Autumn is coming, and it’s the time of year when tarps become a more important part of life for many Canadians. And while tying tarps down is often the source of frustration, it doesn’t have to be.
Grabbits (877-981-5262) are interlocking pieces of hard plastic that work together to provide a solid anchor point anywhere you want on the tarp. This is their unique selling proposition. Unlike grommets that are only located around the edges of the tarp, Grabbits let you fasten tie-down ropes in optimal locations anywhere along the edges or middle of a tarp. They also offer a more secure anchor point than grommets or jaw-style clips ever could because they grip the tarp over a large area in a way that you’ve got to experience to believe.
The Grabbits I’ve tried come in three different lengths — 75mm, 150mm and 500mm — and all operate on the same principle: wrap a short section of tarp fabric over the inner half of the Grabbit (the manufacturer calls this part the “dog bone”), then slide the outer sleeve over top.
This pinches the fabric between the two parts, holding the material in something like the way you’d grip it with your hand. A loop of cord that comes out of the dog bone lets you tie the tarp down to anything that’s solid and convenient nearby.
The fit between inner and outer sleeves is calibrated to create enough friction to hold the two parts together when the tarp fabric is held in between.The grip is so strong you could swing from the thing if you wanted to, all without fear of tearing the tarp.
I’ve found that the best way to tarp up an object using Grabbits begins in the same way you’d tackle the wrapping of a gift. Lay the tarp over top, then fold the edges using mitered corners. Lock a Grabbit on to these folds, then connect them with cords and pull tight. If any slack remains, clamp a couple more at each end of the loose area, then pull it tight with more cord. Like most of life’s great ideas, this one’s about as simple as it gets.