Therm-a-Rest recently sent me a prototype of their hammock rain fly to review. It’s a basic rectangular tarp with excellent construction and attention to detail.
Therm-a-Rest Slacker Hammock Rain Fly
- Manufacturer: Therm-a-Rest, made in the Vietnam
- MSRP: $89.95
- Four aluminum stakes and stuff sack
- 2mm polyester guyline
- Four metal guyline adjusters
- Fully tape sealed ridgeline
- PU coated ripstop polyester
- Dimensions: 127×36 (322.6×91 cm) (full width 72 in/183 cm)
- Weight: 19 oz (536 g)
The Therm-a-Rest Slacker Hammock Rain Fly has a basic rectangular shape with short side panels. The muted shark grey color pairs nicely with the simple, unobtrusive design. The tarp has very slight catenary curves on the edges, and with an angled panel beak that rises to the ridgeline. There are four perimeter tie-outs and the two main ridgeline guy points. On the inside of the tarp, on the center of the ridgeline, is a clip point, useful for holding a bug net or a light. The ridgeline seam is tape sealed.
The kit I was sent included nice aluminum stakes, guyline with a unique metal line adjusters, and a stuff sack.
Recommendations and Review
When it comes to hammocks and camping accessories I like simplicity, and the Therm-a-Rest Slacker Hammock Rain Fly certainly fits the bill. I would almost classify this tarp as minimalist, and certainly with the short side panels, this tarp doesn’t provide the most luxurious shelter space, but it does cover the basics. You can still pitch it in a porch mode, but there are certain limits to how tight you can pitch to get complete storm coverage. For storm coverage, I recommend getting some aftermarket pull tabs to connect to the asymmetric points, which would align with how you lay in the hammock, so you can pin down the ends of the tarp and still have breathable space under the tarp. This is one of my favorite ways to use rectangular tarps because you can still get good coverage but save some weight over larger tarps.
For this type of material, I prefer to fold and roll when packing, but you can stuff it with some difficulty.
What would make this tarp “perfect” for me would be to include mid-point tie-outs (for more pitching options), and maybe six more inches (15 cm) of length on each side panel for more coverage. If the material were a little lighter, it would be a great tarp for minimalist, gram-counting backpackers, but as it stands, there are other options out there that are lighter and have more options.
Quality and Craftsmanship
Everything I’ve ever seen coming from Therm-a-Rest has been of the highest quality. Even though the design is simple, there is attention to every detail, from the pull tabs to the small guyline adjusters. The stitching is even and straight and tight. The material and all the accessories are high-quality—it’s just a good-looking, nice-feeling tarp.
This is a good tarp for beginners who are happy doing three-season camping and aren’t as worried about harsh weather. You can take this tarp into worse conditions with some aftermarket adjustments like adding some side tie-outs or maybe even a door modification.
- ENO Profly Rain Tarp
- Hammock Bliss Extra Large Rain Fly
Disclosure of material connection: The author (Derek Hansen) was provided with a free sample from the manufacturer for testing and evaluation purposes. The comments in this post (written & spoken) are of my own opinion, which I formed after personally handling the gear. I was under no obligation to publish a review of this item.