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The 5 Best Packing Tapes (2023 Review)

Packing tape keeps your boxes secure so that you can safely transport them from one place to another. Read our buyer’s guide to the best packing tapes on Amazon to learn about our top recommendations.

Duck Packaging Tape and Scotch Packaging Tape isolated on a white graph paper background Courtesy Amazon

Packing tape is designed to seal boxes and containers when you’re moving from one house or apartment to another. Its heavy-duty design ensures that your belongings stay secure in their boxes.

To make moving less of a hassle, the This Old House Review Team researched the best packing tapes on Amazon. Here are our recommended options.

Compare Top Packing Tapes

Product Roll Length Roll Width Pack Size
Product Roll Length Roll Width Pack Size
Scotch Packaging Tape 54.6 yards 3 inches 6 rolls
P PERFECTAPE Packing Tape 60 yards 1.88 inches 6 rolls
Duck Packaging Tape 60 yards 1.88 inches 4 rolls
Gorilla Packing Tape 40 yards 1.88 inches 6 rolls
Tape King Packing Tape 60 yards 2 inches 6 rolls

In This Guide: Top 5 | Buyer’s Guide | Packing Supplies | FAQs | Why Trust This Old House


Top 5 Packing Tapes


Best Adhesion: Scotch Packaging Tape

Scotch Packaging Tape packing tape rolls

Scotch Packaging Tape

  • $33

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This USPS-regulation packing tape from Scotch gives you the peace of mind that your valuables are secure with its strong, solvent-free adhesive that seals 80-pound boxes. The company is so sure of its performance that it offers a full refund if any of your boxes open during the moving process. 

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Meets USPS shipment regulations
✔ Each package contains six rolls
✔ Adheres to various surfaces, including recycled materials

✘ Package size options are limited
✘ Materials are not domestically sourced

What Customers Are Saying

Customers liked that this tape was easy to remove, even with its strong adhesion. They also found it simple to apply. However, because it didn’t use Scotch’s Smooth & Quiet Unwind technology, it made a lot of noise when customers dispensed it. Some users also indicated that the tape was too thin for heavy-duty jobs.


Best Basic Pack: P PERFECTAPE Packing Tape

P PERFECTAPE Packing Tape

P PERFECTAPE Packing Tape

  • $21

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Each piece of this tape can hold a 45-pound box without splitting or tearing. The brand also claims that its heavy-duty tape can secure water containers of up to 19 liters. With six 60-yard rolls in the pack, you have enough tape to pack up most apartments and small homes.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Capable of securing a 45-pound box or 19-liter barrel of water
✔ Updated design features more glue for improved adhesion
✔ Fits standard 2-inch tape gun

✘ Gives off a strong chemical odor
✘ Tape dispenser not included

What Customers Are Saying

Those who gave this tape positive reviews said that it was easy to use, thick, and durable. However, negative reviews claimed that the tape didn’t have strong adhesive. Other customers said that it arrived with a chemical smell.


Best Pack Options: Duck Packaging Tape

Duck Packaging Tape

Duck Packaging Tape

  • $35

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This multi-pack from Duck features four 60-yard rolls of tape, each with built-in tape dispensers. If you need more or less tape or already have a dispenser, Duck also sells other sizes. The tape withstands temperatures between 14 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit and stays clear even after months in storage.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Dispenser included with each roll
✔ Unrolling is quiet and requires minimal effort
✔ Comes in a variety of pack sizes

✘ Dispensers increase the cost per roll
✘ Tape not recommended for painted surfaces

What Customers Are Saying

Customers liked that these rolls came with dispensers because they ensured an easy, wrinkle-free application process. The tape had mixed reviews on adhesion, with some saying it was strong and others claiming it didn’t adhere well to cardboard, especially in cold weather.


Best For Extreme Weather: Gorilla Packing Tape

Gorilla Packing Tape

Gorilla Packing Tape

  • $40

Prices taken at time of publishing.

If you’re moving to or from a large house, you’ll likely have boxes in the garage, on the sidewalk, and in the truck until you have room to unpack them in your house. To protect these boxes from the elements, this packing tape is both moisture- and temperature-resistant in case of heat, cold, snow, sleet, or rain. 

