Best Waterproofing Spray For Tents

Best Waterproofing Spray For Tents Keep Yourself Dry and Comfy

Here’s one thing you should know about camping: once you’re already out in the wilderness, you’re under the mercy of the weather.

 A sunny, clear day can make it a trip to remember, but a pouring, chilly one can also make it the worst. 

This is especially true if you don’t come prepared for the worst that can come your way, like rain showers for example. That’s why you need the Best Waterproofing Spray For Tents.

Best Waterproofing Spray For Tents

Seasoned campers already know the importance of waterproofing everything, but for the uninitiated, this is something that is, unfortunately, often forgotten.

Camping in rain and storm is not only uncomfortable (imagine being huddled in a flooded tent while you’re soaked to the bone), it can also be dangerous!

For example,

there’s the possibility of landslides or hypothermia should you find yourself stuck in a tent not meant to hold up against the elements.

We’ve already talked about the importance of waterproof tents–you can check out our article Here

But your preparations should not really stop from buying one.

In this article, we will talk about the importance of waterproofing your home away from home and give you a rundown of the best waterproofing spray for tents in the market.

What is waterproofing Tents and Why Should You Do It?

Contrary to what many think, waterproofing is something you should always do to your camping gear, whether they have a waterproof seal or not.

For starters, some tents are not 100 percent ready against water when you pull it out of the box, so it’s better if you quickly proof it before going out on a camp.

Moreover, waterproofing is also something you should routinely do on your gear since mother nature has a way of chipping away materials, regardless of how high-quality they are.

How often you should do this will depend on the number of times you use your tent, but just to be sure, it’s best if you test your gear before every trip by hosing it down on your backyard first.

How Do You Waterproof a Tent?

Waterproofing is something that can be easily done now thanks to handy waterproof tent sprays readily available in the market.

The whole process is generally divided into three basic steps:

1. Sealing the seams

The seams are one of the most sensitive parts of your tent. Waterproof tents usually have these areas sealed to keep water from entering,

but these can weaken over time. To refresh the seal, you only need a seam sealer, some rubbing alcohol, and a rag.

Use the rag to dab rubbing alcohol on the spots that need attention to prep it before applying your seam sealer.

You can leave your tent in a sunny area to let it dry afterwards.

2. Re-applying the urethane coating

The urethane coating of your tent is one of the layers that makes it waterproof.

You’ll know that you need to refresh it once you notice the surface of your gear flaking and peeling.

To redo it, grab a slightly abrasive brush with alcohol and use it to gently scrub off the coating. Make sure that the surface is clean before re-applying your urethane sealant and leave it to dry.

When applying a fresh coat, give extra attention to the rainfly and floors since these are the surfaces that get the most contact with water.

Do note that the sealant of your choice will depend on the material of your tent. Fabric that has been treated with silicone will need a different kind than those sealed with polyurethane.

3. Refreshing the water repellant coating

This last step will keep your tent sealed and safe from rain. To refresh the durable water repellent coating of your tent, grab the best tent waterproofing spray that you have and spray the surface with it.

If there’s any excess coating, pat the surface dry using a damp cloth. Let it dry before packing away.

4 Best Waterproofing Spray for Tents

How long the proof of your tent will stay will depend on the quality of your waterproofing spray.

We listed the four best ones that you can consider below:

1. Nikwax Tent and Gear Cleaning Spray for Waterproofing and UV Protection

This handy spray from Nikwax is definitely one of the best bottles you can buy for your camping gear.

Ideal not only for tents, you can also use this for your other outdoor equipment like clothing and footwear.

The spray promises to make any surface more durable against rain, all the while retaining its breathability and preventing moisture build-up on the inside.

The latter can help a lot with wet clothing and removes the struggle of you keeping your body at the right temperature in case you are rained on.

Nikwax’s waterproofing powers come from its elastic water-repellent polymers that work by bonding fabric fibers together while leaving spaces in between for breathability.

This spray also retains fabric elasticity, making it easy for you to stretch and move them still.

In addition, this waterproof spray for tents are also great as a wash-in cleaner for equipment and camping clothing.

It helps remove residues from detergents that might have been buried deep into the fibers, which, by the way, also contribute to defective waterproofing.

You can read more about the product by following this link.

Pros:

It keeps the breathability and elasticity of the fabric.
The brand can also be used on other outdoor equipment and clothing.
It can also work as a cleaner.

It’s very easy to use thanks to its spray-on feature. 

Cons:

This may not work on fabrics that you want to air seal.
Some reviews claim that it can make existing glue on fabrics (for example glues holding zippers together) to deteriorate.

2. Kiwi Camp Dry Heavy Duty Water Repellent

Another one of the best waterproofing sprays for tents is this bottle from Kiwi.

Similar to Nikwax, this one can also be used on other outdoor equipment like tarps, rain gear, and boots.

