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Worried about keeping dry inside your tent on your next trip into the Great Outdoors?
Camping is a lot of fun, but it's not great when the inside of your tent gets wet. It's the last thing you want, especially if you're camping for more than a few days.
Never fear, we’ve found the best waterproofing sprays to keep you and your tent safe and sound. Make sure your next camping trip is a success by waterproofing your tent with one of our top 4 sprays. You'll be glad you did when that rainstorm comes rolling in!
How We Uncover The Best For You
Trying to find the most effective spray for your tent can be tricky - there are so many options out there, and each will work differently depending on your tent's material.
We've done the hard work for you. We have been on camping trips for years and survived many wet nights. Drawing on our experience, we have done the research, seen what other campers have had to say and chosen our favorites.
Best Waterproof Spray for Regular Campers
STAR BRITE Waterproofing Spray
A Cracking Choice For Spray-on Waterproofing
We Chose This Because:
- It is Versatile
- Choice of Volume
- Straight-forward Application Process
Things We Love
This waterproofing spray is our favorite recommendation for campers who go on trips regularly. It's so versatile.
It comes in a gallon jug as well as a spray bottle, has UV protection from harmful UV rays, and is stain protective too; a major bonus for keeping your gear in good condition.
This powerful spray can be used on boat covers, tarps, and even backpacks & hiking boots, as well as to waterproof your tent. It is brilliant to top up the waterproofing of already coated tents, as well as all your outdoor gear if you're expecting rain.
This is a brilliant all-around waterproofing spray. We recommend this to anybody reading this article, needing outdoor gear waterproofed.
Things To Know
- Waterproofing polymers
- UV inhibitors
- PTEF stain protection barrier
We have consulted with other campers about their experiences with the product and some say it can be diluted 50/50 with mineral spirits to help the waterproofing spray penetrate deeply into the tent fabrics. Be sure to read all manufacturers instructions carefully if you plan to follow this advice.
One thing to look out for is priming the nozzle. You may think it's not working, but you will need to pump the nozzle handle a number of times until it's ready to spray. It's quite easy when you realise it needs priming. Works like a charm when primed! Just point and spray one section at a time.
Be careful not to apply this product of the fabric appears to have a coating or backing. Laminated products benefit from use of a water-based alternative.
Best for Canvas Tents
Atsko Silicone Water-Guard
A Cracking Choice For Canvas Tents
We Chose This Because:
- A Silicone-based waterproof spray is far more effective on canvas than water-based spray
- Highly recommended by other campers
Things We Love
I have a canvas tent that I'm very attached to and take car camping with me all the time. I love it because it's so spacious and comfortable, but I noticed that over time it's become less and less water-resistant.
Now, this product is specifically designed to protect canvas tents from the elements. It's the #1 best seller on Amazon, with over 2,500 5* reviews! And it really works, restoring a canvas tent's waterproofing, while allowing the material to breathe (unlike many silicone-based sprays). That's really important if you plan to go camping across all 4 seasons.
Things To Know
- 10.5 oz
Canvas tents are perfect for everything from camping to outdoor parties. This specially formulated canvas protector is so effective, that it's also used on sails and other boating fabrics! And you only need to apply one coat - it dries in 24 hours and will be odorless and fully cured in 72 hours. But please be careful applying it as the fumes are not good for you! Do make sure to follow the instructions and apply in a ventilated area as the tent fabric will smell for a short while as it dries. I'm so happy to share this recommendation with you, so you can use that canvas tent of yours with confidence!
For your own safety do take care when applying this product.
Best Waterproof Spray For The Environment
Nikwax Tent & Gear Solarproof
A Cracking Choice For Eco-conscious Campers
We Chose This Because:
- It's kind to the environment
- No toxic odors
- It has a foaming head application to prevent run-off
Things We Love
For this category, I was looking for a waterproofing spray that would be environmentally friendly and wouldn't contain any harmful chemicals. I came across this water-based, biodegradable spray that contains no PFCs, VOCs, optical brighteners, or added scent.
