Grommets vs. D-Rings - Which is Better?

At Heavy Duty Tarps you have the option of using D-Rings or Grommets to secure your tarp. You may be wondering which is better. First let's review the difference between these options.

Grommets used to secure a tarp


Grommets are stainless steel eyelets that we punch into the hem of the tarp. These hems consist of seat belt material sandwiched between two layers of tarp material.



Image generated by spec grommets-vs-dringsD-Rings are metal loops which are (not surprisingly) shaped like a capital letter D. These are fastened by looping seat belt material around the flat side of the D and sewing this onto the tarp.

So, back to the question of, which is better?

D-Ring Stitching

While both options will generally provide years of service, Grommets will tend to outlast D-Rings because there is no stitching involved. With D-Rings there is ongoing tugging at the thread stitching used to attach the D-Ring to the tarp and eventually this may take its toll on the stitching.  Thread will also weaken over time when exposed to UV rays and moisture.

If you have purchased cheap tarps in the past, you have likely had issues with grommets pulling out. This rarely happens with our tarps due to the fact that the grommets are hydraulically punched into the durable seat belt base. So, the bottom line is that grommets tend to outperform D-rings over the long term.

So far we have been talking about securing the tarp around the outer hem. Sometimes you need to add fasteners in the interior area of the tarp. In most cases you don't want to add holes in the inner portion of the tarp so D-rings are the better option when you need to fasten to the tarp interior. It should be noted that when the D-Rings are sewn on, this does make small perforations into the waterproof vinyl tarp material. This is usually not a problem if the tarp is oriented vertically. However, we generally don't recommend adding D-Rings to any part of the tarp that will by lying flat and exposed to rain. For example, if you were to add D-Rings to the top of your tarp used to cover a trailer say, some moisture would seep through the stitch holes and leak through to the trailer surface.