Top 7 Best Bushcraft Tarps | 2020 Reviews (Aqua Quest)

When it comes to any outdoor adventure, having the best bushcraft tarp is absolutely essential. Whether you go hiking or camping for a few nights, packing your backpack with the essentials for your adventure is critical. Harsh weather conditions can easily sneak up on everyone, even if you don’t believe you are living in a weather prone area. In this case, a good quality Bushcraft tarp can be a lifesaver during a severe storm.

In case you want to try your hand with bushcraft camping, this post will give you a complete guide to choosing the best quality bushcraft tarps in the market right now.

Top 7 Best Bushcraft Tarps in Review

A good quality bushcraft tarp is an important asset for any outdoor adventurer. Carrying all the essentials in your backpack plus a tent for you to sleep on can be quite heavy to carry. If you are looking for ways to lighten up the load when going hiking, you can try replacing your camping tent with the highest quality bushcraft tarp.

Bushcraft tarp is designed to be lightweight compared to camping tents. Most are even so light and portable that you don’t even notice you are carrying it. And while that might lighten your backpack, the best bushcraft tarp can also protect you from harsh weather elements.

Nowadays, shopping for the best bushcraft tarp can be tricky, with countless options laid out for you. But to make your purchase so much easier, here’s a list of the best bushcraft tarp available in the market right now.

  1. Aqua Quest Defender Bushcraft Tarp
  2. Sanctuary Bushcraft SilTarp
  3. Unigear Rain Fly Bushcraft Tarp
  4. Free Soldier Bushcraft Tarp
  5. Kelty Noah 9 Bushcraft Tarp
  6. Ultimate Survival Technologies BASE Tube Bushcraft Tarp
  7. Tent Tools Bushcraft Camping Tarp

#1. Aqua Quest Defender Tarp – Best Overall Bushcraft Tarp

Aqua Quest Defender Bushcraft Tarp

Specifications:

  • Size options: 10×7, 10×10, 13×10, and 15×15
  • Color options: olive drab or camo
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Design: flat cut with 21 reinforced webbing loops

Aqua Quest is among the most popular and highly regarded names when it comes to high-quality bushcraft tarps, and the Aqua Quest Defender tarp lives up to that name. This tarp is built to be heavy-duty, with several added features to make it durable and secure.

The Aqua Quest Defender tarp boasts two different waterproof coatings, making up its 20,000 mm hydrostatic resistance. In short, you will remain dry as a bone even after a full day and night of heavy rain. The coating of the tarp also allows swift water beading, which means the water will run off fast when you fold the tarp. There is no need to dry the tarp before storing it.

The Defender tarp also features high-quality manufacturing, design, and built. It boasts 19 to 24 reinforced webbing loops in the edges and one in the center, which is unlike any other regular tarps in the market.

But, with its material and features, it means that the Aqua Quest Defender tarp is on the heavy side and a bit expensive. However, it would still be an incredible long-term investment if you are looking for a durable, reliable, and long-lasting bushcraft tarp. The extra weight is only a tiny price to pay if it guarantees to keep you dry no matter the outdoor condition.

ProsCons
With heat-taped seams and reinforced stitching for extra durabilityA bit heavy
Extremely durable and resilient even in severe outdoor conditions
100% Waterproof with hydrostatic resistance
Dries quickly

#2. Sanctuary Bushcraft SilTarp – Best Small and Lightweight Bushcraft Tarp

Sanctuary SilTarp

Specifications:

  • Size range: 10×8 to 12×10
  • Cut design options: hex, flat, and tapered
  • 100% waterproof (5,000 mm hydrostatic resistance)
  • Weight: varies depending on size (4oz for smallest)

The Sanctuary SilTarp is made from 30D ripstop silicon-nylon fabric and features a dual coating of silicone and polyurethane for extra strength. The excellent choice of coating for this bushcraft tarp also makes it resistant to water. The dual silicone and PU coating, plus the fully taped seams that make up for the tarp’s 5,000 mm hydrostatic resistance, will keep your camping area dry when it rains. The fabric of this bushcraft tarp also boasts fully taped edges to add extra protection against wear and tear.

The Sanctuary SilTarp boasts a no-nonsense manufacturing and design approach. It has all the basics checked for a reliable and lightweight silnylon tarp. The tarp is very lightweight and compact at ten to 20 ounces that putting it in your backpack or carrying it is no strain to you at all. This tarp also offers excellent flexibility with its 16 perimeter attachment loops. Plus, it comes with six aluminum Y-shaped stakes and six micro leg adjusters for improved securing to the ground.

