The Best Tarps of 2019

Table of Contents

This might be a bold statement. It may be controversial. It’s likely to be divisive. Nevertheless, I stand behind the notion that tarps are the unsung hero of the security and protection world.

No matter if you need one for a construction project, camping trip, or the bed of a pickup truck, tarps have you covered. Literally. They protect your belongings from the elements and help ensure they remain in good shape. Of course, not all tarps are made equal. They can vary in terms of durability, range of use and size. And that’s why I’ve gone into the (metaphorical) trenches to research the best tarps on the market today.

Best Traps

Editor’s Pick
Grizzly Tarp Blue Series
Grizzly Tarp Blue Series
Grizzly Tarp Blue Series

Strong and secure, the Grizzly Tarp Blue Series will protect you and your belongings in a variety of situations.

Doesn't expire

Top Contender
Stansport Reinforced Multipurpose Tarp
Stansport Reinforced Multipurpose Tarp
Stansport Reinforced Multipurpose Tarp

Tough and long-lasting, Stansport manufactures a tarp you can count on!

Doesn't expire

Best Tarp for Camping
Kelty Noah Tarp
Kelty Noah Tarp
Kelty Noah Tarp

Completely waterproof and simple to set up, the Kelty Noah Tarp is a must-have for frequent campers.

Doesn't expire

Best Tarp for Painting
All Purpose Canvas Cotton Drop Cloth
All Purpose Canvas Cotton Drop Cloth
All Purpose Canvas Cotton Drop Cloth

The All Purpose Drop Cloth ensures your home will stay pristine during any renovation.

Doesn't expire

Best Tarp for Roofing
Dry Top Heavy Duty Poly Tarp
Dry Top Heavy Duty Poly Tarp
Dry Top Heavy Duty Poly Tarp

Rough and rugged, the Dry Top Heavy Duty Poly Tarp easily stands up to the elements.

Doesn't expire

Editor’s Pick

Grizzly Tarp Blue Series

Affordable and lightweight, the Grizzly Tarp Blue Series won’t let you down. They’re extremely versatile and can easily be used to cover vehicles, provide shelter for campers or temporarily patch holes during construction projects. Even better, Grizzly Tarps are mildew-proof.

Pros: Thanks to its tight eight by eight polyethylene weave and five mils thickness, you can rest assured that your Grizzly tarp will remain in tact. What’s more, border piping and heat-sealed seams offer an added boost; no fear of tearing here! Additionally, it’s both washable and waterproof with built-in grommets.  

Cons: Grizzly tarps do not offer UV protection and they’re not great for heavy duty applications.

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Grizzly Tarp Blue Series
Grizzly Tarp Blue Series
Grizzly Tarp Blue Series

Strong and secure, the Grizzly Tarp Blue Series will protect you and your belongings in a variety of situations.

Top Contender

Stansport Reinforced Multipurpose Tarp

The Stansport is practically synonymous with durability. After all, it’s made with rip-stop, laminated polyethylene which is designed to last. It’s also waterproof so your floors and belongings will remain protected at all times.

Pros: A multipurpose tarp, the Stansport can be used to cover firewood, boats, provide shade and more! It has rust-resistant grommets every three to four feet along with double reinforced corners and rope reinforced edges. These features help guarantee that the tarp won’t tear. Importantly, it’s available in a variety of sizes ranging from eight by 10 feet to 24 by 36 feet. 

Cons: Unfortunately, the Stansport is not mildew-proof.

Related: Ring Video Doorbell Pro Review

Shop Amazon
Stansport Reinforced Multipurpose Tarp
Stansport Reinforced Multipurpose Tarp
Stansport Reinforced Multipurpose Tarp

Tough and long-lasting, Stansport manufactures a tarp you can count on!

Best Tarp for Camping

Kelty Noah Tarp

Rain or shine, the Kelty Noah Tarp provides instant protection from the elements. Just as critical, it’s rather easy to erect. It can also be pitched in a variety of configurations thanks to its smart, four-point shape.

Pros: One of the most weatherproof tarps available, the Kelty Noah is made with no-snag polyester taffeta that’s capable of being extremely taut. Additionally, it features fully taped seam construction and is available in three sizes: 81 square feet, 144 square or 256 square feet. Finally, it comes with both tent stakes and a convenient carry sack.

Cons: Tarp poles are sold separately so there will be an added expense.

