What Is A Good Waterproof Index For A Tent

High and Dry: A Quick Guide to Understanding Waterproof Ratings at a Tent Sale

When shopping for a tent, you should take into account the size, weight, season, and characteristics of the tent. You should also verify the tent’s waterproof rating whenever you are at a tent sale. Camping in New Zealand, where rain falls year-round and Mother Nature – although indisputably beautiful – can be unexpected, necessitates the use of a fabric that can endure anything from drizzles to downpours.

What are waterproof ratings?

Waterproof ratings are measured in millimetres (mm), and the range typically ranges from 800mm to 10,000 mm in length and width. The amount of water pressure that a cloth can tolerate is represented by these statistics. As a result, a tent that has a 2,000mm water resistance rating will withstand a column of water that is 2,000mm high or two metres tall pressing down on it before it begins to leak.

How are waterproof ratings determined?

Waterproofing is determined using the Hydrostatic Head (HH) test, which is used by tent manufacturers to determine the water resistance of their fabrics. The water resistance of a substance is denoted by the letter HH. They attach the sample material to the bottom of a transparent graded tube, then slowly fill the tube with water while waiting for at least three drops of water to ultimately seep through the tube’s walls. It is determined by measuring the height of the water in millimetres at the place of leakage and calculating the waterproof rating of the cloth.

These coatings help to keep the fabric’s structural integrity and maintain the fabric’s quality.

To reach the required HH, the application procedure, coating thickness, and quantity of applied coatings are all taken into consideration.

Is a tent with higher HH always better?

The higher the HH rating, the greater the resistance to water pressure, right? That is correct, however keep in mind that an umbrella with a very low HH will still keep you completely dry. Tents are used for a variety of reasons and are subjected to a variety of stressors, including exposure to sunshine, harsh winds and weather, handling, and abrasion from rough, moist ground, among others. Higher HH textiles are more stiff and heavier than lower HH fabrics, therefore they may not be essential for the circumstances you will be confronting.

The seams of a 10,000-mm tent can still leak if they are not properly taped (or sealed in the case of silnylon), or if the tent is improperly built and water manages to get through openings such as zips or windows.

So which tent ratings are suitable for which conditions?

While everything is said and done, there are some basic principles to follow when shopping for the best water-resistant tent during a tent sale. Tent floors often have greater ratings than floors since they are subjected to the additional strains of campers above as well as frequent touch with the ground below. Consider the season you will be camping in, as well as the local weather conditions in the area where you will be camping, to determine which HH ratings are most appropriate for the environment in which you will be camping.

Even at the height of summer in New Zealand, 2 and 3 season tents should have fly waterproof ratings that surpass 1,500mm and floor waterproof ratings that exceed 3,000mm, which should be sufficient to survive the majority of wind and rain conditions.

Fly minimums should be 3,000mm and 5,000-10,000mm on floors, respectively.

With camping equipment meant to keep you comfortable in the great outdoors, the final question you may ask yourself is not so much about which tent to buy as it is about where you want to go next. For help, please contact [email protected]


What is the definition of Hydrostatic Head? GetOutWiththeKids.co.uk What Is the Meaning of Hydrostatic Head? GearWeAre.com Tents for Camping: What to Look for and How to Use Them REI.com

What is a good tent waterproof rating?

Hydrostatic Head is a term used to describe the force exerted by a fluid in a fluid-filled space. GetOutWiththeKids.co.uk Do you know what hydrostatic head is and what it means? GearWeAre.com Selecting Camping Tents: What to Look for and How to Use Them REI.com

What Are Camping Tents Made Of?

Camping tents are composed of a range of materials, including canvas and nylon. Each type of fabric has a specific application.

Man Made Nylon and Polyester

The majority of tents are constructed from man-made textiles that are mostly composed of nylon or polyester. In the case of family tents, you will typically find that they are constructed of polyester. Nylon is commonly used for lightweight trekking tents because it is water resistant. Both nylon and polyester are water resistant. Additionally, polyester’s water-resistant characteristics grow as the thread count climbs. In contrast, unless covered with specific materials, neither nylon nor polyester is completely waterproof.

  1. Because they are lighter and less bulky than natural materials, they are easier to transport to and from the camping site.
  2. They also can be more resistant to rips and tears than their counterparts.In comparison tents made out of cotton, tents that are manufactured from nylon or polyester materials are not good insulators.
  3. Because the cloth does not have the ability to “breathe,” moisture might form within the tent.
  4. These man-made fabrics can be coated to boost their UV and water resistance.

Cotton and Canvas

The standard fabric for tents is canvas. Canvas used to be created from hemp, but it is now made from cotton for tents. It is the same material that is used to make tents that promote themselves as being made of canvas or cotton. Cotton, in contrast to man-made garments, is an excellent insulating material. This means you will not overheat on hot days and that you will be protected from the elements in the winter. Cotton has the ability to “breathe” and absorb water, which means that condensation will be less of an issue in your tent.

