Woodcutters use them to cover logs. Water rafters attach them to the raft before sailing. When you need a quick shelter to rest and have a nap, they are just at your disposal. If you collect firewood and want to protect it from the rain, again, they are there for your rescues. And during winter, they become your emergency blankets when you are out on a road trip since they are designed to trap body heat and keep you warm. Tarps are truly a lifesaver!
When choosing the best tarps for whatever purpose, you have to know just what will be ideal for you. Considering that there are dozens of options out there, you need to invest time to research and narrow down your choices. But don’t worry about all that because we have done the hard job for you. Read on and discover some of the best tarps in the market today.
Top 10 Tarps of 2020 Reviewed
1. B-Air Grizzly Tarps
- Features built-in grommets
- Heat-sealed, waterproof seams
- 5 mil thick true 8 by 8 weave
- Might be smaller than stated
- Reports of unaligned grommets
- Reports of easy ripping
Best Multi-Purpose Poly Tarp
Why do you need a tarp? Is it for camping, shelter or ground cover? The B-Air Grizzly Tarps are multi-purpose covers for sheltering you from the elements, protecting boats, and shielding cars from the harmful effects of the sun. The tarps measure 6 by 8 feet and serve well as an emergency material for patching up the roof. If you are a camper, these tarps will shield you from sunlight, wind or rain. You can spread it over a pile of firewood or a wood burner to prevent them from getting soaked by rainwater.
But just how are these tarps able to perform all of that? They are made from laminated, woven polyethylene which is held together by heat-sealed seams. Essentially, the cover holds together so tightly that it is able to ward off rainwater or even snow. It comes with a set of built-in grommets, spaced in 36-inch intervals. This will come in handy when you want to securely tie down the tarps.
It is a given that the cover is waterproof. That’s how it is able to prevent rainwater, anyway. Another important attribute of these tarps is that they are mildew-proof and washable. Their lightweight nature makes them easy to carry with you on a camping trip.
2. 10 by 10 Inches Super Heavy Duty 16 Mil Brown Poly Tarp Cover
- A UV-resistant tarp
- Well-spaced metal grommets for tying down
- Durable polyethylene material
- Likely to shrink
- Reports of holes developing after some time
- Might get ripped by the wind
Best Heavy Duty Tarp
This tarp is billed to have an amazing quality of 16 mil thickness, which makes it highly durable. It can withstand the pressure that comes with pulling when trying to set it up. With that, you are sure of protection in all kinds of weather, including snow, rain, wind or sunshine. This 16 by 16 feet tarp can be used for camping or sheltering your car at home. It is built to be water-proof, UV-resistant, and weather-proof. So, you shouldn’t be shaken with that stormy weather if you have this tarp.
To make it easier to tie it down, the tarp comes with several built-in metal grommets in 1.5 feet or 18-inch intervals. These are also attached to each of the four corners of the tarp. When out camping, it will be much easier for you to tie it down and secure it in a simple way. In fact, it is possible to create a camping tent using this massive tarp.
We cannot finish this review before talking about the material from which it is made. It is a polyethylene material which is durable. When you buy this particular product, you will not need to replace it for a long time to come.
3. 20 by 30 Multi-Purpose Silver/Brown Heavy Duty DRY TOP Poly Tarp
- A heavy-duty 10 mils thick tarp
- Water-resistant dual lamination
- Ability to resist damage from the sun
- May miss some of the grommets
- The price is in the highest bracket
- Reports of it getting shredded due to exposure to the sun
Best Tarp with Dualo Lamination
If you are looking for a massive, multipurpose tarp, then this DRY TOP product is all you need. It is good enough for storage, camping, painting, hunting, landscaping, agricultural, and industrial use. In short, if there’s anything that requires a tarp, this product can do it for you. One of the best features of this tarp is that it is UV-resistant. In addition to protecting you from the harmful effects of the sun, it is also capable of resisting damage due to the effects of UV rays.
The manufacturers of this tarp consider it to be a heavy-duty affair, thanks to the 10 mil thickness. The tarp has several evenly-spaced grommets at 18-inch intervals and on each of the four corners. Due to its toughness, this tarp is recommended for heavy-duty applications in the agricultural, industrial, and storage industries.
It is made from tightly woven polyethylene fabric featuring a 14 by 14 weave and water-resistant dual lamination. To keep the water away, the hems are tightly heat-sealed. Additionally, the fabric is washable and mold/mildew resistant. Simply put, maintaining this tarp is simple and easy.
