Tarp straps, bungee cords, shock cords, and rubber rope all vary in design and uses, so choosing the correct tie down will depend on your specific job.
Although some of the terms are often used interchangeably since they can perform similar functions, there are differences. We've highlighted the standard features of each below.
Rubber Tarp Strap Measured Length
Designed with rubber and wire S-hooks, rubber straps are ideal for tying down cargo on trailers, trucks, campers, etc., as well as bundling cargo together.
Although these handy tarp tie downs may all look alike, there can be differences in the rubber. We carry rubber tarp straps made from both natural rubber and EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer - M-class) rubber. A natural rubber tarp strap is good for cooler, northern climates because they will not become brittle, crack, or tear in freezing temperatures. Tarp straps in EPDM rubber are an excellent choice for hot climates and extended sun exposure since they better resist degrading from UV rays. Natural rubber will also have slightly more stretch and will snap back more readily to its original state than EPDM.
We offer a variety of lengths: 9", 15", 21", 31" and 41" (rubber tarp straps are measured from bottom of hook to bottom of hook).
All of our rubber tarp straps are designed with the rubber fitting snug around the hook to reduce the chance of slipping. The 9", 15", 31" and 41" lengths in both natural rubber and EPDM have uncrimped hooks so they can be removed. The 21" size in natural rubber has crimped hooks.
All lengths are available in bundles of 10 or boxes of 50. If you need bulk rubber tarp straps, discounts may be available by calling us.
Bungee Cord Measured Length
Bungee cords (also sometimes spelled bungy cord, bunge cord, bungi cord, bunjee cord, or even bungie cords) are great tie down straps for lightweight applications. The polypropylene fabric jacket and coated "J" hook make them especially good for items with a fragile finish since they are less likely to mar a surface like a metal "S" hook on a rubber tarp strap can. The bungees' polypropylene cover makes it resistant to rot, mildew, petroleum products, and most chemicals.
Because a bungee cord tie down has a high level of elasticity, it's more prone to recoil at high speeds which can be dangerous. In fact, the heavy duty elastic cord is also known as an elastic shock cord because the quick snap-back strength of the cord can be considered a shock action.
Our bungee strap cord is available from 12" to 48" long (bungee straps are measured from the ends of the hooks). All lengths are available in bundles of 10 or 25. If you need bulk bungee cord, call us to see if a discount may be available.
If you need a long bungee cord strap or small bungee cords, consider buying bungee hooks and making your own custom-length bungee cord tie downs. For more information about shock cord, see below.
Shock cord can be described as bungee rope, stretch cord, bungee cord, or rubber cord without the end hooks. As mentioned above, it gets its name from the snap back action of the cord. Manufactured with a multi-strand rubber core and a marine-grade polyester cover, this elastic shock cord offers a long working life and a consistent stretching ability (its stretch factor is about 100-125% when under full load). Typical safe working load is approximately 2-20% of the stated tensile strength; however this can vary based on the cord's condition and age.
While some shock cord is manufactured with a polypropylene jacket, ours features polyester, which makes it resistant to breaking, splitting, or cracking. This type of elastic strap also offers excellent abrasion and UV-resistant characteristics. Because it's considered "marine grade," it's excellent for water-based uses on boats, snowmobile trailers, etc.
Shock cords are extremely versatile and economical because they can be made into custom-length tie downs simply by adding PVC-coated bungee cord hooks. Use these elastic straps for securing items while hauling, camping, sailing, and more.
Like shock cord, rubber rope is excellent for creating your own custom tie down lengths by simply adding rubber rope hooks on each end. Sold in bulk lengths of 150', this rubber tubing is ideal if you need a longer length than traditional rubber tarp straps. It's available in two styles: hollow core rubber tube rope and solid core rubber rope. Choose hollow core for lighter duty jobs and a solid core for applications that require more strength.
Our tarp accessories and other tie downs include:
If you need tie down equipment in a longer length or with more or less elongation, check out these other tie down options from US Cargo Control:
Tie-down straps: Tie down equipment like cam straps, ratchet straps and motorcycle tie downs offer a wide variety of fittings, from hooks to buckles and loops. Some cargo straps are designed to fit E-track or Airline track / L-track rails, while others can be easily used with smaller single anchor points.
Rope: Our selection of rope and cordage is available in so many variations, it's best to choose what you need based on the job you'll be using it for. We offer a wide selection, from California Truck Rope in polypropylene to all-natural manila rope to an all-natural twisted cotton rope, with most available in both custom lengths and by the coil.
Webbing: If you don't see the cam strap or ratchet strap you need, you can purchase webbing and fittings separately to create custom car tie down straps, truck straps, and more. If you need some stretch, choose nylon webbing; if not, go with polyester webbing or seat belt webbing.
Looking for chain for tie down applications? Check out our transport chain and binders page.