Cotton may be exceedingly heavy, making it more difficult to get to the camp site and much more difficult to set up camp in its entirety.

This means that you will have to leave your new tent out in the rain or spray it with water from your home to keep it clean.

Tight-fitting, cotton tents are more costly than conventional tents, and they require more upkeep.

With canvas tents, snagging and ripping are common occurrences. The fabric of cotton tents should not be treated with a waterproof coating since the fabric must remain “breathable” and is already water and ultraviolet light resistant.

What Is A Waterproof Rating and How Is It Determined?

The waterproof rating of a cloth is measured in millimeters (mmH20). It has nothing to do with the thickness of the cloth or the coating on the fabric. It is the amount of pressure that water is able to exert on the tent fabric that determines its waterproof rating. Water pressure tests on fabric samples are used to determine this. The fabric is tested until three droplets of water are able to pass through the cloth. This indicates that a cloth with a 1500 mmH20 rating can withstand 1,500 mm of water on top of it before the water begins to seep through the fabric.

What Is Hydrostatic Head Rating

The hydrostatic head rating of a tent material is a measure of how water resistant it is against water infiltration. The height of a water column that your cloth can tolerate before the water seeps through the weave is measured in this way: According to the hydrostatic head rating of 5000mm, the fabric of the tent can retain a column of water that is taller than the tent’s perimeter.

Good Waterproof Ratings for Various Conditions

Here is a chart that Evo has published with regards to waterproofing ratings.

Waterproof Rating (mm) Water Resistance Provided Conditions
0-5,000 mm No resistance to some resistance to moisture. Light rain, dry snow, no pressure.
6,000-10,000 mm Rainproof and waterproof under light pressure. Light rain, average snow, light pressure.
11,000-15,000 mm Rainproof and waterproof except under high pressure. Moderate rain, average snow, light pressure.
16,000-20,000 mm Rainproof and waterproof under high pressure. Heavy rain, wet snow, some pressure.
20,000 mm+ Rainproof and waterproof under very high pressure. Heavy rain, wet snow, high pressure.

How Do You Waterproof A Tent?

It is essential to waterproof your tent before embarking on your journey. Most are already waterproof, but if yours isn’t, it’s a rather simple process to make it so. Clean your tent thoroughly, and do it on a warm, dry day to avoid attracting insects. To begin, check to see that the ties are securely fastened. The fact that you are already camping and being battered by raindrops makes it difficult to do this task, thus it is advisable to complete this task before you arrive. After that, seal all of the seams to ensure that moisture does not seep in while you are away on your trip.

After a few minutes, use a damp cloth to wipe away any extra coating.

Recommended waterproofing products:

By selecting the proper fabric for your tent, you can easily avoid having water issues with your tent. In addition to selecting the most appropriate fabric for your requirements, it is critical to consider waterproofing rates. Waterproofing your tent yourself is an option if necessary. Rather of being drenched in the middle of the night, it is preferable to be prepared.

Tent Buying Guide

When it comes to frequently used types, there are many different options available, each one suitable for a variety of different situations and group sizes. This guide will provide you with all of the information you need to choose the best tent for your needs, including waterproof ratings, double or single skin options, size considerations, and tent accessories.

Types Of Tent:

Tent water resistance ratings are measured in millimetres and will often range between 1000mm (the lowest level deemed waterproof) and 10,000mm (the highest level considered waterproof). An increased rating indicates that a tent will be more waterproof than a lower grade. Water pressure values are obtained by the use of a hydrostatic head test, although these measurements do not take into consideration wind-driven rain. As a result of mud and grime building up over time and use, the water repellent coating might begin to break down, causing water to be absorbed into the fabric rather than flow off.

Attent reproofing spray should be used to tents at least once a year to keep them from becoming waterlogged. While keeping the breathability of the cloth, this will help to restore water repellency to the fabric.

Pop Up Tents

Pop up tents are exactly what they sound like: they just ‘pop up.’ It is possible that these sorts of tents will be referred to as instant or rapid pitch tents as well. They are particularly well suited to people who have never previously pitched a tent. The poles have already been built and inserted into the tent fabric, and once the spring frame is released, the poles just pop up on their own without any assistance. Because they are so simple to set up, pop up tents are particularly popular for festivals and as children’s play tents.

The process of folding a pop up tent might be difficult; if you’re not sure how to accomplish it, check out our article on how to fold a pop up tent!

Family Tents

Family tents are ones that have been particularly developed for use by families on camping trips and vacations. They will frequently be large enough to stand up in and contain separate bedroom chambers so that the children may have their own privacy.

Backpacker Tents

Backpacking tents are among the most technically advanced tents available on the market. The fact that they are meant to be carried by backpackers and hikers means they are lighter and smaller than a normal tent (and therefore compact when packed). The lightweight tents are frequently waterproof and wind resistant, which provides stability in open locations such as fields and fields of grass. Because they are likely to be put up and taken down on a regular basis, they are quite simple to erect.

