Using a tent footprint is crucial for protecting your tent from wear and tear and minimizing your impact on the environment. Tent footprints extend the lifespan of your tent and prevent damage to the ground. When choosing a footprint, consider the material, size, and weight. Customer reviews can provide valuable insights into a product’s durability and effectiveness. Investing in a high-quality footprint is essential for the longevity of your tent and the preservation of the environment. (Note: This article contains affiliate links.)

Key Takeaways:

  • Choosing a tent footprint is important for protecting your tent and minimizing environmental impact.
  • Consider the material, size, and weight when selecting a footprint.
  • Customer reviews can help determine the durability and effectiveness of a footprint.
  • Investing in a high-quality footprint is essential for the longevity of your tent.
  • Using a footprint helps preserve the environment by minimizing damage to the ground.

What Is A Tent Footprint?

A white and red tent in the mountains

A tent footprint, commonly referred to as a ground sheet, is essentially a tarp placed under your tent. It serves as a barrier against moisture seeping through the tent’s bottom while adding an extra layer of insulation. Investing in a high-quality tent footprint ensures that you experience top-notch weather protection every time you venture outdoors.

Why Size Matters

best tent footprint

The size of your tent footprint should be slightly smaller than your tent’s base. If it’s too large, water may pool on the exposed edges, leading to moisture seeping between the tarp and your tent. The ideal footprint size ensures that rainwater naturally flows off the sides, keeping you and your gear dry.

Material Choices to Protect Your Tent

best tent footprints

When it comes to tent footprints, the material is a game-changer. Typically, they’re made from polyester or nylon, both of which offer excellent durability. However, some high-end options feature polyethylene, known for its superior water resistance. Your choice of material can significantly impact the footprint’s longevity and effectiveness in various weather conditions.

How to Choose the Best Tent Footprint

Selecting the perfect tent footprint involves more than just picking the first option you see. Here are some key factors to consider:

  1. Compatibility: Ensure the footprint is compatible with your tent model. Some brands offer custom footprints designed to fit their tents perfectly.
  2. Weight: If you’re a backpacker, every ounce counts. Opt for a lightweight footprint that doesn’t compromise on durability.
  3. Ease of Setup: Look for footprints with pre-attached loops or grommets for your tent stakes. This feature simplifies the setup process, saving you valuable time.
  4. Price: While it’s tempting to go for the cheapest option, remember that quality often comes at a price. Balance your budget with your needs to make an informed decision.

DIY Footprints: Cost-effective and Lightweight Options

If you’re looking to save some money and reduce the weight of your camping gear, making your own DIY tent footprint is a great option. There are a couple of materials that are popular among outdoor enthusiasts for creating lightweight and cost-effective footprints.

One option is Polycryo, also known as Polycro. This thin and lightweight material can be easily found on Amazon or at your local hardware store. It’s a durable choice that provides an extra layer of protection for your tent without adding unnecessary weight to your pack. Plus, it’s easy to cut and customize to fit the dimensions of your tent.

Another material to consider is Tyvek. While it may be a bit heavier than Polycryo, Tyvek offers more durability and can withstand rougher terrains. It’s a popular choice for hikers and backpackers who require extra protection for their tents. Like Polycryo, Tyvek can be easily cut and customized to fit your tent’s size.

By making your own footprint, you have the flexibility to create a customized solution that meets your specific needs. Whether you choose Polycryo or Tyvek, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of a lightweight footprint while saving some money in the process.

What Are The Best Tent Footprints Of 2023?

7 best single person tents of 2022

When shopping for a best tent footprint, there are many options on the market, ranging from specially sized ones for particular tents to more generic offerings that can be folded up to size. It is important to note, even the tent specific footprints can be used with any tent, as long as the size is correct. 

With so much selection, shoppers can find just the right feature set for their unique needs.

The truth of the matter is, a quality footprint is vital to protect your tent and keep your outdoor adventure going!

