Best Packing Tape for your Next Move

Moving is a stressful experience, no matter how you slice it. However, using the right tools can make it less stressful. One of those critical tools? Packing tape. If you’ve ever packed a box only to have the tape give way, you know how critical good tape is. Without it, the box opens, everything falls out, and you’ve got a big mess on your hands. (And probably some broken items, too.) Check out our guide to the best packing tape (and some great packing hacks) for your next move.

Couple taping up a box

What is the best Kind of Tape for Packing Boxes?

The very best tape for packing is carton-sealing tape. Plastic, clear packing tape sticks well, is plenty strong, and is easy to apply. (Some refer to it as packaging tape, which is the same thing.) Using a tape dispenser helps, but a tape gun is best. There’s also heavy-duty packing tape, but for most moves, it really isn’t necessary. However, for heavy boxes with books or dishes, one roll of heavy-duty packaging tape might be a good idea. When putting together your packing checklist, make sure to add packing tape.

Types of Packing Tape

Tape comes in a surprisingly wide assortment of styles and types. Below we’ll look briefly at most of them and which will work for moving and packing boxes.

Packing tape / Packaging tape

This tape is the type you’ll need most when packing boxes for moving or self-storage. It’s usually clear packing tape, although some come tinted a tan color. You can purchase packaging tape at your storage location, at any big-box store, or on Amazon. (Get a tape gun or tape dispenser when you buy your packing supplies and save yourself another trip.)

Water-Activated Tape

This tape is usually used to ship things via mail. It needs to be wet on one side and is usually reinforced with fiberglass. It would be OK to use for packing but it’s probably overkill. It’s also more expensive than packing tape and more tedious to use. Because you need water, it can be a real mess! (By the way, some people refer to this type of tape as “shipping tape.”) 

Strapping Tape

Strapping tape is also water activated and has fiberglass embedded for extra strength. Most kinds of water-activated tape are strapping tape. While strapping tape will work fine for packing moving boxes, it’s much more than you’ll likely need. Though, if all you have is a roll of strapping tape, by all means, use it.

Masking Tape

Masking tape, or “paper tape,” is usually used when painting to protect edges, corners, window sills, etc. For packing boxes, however, masking tape is far too weak, tears too easily, and doesn’t stick nearly enough. On a hot day, masking tape will sometimes fall off your boxes, which is not good.

Duct or Duck Tape

Duct or “duck” tape is the super-strong tape used to repair a wide variety of things. You can also use it to pack boxes, but it is not really the best choice. There’s also Gorilla tape, which is a type of duct tape. However, it’s too strong for most people’s needs and costs much more than packaging tape. Although duck tape will work OK for packing cardboard boxes in a pinch, it’s not ideal. 

Cold Temperature Tape

This specialized tape adheres to cardboard boxes even when it gets very cold. That’s great if you need to store things frozen, but it isn’t necessary for most moving situations. Plus, it’s much more expensive than packaging tape.

Cassette Tape

This classic 80s and 90s musical medium is great to listen to on a boombox while you pack your boxes!

What Kind of Packing Tape do Movers Use?

Movers and packers use packing or packaging tape almost exclusively when packing a home. That’s because it’s cheap but secure and has plenty of adhesive strength. It’s also easy to use, especially with a tape gun. Packing tape uses a very strong acrylic adhesive, even stronger than hot melt adhesive in some cases. The best packing tape will seal your boxes securely during any move. Clear packing tape is preferred so that the tape won’t block anything written on the box. 

Nail your Next Move with Moove-In Self Storage

Make sure Moove-In Self Storage is at the top of the list when putting together your moving checklist. That way, when you need safe, secure self-storage, you’ll have our number handy. Moove-In has affordable storage facilities all over the Northeast. Our self-storage facilities are very secure, clean, and safe. For example, we have 24/7 video security and an on-site manager.

If you have questions or need to find storage today, call Moove-In! You can also visit the Moove-In Self Storage location nearest you. The on-site manager will be more than happy to answer questions and show you the different storage units we currently have to offer. They can also help you with all the packing supplies you need. (We sell packing supplies at most of our locations!) Call Moove-In Self Storage today, and be sure to put us on your storage checklist