Festival Tents

Festival Tents are specially constructed structures that cater to festival guests. Tents for festivals are tiny, lightweight, and simple to set up, allowing you to enjoy your camping experience without the stress.

See also:  How Many Tent Stakes Do I Need

Weekend Tents

Suitable for weekend or short camping vacations, when you may not want as much equipment as you would for a longer journey, a weekend tent is a good choice. It is a very broad phrase that encompasses a wide variety of tent styles and designs.

Dome Tents

A dome tent is made up of flexible poles that span over the centre of the tent and are secured at the base by webbing straps or tape, resulting in the tent’s distinctive dome shape. Compared to a pop-up tent, they are far more sturdy and trustworthy in windy situations, although they are often less stable as their size increases.

Single Skin Tents

Single-skin tents are comprised of a single waterproof layer that is sewn together. They are frequently fashioned of breathable materials to allow for better ventilation.

Pros Cons
Often more Lightweight Harder to deal with condensation
More internal space for size/weight Provides less insulation
More Affordable Little protection from the elements if theskin is damaged

Double Skin Tents

In a Double Skin tent, there is an inside tent that is not waterproof and is commonly made partially or wholly of mesh, as well as an outer tent, known as a flysheet, that is waterproof. A gap between the two tents helps to insulate and decrease condensation by providing protection from the weather and providing a distance between the two tents.

Pros Cons
Provides better insulation Often heavier
Offers more protection fromrain/condensation Can be more expensive
If the outer tent is damaged, the innertent still offers protection

Tent Sizes (2 Man, 3 Man 6 Man…)

The size of a tent is often characterized by the maximum number of people who may sleep within it; for example, 2 man, 2 person, and 2 berth tents are all common descriptions. In order to select the most appropriate tent for your needs, you must first assess the amount of people that will be attending your event. As a general guideline, if you intend to keep equipment in your tent as well, consider a tent that is one person larger than you. If there are two people sharing a tent, room will be limited in a two man tent.

In order to avoid feeling like you’re sleeping on top of one other (which may be difficult with children!

Larger tents are more likely to feature separate ‘rooms,’ allowing the children to have their own place when camping.

Keep in mind, however, that the larger the tent, the more difficult it will be to set up and the more room it will take up in the vehicle.

If you’re going to be trekking to the campsite, a larger tent will be more difficult to transport! A one man tent is often only ideal for solitary trekkers or hikers who want a lightweight shelter and who do not have much other equipment with them on their trip.

Anatomy of a Typical Tent

Groundsheet When it comes down to it, a groundsheet is basically a waterproof barrier between you and the cold, damp ground (you’ll still need an airbed or sleeping mat if you want to stay warm). Unless you have a typical A-frame tent chances are the groundsheet will be sewed into the walls so there is no gap to let insects or drafts in. If you want to protect the bottom of your tent from dirt and damage, you may also use a second groundsheet below it. These are available for purchase on their own.

  1. Flysheet The term “double skin” refers to a tent that has both an inner tent and an outer fly sheet that is designed to keep the inner tent from getting wet.
  2. Guy RopesGuy ropes are cords that are attached to the outer tent or flysheet and that are drawn out from the tent and fixed into the ground in order to keep the tent from shifting.
  3. A tension adjuster will be provided on the cords, allowing you to tighten and loosen the lines as needed.
  4. The inner tent is the main living and sleeping space of the tent.
  5. PorchMany tents will have a porch adjacent to the entrance, which will provide additional seating.
  6. Besides canopies and porches, it is also possible to purchase individual porches (often for bigger tents).
  7. Tent PegsTent pegs are available in a variety of materials, including plastic, metal, and wood.

If you’re pitching in soft mud, you might want to consider purchasing T-shaped strong duty plastic pegs that won’t twist around.

Always assess the terrain before setting up camp to verify that you have the appropriate tent pegs for the situation.

To put it simply, there are two sorts of poles: bendy poles and stiff poles.

They are pliable and lightweight in nature.

Moisture from breathing, damp clothes, and general humidity can all contribute to condensation forming within your tent’s air vents (try not to touch the tent fabric as this can also let water on the outside come through).

It is recommended to leave doors and windows open whenever feasible since they provide additional airflow.

Look for doors and windows that have mesh bug nets to keep midges out even when the doors and windows are open. More information about tents may be found in our other guides, which include: How to Make a Tent Waterproof A Checklist of Festival Essentials on How to Set Up a Tent

Tent Fabrics Part 2: Waterproof Ratings

As soon as the rain begins to pelt your tent in the middle of the night, it’s simple to recall a critical tent quality that may make or break your adventure: waterproofness. The better, of course, is a waterproof certification of at least 50 feet, right? This is not always the case. Rather than just selecting the tent with the greatest waterproof rating, it is beneficial to understand what the numbers mean—and when and when lesser waterproof ratings might actually be preferable for a specific tent or shelter—before making your purchase.