4. Hanjet 8 by 10 5-Mil Thick Camping Tarp
- Features rope-reinforced edges
- Lightweight and portable
- Waterproof material
- Not great for windy areas
- May break down under the sun
- Only suitable for temporary use
Best Thick Camping Tarp
If you intend to use your tarp for camping, it should be a lightweight, portable one. It should fit into your backpack for easy transport to the camping site. This Hanjet tarp fits properly into this category. It is a 5-Min thick tarp which you can use to cover your car, bike or pile of firewood. But don’t be fooled by this tarp’s lightweight nature. It does not mean it is of the poorest quality.
Since it is thin, you should be careful not to expose this tarp to sharp objects that can tear it. When it comes to pricing, this is one of the most affordable tarps you will find on the market. It features a number of rust-resistant grommets which are spaced in intervals of 3 to four feet. That’s meant to make it easier for you to tie it down.
This is a small-sized tarp, measuring 8 by 10 feet. So, if you require a tarp for use on a small-scale, this is what you should buy. The rope-reinforced edges make sure that the tarp is not easily torn when pressure is applied to it. As far as the material is concerned, it is waterproof polyethylene.
5. KING-A-MA-JIGS 10 by 12 Heavy-Duty Waterproof Tarp
- Made with a 10-mil thickness
- Double lamination to make it waterproof
- Versatile and heavy-duty
- Reports of it leaking too soon
- Grommets may fall off even before use
- Not that long-lasting
Best Heavy Duty Waterproof Tarp
The word “heavy-duty” in the name of this tarp means just that. It is a heavy and durable tarp that can withstand the ravages of constant use better than the lighter ones. So if you want a versatile, heavy-duty tarp, this is the one you should pick. You can use it to cover your car, truck, or motorcycle. Other suggested uses for this tarp include covering a kiddie pool, outdoor furniture, cabin, yard or roof. Why should let in the rainwater when you can prevent it using a simple solution?
However, this tarp is not designed for use only as a cover. It can also effectively serve as the bottom cover of the tent floor to ward off the moisture. As an alternative to a picnic blanket, this tarp will do just fine. When it starts raining and your campfire is up and running, simply create a protective canopy using this tarp.
The reason it can do all of that and more is since it is created to be waterproof, weather-resistant, tear-resistant, and mildew resistant. It holds very well in the sun owing to the fact that it is resistant to the effects of ultra-violet rays.
6. Stansport Reinforced Multi-Purpose Tarp
- Rope-reinforced edges to prevent ripping
- Double laminated to be waterproof
- Rust-resistant grommets
- Multi-purpose tarp for light work
- Great color
- Corners are reinforced and sturdy
Best Reinforced Multi-Purpose Tarp
Sometimes you might be interested in using your tarp for much more than just covering your car. If that’s you, then you need a multi-purpose tarp such as the Stansport Reinforced Multi-Purpose Tarp. Unlike other multi-purpose tarps which feature the blue color, this particular one is green. So, if you don’t find blue appealing, this is the best option for you.
Besides the color, this tarp is made of durable polyethylene, which is double laminated to make it waterproof. You can use it to cover firewood on the campsite or lay on the tent floor to prevent moisture from sipping in. The rope-reinforced edges ensure that this tarp is hard to rip apart by pulling. It features a number of rust-resistant grommets, which remain true to the purpose for a long time to come.
Apart from being waterproof, this tarp is also washable. In simple terms, that means you can easily wash and take care of it. The manufacturers also say it is shrink-proof, meaning you can expect it to maintain its shape and size for a long time to come. It may not be heavy-duty but is effective when it comes to providing shelter, ground cover or for camping. What more could you want in a tarp?
7. Kotap 12 by 25 feet Heavy-Duty Tarp
- A larger-than-average tarp
- Rust-proof grommets for extra durability
- Rope-reinforced edges and corners
- Tends to deteriorate fast
- May rip grommets unexpectedly
- Rubbing during washing may cause holes
Best Large Poly Tarp
If you are looking for a tarp for heavy-duty use, try this product from Kotap. Like some of the tarps we have already looked at, this particular one features a 10-mil thickness and a 14 by 14 weave. By industry standards, this is a durable, heavy-duty tarp that cannot balk under pressure. It measures 12 by 25 feet, which is big enough for most of the big jobs. You can use it to cover your car, truck, motorcycle, and so on.
Some of the features that make this tarp long-lasting include the fact that it is tear-resistant, waterproof, rot-proof, shrink-proof, and water-resistant. Additionally, the tarp is both UV-resistant are waterproof. Simply put, you can confidently use this tarp without the fear that it will deteriorate in quality. In addition to resisting the effects of the sun, it also protects you from UV rays. That makes it a safe bet when it comes to a tarp for use in the outdoors.
