How Often Should You Waterproof A Tent

How Often Should You Waterproof Your Tent?- Easy Guidelines

It is important to keep your tent waterproof if you want to have a successful camping experience. Not wanting to find out too late that you should have waterproofed your tent is the last thing you want to happen. When you go camping, your tent is one of your most valuable possessions, and you want to make every effort to keep it in good condition. Fortunately, waterproofing a tent isn’t that difficult; nevertheless, how frequently should you waterproof your tent? I’ve been wondering about this since the very first day I was caught in the rain while camping.

When should you waterproof your tent, and how often should you do it?

Performing frequent inspections of your tent will assist you in determining when it is required to waterproof your tent.

To determine when it is necessary to waterproof your tent, you should undertake frequent inspections of your tent.

The process of going through and waterproofing your tent is rather simple.

Why your tent needs to be waterproofed

When you’re camping, your tent is your sole source of protection, so if it can’t meet that very minimum standard, what’s the point? No one likes to get caught in the rain when on a camping vacation. Aside from that, we all know that having water inside a tent may be detrimental to its durability. The ability to keep a tent as dry as feasible has a significant impact on its overall lifetime. A fully waterproofed tent not only keeps out the rain, but the coatings also serve to protect against the sun’s damaging ultraviolet radiation to a small extent.

Waterproofing is like to medication for your tent in that it helps it last longer and allows you to enjoy being outside more.

They are, in fact, quite frail.

If water is trapped inside your tent for an extended amount of time, mildew and mold may grow, causing the tent to become brittle and unusable.

How to inspect your tent to see if it needs to be waterproofed

One of the most beneficial habits to establish is to regularly examine your tent. Not only for waterproofing purposes, but also to ensure that everything is in proper operating condition in general. The following are some items to check for when determining whether or not your tent needs to be waterproofed. Do you notice any peeling on the inside of your rainfly or on the floor of your tent when you’re camping? If this is the case, it is possible that the tent has a urethane coating on it. The urethane coating on your tent is a component of its waterproofing capabilities.

  • It is likely that you are in good shape if there is no flaking, unless, of course, you observe it not operating in person.
  • Do you notice that water does not condense into droplets on the surface of your tent?
  • As previously said, this must be done on the exterior of the rain fly and is quite simple to complete because you will just be spraying a waterproof spray onto the rain fly.
  • After a few minutes, you may use a soft cloth to carefully wipe away any extra residue left by the spraying.
  • Have you ever had a seam that leaked?
  • This one involves a little more effort than the other two, but it is very necessary.
  • If you notice that some of the seam tapings have come loose, you may remove them and patch them up using a seam sealant to make them more secure.

The seams should first be cleaned and then sealed with rubbing alcohol, allowing it to dry completely in between each application. It’s possible that flipping the tent inside out will make this process easier.

When to inspect your tent

Every time you go camping, you should examine your tent to make sure it is in good working order. You don’t always get the chance to do so, unfortunately. In any case, simply perform brief checks whenever you get the opportunity. If you are going camping, you should make sure that you have enough time when you get at your campsite. Unless you have some spare time when camping, you are doing something wrong with your vacation. Bringing the waterproofing supplies with you may be beneficial in the event that you notice something that has to be corrected during your examination.

How to waterproof a tent

Three methods of sealing your tent have been discussed throughout the inspection; nonetheless, here is a quick refresher of what they are:

  1. Using a seam sealant to keep the seams sealed
  2. Urethane coating is being applied. By covering the surface with a durable water resistant (DWR) layer,

Choosing the proper sealer and sealant for your tent is critical, so make sure you do your research before purchasing. In order to protect the different types of fabrics used in your tent, you will need to use different types of sealants. Typically, silicone or polyurethane are used in the manufacture of tent waterproofing materials. Fabric sealers and sealants will be required for each of the two distinct types of fabrics. On the box or bag that your tent was sent in, you should be able to easily identify the type of fabric that it is constructed of.

  1. It’s possible that you’ll find it on a tag that’s hidden someplace inside your tent.
  2. On the bottom of the rain fly and the interior of the tent, there are seams that need to be sealed up.
  3. If the seams are soiled, use rubbing alcohol and a cloth to thoroughly wipe them off.
  4. In most cases, the urethane coating is sprayed over the whole length of the rain fly.
  5. Adding a fresh layer of the coating might provide you with peace of mind for your forthcoming vacation, and it is a simple procedure to complete.
  6. The most straightforward method is to create a long-lasting water repellant.
  7. Simply spray it on evenly on your fly (as long as it is clean) and wipe it down with a moist towel after a few minutes to remove any remaining excess coating.

Make sure to allow the tent to dry fully before proceeding with any extra instructions that may have been included with the spray bottle. This spray coating should cause rain to condense together and fall directly off of your tent’s roof and sides.

