As our favorite high-value tarp, the Kammok Kuhli wins our Best Buy Award. This simple tarp system stands out as one of the easiest that we've come across to set-up. With many different configuration options, it's a great option if you get into technical terrain where setting up a normal tent might be tough. Given that it doesn't have a floor or modular add-ons, be ready to duke it out with the elements, as you need at least one door open to the world. If you travel with a bivvy sack, this might be a good addition to your kit; it can be as extra insurance in case a nasty storm rolls in. Lightweight, uber packable, and affordable, this is our best-valued tarp.
Kammok Kuhli UL Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Affordable, easy to set-up, simple, packable, comes with stakes
Cons: Not encompassing protection all around
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Our Analysis and Test Results
As a square tarp, the Kammok Kuhli offers many ways for set-up. It's simple and has easy-to-use grommets installed at every corner. Erect it easily with a set of poles, or hang it between two trees. As one of the most adaptable shelters, it's perfect for those who might find themselves in weird terrain. While it's not as protective from bugs or weather, you'd be smart to carry a bivy sack with you as extra insurance to stay safe. Enjoy this high-value award winner!
The Kuhli is a simple flat tarp set-up that offers an unimaginable number of ways to set it up. When the weather looks great, you can open it up, which allows great airflow for both you and a companion. Like all the tarps tested in this review, it does not have a protective bug mesh or a floor, so it is best to avoid buggy woods if this is your primary shelter. We do love, however, its great airflow, which acts as a wonderful hangout zone on sunny days and doesn't allow condensation to build upon the tarp.
When setting up as a simple A-frame, you can fit yourself, a friend, and your dog underneath its huge surface area. Based on the size of the poles you have, you can adjust it to various heights. Unfortunately, like all tarp shelters, there will always be one open side, no matter what the configuration. As a result, it does not offer the best protection, and when sitting out a storm, you will have to have it low to the ground; this means you will probably be lying down in confined to napping position. Overall, for a tarp, it offers the amount of liveability you'd expect with stormy weather, really confining you to small spaces.
The shelter is exceptionally light and weighs in at 0.84 pounds. In the package, you get a stuff sack, four stakes, and the shelter itself. It packs down to the size of a Nalgene bottle.
Even though it comes with four stakes, you need at least six to make it an effective setup, with eight being even better. Add in a set of poles and some extra paracord, and you'll be sitting right around one pound. Even at that weight, it is ridiculously light and one that the ultraminimalist should consider.
Composed of a Patagium 15D diamond ripstop, this material does well in the wind and can withstand minor abrasions. In heavy downpours, it also holds up, assuming that the configuration that you've chosen doesn't hold a lot of water. Like all nylon-based material (which this one is), it saturates when wet and can stretch out. If you're stuck in a downpour, be ready to re-cinch your guy lines to ensure that the material stays off you and your adventure partner. We haven't had the pleasure of testing it in the snow, but we imagine that an a-wall configuration or one with a steeper angle will keep you more protected.
Another keynote is that because this is a tarp, it does not come with a floor. If you find yourself in a place with sand or where mud or water might be an issue, a groundsheet or a cheap piece of Tyvek will help negate the problem. That said, it won't totally protect you if you've got yourself set up next to a slope that is pouring water, but it'll keep you dry if the ground gets just a little saturated.
We love the adaptability of this tent. It comes with many super cool features that allow you to set it up in about a million different ways. This tarp differs from others in that it comes with six different pole compatible grommets with attached guy lines that are adjustable. The tarp itself is flat but has a defined ridge in the center as a result of its rectangular shape. If you're somebody that travels over a variety of surfaces and prefers a shelter that can be set-up in a variety of ways, this is it!
Kammok is a company that specializes in hammocks, and they had the know-it-all to construct the tarp with two opposite ends with a metal piece at the end. At first, we didn't know what it was for, then realized quickly that it can be wrapped around the branch or trunk of a tree for a 'quick latching' point. While we are not all hammock campers, we didn't extensively use this feature; however, we did use it around the base of oak bramble with our ski pole-based set-up in lieu of another stake. Nifty!
Of all the tarps we've tested, this is about the easiest one to set up that we've come across. Normally a tarp requires some background knowledge for the beginner. You need to know a few knots, with some know-how on how to appropriately select your sleeping site.
The first time we looked the tarp over, we looked at the directions on the package. This shows that the tarp needs to be set up with a long piece of cord strung across two trees (or cactuses, according to the photo) and placed overtop.
When we took the time to appreciate the engineering that went into this tarp, we started to understand how awesome it is. It has a flat construction with two tiny wings and six grommets with pole-compatible grommets. These and the adjustable guy lines make, not just setting it up, but changing the configuration when set-up, super easy!
If you're stuck in poor weather, it is no doubt that this process will be a little frustrating, especially if you're on your own. However, if you follow these steps, you'll be fine. First, site selection; choose a protected site or orient your opening away from the potential wind. Second, decide on your construction type. You can research many different ways to set up a shelter to become familiar before you go or experiment on the trail. Third, stake down all the sides of the tent loosely. Four, using either one, two, three, or four poles, insert them into the grommet of your choice and extend the pole. The pole will be handled down, so make sure your trekking poles can take this. Fifth, tighten all the tensioning strings with a single pull all the way around.
If you need to change the shape or lower it, just make sure you have adjustable poles. It's as simple as loosening the guy lines, changing the pole position, and tightening again. We hope this helps!
This one of the most affordable options in our shelter review. Sure, it's a tarp set-up, but its high-quality shelter. It's no surprise that this easy to erect tarp shelter won our Best Buy Award. Those that prefer tarp camping or want a little insurance if they like to cowboy camp will find the most value in it.
The Kammok Kuhli is a favorite amongst those that prefer to cowboy camp or use a tarp while on the trail. Its simple design offers a plethora of different set-up configurations that'll keep you protected from most things on the trail. This shelter is super small and packable and offered at a great price. It's no wonder it has earned our Best Buy Award!
— Amber King