Other features that make this tarp long-lasting are the reinforced corners and rope-reinforced hems. No matter how rough you handle the tarp, you just cannot rip it apart. Considering the heat-sealed edges, this is definitely the tarp to buy.
8. 8Ft X 10 Ft Heavy-Duty 6 Oz White Tarp
- White tarp can serve as a projection screen
- Thicker than the average tarps
- Non-aligning eyelets
- Some may rip apart after short use
- Breaks down when folded for storage
Best Thick Poly Tarp
Sometimes the color of the tarp you buy really matters. If that’s something you really care about, then this white tarp is what you should buy. There have been complaints of dark-colored tarps quickly deteriorating when left in the sun. White is a highly-reflective color, which deflects much of the sun’s energy instead of absorbing it. So, you should expect it to hold up in places where the sun seems to be hotter than average.
Unlike other tarps which are 10-mil thick or less, this particular one ranges from 11-mil to 12-mil. It is expected to last longer than some of the thinner tarps. That’s because it is a heavy-duty tarp, which can withstand more pressure than the other types.
This tarp is great for covering your car, truck, motorcycle, camping and so on. If you are going out camping, you can use it to cover a pile of firewood, a burning campfire, the tent floor or spread it out on the ground and have a picnic. All these, because it is a waterproof tarp that hardly lets in any water. To take it further, you can use it as a weather block or projection screen for your outdoor shows. What more could you ask for?
9. Hanjet Tarp Heavy-Duty Waterproof Camping Car Pool Shade
- Sturdy polyethylene material
- Rope-reinforced edges and corners
- Feels thinner than 9-mil
- Strong rope may break the eyelets
- Reports of some arriving with crushed grommets
Best Waterproof Shade Tarp
Hanjet has produced some lightweight tarps before but it seems they are catching up with the rest when it comes to heavy-duty covers. This tarp compares favorably with some of the best in the industry, given the 9-mil thickness. So, you can expect it to hold up favorably in all aspects including resistance to possible ripping apart.
It is made of sturdy polyethylene, which is the industry standard. To make it even more durable, the tarp features rope-reinforced edges as well as industrial-capped corners. Apply pressure to this tarp and it will still remain strong. If you have any heavy-duty work that requires a tarp, this should be your number one choice. You may use it to cover your car, truck, motorcycle or as tent floor while out camping.
But it is not just the material that makes this tarp durable. It features a number of rust-resistant grommets, which are spaced three to four feet and at the corners. The purpose of the grommets is to make it easy for you to tie down the tarp. Additionally, it is waterproof, shrink-proof, as well as rot-resistant. Simply put, you can leave it out in the sun or rain without worrying about its deterioration.
10. Sunnydaze 6×8 Waterproof Tarp
- Both sides are usable
- Comes with a 1-year warranty
- Waterproof construction
- Too thin to withstand rocks on tent floors
- A little costlier for the quality
- Only useful for light tasks
Best Outdoor Reversible Tarp
If you are looking for a sizeable tarp for the smallest tasks in your home, the Sunnydaze 6×8 Waterproof Tarp. From its name, it measures 6 by 8 feet, which makes it one of the smallest in this industry. It is only 5-mil thick, the thinnest you can have for a tarp. But that does not mean that it is the weakest you can have.
The polyethylene material from which it is made is rip-resistant and can last for long enough as long as you don’t subject it to heavy use. The fact that it is double-laminated serves two purposes. Firstly, it ensures maximum durability for the tarp. That’s because, before damage happens to the inner polyethylene material, it has to start with the laminated surface. Secondly, the surface is waterproof on both sides, which makes it suitable for use in rainy conditions or wet surfaces.
Did you know that both sides of this tarp work just fine? It doesn’t matter which side is on top. You get the same results. In addition to being waterproof, the tarp is also rot-resistant, mildew-resistant, mold-resistant, and UV-resistant. For a lightweight tarp for common tasks, this what you need.
How to Choose the Best Tarp – The Ultimate Buying Guide
The benefits of a tarp go beyond covering your firewood. Perhaps you want to use it to cover your car, truck or patio. Maybe you intend to use the tarp on your next camping trip. It is because of these numerous uses that you must just get the right tarp. Just like any other item you may want to buy, a tarp comes with several factors to consider before choosing a perfect one. In this write-up, we provide a detailed buying guide to show you how to pick one that will serve the purpose for which you want it.
What Do You Intend To Use It For?
The first and foremost consideration before making a buying decision is to understand the purpose for which you want it. If you want a tarp to shield away from the sun, then you should buy one that’s UV-resistant. Not only will it protect your property from the harmful effects of the sun, but it will also withstand heat from the sun. The best are those labeled heavy-duty or at least 10-mil in thickness.