Related: The Best Insect Repellents

Shop Amazon
Kelty Noah Tarp
Kelty Noah Tarp
Kelty Noah Tarp

Completely waterproof and simple to set up, the Kelty Noah Tarp is a must-have for frequent campers.

Best Tarp for Painting

All Purpose Canvas Cotton Drop Cloth

If you’re prepping for an upcoming paint job, you’ll definitely want to invest in an All Purpose Canvas Cotton Drop Cloth. It provides the perfect protection for floors and furniture during any home improvement. After all, the cloth absorbs paint spills and traps debris for quick clean-up. 

Pros: The All Purpose tarp is manufactured from 100% cotton duck canvas fabric. It’s also made with rot-resistant thread and double-stitched seams so you know it’s long-lasting. Best of all, it’s washable and reusable. The drop cloth comes is multiple sizes ranging from four by 12 feet to 20 by 20 feet. 

Cons: The dimensions don’t always match up to what’s listed on the packaging.

Shop Amazon
All Purpose Canvas Cotton Drop Cloth
All Purpose Canvas Cotton Drop Cloth
All Purpose Canvas Cotton Drop Cloth

The All Purpose Drop Cloth ensures your home will stay pristine during any renovation.

Best Tarp for Roofing

Dry Top Heavy Duty Poly Tarp

As the name so subtly implies, this tarp from Dry Top is perfect for when you need some heavy duty coverage, making it ideal for roofing jobs. Plus, it’s UV-treated so your valuables won’t be damaged by the sun’s rays.

Pros: The Dry Top is a reversible tarp that’s silver on one side and brown on the other. Remarkably strong, it’s made from polyethylene with rust-resistant grommets to reinforce the corners. Thanks to lamination, the tarp is also water resistant. It’s sold in numerous sizes from six by eight feet to 28 by 48 feet.

Cons: The tarp may be prone to ripping after prolonged exposure to the sun.

Related: Home Security Components A-Z

Shop Amazon
Dry Top Heavy Duty Poly Tarp
Dry Top Heavy Duty Poly Tarp
Dry Top Heavy Duty Poly Tarp

Rough and rugged, the Dry Top Heavy Duty Poly Tarp easily stands up to the elements.

Tarp Methodology

Best Tarps Review

Like any self-respecting tarp enthusiast, these are the factors I considered when researching the best options on the market:

  • Materials: Tarps are available in four basic materials— canvas, mesh, vinyl and polyethylene. Mesh tarps are good for circumstances when you need to restrict wind flow or simply want some shade. Reach for a canvas tarp if you’re working indoors. They’re typically durable, absorbent, breathable and have a non-slip surface. However, canvas is not waterproof. Polyethylene tarps are often lightweight and waterproof, plus, they resist stretching. Unfortunately, although they’re relatively strong, poly tarps can fray in excessively windy situations. Conversely, vinyl tarps are likely the most durable. They don’t tear or stretch easily. Vinyl is also waterproof and ideal for extremely cold temperatures.
  • Color: Most tarps are manufactured in neutral colors like brown, black or silver. Of course, you can also find tarps in blues, greens, reds, oranges and even camouflage. Obviously, this factor comes down to personal taste (though most people tend to prefer colors that blend into the background).
  • Waterproof/water resistant: A number of tarps are advertised as being waterproof or water resistant. Certainly, if you need one for outdoor use, you’ll definitely want to purchase a tarp that repels water. Keep in mind that if you go with a water resistant option, it will only protect your items up to a point. If the tarp accumulates too much water, it may start leaking.
  • UV protection: If you need a tarp to cover belongings that live outside, you should strongly consider buying one with UV protection. This will obviously shield your items from damage often caused by continued sun exposure.
  • Grommets: Many tarps are manufactured with grommets. These improve durability and stability, making it more difficult for the tarp to fray. Additionally, grommets allow you to tie down your tarp securely. This can be crucial if you’re in a particularly windy area.

Tarp Tips

Before you make your purchase, you’ll want to keep these tips in mind:

  • Size: When shopping for a tarp, it’s important to realize that sizes are often slightly smaller than advertised. This is due to the fact that most manufacturers list the measurements prior to hemming the edges.
  • Thickness: A tarp’s thickness is measured in mils (which equates to 1/1000 of an inch). The lightest tarps often have a thickness of between five to eight mils and the heaviest typically range between 16-24.

Recap of Best Tarps

There’s no denying that tarps vary in types, size and usage. Thus, it’s critical to consider your location and needs prior to purchase. That way, you can be sure you’re picking up the tarp that’s best for you.

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.

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