Is A Canvas Tent Waterproof?
Jan 24, 22
The camping industry has evolved greatly over the years, from camping gear to tools, things are constantly getting better. One thing that is continually evolving is the design of tents. Canvas tents are one of the most popular types on the market because they are durable, spacious, and waterproof, but it does take a bit of seasoning.
Not all waterproofing is created equal
Waterproofing a tent is important to prevent water from seeping in and soaking the sleeping area. This is especially important when camping in wet environments such as rainforests, deserts, or near bodies of water. Canvas tents can be waterproofed in a few different ways. Some are coated with an impervious coating that makes the tent virtually waterproof.
You can waterproof your tent by applying a sealant to the fabric, seams, and zippers. There are many different types of sealants available if you are DIY'ing, but most will work well as long as you follow the instructions on the package.
Our premium cotton canvas fabric does not just come waterproof, we also apply a very trustworthy waterproof sealant to our tents just like a consumer would, except we have industrial grade tools to do so.
Seasonal Tent Rating
Seasonal tent rating is a rating of the quality and durability of a tent. The rating may be based on the number of seasons a tent can be outside and the degree to which a tent can withstand the elements. A 3-season tent is designed to withstand moderate temperatures and light rain, while a 4-season tent is designed for more extreme conditions.
Features of a waterproof tent
Ther eare many features that may help to make a tent waterproof, when considering a tent make sure you check out the specs and gauge whether it offers all of the waterproofing features that you are looking for.
Most modern tent companies use a synthetic / man-made material like polyester or sometimes nylon for their tents, this includes the walls, ceiling, and floor. A couple benefits of using these synthetic materials is 1) to cut costs, and 2) to keep the overall weight down. However, these materials by themselves, it is important to know, they don't offer much waterproof protection... so they are sprayed by the amnufacturer with waterproofing spray.
How to add extra waterproof to a tent
There are a few methods you can use to waterproof your tent. The first is to apply a coat of spray-on or brush-on sealant, such as polyurethane, to the outside of the fabric. This will protect the fabric from water and also make it more durable. You can also use a waterproofing spray designed for tents, which will work just as well. And the second thing you may want to use is a Seam Sealer.
For DIY Waterproofing
1) Use a water-repellant spray on the outside fabric of the tent. The best way to waterproof or add additional waterproofing to a tent is by adding additional waterproof spray directly to the tent materials (you can find a good one on Amazon).
2) Purchase a seam sealer and apply it to the seams of your tent. Between the waterproofing spray, and the seam sealer... both are pretty inexpensive if you just go on Amazon and pick out a modestly priced spray with good reviews. You may also want a seam sealer if you're going to the trouble of waterproofing the tent yourself, because the seams are one of the most likely places on the tent you will get leaks.
In our Signature Canvas Tents, we use both an industrial-grade waterproofing spray on our canvas fabric, plus our tents also come with seam sealer, so you can rest assured when purchasing with us that your tent will not flood or be uncomfortably wet during a heavy rain.
We also take our waterproofing one step further and add a unique feature that protects the inside of the tent from not only rain, but ground water levels of flooding due to a heavy rain. The groundsheet of our Signature Canvas Tent is extended 6" above the ground on the sides of the tent. This is to prevent the leakage of rainwater through the zippers or seams, incase there was a heavy rain and there is a couple inches of flooding.
Do you need to season a canvas tent to waterproof it?
Like most tents, canvas tents are not inherently waterproof. Canvas tents are made of cotton, which absorbs water. The good thing is that once canvas fabric has come in contact with water one time, the fabric contracts and binds and becomes much less porous. After this first contact with water, it helps the cotton canvas fabric to become much more waterproof and resistant to leakage within the fabric. To make our canvas tents waterproof, we go the extra mile to apply a special coating to our cotton canvas fabric during the manufacturing process.
If you purchase one of our tents at Chamonix Camping, you will not "need" to season your canvas tent, but after the first rain (or if you end up lightly spraying it down with a hose before going on your first trip), it will add that extra layer of protection to your tent. But wdo e treat our canvas fabric with waterproofing before it is sewn into the tent.