Exploring the Iron Horse properties of heavy-duty tarps from polyester canvas tarpaulins

Having tarpaulin materials that are water-resistant, durable, tear-resistant and light is great for tarp shelters. Plus tarp fabrics have one key thing they never lose – iron horse properties! Tents made from tarpaulin materials can withstand heavy weather conditions without getting damaged. For this article, we talked to various tarp manufacturers about their tarp products. We explored the properties of tarpaulins by testing them out in real-world situations too.

Here’s what we found out about tarp fabrics:


The first thing asked was if tarp suppliers had any tips on using tarpaulin material for camping or hiking? A tarp shelter made from tarpaulin material is typically light and easy to carry. You can hang them on trees or tie ropes around them. It’s basically the same principle as tying an umbrella over your head when it rains. Tarpaulins are known to have iron horse properties too! The tarp shelter will last for a long time in adverse conditions. And tarp manufacturers say tarp camping does not have to be boring at all!


There are basically two types of tarpaulin materials used in tarp manufacturing: Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyester canvas tarp fabric. Of course, there are variations within both types depending on what the tarp manufacturer wants the final product to be like. Polyethylene terephthalate tarpaulin materials are usually thin while polyester tarpaulins can be flimsy or thick.


Polyethylene terephthalate tarp has a waterproof level of 3000mm while polyester canvas tarp fabric is typically 6-7 ounces or 8-16 ounces. 6-7 ounce tarp cloths are lighter than the thicker ones which are used for cargo covers, boat sails and heavy duty tarps. The water resistance of 6-7 ounce polyester tarp material is only at 3000mm though so if you need something that’s really tough, choose thicker variants instead. Thicker polyester canvas tarp fabrics are also fire-resistant tarp materials.

PET tarpaulins are common tarp materials used in tarp manufacturing. They’re thin, light and easy to pack away for storage. The tarpaulin material is typically waterproof but they’re not made to be easily rolled up like polyester tarp fabrics which taper at the end of the roll.

Polyethylene terephthalate tarpaulin materials are popular with tarp shelter manufacturers because the thinness of the tarp fabric allows you to tie it between trees more easily, without taking too much space when stored away. There’s no need to worry about water seeping through holes either as there aren’t any!

The only issue with polyethylene terephthalate tarpaulin materials is that they’re so thin, they can easily get punctured. They are best used for tarp shelters which will only be used once or twice a year. If it’s really necessary to bring them on hikes or camping trips, use thicker tarp material instead.

Polyethylene terephthalate tarpaulin materials are more expensive than polyester tarp fabric but the advantages of having something light and durable is definitely worth it!


Polyester canvas tarp fabric isn’t that light but if you need something tough enough to withstand harsh weather conditions, this is your choice. The water resistance level of 6-7 ounce tarp cloth is at 6000mm and it has a tear resistance of 4.5 kilonewtons (kN). This tarpaulin material is good for tarp shelters that will be set up in bad weather that lasts for days or weeks.

Polyester tarp fabrics are also fire-resistant tarp cloth materials. They’re thicker than polyethylene terephthalate tarpaulins so they won’t easily get punctured, but hard to tie between trees as you have to roll them up before tying or securing them around trees. It’s best if there is a horizontal bar above the tarp shelter which you can hook onto too!

One downside with polyester tarp fabric? Your hands may feel a bit itchy if you touch them while tarp camping…yes, tarp manufacturers have not yet found a way to stop this from happening.

Polyester tarp fabrics are also more expensive than polyethylene terephthalate tarpaulin materials but they’re thicker and stronger too. Plus, they can be easily rolled up for storage! If you only go out camping/hiking occasionally or when the weather is good and stable, this type of tarp would do just fine and last long too!


There aren’t many differences between 6-7 ounce and 8-16 ounce tarp clothes except for their thickness and weight. Both types of tarp material are best used for tarp shelters that will be used only during the day and they’re waterproof tarp clothes too.

8-16 ounce tarp clothes can also be tied between trees like polyester tarp fabrics but they don’t taper at the end of the roll, making it harder to secure tarp shelter around trees or poles. You’ll need to use more tarp ties with this type of tarp cloth too!

Polyester tarp fabrics are fire-resistant tarp materials as well, but 8-16 ounce tarp cloth aren’t as tough as 6-7 ounce tarp material. That means if you haven’t secured your tarp tight enough around your camping spot, it might flap in the wind and lose its tautness, so it’s best to learn how to tarp tie properly first!


I tarp materials are good for tarp shelters that will only be used during the day when there’s no inclement weather. 6-7 ounce tarp cloth is suitable for tarp shelters that are set up in bad weather but not for tarp camping because it can’t handle tough weather conditions. 8-16 ounce tarp clothes are thicker tarp materials and can be used for tarp camping, but it isn’t as waterproof as polyethylene terephthalate tarpaulin materials.

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