Waterproof A Tent and Be Sure It Will Last

Last Updated on June 30, 2022 by Cristina

Waterproof a tent and make it last is something you can learn to do easily. For instance, there are several different ways you can do this. There is no one perfect way for waterproofing a tent. In fact, there are at least three different ways to do this.

How To Waterproof A Tent

Here are some things to do when learning how to waterproof a tent. You can put on a new urethane coating or a new durable water repellent pr DWR. Your other choice is to seal the seams. You might want to do all three in the same tent at least.

For instance, many times the sealant on the seams wears out and moisture can get into the tent. If you go for the urethane coating, you need to apply it to the floor and inside of the rainfly. The durable water repellent will keep your tent dry by repelling the water away from the rainfly and inside of the tent.

How To Waterproof A Tent

Sealing The Seams

If your tent needs the seams sealed how do you go about it? Here are the basic steps.

  • You will need rubbing alcohol, a sealer, and a rag. When you purchase your sealer make sure you get the one that is right for your tent. Some tents are polyurethane coated, and some are silicone coated. Know your tent.
  • Make sure you put down a drop cloth.
  • If doing this outside make sure it is a sunny day without a lot of moisture or humidity.
  • If inside make sure you have good ventilation,
  • Examine every seam to be sure they are tight,
  • Those that are not clean gently with the alcohol.
  • Now put the seam sealer on the seams that are not tight.
  • Followup by putting the sealer on the rest of the seams just to add support.
  • The sealer must be completely dry before you use the tent.

Tent Waterproofing Spray

If your tent needs to be waterproofed you have the choice between polyurethane and durable water repellent. Both of these products are spray-on waterproofing for your tent. You will still want to dry the tent completely before you start. Just be sure you cover the entire surface of the tent and do it on the external side.

Your tent waterproofing spray should be easy to use. You are not done yet, however. For instance, now take your dry towel and wipe off any excess spray. A good tent waterproofing spray will give you a nice covering.

There are so many waterproofing tent sprays on the market that it’s hard to know which one to use. Your best bet is to try a few in a few spots on your tent before you decide what you want. Only buy a small amount of a few of them till you can test them.

Scotchgard Heavy Duty Water Shield, Repels Water, Ideal For Outerwear, Tents, Backpacks, Canvas, Polyester And Nylon, 21 Ounces


Make sure the spray you use is colorfast. Again check it on a small piece of your tent cloth to make sure it does not stain your tent. Spray should also not have any obnoxious odors.

When choosing your sprays, remember that you want the best you can get for your budget. There are so many available you are sure to get one that is inexpensive yet good quality. It should be odor-free, last long, colorfast, and texture-free. Make sure it is waterproof even if it takes a second coat to do this.

A good example of these products is the Kiwi Heavy-Duty Waterproofing spray. This tent waterproofing spray, though affordable, is still one of the best on the market. Remember not all tents are waterproof. Some are only water-resistant not waterproof. Make sure you get the one that will waterproof your tent.

What Cause The Need For Waterproofing A Tent

All tents get dirty when used and little pieces of grit are caught in seams and creases. These bits of grit can damage your tent very easily. If you buy a waterproof tent, to begin with, why would you need to spray or paint it? Many things can damage the waterproofing on your new tent. These include sun damage, usual wear and tear just from use, and the damaged seams. Just a few hours of camping In the hot sun can break down your tent’s waterproofing and the tent seams. You will pay a lot for your tent you will want it to last.

All tent seals will break down eventually so you should make sure you have a seam Sealer on hand for when this happens. You should inspect your tent equipment before leaving to go camping every time. Carefully inspect the seams and the edges for any signs of damage of ordinary wear and tear.

You might even want to set up the tent in your backyard if you have not used it in a while. Take a hose and completely spray down the tent. Now check it carefully for any signs of leaks or wear.

Time and use out in the elements will also compromise the strength of the tent seams. Most tents come with fully sealed seams when you first buy them. But seals can break down over time causing leakages and even tears. Adding a seam sealant will solve this problem.

Waterproof A Tent And Be Sure It Will Last

The stated goal of this article was to help you learn to inspect your tent for the need to update its waterproofing. If needed I shared with you how to waterproof your tent on your own. You can seal the seams and add the durable water repellent at any time. For instance, it is always good to add a sealer after you have used the tent several times.

Just remember to always wash down the tent before using any of these sealing products and that the products themselves can be toxic, Always use them outside or with good ventilation. That way you can waterproof a tent and be sure that it will last.