Tarp. This is a smaller variant of the REDCAMP tarp we had reviewed earlier in our piece. The one in consideration takes up a 210cm x 210cm area once you lay it on the ground. So, you can expect two to three adults to sit on it at a time.
The other specifications are almost the same. You would get rainwater safety up to 1000mm. 210D Oxford polyester fabric is another similarity the tarps share among themselves. Since this is a smaller tarp, the folding dimensions (15cm x 10cm x 2cm) are smaller too. It weighs only 0.8lbs and is the most lightweight tarp we have reviewed here.
- 210D Oxford Polyester Fabric: Don’t let the mood swings of Mother Nature ruin your camping escapade. The 210D Oxford polyester fabric of this tarp can prevent water penetration up to 1000mm of rainfall.
- Durable Corner Straps: There are six corner straps in this tarp. To make sure they don’t give in to the wind’s intensity, the manufacturer has double sewn the straps. The straps will not rip up quickly.
- Portable: This tarp can host two to three people at once. It only has a 210cm x 210cm size, but it becomes much smaller (15cm x10cm x2cm) when you fold it and put it into a bag. The feather-light weight of 0.8lbs adds more to the tarp’s portability.
The final item we have to throw into the mix is the BUFF SPORT Camping Tarp. You can purchase this in two different sizes-70″ x 86″ and 94″ x 86″. 210D fabric tarps have featured predominantly in our best tarp for under tent, and this tarp is a continuation of that trend. We are impressed with its sturdiness and performance.
The toughness of the BUFF SPORT Camping Tarp makes it eligible for a variety of uses. It copes with the harshness and remains in good shape despite coming in constant contact with sharp stones or broken tree branches. The higher denier count didn’t make the tarp too heavy as its weight falls below the one and a half pound bracket.
- 210D Oxford Fabric: Alike most of the tarps we have enlisted in our best tarp for under tent article, the BUFF SPORT Camping Tarp features a 210D Oxford build. It is a high-quality fabric that makes the tarp extraordinarily ergonomic.
- Waterproof: The 210D Oxford material with incredible sewing quality makes it possible for the tarp to exhibit remarkable water resistance properties. It deals with rain and humidity very well.
- Portable: You can squeeze the tarp into a small drawstring pouch. The exact weight of the tarp is one pound and six ounces. So, you won’t even notice that you are carrying a tarp, albeit after hours of hiking.
How To Buy The Best Tarp For Under Tent?
Even though we are talking about the best tarp for under tent in this article, you should consider other possible applications while buying a tarp. Prioritize the under tent mat attributes and look at other features that make the tarp a genuine multifaceted one.
So, here are the factors you need to be mindful of-
You would be using the tarp to keep your tent floor safe or protecting yourself from weather adversities. That’s why you need a heavy-duty tarp. The ideal pick would be a tent that is not overly heavy to maneuver but has what it takes to successfully tackle weather extremities, rocky terrains, and wet campsites.
We have found that the denier count of 210 finds the right balance between low-weight and ruggedness. So, we would encourage you to go for a 210D fabric. A 210D fabric tarp paired with polyurethane or polyethylene coating should give you ample protection from all the previously mentioned problems.
How much should you spend on the best tarp for under tent? You can find a lot of options below the $20 mark, but are they worth buying? We have reviewed a handful of tarps priced within that margin, and we can assure you that they can outperform some of their more expensive counterparts.
Within the said price bracket, you can expect a substantial degree of water resistance, something along the lines of 2000mm-3000mm. If you are paying over $20, you should demand an even higher water resistance rating. Aluminum grommets are fine, but you must look at stainless steel or brass if you are paying premium prices.
Size is an important consideration too. If you are buying a tarp as the ground cover for your tent, you would need to buy a tarp that covers your entire tent base. Don’t buy a tarp that is significantly larger than your tent floor. When you use a larger tarp, the rainwater will pool on the uncovered area, and eventually, the water might make its way into the tent.