The Kiwi Camp Dry Heavy Duty Water Repellent creates silicone bonds on leather and fabric to provide a tough water barrier on surfaces, without compromising breathability.

Just spray it on the surface–it’s best to assemble your tent first for easy application–and leave it to dry for a few hours.

This waterproof spray leaves any surface odorless when it has cured and dried. Check out this product by visiting this link.

Pros:

This waterproof tent spray leaves a tough rainproof barrier on surfaces while keeping it breathable.


It doesn’t leave a shiny coating on the surfaces it’s sprayed on.
Application is very easy thanks to its spray nozzle.
It leaves an odorless finish once dried.


It seals fabrics well, though you may have to do more than just one layer of spray, especially for bigger-sized tents.
It doesn’t make any surface discolor.

Cons:

It can have a rather strong smell when sprayed on so it’s better to apply it outside.
You may need to apply more than one coating depending on the size and fabric you need to waterproof.

3. Star Brite Waterproofing Spray, UV Protection, and Stain Repellent

One of the best waterproofing sprays for tents is this all-in-one repellent from Star Brite.

Promising also to repel stains and provide UV protection, you can use this for almost anything and everything, from backpacks, car covers, to boots.

Great for any outdoor gear, this waterproofing spray is compatible to fabrics like nylon, leather, canvas, and even acrylics. Do note though that this spray from Star Brite is a solvent.

Therefore, it might not work if your tent is made of polyester or urethane-backed fabrics.

However, this is a great choice if you’re looking for something to waterproof your canvas tent.

This waterproofing spray promises to keep surface dry by penetrating fabrics with marine-grade polymers.

It also extends fabric life and makes them immune to stains, while UV inhibitors provide a sunscreen-like function that keeps any surface from fading under the sun.

This solvent comes with a PTEF protective polymer barrier coating which protects any surface from dirt and making it easy to clean.

This spray from Star Brite is odorless and does not affect the feel, color, and breathability of the fabric.Grab a bottle (or a gallon of it!) in this link.

Pros:

It provides waterproofing, stain protection, and UV protection to surfaces.
It is odorless and does not affect the breathability and feel of the fabric when applied.
This waterproof spray is great for canvas tents.

Cons:

Since it is a solvent, it cannot be used on tents made with nylon and urethane-backed material.
You may need to do more than ten pumps to prime the spray.

4. Dry Guy Clothing Fabrics Waterproofing Concentrate

Though not specifically made for tents, this waterproofing concentrate from Dry Guy clothing is also great for tents and other outdoor gear.

It is water-based and eco-friendly and leaves surfaces protected against rain, moisture, stains, and molds. Since it is a concentrate, one bottle can last you a long time.

It is ideal for use on upholstery and awnings as well as any hiking gear that needs to be protected from harsh weather conditions. Know more about the product by clicking this link.

Pros:

This waterproof spray is eco-friendly and water-based.
It also provides protection against stains and molds.
It comes in concentrate form so one bottle can last longer.

Some reviews even say that you can use it to spray a ten-person tent twice.

Cons:
 You have to be the one to mix it before using.

Some Tips to Prolong Your Waterproofing

Refreshing your tent’s protective layer is important, but it is just as essential to follow precautions that can extend its waterproofing.

Below are some helpful tips that will keep you from having to re-proof your tent every now and then.

1. Avoid sunlight

Now, we know that this isn’t always possible, but it would be better if you can put up your tent in a spot away from direct sunlight whenever you can.

Besides from rain beating down on your tent’s waterproof layer, sunlight can also cause it to break down.

You can always go for a tent with a UV protection feature, but we suggest you also buy a waterproof spray that can add an extra layer of protection like some of the options in our list.

2. Store your tent properly

Did you know that the way to store your tent also affects the longevity of its waterproofing ?

Just like when you use it, the elements that it is exposed to when packed away can also chip away at its protective barrier.

When storing it, keep it away from a spot exposed to direct sunlight and do not leave it rolled up tightly for extended periods of time.

The reason for the latter is that doing so can cause dampness, which, in return, may lead to molds.

If you’re a little short on space, you can prime and apply a waterproof tent spray on it that can also protect it from mold buildups.

We have pretty good options in our list above.

3. Don’t machine wash your tent

Dryers and washing machines can affect the protective layer of your tent in many ways.

The continuous whirring can break down the polymers providing protection on the surface while heat can add damage to the fabric.

In addition, constant machine washing can also stretch your tent’s fabric.

This may make it more difficult for waterproof tent sprays to bond fibers together.

When washing your tent, it is suggested that you use cold water and non-detergent soap instead.

You can easily use a sponge to gently buff away and clean its surface without aggravating its waterproof layering.

Did you find this article helpful? We have a lot more that can help you out with your camping concerns.

Browse more of our links Here for the ABCs of enjoying this outdoor activity 

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