best tape for moving boxes

Best Tape for Moving Boxes with Strong Sealing Adhesive

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

Moving boxes from one place to another exposes your items to various environmental elements such as temperature and humidity variations. Also, you need to protect your goods from damage if the terrain to transport them on is uneven. While investing in strong moving boxes is your priority, you will need the best tape for moving boxes for reliable sealing to prevent transit damage.

What is Your Best Tape for Moving Boxes?

You could use different types of tapes for sealing boxes, but you need to choose one labeled as packing tape, shipping tape, moving tape, or storage tape. Generally, packing tape is thicker, wider, and has a strong adhesive that can withstand changing temperatures and humidity on transit.

When choosing packing tape, you can look for two types of adhesive; hot melt adhesive or acrylic adhesive. The latter is also ideal for storage boxes and is designed to seal boxes for ten years. Before choosing packing tapes, it will also help to ensure you pack your moving boxes to the rim, so the tape is effective and so you can stack boxes to save space. You will also need a handheld tape dispenser or gun to save sealing time while also ensuring you properly seal the boxes.

You already have so much going on when moving, from packing boxes, cleaning up, and preparing your new house. As such, you might not have the time to study the best tapes, which is why we have done the work for you. Here are the six best tapes for moving boxes you can get today.

Which tape is the strongest for moving boxes?

1. Scotch Heavy Duty Packaging Tape

Sale
Scotch Heavy Duty Packaging Tape, Packing Tape Designed...
  • This heavy duty packing tape is guaranteed to Stay Sealed. If...
  • Feel confident that your moving boxes have a tape with excellent...
  • The super strong holding power has all your moving, shipping, and...
  • Feel confident that your moving boxes have a tape with excellent...
  • A heavy duty packing tape with a clear backing and instant...

If you've received a few boxes with items you bought online, you will also notice how sturdy the packaging is. It is so because sellers use the best tape, such as this tape from Scotch. This package comes with six rolls of 1.88" x 22.2-yard hot melt adhesive clear tape plus a plastic tape cutter.

The clear packing tape does not leave residue on your boxes and is made in the USA. The tape will fit your gun for easy sealing and offer instant sealing on all types of moving boxes. It is designed for rough handling, and as it is reinforced with fiberglass, the tape resists splitting and tearing. In addition, the shipping tape secures up to 80lbs and does not make noise as you unwind.

Pros:

  • Relatively affordable
  • Effective tape cutter
  • Designed to pack all types of boxes
  • Secures up to 80lbs
  • Reinforced with fiberglass to resist splitting or tearing
  • Made in the USA
  • Noise-free unwinding
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • None

2. Duck HD Clear Heavy Duty Packing Tape Refill

Sale
Duck HD Clear Heavy Duty Packing Tape Refill, 6 Rolls,...
  • Heavy duty for a strong and secure hold to keep your valuables...
  • Offers wide temperature range performance for shipping and...
  • Adhesive bond strengthens over time for a long-lasting hold on...
  • Crystal clear to the core for a professional look on boxes or...
  • Meets postal regulations for shipping tape

This package also comes with six 1.88 Inch x 54.6-yard acrylic adhesive tape rolls designed for effectiveness and durability. The shipping tape, which also meets US postal regulations, is ideal for moving boxes. Each is a crystal clear packing tape that is great when you label your boxes beneath the tape.

With the acrylic adhesive, this tape is ideal for varying temperature conditions. It offers excellent performance between 14°F - 140°F, so you are sure your boxes and items are in perfect condition in transit. The packing tape is easy to work with though reviewers note it does not stick well to old boxes.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to work with
  • Acrylic adhesive can last up to 10 years
  • Works in temperature ranges between 14°F - 140°F
  • Meets US postal regulations

Cons:

  • The adhesive is not effective on old boxes

3. Tape King Clear Shipping Tape

Tape King Clear Packing Tape - 60 Yards Per Roll (6...
  • ULTRA ADHESIVE & 10x STRONGER: Get optimal results with this...
  • GET MORE PRODUCT FOR LESS: 30 Yards MORE TAPE PER PACK than other...
  • MULTIPURPOSE SUPER CLEAR PACKAGING TAPE: Our carton sealing tape...
  • STANDARD SIZE FITS ALL: The dimensions of this tape measure at a...
  • SAFE TO USE: Tested and approved by ANAB Accredited Laboratory....