Other things to keep in mind

Always adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to every element of your tent, including the waterproofing method you choose. To ensure the longevity of your tent, it is essential to follow any unique suggestions that they may have for your particular tent. In a pamphlet that should come with your tent or on their website, you should be able to find their recommendations. It is possible that they will include special sections on waterproofing that will be of assistance. It is preferable to have the necessary repair supplies on hand before to the need for them than to wait until after the event.

Maintain the condition of your tent, and it will maintain the condition of you.


When it comes to waterproofing your tent, there is no particular period of time that you should adhere to. In order to ensure that your tent is in proper functioning condition before each camping trip, you should examine it prior to each trip. A properly waterproofed tent not only protects you, but it also protects the tent itself. There are three methods for waterproofing your tent, and all of them are quite inexpensive, simple, and quick to complete. If you take good care of your tent and follow any particular manufacturer’s suggestions, it will last you for many more camping excursions in the years to come.

My Favorite Camping Gear

In the event that you’re on a camping trip and the skies suddenly open, the last thing you want is to get drenched from the inside out. Waterproofing is essential in a tent, and while most modern tents come equipped with waterproofing, you will need to keep the waterproofing in good condition if you want it to be effective for long periods of time. As a general rule, you can get away with waterproofing your tent every couple of years if you follow these guidelines. On the premise that you will be utilizing the tent for between two and three weeks every year, this is the cost of the tent.

In this post, we will discuss the frequency with which a tent may need to be waterproofed, as well as the best method for accomplishing this task.

When Do You Need To Waterproof Your Tent?

There are some campers who will put off waterproofing their tent until they are certain that it is absolutely necessary. If you are prepared to take a chance on something, you may fall into this type of people. Many people wonder if they should waterproof a brand new tent before using it for the first time. Obviously, as soon as you realize that the waterproofing is deteriorating, you should start the restoration procedure. Although it is generally recommended to establish a timetable and follow it, it is not always possible.

When calculating how frequently you should waterproof a tent, there are a number of elements to take into consideration. While normal use will necessitate waterproofing every couple of years, the following factors may influence the frequency of waterproofing:

  • The type of tent you are using (polycotton or cotton tents, for example, do not often require reproofing because these fabrics are naturally waterproof and do not typically come with a waterproof covering).
  • On each camping trip, the weather conditions are taken into consideration (direct sunshine may have an impact on the tent’s waterproofing just as much as rain)
  • It is important to know how waterproof your tent is (the HH rating on your tent will tell you how waterproof it is). It is possible to wait longer between waterproofing applications by increasing this value.)
  • And

What Makes A Tent Waterproof?

The application of a waterproof coating to a tent is one of the most successful methods by which manufacturers waterproof a tent. In most cases, a polyurethane coating will be applied first, followed by a Durable Water Repellent. When these two get together, they become a force to be reckoned with You will be provided with a Hydrostatic Head rating for your tent, which will inform you how waterproof it is, as we have previously said. When it comes to fabric, this grade relates to how water-resistant it is and is determined by how much pressure is required to drive water through the cloth.

Normally, 8000 hours should be the bare minimum, especially given the changeable weather in the United Kingdom.

  • Water should not be allowed to enter the tent through the zips, which should be covered. The besttentzips will be covered with plastic or fabric, which will function as a barrier
  • The seams of the tent will need to be examined for tiny holes or perforations before being used. The seams should also have been sealed, and this applies to the areas where toggles and other components have been sewed into the main tent fabric as well. The ground sheet of the tent should be of the bathtub variety if it has been sewed into the structure of the tent. The fact that they rise up at the edges is really beneficial in keeping water from getting in. Furthermore, the HH rating of the ground sheet should be increased in order to account for groundwater contamination. Take note of the sort of waterproof coating that has been put to the tent’s surface. Some are more effective than others in their respective fields. One of the initial lines of defense against water, this helps rain to roll off the tent instead of seeping through the fabric

How To Waterproof A Tent

Applying another layer of waterproof coating to a tent is one of the most crucial steps in reproofing it. On the market, there are many various alternatives to choose from, but Fabsil is usually regarded as one of the most effective solutions available. This comes in the form of an aerosol can and is quick and simple to apply to your tent. However, before you begin spraying, you must ensure that the tent is properly set up and ready.

  • The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure your tent is clean and dry before you start. Pitch the tent and give it a good cleaning before allowing it to dry completely
  • If you are using an aerosol water repellent, make sure that it is uniformly sprayed across the surface of the object being protected. Alternatively, there are materials available that may be painted onto the tent with a brush and applied with a roller. Which one you choose is mostly a matter of personal choice
  • Nonetheless, both are effective. As soon as you have done applying the solution, wipe the fabric with a clean, dry towel to remove any excess and to clean up any drips. Alternatively, if you have experienced water seeping through the seams, seam sealers can be purchased and put after the waterproof coating
  • You should now allow the tent to dry completely before removing it from the ground.
See also:  How To Make The Floor Of A Tent More Comfortable

It is advisable to conduct your reproofing on a dry, cloudy day to provide the greatest results. These moderate circumstances will allow the tent to dry without causing any damage to the recently placed protective covering. Look no farther than ourBest Tents Guide for some fantastic tents!


