A tarp that is quick to deploy and offers an inventive…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $45
A tarp that is quick to deploy and offers an inventive tightening system. However, it is poorly cut and does not stretch flat at the ridge/crown due to the unusual tie out points. I don't recommend it, unless you can find a deal.
- Fast setup
- Quick tightening
- Too small for larger hammocks
- Poorly cut
- Ridge/Crown sits odd
The ENO Fast Fly was tested for a full week in Shawnee National Forest in April 2014. Heavy rains and thunderstorms were present on two nights of the trip. It has since been used by my kids on a few weekend camping trips. [When God sees me grab camping equipment, it rains. Contact me if you would like me to end the drought in your region by camping there.]
I purchased this tarp at sale price on an impulse buy last winter. However, from the moment I deployed it, I knew there were some problems.
The Fast Fly is not an asymmetrical tarp. It's a diamond shaped tarp, which means these two sides should be evenly matched. Like my other diamond tarps, I should be able to grab both points and roll the tarp up into my “snake skins.”
Notice how the ridge is not taut, but has that fold of fabric? That's not because the tarp is loose. It's because instead of having a single tie out loop on each end, ENO has placed duel loops along the hem of the tarp:
Buy placing the pull on the hems of the tarp instead of the center ridgeline, that fold simply cannot be pulled out no matter how much tension is applied.
A final drawback to this tarp is that it does not fit my 11' hammock. I have found I can only use it with my 8' and 9' hammocks. Since I prefer the larger hammock, this is a tarp that is not seeing as much use as I had planned on.
So now that I presented all the cons. Let's highlight some of the good points:
First, it sets up fast...
Second, the tightening system is clever, quick, and effective. Basically, it is a modified plastic buckle that will allow you to draw the line through it to tighten, but will not release the tension unless you pull it up (Think of the plastic buckles on your backpack.).
Even under rain and high winds, the ropes have never slackened in this system. If ENO were to simply move this buckle to the top of the “triangle” (pictured above), I think it would tension perfectly.
Third, the Fast Fly kept my hiking partner dry in heavy rains.
(Wait! Did he just say “hiking partner?” I thought G00SE was testing this?) I was. Remember how I pointed out the tarp is too small for my 11' hammock? On the first night on the trail, it was clear that the Fast Fly was not going to keep me dry. My friend “Polecat” was carrying my 9' Skeeter Beater hammock and my Funky Forest tarp. We switched tarps for the remainder of the trip, and we both slept dry.
If you can find this tarp deeply discounted on sale, it might be worth buying. For me, it will be a loaner tarp or something for the kids to sleep under when we car camp. However, there are a lot of better products out there. The flaws I've found in the ENO Fast Fly parallel flaws I have found in nearly all ENO products I have used (like the Ember and the Hot Spot). I would say look for the deep discounts or steer clear of the Fast Fly altogether.
Great tarp, upgraded the paracord. Have not used over…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $35
Great tarp, upgraded the paracord.
- Packs down small
Have not used over a hammock. Might at some point, but I prefer sleeping in a tent.
Got the tarp so I would not be tent bound in a rainstorm. Removed the cords that came with it, and replaced with four Sea to Summit reflective accessory cords.
Brought it on a solo canoe trip on Lower Saranac Lake July 2015. Attached tarp to four trees and it covered all my supplies laid out on picnic table provided on my primitive Island campsite.
The second night it poured. I just lowered to of the cords on the trees they were tied to so the tarp sat just above my gear and supplies. Everything was dry the next morning. It withstood a good deal of wind along with an hours long heavy rain.
The great thing about this tarp is that it will pack…
Source: received it as a personal gift
The great thing about this tarp is that it will pack up small and works well when backpacking. It also very easy to set up and tear down.
- Keeps you dry
- Easy setup
- Easy tear down
- Fast drying
- Blocks wind
- Stuff sack
- Cord lock tensioners
- Not as much coverage as the ProFly
- Doesn't come with stakes
I just went on a hiking trip with the Fast Fly and I loved it. It was easy to setup and did its job well.
This tarp is a faster setup alternative from the ProFly. The Fast Fly has 4 guy points instead of 6. There are things that I like about both. I like the faster setup of the Fast Fly and I also like how you are able to see out of your hammock a little more than with the full coverage of the ProFly. However, the ProFly definitely protects you from the elements more. The Fast Fly does not block as much wind and if you were ever out in a "sideways rain" type of condition, you would most likely get a little bit wet in the Fast Fly.
Overall the Fast Fly did its job and did it well. It did rain pretty hard the night that I went camping with it and I stayed dry all night long. The next morning I left it set up to let it dry while we cooked and ate breakfast. It did dry most of the way but was still a little damp on the tips (I would say that it is fast drying).
When it was time to pack up and get to hiking, the tarp packed easily back into its stuff sack (which comes with the tarp).
One great feature of all of ENO's tarps are the cord locks on each guy point. The rope feeds through these and you can very easily adjust the tensions to your liking without tying and untying knots.
If I had to do over I would probably go back to my ProFly rain tarp, but the Fast Fly does well too. I think it's just a matter of preference.