Would you trade your regular camping tarp for this smart tent hybrid?

Cinch Shelter set up in field
(Image credit: Cinch)

Camping startup Cinch claims to have reinvented the humble tarp, making it more convenient and easier to set up. The Cinch Shelter is essentially a type of gazebo, but a very large, stylish one that packs down into a pretty small carry bag – and it's now available to order from Indiegogo with up to 40% off.

As autoevolution reports, the Shelter is designed to provide cover, shade, and wind protection for camping, beach trips, tailgates, and backyard parties. We'd question Cinch's claim that traditional tarps are "only ever used by outdoor survival nuts" (see our guide to the top 10 uses for a tarp for some ideas), but we can certainly see the appeal of this self-supporting hybrid structure.

It's supported by three poles (a curved one that supports the entrance, and two straight central poles), and Cinch says it'll soon be adding sandbags so you can set up the tarp on hard ground without the need for tent pegs. The company says a single person can set it up within a new minutes.

That's pretty impressive for such a large gazebo; the Shelter measures 200 x 380 x 285cm (150 x 112 x 78in), and has a pleasingly retro look reminiscent of an tipi tent. It packs down into a bag weighing 7kg (15.4lb) and measuring 60 x 20cm (25 x 8in), so although you won't be taking it backpacking, it won't add much bulk to your car camping gear.

Cinch is planning to add other accessories in the near future, including camping lanterns, a bamboo furniture set, an inner tent, groundsheet, and even an inner carpet.

There are currently two packages on Indiegogo, both of which give you a significant discount on the Shelter's $399 list price. The tarp alone is available at an earlybird price of $239, and a bundle with an extra storm strap and repair kit is available for $299.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.