Furthermore, the Sanctuary SilTarp is a complete bushcraft tarp kit. The accessories for the tarp are included, so there is no reason for you to have to spend extra cash on some. The package for the tarp comes with a reflective guy line, six aluminum stakes, and line-lock adjusters. Another good thing is that even despite the accessories, the tarp remains lightweight.

Overall, this small and lightweight bushcraft tarp is excellent for starters and hobbyists looking for their first tarp for outdoor adventures.

ProsCons
Made with waterproof fabric
Line tensioners are a challenge to adjust
Offers unlimited flexibility
Small and easy to carry
Lightweight

#3. Unigear Hammock Rain Fly Bushcraft Tarp – Best Bushcraft Tarp for Backpacking

Unigear Hammock Rain Fly Bushcraft Tarp

Specifications:

  • Size: 10×13 feet
  • Weight: 2.9 lbs.
  • Material: 210D ripstop Oxford fabric
  • PU coating for the inner layer (3,000 mm waterproof)

The Unigear Hammock Rain Fly Tarp is one of the most compact and portable tarps you can find. You can quickly and easily fold down the tarp into an extremely small size that will easily fit your backpack with more extra space for other essentials. Plus, this bushcraft tarp comes with an equally small carrying pouch that you might not even notice it’s inside your backpack.

Aside from being very compact, the Unigear Hammock Rain Fly tarp comes with some awesome features that you can’t find in most bushcraft tarps in the market. This tarp is made of quality reflective fabric. It means that when you stay under this tarp outdoors, your body heat will be reflected back to you, keeping you extra warm, especially on chilly nights in the outdoors. With its reflective feature to keep you warmer, it saves you even more space since you don’t need to carry a blanket anymore.

Staying dry even under the rain is also possible with the PU coated 210D ripstop fabric that the Unigear Rain Fly tarp is made with. It is 3,000 mm waterproof, which will guarantee you the best possible protection against sudden downpour and rain. The PU coating in the inner layer of the taro also helps boost its UV protection. Plus, the ripstop fabric and the eight reinforced fix points of the tarp mean your shelter is safe from aby ripping or leaking while it rains.

Overall, the Unigear tarp is an incredible choice for those looking to free up their backpack to carry more camping essentials.

ProsCons
With a reflective layer that helps keep you warmerA bit short and may not cover large hammocks
Space-saving for your backpack
With UV protection
Easy to setup

 #4. Free Soldier Bushcraft Tarp – Best Budget Bushcraft Tarp

Free Solider Bushcraft Tarp

Specifications:

  • Size: 10×11 feet
  • Cut Design: flat cut
  • Weight: 2 lbs. and 3 oz
  • Has ten attachment points

If you are not too worried about carrying a little bit of extra weight when camping or backpacking, then you should look no further than the Free Soldier bushcraft tarp. It is a very affordable option if you are looking for a quality tarp to fit two hikers.

This tarp boasts heavy and quality stitching to guarantee you are completely dry and safe, whether it’s raining or there’s heavy wind outside. The orange trim feature of the tarp is not just a nice touch overall, but it adds extra visibility for the equipment at night.

It also features an enhanced waterproofing function with its 2500 PU coating in the 210T ripstop polyester fabric of the tarp.

Plus, the Free Soldier tarp comes designed with ten attachment points, which offers countless options to configure the tarp to your preferred setup. The suspension cord and stuff-sack the tarp comes with are also of decent quality. Plus, there is an option for you to close the tarp for added protection when there are heavy winds or to keep you warmer on chilly nights.

The Free Soldier camping tarp might not be the super light, but it is a small price to pay for a heavy-duty and extremely affordable bushcraft tarp. Overall, it’s an excellent value for the money tarp option.

ProsCons
Ten attachment points for countless setup configurationsA bit on the heavy side
A cheaper option for a 2-person bushcraft tarp
Portable and lightweight
Simple to operate

#5. Kelty Noah 9 Tarp – Best Bushcraft Tarp for Durability

Kelty Noah 9 Bushcraft Tarp

Specifications:

  • Size: 9×9 feet
  • Cut design: cat-cut tarp (with curved edges for additional tautness)
  • Weight: 2 lbs.
  • Rated for three seasons
  • Has 12 attachment points

Most of the affordable bushcraft tarps in the market are made of nylon. And while that material is great, it has a downside. Nylon stretches, it absorbs water, which can lead to sagging, and it’s not resistant to UV either.