What does the millimeter (mm) waterproofing rating mean?

The waterproof rating of a fabric, which is measured in millimeters (mmH 2 0), does not refer to the thickness of the fabric or the thickness of its polyurethane (plastic) coating, but rather to the pressure at which water can push through the fabric. When performing a typical waterproofing test, the fabric sample is subjected to water pressure behind it until three drops of water are able to flow through. When a fabric is rated at 1500 mmH 2 0, it signifies that the fabric can withstand 1,500 mm of water on top of the fabric before it begins to leak.

So how many millimeters of waterproofing do you need?

The quick answer is that it is not necessarily a great deal. An umbrella may be used as a point of comparison because it provides waterproof protection, which you might expect to be enough. An umbrella fabric test resulted in a hydrostatic head tester rating of just 420mmH 2 0, demonstrating that when it comes to keeping you dry, a higher figure is not always required. So, what is the reason for tents having waterproofing ratings ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 mmH 2 0? Several reasons for this include the increased longevity that thicker waterproof coatings with higher waterproofing ratings often give (up to a point; more on this later).

This low level of abrasion may explain why tarps may provide waterproof performance at a lower rating than tents, which frequently require extra coating to compensate for wear and tear over time.

How much waterproofing does a tent need?

With regards to waterproofing ratings, we at MSR do not adhere to any specific standards in this area. We approach each of our tents separately in order to achieve the best possible mix of waterproofness, durability, and weight that fulfills our performance goals for a particular model in a specific environment. Take, for example, the MSR Hubba HubbaTM NX, which is a multi-purpose device. Although the rainfly has an H2O rating of 1,500 mmH 2 0, the tent floor has an H2O rating of 3,000 mmH 2 0.

However, while a single coat of polyurethane coating is technically waterproof, it is often necessary to apply two or three coats to ensure that every spot is covered.

As an example, applying light layers at multiple periods rather than a thick coat all at once results in a stronger, lighter, and more waterproof protective layer—in other words, a better seal with less coating—which is how we assure the waterproofness of our coatings at MSR.

Are higher waterproofing ratings always better?

Actually, it isn’t always preferable in every situation. In certain cases, a better waterproofing rating does not equate to greater durability. In fact, the more coating you apply, the heavier and more stiff the fabric gets, and the more sensitive it becomes to breaking beyond a certain point. Another reason why the rainfly on our Hubba HubbaTM NX tent has a lower waterproof rating than the tent floor, and why the rainfly on our ultralight FreeLiteTM tent has an even lower waterproof rating, is because the rainfly is made of a lighter material.

The MSR approach to waterproofing

We don’t base the design of our waterproof textiles on a single industry standard; instead, we rely on significant study, testing, and understanding to achieve the best possible mix of waterproofing, rip strength, and weight for each specific tent. This complete approach allows us to build tent flooring that retain their waterproof performance over time, rainflies that are resistant to ripping, and tents that keep water out for an extended period of time, all while being cost effective. This is a great, comforting idea to have while you’re in your tent and the harsh rain starts pouring down on your head.

  • Tent Fabrics, Part 1: Fabric Specifications
  • Tent Fabrics, Part 2: Fabric Specifications
  • Tents 101: Single-Wall vs. Double-Wall Tents
  • Understanding Tent Packaged WeightMinimum Weight
  • Tents 101: Single-Wall vs. Double-Wall Tents

The original publication date was June 17, 2015.

Tent Waterproof Ratings – Everything You Need To Know

Are you getting set to purchase a tent but are perplexed by the waterproof ratings? Do you want to know if 1,000mm is better or worse than 3,000mm in length? What kind of rating do you require to stay dry? Here, I’ll explain what tent waterproof ratings truly imply, which grades are required for certain situations, and why the waterproof rating isn’t the end all, be all when it comes to remaining dry when camping. page numbering in the table of contents (click to expand)

What Do Tent Waterproofness Ratings Mean?

In most cases, tent waterproof ratings are specified in millimetres (mm), and they relate to the amount of water that may be accumulated on top of the tent fabric before it begins to leak. This is referred to as the ‘hydrostatic head’ in some circles. In other words, a cloth with a thickness of 3,000mm can withstand a static column of water 3 metres high before any droplets begin to leak through! This appears to be a significant amount of water (however, if there is a solid 3 metres of water on top of your tent, you most likely have more serious problems than a little leakage!) Keep in mind that it does not take into consideration wind-driven, heavy rain which can exert far more pressure than a static column of water.

However, this does not imply that a higher number is always preferable!

A greater waterproof rating is likely to result in a fabric that is heavier and more stiff (which makes it more prone to tear), so always consider the waterproof rating in conjunction with these other variables when purchasing a raincoat or rain jacket.

What Rating Do You Need To Stay Dry?

