How to Waterproof and Seam Seal a Tent
The feeling of being snug inside your tent, listening to the crickets and cicadas sing you to sleep, is second to none—that is, until you wake up soaking wet from a leak that had gone undetected for several hours. It’s critical to waterproof and seam seal your tent to ensure that you don’t wake up in a puddle or that your camping gear isn’t ruined on your next camping excursions. When tenting in the great outdoors, there are four primary categories of challenges that tent dwellers are likely to encounter:
- There is water leaking through the seams, which has to be fixed
- Infiltration of water via the rainfly, which requires a water resistant coating
- Wetness seeping into tent floor, indicating that the polyurethane covering is beginning to peel away
- Condensation accumulates as you sleep, necessitating the need to unzip the zipper to enable more air to flow through
It doesn’t matter what kind of tent you have or what kind of leak-proofing you require; Stuff AID will assist you in keeping your gear watertight and you dry. Whether you’re camping in Yosemite or pitching up a tent in your own garden, you should prevent leaks from occurring in the first instance. Find out how to make quick and easy repairs to your tents and tarps that will last for years, so you can confidently return to sleeping quietly in the great outdoors. A puddle is hardly a place you’d like to sleep—so if you discover a bothersome loose or damaged seam in your tent, fix it as soon as you possibly can.
The most important step in completing this do-it-yourself job successfully is to choose the proper sealant for your type of fabric as well as the location and size of the treatment area.
- A bowl of cold water
- A sponge that is not rough
- Revivex Pro Cleaner or light liquid soap
- Seam Grip WP, Seam Grip FC, or Seam Grip SILWaterproof Sealant
- Revivex Pro Cleaner or mild liquid soap
Time Estimated: Approximately 30 minutes 20 minutes are allotted for application. Duration of cure: 2–12 hours, depending on the sealant used. Steps:
- Set up your tent in the garage or backyard if you have one. The rainfly should be laid down flat with the underside facing up while it is being sealed. Combine 1 fluid ounce of Revivex Pro Cleaner in a basin of cold water
- Set aside. Preparation: Wipe down the seams you intend to seal with a moist cloth or sponge saturated with your solution
- Then, using the provided brush, apply a thin coating to the exterior seams of the house using the appropriate Seam Gripseam sealer. In order to seal a silnylon tent or tarp (see the chart below for reference), use a silicone-based sealer. Maintain level and allow to cure according to the directions on the container (about 2-8 hours)
Pro Tip: After the Seam Grip WP has been cured, sprinkle baby powder over the seams to keep them from sticking together. Even while a rainfly is intended to provide an additional layer of protection between your sleeping bag and Mother Nature, they can become prone to wear and tear over time as well. Fortunately, with a combination of Seam Grip and Revivex, sealing nylon from top to bottom is a straightforward process. You may now sleep easily in your entirely secure and dry tent once you’ve finished sealing any loose seams using Revivex Instant, a spray-on water repellent, and completing the reproofing procedure.
- A bowl of cold water
- A sponge that is not rough
- Revivex Pro Cleaner or mild liquid soap
- Revivex Instant Water Repellent
- Revivex Pro Cleaner or light liquid soap
10-15 minutes is the time estimate. Steps:
- Lay your rainfly flat on the ground with the top side facing up in a well-ventilated place. Pour 0.5 fl oz of Pro Cleaner into a basin of cold water and stir well. Wet your sponge with the solution and use it to clean the rainfly from top to bottom. After the cloth has been thoroughly cleaned, spray it with Revex Instant Water Repellent. Make certain that the cloth is totally dry before storing it to avoid the formation of mold or mildew.
Water does not necessarily enter your tent at the top; it can also enter through the bottom of your tent and seep up through the floor. It’s a circumstance that will undoubtedly cause you to awaken from your lovely slumber fast (and painfully). Use Seam Grip TF to repair the polyurethane (PU) protective coating on the bottom of your tent to prevent water from seeping up through the bottom of your tent.
- Isopropyl alcohol, Revivex Pro Cleaner or mild liquid detergent, Seam Grip TF Tent Fabric Sealant, and a dry brush are all recommended.
Time Estimated: Approximately 30 minutes 15 to 30 minutes for application Cure time is 8-12 hours. Steps:
- Using a dry brush and isopropyl alcohol, remove the old, damaged PU coating from the surface. Alternatively, you may soak the tent in a solution of water, Revivex Pro Cleaner or mild detergent, and an isopropyl alcohol combination to remove the previous PU covering. Following cleaning and drying the area, shake Seam Grip TF and push the sponge down while pinching to saturate the applicator with product. Apply a thin, uniform coat of paint to the fabric of the tent’s inside. It is recommended to use a single coat. After four hours, check the tent for dryness and wait 24 hours before storing it away.
Using a dry brush and isopropyl alcohol, remove the old, degraded PU coating. Alternatively, you may soak the tent in a mixture of water, Revivex Pro Cleaner or mild detergent, and an isopropyl alcohol solution to remove the previous PU covering. Following cleaning and drying the area, shake Seam Grip TF and push the sponge down while pinching it to saturate the applicator. Fill up any gaps in the fabric by applying a thin, consistent coat throughout the whole tent. The most effective method is to apply a single coat.