 ProductDetails  ProsConsPrice
KlymitroamertentfootprintKlymit Regular Roamer Throw TarpBest All Around Tent FootprintHigh-quality, versatile, perfect for various outdoor activities, and easily portable.Price might be steep for some; limited color options.Check Price
Msruniversal4footprintMSR Universal 4 FootprintBest All Around Runner Up
Excellent tent floor protection, versatile, made from durable, water resistant material.Slightly pricey for a tent footprint.Check Price
RedcampultralighttentfootprintRedCamp Ultralight Tent FootprintBest Budget Tent Footprint
Excellent protection, available in multiple sizes, durable, water-resistant.Not fully waterproof in heavy rain, requires separate staking.Check Price

Klymit Regular Roamer Throw Tarp

Best All Around Tent Footprint

Dimensions: 57″x78″ Weight: 5 oz Material: 75D Polyester

Overview

Listen up, fellow adventurers! Let me share my epic experience with the remarkable Klymit Roamer Throw Tarp. This tent footprint is durable. Imagine this: you’re deep in the wilderness, surrounded by towering mountains and lush landscapes, and suddenly, rain starts pouring down. But fear not, my friends, because this bad boy is a true hero in disguise! I’ve had the sheer pleasure of using this game-changing gear, and let me tell you, it’s a total game-changer. Rain, wind, even the scorching sun – it laughs in the face of Mother Nature’s unpredictable moods. With its lightweight and compact design, it fits oh-so-perfectly in your backpack, ready to save the day when you least expect it.

Key Benefits

  • Versatility: Can be used as a throw, a lean-to shelter, or a tarp tent depending on your outdoor needs.
  • Durability: Made with 75D polyester fabric, ensuring its strength and durability for long-lasting use.
  • Weather Protection: Provides excellent protection against rain, wind, and sun.
  • Portability: Lightweight and comes with a stuff sack for easy transportation and storage.

Pricing

The Klymit Roamer Throw Tarp is priced at $29.99 for the regular size (57″ x 78″) variant. Given the high-quality materials and multifunctional nature of the product, this is a competitive price in the market.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Durable and robust construction suitable for various weather conditions.
  • Offers multi-functionality, serving as a throw, tarp tent, or lean-to shelter.
  • Lightweight and portable, making it a perfect choice for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

Cons:

  • The price might be a bit high for some, but considering the product’s quality and versatility, it is a worthwhile investment.
  • Limited color options may not cater to all aesthetic preferences.

MSR Universal 4 Footprint

Best All Around Runner Up

Dimensions: 87″x87″ Weight: 7.8 oz  Material: Plastic

Overview

The MSR Universal 4-Person Footprint? Trust me, it’s a lifesaver. Made from some seriously tough stuff, it’s designed to give your tent a break from the rough and tumble of outdoor life. It fits like a dream, covering all the right spots. You could be pitching on rocks, roots, you name it – this footprint’s got your tent’s back. It’s more than just a handy add-on, it’s a game-changer. Seriously, if you’re into the great outdoors, you’ll want one of these in your pack.

Key Benefits

  • Protection: Effectively protects thebottom of your from wear and tear due to ground contact.
  • Versatility: Compatible with a variety of MSR 4-Person tents and can be used with any other tent, offering great flexibility.
  • Durability: Constructed with tough, waterproof plastic fabric to withstand harsh outdoor conditions.
  • Lightweight and Compact: Easy to carry and doesn’t add significant weight or bulk to your backpacking load.

Pricing

The MSR Universal 4-Person Footprint is available at a price range of approximately $70 to $80 on different online platforms, such as Amazon and evo.com. It’s an affordable way to enhance the longevity of your camping tents.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Provides excellent protection from abrasions and punctures.
  • Versatile and compatible with various MSR 4-person tents.
  • Made from durable and waterproof material, ensuring long-lasting use.

Cons:

  • Some users may find it a bit pricey for a tent footprint, but the benefits it provides in terms of tent longevity can justify the cost.

RedCamp Ultralight Tent Footprint

Best Budget Tent Footprint

Dimensions: 87″x87″ Weight: 9 oz  Material: 210T ripstop polyester

Overview

When I think about my camping essentials, the RedCamp Ultralight Tent Footprint immediately springs to mind. This little marvel, while feather-light, packs a mighty punch in durability – it’s stood up to every rugged test I’ve thrown its way. Its water-resistant properties? Nothing short of magic. Rain or shine, my tent stays blissfully dry. But where it truly shines is in safeguarding my tent from abrasive surfaces. So, while it’s out there doing the tough work, my tent enjoys a longer lifespan. If you’re a camping enthusiast like me, this footprint isn’t just a purchase, it’s an investment in worry-free outdoor adventures. Trust me, your tent will thank you.

