Tarp Material Weight and Material Thickness

Our tarp material is generally categorized by weight. Specifically, the weight of a square yard (3’ x 3’) of material. When comparing tarps it is important to compare using the same classification. Some websites rate their tarps by thickness. This is somewhat meaningless since it is mainly the density of the material that gives it its durability, not the thickness. To add to the confusion, some websites show material thickness in millimetres (1,000th of a metre) while others show the thickness in mils (1,000th of an inch).

In the chart below, we show the weight of several of our solid tarp materials along with the thickness.

Material Weight Material Thickness Thickness in mils Gauge
18 oz .54 mm 21.3 mils 2130
22 oz .63 mm 24.8 mils 2480
50 oz 1.46 mm 57.5 mils 5750
Vinyl Tarp Thickness

Now let’s compare these numbers to those of a typical cheap tarp that you might find at Walmart. The material in these cheap tarps is generally about .25mm thick. This seems pretty good since it is only about 1/2 as thick as our popular 18 oz material. But when we actually weigh the cheap tarp and do the math we find that they are typically made from 3 oz material. This is only 1/6th the weight of our 18 oz material.

When you order a tarp or obtain a quote from our website we provide you with an estimate of the total weight of the tarp. Always pay attention to this and make sure the weight is suitable for your needs. For example, if you are planning to take the tarp interior camping, chances are you don't want to lug one of our tarps in your backpack. For an application like this, you probably want to stick with a cheap disposable tarp. Also, if you need a huge tarp to cover your house, our tarps may end up being several hundred pounds so, even though they would provide the ultimate waterproof protection, it may be impractical to get it up onto your roof. On the other hand, if you need a small tarp to protect your lawn furniture over the winter, you probably want the heaviest material that we carry in order to have something that won't blow around much and which provides years of durability.