If you are contemplating on buying tarps, at some point you might be wondering whether to go for tarps made of vinyl or those made of canvas. Though tarps are not exactly cheap, it is also not advisable to simply buy the first tarp that you see. A good quality tarp should last long and will protect your belongings from all sorts of weather conditions.
Vinyl tarps are typically less expensive compared with tarps made out of cotton or canvas tarps. If they look similar in appearance, what is the difference between these two? Some say that there’s no significant difference if both are used for lightweight applications such as hauling leaves or storing garden tools. But when it comes to heavyweight-duty uses, like covering boats or equipment, tarps made of vinyl are not ideal. They can tear easily compared with tarps made of canvas. This is because tarps manufactured out of canvas are more durable than tarps made out of vinyl.
Vinyl tarps are best used for lightweight purposes such as covering tools. Tarps made from cotton or canvas tarps are better for heavyweight-duty use such as covering boats and heavy equipment. Vinyl tarps have a glossy surface that reflects sunlight but makes it difficult to tie down ropes well particularly in windy conditions. Because they reflect light, tarps made from vinyl will usually be extremely hot under the sun so you need to seek shade when using them because they don’t allow much ventilation. On a hot day, tarps made of vinyl can easily heat up to more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).
Tarps made out of cotton or canvas tarps, on the other hand, are less likely to reflect light. As such, they will not be as hot as tarps made from vinyl. They also provide better protection against rain and snow which makes them perfect for colder climates. Because tarps made from cotton or canvas tarps are breathable, condensation within your covered object won’t be significant so there’s no risk of mildew forming.
Tarps have always been a staple of the outdoorsman. Whether you’re going on a day hike, setting up camp, or on a multi-day backpacking trip tarps are an absolute must for any outdoor adventure.
The most common tarps used by outdoorsmen are made of either canvas or vinyl. Today we will look at the differences between these tarps, as well as what features make them great to use in your outdoor excursions.
Canvas tarps are usually slightly less expensive than vinyl tarps, and they tend to be thicker and more durable. They often come with more grommets around the perimeter that allow you to tie it down securely, and they can be found in both lighter-weight materials for hiking, and the more heavyweight tarps that are used on construction sites. They can be easily patched or repaired if necessary, but only with canvas tarps.
Vinyl tarps are lighter weight than most canvas tarps, weighing about half as much. This makes them more packable and convenient to bring along. The vinyl is also waterproof, which means you can use it in wet conditions without worrying about water seeping through the material. Many of these tarps come with reinforced corners that have grommets already installed, making setup quick and easy. Vinyl tarps are available in various colors, so you can choose one that alters your perception of how dusty ground may be underneath it. These tarps are also usually slightly more expensive than canvas tarps.
Choosing your Tarp
When deciding on which tarps to bring with you on your next outdoor adventure, consider the environment you will be in, how much rain and other weather conditions may affect you, as well as whether or not there may be bugs present where you’re headed. If you think there is a good chance it will rain, look for tarps that come with reinforced corners and lots of grommets to secure it easily. If there is a high likelihood of bugs being out at night, opt for bright-colored tarps that camouflage into the surroundings. One last thing: if possible, test your tarps first before heading out into the woods or desert. Try pitching your tarps in the backyard so you get a feel for how easy it is to set up and if any hardware or pieces are missing.
We hope that this review has helped you decide on tarps made from what material, and whether or not tarps are the right choice for your next outdoor adventure. Remember, if possible, to test tarps before using them in the wilderness so that you know they will perform as expected. Happy Trails!