Tents 101: Seam Taping vs. Seam Sealing
Using a dry brush and isopropyl alcohol, remove the old, degraded PU coating; Alternatively, immerse the tent in a mixture of water, Revivex Pro Cleaner or mild detergent, and isopropyl alcohol to remove the old PU covering. Following cleaning and drying the surface, shake Seam Grip TF and push the sponge down while pinching to saturate the applicator; Apply a thin, uniform coat of paint to the interior of the tent’s fabric. A single coat is the most effective; After four hours, check the tent for dryness and wait 24 hours before storing it.
- Tent Fabrics Part 1: Fabric Specs
- Tent Fabrics Part 2: Waterproof Ratings
- The Ultimate Guide to MSR Tents
- Tent Fabrics Part 3: Waterproof Ratings
- Tent Fabrics Part 4: Waterproof Ratings
Tent Seam Sealers 101
It is a type of application (usually tape or glue) that is used to seal the leaky seams of a tent to prevent water from leaking in. When the tent fabric is sewn together along the wall and the floor, this is known as a tent seam. These seams are infamous for leaking when there is a lot of rain, dew, or water runoff, among other things. In a tent, water will leak in via stitching that has either 1) not been properly sealed in the first place or 2) has become worn out over time. During the production process, the majority of firms waterproof the seams.
Step 1: Make Sure You Need Seam Sealant
It is a type of application (usually tape or glue) that is used to seal the leaky seams of a tent to prevent water from leaking through. These are the seams that are sewn together around the walls and the floor of a tent to hold it all together. Large amounts of water, dew, water runoff, and other elements can cause leaks in these seams. In a tent, water will leak in via stitching that has either 1) not been properly sealed in the first place or 2) has become worn out with time. During the production process, most businesses waterproof the seams.
Step 2: Select Sealant Based on Tent Fabric
Different types of seam sealants are required for different types of tent materials and textiles. As a result, you must identify the sort of tent cloth that you have. If you are unsure of the material of your tent or tarp, you can always look it up on the manufacturer’s website or get in touch with them. A) SILICONE COATED Textiles: Silicone coated fabrics are frequently used in ultralight tents and tarps. As previously stated, silicone-based sealants are required to be used on these textiles since silicone is the only substance that will cling to the silicone in these fabrics.
To make your own DIY silicone sealer, use one part 100 percent pure silicone with one part mineral spirits in a one to one ratio.
B) POLYURETHANE COATED FABRICS: Polyurethane coated tent fabrics, like silicone tents, can only be treated with a urethane-based sealer, similar to the silicone tents. A silicone sealant will not work in this situation. The best urethane sealants are as follows:
- Gear Aid Seam Grip FC (Flexible Gear Aid Seam Grip FC) (formerly Seam Sure). Seam Grip FC is a water-based sealant that dries in as little as two hours and is ideal for use in tight spaces. Gear Aid Seam Grip FC is suggested above Gear Aid Seam Grip WP unless you want a thick coating of waterproofing. This is because it is easier to work with than Seam Grip WP. Gear Aid Seam Grip WP is a water-based product that penetrates into the fabric of the tent and is easy to clean (formerly Seam Grip). Unlike other urethanes, Seam Grip WP is a thermoset compound that goes on thicker and requires longer to cure. It’s so thick that you can use WP as a glue to hold things together. Because it is so thick, Seam Grip WP necessitates the application of more elbow grease in order to fully penetrate the fabric.
ColemanandCoghlans also manufactures water-based seam sealers that are quick to dry and come with applicator pads to make application a simple task. Simply tip the bottle and use the applicator included inside the bottle to brush on the sealer. DYNEEMA (CUBEN FIBER) FABRIC (COLOR: C): It is not necessary to seam seal Dyneema tents in most situations. Alternatively, if you want that extra layer of protection, you may use the lightweight Gear Aid Seam Grip FC or a comparable water-based sealer.
Step 3: Apply the Seam Sealer
A few simple items, an hour of your time, and a few days of drying time are all that are required to repair a leaky tent. PREP: Look for a day with low humidity and temperatures ranging from 50 to 70 degrees (F), so that it can dry quickly. Make certain that you cover every seam and that you seal the seams from both the inside and the exterior. The tent must be set up in the manner in which it would typically be used for this purpose. MATERIALS: Before you begin, you’ll need to gather the materials listed below.
- Cloth: for cleaning the seams that are already there
- Cleaning existing seams with rubbing alcohol is recommended. Make sure you use the suitable seam sealer for your tent fabric. Seam Sealer: For applying the sealant, a brush (about an inch broad) is recommended. Some sealants are packaged with a brush
- However, this is not always the case.
HOW TO APPLY: 1. Set up a tent in your yard. In order for you to see all of the seams on your tent, set it up outside in a dry, sunny area or in a brilliantly lighted room. Put the fly on from the inside out so that the seams are visible. 2. Remove any sealant tape that has been damaged. Check for any loose or broken tape that may have come loose during the process. Try to keep the pieces that haven’t been harmed intact while gently removing those components. 3. Seams that are free of debris.
- Using a damp cloth and rubbing alcohol, clean it well.
- Utilizing your brush, dip it into the sealant mixture and apply it to the inside seams of your home or business.
