Grizzly Tarps Review – To Buy or Not to Buy?

As regular readers of this blog will know, I’m a huge fan of tarps. I think they are particularly awesome as lightweight alternatives to tents for thru-hiking and backpacking. What I haven’t written much about is using them as temporary shelters either at a base camp or during a day-hike.

All the tarps I’ve written about until now have been of the lightweight backpacking variety. But obviously there are so many other uses and they don’t all call for expensive silnylon or cuben fiber. Step into the limelight Grizzly Tarps

Grizzly Tarps – Overview

Grizzly Tarps make what you might describe as a ‘classic tarp’ designed primarily as a multi-purpose protective cover made from woven polyethylene. They sell two types of tarp. One is a lightweight blue version. The other is a heavy weight silver version.

Grizzly Tarps (Blue)

  • 10 sizes (6’x8′, 8’x10′, 9’x12′, 10’x14′, 12’x16′, 14’x20′, 14’x30′, 15’x15′, 16’x20′, 20’x30′)
  • 8×8 mesh weave
  • 5 mil thick
  • UV and mildew proof
  • Grommets spaced 18″ – 34″ apart depending on size

Grizzly Tarps (Silver)

  • 5 sizes (8’x10’, 10’x12’, 12’x16’, 12’x20’, 20’x30′)
  • 14×14 mesh weave
  • 10mil thick
  • UV and mildew proof
  • Grommets spaced 18″ – 34″ apart depending on size

I go into more depth later in the article, but if you just want the short version here’s a little table of the pros and cons of these tarps.


Not expensive

Great for occasional use

Great for indoor use (eg/. in a garage)

Awesome groundsheet

Keeps the water off!


UV protection could be better (it’s not great in the sun for very long)

Single season outdoor use

Things to Consider When Buying a Grizzly Tarp

What Will You Use It For?

The primary consideration here is what you intend to use the tarp for. Obviously there’s 1001 potential uses, not least covering vehicles and boats, a temporary shelter out camping, covering a busted roof, keeping hay dry and so on.

How Often Will You Use It?

Are you thinking of using it all year round? Or do you just want to have it on hand for the odd occasion? This is important because it will help you work out how durable it needs to be.


Are you on a budget? Do you like to buy the best? Do you feel that tarps shouldn’t exceed a certain price point? Is it just about cash or are you willing to pay more to get more?

Feature & Benefits of Grizzly Tarps

So having thought about those points above, it becomes much easier for me to make a recommendation to you.

Long Term Outdoor Use 

OK, let’s get the cons out of the way first. These tarps are not expensive so…how far can you push them?

Well, I think if you’re looking for a tarp that is going to be in full time use, year after year, Grizzly probably ain’t for you. In my opinion, even the heavyweight silver ones won’t hold up great under the sun for a very long time and it won’t take more than a handful of high winds before they’ll start to rip.

The reason for this is that the mesh weave and the thickness isn’t sufficient for long term abuse by the weather. Look. I’m not saying they’re bad. I’m just saying that if you want to put a tarp through the ringer month after month, year after year, then you probably want a weave that’s more like 16×16 and a thickness that’s at least 20 mil.

That said, you can definitely use them outdoors for a good few months before they start to wear. Just don’t expect to get more than a year of abuse out of them!

For outdoor use, buy if you only need a tarp for a few months. For example:

  • covering covering tools and building materials during a project
  • covering a boat for a season
  • keeping hay dry for a few weeks while you get it under cover
  • a temporary patch on a roof

Occasional Outdoor Use

These bad boys fare much better as occasional use tarps. They make excellent temporary shelters. So if you’re going car camping and need a covered kitchen area…boom! These are perfect! If you are going for short day hikes with the kids, throw one in your pack and rig it up as a sunshade or as a rain cover when you stop (awesome for scouts, I’d imagine!).

Similarly, if you just need to cover something in your backyard for a few days or weeks, then there’s no point in springing for something more expensive. These tarps will do the job without breaking the bank. Extremely serviceable for short term use.

Definitely buy for occasional outdoor use and you don’t want to break the bank. Good for:

  • Camping sun shade
  • Camping rain shelter
  • Groundsheet
  • Temporary cover in your backyard

Indoor Use

They make a great protective cover for inside garages and warehouses. If you’re worried about leaks or birds pooping, then picking up a Grizzly tarp is a no-brainer.


If you’re looking for a tarp that is a tarp is a tarp. Something that does what it says on the tin. Then a Grizzly Tarp is unlikely to disappoint.

If you need a tarp that is 100% bombproof or super-lightweight, you might want to consider making a bigger investment.