Do You Need to Waterproof a New Tent? Let’s Find Out!

Published on: February 8, 2022
Written by Camila Avery / Fact-checked by David Rowan

You may be a genuine camp enthusiast with better skills and activities, as camping in the rain, turning a quilt into an underquilt hammock stand plan, and more. But a good camping story begins from an ideal tent or rainfly purchase is bucks worthy in your gear bucket list. Because if you are in a tremendous area where rainfall possibility is kind of sudden earthquake news, to live and not hampering good camp or hiking mood, a waterproof tent is the first need.

Especially at night, no one even wants to wake up in the middle of the night, neither for cots vs air mattresses battle, nor for non-waterproof tent-making holes to let water drip inside or snow. In this case, tent waterproofing whether it may be a question like do you need to waterproof a new tent, you have to proceed.

do you need to waterproof a new tent

Even to stay dry while camping, waterproof rainfly, most often available in Nylon, Polyester, Canvas, and the rigid seam-sealed ones you should purchase. However, if the tent is not available in waterproof, with so-called water-resistance rainfly may seem to have holes or broken tarps inside. This is not suitable before going on trips. 

Though waterproofing new or previously used rainfly may be considered a chore, it can prolong its lifetime to let you use it years after years. So, on such questions, as if they need to waterproof a new tent, campers should try at home even with available chemical sprays.

Are All Tents In-built Waterproof?

Confused? It is understandable by the materials in construction the tent has. While it is pretty much sure that all camping tents have been designed with water-resistant materials. Yet does not ensure the water-resistance at all on the overall tent design. A side-by-side comparison can make it understandable enough while the waterproof is really that or not. 

 Waterproof Tent Not Real Waterproof 
Materials Nylon, Polyester, UV-Tex 5, Canvas, Gore-tex, and more.Seam-sealed not waterproof material like cotton 
Coating PU and Silicone Regular DWR 
Stitch Seam-sealed Seam-taped 
Tarps Iron-horse Cotton Canvas 

This is ironic that campers who are about to begin their first camping should make the tent waterproof, foremost to camping in the rainy season. Even if the materials are waterproof, for instance, made with Nylon, Canvas, UV-Tex 5, and more may not get seam-sealed instead with seam-taping.

This is not an uncommon occurrence in tents type other camping items buying time. Although the waterproof materials are not in construction, with the fabric’s help, it can withstand plenty of water sometimes. 

Yet in the case of camping in snowy areas, will find its way being as least resistant as the poor duck boots are bad for hiking, which may keep sweating. Even the camping tent stitches can wear out at ease, and so far, holes will get visible within the shortest time. Here, rain droplets possibly seep through the seams at higher levels. To avoid such horrifying sleeping nights, seam-sealed tents we prefer, consist of waterproof coating and taping. 

If your tent’s seams are seam-sealed, then ensure next the powerful waterproof coating with DWR, which is durable water repellent. Because whether the sealant from inside supports not to wear off, the coating applied on the outside protects you from excessive water dripping under the air mattress or cot. From overtime applications, such a superb waterproof tent can get dirty and the overall design may ruin at ease, even if you have proper maintenance a lot. 

If we abbreviate other selecting factors, DWR from outside is the thing that should get the most effective notice. The microscopic pores in tents’ fabrics may vapor out water dripping at rapid speed, for instance, humidity, human sweat, body heat, and something similar. But stopping water droplets inside throughout the coating tent outside, even if clogged up a little drop, removes the availability to get inside.  

Water-resistant vs waterproof tarps have been a real battle for many years. Even people get confused about where to buy a tarp for camping. Tarp under your camping tent or putting there some source of ground wrapper keeps the tent not only warm and dry, but also makes it durable enough.

The longer the tarp extends, the more durable the tent will become from inside, except for camping at the beach. An iron horse made tarps are worth buying, as it is stronger at least twice than cotton canvas tarps. Including shading tents purpose, for boat covers, outdoor furniture wrapping, awnings, a 15 ounces/square yard should be on top. However, a blue tarp of reinforced Polyethylene fabrics or Vinyl waterproof tarps to avoid plastic drop cloth type tarp at a reasonable price.  

Can I Make Camping Tents More Waterproof at Home?

Want to make tents more water-resistant at home through several available waterproofing products at camp stores? Well, you can. If you search on any search engine by typing how to make personal waterproof tent spray at home, you will find it. It is a misleading option though, save money while you are up to a sudden camp plan with a tight budget. 

Want to make sure homemade sprays work or not like a primer spray gun? Set up the tent first, spray down the DIY tent with available clean water. If you have washed that recently, do not wait before applying it outside of the rainfly. Now take a dump cloth and then wipe off the rest of the coating. However, this procedure of waterproofing DIY tents may lose their waterproofing on frequent usage. In this approach, and to avoid further need to waterproof a new tent, we recommend the best tent sprays by versatile brands manufactured. 

Now you have completed the tent waterproofing task, it is time to make it last for a longer camping purpose whether it is late summer, winter, or rainy season offbeat. The entire procedure till the spray gets dry on the exterior. 

waterproofing tent with tarp or coleman spray
Credit: Photo:

Steps to Maintenance:

Place your tent in a dark and cool place and avoid direct sunlight drying because the thickness can dry out fast. And yes, the regular checking while not used on regular purpose, make sure before molding.

For cleaning it, off to wash in the washing machine. Before things get worse if you do not know yet this not to do, remember to repair tent damage. Either use hands by keeping tents under running regular temperature water. 