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Will not peel away or tear under duress
✔ Easy to cut with scissors or tape dispenser
✔ Offered in a variety of pack sizes

✘ Rolls are somewhat short at 40 yards each
✘ Not domestically sourced

What Customers Are Saying

Many customers found this tape to be both easy to use and durable. On the other hand, some customers were disappointed with how thin it was. Others didn’t like that it arrived with a strong odor.


Best Bulk Pack: Tape King Packing Tape

Tape King Packing Tape

Tape King Packing Tape

  • $14

Prices taken at time of publishing.

If you’re looking for quality at a bargain price, this pack from Tape King comes with six 60-yard rolls for a total of over 360 yards of tape. Each roll can seal up to 32 boxes without peeling away or tearing under the weight. For even larger jobs, Tape King also offers a hefty 36-roll pack which covers a total of 2,160 yards.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Cost-effective per-roll price
✔ Will not yellow with age
✔ Composition is ideal for commercial and household applications

✘ 60-yard roll size might not fit all tape dispensers
✘ Only offered in packs of 6 or 12

What Customers Are Saying

Customers mentioned how affordable this tape was, stating that they got double or more tape than other packs for a little more money. Some customers struggled to get it to stick to their boxes, despite being advertised as having ultra adhesive.


Buyer’s Guide

To determine the packing tape that’s best for your needs, there are a number of factors you should consider. Some of the most important ones include adhesion, type, size, and ease of use. Read our buyer’s guide below to read more about how these factors may influence your purchase.

Type

You can use carton-sealing, strapping, cold-temperature, water-activated, and masking tape for moving.

Carton-Sealing

Carton-sealing tape is the most common type of packing tape. It’s durable as long as it won’t be exposed to extreme temperature variations.

Strapping

Strapping tape offers a more secure seal than carton-sealing tape because it uses a reinforced liner. This liner does increase the tape’s cost, though.

Cold-Temperature

This type of tape stays sticky even if the boxes or containers are exposed to cold temperatures. This is useful if you’re moving during the winter or preparing items for cold storage.

Water-Activated

Water-activated tape gets sticky when you wet it. It bonds to cardboard to create a strong seal.

Masking

Masking tape uses a pressure-sensitive adhesive that’s easy to apply and remove. It’s useful for light packages, but because it’s easy to tear, you shouldn’t use it for heavy boxes that contain fragile items.

Adhesion

The adhesion of your packing tape determines how well it sticks to your boxes, which is essential in ensuring that your items remain secure. Masking tape has a weak adhesive, while carton-sealing and strapping tape uses a strong adhesive that can hold up in most situations. You can’t unstick water-activated tape once you wet it, which makes it the most secure choice. However, it can be a pain to unpack if you have a large number of boxes.

Size

Determine how much packing tape you need by considering how many boxes you have and what size they are. You should also consider the tape’s width. The wider the tape, the more weight it can support.

Ease of Use

While using packing tape may seem relatively straightforward, some tapes have specific requirements. For example, you have to expose water-activated tape to water. For strapping and carton-sealing tape, it’s best to put the roll on a dispenser, which isn’t always easy to find for strapping tape.


Packing Supplies

Packing is no one’s idea of a good time. However, it can be even worse when you don’t have the proper materials on hand. So, before you begin packing your belongings for the moving company, purchase these supplies:

  • Boxes/containers of various sizes
  • Bubble wrap
  • Cargo straps/rope
  • Couch cover
  • Hand cart
  • Labels
  • Markers/pens
  • Mattress bag
  • Packing paper
  • Scissors
  • Shrink wrap
  • Tape dispensers
  • Tool set
  • Trash bags
  • Utility knife/box cutter
  • Work gloves

Frequently Asked Questions

Is packing tape stronger than duct tape?

Packing tape and duct tape are both effective, so you should choose the one that works for your circumstance. Packing tape is more rigid than duct tape, so it won’t stretch as easily. However, because of its stretchiness, duct tape is better equipped to absorb impact if a box is dropped or slammed. Packing tape also comes in various widths, while duct tape is more uniform in size.

How thick is packing tape?

Packing tape is usually between one and six millimeters thick. The thicker the tape, the more durable it is. However, five- or six-millimeter tape may not be necessary for lighter boxes, especially considering its higher price tag.

Can packing tape expire?

The adhesive on packing tape technically has an expiration date. If you use packing tape after it expires, it may still offer some adhesion.


Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

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