- Excess should be wiped away as needed.
- Some individuals choose to cover zippers and other sensitive places using painter’s tape rather than using a glue stick.
- Seal the outside seams with a sealant.
- Allow for 12 to 24 hours of air drying time for the tent.
- Spray your tent with a garden hose and inspect it for leaks to ensure that your task is done correctly.
More: Waterproofing Tent Tips
- Prevention of Leaks: If rain does not bead up on the walls of your tent, you should consider coating it with a fresh coat of long-lasting, water repellent (DWR). This coating is excellent for treating the tent’s outside as well as the rainfly’s exterior. As a waxy covering, it prevents water from being absorbed through the walls of the building. Preventing Seaping Using the Following Methods: Make use of a groundsheet (tent footprint) below your tent to prevent it from gathering water runoff and moisture from the soil. In order to avoid holes, choose your tent location intelligently and sweep away any pebbles or sticks to avoid coming into touch with any potentially abrasive surfaces. In the case of minor holes, tenacious tape may be used to repair them. It is a highly strong tape that is meant to be lightweight, flexible, and robust so that it can be used outdoors.
How to Waterproof a Tent: Helpful Tips for Staying Dry While Backpacking
Yes, you did it—you trekked a dozen kilometers deep into a mountain range, battling bugs, brambles, and some of the most beautiful sights along the way. Congratulations! The trip to your campground was exhausting, but once you arrived, you put up your tent, cooked a nice dinner, and settled down for a good night’s sleep. Your campground isn’t bothered by the approaching rain clouds since you’ve tented in the rain before and always slept comfortably and dry. This time, though, it is the sound of running water that awakens you up at 4 a.m.
It is imperative that you quickly put something over your tent to prevent the water from coming in.
When it comes to camping, nothing spoils a good time quite like a leaking tent.
So, what can you do to get your tent back in working order? However, what should you do before to hitting the trail to ensure that this does not happen to you is even more crucial. For more information on how to waterproof a tent like an expert, consult our tutorial.
What does “Waterproof” Really Mean?
The vast majority of contemporary tents are waterproof or at the very least water resistant. But what is it about a tent that makes it waterproof in the first place? After all, water is a molten liquid that can be broken down into its constituent parts, which are called molecules. So, how does a cloth tent manage to resist even the slightest drops of water? Unfortunately, the answer is no—at least not completely. In scientific terms, no fabric can be considered totally waterproof in the sense that no water will ever be able to pass through.
- Water, on the other hand, will not pass through a waterproof fabric under normal conditions unless the water pressure exceeds the fabric’s “waterproof rating.” It is customary for fabrics to be measured in millimeters for their waterproofness (such a technical phrase!) (mm).
- As a result, a fabric with a water-resistance rating of 1,500 mm can bear the weight of 1,500 millimeters of water sitting on it without bursting.
- In fact, it’s more rain than the city of Seattle, Washington, which is known for its heavy rainfall, receives in a year.
- However, if you’re camping in a tent, you’ll want to take into consideration groundwater that comes up from below.
- Furthermore, because your body weighs more than rain, a 1,500 mm rating, although sufficient for rain fly and tent walls, would be insufficient for the tent floors or footprint.
- Because of the greater rating, the tent floor can resist the increased pressure from your body for several days at a time when you’re out in the wilderness, if necessary.
- Even in the most harsh three-season situations, they’ll hold up and remain dry for months on end.
How Does Waterproof Fabric Work?
Typically, waterproof fabric is constructed of many layers of synthetic material. The specs and layers of waterproof fabric produced by various manufacturers will change, but they will all have at least two layers in common. Outside textiles for camping gear are often made of nylon or polyester, which are not waterproof but are water resistant and feel good to the touch despite not being completely waterproof. Immediately behind it is a coated membrane, which is often constructed of polyurethane.
The fabric’s exterior layer has been coated with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR), which makes it completely waterproof.
This liquid polyurethane forms a link with the cloth and acts as a water-repellent barrier against it. When all of the layers are joined, you’re left with a fabric that is both breathable and entirely water-resistant.
What Causes a Tent to Lose its Waterproofness?
During their lifetime, tents, outerwear, and other waterproof textiles are worn down by dirt and oil particles that become embedded in the fabric, and the sun’s fading and eroding effect on the fabric’s surface. With continuous usage, the polyurethane coating on the outside of the tent fades and loses its effectiveness, and after a few summers in your tent, you may notice that it isn’t holding up as well against rain as it used to. The same is true for water-resistant coats, jeans, stuff sacks, and backpacks, among other things.
They’re normally fairly durable, but once the seam taping begins to wear away, water will accumulate around the seams and begin to leak through, thereby ending the game.
The good news is that you may quickly and economically restore the waterproofing properties of your tent to its original condition.
How to Waterproof a Tent
In the event that you have lately tented on a wet night, you may already be aware of the source of the leak in your tent. The trouble with water leaks, on the other hand, is that they almost never begin at the location where you first discover them. If your tent’s waterproofing has been compromised, there may be more than one leaky location to be found. Look for holes or rips in every inch of your tent and inspect it thoroughly. Some leaks are caused by something as simple as a micro-tear in a piece of cloth.