The experience of sleeping in a tent is one of life’s great experiences, but when the weather turns bad, you’ll need a tent that will give superb waterproof protection from the elements. Your tent will be equipped with a waterproof covering as well as various other measures that will keep water from getting inside. It will also be labeled with an HH rating, which indicates how water-resistant it is. However, you will need to reapply a waterproof coating from time to time in order to ensure that the tent is still acceptable for usage in rainy weather conditions.

If, on the other hand, you use the tent more regularly, you may find that you need to apply a fresh coating more frequently.

How often should I waterproof a tent?

I go camping in the Appalachian Mountains (pretty darned wet). We’ve been using the same Keltytent for over four years, taking anywhere from six to twelve trips every year. It’s a great tent. It’s never been waterproofed before. It retains its water-repelling properties and functions admirably. Our last excursion took place in torrential rain for more than 12 hours, yet the children in the tent remained dry. If you have a problem, I’d recommend waterproofing it. It appears that you are squandering a significant amount of money right now on stuff that you do not require.

answered May 28, 2012, 16:02 p.m. Russell Steen is a Canadian businessman. Russell Steen has received 31.9k21 gold badges. 126 silver badges272 bronze badges2 126 silver badges272 bronze badges2

  • (+1) I now have six tents, which range in age from four to fourteen years, and have not waterproofed any of them. They are all still completely waterproof. I believe that if it does not leak, it is not worth the effort. Posted on May 28, 2012, at 16:09
  • Testing at home gets a thumbs up. We take our tent out once a year to inspect it and leave it out in the rain. The most we’ve ever had to do was reseal the seams (particularly around the toggles that keep the doors open and so on), but other than that, we’ve never had to replace the waterproofing completely. at 13:20 UTC on June 30, 2014

I agree with Russell Steen that it should be done on demand, but I would add that it is dependent on the flysheet fabric used. For example, silnylon that has been coated on both sides should not require treatment (except from the application of seam sealant). Except when torn or worn out, fabric coated with polyurethane should not leak, but the proofing would prevent it from collecting water, keeping it drier (and lighter to carry). answered At 10:23 a.m. on January 27, 2013, The following number of badges are owned by nsandersen: 6016 silver badges11 bronze badges

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Have you ever questioned whether or not you should waterproof a brand new tent before putting it to use? Because I’ve had some negative experiences with new tents in the past, I now make it a point to waterproof them before putting them to use for the first time. It is recommended that you waterproof new tents before using them for the first time. Typically, rainfly and floor seams require more sealant, and errors in the manufacturing process might result in leaks at other seams as a result. The addition of UV and rain protection will also help to extend the life of the tent’s fabric.

Does a New Tent Need to be Waterproofed?

Waterproofing a new tent should be one of the first things you do before putting it to use in the wilderness. Using this method, you may correct any errors in the sealing procedure that were introduced by the manufacturer. It also allows you to check it before releasing it into the wild. In the future, newer tents will almost certainly be tape sealed on the inside. The term refers to the process of sewing a waterproof tape into the inside seams of a tent’s seams. The seams do not need to be sealed unless there is a visible flaw in the construction of the seams.

According to my observations, they aren’t generally sealed quite as well as they should.

How to Seal the Rainfly and Floor Seams

Increasing the seal on the rainfly and floor is a rather simple process. To begin, turn the tent and rainfly inside out and inside out again. It’s possible to totally reveal a seam once the tent has been turned inside out by spreading the material apart. Allow the sealant to cure completely after brushing it onto the seam in an equal application. If possible, work in a well-ventilated environment because sealants typically contain a high concentration of chemicals that you should avoid breathing in while working.

If the tent has been used or if there is something on the seal, clean it first.

Coleman Seam Sealer is a product that we endorse.

How Often Should You Waterproof a Tent?

Some individuals believe that you never need to waterproof a tent, while others believe that you need do it at least once a year. What’s the genuine answer to this question? I’m somewhere in the middle of the two. Unless the tent begins to leak, you will not need to waterproof it again if you have already waterproofed the floor seams and rainfly when you purchase it.

Tents that are more than ten years old are still in excellent condition and withstand the elements without issue. Unless you’re experiencing difficulties, I’d recommend saving money and not worrying about waterproofing your tent beyond the first time.