When a fabric’s water resistance rating surpasses 1,000mm, it is typically considered waterproof. Fabrics with a water resistance rating of less than 1,000mm are considered water resistant, but not waterproof. On the basis of the waterproofness scale, the following are some typical suggested ratings for the tent fly:

Rating Description
0 – 1,000mm Water resistant. 2 season tents live here
1,000 – 1,500mm Waterproof. Good enough for most conditions, typical for 3 season camping tents. Also light enough for hiking
1,500 – 5,000mm Highly waterproof. Enough for the overwhelming majority of conditions, even heavy wind driven rain
5,000mm+ Extremely waterproof. For expedition tents that will be used in very wet conditions (think Northern Australia in the wet season)
See also:  What Tent Should I Buy

The figures in the table above should be multiplied by approximately twice the amount needed for tent flooring. Why? Tent floors are constantly in touch with dirt and pebbles on the ground, which can cause the waterproof covering to get eroded and flake away. Therefore, they require a higher beginning rating to account for the possibility of a loss over time. Unless you’re planning on camping under this guy, you probably don’t need a fly with a diameter of more than 5,000mm.

How Are Waterproof Ratings Measured?

It is clamped at the base of the glass measuring cylinder with a piece of the tent fabric on it. The water is gently poured into the tube, while the underside of the clamped cloth is meticulously observed and monitored. Upon detecting three droplets of water seeping through a piece of cloth, water addition to the cylinder is halted and the water level is monitored. The tent’s waterproof rating is determined by the water level (measured in mm). Method for determining water resistance (Photo credit:MSR Gear) This waterproof rating can be translated to a pressure rating if that is required.

What Determines The Waterproof Rating?

This grade is established by the durability of the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating that is placed during the manufacturing process of the product. Polyester tent fabrics have a polyurethane (PU) coating applied to them (this is the most common). Fabrics made of nylon are treated with a silicone coating. Several factors, including the quantity of coatings applied and their respective thicknesses as well as the manner in which they are applied, influence the total waterproof rating. Despite the fact that a single coating is technically sufficient for waterproofing, two to three coats give a more comprehensive waterproofing solution.

a b As a result, trekking tents and swags tend to lose their waterproofness more quickly than roof top tents, which do not come into direct touch with the ground.

Because the waterproofness of a tent may deteriorate over time, it is recommended that you choose a tent with a greater waterproof rating than you believe you will require.

If you discover that your tent is beginning to leak over a period of time, follow the instructions in this article to re-waterproof your tent.

Despite the fact that your fly is otherwise impenetrable due to waterproof coatings, a faulty seam seal can allow water to enter the fly. In addition to reapplying the waterproof coatings, the page above provides instructions on resealing your tent seams.


Tent waterproof ratings might be difficult to comprehend at first, but the important thing to understand is that they refer to the amount of water pressure that your tent fabric can withstand before water begins to leak through the fabric. The amount of water repellent coating that is applied during the manufacturing process determines the waterproofing grade of the product. Greater waterproofing is indicated by a higher number, but it might also imply that the fabric is heavier and more stiff, making it more susceptible to ripping.

  • Finally, as mud and filth wear away at the water repellent coatings on tents, the waterproofness of the tent will deteriorate over time.
  • Alternatively, if all else fails, you can always put up an awning over your tent, which will significantly boost its waterproofness without the need to acquire any expensive equipment.
  • Please share them in the comments section!
  • Check out this article on the 8 benefits of camping to learn why camping can be both enjoyable and beneficial to your health.

Waterproof Ratings For Tents – What Is It?

All of the tent evaluations on this site mention waterproof ratings, so it may be appropriate to remark something about them here and save them as a reference. Some manufacturers may not provide this information openly, but many do, and I believe it is critical to have this type of information available. The Crua Loj 6 tent has a waterproof rating of 5000 mm.

How is tent waterproof rating described

If you look at the tent specs and descriptions, you’ll see that any of the following phrases will be used:

  1. Waterproofness in millimeters of water
  2. Hydrostatic head rating in millimeters
  3. Rating in pounds per square inch

The first two words are synonyms for one another. This refers to the amount of water pressure that must be applied to a waterproof cloth before at least three droplets of water may flow through it. When they put the cloth in the bottom of a (bottomless) cylinder, they generate a water column above it to see how well it works. Following that, they just measure how many millimeters of water are present until the cloth collapses and the water begins to leak through it. The rating of 1000 millimeters indicates that the fabric can support a water column one meter in height above it and still retain it in place, according to the manufacturer.

The third word, PSI, is an abbreviation for ‘pounds per square inch.’ This indicates that the water column is measured in pounds, while the fabric’s surface area is one square inch in size.

