PE tarps or poly tarps are short for polyethylene tarpaulin, they are made from plastic polyethylene material with high-density or low-density woven fabrics. 

They are the most widely used tarpaulins for they serve so many applications from protecting building construction sites, roofing, agriculture, outdoor covering, camping, fishing, hay piles, vehicles and so much more.

Poly tarpaulin comes in a wide range of colors, sizes, and weights. This article will discuss them one by one to help you choose the right tarps for all your purposes. Let’s dive in.

What poly tarps size do I need?

It can be very tricky to choose the right size of poly tarp for the purpose. But generally speaking, there are 2 factors you should know before you purchase.

  • Your application size.

If you going to be using a tarp to cover or shelter, or a flat-topped object. In that case, you just need to measure the two-dimensional object (length x width) to be covered. 

But usually, you need a tarp to cover a three-dimensional object, for example, woodpiles, vehicles, haystacks and so much more. Therefore, you need to measure all dimensions not only the length and width of the object but also consider the height of the tarp from the top to drape over the object.

  • The cut size of the poly tarp.

Cut size is an important factor to consider because the sizes stated for poly tarps are usually not the actual finished size. This is the industry standard term to indicate the size of the tarp before it is seamed, hemmed, and eyeleted.  

The polyethylene tarpaulin finished sizes will typically be 30cms shorter due to the hem using up some of the original widths leaving the tarp slightly smaller than specified. This means you need to consider this factor and order a slightly larger tarp size for your purposes. 

Our poly tarps are cut to finished sizes metrically (in meters), and the imperial dimensions (in feet) are approximations only. 

How to choose the right GSM of tarpaulin?

Our poly tarps are graded and measured in GSM (Grams per Square Metre), which relates to the weight and thickness of the material a tarpaulin is woven fabricated. The higher the GSM rating, the thicker and heavier the tarpaulin is, and the more durable it can be expected to be.

In terms of GSM poly tarpaulin in our supply, our regular tarps are from 70gsm up to 300gsm. We also have available non-standard tarps under 60gsm and up to 360gsm. The average lifespan of our poly tarps is between 1 to 3 years. However, we can’t guarantee our PE tarpaulins’ lifespan for there are a huge variety of applications and different weather and geographical conditions, for example, you may use our poly tarps for your roofing house with long-lasting or covering your boats, vehicles in rainy all year round environments, or as temporary roof covers protecting from your industrial equipment under the same conditions, etc. These different uses will have a huge impact on the tarpaulins’ durability. We suggest you always use our heavy-duty poly tarps for your jobs. Please visit our post: Beginner’s Guide on Tarpaulin GSM – All the Basics Explained.


Poly tarps are very useful to protect objects from water, rain, wind, sunlight, and other harsh conditions. They can greatly enhance the lifespan of objects.

As mentioned above, you should be clear about how to choose a poly tarp. It is important to consider the size and GSM. The size will depend on the area that needs to be covered, and the GSM will determine the thickness and durability of the tarp. With so many options available, it is important to do your research to find the right tarp for your needs. Please contact us if you have any requests, we are happy to help you.

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ROC Tarps, is a professional all types of tarpaulins manufacturer in China. Feel free to contact us. We’re happy to provide you the best service and tarps.

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