Why Tents Leak

During the manufacturing process, tents are sewed together to form a whole. The needles create holes in the seams, which can allow water to seep in. Tents are often sealed from the inside using tape to prevent leaks from occurring in the major portions of the tent. Please remember that not all tents are water-resistant. Some of the most inexpensive tents are typically referred to as “water-resistant.” As a result, they are only capable of withstanding a mild misting, and not much more. It is important to seek for a dent with a higher MM grade to ensure that it will not leak.

How Waterproof Should a Tent Be?

Tents are available in a variety of water-resistant grades. Water resistance is measured in millimeters (MM), which stands for millimeters of water that the material can endure before it is penetrated by the water. Tents are often available in sizes ranging from 800 to 10000MM in diameter. Anything with a depth of more over 1000mm is often considered waterproof. Due to prolonged exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun, muck and filth, wind and rain, the chemicals that keep water out of tents break down, and the tent progressively loses some of its waterproofing.

Don’t Confuse Condensation for a Leak

Just because the inside of your tent is damp does not necessarily imply that it is leaking! In most cases, condensation will be the source of the water forming within your tent. When heated wet air comes into contact with a colder surface, condensation occurs. When you’re inside your tent, this is something that happens all the time. It is possible that the moist air that you are inhaling will come into touch with the colder sides of your tent, resulting in condensation forming on your tent’s walls and roof.

The fact that you have a small amount of condensation building up on the inside of your tent is not the end of the world, but it’s good to keep things dry when there’s no reason to be bothered with it.

  1. Make sure your tent is well ventilated by rolling back the rain fly or leaving the vestibule entrance unlocked. Instead of accumulating within your tent, this allows the warm, humid air to exit from your tent and leave. Wet Clothing or Shoes Should Be Removed– If possible, dry your wet clothing and shoes outside of the tent while you are camping. Keeping them inside raises the humidity level in the house. Cooking and boiling water should be done outside of your tent– There are several situations in which cooking and boiling water inside your tent may seem like a good idea. This will result in a significant amount of condensation on the interior of your tent as a result of the warm damp air being forced directly into your tent. Avoid Camping Near Bodies of Water– Areas near bodies of water, such as lakes, streams, rivers, and other bodies of water, have greater humidity levels. If you camp near these bodies of water, you’ll have to deal with more condensation than you would if you were camping in a different location. If possible, avoid putting your tent in a low spot. – Cool air condenses in the valleys and valley bottoms of the terrain. Due to this, the walls of your tent become colder, resulting in increased condensation.

Whatever you can do to keep wet air out will be beneficial in the long term.

Adding a Tarp to Keep Water Out of Your Tent

The most effective approach to use a tarp to keep your tent dry is dependent on where you’re camping and how much rain there is. If you’re in a forested location, you should consider using a ground cover of some sort. Using a tarp is simple; simply put it down before erecting your tent and fold the edges under the tent on all four sides to keep the elements out of your tent. You’ll avoid the problem of groundwater seeping into your tent and the rain collecting on the tarp and pouring directly under your tent.

The sand will absorb the water, preventing it from accumulating under your tent or in your sleeping bag.

When it comes to camping, I believe this is the finest application for a tarp. Place the tarp in the most advantageous position to keep the rain at bay. This entails considering the direction of the wind in order to prevent windblown rain from reaching your tent.

Waterproofing a Tent Floor

If you use your tent frequently, you may find that the urethane covering has begun to flake off. If you see this happening, you’ll need to reapply the urethane coating to the surface. The process of waterproofing a tent floor is almost as simple as sealing the seams. All that’s left is to clean everything up before applying the new layer of paint. Simply cleaning with a rough substance (such as the back of a sponge or scotch brite) together with alcohol and a tent sealant appropriate for your particular type of material will suffice to get this job done (Either silicone-treated fabric or polyurethane-coated fabric).

Then, following the directions on the container, apply the fresh sealant.

Make sure the floor has had at least 24 hours to dry before putting it back together.

Related Questions

What is the most effective method of waterproofing a tent? The quickest and most straightforward method of waterproofing a tent is to follow these steps:

  • All of the tent’s surfaces should be cleaned and resealed. Floor and rainfly should have their urethane coatings redone. Apply a fresh coat of DWR (durable water repellent) on the outside of the tent. Allow for drying time between each stage.

Is it possible to waterproof the interior of a tent? On the interior of the tent, you apply a sealer to the seams and a urethane coating to the floor, and on the exterior of the tent, you apply DWR (durable water repellent). You don’t want to use the DWR on the interior of the tent since it will cause it to rot.

When should I re-proof my Tent?

All new polyester tents, caravan awnings, and driveaway awnings are pre-treated with waterproofing before being shipped out to the customer. The quantity of waterproofing provided is formally specified by the Hydrostatic Head rating that has been assigned to the product. For the uninitiated, a higher HH rating signifies that your tent should be waterproof for a longer period of time before it needs to be re-proofed. When water hits the tent’s protective covering, it is able to bead up and drip to the ground instead of soaking through the fabric and onto your head.

