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Rab Siltarp 2 review

I got myself the Rab Siltarp 2 to use as my main shelter for the Pennine Way. It was a toss up between the Rab Siltarp 1 (which measures about 5 by 9 feet) and this bigger option (8 feet by 10 feet).

Rab Siltarp 2 size

I wanted a tarp that was just as easy to pitch as a small one (I prefer a setup that’s a variant of the Holden tent) but was able to offer a little more protection and privacy if I wanted it – something that wouldn’t look out of place in a campsite but that I could also quickly get up when wild camping.

It’s made from silicone-impregnated ripstop nylon and costs around £100/$120. You can get it in green or yellow.

The good

  • Big – It’s 2.4 m by 3m (8ft by 10 ft). You will happily get two people under it (more depending on the set up) with a good deal of protection. It’s also not too big for one person. It can be pitched in such a way as to offer a nice amount of space for one person with total protection from the elements.
  • Reinforced attachment points – The fabric loop attachment points (not grommets) have stood up to lots of pulling and straining on my part.

Reinforced attachment point

  • Stretchy, strong fabric – You wouldn’t think it by looking at it or feeling it (it’s feather-light and semi-transparent), but the fabric is very strong. It’s also easy to get taut.
  • Light – For a tarp of this size, the weight is great. It comes in at 440 grams. It compresses down easily (as you can see in the picture). Combined with a lightweight bivvy, it will make an excellent shelter.

The bad

  • Big – The extra size is a good or a bad thing, depending on what you want.
  • Fabric attachments take a while to dry – The attachment points aren’t waterproof. If they’re going into the compression bag wet (as they usually will be) then they’ll be coming out wet.

What other options are available?

  • DD Tarps – The big selling point of DD tarps is that they have loads of attachment points. The small 2.8 by 1.5 tarp has 19 tension holes (the Siltarp 2 has 13), so getting extra tension is very easy.
  • Terra Nova – Terra Nova do a range of “adventure tarps” (for up to two people). They’re all a little further down the price range with fewer attachment points (grommets)
  • Cheaper options – I’ve done a separate article about inexpensive tarps. If you’re just looking for something for the odd adventure, then they can be a viable option.

The verdict

I love it. I’ve tried a few tarps and this is by far my favourite. I’d highly recommend it. If you want smaller, go for the Rab Siltarp 1.

Have you got one too? Leave a comment below!

Have you tried the Siltarp 2? If you have please leave a comment below!

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • James Hobbs 4th February 2019, 4:35 pm

    Thank you for your review on this Rab Tarp 2, going by the picture(sewing quilting look’s very good) and what you think it looks like a good tarp that I am considering buying!.

    • Dan Mowinski 21st February 2019, 8:52 pm

      Glad I could be of help! Just be sure you want the bigger one and not the smaller one (“Rab Tarp 1” I think). I found that because there’s not much wind getting in once you’ve set it up for one person, condensation does form on the inside.

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