Key Benefits

  • Protection: Shields the bottom of the tent against ground moisture, sharp objects, and dirt, thus enhancing the tent’s lifespan.
  • Material: Crafted with 210D oxford fabric that provides high-level water resistance and durability.
  • Multiple Sizes: Available in multiple sizes to fit various tents, offering an added level of customization.
  • Easy to Carry: Comes with a drawstring pouch for easy storage and transportation.

Pricing

The RedCamp Ultralight Tent Footprint is priced from $16.99 to $23.99 depending on the size chosen. Considering the product’s durability and utility, this is a value-for-money offering in the tent footprint category.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Offers excellent protection for your tent from harsh terrains and weather conditions.
  • Available in multiple sizes, providing a variety for different tent sizes.
  • Durable and water-resistant, making it suitable for all-weather use.

Cons:

  • Despite its water resistance, it may not be completely waterproof in heavy rain conditions.
  • The footprint may need to be staked out separately, which could be an added task during setup.

Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Tarp

Best Budget Runner Up

Dimensions: 82″x94″ Weight: 19.5 oz Material: 210T ripstop polyester

Overview

The Wise Owl Outfitters Tent Footprint is a true backpacker’s essential for anyone on a budget. Crafted from premium materials, this footprint doesn’t just talk the talk, it walks the walk. It’s lightweight and durable, designed to offer solid protection to the bottom of your tent from the inevitable outdoor wear and tear. Its water resistance is a trusty shield against the unpredictable weather, and its compactness is just the cherry on top for any hiking, camping, or outdoor enthusiast. For those seeking a budget-friendly, yet effective ground cover, this tough footprint promises to keep your tent in tip-top condition for many adventures to come.

Key Benefits

  • High Quality: Made with durable 210D polyester fabric that’s water-resistant and tear-resistant.
  • Versatile Usage: Can be used as a tent footprint, picnic mat, or beach mat due to its waterproof properties.
  • Easy Setup: Comes with four aluminum stakes and four cord adjusters for easy setup and pack down.
  • Multiple Sizes: Available in different sizes to accommodate various tent dimensions.

Pricing

The Wise Owl Outfitters Tent Footprint ranges from $11.25 to $14.26, depending on the size you choose. This cost-effective product provides great value, considering its robust construction and multiple uses.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Provides effective protection against sharp objects, rough surfaces, and moisture.
  • Versatile use as a picnic or beach mat adds to its value.
  • Easy to set up and pack away, with included stakes and adjusters.

Cons:

  • The included stakes may not be as durable as the footprint itself.
  • In extreme weather conditions, the water resistance may not hold up entirely. Consider using an additional tarp if heavy rain is forecasted.

Eureka! 1-Person Fitted Tent Footprint

Best Single Person Tent Footprint

Dimensions: 86″x32″ Weight: 5 oz Material: 68D 190T polyester

Overview

The Eureka! Solitaire AL 1-Person Fitted Tent Footprint, an absolute must-have for any solo adventurer, perfectly exemplifies the adage – big things often come in small packages. This custom-fitted gem, crafted from robust 68D 190T polyester, provides a formidable shield for your tent, warding off sharp objects, dirt, and moisture like a champ. As lightweight as it is sturdy, it guarantees your tent remains spotless and safe, effortlessly extending its lifespan. So, for those solitary campers out there, this footprint is your trusty ally against the harsh realities of the great outdoors.

Key Benefits

  • Protection: Effectively safeguards the tent floor from abrasions, punctures, and moisture.
  • Durable Material: Manufactured from strong 68D 190T polyester, ensuring durability and longevity.
  • Custom-Fitted: Specifically tailored to fit the Eureka! Solitaire AL 1-Person tent, providing optimal coverage and protection.
  • Lightweight and Compact: Adds minimal weight to your camping gear and is easy to pack and transport.

Pricing

The Eureka! Solitaire AL 1-Person Fitted Tent Footprint is available at $40.49. Given its custom-fit design and durability, it is a cost-effective investment for prolonging the life of your tent.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Provides a high level of protection for the tent against rough terrain and dampness.
  • The custom-fit design ensures the best coverage and protection for Eureka! Solitaire AL 1-Person tents.
  • Made from durable material, assuring long-term use.

Cons:

  • Might be considered expensive for a tent footprint, but the custom-fit design and durability justify the price.

