The Best Camping Tarp in Australia for 2023

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A tarp is perhaps the most versatile piece of camping gear you can buy.

Set it up as a sunshade, use it as a makeshift shelter, prop it up as rain protection, or use it as a ground cloth under your tent – your camp-craft options are truly limitless with a good tarp.

However, tarps come in so many shapes and sizes, and they’re not all built to last.

To help you in your search, we’ve researched and reviewed the best tarps on the market and created this buying guide, so you can get the tarp that’s right for you.

Our top pick: OZtrail UltraRig HD Tarp

The OZtrail UltraRig is a great choice for anyone who wants to make sure they’re protected from the elements.

It is made from heavy-duty poly and provides the ultimate protection against rain or sun.

Patented UVTex technology provides superior UV resistance and will keep your body healthy while you’re out in the elements. The silver surface reflects heat and will keep you cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather.

The multi-layer attachment points allow you to secure this tarp in place with ease, and it has super strong HDPE for strength.

The tarp perimeter is reinforced with welded rope for added durability and strength where it counts most.

Stainless steel welded D rings on all corners and centres ensure that this tarp can be setup in a range of configurations.

Also great: Wanderer Heavy Duty Camping Tarps

These heavy-duty tarps from BCF are very popular, affordable, and high-quality.

They are made of 205gsm PE coated fabric, which means they’re super durable, and you shouldn’t have any problems with them holding up to the weather or wear and tear.

They have a reinforced hem and 22 D-Rings for extra corner strength.

They can be used for extra rain protection over a tent, to cover items on your trailer, or to provide shade while camping.

The tarps come in a variety of sizes ranging from 6 x 8ft through to 20 x 24ft, which makes it easy to get one that fits your needs perfectly.

Best for groundsheet/shade: OZtrail Ultramesh Tarp

The OZtrail Ultramesh Shadecloth is the ultimate ground cloth for your tent or sunshade on a blistering day.

Made from heavyweight UV stable shade cloth, this tarp blocks out 95% of the sun’s rays to keep you cool and sunburn-free on the hottest of days.

Reinforced edging and brass eyelets mean that this is one tarp that’ll take anything you can throw at it.

The Ultramesh Shadecloth boasts a super easy set-up and a large surface area, so the whole family will appreciate being able to relax in its shadow.

Also perfect for use as a ground cloth while pitching your tent, the Ultramesh Shadecloth will protect your tent floor and preserve the underlying grass at the same time.

The tarp comes with a mesh carry bag for convenient transport and storage.

This is a great buy for families and large groups in need of a durable, yet versatile tarp for camping.

Also great: DD Hammocks Tarp 3×3

With nineteen (yes, you read that right) different reinforced attachment points, there’s nothing this tarp can’t do.

Whether you pitch it as your shelter for the night, use it as a rain cover in a deluge, or turn it into a sunshade on a scorching day, you’re sure to be impressed by the innumerable options this tarp affords you.

DD Hammocks made this tarp from burly 190T polyester and is finished with a PU 3000mm waterproof coating. This, combined with the taped central seam and waterproof coating means you’ll stay dry in the wettest of storms.

Unlinke regular tarps, this one comes with four pegs, guy lines, and a draw-cord stuff sack, so it’s ready to adventure right from the get-go.

Camping Tarp Buying Guide

Here are a few things about tarps that you ought to consider before you buy:


Tarps come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, so you’ll want to choose one that’s big enough to meet your needs.

Big families looking to use their tarp as a rain cover or sunshade will want a larger tarp while solo campers and couples can get away with a smaller option.

If you’re using your tarp as a ground cloth, we recommend measuring your tent’s footprint before you buy.


Some tarps are made with super durable materials so that they’re long-lasting workhorses while others are made to be light and compact for hiking trips.

If you’re looking to get a lot of mileage out of your tarp, you might opt for a heavy-duty option while weight and space-conscious campers will prefer a sleeker alternative.


Many tarps come packaged with an assortment of useful accessories, like tent pegs and guy lines to make set-up a breeze.

Others are a bit more bare-bones and don’t even come with a stuff sack or carry bag.

If these little extras are important to you, they’re worth considering before you purchase your tarp.


As always, the price is a consideration. Some campers might be willing to spend that little bit extra for a specific feature while others just need something that’ll get the job done.

We’ve selected a wide range of tarps for this review that’ll satisfy any budget.

Camping Tarp FAQ

What kind of tarp do you use for camping?

The answer to that question depends on your needs. If you’re looking for something durable and waterproof, a classic camping tarp is a good option. For placing under your tent or providing sunshade, a mesh tarp may be the best option as they are breathable.

Should you put a tarp over your tent?

Most modern tents won’t need the extra waterproofing provided by a tarp. However, if you’re using a poor-quality tent or are worried about heavy rain, a tarp can provide extra protection. Just make sure you fasten it down securely.

What is the best size tarp for camping?

Tarps come in a wide range of sizes and the best size for you will depend on your needs. A 12 x 12 Ft tarp would be considered a fairly standard size for camping but will still be too small or too large for some purposes.

What is the purpose of a tarp under a tent?

Tarps are often used as a groundsheet, to protect the bottom of your tent from damage. If you’re camping on rocky ground or on a muddy surface, consider using a tarp as a groundsheet.

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Outback Review

We founded Outback Review in 2017 to share our passion for all things related to camping in Australia. We’re committed to providing you with the best information on everything from where to go and what to see, to what gear you’ll need for your trip. We’re here to help you get the most out of your time in Australia’s great outdoors.