The majority of the time, though, leaky tents are a bit more difficult to fix.
Start by wetting the ground underneath you with a hose.
After that, go inside the tent and look for any signs of water that has made its way inside.
Supplies You’ll Need
- Oil-based rubbing alcohol is used to clean tent seams and surfaces in order to remove oil, grime, and other particles that inhibit proper sealing. Cloths, both wet and dry
- To clean the tent and remove dirt and grease, use water and soap. The use of DWR tent waterproofing spray, which is readily available online or at your local camping supply store
- Seam sealer, which works in a similar way to domestic superglue and is simple to get by online or at an outdoor-oriented store
Seal The Tent Seams
Repairing one of your tent’s seams is a wonderful idea, but it’s much better if you can fix all of them at once. It takes less than an hour to seal your tent seams, and it is rather simple (excluding drying time). Take the following steps:
- Tent seams should be cleaned. After wiping down each seam with a moist towel, apply rubbing alcohol to the area. The glue that was initially used to hold the tent seams together is now your adversary, and the rubbing alcohol will assist you in getting rid of it so that the seam sealer may do its function
- Tent sealer should be applied using a brush. Tent seams should be sealed using a specific sealant, which should be applied with a brush or popsicle stick to cover the whole seam. You don’t want it to be too thick or too thin since it will be uncomfortable. A thin layer of around a millimeter thickness is ideal
- Excess should be wiped away and allowed to dry. Excess sealant should be gently wiped away with a clean cloth or towel. Let the tent seams dry for at least 6 hours indoors or in the shade before putting your tent away for the night.
The seams of your tent will stay entirely secure and watertight for many years after they have been properly installed. The majority of the time, sealing your tent seams is a one-time, permanent solution. The seams will only need to be resealed once every 8-10 years unless you’re trekking in tough circumstances for months at a time.
Restore Waterproof Surfaces
It’s time to recoat your tent’s urethane coating with a new layer of durable water repellent (DWR) coating to keep it looking as good as new. This will extend the life of the tent by several years and only takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, excluding drying time.
If you believe your old, trail-worn tent may benefit from a fresh coat of DWR, even if it hasn’t yet sprung a leak, it’s definitely worth the effort to give it a makeover! Here’s how it’s done:
- Set up your tent as soon as possible. When your tent is fully put up, either in your garage or garden, the quickest and most effective approach to refresh its DWR is to wash and wipe the tent clean. It is recommended that you wash your tent after each lengthy journey as part of your standard post-trek procedure after each trip. Preventing dirt and oil from getting into your tent before refreshing the DWR is critical to extending the life of your tent’s DWR coating. Take a towel or sponge and dip it in soapy water before wiping out every surface of the tent thoroughly. Once the tent has been thoroughly cleaned, you can proceed to the following step—there is no need to dry the tent at this point—which is to coat the tent with waterproofing spray (DWR). Apply a generous amount of DWR spray on the tent’s exterior, from top to bottom. Simply spray the tent’s outside surface, and the coating will soak into the fabric and bind with it when the tent is allowed to dry completely. Make certain that you cover every inch of the tent and that no fabric is left untouched
After you’ve completely covered the tent with DWR, wipe it down with a dry towel to remove any excess DWR and ensure that the tent has a clean, even finish. Once this is done, allow it to dry for at least 12 hours or overnight in a dry environment. When you’re finished, your tent will be restored to its original, completely waterproof condition. No more stressing about the weather while planning your next backpacking trip—rain or shine, you’ll be prepared with everything you need to sleep well while on the road!
Tips For Tent Waterproofing
Tent waterproofing can be viewed as a preventative step rather than only a remedy to a particular issue. Because applying a waterproofing treatment is so simple and inexpensive, you may believe that you should reapply it every year at the start of a new camping season. However, this is not the case. It’s perfectly OK to do so, but it’s not frequently essential. In general, good tents for camping will survive for at least four to seven years before they begin to naturally wear down and require a new layer of waterproofing.
Should I Use DWR Spray on My Backpack, Sleeping Bag, etc.?
If your camping gear is comprised of nylon or polyester, it’s likely that it has been treated with a water-repellent coating. Your tent’s waterproofing will decrease with time, and so will the waterproofing of your hammock-compatible sleeping bag, ultralight down sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and backpack over time. It is possible that you may need to update the DWR coating on your backpack and sleeping pad every few seasons, but your sleeping bag should not see enough wear and tear to require this.
What Seam Sealer and DWR Spray Should I Use?
What you choose to do is mostly up to you; seam sealers and DWR sprays from a variety of manufacturers all employ the same basic components. Because of their long-standing reputation for quality and high level of trust in the backpacking world, many individuals choose Nikwax-branded gear. To be honest, no sealer brand is likely to be notably superior than any other in terms of performance.
Never Have a Leaky Tent Again
The process of learning how to waterproof a tent is almost as simple as the process of actually waterproofing it. Make sure you understand where the leaks are coming from, maintain your tent clean, and replace the DWR and seam sealant every few years to ensure that your tent continues to function at peak levels. Since when have you examined your tent to make sure it isn’t leaking? Do you have any waterproofing recommendations for our readers? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below!
