View Full Version : Waterproofing a tent

08-25-2010, 04:27 PM
Hello All! I recently bought a real nice used TheNorthFace Windy Pass tent. First camping trip the fly leaked as well as the tent. Any suggestions on waterproof sprays? Walmart has some KIWI spray that says it can be used on tents. Used it, have not tested it but it STANKS! Hope the smell subsides before I use it.
Anyhow all suggestions appreciated since my Eureka Spitfire 2 may need a treatment one of these days.

Bill O
08-25-2010, 05:59 PM
I've never treated a tent before, I thought they were supposed to be permanently waterproof. What I have done is sealed all the seams on the fly and the tub of the inner tent.

Did you have it setup correctly? Was the fly touching the tent? Was the tent sitting in any standing water? Was it rain water leaking it or just condensation buildup?

08-25-2010, 07:07 PM
I'd suggest using Nikwax. Here's their product for waterproofing tents: http://www.nikwax.com/en-gb/products/productdetail.php?productid=498&activityid=1. While I haven't used this one specifically I swear by Nikwax for all other waterproofing (boots, rainwear) - it's fantastic.

08-25-2010, 07:15 PM
First, the chemical smell from KIWI is definately subsiding after 30 hours. The tent was set up I assume correctly, although it helped when I tied the fly way out rather than attaching it to the poles as it was designed. I think age is a real factor here. TNF told me if the tent was put away damp that would affect water proof in such a way to make the coating sticky. However the tent is not mildew. Also they said exposure to sun would affect it over time.
Anyway I was in a real good downpour and the water was coming thru the fly and actually dripping into the tent at the top, I guess mostly thru the seams. But the sides of the tent were getting wet about 2 feet off the floor. TNF offered me a new tent at 1/2 price but that is not financially possible right now. I just want to know if there is a good spray out there rather than trying to do a roller deal on the many seams. Thanks.

08-26-2010, 06:42 AM
In my experience the spray doesn't have the "ooomph" to fill the seams properly. If the seams are leaking, use seam sealer and you'll be much happier/drier. It's really not that hard to do.

Bill O
08-26-2010, 08:15 AM
I'd go with the seam sealer.