When looking for the best tape for moving boxes on a budget, look no further than these six rolls of 2-inches Width x 60 Yards Length. The package is ideal for sealing all cardboard boxes when moving, where each tape roll can seal up to 32 boxes.

The packing and shipping tape fits any standard tape gun for stress-free sealing. In addition, it unwinds with minimum noise and does not tear, so you know your items are safe in transit. The affordable packing tape is also clear so that you can label your boxes without stress.

Pros:

  • Minimum noise
  • Comes as a budget pack with six rolls
  • Sticks perfectly to seal moving boxes
  • Fits any standard tape gun
  • Meets CPSIA, ASTM, and TRA safety regulations

Cons:

  • Prone to air bubbles

4. U-Haul Moving Box Brown Paper Packing Tape

U-Haul Moving Box Paper Tape (Ideal for Moving,...
  • U-Haul’s bestselling brown paper box tape for moving, packing,...
  • Easily tears by hand and self-adheres; no water, scissors, or...
  • 2” x 55 yard roll

This 2" x 55-yard packing tape roll is your best option for packing lightweight boxes. The brown paper tape is easy to work with, and unlike other shipping tapes, you can tear this by hand; thus, you will not need a tape gun or scissors. In addition, you will not need to wet the tape to activate the strong adhesive, making the tape easy to use when working with limited time.

Pros:

  • No water activation needed
  • Easy to work with without tape gun or scissors
  • Ideal for lightweight boxes
  • Effective adhesive
  • From a reputable brand
  • Can assemble up to 10 boxes

Cons:

  • A bit expensive
  • Not ideal for heavy moving boxes

5. Amazon Basics Masking Tape

Amazon Basics Masking Tape - 0.7 Inch x 180 Feet - 3...
  • Masking tape (3-pack) for masking painting projects or for...
  • Made of crepe paper with pressure-sensitive rubber adhesive for...
  • Tears effortlessly by hand; easy to remove; will not damage...
  • Heat resistant to 200 degrees F; 25 ounces/inch adhesive...
  • Measures 0.7 inch by 180 feet when unrolled

It is always great to have masking tape with you whenever you pack moving boxes. However, masking tape is ideal for very lightweight boxes or when labeling your boxes for easy arranging after moving. The Amazon Basics masking tape is affordable and comes with excellent reviews so that you can trust its effectiveness.

These three rolls are made with crepe paper with a pressure-sensitive rubber adhesive so that they can seal your small boxes nicely. The tape is also easy to tear by hand and will not leave adhesive residue when you need to recycle your boxes. The 0.7 inch by 180 feet tape roll is also heat resistant and can withstand 200 degrees F on transit to protect your items.

Pros:

  • Best masking tape for moving
  • Affordable
  • Easy to tear by hand
  • Does not leave residue
  • Ideal for packing small boxes
  • The rubber adhesive is durable even in hot temperatures

Cons:

  • Not ideal for bigger moving boxes

6. T.R.U. WAT-WAE Water Activated Reinforced Kraft Gummed Paper Tape

T.R.U. WAT-WAE Water Activated Reinforced Kraft Paper...
  • Water-activated tape provides a tamper-evident seal that...
  • Water-activated tape creates such a strong seal, you only need to...
  • Water-activated tape is applied using a tape dispenser, not a...
  • Water-activated tape can be used in dusty, dirty, cold and hot...
  • Water-activated tape is recyclable, biodegradable and repulpable....

When sealing boxes, you need the strongest seal that guarantees to protect your items in transit. This Tru Wat-Wae water-activated gummed paper tape guarantees such a seal, albeit after a lot of work wetting the tape.

The 2.75 in. x 375 ft shipping tape is easy to apply using a tape gun; it is vital not to use your bare hands or a handheld tape dispenser which could create repetitive motion stresses. Made in the USA, this shipping and storage tape is biodegradable and recyclable. This tape is safe to use in all environments, including dusty places with changing temperatures.