  • The majority of the tents that we sell here at World of Camping are weatherproofed to 3000 HH or higher, which is more than enough to withstand the majority of the British weather.
  • In reality, though, if you have been taking your tent away for a couple of weeks every year for a few years, you may discover that you need to re-proof it in the majority of situations.
  • A perpetual cloud cover with no rain would most likely provide the finest circumstances for a long life!
  • If you’re ready to take a chance, simply wait till it starts to leak, and then go ahead and do it.
  • Just make sure the tent is clean and dry before you start working in it.
  • Fabsil is available in an aerosol can with a 600mm diameter that may be sprayed directly onto the tent surface.
  • Alternatively, the liquid can be decanted and administered with a hand-held spray cannon, similar to the sort used to water plants.
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When pitching a smaller tent, it’s preferable to apply the Fabsil while the tent is still in place.

No matter the method you pick, be sure to choose a lovely, dry day so that everything has plenty of time to dry thoroughly before packing it up again.

A typical 2-person tent has a floor area of 6 square metres.

Some tents these days have seams that have been taped.

Even on a brand new tent, it is not uncommon for a little amount of water to leak through the seams (unless it has taped seams).

Usually, cotton expands after it has been wetted a couple of times and seals itself, but if this is not the case, a small amount of seam sealer will solve the problem.

Tents made of cotton or polycotton should not require waterproofing because they are inherently waterproof and breathable materials. Please seek professional guidance before attempting to proof a cotton tent.

The Best Way To Waterproof A Tent

With the arrival of the summer months, it’s possible that you’ll be planning your first outdoor excursion in quite some time – and you’ll want to be certain that there are no unpleasant surprises waiting for you when you arrive at your campground. The good news is that most tents are either coated in a waterproof membrane or treated with a waterproofing compound in order to prevent moisture from seeping through the fabric and into the structure. In time, this coating will wear away and need to be replaced with a waterproofing spray– if you don’t, you and your belongings may find yourselves waking up a little moist after an unexpected downpour!

Here’s a quick guide to the best way to waterproof a tent:

  • If at all possible, choose a day that is warm and dry. Clean all of the tent’s components with care. To maintain your urethane coating, you should clean it every few months. To maintain your DWR (durable water repellent) coating, you should clean it every few months. Allow for complete drying of all components.

If at all possible, choose a warm, dry day. Clean all of the tent’s components thoroughly. To maintain your urethane coating, you should clean it every few months. To maintain your DWR (durable water repellent) coating, you should clean it every couple of months. Allow for complete drying of all components. a.

How to re-seal the seams

Water tends to leak in at the seams where different pieces of fabric have been sewn together, therefore it’s critical to ensure that the seams are well sealed before using the cloth. Seams should be coated with a waterproof coating, much like the rest of the tent, although this will wear away with time. Additionally, certain seams may have flaps covering them to provide additional protection.

  • Choose a dry day to apply the proofing materials outside or in a dry location indoors, such as a garage, where you may allow them to dry
  • Set up your tent – you’ll be sealing the seams on the inside side of the tent and the bottom of the fly sheet, so it’s simpler if you flip the fly sheet inside out so that it’s easier to get to the seams
  • And To clean the seams, carefully apply rubbing alcohol to a soft cloth or sponge and gently work it in, eliminating any portions that are flaking off
  • Apply the seam sealer according to the manufacturer’s directions. Always use the appropriate type of seam sealer — polyurethane-coated materials require a different type of seam sealer than silicone-treated materials. Allow for drying

Tip: Even if only a little portion of the seam is allowing water to enter or seems worn, it is recommended that you reproof as many of the seams as possible to ensure your safety. Repairing broken or falling apart seams is necessary if the garment is to be used again.

How to re-apply the urethane coating

To be safe, it is recommended to reproof as many of the seams as possible, even if only a tiny portion of the seam is allowing water to enter or seems worn. Repairing broken or falling apart seams is essential if your garment is to be used again.

  • Prepare the material on a dry, flat surface by laying it out
  • Remove the flaky portions with care by scrubbing them off. Apply a thin layer of tent sealant in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions. Again, be certain that you choose the appropriate sort of sealant for your tent. Allow for a minimum of 24 hours of drying time.

How to re-apply the DWR coating

The DWR (durable water repellent) is responsible for causing water to bead up on the outside of your flysheet and preventing it from soaking in.

  • Ascertain that the exterior of your tent’s flysheet is clean, and if required, spritz it down with water – you don’t need to wait for it to dry
  • Spray the tent fly with a waterproofing spray and distribute it evenly. Any excess coating should be removed using a gentle, wet cloth. Allow for drying

Waterproofing a polycotton tent

It is worth mentioning that when it comes to waterproofing, polycotton and canvas tents are a little different from conventional tents. Despite the fact that they have a water-repellent covering, they must be weathered before they can be used. This is due to the fact that there are little holes where they have been sewn, which might allow water to seep through. By lightly hosing down the canvas, the weave tightens up and the cloth swells, making the tent more water-resistant.

