Our in-depth Rolling Fox Tarp Shelter review puts it to the test. We share our findings and compare the competition. Find out if it’s really worth your money.
The market is absolutely overloaded with a variety of tarp shelter brands and variations. If you can think if it, it’s practically guaranteed to exist.
For good reason too, the usability of a tarp shelter goes beyond just rain or wind protection. With the right tarp, you can construct a rain collecting system, use it as a makeshift poncho wrap, a ground pad for a primitive shelter, and many other countless options.
However, many of these projects don’t live up to their potential. In a disaster situation, you need to be able to trust your equipment, especially your movable shelter.
With so many products out there it’s hard to know what to pick and where to start. Through this article we’ll break down one of the leading products right now, the Rolling Fox’s tarp shelter.
By examining the pros and cons of the Rolling Fox, we’ll give you everything you need to know about the product and whether it’s the perfect piece of gear to add to your disaster preps.
The Rolling Fox Tarp Shelter
Rolling Fox provided us a review copy to try out, which we put to the grindstone. The Rolling Fox tarp shelter is a lightweight, compact traveling tarp cut in a diamond shape.
Although capable of a wide range of uses, the diamond shape lends naturally to a hammock or tent shelter.
The tarp itself is ultralight weight, weighing under 1.2 pounds, is 11.8 feet by 9.1 foot (360×280 cm), diamond shaped, and the only color currently available is cream.
Additionally, the tarp is waterproof with single X stitched tie off points and double stitched edging. The tarp has 16 tie off points reinforced with additional fabric and stitching with metal D ringlets at the corners.
You also receive 4 metal stakes, 4 guy lines, an accessory stuff sack, and a stuff sack to hold everything. The line that comes with the tarp resembles small diameter paracord, slightly bigger than a shoe string, made of braided black and white material.
On Closer Inspection
The general consensus around here (and online) is that the Rolling Fox tarp shelter is well worth the purchase, however there are a few small drawbacks that we’ve noticed.
The warranty that comes with the tarp is practically gold, Rolling Fox offers a lifetime 100% money back guarantee. That is unheard of in tarp shelters, or most survival gear for that matter.
One of the most talked about aspects is its waterproof qualities, you’ll stay dry with this thing. All stitching is taped to prevent leaks, and the coating is top notch too.
Additionally, the diamond shape easily allows for a multitude of set ups. When constructed over a hammock, or a similar structure, between two trees, it only leaves two short ends that need to be secured.
As an added bonus, if you buy it through Amazon you get a bonus PDF with 25 different shelter instructions.
My only valid complains are that the tie off stitching could be double X stitched instead of single X stitched. Luckily the edge is double stitched.
The material could be slightly thicker too, and it is not ripstop (that we could tell). Also, this type of material (which almost all ultralight tarp shelters are made of) will melt near flames.
And to be a little picky, the stuff bag could be slightly bigger. Note that this is completely normal for basically every tarp shelter, so we don’t hold it against Rolling Fox.
We just wish someone would one day PLEASE make a slightly bigger than needed bag so that putting up a tarp shelter isn’t an adventure into physics, geometry, and patience.
Additionally, a different color other than cream to choose from would be very nice. I prefer camo, green, or dark colors because I may not want to be seen. Cream sticks out.
When taking a closer look at a product, you have to consider other, similar, products on the market to fully appreciate what you’re getting. The tarp shelter can be compared to two different companies offering a similar diamond cut tarp design.
Bear Butt Hammock Rain Fly
In a similar diamond shape, the Hammock Rain Fly has nearly the exact same dimensions as the tarp shelter.
The tarp itself is constructed out of waterproof material though seemingly doesn’t feature taped seams. The tarp has 4 tie off points (compared to Rolling Fox’s 16) and comes in a variety of colors. The difference is, though, instead of an attached ringlet to the tarp, it is an embedded ringlet reinforced by additional stitching and fabric.
The Hammock Rain Fly comes with a stuff sack, four (for whatever reason) reflective guy lines with tensioners and (only) two metal stakes. All in all, the complete package weighs a little over one pound.
Featured on Amazon, the Hammock Rain Fly costs about $30.
