When camping, it’s best to have a checklist of things you need to ensure that your holiday runs as smoothly as it can. Whilst having a function tent is usually at the top of everyone’s list, there are some additional features that you should consider when choosing your tent. One such feature is how waterproof your tent is. A waterproof tent is usually much more durable and will last for more trips than a tent that is’t made to withstand grim weather.
Whilst there are ways in which you can waterproof a previously existing tent, you can prevent constant repair by investing in a more durable, waterproof tent for our trips.
Why Choose a Waterproof Tent?
One of the biggest factors when buying a waterproof tent is to consider the material which it is made of. Some materials are much more suited to certain uses than others, meaning you need to think about the kinds of conditions you’re planning on camping in. Most tents are waterproof to some extent, but depending on your location and what time of year you intend on camping in, can help you make a decision on which material is best for you. Some tent materials can be more expensive, heavier or have cons that may not suit your needs.
Purchasing a tent that will withstand the conditions you’re camping in is important as it can provide you with additional comfort and safety when camping. Rain is unpredictable and can occur at any time, meaning it’s good to be prepared.
Luckily, with technological advancements, there are now more options than ever before when it comes to choosing your tent’s material.
Polyvinyl chloride coated tents are a particularly popular type of tent on the market, due to the fact that the PVC which coats them already provides them with waterproof properties. This means that PVC coated tents typically don’t require much additional covering or shelter once they’re assembled. PVC coated tents are especially useful for short trips in the summer, such as festivals due to their quick setup time, low maintenance, and the unlikelihood of them coming into contact with torrential weather.
Polyester tents are also a particularly popular choice when it comes to deciding on a sturdy, trustworthy tent. Most polyester tents on the market are also coated with PVC, to give them an extra layer of protection. Polyester is often considered a hydrophobic material, meaning that water is more likely to roll or bounce off it. However, due to the shape of tents, there is a chance that water can pool the top of the tent or in any crevices that may contain it. Polyester, being a man made substance, is particularly durable and long lasting, so these types of tents are best if you’re planning on camping fairly often, and expect to see some rain whilst doing so.
Polyester-cotton is similar in structure to pure polyester but it contains some cotton elements. These tents are similar to polyester ones but have some additional benefits and disadvantages. Polyester-cotton tents are often made to be a little bigger than traditional polyester ones as the combination of polyester and cotton is made to be both durable and strong. These tents aren’t always given a PVC coating, but some are, so it’s important to double check when buying as an additional layer of protection can go a long way when caught in the weather. Polyester-cotton tents are incredibly long lasting and with proper care, can be used when camping for years.
For tips on drying your tent: How Long Can You Store a Wet Tent?
With the introduction of polyester, nylon isn’t used as frequently in tents as it once was. Whilst nylon is a lightweight, breathable waterproof material like polyester, the waterproof properties it possesses are less effective than polyester. As a result, it has fallen out of favor but can still be found in some certain types of tents. Nylon is used a lot in the manufacturing of smaller tents, as it is still an effective material for short-time use.
Nylon tents are great for quick journeys or short-term use due to their inexpensiveness and size. Nylon tents are damaged fairly easily by UV, and can become unusable fairly quickly if exposed to UV for extended periods of time. When considering their pros and cons, nylon tents are better suited to hikers and one-night stays.
Cuben fiber is rarely found in tents but not impossible to find if you’re looking specifically for it. It’s a heavy duty waterproofing material, but as a result, it comes with a cost. Cuben fiber is amongst the most expensive materials that a tent could be produced from, and with good reason. Cuben fiber takes all the best properties from polyester and makes them even more effective. It’s main disadvantage is its pricing and lack of availability in manufactured tents. As a result, there are little choices to make when looking for a specific shape or size of a cuben fiber tent.
Canvas is a trustworthy, renowned material which has a whole host of applications which makes it versatile and multifunctional. Along with being commonly used in tents, canvas can also be used to make sails, backpacks, paintings, marquees and shoes. The applications of canvas are endless, and it’s often sought out due to its resistance to water.
Canvas tents are popular, albeit slightly harder to find in a sea of polyester. They’re a great option for if you’re considering camping fairly frequently or are looking to camp in different conditions. Canvas tents are easy to maintain and can also be fixed by patching if they were ever to deteriorate.
Some canvas tents need to be weathered before taking them straight out on a camping trip. Weathering is done by setting the tent up in a garden or other outdoors environment and spraying it with water to simulate rain. By doing this, the canvas will react to the rain, and its properties will adjust in accordance with it, ensuring it will be more waterproof on your camping trip. Canvas tents typically work best once they’ve been weathered three times, but once is sometimes enough. If you forget to weather your canvas tent, it could let in a couple droplets of rain when first exposed to the rain.
Polyethylene is a sturdy, robust material which is used more commonly as flooring in waterproof tents. The sturdiness of polyethylene makes it extremely waterproof and durable, but leaves the structure feeling bulky and cumbersome when trying to transport it.
Polyethylene is the most commonly used type of plastic, and has many applications. It’s used in squeeze bottles, pipes, wire insulation and shopping bags amongst other items.
Most tents available on the market will have at least some resistance against the rain, and more often than not, you’re likely to be camping during a time when it isn’t particularly wet and rainy. Even some of the less waterproof options listed can have their properties reinforced using various measures to enhance waterproofing. For instance, adding layers of tarpaulin to your tent or creating a shelter will give it some additional water resistance whilst out and about. Hydrophobic spray and seam sealer are also ideal for application, even if your tent is already waterproof. These products simply add an extra layer of defense against the rain when you’re camping.