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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good quality could use a few changes Pros Well made, study grommets at the 4 corners. Like the light color, keeps things cool on sunny days. Agreed you need poles, which I purchased. And was able to set it up by myself with no problem. Cons First- It could use grommets or taps on the edges in the center. There currently are two tabs but adding one in the center along the edge would make it more versatile. Second- The bag it comes in is USELESS. You need a PhD in packing to get it back in the bag. Why outdoor companies make bags too small is a mystery. How much would it cost to make it 25% larger? Third- The stakes are ok for grassy areas but you'll need better ones to pound into hard ground.
Date published: 2016-10-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sturdy The tarps sheds water cleanly, without allowing water to seep through. The grommets are strong enough to hold this up in all but the worst conditions. I had it up in a thunderstorm with moderately strong winds and it held fine. What this tarp will NOT do is give you good shade. It will keep you out of direct sunlight, but it will not be cooler under the tarp. That said, it does what I need it to do and does so in a small, lightweight package. Still too new for me to comment on longterm durability, but it appears to be well constructed. I have used the Noah's tarp and it leaked water and the grommets failed under the same conditions this tarp has been used successfully. For the price? It's a steal.
Date published: 2016-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great rain and sun shelter I decided to write a review based on seeing a 3 star review for no fault of the tarp itself. It's an REI version of the Kelty tarp and can be rigged in as many ways, including flat to not block your view of the surrounding area. It comes with tie offs at each corner and sturdy steel stakes for hammering into rocky soil which worked great on my last camping trip. Kept the whole picnic table dry with room for chairs on the sides and ends.
Date published: 2016-06-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Waterproof but questionable shade I have set the tarp up once, at the beach. I put it over my tent instead of the fly to keep off the heavy dew while maximizing air circulation. It was very pleasant! Instead of tent pegs I use those large corkscrew things for leashing dogs in the sand and they work great. The tarp stayed up through a thunderstorm and kept my stuff dry from the rain so that is good. I do question the quality of shade from this light-colored tarp with no SPF rating. Good shade is absolutely crucial when camping at the beach. I will probably return it and get something darker, like the similar Kelty product. Yes, you should get the poles. And yes, setup is a tricky, trial and error affair.
Date published: 2016-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hammock camping I bought this to use while hammock camping. Provides plenty of dry coverage. I sewed on some midway tie outs so it could be used as an A-Frame tarp. The standard setup is 16ft long and is a tad too long for my needs, but it can be pitched different ways and is very versatile.
Date published: 2016-07-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great addition to camping My husband bought this for our last camping trip. I didn't think much of it until a downpour came during dinner time. Not wanting to eat inside of our tent, this tarp gave us a perfect, dry, outdoor space.
Date published: 2016-07-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love It We have the 12X12 and use as a rain shelter after years of using a standard heavy green tarp. A joy to set up compared to the tarp and much lighter and smaller to carry. I agree with other reviewer that it would be more versatile with additional grommet on center but not a big deal and you can use a tarp clip if you need to. For the price this is a very good value, good quality and keeps the rain off you. True that the bag could be a little bigger but I was able to get it back in without any problem.
Date published: 2017-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A light weight tent material tarpaulin I have enjoyed this tarp and tarp set up for over a year now. I first set out in search of something light weight and versatile that I could take along on a day hike, or cycle into camp, and pack into the backcountry. I knew I didn't want to spend my whole trip inside my tent. It's challenging camping, hiking, cycling, and backpacking when it's raining and windy out, and even more so when cold temprature is added to the equation. I also knew I didn't want to lug around a polyethylene tarp. Cheap poly tarps don't last long, and heavy duty poly tarps are heavy. After seeking advice from an REI sales specialist, I chose the REI Camp Tarp 12 and two tarp poles. The tarp 12 comes with guy lines and stakes, unless you find it at the REI garage sale "As Is". The tarp 12 has a grommet, a.k.a. eyelet for the tarp pole, and a guy out loop for the guy line, in each corner. The guy line works best when attached to the guy out loop using a single noose, noose knot. The tarp 12 also has guy out loops along the sides of tarp, but not enough guy lines and stakes to fill every loop. If needed, REI sells guy line rope. After purchasing Gear Air Tenacious Tape, for fabric repairs, and a Sea To Summit eVent bag to complete my kit, I set out. It was very clear to me that an "A" frame set up was unsuitable for my encampment needs. It's ideal for confined areas, such as trails or meadows, but only allows two line of sight and exit points. I wanted 360° of visibility, and to do this, I needed a four pole canopy set up. Another trip to REI for two more poles and camping trip in the rain. I discovered that water puddles up on top of tarp canopy set up. After an online purchase of two more 6' tarp poles, I made a "pogo" pole by cannibalizing one pole, and combining the two adjustable sections together. This pogo pole goes in the center of tarp and helps out greatly with drainage. It works great from the ground up, and would work well over a picnic table. Now let's talk tent anchors, a.k.a. stakes. After a storm in my tarp canopy, the wind knocking down poles and uprooting stakes, I will need another REI trip to upgrade my stakes. Snow, sand, and earth, require different types of anchors. I talked about tarp configurations, types, knots, stakes, weather conditions, and modifications. There might be other equations for tinsel strength of the tarp fabric, proper angle of guy lines when anchored down, and strength of the distance between grommets and guy out loops, but I don't want to sound boring.
Date published: 2017-05-11
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Questions & Answers

Does this tarp have webbing loops at the midpoint on the sides of the tarp (so that it can be pitched as an A-frame)?  

Asked by: Sean in Salem
As FishTender27 answered, it does not have loops in the center -- only on the thirds. I tried using the first pair to make a lopsided A-frame, but the sides are tapered so there was no way to get tension across from loop to loop and the center would sag, making the configuration unusable. While this tarp looks like it works great with no wind, I'm hiking the Lost Coast tail and expect high winds and driven rain. I'm going to return this and exchange for a more traditional shape that can be raised as an A-frame.
Answered by: Benicia Dave
Date published: 2017-07-15

Is this straight cut or catenary cut tarp?

Asked by: Jsteg
I got this tarp based on the response by rei customer service that this was a straight cut tarp. I realized it is not after I ordered/received the product. The tag on the outside of the stuff sack even shows a drawing and mentions it is catenary cut for a taut pitch. 
Answered by: Disatarpointed
Date published: 2017-09-02

How does this item compare to the Kelty Noah's Tarp, in terms of material and performance?

Asked by: JAMCarson
The Camp Tarp 12 is made with a slightly heavier polyester. The Camp Tarp has a 75-denier polyester. The Kelty Noah's Tarp has a 68-denier polyester.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-04-08

How long are the guylines?

Asked by: REIviewer
​The guylines on the Camp Tarp 12 measure approximately 5 feet each.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-05-25

Does this tarp come with a carrying sack or stuff sack?

Asked by: Stu31
​The Camp Tarp 12 includes a storage sack.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-04-08

I have a small Snow Peak Pack and Carry Fireplace (10x10x8in).   Would it be safe to build a fire under the Tarp with the REI 6ft Poles?  it would be a small fire in said detentions.  

Asked by: akillerbluesky
We do not recommend having a fire under a tent or tarp of any kind.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2016-11-11

Is this recommended for shade?

Asked by: Robin
This tarp is a great choice if you are looking to create some shade from the sun.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-06-05

Can these be used as a sleeping shelter? I have a footprint already. 

Asked by: Beard75
Yes, REI Camp Tarps can be configured in multiple ways and can be used as a shelter.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2016-10-26
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