If you are going out camping, you should never be so certain about the weather outlook. The weather can change without any notice and it can spoil your camping expedition if you go out unprepared.
Therefore, it is imperative that you get the best hammock tarp (rain fly) to protect you against rain or other bad elements of the weather.
A rainfly is also called a tarp and it is designed to act as a shield that hangs over the hammock when you are out camping.
A hammock tarp is a good alternative over traditional tents since it is convenient and easy to use. For instance, a rainfly also offers you protection against wind and it gives you shade as well as privacy which are all crucial when you are camping.
Therefore, you need to get the best hammock rainfly to avoid spoiling your camping expedition due to unprecedented weather changes. As such, this guide gives you some tips that you need to consider when you buy your hammock tarp.
There are different types of tarps on the market hence the need to consider various factors in order to get the best product that will satisfy your needs.
Size of the rainfly
When you go out shopping for a rainfly, you should always bear in mind the element of the size that will satisfy your needs. It is wise to buy a tarp that is big enough to cover the whole hammock so that you do not get soaked when it rains. It is better to get a product that will overlap the hammock than leave other parts exposed.
If you are backpacking, you should also be wary about the aspect of weight.
Lightweight tarps are advantageous in that they are easy to carry and to set up. Large tarps can give you a burden in terms of mobility unless you are using a car.
You also need to be careful to choose a product that is lightweight but of good quality at the same time to avoid repeated purchases of the same.
The shape of the hammock tarp
The other important factor that you should also consider when you buy a rainfly pertains to its shape. Tarps come in different shapes and they are specifically designed for a purpose.
For instance, a smaller diamond shaped rainfly is ideal during the summer season. It covers the top part of the hammock to protect you against the sun while leaving the sides open for quality aeration.
Hexagonal tarps are ideal for three season camping since it offers you sufficient protection when you are resting in your tarp. Four season tarp is probably the best to protect you against biting weather in winter. This type of tarp is also good in that it covers the whole hammock and shields you against rain and other severe conditions like snow. However, a four-season tarp is heavier and it takes time to pitch.
The other important factor you should consider when buying a tarp pertains to durability. The best hammock tarps are made of a variety of materials.
The element of durability is very important when you buy a hammock tarp since this will save you from wasting money buying the same thing over and over again.
The most common types of materials used for making hammock tarps include coated polyester, ripstop nylon, and silk nylon.
- Coated polyester is probably the cheapest material but its weakness is that it is noisy. It is also slick and can be problematic to set if it is damaged.
- Ripstop nylon has superior durability and it is resistant to tearing or ripping. When damaged, it can be easily repaired with a patch or fabric tap.
- Silnylon is a combination of nylon and silicon and it is waterproof and lightweight. It is less durable and it can easily get damaged.
Tarps with ridge lines and guy lines
Ridgelines are essential on the tarp and they can be either full length or end only. The end only ridge lines help to reduce the weight of the tarp by doing away with ridgeline support that often runs across the tarp.
Full-length ridgelines run under the tarp and extend to the two anchor points at the end. This line gives the tarp extra support in case of harsh weather conditions.
On the other hand, guy lines play a pivotal role in helping anchor the tarp downward. To get maximum coverage under adverse conditions, you should keep the tarp low. During sunny conditions, you can lift up the side of the tarp for ventilation.
The other important thing that you need to consider is whether the rainfly is easy to set up so that it does not waste your time when you want to rest.