When it comes to choosing between nylon or a polyester bushcraft tarp, the latter is much stronger and durable, at the expense of extra weight. The Kelty Noah 9 tarp is made from polyester, which is excellent for rough outdoor settings. It is a 68D polyester tarp with a polyurethane coating that is affordable but can withstand the harshest weather conditions.

Furthermore, the Kelty Noah 9 tarp is durable overall, especially as it is sealed and double stitched. The edges of the tar are also reinforced with a polyester tape to add more toughness to its structure. The tarp’s anchor points have built-in reinforcements as well.

The two pounds of weight for its size might put the Kelty Noah 9 as one of the heaviest picks for the best bushcraft tarp, but that is a price you have to pay for durable and strong tarps. The only downside of this bushcraft tarp is it is not ripstop. It means that it’s the lightweight variety, but any tear or puncture in the tarp will likely travel further unless you patch it quickly.

Overall, the Kelty Noah 9 tarp is stretch resistant with superior water resistance. It is an excellent choice if you are looking for a durable and solid bushcraft tarp at a reasonable price.

ProsCons
Double-stitched and reinforced edges for extra durabilityThe tarp is not ripstop
With curved seams for extra tautness
4-point shape for versatility
Adjustable corner guy lines

#6. Ultimate Survival Technologies BASE Tube Tarp – Best All-Weather Bushcraft Tarp

Ultimate Survival Technologies BASE Tube Tarp

Specifications:

  • Size: 7×3 feet
  • Weight: 1lb. and 12 oz
  • Tube tarp design

The Ultimate Survival Technologies BASE Tube Tarp is by far one of the best all-weather tarps out there. Plus, it features an incredible and unique design as well.

One of the best features of this bushcraft tarp is its aluminized side, which is an excellent thermal insulation feature. It means that during sunny climate, the tarp will remain cool. The reflectivity of this side is also boosted, which helps keep the chilly temperature outside and your body heat reflected back inside the tarp to keep you warm.

And while most tarps only offer shelter from the sun or the rain, the Ultimate Survival Technologies tube tarp protects you from the damp ground as well. The tarp features a hidden zipper that allows you to transform the simple tarp into a tube-shaped shelter in just a few minutes. The tarp comes with reinforced attachment loops so you can secure it to a tree, but for added security to the ground, the tarp comes with six steel stakes and two guy lines as well.

The camping tarp also includes a stuff bag for easy storage when transported or not in use. The design is very compact as well and won’t take a lot of space in your backpack.

Overall, the Ultimate Survival Technologies Tube Tarp is perfect for use for hikers and backpackers who likes outdoor adventures, whether during the warm or chilly season.

ProsCons
All-around tarp and can be used as a thermal blanket or tent
A bit on the small side
With aluminized side for better reflectivity
Includes a stuff bag for simple storage
Ultra-compact and lightweight

#7. Tent Tools Bushcraft Camping Tarp – Best Upgrade Bushcraft Tarp

Tent Tools Bushcraft Camping Tarp

Specifications:

  • Size: 10×10 feet
  • Cut design: square cut
  • Weight: 2 lbs.
  • Has 12 attachment points
  • Comes with strong guylines

The Tent Tools Bushcraft Camping tarp is more than your typical bushcraft tarp. It likely resembles a ten-tarp hybrid, which makes a good upgrade if you ever wanted one.

The layout for this bushcraft tarp comes with stakes and poles like most camping tents. However, there are also optional attachment points if you choose to secure it with tree support instead of the trekking poles. The material for the Ten Tools tarp is also high quality and is made bright and reflective, which gives the tent high visibility during the night.

What’s even better about this bushcraft tarp is it boasts a three-season rating. It means that the tarp offers extra protection against any outdoor elements with its rear ventilation window and a single door.

And while you might think that the tarp is heavy with its enclosed design, that isn’t the case with the Tent Tools camping tarp at all. Instead, it is one of the most lightweight tarps in the market, considering its size and design. With a 1.7 lbs. of a tarp, you get ultimate protection against mother nature at its severe condition. This tarp is 100% waterproof with its 4,000-mm hydrostatic resistance that can keep you completely dry day in and out. Not a single drop of water will penetrate the tarp, and with the heat taped seams, you can be sure there isn’t going to be any leak as well.

