Best Tarp

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Introduction to the Tarps

There are many different ways that you can use a tarp. Whether you need one to cover the wood pile and keep it dry or you are covering valuables that you are moving in a truck or on a trailer, you want to choose a tarp that is durable and strong.

This buyer’s guide will help you understand the different kinds of tarps there are and how to choose the right one for your needs.

The information that this buyer’s guide provides and the reviews of three of the top rated tarps on the market will give you an excellent idea of what makes a great tarp and how to determine which one will be the right one for the different jobs you want to use the tarp for.

Knowledge is the best way to ensure that you don’t purchase a tarp that will not work for what you want to use it for. Being prepared not only saves time but you will save money too.

Top 10 Tarps

Rank Picture Tarp Size (Feet) Thickness (mm)
1 DRY TOP 10 x 12 0.254
2 Stansport 5 x 7 0.228
3 TarpsDirect 8 x 6 0.406
4 BlueDri 8 x 6 0.152
5 Harpster 10 x 12 0.406
6 MP 10 x 10 0.127
7 Outdoor Xtreme 8 x 10 0.177
8 Windscreen4less 8 x 10 0.127
9 Big Blue 8 x 10 0.177
10 HydraTarp 18 x 24 0.406

Dry Top Heavy Duty Poly Tarp 10′ x 12′

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This heavy duty tarp is just what you need for those tougher jobs that require a tarp with some durability to it.

This reversible tarp is brown on one side and silver on the other and measures 10 feet by 12 feet.

It is UV treated so the valuables you are protecting with it don’t get damaged by the UV rays.

It is also laminated so it provides waterproof protection as well.

It is nearly impossible to tear and has rust resistant grommets as well to reinforce the corners so they don’t tear during use. It is made from polyethylene so it will last a long time.

If you are looking for a heavy duty tarp to protect your belongings during trips or to keep items in your yard protected from the elements, this Dry Top Heavy Duty tarp is just what you need.

Stansport Reinforced Multi-Purpose Tarp

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Stansport’s multi-purpose tarp is made from rip stop, laminated polyethylene that is built to last. Every three or four feet there is a rust resistant grommet that is heavy duty and prevents the tarp from being torn.

This forest green tarp is perfect for camping and blends right into the woods.  It is shrink-proof and waterproof and easily washable too.

This 14 feet by 16 feet tarp has reinforced edges and is available in a variety of other colors as well including:

  • Sky blue
  • Black
  • Gray
  • Green
  • Red
  • Blue

Super Heavy Duty Brown Tarp

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Are you looking for a tarp to keep your wood dry or cover valuables while traveling and keep the elements from damaging them?

This super heavy duty tarp is just what you need.  It is lightweight and super durable for all types of jobs.

This tarp is made from high density polyethylene that has been woven into a fabric.  The fabric is laminated and the edges hemmed with polyethylene twine.

The seams are heat sealed for extra strength and both sides of the tarp are UV treated, waterproof and weather resistant.

Other features include being resistant to mildew, resistant to acid and tear resistant too.

There is a rust-resistant grommet every 18 inches and the corner grommets are reinforced for extra strength so the tarp doesn’t tear.  This tarp will take care of all your needs from camping to hauling items in the back of a truck or trailer.

Tarps Summary

Tarps are used for many different purposes. They can be used for work applications, camping, protection, moving, patching leaky tents or roofs and other needed areas. With so many different uses it is important to choose the right tarp for the jobs you want to do. There are many different tarps on the market. They are all similar in design but the differences are usually in thickness and durability.

The three top rated tarps that we have reviewed above are examples of the kind of high quality tarps that you want to find for your needs. Each one is laminated on both sides for maximum waterproofing, mildew resistance and protection. Any one of these choices would be a good selection for the different types of jobs that you want to use your tarp for.

To learn more about how to choose the right kind of tarp for your needs read the buyer’s guide below. This information is designed to help you understand the differences between the different types of tarps that are available.

You don’t want to waste your money on a tarp that is going to rip or breakdown in a few months. The right knowledge will help you sort through all the different types of tarps that are available so you spend your money on a tarp that will last.

Compare: The 10 Best Rated Tarps

Tarp Comparison Table







Outdoor Xtreme


Big Blue

10 x 12 5 x 7
– 24 x 36
8 x 6 8 x 6 10 x 12 10 x 10 8 x 10 8 x 10 8 x 10 18 x 24
Color Silver
Green Brown Blue Brown Black Blue/Silver Blue Blue White / Brown
Material Polyethylene RipStop
Polyethylene Polyethylene Polyethylene Nylon Poly Woven Aluminum
3.6 2.4 2.5 9.6 6.88 6.08 12 1.2 2.1 1.53
0.254 0.228 0.406 0.152 0.406 0.127 0.177 0.127 0.177 0.406
12 12 12 Limited
1 12 Limited
60 1 12


Tarp Buyers Guide

Things to Consider

tarp1There are several things that a tarp can be used for.  We have listed the most common uses for tarps below.