Don’t rely on the weather

Although you may be convinced that you will have wonderful weather for the duration of your camping vacation, it is always a good idea to make sure your tent is adequately waterproofed. You are unsure whether the weather will suddenly change or whether you will be forced to divert and camp somewhere with less favorable weather conditions.

You should also be wary of dew on your tent in the early morning hours. It is possible for dew to seep through your tent if it is not water resistant.

You may need more than one coat

If you know that the weather is going to be unusually severe, or has the potential to be so, it may be worthwhile to apply an additional waterproofing coat to be on the safe side, just in case. Allow your tent to dry completely after applying the first coat before proceeding with the second.

Check your groundsheet

If your groundsheet isn’t up to par, this might be a contributing factor to water entering your tent. Water may be kept out of a tent by using a bathtub-shaped groundsheet that has been sewed into it. The groundsheet becomes a part of the tent and the sides are turned up.

Check the tent waterproof rating

This is determined by the tent’s waterproof rating, commonly known as the hydrostatic head (HH), which determines how watertight a tent is. The hydrostatic head indicates the maximum depth of a column of water that the tent can endure before it begins to leak through the sides and bottom. Using the example above, a tent with a 4,000mm height headroom (HH) would be able to hold a column of water 4,000mm deep. As you may guess, the hydrostatic head waterproof ratings of various tents vary widely as well.

Hopefully, you now have a thorough understanding of how to re-proof a tent, and you will be prepared for not just the upcoming camping season, but also anything the British weather throws at you in the future.

More camping and tenting basics may be found by clicking on the links below.

Do You Need to Waterproof a Brand New Tent

When you’re roughing it beneath the stars, a tent is the most effective kind of protection. This implies that it must be water resistant! While you may have splurged and purchased a brand-new tent, there’s a risk that it may not be as practical as you would have hoped. This may appear to be paradoxical, given that you may expect a new tent to be ready to use immediately out of the box. As a result, a frequently asked question from new tent owners is: Is it necessary to waterproof a new tent? It is possible that you may need to waterproof a new tent in order to prevent water from seeping in on a particularly wet night.

Except if you’re purchasing a really high-end tent, you’ll want to spend some time waterproofing it before you use it for the first time in most cases.

We’ve put up this comprehensive guide on tent waterproofing to assist you in deciding whether or not you should waterproof your tent and how you should go about doing so successfully. Let’s get this party started!

Are All Tents Waterproof

Yes, and no, is our response. However, while nearly any tent that is expressly built for camping will be constructed of water-resistant materials, this does not always imply that the tent will be completely waterproof. Confused? The reasoning is reasonable; after all, how could something be both waterproof and not waterproof at the same time? At the end of the day, there are two possible reasons why something built of waterproof materials could not actually be waterproof. To begin, while the materials themselves are waterproof, the seams in the fabric themselves are not, which is a problem.

  1. Despite the fact that the textiles can handle a lot of water, the rain and snow will continue to travel until they reach the route of least resistance, which is usually the holes created by the stitching at the fabric’s seams (or the holes in the fabric itself).
  2. In a tent, this can result in a constant flow of water directly over your lovely down sleeping bag, resulting in a restless night’s sleep.
  3. The problem, assuming that the tent fabric is indeed waterproof, will very certainly be caused by a loss of the durable water repellent (DWR) coating that was put to the exterior of the fabric or by a loss of the sealant that was applied to the interior of the tent.
  4. When the DWR coating or interior sealant of a tent begins to wear away, the small holes in the tent fabric that enable water vapor to escape but prevent water droplets from entering get blocked.
  5. In other words, condensation occurs on the inside of the tent as a result of water vapor from perspiration, body heat, humidity, and human respiration building up on the inside of the tent.

How Can I Make My Tent More Waterproof

Once you’ve grasped the concept of how waterproof tents might fail to be waterproof, you can begin to take efforts to improve the waterproofness of your own tent. First and foremost, you must determine whether the problem is caused by leaky seams or by a failing waterproof fabric. If the problem is caused by a leaky seam, you can purchase seam sealant to coat the stitching and prevent water from seeping in.If the problem is caused by a failing waterproof fabric, you can purchase a seam sealant to coat the stitching and prevent water from seeping in.

  • If you need to re-seal the seams, you’ll need to purchase a special seam-sealing product and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying it to the tent.
  • Even if your tent is brand new, you should check to see whether the seams have already been sealed before use.
  • If the problem is caused by a failure in the fabric, you should first check to see if there are any holes in the tent.
  • If there are no obvious holes in the fabric, it may be necessary to reapply the waterproofing coating to the cloth.
  • When tents become worn out, you will typically see peeling and flaking on the inside of the tent flap.
  • To re-seal the interior of the tent, spread out the tent fly and wipe away any loose flakes using rubbing alcohol and a sponge.
  • Apply a thin coat of tent sealant to the afflicted areas, making sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions every step of the way.
  • If you discover that the problem with your tent is that it’s not beading off water, it’s definitely time to use a DWR waterproofing spray.