The construction of the Tent Tools camping tarp is extremely durable as well. It is made with a 20D ripstop polyester fabric. The polyester component of the tent material is already durable and string against harsh weather. The ripstop feature adds to the tarp’s capacity against tears and punctures.

Overall, the Tent Tools camping tarp is a stronger, more versatile, more compact, more waterproof, and longer-lasting compared to other regular bushcraft tarps in the market.

ProsCons
With dual reflective strips for extra visibility at nightNot the easiest bushcraft tarp to set up
100% waterproof (4,000 mm hydrostatic resistance)
With PU coating and reinforced stitching
Ripstop polyester fabric doesn’t sag

Top Pick – Best Bushcraft Tarp

The best bushcraft tarp has to be a great value for your money, and our top pick is the Aqua Quest Defender bushcraft tarp for a lot of great reasons.

For one, the best bushcraft tarp should be able to keep you completely dry in the outdoors, no matter how severe the condition is. The Aqua Quest Defender can do that and more with its 20,000 mm hydrostatic resistance that is unlike any other bushcraft tarp in the market. The quality of the manufacturing is also impressive, plus the 19 to 24 attachment points offer countless configuration setups.


Getting the Best Bushcraft Tarp – Ultimate Buyers Guide

If you want to pick the best bushcraft tarp, you must understand what features make the highest quality bushcraft tarp. With a lot of options in the market for you to choose from, this guideline in buying the best bushcraft tarp should be able to help you make an informed decision, something that is worth the money you are paying it for.


7 Things to Consider When Buying the Best Bushcraft Tarp

#1. Size

One of the first factors you need to consider when buying the best bushcraft tarp is your preferred size. Bushcraft tarps are available in different sizes, and it’s up to you how big or small you need the tarp to be.

But if you are not sure of the appropriate tarp size to get, an 8×5 to 8×10 feet bushcraft tarp would be enough for a single person, while two people will be more comfortable with an 8×10 or a 10×10 feet tarp.

#2. Shape

Aside from size, bushcraft tarps are also available in different shapes. There are rectangular ones, square-shaped, and some are hexagonal. When it comes to the tarp shape, the main takeaway is for you to consider how you plan to use the tarp.

Rectangular tarps are usually ideal as protection for your tent or the sleeping bag. Square tarps, on the other hand, will work best for offering protection to the campsite or your equipment.

#3. Material Durability

While bushcraft tarp’s size and shape will depend on your preference and needs, the material durability of the tarp should be a given. Especially if you want a tarp that will last for a longer time and can withstand the basic to even harsher outdoor conditions, durability is a critical consideration when buying the best bushcraft tarp. It is essential to confirm that whatever bushcraft tarp you are buying is worth the money you are paying it for.

Polyester tarps are usually hardcore and made for severe weather conditions. Ripstop designs also add strength to the tarp, especially against punctures and tears. Treatments and coatings are also other components that make up the overall durability of the tarp. There are waterproof coatings in tarps, as well as UV protection and flame resistance.

#4. Ease of Setup

There are times outdoors when you don’t have the best resources or enough time to set up your shelter. In this case, a bushcraft tarp that is very easy and quick to setup would be a game-changer.

#5. Attachment Points

The number of attachment points for the tarp will also determine how durable the tarp will be. With a lot of anchor points, you can make the tarp more secure against strong winds or configure it to the shelter style that you need. A bushcraft tarp with six to ten attachment loops should be enough.

#6. Compactness and Weight

Especially when you are backpacking, a compact and lightweight bushcraft tarp are essential. Make sure that your tarp wouldn’t take up too much space in your backpack or too heavy to carry when trekking in long distances.

The compactness and weight of the tarp will largely depend on several factors, such as its size and tarp fabric. Square tarps often take a lot of space, which also means added weight.

#7. Water Resistance

Weather and outdoor conditions can be very volatile, which is essential for every outdoorsy person to get ready with whatever happens. Rain can be a huge problem for you and your belongings when you stay in the wilderness. In that case, you will need a waterproof shelter that can keep you and your things dry day in and out. Bushcraft tarps tend to be waterproof and water-resistant, although some do it better than most. Coatings and treatments on the main tarp material also add to the tarp’s water-resistant features, so you might also want to consider that.