If the sole purpose for which you are buying a tarp is protection from rain, then buy one made from double-laminated polyethylene material. But that’s not enough. While some tarps are labeled waterproof, others are marked water-resistant. The best are those labeled waterproof since they are made to ward off any form of moisture.
You could also be looking for a tarp to protect you from the wind. In that case, you need a heavy-duty tarp. It should have grommets with the ability to hold up securely and well enough for a snag fit, wherever you are using it. For this purpose, buy any tarps marked as super-heavy-duty. If you need a tarp for use in winter, buy one that’s made of durable vinyl. It should be able to withstand extremely cold temperatures of up to negative 40 degrees.
What Material Is The Tarp Made Of?
The most common materials from which tarps are made include cuben fiber, polyethylene, silnylon, and Tyvek. Each one of these materials has advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to durability, polyethylene and silnylon are the best. They are also the most affordable. Silnylon is made from a combination of silicone and nylon and is the best when it comes to being waterproof. Just like polyethylene, it also does not stretch.
If you opt for cuben fiber tarps, then you should be prepared to pay much more money for it. It is a stretchy fabric featuring layered artificial fiber. Since it is a strong material, it is great for heavy-duty applications. It is also lightweight. Only that the fiber may not be as durable and polyethylene and nylon. Before settling for a particular material, bear in mind its pros and cons.
Things to Be Super-Attentive To When Looking For a Tarp
Apart from the material and purpose for a tarp, there are several things that determine how good it is. The following are the things to be super-attentive to when it comes to choosing the right tarp.
- weight: If you intend to use your tarp for camping, buy one that’s easy to carry in your hands or backpack. In most cases, the tarp will be labeled either heavy or lightweight. But weight depends on other factors including the thickness, material, and size of the tarp. Most tarps will weigh anything between 10 ounces and 4 pounds. So, don’t overlook the weight even as you seek the perfect tarp.
- Size: Tarps come in all sorts of sizes. Some are small, for example, 6 by 8 feet, while the rest are much larger. The smaller a tarp is, the less it is likely to weigh. If you want a tarp that can easily fit into a backpack or which you can carry in your hands, buy one that’s small-sized. However, if you want a bigger tarp, then weight shouldn’t be an issue. In that case, the most important consideration should be the purpose to which you intend to put it.
- Versatility: Tarps may have shared features but they rarely have the same versatility. It is important to choose a tent with the ability to provide you with what you need. Some of the things that defile the versatility of a tarp include corner eyelets to give it the right shape. Also, check that the tarp is waterproof. Great tarps also feature with inner nets to keep you safe from insect attacks. Also, there are several tarps which feature attachable groundsheets. With these features, the tarp will be versatile enough to serve different purposes.
- Thickness: Tarps come in varying degrees of thickness. While this feature is important, it is not advisable to buy anything that’s too thick. It is better you have a thin tarp but which has anti-tear and waterproof capabilities. Also, an important determinant of the thickness of a tarp is the use to which you intend to use it. If you want it to serve as a tent, then a thicker tarp is the best bet. On the other hand, a tent groundsheet can be as thin as possible.
- Built quality: A tarps built quality is determined by the material as well as the way it is constructed in the overall. Check for things like whether it is stitched, the material used, inner material, tie-down quality, design, and so on. Since it will contend with natural disasters, rain, snow, heavy wind, and sunshine, it is important that it is of the highest built quality.
- Color: Did you know that the color of your tarp really matters? In order to effectively block out the sun, you need a silver-colored tarp. It also keeps things cool underneath. While white tarps are also reflective, they may still allow in some light. For keeping away the sun, don’t use the brown, green, and blue tarps. The best you can use these for is as utility tarps since many of them tend to break down under the sun.
- Durability: Apart from the material from which a tarp is made, there are a number of other factors that determine how durable it is. Look at whether the tent is water-resistant, waterproof, mildew-proof, or rot-proof. The best tarps when it comes to being leak-proof are the waterproof ones. Anything labeled water-resistant will start leaking after some time. While mold may have no effect on the durability of the tarp, it will harm you and your family in the long-run.
- Grommets: Appearing in the shape of metal rings, grommets are useful when it comes to tying down the tarp. The spacing between grommets may be anything between 18 and 36 inches. They are likely to be made from plated steel, brass or aluminum. In most cases, they are rustproof. When it comes to durability, brass is preferred over aluminum.
So have you been able to find the tarp you are looking for? Is so, then well and good. For those who haven’t found anything that meets their needs, the detailed buying guide should be useful. By carefully considering the available options, you should be able to find the tarp you are looking for. Have a successful search for the perfect tarp.