The Nikwax Tent Gear Solarproof Spray is perfect for restoring and adding water-repellency to weather-proof fabrics. After being tested out on the tent, it added a perfect waterproofing layer, all the while being kinder to the environment.
So don't go another day without this essential spray!
Things To Know
- No PFCs,
- No optical brighteners
This spray is perfect for restoring and adding water-repellency to weatherproof fabrics and will add a perfect waterproofing layer to your tent. Not only repels water effectively, but also adds UV protection to prevent sun damage. This is especially useful if you enjoy camping trips during the summer heat. Nikiwax Solarproof Spray can greatly extend the lifespan of your gear, even if you go camping regularly.
This product works well if you take a few steps to ensure it is applied correctly. Make sure before applying the waterproof coating, that your whole tent is clean, so the tent can get an even coating all over.
If you are conscious about being eco-friendly, this is a brilliant waterproofer spray for tents to pick up.
For the environmentally conscious out there the Nikwax Tent Gear Solarproof Spray is a brilliant waterproofing spray to pick up. Check the price below and grab one today!
Best Heavy Duty Waterproofing Spray
KIWI Camp Dry Heavy Duty Water Repellent
A Cracking Choice For Gear Waterproofing
We Chose This Because:
- It's extremely robust
- A little goes a long way
- It dries quickly
Things We Love
If you're serious about staying dry during your next camping trip, you need KIWI Camp Dry Heavy Duty Water Repellent. This tough water repellent is perfect for tents, tarps, boots, outdoor gear, and more.
The heavy-duty aerosol spray provides a strong waterproof coating to whatever outdoor gear you apply it to, whether that's a new tent or outdoor furniture!
We really liked how this spray is so robust. One application will last you a long time, so you will not need to top up as often as you might with other waterproofing sprays on the market.
We also recommend using it for waterproofing your tent floor - even if you use a floor protector. With KIWI Camp Dry Heavy Duty Water Repellent, you can rest assured that you'll stay dry no matter what nature throws your way.
Things To Know
- 10.5 oz per can
- 3 pack
- Extremely flammable
As with many of the waterproof tent sprays in this article, you will need to make sure it is applied in a ventilated area, in order not to breathe in the fumes. Learn more here. Nevertheless, a major benefit of using the Kiwi Camp spray is that it dries quickly and remains odorless once this process is complete.
What we thought was handy was that it comes in a pack of three, so you can start the application process and see how it goes, as a little seems to go a long way. Not needing to open the extra bottle means you can store it for a later project.
The tent waterproofing spray creates silicone bonds that bind to leather and tent fabric to create an extra durable barrier against the elements. This is arguably the best tent waterproofing spray on the market for harsh weather conditions.
Best Waterproof Tent Spray for You?
A Buyer's Guide: When choosing a waterproofing spray, there are a few things to keep in mind. You want to consider how to get the best result in the safest way.
It's really important to bear in mind that the fabric your tent is made of will impact on your choice of spray. Not all fabrics are created equal, and some materials are more resistant to water than others. Natural fabrics like canvas will need different treatment to synthetic fabrics.
Some are made specifically for nylon, for instance and will flex. Others will need to sink into the fabric and still others will have a waxy finish.
So it's important to choose a product that is designed specifically for your type of fabric. Be sure to find out exactly what your tent is made of before making a purchase.
Ease Of Application
Some waterproofing sprays work by penetrating the material of the tent, others form a barrier on the top of the material. Some are really simple to apply - just point and spray. Others need to be applied with a sponge or soft cloth.
If you are applying a sealant to the seams of the tent you will probably be applying the sealant in a more direct way. Sprays are better for larger areas. Be careful to apply any waterproofing sprays in a well-ventilated space.
There are environmentally friendly options available where that will be less of an issue. It's extremely important to read the manufacturer's guidelines before beginning the application.