How to Seam Seal a Tent
Whatever the weather conditions are—dew, rain, or a sudden downpour—water has the ability to seep into any shelter through needle holes in the seams or an unintentional pinhole or rip. You may need to treat your shelter at some point, whether it is seam-sealed and completely waterproof, factory-taped, or otherwise untreated. This will keep the elements at bay while also maintaining the structural integrity of your shelter. Fortunately, the seam-sealing procedure is quick and rather straightforward.
Always adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations as well as the manufacturer’s guidelines for your seam sealant. Seam sealant names such as McNett, Kenyon, and Aquaseal are among those available on the market. The following McNett items are highly recommended by several tent companies:
- Designed for use on shelters made of nylon or other synthetic materials, as well as natural textiles, waterproof laminates (such as leather), and vinyl, SeamGrip is a great addition to your shelter arsenal. It can also be used to permanently fix pinholes and tiny rips
- However, this is not recommended.
- SilNet is intended for use on shelters constructed of silicone-coated textiles, such as silnylon. It may also be used for simple on-the-job repairs in the field.
Application of the two is nearly same in terms of procedure (follow the directions for your sealant).
The first step in seam sealing is to start with a clean, dry tent. Tent floor, fly, and bottom of tent body seams and connection points are the most vulnerable to water intrusion, therefore pay close attention to these areas and the tent’s attachment points. There is no need to seam seal any of the mesh. Because extended exposure to seam sealant without appropriate ventilation can be hazardous to your health, you’ll want to complete this task outside if possible. Also, choose a warm, dry day to complete the project because it will take some time for the sealant to properly cure.
- Clean your tent and rain fly as thoroughly as possible. Using water and, if required, a very mild, non-detergent soap, thoroughly clean the tent (check with your manufacturer for their recommendation). It is not recommended to use detergents, bleach, dishwashing liquid, stain removers, or strong soaps, since they can eat through the fabric of your tent and any coatings it may have. Rinse well. Allow for complete drying of your tent, which should be erected or strung on a line in a shaded location. Never dry your tent using a machine. Once your tent is clean, dry, and tautly erected, you may go on to the next step: seam sealing.
The Seam Sealing Process
When applying sealant to the tent and fly, make careful to pull them taut as much as possible. Now comes the step when you have to put the sealant on the joints. You should seal all of the seams of your shelter at once if you’re sealing your shelter for the first time and not in reaction to a specific leak. This will help to guarantee that your tent doesn’t break while you’re in the middle of a rainstorm days away from a repair. Pay close attention to the tent’s most exposed seams, which include the tent floor, fly, and bottom of the tent body, as well as the webbing connection points, which are the most probable places for water to enter.
The maker of your shelter may advise you on which seams to seal and which ones to leave open.
- Apply painter’s masking tape to the inner walls 1/4 of an inch from both sides of the seam on both sides of the wall. This will make it easier to apply the sealant and will prevent the sealant from spreading out too much during the application process. It will also offer your job a more professional appearance
- Sealant should be applied to the inside wall seams of your tent, with the lowest half receiving the most attention. Continue around the perimeter, leaving a thin coating of sealant that extends roughly 1/4 of an inch over the edges of the seams. Pay close attention to making sure that all of the needle holes are filled in. Mesh portions do not require sealant, however it will add added strength to the stitching by keeping it together more tenaciously. Take care not to get sealant in the zippers. Make use of the same amount and breadth of sealant for sealing any seams on the tent floor. Make sure that all of the tent’s seams are taut before closing the tent’s opening and applying another coat to the exterior of the tent. Many tents are delivered with seams that have been factory taped. The exterior seams of these tents may be sealed in order to provide optimum waterproofing. It is possible to use sealant like glue to close a seam and then reapply the tape in the event that it begins to peel. Allow the tent to air dry
- When it comes to one-piece tents, the sealing is complete. When using a tent with a rain fly, it is best to place the rain fly on upside down so that the interior seams are visible. Continue using the same procedure as described before in order to seal the fly’s seams.
- You may seal both sides of the rain fly here if you want to provide even more protection. Make sure that the tent is left tight to dry and that the rain flap is securely fastened to the tent. Allow for complete drying of both parts for 12 to 24 hours, or overnight if the weather permits
- Applying seam sealant to the other side of your rain fly and tent bottom will provide an additional layer of protection. After all of the seams have dried, it’s time to get creative. Establish a routine for setting up the tent, then put on the sprinklers for an hour or so. Climb inside and take in the beauty of your creation. Examine the sealant for any leaks or cracks in the sealant. Testing the seams thoroughly now will guarantee that there are no surprises out on the trail later on in the trip. Allow your tent to dry completely before repeating the seam sealing technique on any troublesome places if necessary. Once your tent has been completely cured and dried, keep it in a loose manner away from direct sunlight and outside of its stuff pouch. Your shelter is now complete and ready to be used
Questions and Considerations
Pay great attention to the tie-down points in the corners, as these are particularly vulnerable. Is it true that my tent’s seams are factory taped and hence seam sealed? No. Tents that are more recent in design frequently have factory-taped seams. This signifies that a waterproof material has been doubly sewn between the tent’s seams to keep the elements out. However, while a factory-taped seam is normally fairly water-resistant, and it should stand up well in compared to not sealing the seam at all, it is not the same as totally waterproof seam sealing.