When appropriately applied, these chemicals aid in the removal of water from the tent, which prevents the pores of the fabric from being clogged, enabling the tent to breathe more freely and reducing condensation rates.

What’s The Best Waterproofing Tent Spray

If your tent’s DWR coating has to be reapplied, you’ll need to purchase some waterproofing tent spray to do it. Given the wide variety of tent sprays available, it is best to check with your tent manufacturer to see if they have any suggestions or preferences for their particular tent. If you can’t find any ideas from your tent maker, you may try a spray like the Nikwax Tent and Gear SolarProof spray, which is designed to protect tents from the sun. In general, Nikwax is a safe pick because of its extensive selection of high-quality waterproofing sprays and treatments for a variety of items, including everything from boots to rain coats.

See also:  How To Insulate A Tent For Fall Camping

It is customary to put up the tent and then spray it with clean water to remove any remaining dirt.

You’ll be ready to go as soon as the tent has dried completely.

Do Homemade Waterproofing Tent Sprays Work

It’s likely that if you look about on the internet for waterproofing supplies, you’ll come across some information on how to produce your own waterproofing tent spray. While this is an appealing choice since it can save you money in the short term, it is not something we would advocate in the long run. Sure, some of these improvised solutions could work, but if they don’t, you might find up right back where you started (with a tent that isn’t waterproof) or even worse, you could end up damaging your tent completely.

In our opinion, the best course of action is to Stick to tried-and-true techniques of tent waterproofing, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for tent care and maintenance.

How Often Do You Need to Reapply Tent Waterproofing

Tents should be waterproofed anytime they begin to exhibit indications of wear and deterioration. This might indicate that water is leaking into the tent via the seams or that you have seen peeling on the interior of the tent. Add some more waterproofing to your tent if you are in doubt; it will not harm it, and we always advocate going cautiously and waterproofing your tent anytime it begins to show indications of failing.


A tent, which is lightweight, portable, and simple to set up, may help keep you warm and dry while on a camping trip. Having saying that, all tents require a little TLC in order to work to their maximum potential. “Do I need to waterproof my new tent?” you might wonder. You’ll quickly discover that there isn’t a straightforward solution to this question. While some tents are ready to use right out of the box, others might benefit from a coat of seam seal to help prevent leaks from forming during transport.

What is our recommendation? Before embarking on your first vacation, set up the tent in your backyard to ensure that it is ready. Examine the seams and fabric to decide if it needs to be waterproofed before to your camping trip, and you should be set to go!

Should You Waterproof A New Tent?

Anyone who has gone camping knows that it is one of the most soothing and beneficial ways to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. For those who enjoy camping, nothing surpasses the experience of pitching a tent under the stars and getting back to nature. Almost any camper who has encountered inclement weather would agree that one of the worst experiences is waking up in your soaking wet tent and finding that you and all of your things have been soaked to the bone. Given the unpredictability of nature, the decision of whether or not to waterproof a new tent must be considered.

Lower-quality tents, as well as those that are not designed exclusively for camping, may require additional waterproofing to keep you dry in severe rainfall.

Are Tents Waterproof?

Despite the fact that the majority of tents are water resistant, this does not imply that they are waterproof. This means that while they may be able to repel rain to some extent, the interior of your tent may still become soaked. Whatever your level of confidence (or knowledge) in the waterproofing of your tent, it’s a good idea to check it out again. While the materials that make up the tent may be waterproof, the seams are not always so. Because of the stitching process, the seams of a tent contain far more holes than the remainder of the tent, and they are frequently disregarded when applying repellents.

It is possible that the great majority of tents are entirely waterproof, but if the rain can find a way inside the tent in any manner, it will.

Water Resistant, Water Repellent, or Waterproof?

Knowing how well your tent will hold up under the strain of a rainfall when you’re camping is straightforward if you know what to look for and grasp the difference between water-resistant, water repellent, and waterproof tents before you purchase one.


In order for a tent to be water-resistant, the fabric must be tightly knit and operate as the first line of defense, allowing the rain to penetrate inside once again.

Water Repellent

The fact that it is water resistant means that it provides an additional layer of protection on top of the knit fabric. It is probable that you will see a label on the tent that says DWR (Durable Water Repellent), which indicates that it has been coated with an additional layer of water repellent on the outer layer, which helps the water to bead and flow off the tent rather than soaking in.


If you are a frequent camper who enjoys the outdoors in both good and poor weather, you will want to invest in a totally waterproof tent, but no tent will ever be 100 percent water resistant.