You have a few options when deciding what spray to choose. Water-based waterproofing sprays, like Nikwax are more eco-friendly and do not contain PFCs or VOCs. Do take care not to ingest or breathe in the chemicals while the tent is drying, when using products containing these compounds.
First, it's important to decide what kind of problem you're trying to solve. Are you looking for a waterproofing spray to prevent water from leaking in? Or are you looking for a spray to help repel rain and snow so that the tent doesn't get wet on the outside? Consider the specific needs for use of your tent.
If you plan on using it in heavy rain or snow, you'll need a spray that is designed for those conditions. Second, think about how often you'll be using the spray. If you only plan on using it occasionally, a less expensive option may be adequate. However, if you'll be using the spray regularly, it's worth investing in a higher-quality product.
No waterproofing spray is a permanent solution, but how often you need to reapply the waterproofing will depend on both the fabric of the tent and the chemical components of the spray itself.
Seam sealants will last longer than water-based water repellents for instance. It's also important to follow the application guidelines to be sure you have apply it evenly. Any spots you miss will be more vulnerable to water ingress.
Best Waterproof Spray For Tents - Your Questions Answered
You seasoned campers out there will know all about waking in the morning to droplets along the seams of the tent. Over time, that will happen if you don't do any seam sealing and general waterproofing. We want you to have the best experience so we have included here, answers to some of the questions we are frequently asked.
Your Answers Are Just A Short Distance Away, Keep Reading!
Can You Spray A Tent To Waterproof It?
Yes, you can!
There are a few different types of waterproofing sprays that you can use on your tent. Some sprays are designed specifically for tents, and there are also general-purpose waterproofing sprays.
Repellents are usually made with silicone or polyurethane, and they need to be reapplied regularly to maintain their effectiveness. There are some really great water-based waterproofing sprays available too.
Sealants are commonly used to waterproof along the seams of tents, so you can use a repellent spray to waterproof the rest of the tent if you want to make the job a little easier. However, remember that using a sealant all over the tent will be a little more effective.
Be really careful when choosing your waterproofing spray to be sure you are choosing a compatible spray for your tent.
Do Waterproofing Sprays Work?
Yes, waterproofing sprays do work. They coat the tent fabric with a water repellent that will help keep it dry in the rain.
Some sprays work by coating the fabric with a water-repelling chemical, while others use a waterproofing membrane to create a barrier against moisture.
Also, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for application and drying time. This will have a major effect on how well the spray protects your tent, and how long it lasts.
Some sprays work better on different types of fabric, so it is worth finding out what material your tent is made of before you choose a spray for waterproofing.
The most important thing to remember when using a waterproofing spray is to test it on an inconspicuous area of the gear first to make sure that it does not cause any discoloration or staining.
Most sprays only provide temporary protection and need to be reapplied occasionally. How often, will depend on the spray itself.
How Long Does Waterproofing Last On A Tent?
It depends on the quality of the waterproofing, how often you camp and what conditions are like. The best kind can last for many years, but a cheaper type might only last for a few months. However, inevitably the waterproofing will eventually wear off, and the seams will need to be resealed.
When you're buying a tent, one of the things to look for is good-quality waterproofing. This will ensure that your tent stays dry no matter what the weather throws at it. If you buy a tent and the waterproofing isn't up to scratch you can always purchase a waterproof spray or sealant and improve the waterproofing yourself!
However, even if you have a waterproofed tent, it's still important to take care of it and to regularly clean and treat the waterproofing sealant. Otherwise, over time it will wear away and your tent will start to leak.
It's important to regularly check your tent for any leaks and to reseal the seams as necessary. A good way to test for leaks is to pour a little water onto the roof of the tent and see if it runs down the sides. If it does, then you'll know that you need to reseal the seams.
How Long Does Waterproof Spray Take To Work?
