reflective survival tarp

Best Reflective Survival Tarp – Top 5 Picks for 2023

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One of the most crucial items of survival equipment is a tarp. It can be used to construct a shelter, gather water, or construct a stretcher for an injured individual.

A tarp may be used for various things, including mending roofs damaged by tornado or hurricane wind, even when you’re holed up at home.

Although selecting a best reflective survival tarp can seem simple, there are many variations in the available options.

How well it functions may be greatly influenced by the material, shape, denier, tie-down points, and extras like UV protection.

The top survival tarps are listed here, along with a thorough buying guide to help you choose the finest one for your needs.

ImageProduct NameEditor's RatingPrice

DD Hammocks Square Tarp – Best Overall
DD Hammocks Square Tarp – Best Overall

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DD SuperLight Tarp – Lightweight Option
DD SuperLight Tarp – Lightweight Option

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Aquaquest Defender Tarp – Heavy-Duty Option
Aquaquest Defender Tarp – Heavy-Duty Option

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Aquaquest Guide Tarp – Durable and Lightweight
Aquaquest Guide Tarp – Durable and Lightweight

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Gold Armour Tarp – Cheap Option for Beginners
Gold Armour Tarp – Cheap Option for Beginners

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Best Reflective Survival TarpReviewed

1. DD Hammocks Square Tarp – Best Overall

UK-based DD Hammocks is renowned for producing tarps of the highest caliber. They’ve been demonstrated to withstand many outdoor nights and are frequently cited as the greatest survival tarp.

Their 1010 tarp is a great option for survival kits. It is simple to pitch since it contains 19 tie-down loops, some of which are in the middle. The material is extremely tear-resistant, and the tie-downs are strengthened. Even at the seam, it is completely waterproof and won’t leak. You may also be interested in some of the Kerosene Lantern for Camping from our list.


  • Size: 8×9.8′ (3x3m) (3x3m)
  • PU coating on 190T polyester as a material
  • 19 tie-downs
  • Length: 28 ounces
  • 3000 mm of water resistance
  • Yes, reinforcements
  • colors: orange, black, brown, and olive

2. DD SuperLight Tarp – Lightweight Option

The square tarp from DD Hammocks is lighter than this one. It is comprised of ripstop nylon that has been coated with PU.

The lighter material reduces the weight by roughly 50%, from 28oz to 16oz. It also collapses into a little size. Although it won’t exactly fit in your pocket like they say, it will measure around 8x5x4 inches.

Durability is slightly compromised by the Superlight Tarp’s reduced weight since it will ultimately fracture. A waterproof coating will ultimately need to be applied again. For the weight, it is still a rather sturdy tarp. Our guide to the Precision Paper Cutter is also useful products for you.


  • Size: 8×9.5′ (3×2.9m)
  • Composition: 190T 380T (20D) nylon ripstop with a PU coating
  • 19 tie-downs
  • Size: 16 ounces
  • 3000 mm of water resistance
  • Yes, reinforcements
  • olive, brown, and orange

3. Aquaquest Defender Tarp – Heavy-Duty Option

Although Aquaquest tarps are not inexpensive, they are quite durable. In addition, the business offers a lifetime warranty.

With reinforcing at the corners, hems, and tie-downs, the construction is sturdy. Its waterproofness rating is 20,000 HH, and despite frequent folding, the covering doesn’t appear to fracture.

Snow and strong gusts won’t cause the 70D nylon to rip. Just be aware that it is not fire-resistant and that using it next to a fire will result in spark holes.

The tarp is too heavy for many individuals because of the thick cloth. This is one that you should have in your car rather than a solitary BOB.

The tarp is adaptable since it has several tie-down points, some of which go through the centre.


  • Sizes: 10×10, 10×7, 10×13, 15×15, 20×13
  • Square and rectangular shapes
  • 70D nylon with TPU coating is the material.
  • 19–47 tie-downs (depending on size)
  • Weight: 4.4 pounds (10-13), 3.3 pounds (10-10), and 4 pounds (10-7).
  • Rating for waterproofness: 20,000
  • Yes, reinforcements
  • Terrain, green, olive, and camouflage

4. Aquaquest Guide Tarp – Durable and Lightweight

Aquaquest’s Guide Tarp weighs and packs down to half the size of their Defender Tarp.

The Guide tarp will stand up exceptionally well, despite not being as robust as the Defender.

It has tie-offs, a hem, reinforced corners, and a lifetime warranty.

