The tough and multifaceted Rugged Tarpestry is the gear item you didn’t know you needed

We looked around for a good spot to throw down the Rugged Tarpestry for a little break from hiking around Great Sand Dunes National Park. Our pup was tired, and we figured we could watch the storm roll in from the Sangre de Cristos while giving our dog’s paws a little break. Pulling the vibrant fabric from our packs, we unfolded the Tarpestry and laid it down on the soft sand.

The Rugged Tarpestry is more durable than a blanket and more visually appealing than a standard tarp, yet soft enough to lay down on and strong enough for everyday outdoor wear and tear. This is what makes this unique product perfect for a wide array of activities.

With roots in Denver, Colorado, Tarpestry began in 2011 and has since moved to Sugar Grove, North Carolina. Tarpestry offers several products including different sizes and styles of their signature Tarpestry — depending on whether your goal is comfort or durability. They also make bandanas and dog duvet covers.

rugged tarpestry man dog lounging
The Rugged Tarpestry is perfect for laying out with furry friends.Tiona Eversole

At first glance, we weren’t sure what all we would use this product for. We figured it would be good for families and picnics, but what else? As it turns out, we found a multitude of uses for the Rugged Tarpestry.

While we did use the Rugged Tarpestry for picnics and to hang out and enjoy the surrounding landscape, we also ended up using the Tarpestry on car camping trips to cover our sleeping mat for extra protection between our sleeping bag and the ground, as a place for the pups to chill out, under our yoga mat for added space during our practice and as a mat to change out of our ski and snowboard boots after a day on the slopes.

Boating season hadn’t started up yet at the time of this review, but we can see the Rugged Tarpestry proving beneficial to sling over the captain’s seat, coolers or dry boxes for extra protection while sitting on the boat. Bring it on shore after a long day on the river and lay it down on the beach and share with friends. We’re also looking forward to pulling this out for festivals (fingers crossed they return this year).

rugged tarpestry grommet corner pocket
Corner grommet rings provide a way to stake the Tarpestry to the ground or hang up for shelter and protection from the elements.Tiona Eversole

Tarpestry products are made of water repellant, UV resistant polyester on both the upper and base layers. The Rugged offers an additional layer of this tough fabric, making it ideal for a wide array of adventures and activities. Spills, precipitation, dirt and sand simply wipe off with the brush of a hand.

The Rugged includes grommets in the corners for easy hanging, staking or tying up. We tested the four grommet style, but Tarpestry also offers the Rugged in six, eight and ten grommet options for a wide range of needs. Hang up for quick and easy shade and protection from the elements, or stake to the ground so that the Tarpestry stays right where you want it.

A pocket in one of the corners of the Tarpestry provides a place to stash small items such as sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm, snacks or other miscellaneous items. Just make sure not to step on your unseen items.

rugged tarpestry laying out sand dunes
Laying out the Rugged Tarpestry at Great Sand Dunes National Park.Tiona Eversole

The Rugged Tarpestry was exactly what we expected and more. At four pounds, the Rugged Tarpestry is not lightweight; but what it lacks in lightweight compatibility, it makes up for in durability.

Typically products like this sacrifice comfort for strength, or vice versa, but we thoroughly enjoyed laying down on top of the Tarpestry. Cleaning the Tarpestry is easy enough (simply brush dirt and debris off or hose down for messier situations), and we have yet to notice any stains after a few months of use. The patterns are also visually appealing (Teal Leaf pictured), which provide a nice aesthetic around camp or while taking in the views.

While the price point may seem a little high, we think it’s well worth it for the versatility and durability of this product. We’re confident that we will have the Tarpestry for many more seasons of rough and tough use. We look forward to bringing the Rugged Tarpestry along for all of our car camping weekends, river trips, festivals and picnics.

$177 – $192