Review: Big Agnes tarp for car camping

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Car camping is great for old people, kids, and folks with a lot of gear that can't be carried into the backcountry. It's also ideal if you're lazy and just want to lounge at a camp site, drink beer, and smoke weed. Lounging, though, can be greatly compromised by forces of nature, like mosquitoes, scorching heat, dust, and rain. Big Agnes' Twin Butte Car Tarp solves these problems by creating a giant shady, bug-proof space next to your vehicle. Setup is similar to a tent, although the parts here are significantly heavier and more complex &mdash it took us about fifteen minutes to figure out what poles went where and to connect them together, kinda like building IKEA furniture without the funny diagrams. Once it went up, though, we were all like, whoa, that's pretty nice.

The tarp is supposedly completely waterproof and so are its seams &mdash it didn't rain while we were there, so we didn't really get to test this claim. We did, however, use its multiple loops and poles to hang our wet clothes and dog leashes after our excursion to the lake. The bug screen is sold separately, but definitely worth having if you're going to Yosemite in the summer or to Burning Man &mdash it staves off mosquitoes and dust really well. Also, since it's attached to the side of your car, you can go in and out of the car through the tarp, too. The tarp covers an 84 square foot space, which is big enough for about half a dozen adults to hang out under.


Product page
[Big Agnes]

About Lisa Katayama

I'm a contributing editor here at Boing Boing. I also have a blog (TokyoMango), a book (Urawaza), and I freelance for Wired, Make, the NY Times Magazine, PRI's Studio360, etc. I'm @tokyomango on Twitter.
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