How Much Do Tarps Cost? 10+ Examples with All Sizes and Materials

By Emma
how much do tarps cost

Tarps are extremely versatile. It’s a good idea to bring one or two along on every camping trip, just in case.

A basic, water-resistant, thin 8 x 10-foot tarp often costs less than $10. A heavy-duty waterproof tarp will end up costing you closer to $30. A canvas tarp jumps up in price, costing closer to $50.

I’ve done more extensive research on this and included a summary table – 

Tarp Size9 x 12 feet10 x 10 feet10 x 20 feet12 x 12 feet18 x 24 feet
7mil Price$20-25$20$35-40$20-25$50-55
14mil Price$30$30$50-55$35-40$85-90

How Much Does A Tarp Cost? 

A tarp’s price varies depending on where you buy it, but there’s not that much price variance from place to place. Instead, the price depends on the type and size of the tarp.

Let’s look at three tarps of the same size below.

Standard Poly Tarp

Not all tarps were made equal. Some are advertised as “heavy-duty,” but they’re quite thin, and they’re water-resistant rather than waterproof.

You’ll often find tarps like these for under $10, and some are just over that $10 price point. You’ll see an example of this here.

Heavy Duty Waterproof Tarp

When you move on to an actual heavy-duty tarp, the price jumps up. There are a lot of heavy-dutty tarps sold at $15–$20, and some of the thickest ones are almost $30.

Thicker, fully waterproof tarps require more skill and material to make. This means they’ll cost more, but the price is often worth it. They’ll keep you and your gear dry!

Canvas Tarp

Canvas is a whole other story. They don’t come waterproof by default, but learning how to waterproof a canvas tent will teach you how to waterproof a canvas tarp, too.

There are lots of pros and cons of canvas, but the pros are that it’s long-lasting and incredibly durable. It’s a great tarp material for people who’ll use their tarp regularly for years to come.

However, their durability and longevity are reflected in their price. As you can see with this tarp, you’ll pay close to $50 for one!

Tarp Cost By Size

Tarp price increases with tarp size. So, how big should your tarp be? It depends on what you’re using it for.

Below, you’ll find tables that outline the price increments you can expect at different tarp sizes with high-quality tarps.

Heavy-Duty Polyethylene Tarp

We’ll start with a 9 x 12-foot tarp, which would be good for a solo camping trip, then we’ll work our way up to tarps that can be used with enormous cabin tents.

Tarp Size9 x 12 feet10 x 10 feet10 x 20 feet12 x 12 feet18 x 24 feet
Tarp Price$30$30$50-55$35-40$85-90

Canvas Tarp

With canvas, the price jumps are a little more extreme.

Tarp Size10 x 16 feet12 x 16 feet12 x 20 feet16 x 20 feet20 x 20 feet
Tarp Price$70-75$85-90$110-120$140-150$170-180

Tarp Cost By Thickness

Tarps aren’t all the same thickness, either. The minimum thickness you need is 6 millimeters, often stated as “6mil.” Heavier-duty tarps should be 11mil or more.

The price difference due to thickness can be small. For example, a 7mil 8 x 10-foot heavy-duty tarp can cost under $20, but a 14mil 8 x 10 costs just a little under $30.

Jump up to a 12 x 16-foot tarp, and a 7mil tarp can cost almost $40. Its 14mil counterpart could cost over $50.

I always recommend a thicker tarp. You’ll find that the price increase is worth it.

Why Are Tarps So Expensive?

Tarps can be quite expensive due to their vast size and the high-quality waterproofing material used in their construction. Heavy-duty tarps always cost more than light tarps, and larger tarps are far more expensive than smaller ones.

Why Might You Need A Tarp While Camping?

There are plenty of situations where you’ll need a tarp while camping. Let’s look at the main ones:

Where Can You Buy A Tarp?

Most hardware stores sell tarps, and you can also buy them from online retailers. Some retailers specialize in selling tarps, but you won’t often need a specialist tarp. Getting one online or from a hardware store is always your best bet.


Tarp price and quality vary, and it often takes experimenting to find a tarp that works at a price you feel is worth it.

Small tarps are rarely too expensive. Consider purchasing small tarps (6 x 10 feet) from different manufacturers to test their quality. When you find one that works, invest in a larger tarp from that manufacturer that fits your needs.

Founder Headshot

My name is Emma, and I’m a city dweller who jumps on every opportunity to get out and enjoy nature! I’ve gone on a number of car camping and backpacking trips over the past few years. I created this site to inspire others to get outside and to make the process easier for you.