Well, this review has some age on it at this point, and we’ve looked at some fantastic gear since then. For a more up-to-date take, check out The Best Survival Tarp for Prepping and Emergencies.
Rolling Fox Tarp Shelter Technical Info
- Light-weight multipurpose tarp for camping and emergencies
- Size opened: 11.8 ft x 9.2 ft (360 cm x 280 cm)
- Size in bag: 11.8 in x 5.5 in (30 cm x 14 cm)
- Weight: 1 lbs 5 ounces (600 grams)
- Tie-off points: 16 including 4 corner metal O-rings
- Ropes included: 4 nine-foot long lengths of paracord with plastic tighteners
- Stakes included: 4 six-inch metal stakes
- Extra: Small draw-string bag to hold stakes and ropes
- Extra: Draw-string bag to hold tarp and small bag
About the Rolling Fox Tarp Shelter
When I think of tarps, I think of the blue 9-foot x 12-foot tarp I use to throw over a lawnmower to protect it. I also have one of those in my long-term bug-out stash. That is a functional tarp but very bulky and heavy. It is not what I would put in a camping or short-term bug-out backpack. Hence the need for a camping tarp. The Rolling Fox Tarp is a very lightweight and adaptable tool for use when weight matters. It is basically a very well-constructed cover that is designed to protect you or your supplies from the elements. It can be used instead of a camping tent or a regular tarp.
What They Got Right About the Rolling Fox Tarp Shelter
This is one light and tough tarp! I was impressed by the double-stitching, the 3 extra loops per side to pass rope through, and the inclusion of ropes and stakes. I believe this is all you would need to keep the elements off in an emergency or just when backpacking. While the tarp is very light and thin, it feels substantial. It easily folds and rolls up to fit in the included bag. The paracord is a quality addition and it grips so well that you only need to tie one knot in it (rather than a square knot).
What They Got Wrong About the Rolling Fox Tarp Shelter
It dawned on me pretty quickly that this tarp (and any tarp) needs one high point to be effective. Otherwise, it will be too close to the ground. Ideally, it could use 2 high points. That means tying to a tree or post as high up as you can. This product would be better if it came with or was bundled with a collapsible post that gets a corner off the ground. As it is, just throw some extra paracord over a limb and it works great. Another thing they got wrong is that the tarp blocks the sun, but not the heat. I sat under it for a few minutes under a bright coastal sun and about melted. Maybe it is the off-white color that makes it hot. Just make sure that you have a breeze blowing on you (or get more corners high so the breeze goes under the tarp) to stay cool. We always try to include the ‘cons’ for every review, and coming up with a few for the tarp was difficult.
How We Tested the Rolling Fox Tarp Shelter
My testing included setting the tarp up in four different coastal locations: a quiet yard, over a picnic table in a park, a windswept ridge, and under an ocean pier. I monitored the effect of wind and sun. I also sprayed it with a hose to see if a piece of cardboard under it got wet. The tarp held up while being stretched and pulled, exhibited strength and stability, and shed water easily. The cardboard underneath remained dry. I left the wet tarp up for another hour and it was completely dry. It passed all my rigorous testing with ease.
The Final Verdict
At a cost of $50, I thought this tarp was somewhat expensive. But if you consider that it could replace a tent that costs hundreds of dollars, it is a great value. I will carry this tarp in my backpack when hiking to the tops of mountains and I’ll barely know it is in the pack. I’ll carry an extra paracord to get it up nice and high and use it as a sun, rain, and windshield. And when I say I’ll use it, I mean I’ll take it every time I go. For prepping purposes, it is a valuable emergency tool to stay warm/cool, and dry. I recommend it for both bug out bags and camping use. Thanks to Rolling Fox for providing the tarp for review- be sure to check out their website for more info. They also have articles and reviews on other camping items. HERE is a blog post from the Rolling Fox site that shows some ways to set up this very tarp.
Where to Buy the Rolling Fox Tarp Shelter
Sometimes you can catch the tarp on sale for around $35 on either site below, which is a great deal.
Accessories for the Rolling Fox Tarp Shelter
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