If you’ve spent any time sleeping outdoors in a hammock, it quickly becomes apparent that a swinging bed has one major disadvantage. No roof. Not a problem for star gazing, but definitely a buzzkill during those early morning rain showers.
That’s where the FlexFly Utility Tarp from Eagle Nest Outfitters comes in to play. With six points of articulation and two collapsible poles, this lightweight all-purpose tarp won’t take up much room in your gear bag and is easy to set up. Consider the FlexFly the VIP version of the standard blue tarp. It’s not just meant for hammocks either. During our testing phase, we used for a variety of activities — mostly drinking beer, taking naps, and hanging at the beach.
During a surf session on Ocean Beach in San Francisco, we ran the FlexFly through its paces on an extremely windy day. It took a little bit of work to get it staked in ( the wind was really whipping), but once we had the tarp pinned down, it worked well as a shade blind in between sets of waves. The FlexFly works best when you have some anchors like a tree, paddle, or the edge of the car, but on the beach we managed to make do without those perks and it still stayed rock solid despite being pinned down into the sand.
Our absolute favorite part — when you fold back up the FlexFly it remains just about the same size as when unfurling it for the first time. No issues getting it back into the carrying case and dirt and sand easily brushed off it.
The Lowdown: ENO makes a variety of tarps for all sorts of activities, but the FlexFly lives up to its name as a utility tarp. From a simple tarp over your hammock, to covering the picnic table, to setting up a quick and easy sunshade at a music festival, the FlexFly makes a wonderful addition to our festival essentials.