Tarps vs. Shrink Wrap: Which One To Choose

January 12, 2023

What are you currently using to cover your boat or car when you’re not using it? The debate about whether to use a tarp or shrink wrap is not difficult at all once you look at the facts. If you’re struggling to find a solution, look at each material’s properties below to determine which is superior.

Recycling Capabilities

Whether you’re covering a boat, car, or any other object, some might gravitate toward using a tarp because they think that shrink wrap is not recyclable. While you can reuse a tarp many times, you can also recycle your old shrink wrap. Buffalo Shrink Wrap products are 100 percent made from virgin resins that you can recycle into other products. If the environment is a concern for you, you can dispose of this material safely and cleanly!

Durability & Strength

When you compare these two materials, you will find that shrink wrap offers better strength and durability. The longer a tarp spends outside under the sun, the more likely it will become brittle and unable to protect the object you’re covering. As for shrink wrap, you can use a shrink wrap heat gun to conform the plastic to the object for an airtight fit that is less likely to be damaged by the elements. Plus, shrink wrap won’t move around, but a tarp could become loose or fly away if you do not secure it well.

Protective Qualities

Now that you understand the strength and durability of tarps and shrink wrap, which do you think will offer the best protection? Obviously, the one with the most durability, of course! A tarp doesn’t create a seal, so water, pests, and debris will make their way onto the object you’re covering. Shrink wrap, however, creates a seal that helps prevent any debris or pests from entering and ruining your property. Note that freak incidents can happen, and the plastic could still tear from time to time, depending on how you handle the material.

Material Costs

In general, purchasing one tarp compared to a reel of shrink wrap is likely more affordable, but it won’t be cost-effective. If you accidentally create a hole in the wrap, you can easily repair it with tape and heat so you can continue using your investment. Plastic also works well for long-term or short-term solutions with little to no maintenance, unlike tarp, which becomes brittle quickly.

So, when it comes to tarp versus shrink wrap, which one are you choosing? You should choose shrink wrap because of its properties! The decision is a no-brainer when a material is cost-effective, durable, offers great protection, and is recyclable. If you’re wrapping a boat or covering a car, consider using shrink wrap instead of that old tarp that’s been sitting in your garage for years.


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