It is not only the protective covering that allows rain to bead and roll off of the tent, but it is also composed of extremely robust and thick fabric that will protect you from the elements when camping.

How to Check Whether Your Tent Is Waterproof

When it comes to tents, some manufacturers say that they are waterproof; nevertheless, you may want to double-check that claim before embarking on a camping trip where you may be drenched. Practice setting up your tent in your backyard before venturing out into the woods, and have faith that everything will be OK. Camping in the rain is a nice way to spend the night while listening to the rain tap on the tent. It’s possible that your tent will require some attention in order to keep the water out!

If the interior of the container is dry, you’re good to go.


Even if your tent fabric is exceptionally weather-resistant, if the seams are not properly sewed together, you will have water pouring in from the sides and other areas. Check the interior of the bag to see if the stitching is likewise waterproof, and make sure the ties and toggles are securely fastened before using the bag.


All tents have at least one entrance, and many include windows, which may be found on either the side or the rear of the tent; these sections must also be waterproof in order to function properly. Almost all decent quality tents will have a piece of cloth above the openings to redirect rain away from the tent and prevent it from dropping directly onto the ground inside.


Just like a high thread count sheet will provide more comfort, the quality of the stitching on the tent’s fabric will suggest whether or not you will be able to keep dry or whether you will be one with nature as the rain pours down on you. When the stitching is tight, it makes it more difficult for water to get through, as opposed to stitching that is more relaxed and allows for more gaps for the rain to leak through to pass through.

How to Waterproof A New Tent

Not everyone is concerned with waterproofing a tent; they think the weather will be favorable and, if it is not, they pray for the best in any case. While some may waterproof only once and forget about it, others may recall it only after they have had a really soggy encounter with it. In most cases, waterproofing your tent once a year when camping season is about to begin should be sufficient, depending on how frequently you use it, how old it is, and how much care you put into maintaining it in good shape.

Clean Your Tent Thoroughly

Before applying any waterproofing spray or seam sealer to your tent, you’ll want to thoroughly clean the whole structure. Any spray will stick far better to a clean cloth than it will to one that has been coated with mud and dirt. Not sure how to clean a tent? Here’s what you should do. You’re not alone, but thankfully, the method is straightforward:

  • Make certain that your tent is in place. Fill a bucket halfway with warm water and mild soap
  • Set aside. Gently wash down the tent, especially the seams, using a sponge to remove any dust. Apply the waterproofing spray or treatment on the tent before it has a chance to dry

You may also read my complete essay on how to wash a tent, which is dedicated to the subject. After you’ve cleaned the tent, you’ll want to spray it with a waterproofing solution. However, while there are many manufacturer-specific products available, a generic product like as Nikwax Tent Spraywill suffice in most cases. Tent Waterproofing Spray from Nikwax With Nikwax, you can keep your gear breathable for longer periods of time by avoiding moisture build-up on the inside of the garment. This allows moisture to be pushed out from the inside, keeping your body at the proper temperature.

The Nikwax also acts as a rain repellent on the outside surface, keeping you dry from both directions. Price Check the Current Price The best part is that it can be used to waterproof a new tent as well as to repair the waterproof capabilities of an existing tent.

Sealing the Seams

Because seams are often the places where waterproofing is inadequate, whether owing to larger holes in the fabric or simply because they were neglected, it is critical to pay close attention to them while waterproofing.

  • Make certain that your tent has been cleaned and dried. Lie out the tent in a clean, comfortable to work on surface with the seams pointing upward, and then close it up. Use a clean, dry towel to wipe the seam with rubbing alcohol once it has been cleaned. Remove any material that has blown off the surface
  • Apply the sealant to the joint with a little paintbrush or sponge. Allowing your tent to dry completely before storing it is recommended.

Tips for Keeping Water Out

You may take a few steps to reduce the likelihood of water seeping into your tent, even if it is not completely waterproofed when you purchase it.

  • It is always preferable to pitch a tent on higher ground so that the water drains away and does not pool. Place an awning or a footprint beneath the tent’s groundsheet to keep rain from leaking inside the tent. Although your tent may be old and not waterproof, you may apply a sealer to keep water from getting inside (even if the tent is old and not waterproof).

Bottom Line

When dealing with the enormous and often unpredictable outdoors, it’s a good idea to over-prepare in order to avoid surprises. That means going above and above to properly maintain your tent, both in terms of waterproof covering and attentiveness. When you take good care of your tent, the fabric will last longer and will not break down as rapidly as it would if it were left unclean and untidy for an extended period. Maintaining your tent’s cleanliness, waterproofing it on a regular basis, and storing it properly can assist to guarantee that you have a comfortable and enjoyable vacation.

If you are unsure whether or not it was waterproofed when it was delivered, or if you want to be certain, then yes!

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