Chill Gorilla Pro Waterproof Tent Tarp, Rain Fly and Hammock Shelter Hex
Chill Gorilla similarly advertises its rain tarp primarily as a rain fly for tents, hammocks, or other structures. Unlike both the tarp shelter and the Hammock Rain Fly, Chill Gorilla’s version is not diamond shape but instead of an asymmetrical hexagon shape.
Due to the design, the tarp is larger than many of the others in the same category, though similar to the specifications of the tarp shelter. The centerline of the Chill Gorilla is close to 12 feet with a width of 9 feet. Chill Gorilla’s tarp is constructed of polyurethane treated ripstop nylon, which is waterproof.
Unlike both the tarp shelter and the Hammock Rain Fly, Chill Gorilla’s tarp feature both an embedded and attached fabric loops at 6 different locations along the tarp for easy tie off options. The only color available for the tarp is black.
The Chill Gorilla also includes 6 3-meter guy lines with tensioners, 4 aluminum tent stakes, one small accessory stuff sack, and one rainfly stuff sack. This is the heaviest tarp out of the three, weighing 1.8 pounds.
Chill Gorilla’s tarp is also the most expensive, currently costing a whopping $60.
Rolling Fox Tarp Shelter In-Depth Review
Now that we’ve taken a closer look at the actual product, and its competitors, let’s get down to the brass tax and see if the Rolling Fox tarp shelter is really worth your money.
How It Matches Up
Compared to the other two tarps similar to Rolling Fox’s tarp shelter, it is very similar, but has a few crucial differences which set it apart.
To begin with, the usability of the tarp shelter skyrockets with its 16-different tie off points. Chill Gorilla takes second place with 6, but that is an entire 10 fewer.
When it comes to shelter options, 16 tie off points is insanely easy to use and gives you a million options.
Secondly, taped seams are a godsend when dealing with water proof equipment. Just because the fabric is waterproof, doesn’t mean the actual product is going to be completely waterproof. Whenever there is stitching in waterproof material it naturally opens up minuscule holes in the fabric, if these holes aren’t taped over water will leak through. The tarp shelter was the only tarp advertised with taped stitching.
Overall, against the competitors, the tarp shelter shines through in its pricing, weight, true waterproof nature, and its 16-different tie off points.
Besides the tie off points and the taped seams, there’s more pros to the tarp shelter.
The tie off points seem to be properly reinforced, though unfortunately are not double stitched. On most tarps, the first area of wear is typically found in fabric decay around the tie off points. Thankfully they are X stitched and secured to not only the lining of the tarp, but also the reinforcement extends a few inches into the actual tarp fabric, furthering strengthening it.
Additionally, the accessory bag is a nice feature because it protects the tarp from a tie down stake inadvertently poking a hole through it.
The whole things packs up tight. It is small and lightweight, perfect for a backpack. If you want a shelter that travels easy, this is it.
The warranty that comes with the tarp is extremely useful, offering a lifetime 100% money back guarantee, something that is never offered with this type of item.
What Doesn’t Work
Having no color choice is a downer. While there isn’t anything wrong with the cream color that the tarp is restricted to for any hiker or camper, it isn’t the best color for a SHTF sort of survival situation. An earthy brown, a dark green, or even a black tarp would be more beneficial in those situations than a light cream colored tarp that stands out. Unfortunately, for now, there doesn’t seem to be any other color options.
Another negative about the tarp shelter is that it isn’t made out of ripstop material. Although we had no problems pulling it through brush and limbs, and there hasn’t been an online review mentioning a tore tarp, depending on how heavily you use it, it is more likely to tear then other options out there due to the material it is made from. Luckily the lifetime 100% money back guarantee would cover you if it happens.
All things considering, when comparing Rolling Fox’s tarp shelter to comparable items on the market, it stands out as one of the better purchases and receives our seal of approval. With its indisputable flexibility and waterproof material, you’ll have a hard time finding something better for its price tag.
Though like anything there are some downsides to it, most of them are very small and situation dependent. When outfitting yourself for surviving the next disaster situation, consider the Rolling Fox’s tarp shelter first.
And who can beat a 100% money back lifetime guarantee?
Disclaimer: This is an unbiased review based on our own experiences and opinions. While Rolling Fox supplied a review sample for us to test, it did not affect our results or conclusion. This post contains affiliate links. For more on how we occasionally receive products to test, how we test them, and why we make these reviews please see the sidebar and our lengthy about us page.