GEERTOP Ultralight Tent Footprint

Best 2 Person Tent Footprint

Dimensions: 83″x57″ Weight: 7.4oz Material: 20D Nylon

Overview

The Geertop Ultralight Tent Footprint, ladies and gentlemen, takes the crown for the best two-person tent footprint. This versatile gem is meticulously crafted from top-tier 20D rip-stop nylon cloth, offering supreme protection against sharp objects and moisture. Lightweight and compact, it’s perfect for those who enjoy backpacking, hiking, or any kind of outdoor escapade. So, say goodbye to the worry of your tent mate waking up disgruntled over a punctured tent floor. With this durable footprint, the last thing you’ll fuss over is your tent’s protection – it’s more than up for the challenge!

Key Benefits

  • Durable and Waterproof: Made from 20D rip-stop nylon cloth, providing a high level of tear resistance and water resistance.
  • Multi-Function: Besides serving as a tent footprint, it can also be used as a picnic mat, beach mat, and rain cover.
  • Lightweight and Portable: Comes with a drawstring carry bag for easy storage and transportation.
  • Multiple Sizes: Available in sizes for 1 to 4-person tents, offering flexibility to match your camping needs.

Pricing

The Geertop Ultralight Waterproof Tent Footprint ranges from $26.99 to $28.99, depending on the size you select. Given its versatility and durable construction, it offers great value for the price.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Provides excellent protection to the tent against rough terrains and damp conditions.
  • Highly versatile, can be used for various purposes beyond a tent footprint.
  • Durable, waterproof, and lightweight, making it a great companion for outdoor activities.

Cons:

  • The waterproofness may be challenged in severe weather conditions, consider an additional tarp if heavy rain is expected.
  • While it offers a range of sizes, it may not perfectly fit all tent models. Proper size checking before purchasing is recommended.


Outdoor Vitals Fortius Tent Footprint

Best Ultralight Tent Footprint

Dimensions: 88″x28″ Weight: 2.9oz Material: 15D silnylon

Overview

For backpacking tent campers out there, let me introduce you to the Outdoor Vitals Fortius Tent Footprint. This ultralight wonder, crafted from sturdy, yet unheard of, 15D silnylon fabric, is both durable and water-resistant. Trust me, this footprint is as tough as they come. Designed to provide your tent floor with maximum protection, it effortlessly stands up against water and rough terrains. Weighing in at under 3oz, you’ll hardly even notice it in your pack. An absolute dream for any backpacker, it gives your tent a longer lease on life while keeping you worry-free during your outdoor adventures.

Key Benefits

  • Robust Material: Constructed with 15D silnylon fabric, it offers excellent resistance to wear and tear.
  • Waterproof: Features a PU coating that provides superior waterproof protection.
  • Easy to Carry: Lightweight and compact, it doesn’t add excessive bulk to your camping gear.
  • Custom Fit: Designed specifically to match the floor dimensions of the Outdoor Vitals Fortius Tents.

Pricing

The Outdoor Vitals Fortius Tent Footprint is priced at $39.97. Given its durability, water resistance, it offers considerable value.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • High-quality and durable material ensures a long lifespan.
  • Provides an excellent level of waterproofing to keep you dry.
  • Lightweight and easy to pack, ideal for backpackers.

Cons:

  • It’s specifically designed for Fortius tents, and may not be a perfect fit for other tent brands.
  • The price might be on the higher side for some users, but its quality and protection justify the cost.

Telos BigFoot Tent Footprint

Best Large Tent Footprint

Dimensions: 93″x75″ Weight: 18.4 oz Material: 68-Denier Polyester

Overview

Welcome the Sea to Summit Telos BigFoot Tent Footprint to your campsite! This is the ideal companion for group camping escapades where the hustle and bustle can sometimes lead to wear and tear. Crafted from robust 68-Denier Polyester, this reliable footprint provides ultimate protection to your tent. It stands as a solid barrier against sharp objects, dirt, and water, ensuring you a clean and dry camping experience. So, let the kids run around or let the crowd be lively, with the Sea to Summit Telos BigFoot, you’ve got yourself a shield before things go awry!

Key Benefits

  • Superior Protection: Shields the tent floor from the elements and rough surfaces, prolonging the lifespan of your tent.
  • Quality Material: Made from sturdy 68-Denier Polyester for high durability and water resistance.
  • Perfect Fit: Specifically designed for the Sea to Summit Telos TR2 tent for optimal coverage and protection.
  • Compact and Lightweight: Easy to pack, transport, and set up, making your camping experience hassle-free.