Pros:

  • Best tape for moving boxes when looking for a secure seal
  • Water-activated shipping tape also insures against theft
  • Ideal for all environments
  • Biodegradable and recyclable

Cons:

  • Takes a lot of work to seal
  • A bit expensive

Packing Tapes to Use for Sealing Moving Boxes

Here are the different types of storage tapes you can use to seal boxes for moving.

  1. Shipping tape. It is a thin tape that usually makes a disturbing noise when unwinding. It uses a hot melt adhesive and should meet all US Post shipping requirements.
  2. Storage tape. Unlike the shipping tape, the storage tape uses acrylic adhesive, making it your best option to seal moving boxes that go to your storage or basement.
  3. Filament tape. A filament tape is your best strapping tape when sealing heavy items. A filament tape is lined with fiberglass strips, improving the sealing strength. If looking to move boxes as heavy as 100 to 400 pounds, your best option is to buy any filament tape from a reputable company.
  4. Gummed paper tape. This tape has a durable adhesive that is activated by water. While good for moving boxes, it is even better when shipping a box since the seal is theft-proof.
  5. Brown paper packing tape. It resembles the gummed tape, but it does not require water activation. Instead, the tape is ready to use off the roll, and you can tear it by hand. However, since it is made with paper, the tape is not suitable for high temperatures or wet moving conditions.

Wrong Tape for Sealing Moving Boxes

Since moving boxes require reliable sealing that withstands rough handling and environmental changes, here are some tapes you cannot use to seal the boxes. However, while this applies to larger boxes that weigh heavy, you can use these tapes to mark your boxes or label them.

  1. Masking tape. Masking tape is thin and breaks easily, which is why you should not use it to seal big moving boxes. But, you can use it to secure bubble wrap or label items. Its main benefit is it comes off without leaving residue.
  2. Duct tape. When sealing boxes, you need reliable adhesive. Now, duct tape is suitable for many functions, but its rubber adhesive comes off easily in high temperatures and leaves a sticky residue. If using duct tape on cardboard, you will notice it has problems adhering, so it could also pop open in transit, thus exposing your items to damage.
  3. Electrical tape. Electrical tape is not sturdy enough to seal boxes. However, you can use it for grouping cords, chargers, or wires together.
  4. Scotch tape. Scotch tape is a thin tape you can use to secure bubble wrap and other lighter items such as cords to their electrical equipment.

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Tape for Moving Boxes

The best tape for moving boxes seals the boxes to protect your items during transit. Here are the factors that will guide you to the best there is in the market.

a) Adhesive

The best tapes use hot melt adhesive or acrylic adhesive. Therefore, these tapes are adequate for sealing, and you run no risk of your boxes popping open as you move them. 

Weaker tapes such as duct tape, electrical tape, scotch tape, and washi tape have weaker adhesives that cannot guarantee effective sealing for boxes.

b) Width

One factor that makes the best tape for moving boxes is the width; it dictates how far the tape can cover the box to seal and hold weight. Look for a width between two to three inches, as this is strong to seal the box for a long time.

c) Thickness

Depending on how heavy your box is, you will need thick tape to support the weight. Most packing tapes need a thickness between 1.9 to 3.1mm, so you can guarantee the tape will not break.

d) Temperature

Before buying tape, understand the different temperatures the adhesive will need to withstand. It is best to consider the outdoor temperature when moving and after moving if you need to store the boxes for a while. It would be best to have tape that will stick to the box to prevent damaging the items inside.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Best Tape for Moving Boxes

a) How do I tape a moving box properly?

When taping a moving box, you need to tape the bottom to get a sturdy base for your items to sit on. To do so, fold the edges in place, then tape the horizontal seam where the large edges join. You can then tape the base vertically to keep it in place under the weight.

b) What types of tape are suitable for boxes?

You can use shipping, storage, gummed paper, or brown paper tape to pack boxes. These tapes come with the best adhesives to withstand the weight and different temperature ranges when you use them. On the other hand, you will avoid duct tape, electrical tape, ot scotch tape for sealing heavy boxes. Instead, you can use them to label different boxes for different rooms, so your unpacking will also be stress-free.

c) Is packing tape different from shipping tape?

When sealing moving boxes, packing tape is better than shipping tape since it has a stronger adhesive that withstands different temperature ranges. In addition, packing tape has an adhesive that lasts longer than shipping tape, hence the best tape when you need to store your items a while longer.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.