- I’ve just spent a significant amount of money.
- Some tent manufacturers seal the seams of their products.
- You may find that seam sealing your shelter yourself is far less expensive.
- Shelters constructed with silicone-treated nylon are not factory-taped, as seam tape does not adhere to the material when it is wet.
Is it necessary for me to seam seal my new tent? First and foremost, always check with the manufacturer of your tent, since most have their own recommendations for how and where to apply sealant based on the materials used and the form of the shelter.
- If your tent’s seams are not sealed or factory-taped, you will need to seal them yourself after purchasing it. Make sure to start on a warm, dry day before heading out on the trails. If your tent’s seams have been factory-taped, there is no need to seal it. Even though your tent should be very water-resistant, you may wish to check its waterproofness under a sprinkler before venturing into the bush. If your tent will be used frequently, especially in damp weather, consider sealing the seams. An additional coat of sealant will provide your shelter with additional protection as well as optimal waterproofing
- If your tent is already seam-sealed, there is no need to seal the seams immediately after purchase. However, you may wish to test its waterproofing under a sprinkler to make sure it is enough. Even with seam sealing, frequent inspections and maintenance are still necessary, especially when the system is subjected to a lot of abuse.
There are several different seam sealant products available on the market. Is it okay to apply any kind of sealer on my tent? No. Various sealants are developed for the treatment of specific textiles. Check to see what kind of materials were used to construct your tent (nylon versus silnylon, for example), as well as what the manufacturer recommends. The seam sealer you pick should be suitable for the fabric of your tent, and it should be easy to apply. When should I seam seal or spot treat my tent and how often should I do so?
- If you are a backpacker or camper who uses your equipment frequently, you may wish to apply a coating twice a year to protect it.
- Apply another layer of sealant if any of the sealant is missing, leaking, or fractured in parts.
- What should I do in this situation?
- The floor was seam-sealed by myself.
- The majority of the time, it is suggested.
- In order to prevent water from funneling below the tent, make sure the ground fabric is smaller all around than the tent and does not protrude from underneath.
- Keep in mind that the manufacturer’s cleaning, maintenance, and repair instructions should always be followed.
8 Best Tent Seam Sealers in 2022 ⋆ Expert World Travel
The most recent update was made on January 17, 2022. Finding the ideal tent for all of your requirements might be difficult, but once you have done so, you will have the ideal layout with the appropriate amount of room for sleeping, storage, and anything else you want to make your camping experience as enjoyable as possible. In a Nutshell: Tent Seam Sealers: Our Top 3 Picks Unfortunately, tents do not endure indefinitely, and after a time, you may notice rips and tears that eventually result in leaks and render your tent a bit obsolete in terms of functionality.
Purchasing a new tent is an expensive investment, and it is possible that you may not be able to locate another tent that is as good as the one you purchased.
Seam sealer is a fantastic product that will maintain your tent in good condition for years to come, preventing those pesky leaks and allowing you to continue to use your beloved tent.
Throughout this post, we’ll take a look at the top tent seam sealers available on the market and compare them against one another so you can discover the best one to repair the seams on your beloved tent.
Best Tent Seam Sealer
TheGear Aid Seam Grip SILis a silicone-coated gear sealant that may be used to seal any type of gear with a silicone finish. To be really honest, this includes tents, backpacks, tarps, and anything else that has had silicone treated. In addition, once it has dried, it becomes extremely lightweight; therefore, if you’re looking to reduce the weight of your gear, this may be the sealer for you. This 1.5 ounce container of sealant will cover up to 24 feet of seams if you apply it properly, and it will last for several months.
In addition, the sealant will not crack or peel, it will be flexible and elastic, allowing your stuff to move freely.
If you make a mistake when applying it, you may easily erase it by wiping it down with paint thinner once you’ve finished.
Overall, it’s a fantastic tent seam sealer for anyone who has a silicone treat tent or other similar equipment.
- It is extremely reasonably priced and provides excellent coverage. It is used to seal silicone-treated equipment. Extreme temperatures have no effect on this product because it is waterproof. It holds up effectively against strong winds and rain. If you make a mistake, you can clean it up using paint thinner. It will not crack or peel until it has been cured.
- A very little quantity is contained within the tube. It’s a bit difficult to apply because it’s so thick.
- Silnylon tents are the most common use for this product. Size (oz): 1.5
- Cure Time (6 hours)
- Coverage (ft): 24
- Top Feature: Permanent
- Primary Use: Silnylon tents
Coleman Seam Sealer
Coleman’s Seam Sealer is intended for use with a variety of items such as tents, tarps, backpacks, and other similar items. However, it is only a seam sealer and is not very effective at patching up a gear, so it is not an all-gear puncture repair kit in the same way that some of the others are. This seam sealer is manufactured from a water-based composition that is environmentally safe, and it comes in a 2-ounce container. There isn’t any information available on the coverage, but it is undoubtedly excellent value.
- In addition to the Seam Sealer, Coleman also includes a foam applicator that makes applying the sealant a snap.
- It takes only 2 hours for the product to dry and become waterproof once it has been applied.
