Choosing the Most Durable Tarp Material

Last Updated on June 11, 2022 by Ecorf

Many people often encounter challenges when it comes to choosing the most durable tarp material. Before buying a tarp, it is essential to know its purpose and how you will use it. If the tarp is for camping purposes, do you intend to use it to cover your tent against rain or sun? Other tarps are specifically meant for industrial purposes while others are designed to cover vehicles, boats as well as keeping truck beds from getting dirt.

Other tarps can be used on the bottom of the tent and these factors contribute toward choosing a tarp with strong material. There are different types of tarps so you should know the one which you want. As such, this post highlights some of the features that you should consider to choose the most durable tarp material. 

What Features Characterize Durable Tarp Material?

Sick and tired of buying tarps that would not last long? Quite a number of people face this predicament where they buy products that fail to meet their standard expectations. On the other hand, there are also tarps that are expensive but fail to do the job properly. To get a strong tarp, consider the following aspects. 

Purpose of the Tarp 

First and foremost, before you decide to buy a tarp, you should be clear about how you would like to use the tarp. There are different types of tarps that you can get from the market and they are designed for different purposes. For instance, if you intend to use the tarp for protection against the sun, then you will need a UV treated tarp.

If you also want a tarp that can protect you against the wind, a heavy-duty tarp with grommets will be ideal for the purpose. There are different types of tarps and these are made from different materials. Therefore, to get the best tarp, you must have an idea about the type of material that it is made of. The following are different types of materials for tarps together with their purpose.    

Waterproof vs Water-Resistant Tarps

The other important factors to consider when choosing a tarp pertain to water resistance and waterproof capabilities. Waterproof tarps are designed to be water repellant and they keep the tent dry inside since they consist of special treatment and coating like waterproof Vinyl tarps. 

Vinyl tarps are designed for heavy-duty purposes and they are durable and tear-resistant. Other types of tarps belonging to this category are heavy-duty and flame retardant and they are also resistant to liquids such as grease and oil. 

Choosing the Most Durable Tarp Material

On the other hand, water-resistant tarps do not keep the material dry permanently when it is raining but they are very strong and durable. Canvas tarps, for instance, offer the highest degree of water resistance and they are also breathable. Canvas tarps are made of heavy-duty cotton material that is treated for UV protection and they are also double-stitched and have a rot-resistant thread. 

Mesh Tarp

A mesh tarp is a heavy-duty tarp that you can use for purposes of providing shade over your garage, garden, patio or camping tent. A mesh tarp is made from commercial-grade material consisting of hems using 2″ wide nylon webbing together with #4 brass grommets. Mesh tarps do not break easily like other plastic tarps you can get from the market. 

The tarp provides about 70% shade while at the same time allowing free circulation of air which helps to keep you cool inside. The mesh is not tightly woven which makes it perfect for ventilation and a lot of shade when it is hot. However, the tarp may not be a great choice with regard to preventing the stuff underneath from getting wet.   

Poly Tarp

Poly tarps are UV coated and they are made of polyethylene and they do not easily stretch or tear. These tarps are ideal for temporary cover and they are also waterproof naturally. These tarps are ideal for camping purposes and they offer maximum protection over your tent. Poly tarps can also be used to cover vehicles or even your patio against rain as well as heat from the sun. 

Tarp Thickness

The thickness of a tarp is very important to consider since it determines its durability. The thickness of the tarp is measured in mils which is 1/1000 of an inch. When you have a higher number, it implies that you have a thicker tarp which is also durable. 

Lightweight tarps have a thickness of about 5 to 8 mils and these are less durable than the thicker ones. Other tarps consist of a layer of polyethylene film and the more layers that you have, the longer your tarp will last. 

Choosing the Most Durable Tarp Material

The other factor to consider pertains to the rot-resistance of the tarps. This is mainly determined by environmental factors in the area where you will use the tarp. If you are going to use the tarp in humid conditions, then you should make sure that it is rot-resistance to achieve longevity. You must also consider the material of the tarp to determine its level of resistance to rotting. 

Color of the Tarp

The color of your tarp can also determine its durability. For instance, black tarps can significantly absorb heat which gives them an extended life. Other colors like brown, green, camouflage and blue are mainly preferred for construction purposes. Clear tarps are specifically for greenhouses. You should choose a color that suits your purpose for the tarp.

Tarp Grommets

Small as they may appear on your tarp, you should consider grommets since they determine the durability of your tarp. These are metal rings that you find around the edges of the tarp and this helps you to securely tie the tarps to support pins or anchors. Aluminum grommets are not that durable compared to brass grommets so you must also consider this.

Choosing the Most Durable Tarp Material


Tarps are generally used for different purposes and they come in different types and sizes. Traps are also made of different materials which determine their durability. If you want to get the most durable tarp material, you must first determine the intended purpose of the tarp before you buy it.

Your choice depends on how you want to use the tarp. You can also consider other features like rot resistance, grommets, the color of the tarp as well as breathability among others since these can help you get the ideal thing.