If it weren’t so pricey, it would have been the greatest survival tarp in our opinion. You may want to postpone making this purchase due to the cost until you are certain of the sort of survival tarp you want.


  • Sizes: 10×10, 10×7, 10×13, 15×15, 20×13
  • Square and rectangular shapes
  • 40D nylon with PU and silicone coatings as the material
  • ties: 13 to 23 (depending on size)
  • 9 to 2.3 lbs (depending on size)
  • Rating for waterproofness: 5,000
  • Yes, reinforcements
  • Green, gray, and olive

5. Gold Armour Tarp – Cheap Option for Beginners

This Gold Armour tarp is constructed of polyester with a PU finish. As you could anticipate from a cheap tarp, it isn’t the most resilient. The tie-outs might easily pull out because they aren’t adequately strengthened. Additionally, the coating will ultimately disappear because it is not UV resistant.

This is definitely the finest survival tarp for beginners despite these shortcomings.

It includes 33 tie-down points in addition to being affordable enough that you can take it outside to “play” with. This makes it simple to experiment with various pitches and tighten it.

It’s also convenient because there are many tarp forms so you may choose the one you like most.


  • Sizes: 10×10, 10×8, 12×10, 14.7×12
  • Square, rectangle, and hex
  • PU-coated 70D 210TRIPSOP polyester is the material.
  • 33 tie-downs
  • 2 lbs. 4 oz. (10′ by 10′)
  • Rating for waterproofness: 5,000
  • No reinforcements
  • Black, blue, gray, camouflage, green, and other hues

Survival Tarp Buying Guide

best reflective survival tarp

When purchasing a survival tarp, the material, form, and size are the three important considerations. The tarp’s UV protection and strengthened grommets are the next elements you should consider.

I advise purchasing an inexpensive tarp if you are unsure of the type you want (something like this one).

Experiment with it. Make a couple different shelter arrangements. Examine the tarp to see what you like and dislike about it.

Then you may get a superior product that is more suited to your requirements. The inexpensive tarp you have at home may always be used for yard work or as a backup in case of crises.

Are you prepared to purchase a quality survival tarp right away? Here are some considerations for your decision.

Other Features of Survival Tarps


The denier is a unit of measurement for tarp fiber thickness; the higher the denier, the thicker the strands. A tarp with a greater denier will often be stronger but heavier. However, the material also affects the strength. 20 denier SilNylon, for instance, will be more durable than 20 denier Sil Poly.

Rating for Hydrostatic Head Waterproofness

A tarp’s hydrostatic head rating indicates its waterproofness (HH). It gauges how much water the material can hold in a column before leaking.

For a survival tarp, you typically need an HH of at least 1,500. However, the HH grade for tarp waterproofness is not ideal. It does not take into consideration the possibility of material leakage at fold lines or from UV deterioration.


There are two reasons why the tarp’s color is important. The first is visibility; if you don’t want to be noticed, go with a bright color; if you do, go with a camouflage color.

Second, the tarp’s color may affect how it responds to sunlight. Tarps that are clear or white usually degrade more quickly from UV rays. Dark-colored tarps, though, can absorb heat and becoming too warm in the summer.

Tying-Up points

The top survival tarps will have several tie-down points going down the centre and down the tarp’s edges. This makes pitching a tarp in different configurations simpler and faster.

Grommets are often weaker than tie-down loops. However, inferior tarps’ grommets and loops are prone to tearing. The tie-down points will be strengthened by being reinforced with better survival tarps.

Note: You can use the “rock method” to hang your survival tarp if it lacks loops or grommets (or if they are torn). View the image below. These cool clips are also available for hanging tarps.


When a tarp begins to rip, the tear may spread throughout the fabric. Good tarps have reinforcement to stop this. Several forms of reinforcement include:

Ripstop: Stronger threads are sewn into ripstop fabric at regular intervals. Once it reaches the ripstop thread, any existing tears will end.

Hems: To strengthen the tarp’s edge, it is folded back and sewed.

Rope around the perimeter: This is a stronger reinforcement than hems. To stop rips from developing at the edge, a rope is stitched there.

Corner reinforcement: Since corners experience the greatest amount of stress, good tarps would stitch patches of additional material to the corners to strengthen them.

Grommet or tie-down reinforcement: Patches of additional material are stitched around the tie-down points to strengthen them and reduce the likelihood that they would rip.