- Because it is water-based, you will need to put it on a dry tent, which may be difficult if it is raining.
- It’s reasonably priced, offers excellent value, and is portable enough to fit in your bag.
- It comes with a foam applicator for quick and simple sealing. Environmentally beneficial because it is based on water
- Extremely inexpensive and fantastic value for money
- For the same price as the others, you may get double the volume. It cures in 2 hours, making it excellent for on-the-go applications.
- It’s not a good idea to patch things up
- When it’s raining, it’s difficult to utilize
- Size (ounces): 2
- Cure Time (hours): 2
- Coverage (percentage): na
- Tents made of nylon are the most common use for this feature.
Gear Aid Seam Grip FC
TheGear Aid Seam Grip FC is packaged in a convenient 2-ounce container with a built-in brush for easy application and cleanup. Some individuals adore the brush, but others despise it. If you’re having trouble applying it, simply put some liquid on your own brush and apply it that way. The finest features of this sealer are that it cures rapidly (in just two hours) and that it covers a vast area (up to 60 ft. in diameter). In other words, you should be able to construct a whole tent and be able to utilize it on the fly.
It may be used to seal up a variety of items, including tents, tarps, and awnings.
The sealer provides a long-lasting, waterproof barrier that is elastic and moves with the cloth once it has been applied to the fabric and allowed to dry.
Overall, this is an excellent all-around tent seam sealer that works on any and all of the materials that may be used to construct a tent. You may, however, dislike the brush, in which case you should be prepared to find another one.
- It cures in only 2 hours, making it ideal for on-the-go applications. For ease of application, the product has a built-in brush. Per bottle, there is a significant quantity of coverage. Because of the covering, it is ideal for large tents. It is waterproof and produces a high-quality seal.
- When applying sealer, a brush is not the most effective tool. The shiny sheen is not completely imperceptible.
- It comes in two sizes, each weighing two ounces. The cure time is two hours, and the coverage is 60 feet. The top feature is that it cures quickly.
Texsport Polyurethane Waterproof Seam Sealer
If you have a lot of patience, theTexsport Polyurethane Waterproof Seam Sealer is about as excellent as it gets when it comes to seam sealers. As a result, while this tent seam sealer isn’t intended for use on the trail, it is ideal for use in the house or in the garage. This sealer may be used on a variety of items, including tents, coats, and backpacks. It is quite simple to use; simply spray it on and follow the on-screen directions. The sealer is made of polyurethane, and when it has been allowed to cure for 48 hours, it will be odorless and virtually undetectable, but it will protect the living daylights out of your tent.
Because it is lightweight and incredibly flexible, it flows naturally with the fabric, ensuring that you receive the performance you want from your tent.
Although it is one of the best tent seam sealers available in terms of final result, you will need to apply two coats and allow for a 48-hour drying period in order for it to be effective.
- Spray-on application makes for a very simple process. Once it has dried, you will not be able to see or smell it. Waterproof, dirtproof, and UV resistant
- You may even wash the tent and it will not lose its color. Since it has some elasticity, it will naturally bend with the cloth. After it has been dried, it will not split or peel.
- Although it is a little more costly, you receive larger volume. It takes two days to cure and is only intended for usage at home.
- Cure time is 48 hours
- Size (ounces) is 14. No coverage is provided. Tents are the most common application for this feature.
Gear Aid Seam Grip WP
TheGear Aid Seam Grip WPis a universal seam grip that can be used with virtually any material, any tent, and all of your other gear. It will bind with nylon, polyester, canvas, leather, and vinyl, thus you will be able to seal just about everything with this product. In all, the tube contains 1 ounce of liquid and is designed to cover a tiny area, only 12 feet of seams. You can, however, purchase bigger tubes and multiple packs if you so choose. It comes with two application brushes, so you won’t have to go out and get any additional ones later.
Following the application, you’ll have to wait for it to cure for eight hours, which is quite a long time.
Once dried, it provides a watertight coating that will not peel or break, and it is also flexible enough to allow the cloth to move freely as well.
- A variety of textiles may be utilized with this product. Extremely adaptable and may be used with any piece of equipment. All seams become waterproof as a result of this. There are two applicator brushes included. It is flexible and does not peel or fracture when exposed to the elements.
- It comes in one ounce, cures in eight hours, and has a 12-foot coverage. Its top feature is that it is permanent, and its primary use is tents.
Kenyon Seam Sealer
When it comes to synthetic fabrics, this Kenyon Seam Sealer may be used on any of them, so if you have a polyester or nylon tent (which is quite likely), this tent seam sealer will perform wonders for you. It’s an environmentally safe, non-toxic, water-based sealer that’s rather thin in comparison to other sealers. However, the applicator is a little thin and can easily go wrong, which makes it difficult to apply the sealer precisely. The coating penetrates the fabric and seals any open pores, resulting in a waterproof and flexible covering that is easy to work with.
The film is visible, although it is not immediately apparent.
Some people have stated that the sealer did not perform correctly after a particularly severe storm.
This is something to keep in mind, however it is possible that this is due to the fact that not enough sealer was applied in the first place. Overall, it’s a good sealant, but there’s no indication of how long it will take to dry completely.
