Which Truck Tarp Material Is Best For Your Needs?

When it comes to truck tarp options, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Tarps are designed in a range of size, style and most importantly, material options. Vinyl, cotton, and polyethylene represent three of the more popular choices. Determining which of these options is best for you has everything to do with how you plan to use the tarp? Taking a few moments to learn about these options can help point you in the right direction.


Vinyl tarps are generally designed with an open weave pattern similar to a mesh design. They are ideal for hauling loads that still need to breathe, as the small holes allow for both air and light to pass through, while still offering some level of protection. In terms of value, vinyl is an excellent choice. It's inexpensive, but also highly resistant to ripping, making it very durable.  

The primary drawback is that the vinyl has limited, if any, UV protection. Compared to other options, the vinyl will start to deteriorate at a much faster rate with regular and prolonged exposure to the sun.


In terms of cost, cotton tarps generally come with the highest investment. However, they are worth the investment in terms of long-term use. Cotton tarps are virtually indestructible. Not only are they less likely to tear, they can also be treated to be resistant to UV and water damage, as well as mold or mildew development.

This option makes a great selection for loads that require a higher level of protection. The one con about this choice is that you will need to clean the tarp often in order to maintain these benefits.


In terms of popularity, polyethylene tarps are at the top of the list with the primary reason being their low cost. This can be good and bad. If you only need to use a tarp occasionally, this option can be a great investment. However, if you're looking for a tarp to use regularly, you might want to consider another choice.

The polyethylene is very thin, making it very easy to rip. In hot temperatures, the material can start to deteriorate and in cold weather, it can become brittle and start to tear. If you use this option often, you will likely find that you have to replace the tarp more often.

The greater the effort you put into choosing the appropriate type of tarp, the more use you will get from your purchase. Take your time and choose wisely. For more information, contact companies like Lehman Awning Co.