So this is practically the same as the last example, with the exception of the units used. The conversion for numerous numbers is provided in the table so that you can get a general notion of what you’re looking at when you see either of the two versions of the rating:

Rating in mm Rating in PSI
500 0.71
1000 1.42
1500 2.13
2000 2.84
3000 4.27
5000 7.11

How much waterproofness is enough

Consider the example of a standard umbrella. You have 400 – 500 mm of space here. So, theoretically, this is perfectly sufficient. Indeed, this may be sufficient for the fly of a tent as well as the waterproof walls of the tent. However, waterproof tents often offer additional features. This makes them heavier, and if they have a layer of coating on them that is too thick, they may become stiff, rendering the waterproofing ineffective. But you still have a lot more than that, so why? Abrasion, wear, and tear are all factors that come into play in this situation, which are not present in the case of an umbrella.

  1. These are the portions that are most susceptible to abrasion.
  2. When you push the floor cloth from above, the water may be able to pass through – it makes no difference from which side the pressure is applied.
  3. As a result, the thicker the material, the better because these materials are affordable.
  4. This can be seen in theBig Agnes Flying Diamond 6tent as well as theMarmot Limestone 6tent, all of which are constructed of polyester.
  5. Without a doubt, I am referring to the fly.
  6. You’ll notice that they utilize the phrase ‘hydrostatic head’ throughout the article.
  7. There are a variety of other aspects that influence the weather protection provided by a tent.

The issue of seams

Unless the seams are taped and the tent is properly suited for the area, all of this may be for naught if the tent is not properly constructed. If you want to use your tent as a true 3-season or 4-season tent, you should look for one that has a high-quality fly that covers the whole tent. This is provided by the Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6 and the Marmot Limestone 6tents, which have already been discussed. When it comes to polyethylene floors, welding is employed for the seams. This is the most dependable method, although it is only applicable to plastic materials of this nature.

  1. They employ tape-sealed seams for all other types of fabrics.
  2. Although it is simple to make cloth waterproof, there may be problems with condensation when using such materials.
  3. Tents made of the Vapex material fall into this category; learn more about it here.
  4. This is exactly what you get with the previously mentioned Crua Loj 6 tent, which is a top-of-the-line gadget that cannot be matched.

Just make sure you don’t get too caught up in the jargon. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please let me know if you have anything to add to this page; I would be delighted to get your comments, which may be left in the comment box below.

Are all tents waterproof? What are waterproof tent ratings?

Is it true that all tents are waterproof? The short answer is no, not all tents are waterproof in the traditional sense. When it comes to waterproof tent ratings, the first thing you want to look for is a rating of less than 1,000 mm hydrostatic head. This means that your tent is not deemed waterproof. Continue reading if you want to find out what hydrostatic head is and what other considerations you should make before purchasing a “waterproof” tent.

Are all tents waterproof? The short answer.

Can you tell me if all tents are water-resistant? Yes and no, not all tents are waterproof, to put it simply. When it comes to waterproof tent ratings, the first thing you want to look for is a rating of less than 1,000 mm hydrostatic head. This indicates that your tent is not considered waterproof. If you want to discover what hydrostatic head is and what other aspects you should consider before purchasing a “waterproof” tent, continue reading this article.

Are waterproof tent ratings a correct indication?

When choosing a tent, you should use the waterproof rating as a guideline, rather than seeing it as a magic number that is directly related to the waterproofness of your tent. In this case, it is only related to the water-resistance of the cloth used in that tent. On top of that, manufacturers’ evaluations are frequently ambiguous or inaccurate, resulting in a negative consumer experience. Manufacturers frequently develop their own rating systems, or they will employ lesser-known waterproof rating methods (not all waterproof ratings are hydrostatic head ratings).

As a result, there is no straightforward method for you to determine how waterproof your tent truly is.

Look for honest evaluations from people who have used the tent during inclement weather to make your decision.

Meaning of waterproof tent ratings

It has previously been established that there are several different sorts of waterproof ratings that may be applied to tents. The hydrostatic head rating is the most well-known of these types. Let me begin by describing what hydrostatic head is and how it works: It is the most often used method of determining the amount of waterproofing, the hydrostatic head (HH)rating (also known as the water column rating). These ratings will tell you how waterproof a cloth is or how breathable it is. They may be used for tents, but they can also be used for other waterproof items such as coats.

A test for this is performed by placing a tube filled with water over the cloth and observing when it begins to leak.

The ip rating, also known as the Ingress Protection Rating, is another typical method of determining how waterproof specific materials are.

One of the most significant issues with these evaluations is that they do not always appear to be accurate. A large number of manufacturers do not even provide their consumers with these ratings.

What does a “waterproof tent” actually mean

It’s difficult to come up with a definition that will adequately answer this question. I shall, however, provide you with an explanation on the waterproofness of tent fabrics. Even if water begins to seep through your tent’s canvas, it is unlikely that it will begin to rain within the structure. The interior of your tent’s exterior wall will simply become wet as a result of the rain. Remember that condensation (which might occur in a poorly ventilated tent) can have a similar effect.

