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Tarps & Tarp Straps Buyer’s Guide

Find the right tarp for the job with our helpful tarps and tarp straps buyer’s guide.

Having the right tarp can make all the difference, no matter the job. Whether you’re on a camping trip or need to store your lawn mower, a tarp will come in handy. Use our tarps and tarp straps buyer’s guide to find the right one for you.

Tarp Materials

Tarps & Tarp Straps Buyer's Guide
Whether you’re going camping or storing your boat for the winter, you’ll need the right tarp. Use our tarp buyer’s guide to choose between the different kinds of tarps.

Poly Tarps

These all-purpose tarps can be used for construction, landscaping and more. They’re made from heavy duty plastics such as polyethylene or polypropylene. Poly tarps are waterproof and can be treated to be flame retardant and UV protected. They’re also usually the least expensive option. However, they don’t last as long as vinyl or canvas tarps. Very cold weather can make them brittle.

Vinyl Tarps

Tarps made from vinyl are the most durable. The sturdy rubber holds up against tears and stress. Vinyl tarps are commonly used for truck tarps and to provide cover for construction equipment and machinery. Their performance in extreme cold is unmatched, withstanding temperatures down to -40 degrees. They’re also waterproof and mildew resistant. The only downfall is the expensive price. However, if you’re covering a truck, trailer or anything that will be stored in wintry weather, they’re worth the investment.

Canvas Tarps

Canvas tarps are used for a variety of jobs. Painters use them as drop cloths, and they can be used to cover machinery and tools. They’re naturally breathable, so water condensation and heat won’t get trapped underneath. They’re also environmentally friendly and can be long-lasting. However, they’re not waterproof and can suffer from mildew or rot if constantly wet or damp.

Uses for Tarps

Camping – A quality tarp can serve many purposes while you’re camping. You can keep firewood dry, and use the tarp to drag it. A tarp can be used as shelter for you or your campfire. You’ll definitely want to lay down a tarp underneath your tent. It puts another layer between you and the ground, and helps keep your tent dry. If you’re camping, you’ll want a poly or vinyl tarp. The waterproof and wind resistant material will keep you and your gear dry and protected.

Storage – Tarps can be used to store large pieces of farm equipment, your lawn mower, boat and more. Using a vinyl or heavy duty poly tarp with the right tarp straps can protect your equipment from rain, snow and other elements. If you live in colder temperatures, it’s a good idea to use a vinyl tarp.

Tarp straps come in a fixed length, so it’s a good idea to measure the distance between the anchor point and tarp. Check out our article about tie down straps for more information about securing your belongings.

Painting – If you’re painting, you’ll need a canvas tarp or drop cloth. It will protect the floor from any paint spills and messes. Not only will the canvas keep the floor clean, it will also keep you on your feet. Vinyl and poly tarps can become slippery, especially if there’s a spill.

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