UV Security

The middle of certain tarps is laminated with a layer of black material. These tarps are preferable for desert or hot environment shelters since they block out the sun’s UV rays.

Survival Tarp Uses

In survival scenarios, a plastic tarp may be used for a variety of purposes and very well may save your life.

Here are just a few incredible survival strategies.

Emergency Protection

You can create a fantastic survival shelter to shield you from the elements with just a plastic tarp and some paracord.

The Tarp Tent is among the simplest emergency shelters to construct. A tent is made by draping the tarp over the paracord that has been tied between two trees, then fastening the ends.

Rainwater Gathering

One of the essential things you need to survive is water. Compared to a month without food, the body can survive for only around three days without water.

Additionally, your immune system will deteriorate and your cognitive abilities will degrade if your body is even slightly dehydrated.

In a survival crisis, the last thing you want to happen is this!

The tarp may simply be placed on the ground and its edges secured to collect rainfall. However, there are more superior techniques to collect rainwater. In this post on rainwater collecting, I discuss two ideas that cleverly capture rainwater using tarps.

Sun Still

Water may be collected and distilled using a solar still. It is very useful in circumstances without access to water, such as desert survival.

If you have a transparent plastic tarp or sheeting, that works best. Even a transparent rain poncho could be useful in an emergency.

Here are the steps to building a solar still:

Dig a hole first. You will have to put in a lot of effort because it should be around 3 feet deep and 3 feet broad. The amount of water you can capture will be lower if you build a smaller solar still.

Fill the pit you excavated with cactus, leaves, grass, or even urine. In the center of the hole, place a bucket or other container for collecting water. Then use your plastic tarp to cover the pit.

To prevent the tarp from falling into the pit, secure it. To make the tarp tilt downward, you will need to place a boulder or other heavy item in the middle of it.

In a greenhouse-like environment, as the light shines through the plastic sheet, it will force moisture from the ground and plant stuff inside the pit to evaporate. The vapor will come into contact with the tarp.

The vapor will cool and condense on the tarp’s inner surface as it does so. Condensation droplets will fall into the bucket below since the plastic tarp is tilted downward (due to the rock you placed in it).

Since contaminants can also enter the vapor, this procedure isn’t 100% successful for cleaning polluted water, but it is still rather efficient.

When stranded at sea, solar sills can also be utilized to filter seawater. A straw has been extended outside of the water collection container in the image below. On the other hand, you could just take the vessel off and drink the water.

And the picture below displays an Aquamate ocean solar still.

Retention of Body Heat

In survival scenarios, a plastic tarp may also be a lifesaver for keeping you warm.

But you don’t want to encase yourself in a sheet of plastic. You’ll start to perspire as a result, which will make you moist and make you feel colder.

Place the plastic tarp between two blankets as an alternative. Finally, cover yourself with the blankets. You’ll stay warm longer if you eat this sandwich. Make a survival shelter out of the tarp if you don’t have any blankets. To keep warm, you can bury yourself in the ground or cover yourself with leaves.

Stretching tarp

One of your squad members is unable to walk due to an injury. How will you transport them safely? Tarps for survival are remarkably durable and may be made into a stretcher.

To serve as the basis for the stretcher, you will need long, robust branches or poles. You can simply wrap the tarp over them. This video demonstrates how to accomplish it.

Collection of ant eggs

Have you ever considered ant eggs to be delicious and healthy? A plastic tarp will also make it simple for you to gather them all.

As seen in the illustration, fold the tarp’s edges over. After that, locate an ant hill, dig it up, and then drop the entire contents—ants and dirt—onto the middle of the tarp.

The ants will rush to safeguard the eggs, carrying them all into the “protection” of the tarp’s folds.

You may just gather the scrambled eggs and consume them afterward. Oh, and the ants are also edible.

Sending a Help Signal

To attract the attention of airplanes, spread out your tarp and write HELP in a large font. To call for assistance, you may also climb a tree and fly the tarp like a flag. Learn more about signaling methods.

Make a trap for animals.

The only way to make this work is to dig a DEEP hole, which requires a shovel and presumably uses up a lot of energy. However, you could be rewarded with a delicious meal of rabbit.

Simply dig your hole, tarp it loosely over it, and place some bait on top of the tarp. The animal will fall into the hole below as it approaches the bait to devour it.

Alaska Pack

Did you need to run away and leave your survival kit behind? The paracord and tarp you picked up can be made into a bag, so hopefully you have time to do that. Watch this video to see how it’s done.


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