  • Spread them on the ground underneath a tent for added protection from dampness from the ground.
  • Put them over the top of your tent for protection from the rain
  • Put them on the roof over areas that leak to protect from damage from the elements.
  • Cover a boat, vehicle, motorcycle or bicycles that are outside in the elements
  • Cover items that are being hauled in the back of a truck or a trailer
  • Use them for shade by tying them to tent poles or even a homemade scaffolding

With all of these different uses, it is wise to get the most durable tarp you can get, especially if the tarp is being used for protecting items from the elements.  Tarps come in all sizes and materials and some are much thinner and lighter than others.  Almost all tarps are waterproof to some degree but the thicker a tarp is the better waterproof protection it will provide.  There are three basic strengths that tarps come in:

  • Standard – This type of tarp is good for light duty applications indoors like covering a piece of equipment in a workshop or garage. Standard tarps are not good choices for outdoor use due to the fact that the elements can cause them to fray and tear.
  • Medium – This type of tarp is great for covering pools, boats, vehicles, and even roofs if they have been tied down securely.
  • Heavy Duty – Heavy duty tarps are best suited for covering roofs, covering valuables in the back of a truck, construction coverings, covering pools and any other situations where the tarp is going to be exposed to the outside elements.

Different Tarp Materials

There are four different materials that are usually used to make tarps. We have listed each type below:

  • Canvas – Canvas tarps are super durable and provide a nonslip surface. Canvas tarps are absorbent and not typically waterproof unless it has been specially treated so if you need something that provides protection from rain, water and dampness, canvas is not a good choice. Canvas tarps are extremely long lasting when taken care of properly and they are very breathable as well and won’t trap condensation or heat underneath it. They are most often used in construction applications, covering the floor while painting and covering machinery and tools.
  • tarp2

  • Polyethylene – Poly tarps are the lightest weight of all the tarps and can break down very quickly if used for the wrong types of situations. If you are looking for a tarp that is treated against UV light, is durable, waterproof and resists stretching, a poly tarp is a good choice.  They are not advised for covering items in the back of a truck as repeated exposure to wind can cause them to tear and fray.
  • Mesh – Mesh tarps are made from nylon threading and are useful in situations where you want to restrict wind flow and are sometimes called shade tarps. They are not waterproof or very durable so light duty use is recommended, although some have a fire resistant treatment that has been applied.
  • Vinyl – This is the most durable type of tarp available. They will provide you with strong protection against stress, tears, abrasions and are waterproof as well. They can also be flame resistant and UV resistant.  Vinyl tarps work well in extreme cold temps.  If you want exceptional durability and protection from water damage is important, vinyl is an excellent choice.

Choosing the Right Tarp for the Job

There are a few things you can do to make sure that you purchase the right tarp for the jobs you need it for.  It is very possible that you will need to purchase more than one tarp if you have a variety of things you need covered or taken care of.  We have listed some tips that can help when it comes to selecting the right tarp for the job.

  • What Features do You Need? –   Do you need it to be:
  • Measure the area that you need the tarp to cover – Tarps come in a large variety of sizes so you should be able to find one that fits the area that you need to cover. It is better to purchase a tarp that is a little too big than one that is too small.  On the other hand if you purchase one that is TOO big you could have trouble with all the excess tarp that is left over.
  • How durable does the tarp need to be?  –  The durability of the tarp you choose should be in relation to the job you want it for.  If you are covering items in the back of a truck or on a flatbed and the tarp will be exposed to the elements, you will want to get a heavy duty, thick tarp that can stand up to that kind of use on a regular basis.
  • tarp3

  • Does Color Matter? –  Many tarps come in a standard reversible, brown on one side and silver on the other color scheme but depending on the type and manufacturer they can be available in green, brown, red, orange, light blue and black.   If you’re going to be using the tarp for camping purposes to provide water protection for your tent, you may prefer to get a more natural looking color that blends well with the surroundings.  Color is typically not a factor in the durability or thickness of the tarp.


Tarps are a super useful item that can provide protection from the elements and that is just the beginning. Many people use tarps to cover their wood piles outside or to provide shade in an area they are camping in. They are also very useful if you are using a pickup, trailer, or flatbed to move and need to protect the items you are moving from getting wet in the event of a rain storm.

With all of the choices on the market it could be very easy to get confused and not know which one to purchase for your needs. By following the information provided in this buyer’s guide, you will understand how to determine the type of tarp you need, the material you will want your tarp to be made of, the extra features you will need it to have and the size you need as well.

Having the right information gives you confidence to sort through all the choices on the market and make an informed decision as to the best tarp for your specific needs. This confidence ensures that you purchase a tarp that will provide all the features and protection you need and don’t waste your money or your time on a tarp that doesn’t hold up to the job.

The three top rated tarps that we have featured above are all high quality, durable tarps that can stand up to a large array of jobs. They are an excellent place to start when you are looking to purchase a tarp.