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Best Tarps

last updated Jan 10, 2019

The uses for tarps are endless, so think outside the box before you make your decision and consider a tarp that will last; one that you can use for purposes beyond your original thought. The following guide was created to assist you in finding the best tarp so that you don’t throw your hard-earned money away on some measly tarp that won’t survive through an entire use. We researched many tarps before narrowing them down to the best ten. We took some more time to sort out some of the important facts and features of the tarps and we will even explain why the color isn’t just a fashion statement when it comes to tarps.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 11 hrs of research

icon
Watershed Innovations
93.5/100 our score
Features
89
Color
93
Durability
98
Ease of Use
94
Watershed Innovations
Why is it better?

16 mil thickness

It offers professional strength quality

It’s perfect for RV’s and Boats

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Watershed Innovations
Test Winner: Watershed Innovations
Researched Sources
15
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
11
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
15
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Avatar
By Jordan Coleiro:

This list of tarps has been put together to show you the best researched and reviewed tarps to protect your gear from the weather and keep your things dry. A tarp to keep your eye on is the Watershed Innovations. We love this addition because it is highly rated, thick, offers great protection, and is large to cover your bigger gear.

Sorting Options
Features Color Durability Ease of Use By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.5
Features
89%
Color
93%
Durability
98%
Ease of Use
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.02.19)
$39.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Features
85%
Color
91%
Durability
95%
Ease of Use
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.02.19)
$186.85
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Features
90%
Color
88%
Durability
93%
Ease of Use
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.02.19)
$29.50
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.5
Features
89%
Color
86%
Durability
89%
Ease of Use
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.02.19)
$80.90
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.5
Features
85%
Color
87%
Durability
87%
Ease of Use
91%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.02.19)
$26.75
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.5
Features
90%
Color
84%
Durability
84%
Ease of Use
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.02.19)
$8.98
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.5
Features
85%
Color
87%
Durability
87%
Ease of Use
87%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.02.19)
$139.88
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.3
Features
85%
Color
84%
Durability
88%
Ease of Use
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.02.19)
$26.75
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Features
83%
Color
85%
Durability
84%
Ease of Use
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.02.19)
$69.95
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.3
Features
82%
Color
81%
Durability
83%
Ease of Use
83%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.02.19)
$9.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Watershed Innovations
  • King Canopy
  • Dry Top-Heavy Duty Poly
  • MP Heavy Duty Shade Mesh
  • Tarps Direct
  • Hanjet Lightweight
  • Trademark Supplies
  • Harpster Tarps
  • CCS Heavy Duty Green Silver Poly
  • Home Plus Multi-Purpose
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top Ten Tarps

1. Watershed Innovations

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.5
Watershed Innovations
Features
89
Color
93
Durability
98
Ease of Use
94
best offer for today
$39.99
Pros:

16 mil thickness

It offers professional strength quality

It’s perfect for RV’s and Boats

Cons:

It might require two people for easier maneuverability

If you have an RV, this tarp will serve as cover, and not only is it cheaper than an RV cover, but you will be surprised at how well it does the job.

Read more

Features

This tarp will cover 18x24-feet of space giving you the versatility to use it in many different ways. One side is white, the other side is brown, and each serves a different purpose. White is designed to reflect the sunlight, keeping the other side cooler. When the brown side faces the sun, it will absorb the heat, making the other side warmer. You can see how this tarp can serve many purposes in various weather conditions. It provides 18 grommets with an edge rope that can be used as leverage when you tie it down.

Durability

16 mils of thickness make this one more durable than some. With its professional strength quality, it will pass the test against harsh winds, rain, sun, snow, and extreme hot and cold temperatures. The grommets are made of high-quality materials and the edge rope is extremely thick. This tarp will last season after season without noticeable wear and tear.

Ease of Use

It’s easy to move around and position in place. The grommets are placed conveniently to make them easy to tie ropes or bungees through. If you’re covering large RV’s and boats, you might need to seek the help of a friend to make it easier to maneuver.

Value

It might come with a larger price tag than some, but it still isn’t as high as others. When you compare the features, this one will probably hit the mark. Knowing this one will last year after year, you will suddenly realize how much value it holds.

Summary

There are so many added features to this tarp you can understand why you should consider it for long-time use. With the versatility of this tarp, you can use it for anything from your RV and boat to your shed and porch. This one would make a perfect tarp to take on your camping trip or use it in the yard for a slip and slide.

2. King Canopy

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
King Canopy
Features
85
Color
91
Durability
95
Ease of Use
97
best offer for today
$186.85
Pros:

14 mil thickness

It’s made of professional quality

It offers silver and a black side

Cons:

Aluminum grommets are not as strong as others

If you’re in need of a tarp that has above average quality that will protect your boat through the winter season, this one would be your best choice for the purpose.

Read more

Features

With a professional military grade, this 20 x 20-foot tarp provides a silver side to block the sun, while the black side will work wonders when it comes to protecting your valuables. Although it’s thick, it’s not extremely heavy. The aluminum grommets are spaced far enough apart to assure security when it’s tied down and it will keep most of the water out. Not only could you use this one for protection when storing lawn equipment, firewood, and your boat, but it makes the perfect ground cover under a tent as well.

Durability

With 14 mils, this tarp resists holes caused from uneven terrain and the edges are reinforced to avoid tearing. Since the grommets are made of aluminum, the chances of them holding out longer than the tarp are slim, but they are rust proof, so they will last longer than you would expect.

Ease of Use

It’s not as heavy as it looks and can be handled quite easily. It’s simple to place the tarp over the objects and tie down the tarp with the 18-inch grommets. Use caution when handling the tarp in the heat because it can get extremely hot to touch when it’s been in the sun.

Value

This tarp is made with an extreme quality and thickness that will last for a long time, that makes it worth the money in the long run.

Summary

No matter your reason for needing a tarp, this one is made to handle any chore. Cover your valuables, use it as ground cover, or use it while camping, there is a long list of uses for this heavy-duty tarp. Although it might seem to be priced a little higher than some, you won’t regret the money you spend.

3. Dry Top-Heavy Duty Poly

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Dry Top-Heavy Duty Poly
Features
90
Color
88
Durability
93
Ease of Use
93
best offer for today
$29.50
Pros:

10 mils of thickness

It’s better than a basic tarp

It offers a silver and a brown side

Cons:

The grommets are not as good as you would expect

This one is better than a basic tarp, and it will tolerate any level of weather it encounters without crumbling, fading, or blowing away.

Read more

Features

This is a well-constructed 10x12 poly tarp. It’s waterproof and ready to conquer any task it’s given. It provides a silver side to block out the sun, and the brown side is intended to follow through with the protection of equipment, catching leaves, covering roof leaks, or hiding the patio furniture.

Durability

Heavy-duty is what you would expect from a higher end tarp, so this one will surprise you when you see how strong it is. It’s well constructed with quality materials and it will withstand the beating of wind, rain, sun, and snow. Unlike the 10 mils of thickness from this one, the grommets are not as good as you would expect.

Ease of Use

It might not be light as some of the others, but it is still not as heavy as others. Your bungee or rope will fit nicely through the grommets and you will have no problem with maneuverability.

Value

For the quality of this tarp, you would think it would come with a higher price.

Summary

This is everything and a bit more than you would expect from a tarp in this price bracket. It’s one that you will either love or hate, but you can be sure you will love it.

4. MP Heavy Duty Shade Mesh

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.5
MP Heavy Duty Shade Mesh
Features
89
Color
86
Durability
89
Ease of Use
90
best offer for today
$80.90
Pros:

It works wonders for keeping the sun to a minimal

It is well constructed

It will last for several seasons

Cons:

Some people say that it could be a bit heavier

This tarp is the perfect solution for keeping the sun to a minimum while maintaining visibility and fresh air.

Read more

Features

Unlike the other tarps on our list, this one is a shade tarp made of mesh. It serves as a screen and can be used in multiple places. Use it to cover the top of your pergola to provide some shade for a cooler place to enjoy your tea. Keep your dogs cool by shading their kennels and cover your inground pool when the sun beams directly into the water. Keep in mind that it is mesh, so the rain will get in, but on a hot day that could be a cool relief. The airflows nicely through and the heat won’t build up on the opposite side. This 10x10- foot tarp offers a lot of versatility and with the 24- inch grommets, it’s easy to secure it to any surface.

Durability

This tarp has been remarkably constructed with heavy-duty materials. It provides reinforced edges that won’t fray or tear, and the grommets are stronger and larger than the average. It has been proven to hold-up through treacherous weather conditions, and it tolerates heat and sun without a complaint. It’s durable enough to last through many seasons.

Ease of Use

The material makes this one light enough to maneuver with ease. The size isn’t bulky or hard to handle for one person, and the grommets are the perfect size for feeding your rope through the eyelets.

Value

This tarp will stay intact season after season keeping you safely out of the direct sunlight. The money saved from sunburn accidents and heat stroke is worth every dime you will spend on this blessing.

Summary

Enjoying the pool in the shade is enough reason to consider this ingenious tarp. Move it around from place to place or enjoy the comfort in knowing you have more than one to enjoy everywhere you go.

5. Tarps Direct

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.5
Tarps Direct
Features
85
Color
87
Durability
87
Ease of Use
91
best offer for today
$26.75
Pros:

16 mil thickness

It will withstand all extreme weather conditions

It’s completely waterproof

Cons:

Some say it’s a little stiffer than they would like

Use this tarp in the place of a patio furniture cover or secure it to your grill. It’s multi-functional and flexible enough to fold and fit.

Read more

Features

This is a 6x8-foot brown, polyethylene tarp that can serve the purpose of many uses. It provides 18 grommets for properly securing it over your valuables and 16 mils make it the perfect thickness for covering your utility trailer full of construction equipment. It resists rain, snow, and sun like a gem and it’s thin enough to provide the flexibility you will need to position it into place.

Durability

It’s extremely durable and responds well to extreme temperatures. The edges are sealed better than most and the grommets are of excellent quality. The manufacturer took one more step when they constructed this tarp by reinforcing the grommets on the corners reassuring they won’t pop off or tear. Since it’s made of polyethylene, it’s completely waterproof and it’s sturdy enough that it won’t flap with the wind.

Ease of Use

This tarp is functional and easy to maneuver. It ties down smoothly, and it can be shaped to fit anywhere you want to use it.

Value

With its affordably and functionality, this tarp is well worth the time, effort, and money spent.

Summary

This proves to be one of the best tarps on our list. It extremely durable and can serve as patio furniture covers, construction tarps, and it could even become a tent at the last minute. So many uses for this make it the perfect one to choose.

6. Hanjet Lightweight

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.5
Hanjet Lightweight
Features
90
Color
84
Durability
84
Ease of Use
88
best offer for today
$8.98
Pros:

5 mils of thickness

It is waterproof

It tolerates all weather conditions

Cons:

It is thinner than you might expect

This is a basic blue tarp with a small price, but it does the job it’s meant to do. It’s the perfect footer for the tent, and it will cover a bicycle like a champ.

Read more

Features

This 8 x 8 tarp is smaller and lighter than you might expect, but it works well with many lighter tasks. It’s made of polyethylene; therefore, it’s guaranteed to be waterproof. You can use this tarp in any climate, so use it to cover your firewood or rake up your leaves and haul them away using the tarp. If you need additional shelter for your tent when it rains, the grommets spread 3 to 4-feet across the tarp and will easily assist with tying it to the trees above your tent.

Durability

This tarp might not be as thick as some of the others, but it is made of quality construction and will serve its purpose without worry. The grommets are a little weaker than most, but they won’t rust, and the tarp itself is mildew resistant so your equipment will be safe when stored underneath. Since it is thin, you should heed caution of tears and punctures when pulling it or piling things on top of it. The corners are reinforced, so when you have it secured it won’t break.

Ease of Use

The grommets make it easy to assist with tying it down and it’s lightweight, so it’s easy to maneuver and carry.

Value

For a basic tarp, this one follows through with the job. It’s priced where it should be for a tarp of this quality.

Summary

When you think of a tarp, this is probably the one you remember working with as a kid. It’s basic, yet durable to complete every task it meets.

7. Trademark Supplies

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.5
Trademark Supplies
Features
85
Color
87
Durability
87
Ease of Use
87
best offer for today
$139.88
Pros:

8 mils thickness

It will tolerate any climate

It provides a silver side for blocking out the sun

Cons:

The grommets along the sides are weak

This tarp will come in handy when it’s time to cover up all those toys for the winter. It’s perfect for any climate and ties down securely with the grommets.

Read more

Features

This 12x14 tarp provides two sides of protection. The silver side will block out the sun to keep the black side cool. It’s heavy-duty and waterproof, so this would be a perfect addition to your camping supplies. This one is the perfect size to cover your wood pile, and the tools on your utility trailer will stay protected from the rain. The grommets are 3-feet apart, so you will have enough to secure the tarp to any tree, pole, or other surfaces.

Durability

The 8 mils of thickness assure that the tarp will stay intact when then the wind belts through and it won’t rip when you move it around. Although the grommets are reinforced on the corners, the ones in the middle are a little weak.

Ease of Use

It’s easy to maneuver and the grommets are simple to slide your rope through. It’s lightweight, so you can carry it with ease.

Value

For the price and quality of this tarp, you won’t make a mistake when you choose this as one of the best tarps for you.

Summary

Overall, you get what you would expect from a tarp of this quality. It serves many purposes, and aside from the weak grommets, it proves to be a heavy-duty tarp.

8. Harpster Tarps

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.3
Harpster Tarps
Features
85
Color
84
Durability
88
Ease of Use
88
best offer for today
$26.75
Pros:

16 mil thickness

It won’t fade in the sun

The grommets are durable and secure

Cons:

It’s stiff, not as flexible as some

For that wood pile stacked up behind the house you will need to keep it covered and out of the way of the rain and snow, this tarp is exactly what you need.

Read more

Features

This is a 10 x 12-foot brown heavy-duty tarp that is ready to serve its purpose covering your wood piles or your dog’s kennel. Unlike the cheaper brands that you can buy everywhere, this one is much more durable and will last four times longer. You can use this one in the rain or the direct sunlight and it will always look like new. Although it is constructed of durable materials, it might not be as flexible as you would like, but it does do the job it’s intended for.

Durability
With exceptional strength and durability, this tarp will hold out long after your others retire. It provides 16 mils of thickness and the grommets are durable and securely attached to the tarp. You can leave it in the sun or rain and it will never show any signs of wear. It won’t fade or peel from the sun and the winds won’t cause it to tear.

Ease of Use

It is a little stiffer than you might be used to, therefore it might take you a little longer to secure it, but once you’re finished you will be amazed at how well it does its job. You can strap it securely through the grommets that are spaced every 18-inches around the edges of the tarp.

Value

The superior quality and fair price of this tarp can’t be beaten. This is money well spent.

Summary

Overall, this tarp delivers outstanding performance with its quality and durability. You can use it for so many things and it will last well beyond the cheap dollar store tarp.

9. CCS Heavy Duty Green Silver Poly

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
CCS Heavy Duty Green Silver Poly
Features
83
Color
85
Durability
84
Ease of Use
88
best offer for today
$69.95
Pros:

8 mils of thickness

It is waterproof

Cons:

It isn’t as thick as the others

This tarp is a must-have in any emergency kit or camping pack. It works well for ground cover and makes a great tent for shelter.

Read more

Features

This 20x20-foot double sided tarp offers versatility and flexibility for all your needs. One side is silver to block out the sun while you stay cool under the green side. It provides just the right amount of thickness and because it is made of polyethylene, it is completely waterproof to keep you dry when you’re under it. The 18-inch grommets provide just what you need to secure your tarp to the trees or poles. This tarp is a perfect choice for covering your pool in the winter or you could use it on the ground for various lawn and garden needs.

Durability

Quality and structure are above average when it comes to the durability of this tarp. Although it’s not as thick as some of the others on our list, it does offer 8 mils of thickness making it the perfect amount for camping and other light uses. The grommets are made of soft metal, so they are not as strong as some, but they will hold up under lighter pressure.

Ease of Use

It’s simple and easy to maneuver, it folds well, and the grommets provide enough compatibility for easy security.

Value

For the size and quality of this tarp, it offers the value that you would expect. The price is easy to swallow, and you will get your money’s worth with every use.

Summary

For camping and emergency situations, this tarp is one of the best. It holds up well through any climate, and it won’t tear as easy as some of the other tarps you find in the discount stores.

10. Home Plus Multi-Purpose

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.3
Home Plus Multi-Purpose
Features
82
Color
81
Durability
83
Ease of Use
83
best offer for today
$9.99
Pros:

It’s lightweight, yet durable

It works well in all weather conditions

Cons:

It isn’t as strong as some

This one provides the perfect size and quality to handle small chores that the larger tarps are usually too big to do.

Read more

Features

This is a simple tarp with endless possibilities. It’s 4x6 which makes it the perfect job for lighter tasks such as lining the back seat of your car when you are hauling plants home to your garden. You could use it as an accessory with your camping supplies, or put it in your emergency kit, just in case. It provides eight grommets, so you can tie it down securely when necessary.

Durability

It’s a basic tarp, so it isn’t as durable as some of the more expensive tarps, but it will complete the task at hand without a problem. The grommets seem to be strong and it will tolerate all weather situations.

Ease of Use

It’s lightweight and easy to handle. You can lay it down and fold it with easy, and packing it isn’t a problem either.

Value

The point to this one is that it is basic, so for the money and quality, you are getting a better tarp than you would expect.

Summary

Easy to use, lightweight, and durable; with all that, you can expect this tarp to do any light job you put in front of it.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Features

Before now, you probably didn’t know that there were so many different features to look for in a tarp. That’s why we have included them in this guide. Some of the most important features you should look for are the mils (thickness), size, grommets, material, and colors. You need to know the thickness, so you can decide if it will hold up for the task you what to use it for.

The size matters according to the use. You obviously don’t want to use the smallest tarp to cover your sailboat, and you don’t want to use the largest for yard work or gardening. The grommets are the eyelets around the tarp that are used to hold the rope or bungee when you tie the tarp down. You need to know how many and their distant placement, so you will know if it will fit securely in the place you will be using it.

The material matters for various things such as the water, rust, and mildew resistance. The material falls into the durability category as well because you don’t want material that will tear or crumble easily.

Color

A silver tarp will block the sun, so if you’re using it for shelter then you will want to face the silver side out, so you will stay cool on the other side. White tarps will provide some shade, but it won’t block it out completely, so again, if this is for your shelter, you will want to face the white side out and take shelter under the other side.

Other colors such as green and brown are used for things like camping or to cover tools and equipment. You might find these tarps on construction sites, and you can use them to assist you with landscaping or in your garden.

Durability

The durability will come from the thickness and type of material used to construct the tarp. The type of grommets also matters where durability is concerned. You will find that grommets can be made of aluminum (the weakest of them all), plated steel, and brass (the most durable of them all). The spacing of the grommets are determined by the size and grade of the tarp, but they are usually spaced between 18 to 36-inches apart. The more grommets, the sturdier the tarp will be when it is tied down.

You want to be sure you choose a tarp that matches your climate because if it isn’t waterproof you wouldn’t want to use it in a rain forest, and if it crumbles in the sunshine then you wouldn’t want to use it in the middle of the desert where the sun will beat down on it all the time.

Ease of Use

When it comes to the ease of use you need to think about where you will be using the tarp and what it will be used for. If you will be backpacking, then, of course, you will want something that’s easy to pack and light to carry. If you will be securing the tarp for any purpose you know you will need to use bungees or rope. One thing you need to consider is the spacing and number of grommets because if you don’t have enough it will be hard to secure it in place. Likewise, if you have too many, think about how that will affect the ease of use.

If the tarp is large or heavy you might need to recruit a friend to help you place it, so if you’re working or traveling alone, be sure and get one that you can handle by yourself.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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#1
Durability
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#2
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#3
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Get a trap with grommets

Some people use tape to add security, but if you choose to do that, be sure the material is durable and won’t rip or crumble when you peel away the tape. The strongest grommets are made of brass, but they are usually the most expensive. The most common grommet is made of aluminum and the most affordable. The downside is that they are not always the strongest, so before you secure the tarp be sure the grommet is strong enough to withstand the stress.

Other Factors to Consider

Value

This is a piece of the evaluation that is usually self-explanatory. You know that you usually get what you pay for. If the price of the tarp is lower than the quality, that means value, but if you’re paying a high price for something that won’t last a week, that means you won’t be gaining any value in that choice, so you should choose something else.

Every tarp we included in our guide has a fair amount of value in it, even if it isn’t a lot. We believe in quality with prices to match.

Water Resistance

There are a few other factors we haven’t covered that you should consider when choosing the tarp of your choice. Know that there is a difference between waterproof and water-resistant; waterproof means that water will not get inside the tarp. Water resistant means that the water will bounce off the tarp, but there is no guarantee it won’t get inside. A polyethylene tarp is the best to look at when you are concerned about water. Poly is naturally waterproof, so you can’t go wrong with this choice.

Materials

When it comes to the material on the tarp, check the weave count for added durability and make sure it withstands all weather conditions. Of course, in some cases, you will be using your tarp indoors or other places that the weather and water won’t matter. You also need to consider mold and mildew resistant material especially when you will be using your tarp during warm weather when the dew appears during the night.

Use

Keep in mind there are many reasons you could use a tarp. Not only are they perfect for covering up your outdoor furniture and grills, but you can use them as a groundcover on the beach or in the grass. If your roof leaks through to your living room, you might need to use it as a temporary ceiling. You can use them on floors, driveways, or in the garage. The uses are endless and that’s why you need to be knowledgeable of your choice. If you choose one that is multi-purpose, durable, and affordable, you should have a tarp that will survive all the battles you will put it through.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What are tarps made of?
a:

The most common and functional tarps are made of Polyethylene. The reason for this is because of their multi-purpose ability. Poly is used for a number of things, other than tarps. Poly is used to make bottles, Tupperware, and even children’s toys. Poly tarps are usually the most affordable and they come in several grades ranging from light to extremely heavy duty. They are usually always waterproof, and they come in several colors and sizes.

Another common material of tarps is canvas. This material is more common for truckers or painters. It has an impressive wind resistance but is not 100% waterproof. Painters love canvas tarps because the material is soft and protective. If you are painting a room with a delicate hardwood floor, a canvas tarp would be ideal. It will protect the wood floors without scratching them and if you drop some paint on the tarp, it will absorb the paint before it reaches the floor.

These are the most popular tarp fabrics, but you will also find some tarps that are made of plastic, polyester, and on occasion, mesh, but they don’t usually offer the same as the poly or canvas tarp.

q: Does the color of my tarp really matter?
a:

The blue tarp seems to be the most popular. Besides the fact that is the most popular, accessible, lightweight, and typically cheapest color of tarp available, there’s no other reason behind it. Many people don’t realize that the different colors of tarps do, in fact, signify something.

In the outdoor world, a brightly colored tarp is used to signify the priority of something. An orange, red or yellow tarp will attract more attention and be attended to first. A clear tarp is ideal for gardening. It will still allow the sunlight to pass through while protecting the garden (or other items) from the natural elements. A white tarp can be used to provide a bit of shade, but not a total blackout. And lastly, a black tarp can be used to keep the underlying item cool and safe from the light. If you know that withstand the outdoor elements for an extended period of time, a black tarp is ideal. Even better, black tarps are sometimes treated with a UV coating to protect your items and also to extend the life of the tap itself.

If you work in the medical field, you may already know the importance of triage tarps. Triage tarps are used to help keep the scene of an emergency organized. These tarps are typically black, red, yellow or green. Each color signifies the state of the situation underneath. The red tarp signifies immediate help, while the green tarp is of least importance.

q: Why do some tarps have a different color on each side?
a:

Each side of the tarp serves a different purpose. One side is usually a shiny silver or white while the other side is a dull darker color. The shiny side is to keep out all or some of the sun, depending on the color. The other side will stay cooler when the shiny side faces the sun. The dull side is for utility use and that side would be the one you would use for covering firewood, tools, and equipment. The utility side is also the one that catches all the yard and construction debris. If you wanted to use the tarp for ground covering, the shiny side would face down. A tarp with a white shiny side can easily transform into a slip and slide for the kids to play on in the summer.

q: What are tarps used for?
a:

The uses are endless when it comes to tarps. They serve the purpose of shelter in an emergency situation and at campsites. They are often used for a cover on the back of a truck for safely hauling debris. Some people use them as patio furniture covers for daily use, while others use them to cover the furniture completely for the winter. You will often find a tarp on the ground at a construction site used to hold debris or paint, and a landscaper might use it under a pile of mulch to keep the driveway clean. A tarp could be placed under a baby’s highchair to catch all the food, and some people use them in and around animal kennels. There is no right or wrong reason to use a tarp, just be sure you are using the appropriate tarp for the task at hand.

q: Can I use a tarp for camping?
a:

Yes! Tarping has become a surprisingly popular way of camping. This allows you the freedom to be closer to nature and provides you with more room in your backpack for other essentials. To set up your tarp tent, you must have a great imagination, a few trees, and good rope. Depending on the temperature, you may want a fully enclosed “tent” or only half closed, to allow the breeze to come through. Another important factor to consider when setting up your tarp tent is the rain. You must be careful to set it up so that if the rain comes, it will not roll off the tarp and into your sleeping area. If you have a sense of adventure, tarping is a wonderful alternative to typical camping and can save you quite a bit of money.

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