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Kelty Noah's Tarp 16

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: Kelty Noah's Tarp 16 tarp/shelter

Great value and good performance in a large tarp.


  • Good value
  • Large setup size
  • Packs small and relatively light
  • Flexible setup options


  • Stakes it comes with are useless
  • Tie down cords aren't suitable for large size of tarp


I use this tarp for group rafting trips as a kitchen/gathering shelter when it rains and as a beach shade maker when it's hot and sunny. I typically use four poles (actually, 2 oars and 2 poles) to create more usable space and to drain the runoff efficiently. At 16' x 16' it creates plenty of area to shelter the kitchen and provide space for chairs.

The tarp fabric is pretty lightweight, but is waterproof and has not been damaged by wind or sun in several years of use. The weakest link in the product is the cords it comes with to guy the tarp out; they are simply too light weight to effectively support a tarp of this size, especially in any sort of wind. With that said, they are still on the tarp and are sufficient for the secondary tie offs, but you will need to add something much beefier for the main guys at either end of the ridge line.  

An additional modification that I have made is to tie a small loop of p-cord through the loop at either end of the ridge to allow raft oars to be used for the poles. I also have the Kelty Adjustable Poles that can be purchased separately, and those work well as the secondary poles. Note that setting up this tarp takes more than 1 person, as it entirely relies on tension from at least 4 points to raise and stay erect.

For the price, the Noah's Tarps are really hard to beat. They will keep you dry, and can also keep you out of the direct sun, but the light color really won't provide much shade on really sunny days.


Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $50 on clearance at STP

Years ago, my wife and another couple ran the Green River with a commercial rafting company. I brought this tarp with two poles and during a Colorado cloud burst I pitched it over both our tents and had room for the whole party to hunker under down and stay dry, including the guides. It’s sheltered many a campground picnic table and never failed.

Never trust tent rain flys. Pitch the tarp first and then your tent and rain-fly. I use the 9 ft Kelty tarp for camping—both tarp only shelters but also over my tent in buggy and wet conditions. Both are great pieces of gear.


  • Waterproof
  • Easy to pitch
  • Good with groups


  • None really

Source: bought it new

Version reviewed: Kelty Canyon Tarp

I have the Kelty Canyon Tarp, which I think is the same as the 16. This is a fantastic product! Plenty of guy out points, lightweight, light pleasing color, factory taped seams, packs down small, good tough materials, and is easy to set up anywhere you want extra shelter.

For the quality versus price, you cannot beat this tarp. If you are looking for a good quality tarp to last for years, then check this product out. I love mine....The ONLY SMALL quirk I have with the 16 is that the stuff sack is a bit too small to hold the tarp. You have to really roll it tight to get it to fit in the stuff sack. This is the only small quirk....other than that...don't leave home without it!

Design: Triangle type tarp
Sleeps: 4
Ease of Setup: VERY EASY
Weight: Unknown
Price Paid: $70

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Price MSRP: $119.95
Current Retail: $74.96-$99.95
Historic Range: $49.73-$99.95
Reviewers Paid: $50.00-$70.00
Seasons 3 season day use
Length 192 in / 488 cm
Width 192 in / 488 cm
Minimum weight 3 lbs 10 oz / 1.644 kg
Packaged weight 4 lbs 1 oz / 1.84 kg
Floor area 256 ft2 / 23.78 m2
Packaged Dimensions 14 x 10 x 3.5 in / 35.56 x 25.4 x 8.89 cm
Product Details from Kelty »

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