  1. The most essential thing to remember is to make certain that nothing comes into contact with the outer wall.
  2. Once again, the design of the tent is to fault, rather than the waterproofness of the textiles that were employed in its construction.
  3. In addition to waterproof ratings and hydrostatic head, I discussed them extensively in this essay.
  4. Why?
  5. In a well-designed tent, on the other hand, nothing can come into contact with the outside wall, and waterproof ratings become far less relevant.

How can you improve the waterproofness of your tent

There are a handful of things you can do to increase the waterproofness of your tent that you can accomplish on your own. Application of DWR would be the first and most apparent measurement to make. It’s important to note that most new tents will have a DWR finish, however the DWR will wear off after a period of time. Reapplying or reviving this DWR might make a significant difference in the overall waterproofing of your tent. One other thing you may do is to seam seal the seams of your tent.

  1. If this is the case, you are good to go.
  2. Occasionally, seams on some tents are prone to leaking.
  3. In such circumstances, you should consider applying seam sealing as a precautionary measure.
  4. You might also try to repair your tent with some simple tentrepair tape if it has been damaged in any way.

Seam sealer and DWR spray may be purchased from Amazon for a little fee. It is recommended that you read this article: How to waterproof your tent for a more in-depth advice on how to waterproof your tent.


At the end of the day, there is no magic number that can be used to determine how waterproof a tent is. Yes, knowing the waterproof rating (hydrostatic head) of the fabric that was used to construct your tent can be useful in certain situations. However, do not place too much emphasis on this figure. When it comes to remaining dry, the design of a tent is far more significant than the actual waterproof rating of the textiles used to construct it. Moreover, as previously said, real-life testimonials are far more useful than statistical data in this situation.

  1. No, they are not, but it is difficult to define what constitutes a waterproof tent at the same time.
  2. It is generally accepted that a fabric must have a hydrostatic head rating of at least 1,000 mm before it can be said to as waterproof.
  3. It is important to note that 1,000 mm hydrostatic head is quite low for a jacket.
  4. Ultimately, reviews and research are the only ways to guarantee that you will remain dry when camping in your tent during the night.
  5. The following article, which contains the best lightweight two-person tents, is recommended if you are seeking for a light weight two-person tent.
See also:  What To Look For When Buying A Used Tent Trailer

Is my tent waterproof? Here’s how to check if your tent is waterproof!

It’s 11am in the morning, a lovely day and you’re positive that today’s the finest day to begin advertising that new cream you’ve been working on for some time now. It starts to rain as soon as the clients start to arrive, and you’re certain that your tent is waterproof. “I’m confident that this is a waterproof tent!” you declare. ”You tell yourself and carry on with your sales pitch. Fortunately, scenarios like this are common during the rainy season in the United States, particularly in the states of Hawaii, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and North and South Carolina, which are all among the top 10 wettest states in the country.But heavy rain doesn’t prevent people from going about their daily lives?

  • So, how did it have an impact on your branding exercise?
  • But, aren’t all tents waterproof in some way or another?
  • Not all tents are designed to be waterproof.
  • These kind of tents require more coverage in order to be waterproof.
  • When a tent is waterproof, the folds are coated with polyurethane and the seams are taped to prevent water from leaking into the structure.
  • How waterproof should a tent be depends on the weather conditions.
  • These are measured in millimeters and typically range between 1000mm and 10,000mm in length.
  • Are all new tents waterproof?

Modern tents, contrary to popular belief, are not all impervious to water. Some are both water resistant and water repellent, and some are both. In order to better comprehend this, let us think about these designations in terms of degrees: Waterproof vs. Water Resistant vs. Water Repellent

  1. Fabrics that are resistant to water give the first line of defense against the elements. Such tents are made of a densely woven fabric that acts as a water barrier, preventing water from quickly permeating the interior. Tents that are water resistant provide the second level of protection against the elements. These tents normally come with a DWR designation that stands for Durable Water Repellent. As a result, not only does the tent repel natural water, but it also has an additional coating of water repellent substance sprayed to the exterior, allowing the water to bead up on the outside and slide right off
  2. Waterproof tents provide the third and greatest level of protection against water, despite the fact that the term “waterproof tent” is deceptive. Nothing can ever be completely waterproof, but with the correct materials and planning, it is much simpler to keep dry in any situation. In comparison to the previous two types of tents, waterproof tents feature a more durable and tougher fabric that has a thick coating of DWR and can sustain severe pressure or continuous rain for a longer period of time.

That being said, you can find out if you possess a waterproof tent. What is the best way to determine if your tent is waterproof? Before you take your tent for a day-out, it’s advisable to have a dry run. After all, you can afford to be dissatisfied in your own garden rather than in front of your friends and family. Simply set up your tent, get the hose pipe out, and thoroughly wet the seams. Simple as that. And then evaluate the following sections of your tent: Determine if water may enter the tent through the seams that have been sewed together with the tent material.