The amount of time it takes for the waterproof spray to work will vary depending on the type of spray that is used. Some sprays work almost immediately, while others may take a little longer to fully soak in and provide protection. Make sure to read the instructions on the bottle carefully, as some sprays may require longer drying times or multiple applications to be fully effective.
As hinted at above, to make the most of your waterproof tent spray we advise you to spray in a ventilated area, spray liberally to fully coat the tent, and wait until the tent is entirely dry before repacking the tent. Some sprays have an odor until they are fully dry so you'll want to avoid your camping gear smelling bad!
So if there is a chance of rain or if you know you'll be getting wet on your next trip, applying the spray ahead of time can help keep everything dry.
How Often Should You Spray Your Tent?
It depends on the climate you are camping in and how often you use your tent. The aim is to keep your tent in good condition and prevent any potential water damage.
If you are using your tent regularly (or for extended periods) or camping regularly in places where the weather is especially harsh, then you may need to increase the frequency with which you spray your tent. Similarly, if you are only using your tent occasionally or in drier conditions, then you can afford to spray your outdoor gear & tent less often to keep things dry.
Most waterproofing sprays include UV protection too, which will help prolong the life of your tent.
Be sure to pay attention to the manufacturer's recommendations for how often to treat the specific model of your tent.
How Do I Keep The Bottom Of My Tent Dry?
There are a few things you can do to keep the bottom of your tent dry. The most important is to stake the tent down properly so it doesn't flap in the wind and create gaps where water can come in. As well as this, applying a sealant to the seams of your tent, in advance of a rainy trip, will avoid the inside floor of your tent from getting wet from leaks.
You can also put a tarp under the tent to create a waterproof barrier, and be careful to erect tents with rain-flies carefully. If the two surfaces touch the rainfly loses its effectiveness. If it does start raining while you're camping, make sure to close all the flaps and vents on your tent to keep as much water out as possible.
How Do You Re-Waterproof A Tent?
There are a number of ways that you can re-waterproof your tent. The most common is to simply re-apply a waterproofing spray, following the instructions on the bottle carefully. You can also use a sealant specifically designed for tents, which you can apply to the seams of your tent.
Make sure to be patient and thorough with the process in order to make the entire tent waterproof, whilst avoiding using excess spray from the spray bottle. You may have to wait a couple of hours or even days for a tent to fully dry and for the spray to adhere to the tent fabrics.
If your tent is particularly old or has seen a lot of wear and tear, you may need to replace the waterproof coating entirely. This is a more involved process, and you will need to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully. Doing this correctly will help to prolong the life of your tent and keep it in good condition.
How Do You Waterproof A Canvas Tent?
The most common way to waterproof a canvas tent is to use a silicone-based waterproofing spray.
There are several other ways to waterproof a canvas tent. One way is to use a waterproofing agent, such as wax, that is applied to the canvas. Another way is to use a sealant on the seams of the tent.
Which Chemical Is Used For Waterproofing?
Chemical compounds known as polymers are used for waterproofing. They work by forming a thin, impermeable film on the surface of a material. This film prevents water from being absorbed into the material and also stops water vapor from passing through. Polymers are used in a variety of waterproofing products, including sprays, paints, and coatings.
Many different types of polymers can be used for waterproofing, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Common polymers used are Silicone or fluoropolymers.
There are also water-based waterproofing sprays that are better for both you and the environment. You will however, need to apply these more regularly.
Our Choice for Regular Camping
Our Choice for Canvas
Our Choice for Eco-Conscious Campers
Our Choice for Heavy Duty Gear Waterproofing
We hope this article was helpful and that you found out a few things about waterproofing tents to make your next camping trip a great one!
If you would like some more great advice on other camping gear to add to your stuff sack, check out our other reviews of camping essentials and other useful gear.
It feels great that whatever you choose, we have made your life easier. We hope that by us making your choices clearer, you now have more time for fun!
Keep asking questions and we will keep finding answers for you.