Pricing

The Sea to Summit Telos Telos BigFoot Tent Footprint is available at $69.95. While it’s a premium investment, its superior protection, durability, and custom fit make it an excellent value for the money.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Offers an outstanding level of protection for your tent, enhancing its longevity.
  • An ideal fit for all tent sizes, ensuring comprehensive coverage.
  • Compact and lightweight, suitable for backpackers and hikers.

Cons:

  • Pricier compared to other tent footprints, but justified by its quality and precision fit.
  • Specifically tailored for the Sea to Summit Telos TR2 tent, but works the same with all tents.

Cartman Canvas Tarp

Best Multiuse Tent Footprint

Dimensions: 60″x84″ Weight: 53.8 oz Material: Polyester Canvas

Overview

The Cartman Canvas Tarp isn’t your average, flimsy ground cover. This beast of a tarp, crafted from top-notch cotton canvas, is the embodiment of rugged versatility. This waterproof camping tarpI is primed to shield your camping gear, firewood, or backyard equipment from dirt, water, and unforgiving weather. It’s not just a footprint, it doubles up as a rainfly, offering superior protection. So, if you’re after a universal tent footprint, grab a pair of these bad boys. You can thank me later when you’re enjoying a dry and worry-free camping trip.

Key Benefits

  • Superior Quality: Made from high-quality cotton canvas, providing durable and waterproof protection.
  • Versatile: Ideal for camping, covering outdoor equipment, protecting cargo during transportation, and more.
  • Weather Resistant: Offers protection against harsh weather conditions, ensuring your equipment remains dry and safe.
  • Multiple Size Options: Available in various sizes to suit a wide range of needs and applications.

Pricing

The price of the Cartman Canvas Tarp ranges from $27.99 to $109.99, depending on the size selected. Its high-quality construction and versatility offer good value for the price.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Highly versatile, can be used for a variety of purposes beyond a camping tarp.
  • Made from durable, waterproof cotton canvas, ensuring longevity and effective protection.
  • Comes in various sizes, allowing you to choose based on your needs.

Cons:

  • Cotton canvas, though waterproof, might be heavier than synthetic materials.
  • Some users may prefer more color options.

What Tent Footprint Should You Choose?

best ground sheet for camping

Choosing the best tent footprint can be confusing.

A tent footprint is an essential piece of gear for protecting your tent floor from dirt and moisture that may be present in the ground beneath it.

It works best when it is slightly larger than the base of your tent and should always be placed first when erecting a tent to keep the tent dry.

However, depending on where you are camping and what type of terrain you will be sleeping on, there are different footprints that may best suit your needs- whether it’s a lightweight tarp or a heavier material to protect from punctures or abrasion.

Additionally, make sure the footprint you choose has corners that match those of your tent so that the edges fit securely outside of stake lines.

Doing some research before choosing will ensure you get the best possible protection while camping.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, it is absolutely essential to invest in a high-quality tent footprint if you want to protect your beloved tent from the harsh elements of the great outdoors. Not only does it provide an extra layer of insulation, but it also acts as a sturdy shield against moisture, rocks, and other potential damage.

Don’t let your tent suffer unnecessary wear and tear – make the smart choice and get yourself a tent footprint today. Your tent will thank you, and you’ll be able to enjoy countless more adventures in the wilderness without worrying about the integrity of your shelter. So, what are you waiting for? Upgrade your camping game and grab the best tent footprint now!

FAQs

What are the alternative uses for tent footprints?

Interestingly, tent footprints can serve multiple purposes. They can act as a makeshift shelter, a picnic blanket, or even a water collector in survival situations. Their versatility makes them a valuable addition to any camping gear.

How often should I replace my tent footprint?

The lifespan of a tent footprint largely depends on its material and how often it’s used. Generally, a high-quality footprint should last you several camping seasons. However, if you notice signs of wear and tear, it’s time for a replacement.

Does Tyvek make a good tent footprint?

Tyvek makes a great tent footprint. Just make sure to cut it to size for optimal coverage against the elements.

Is A Tarp Or A Tent Footprint Better?

A Tent footprint is defiantly better than a tarp. They are specifically made to protect your tent from the ground and are lightweight.  However, tarps are much less expensive making them a viable option for someone on a budget. 

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