Besides tents maintenance to use one further time, as well as the waterproofing spray can. Keep away your waterproofing spray like us from hand-touch while you are outside, because these are chemicals and on babies or human beings, these are very effective. 

Waterproofing Tent with Tarp or Coleman Spray?

The idea leads to waterproofing your tent with a tarp, either some other materials like Canvas, Nylon, or Polyester, and more that are certified as the best aftermarket ones for seasons after seasons usage. Around 80% of the skilled and active camp members would like to accomplish their waterproofing with this tent stuff. In this approach, you have to treat your tent with chemical-based treatment. Other campers suggest this idea often. You are very late to waterproof your new or old tent for upcoming trips. 

Before rigging up a tarp over your used tent, pitching your tent in a normal way is a fact to remember. Ensure the whole tent has covered up more than it needs, and free up the area where it may lay down, like from gear and shoes. 

What about the opposite one or the similar way to waterproofing your tent while it is a Coleman type. Tent waterproofing seems like a poor chore sometimes even if it is a new tent that needs to be water-resistant. But the situation demands sometimes. Using the spray on Coleman or Nikwax seam sealer is nothing special, yet pinch to take extra precautions if you are planning to get lots of sun exposure. These sprays are a kind of waterproofing breeze that you can add to an essential camping gear list like the food storage containers in bear country camping.

 This idea is similar to spray-on solar fabric treatment. Not only boost UV resistance at hot summer camping, but increase water clogging on the rainfly long term. It is worth checking some visual concepts on both methods rather than the untreated half. 

Tent waterproofing with a tarp regarding learning video in short,

Waterproofing a tent at home with Coleman spray

But before applying any of the spray can, chemical, or materials for making the tent more powerful from not drenching, identify the problems if they exist inside or outside, in short, make clear visibility. 

Is It Important to Understand Tent Pu Rating and Hydrostatic Head?

Whether you are busy with spraying the exterior of your used tent or a new, yet low-quality tent, PU rating, and Hydrostatic head for water repellency of the materials are also important. Remains a versatile range of measuring scales to fix up water resistance power of materials which will steep tents’ longevity, means tent fabrics. 

The PU stands for Polyurethane coatings that may let coating other Polyester and Nylon fabrics waterproof like the aftermarket spray solution does. 

Tents are often made of thicker equipment which is not only less breathable, but also carries the aforementioned weight to clog up rains. As a result, the tent’s inside becomes hot and sweaty during hot summer nights enjoying the Starsky. A HH measuring acknowledgment can make its investment-worthy, which means a Hydrostatic head will capture the environment that intends to camp in. 

The HH measures how tightly weaved your long tent’s manufactured fabric is. In particular, a fabric HH of 1000mm, described holding water per inch in diameter before a minute that drops and asserts enough pressure to surpass. Either you have chosen by the understanding of Hydrostatic head and PU, or the drip holding power of tents, the higher the weight, the higher the spending range will increase. 

How Often Requires Waterproofing Your Tents?

The answer lies in the question of do you need to waterproof a new tent? How far does this necessity require? Requires while showcasing the signs of failure inside and outside. Seems water dripping that hurts the tent or peeling on the inside. 

Differences between a brand new tent and an old used tent are visible by the exterior too. Even though your brand new tent has patched with fabric, as in without Tenacious high-quality tape, and no proper seam-sealing the edges, then this is poor.  

But by the time it flies, peeling and flaking on a good tent inside is visible after rough usage. If you see this has started, do not wait for anything and step forward to the store. Buy a good quality tent sealant, however, if you need some extra, add a Silicone treatment can or a Polyethylene one to your bucket list. 

Seal all the tents inside, how? Lay it out on the leveled ground floor. Apply alcohol and start rubbing to flake out any uneven. Then apply this unthickened coating to the affected areas as per the manufacturer’s direction. Then let the tent dry out, not even under direct sunlight, but have to avoid driers too. As if, 24 hours DWR waterproofing coating can make its longevity higher and higher than you may have expected. 

As well, it prevents not only grain pores from clogging up, but cote water from the tent also. So, your tent’s condensation rate decreases, as well as being able to breathe more as it wants.      

Final Thoughts

Factors like easy to set up, portable, weighing less, more than all these, a new tent before buying is worth checking the waterproofness, which can keep the tent’s consistency. Although it requires a few TLC to perform for longer with excellency. Are you asking yourself if you need to waterproof a new tent? No simple answer you will find rather than finding which lacks have included exterior or interior or the materials that your tent has in construction.  

Seeking pro advice or skilled outdoor active campers’ suggestions? Well, they would recommend it, even if we must prefer to lay out the tent first on campaign stuff purchasing store’s floor. Nothing pessimistic is noticeable yet? Inspect the fabric and seams, as well as tarp quality to determine the need for further waterproofing spray application before taking it out on a camp trip.

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About This Writer

camila avery author

Guys, I am Camila Avery and I love to help my mom to do indoor & outdoor activities. As a lady, I have passed my time on gardening, home improvement, and personal or self-care. I have acquired some degrees in outdoor recreation, beauty, and hair care. It is not easy to work with top-level professional beauty experts. But, I got that opportunity and experimented with different hair extensions, hair colors, and cuts.

Guys, I am Camila Avery and I love to help my mom to do indoor & outdoor activities. As a lady, I have passed my time on gardening, home improvement, and personal or self-care. I have acquired some degrees in outdoor recreation, beauty, and hair care. It is not easy to work with top-level professional beauty experts. But, I got that opportunity and experimented with different hair extensions, hair colors, and cuts.

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