4 Bushcraft Tarp Materials to Choose From

When it comes to tarp materials, two components make it up, the basic tarp fabric and the coating applied to the fabric, if there is any.

Some of the common bushcraft tarp materials are nylon and polyester. A special fabric called Dyneema is also often used. There is also one called Silnylon, which is a combination of nylon fabric with a silicone coating for waterproofing and extra strength. Each of these tarp materials has its advantages and disadvantages, and it’s one of the first things you have to consider when choosing the best bushcraft tarp.

#1. Dyneema

Dyneema is a premium tarp material. On the upside, this tarp material has the best strength-to-weight ratio, tear and puncture resistance, water resistance, and stretch resistance. Dyneema fabrics are also good against the UV. However, aside from being the most expensive tarp material out there, Dyneema fabrics have a terrible flame retardance feature and even worse abrasion resistance.

#2. Nylon

Nylon is a popular choice when it comes to bushcraft tarp materials. It is also the safest to do, particularly when considering the cost and the strength-to-weight ratio of the tarp. It also has great tear and abrasion resistance features. However, nylon tarps have a downside. Its flame retardance is bad, and its water resistance is even worse. Nylon is not UV resistant either and doesn’t have a lot of stretch resistance. However, these factors can often be mitigated on the tarp fabric’s coating.

#3. Polyester

Polyester is one of the tarp materials that isn’t a popular choice, especially because the material can be quite heavy. However, when it comes to a tarp fabric that has loads of durability and strength to offer, polyester is an excellent choice. It’s an incredible option for long-term and harsh outdoor applications. Polyester tarps are usually affordable, and it has a good set of features such as tear resistance, water resistance, abrasion resistance, puncture resistance, and stretch resistance. The flame retardance feature of polyester fabrics is better than most tarp materials as well.

#4. Ripstop

This tarp material improves the features of regular nylon, especially in terms of strength-to-weight ratio and tear resistance. Ripstop features a reinforcement of much thicker threads in an interlocking grid pattern. This type of tarp fabric is especially useful in stopping tears and punctures from spreading further into bigger tears.


Conclusion

The best bushcraft tarp is an essential part of any camping or backpacking kit. Quality tarps are durable and make a reliable shelter to keep you dry, warm, and protected under any weather condition. They are also easy and no-nonsense to set up and break down. Depending on the tarp, it can be compact and lightweight that is easy to carry around and will not eat up a lot of space in your backpack.

But there are a lot of options for the best bushcraft tarp out there. However, choosing the best tarp for your needs shouldn’t be as hard as you think it is with this detailed review and buying guide for the best bushcraft tarp.

Make sure you grab the ideal bushcraft tarp for your needs and preferences without sacrificing the quality and durability of your shelter in outdoor adventures for a few savings. And, with these options for the best bushcraft tarp laid out for you, you should be able to bid goodbye to be heavy and bulky camping tents without any worries.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: How heavy is a bushcraft tarp?

The weight of a bushcraft tarp depends on the size of the tarp as well as the material or fabric used to make it. There are a lot of lightweight tarp options that usually weighs only a couple ounces, and they are ideal for backpackers. However, most of the heavy-duty bushcraft tarps or those that are strong enough to withstand hard weather conditions like those made of polyester fabric often have an added weight. You can find these types of tarps weighing around two lbs. or a bit more.

Q: What are coating options for bushcraft tarps?

Common coatings or treatments for bushcraft tarps, if there is any, can either be polyurethane (PU) of silicon. PU coatings are usually idea for tarps in tougher weather conditions and long-term survival needs, although this type of coating tends to be harder and heavier. Silicon coating, on the other hand, makes tarp fabrics more resistant to water, abrasion, and tears. There is also a lesser-known TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) coating, which offers better PU features but is a lot more expensive.

Q: What is the best tarp fabric?

Nylon is a popular choice for tarp fabric, and it is one of the best choices too. However, polyester fabrics tend to be a bit more heavy-duty when it comes to harsher weather conditions. The latter is better in terms of UV, stretch, and water resistance, too, although it’s a bit heavier compared to nylon tarps.

Q: What is the best tarp shape?

A basic rectangular shape for bushcraft tarps is the most versatile. While square tarps are also good, they are usually more ideal for covering your things than covering you in a sleeping bag. There are also tarps with specialized designs and shapes, although they are not worth the tradeoff when it comes to emergencies.

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