So, pay close attention to the dimensions of both your tent and the tarp before buying an under tent tarp. Apart from the original size, also check how compact the tarp becomes when you fold it and pack it up for a trip. A tarp that occupies minimal space on the go is always a desirable purchase to make.
Reinforced Seam & Edges
Quality material will not suffice if the seam of the tarp does not come with extra protection. You would want your tarp to have subsidiary security measures for the sake of a prolonged lifespan and damage impunity. The corners of the tarp are particularly vulnerable to abrasion, so these areas should have multi-layer sewing.
Without reinforcement, the tarp will degrade at an accelerated rate. The water resistance tends to wear off with use. So, thin tarps are prone to becoming increasingly leaky as they pick up more mileage. Moreover, tarps with non-reinforced seam and corners don’t fare very well as windbreakers.
Tent Footprint Vs. Tarp: Is There A Difference?
Newbie campers might mistakenly think that tent footprint and tent tarps are interchangeable terms. While both of them could be used as tent floor guards, they are far from the same thing. We will draw an obvious line between the two, but first, let us tell you in brief why it’s necessary to use a tent floor guard.
Why Do You Need Tent Floor Protection?
Manufacturers are well aware of the fact that the tent floor goes through a lot of abuse outdoors. For that reason, they always try to make the base as robust as possible. But, price constraints and the urge to make tents lighter often make that a challenging endeavor. The result is an attempt to find the perfect mix of cost-effectiveness, sturdiness, and portability.
So, it’s not possible to make an indestructible tent floor. No matter how deliberately the tentmakers try to make the tent floor long-lasting, the roughness of camping sites and inhabitant weight take a toll on the floor. Gradually, the floor deteriorates and starts showing evident signs of ravages of time.
Here’s where tent footprints and tarps come in. Deploying a footprint or a tarp underneath the tent would ease off the pressure on its floor. Since the floor will no longer be in direct contact with the ground, it will not get rip and tears quickly. Floor protection would save the floor from moisture and levels the sleeping area in uneven terrains.
What Is A Tent Footprint?
It is a piece of clothing that campers use under tents. You can buy footprints for specific tent models or can make them yourself. All you need to do is to cut the cloth per the dimensions of the tent floor. It acts as a barrier between the floor and the campsite ground.
In doing so, the footprint keeps the tent floor safe from the earth’s harshness and humidity. Both factors accelerate the manifestation of wear and tear in tent floors. You can choose any waterproof fabric to make a tent footprint. A tent footprint serves no other purpose than protecting tent floors.
What Is A Tarp?
A tarp, on the other hand, is a piece of multifunctional camping equipment. Tarps are sheets of fabric as well. But, they have several applications besides tent floor protection. You can use a tarp as a picnic mat, a hammock, a canopy, or a weather shelter. It will keep you dry from the rain and also provide shade from the sun.
Tarps will not fit your tent floor as accurately as footprints unless you cut them to shape as well. Similar to footprints, tarps are also made of waterproof material. What makes tarps a better choice in our books is the fact that you can use them in a variety of ways. But, you should pick one that fits your comfort demands and other needs the best.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Should You Put A Tarp Under Your Tent?
It is important to place an intermediary layer of clothing to protect your tent floor from the earth’s roughness and moisture. Tarps can repel water and are thick enough to even out bumpy surfaces.
So, you should put a tarp under your tent for comfortable sleeping space and extend the lifetime of your tent floor.
Q. What Is The Ideal Tarp Size To Put Under My Tent?
You might think that the tarp size that has the same size as your tent floor would be the best. But, it would be even better if you choose a tarp that falls two to three inches shorter than your overall floor measurements. If the tarp completely stays inside the tent, there will be no chance of water pooling outside the tent.
The best tarp for under tent can do more than providing safety for your tent floor. A tarp is a resourceful tool that any camper would find useful. We have analyzed the best tarps in the market and highlighted the ones we felt ticked all the right boxes. Hopefully, you will find the perfect tarp for you from the tarps we have reviewed above.