  • Also, don’t forget to check the toggles and knots on your clothing.
  • Doorways are potential problem areas because they allow water to enter if they are left open.
  • The HH, or hydrostatic head, of your tent’s fabric is a measurement of how waterproof it is.
  • Even when using tents with a greater HH, if the seams are not properly taped, there will be leaking from the tent.
  • Pay close attention to the stitches.
  • Additionally, the following tips can help with waterproofing:
  • Pitch your tent on a flat, dry piece of land with a good view. Explore the site to identify a spot at an elevation, so that the water rushes down
  • Cover your groundsheet with tarps and footprints to keep the elements out. A sealant can be used to improve the waterproofing of your tent if it is an older model.

When in doubt, don’t be afraid to consult with a qualified specialist. If feasible, we at Extreme Canopy would like to keep your event as dry and free of water as possible. Call us right now to receive specialized advice! Posts from the recent past

Why you shouldn’t trust the waterproof rating on your tent – Which? News

When looking for the best tent for a camping vacation in the United Kingdom, you’re almost certainly going to choose for one that has a high level of waterproofing. So, what is it about finding water inside your tent that makes it so common? Even if the forecast predicts a scorcher, there’s always a risk that the weather could shift. To find out which pop-up tents will endure the unpredictable British weather, we recently put ten popular models to the test. Each tent was set up for three days and subjected to multiple rain storms; after less than 24 hours, some tents with high waterproofing ratings had puddles in them, while others with lower waterproofing ratings did not.

Continue reading to learn why you should take tent waterproof ratings with a grain of salt, how to maintain your tent free of rain and humidity, and which pop-up tents we were able to pitch and pack down the quickest during our tests.

Go directly to our list of the finest pop up tents to find out which ones were able to withstand three days of torrential rainfall.

Hydrostatic head ratings explained

When you see a tent with a waterproof rating of 2,000mm, you may believe that it can withstand 2,000mm of rain before leaking. However, this is not necessarily the case. It doesn’t quite work that way.What it really means is that if you put a 2,000mm high column of water against the tent’s canvas, the water wouldn’t be able to pass through it.These are known as hydrostatic head ratings, which are difficult to quantify but can be understood by following a simple rule that the higher the number, the more water the canvas can withstand.However, we’ve discovered that high hydrostatic head ratings don’t always imply good overall waterproofing.

We tested two tents with identical hydrostatic head ratings of 3,000mm, and while one was completely dry at the end of the testing, the other had a large puddle inside.This is because most leaks in tents occur through the canvas, rather than through the seams and zips.If these areas are not properly stitched and sealed, water will leak into the tent regardless of how repellent the canvas is.

How to keep your tent as dry as possible

  • Ventilation should be opened. Although the weather may be dry, there is still a lot of moisture in the air, so it’s a good idea to leave your vents open as much as you can while you’re out camping. A good air circulation system will aid in the escape of moisture to the outside. Keep your hands away from the walls and ceiling. When the tent is pitched, applying pressure to the canvas runs the danger of breaking the surface tension between water on the outside and the canvas beneath, resulting in the water being funneled through the canvas at the point of contact with the ground. Keep an eye out for doors that open from the inside. If it has recently rained, a large number of water droplets will accumulate on the entrance, and if the door is opened inwards, all of the water will drain inside your tent. When you’re unzipping the door, be sure to grip it and pull it outwards as you do so. Keep damp clothing and equipment out of the bedroom. Damp clothing introduces far more unwanted moisture into the tent, and because the tent has a waterproof shell, that moisture will have nowhere to go while your stuff dries in the tent. As a result, it is likely to condense on the ceiling and making your sleeping quarters moist. Every day, leave the doors and windows open for a couple of hours. As previously said, proper air circulation is essential for avoiding moisture from entering your tent. In order to improve circulation, it is a good idea to prop open the doors and windows for a few hours every day.

With the best camping chairs, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your time outside.

Is my tent leaking or is it condensation?

When you wake up in the morning, it’s typical to notice drops of water sitting on the roof of your tent, which is normal. Most likely, you’re dealing with dampness rather than a leak, and there’s nothing you can do to keep it from ruining your camping trip. The air we breathe is full of moisture, and because the ceiling of your tent is a waterproof barrier, the moisture has a tough time escaping back into the environment. The air within the tent is also often warmer than the canvas, which causes moisture to condense into a liquid state when it comes into contact with the roof of the tent.

An average individual can exhale as much as one pint of water into the air throughout the course of a single night’s sleep.

As previously said, taking measures to keep your tent as well-ventilated as possible can assist to limit the amount of condensation that forms.

Ingress of water from a tiny single point or persistent heavy leakage is most likely due to a leak; however, dampness or water droplets in a patch on the ceiling are most likely due to condensation and are not to be concerned about.

Watch: what’s the fastest pop-up tent?

See our testing in action as we timed and rated the speed and ease of erecting and packing away 10 popular pop-up tents. Do you still require assistance? See our buying guide for more information on selecting the finest family tent.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *