Info and Guides

Are All Tents Waterproof?

are all tents waterproof

A tent is waterproof if it ultimately does not allow seepage of water through it. For most tents, the labels may be misleading as no tent can be a hundred percent waterproof. However, with proper preparation, one can easily keep dry when under a tent during rain. For most tents, they are water-resistant and water repellent making it harder for water to seep through it. Enhancing waterproofing properties of these tents require the use of a variety of products such as sealants, water repellants, and sprays.

How Can I Waterproof My Tent?

Although most tents are waterproof, I would recommend you to waterproof your tent before going camping or using it for any outdoor activity. Make sure that your canvas is clean and do it, preferably on a warm, dry day. First, ensure that your ties are tight and then seal the seams to avoid penetration of moisture during your trip. After sealing it, apply the waterproof coating to the outside surface of the tent. Wipe any excess layer applied on the material surface and leave it to dry.

There are various products an individual can use to waterproof a tent. One can easily purchase these products from the Amazon website. I would recommend some of these products to give you the best waterproofing results. They include; Nikwax TX. Direct-spray-on waterproofing, Tent Fabrics, and Outdoor waterproofing spray, Gear Aid Seam Grip TF tent fabric sealer, and Granger’s Tent and Repel sealer.

How Does Pitching Help In Waterproofing Tents?

Since not all tents are waterproof, various techniques need to be incorporated in outdoor activities to enhance the waterproofing aspects of a tent during outdoor activities. The use of tarps, footprints to protect your groundsheet, and pitching the tent on dry high ground are some ways of protecting yourself during camping by having a waterproof tent.

How To Check The Waterproofing Rating?

The waterproof ratings of tent materials, measured in millimeters, ranging from a thousand ton ten thousand millimeters. The more the scores of a particular tent brand, the more waterproof it is. Since not all tents are waterproof, one should first check the ratings of how waterproof a specific tent is before choosing to make a purchase. For tent manufactures, they measure these ratings using a hydrostatic test for the material water resistance. Depending on the type of outdoor activity and the weather one is likely to expose the tent to, I would recommend a rating of 500mm-5000 for light rain where there is a high expectation of no pressure and heavy rain where there is a likelihood of high pressure, respectively.

Water Resistant Rating

Water Resistant Rating Explained

Waterproof Rating

Waterproof Rating Explained

Maintaining Waterproofing Coating

Maintaining a waterproofing coating enhances the waterproofing properties of the tent. Some of the practices one should incorporate to ensure they properly maintain their tent include storing it away from direct sunlight, avid scrubbing the coating, avoid machine washing and fix any damages detected in your tent immediately. Tents are made of different materials hence requiring different maintenance practices.

What Are The Tent Problem Areas Affecting Waterproofing?

When inspecting seams, you need to determine which side the seam sealant was applied. Particularly for those that hold your groundsheet in place or those on your rainfly. If you pour water on the seam and it beads away, the sealant was probably applied to that side, whereas if it forms a small puddle or attempts to seep through, then the sealant is on the other side. If the surface feels smooth and glossy, that means that it was well sealed, but for a cover that feels rough, a sealant needs to be applied.

Zippers can also cause problems relating to the waterproofing properties of the tent. For a zipper, you need to inspect it for any seams that need sealing then check whether it can withstand water flow. I would not advise you to apply any coating to a zipper as it will eventually break, but instead, cover it with a tarp or fabric to ensure that it resists the water flow completely.

For groundsheets and rainfly, check for any chippings, seams, peelings, or abrasions. When determining its resistance to water flow, and realize that water is not beading on the surface, look for the fault and repair it immediately. For abrasions, you will need to patch the area, whereas, for peelings and chippings, you can apply a coating.

What Are Some Of The Recommended Tents?

Manufacturers use different materials having varying waterproofing properties to make tents. Some of these materials include nylon and cotton. Person considerations guide one on the best choice to make when purchasing these tents. From my experience in camping, some of the canvases I would recommend include;

  • HIKERGARDEN 8-Person Tent offers quick and easy setups for camping tent, professional waterproof and windproof fabric, five large mesh for ventilation, double layer, lightweight and portable with a carrier bag.
  • Ayamaya Pop Up tents with a vestibule for 4 to 6 Persons, a double layer waterproof, easy setup big family camping tent – ventilated mesh windows quick Ez set up dome popup tents
  • OT QOMOTOP Camping Tent has a 60 Seconds Setup, is waterproof with a top rainfly, instant cabin tent, advanced venting design, provide electrical cord access port and gate mat.


In conclusion, tents are essential in keeping you warm and dry during rains. Make your tent with the necessary requirements to make it waterproof.

About the author


Leave a Comment