- Water-based and environmentally friendly
- It is versatile and may be used on a variety of textiles. Once it has dried, it becomes clear and bendable. Because of the tip, it is simple to use
- Creates a long-lasting, watertight seal
- For simple application, it’s a little too watery. It is possible that you will not survive a severe storm.
- Size (ounces): 3.2 ounces
- Cure Time: hours
- Coverage: na ft
- Top Feature: Permanent
- Primary Use: Tents
- Size (ounces): 3.2 ounces
Gear Aid Seam Grip TF
Seam Grip TFtent seam sealer is specifically designed for use with tents; the TF stands for tent fabric, and it is perfect for use with nylon tent flooring, rainfly, and tarps, among other materials. It will quickly and easily repair the PU coatings on your antique vehicles. Application of seam sealer is difficult and will require some experience in order to spread it thinly enough to cover 85 square feet, but once you get the hang of it, it will be a piece of cake. Because the applicator brush appears to be enjoyed by some and disliked by others, be prepared to adjust your technique as needed.
It may be used on the trail with relative simplicity, although caution should be exercised if you plan on moving camps after the four-hour period.
Overall, it’s a good tent seam sealer that just requires a little effort to get right, but once you do, it’ll cover a large area quickly and effectively.
- A polyurethane sealer that performs exceedingly well
- Seams are watertight, and the material is exceptionally durable
- Once dried, it is virtually indistinguishable, ensuring that your tent will always appear the same. Once cured, the material is malleable. The applicator has a built-in foam brush for convenience. A single bottle may cover a large number of seams. It dries quickly, taking only 4 hours to cure
- It’s difficult to cover 85 square feet by spreading thin
- Some people dislike the applicator brush
- Others appreciate it.
- Size (oz): 3.2 oz
- Cure Time: 4 hours
- Coverage (sq foot): 85 sq ft
- Top Feature: Complete coverage
- Primary Application: Tents
Iosso Seam Sealer
A wide variety of textiles can be utilized with the Iosso Seam Sealer; however, cotton, polyester, and synthetic materials perform best when using this product. In addition to tent seams, it works well on backpacks, awnings, and other similar items as well as on clothing. With a built-in brush applicator, it’s a cinch to apply the sealer to the seams on your furniture. The liquid, on the other hand, is rather thin and has a tendency to drop readily, so use caution when applying it. It comes in a 4 oz bottle and will provide you with adequate coverage to tackle a medium-sized tent.
As well as being flexible, it will endure a long time, protecting both your tent and yourself from any wetness for an extended period of time.
- Once applied, it will not alter the fabric’s appearance. It comes with an integrated foam brush applicator. It is versatile and can be used on a variety of different materials. In relation to the volume, it provides a decent covering area. It creates a strong, long-lasting waterproof seal.
- Dimensions (oz): 4 oz
- Cure Time: na
- Coverage: na
- Top Feature: Permanent
- Primary Application: Tents
What To Look For In A Tent Seam Sealer
As you can see from the comparison of all of the tent seam sealers in this study, they are all effective on particular types of fabrics and materials. Make sure to get a sealer that is compatible with the fabric of your tent in order for it to be as effective as possible. They should be able to seal nylon, polyester, canvas, silicone-coated textiles and other types of materials, so they should be able to fulfill your needs.
How Thick Is The Sealer?
The thicker the sealer, the more difficult it is to apply, but the coating is typically a little more durable, so the decision is up to you in this situation. Thinner sealers are considerably simpler to apply, but they can drip if you’re working at a height and you’re not paying attention. In any case, you’ll most likely end up having to get used to whatever thickness you wind up picking, so I wouldn’t stress too much about it.
How To Apply The Sealer?
Seam sealer is often applied in one of two ways: by painting, using foam, or spraying the sealant. The majority of the sealers in this study are paint-on sealers, which allow you to be more precise with your application, although it does take some time.
The use of spray-on sealers is far more convenient, but you may wind up squandering some of the product in the process. Foam applicators are similar to paint brushes, but they’re a bit easier to use because you’re rubbing rather than painting.
Consider how much tent seam sealer you’ll use and get the suitable amount so that you don’t run out in the middle of the project or halfway through. Because they are not particularly costly, it is usually a good idea to get an additional one or two. If you’re setting up a tiny tent, one little tube should enough, but if you’re setting up a large tent, make sure to obtain a bottle that holds at least 4 ounces.
Our Favorite Tent Seam Sealers
If you’re on a tight budget, the Coleman Seam Sealer is the best tent seam sealer to use. Water-based, environmentally friendly seam sealer that dries in only 2 hours. It may be used for a variety of applications. You may use it on the trail or at home on your tents, backpacks, and other gear on the fly, depending on your needs. It’s about as inexpensive as a tent seam sealer can be made to be. The Gear Aid Seam Grip FC tent seam sealer is the best all-around tent seam sealant available. The fact that it is intended for use on canvas as well as polyester and nylon means that it will work on virtually any tent you may need it to function on.
TheTexsport Polyurethane Waterproof Seam Sealer is the finest tent seam sealer on the market.
Because of the spray-on lid, it’s simple to apply and will protect your tent from virtually everything: water, sunlight, dirt, and other elements of nature.
It does take 48 hours to dry completely, but the wait is well worth it.