The Best Waterproof Spray for Tents (2021 UPDATED)

Tent Waterproofing Spray – A Guide

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Nothing ruins a camping trip faster than water getting inside your tent, especially when you’re sleeping. Having your snooze interrupted by a pool of water around your sleeping bag and other camping gear can make for a nightmarish experience.

But this is, unfortunately, the risk you run for investing in a tent that is not fully waterproof!

Luckily, your goose may not be cooked at this point! You still have a chance to make amends for your oversight. Tent waterproofing spray can go a long way in ensuring that you’re shielded against such an ordeal.

Aside from that, it serves to prolong the life of your tent fabric and restore any previous waterproof coatings that may be fading.

So, before you decide to throw your leaky tent into the bin, here are some of the best tent waterproofing spray you can try out!

What to Look for in a Waterproof Spray for Tents

Not all waterproof tent sprays are the same! The difference in performance is notable from one brand to another and this is because of the different ingredients and processes involved in their manufacture.

As such, you should consider the following when shopping for a waterproofing tent spray:

How Effective Should Your Waterproof Tent Spray Be?

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One of the first features to look at when buying a waterproofing spray is its effectiveness down the line. Some products won’t do much to keep off the water whereas others ensure the raindrops roll right off the tent fabric.

The first step in determining this is to understand how waterproofing works. Spraying your tent essentially adds a protective layer to the material, which serves to keep water molecules from infiltrating through the pores of the fabric.

In practice, the spray stops the water from sticking to the tent. This means the water runs off the tent without gathering and seeping in through the walls.

Normally, the water will form small balls when poured on a tent treated with a high-quality waterproofing spray and roll down the tent fabric. But when the spray is substandard, the water will spread over the walls and end up seeping through the pores of the fabric.

The effectiveness of a waterproofing spray comes from the chemical properties involved. The best way to determine this would be to go through what previous users say about the performance of the product.

Where Should You Apply the Waterproof Spray?

It is important to know that there is a difference when it comes to waterproofing the walls or tent material and sealing the seams. In most cases, the walls don’t leak unless the material rips.

Nevertheless, a good waterproofing spray will enhance the repulsion of water molecules. The seams are where most of the leaking is likely to happen. These are the points where the fabric is sewn together, and the tiny holes left behind allow the leakage to happen.

This is where seam sealing and manufacturing prove crucial. The best tent waterproof spray will combine both a seam sealer and pray for the walls because, without the spray, water molecules collect and put increased pressure on the seams.

Without the seam sealer, water will get in through the little holes. So, if you can find a product that blends both, expect to keep your camping tent dry.

Is it Easy to Use Waterproof Tent Sprays?

Some products can be challenging to figure out or use; this is not what you should get from a waterproofing spray. Typically, all there is to do is spray and let it sit before wiping off.

However, some sprays come with extra steps and confusing instructions. This is the kind of mess you should avoid as it will only end up frustrating you. The wrong application can result in ineffective performance, so you want to check the ease of use before buying the spray.

How Durable Should the Spray Be?

Waterproofing your tent should remain effective for a decent time if done correctly, using the appropriate product. Ideally, you should wait a couple of months before retreating your tent.

However, this will also depend on how frequently you go camping in the tent. Of course, the more you pitch the tent, the more often you’ll need to reapply the waterproofing spray. One feature that may point to the durability of the spray is its price.

How Does the Spray Affect the Tent Fabric?

Another important thing you should know about some waterproofing sprays is that they can damage the tent fabric. Although the damage may not directly be to the fabric the effect is evident when the tent is exposed to direct sunlight for a long time.

On the bright side, most products in the market are safe but you still want to verify this by going through customer reviews.

Best Waterproof Spray for Tents- Reviews

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NikWax Tent & Gear Solar Proofing

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NikWax is a company that produces a range of waterproofing products for outdoor gear like boots and jackets. Their tent variation is a great product that you can add to your camping gear list when you go for an adventure in rainy weather.

What gives NikWax an edge over their competitors in the market is that apart from waterproofing your tent fabric, it also shields it against harmful UV rays.

UV rays can lead to significant damage and expedited deterioration of the tent material if exposed for a long time.

NikWax waterproofing tent spray will help to extend the shelf life of your tent by guarding against both rain and sunlight. It also allows your tent to maintain an appealing look by preventing the fading of the colours.

The spray comes in a 16.0Oz bottle that should be enough for a 4-person capacity tent, with a little bit to spare. It can be applied over wet surfaces and what you’ll like is that it takes a short while to cure.

You won’t have to wait too long before it’s ready to go camping. What this means that you can be purchase a new tent and take it straight to the campsite while still in the package. All you need to do is set up the tent somewhere outdoors away from cars and buildings then spray it down.

The only problem is that if you apply it when it’s raining, it may not cure properly. In this case, you might want to treat it at home, somewhere inside the garage or backyard. Otherwise, the NixWax waterproofing spray delivers double the effective life of your tent.

Ideally, applying the spray will last your tent around 1 year before you can reapply, which is quite a long time. Overall, the spray is easy to use and will be a great choice when you want to waterproof anything from a camping tent and outdoor furniture to Gazebo or BBQ covers and outdoor flags.

Pros
  • Easy to apply
  • Dries and cures relatively faster
  • Offers UV protection
  • Lasts long before reapplication
  • Doubles water repellency
Cons
  • Can’t be applied when it’s raining

Scotchgard Heavy Duty Water Shield

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Scotchgard is a reputable manufacturer of some of the most innovative household chemicals we know. They are a tried and tested brand, so you can expect just as good a performance when it comes to their waterproofing spray.

The Scotchgard comes in either a 13Oz or 10.5Oz spray bottle that you can choose between. It offers an easy application process that involves a single coat of spray.

The spray creates long-lasting protection from harmful elements with just a single application. This can be done with your tent in storage or use and the tent fabric will repel water molecules effectively.

What you’ll appreciate about this product is that it can be used to treat a diverse range of fabrics; from nylon and leather to suede and polyester.

You can also use on outdoor items such as backpacks, tent, boat covers, outdoor furniture, etc.

Applying it ensures that it offers extra protection and longer use down the line. The spray also helps to enhance the breathability of the tent fabric, which will come in handy when camping in hot conditions.

The only issue with the Scotchgard waterproofing spray is that it has a strong chemical spray, which can overwhelm sensitive noses. As such, we recommend that you find a nice spot outside during application.

Furthermore, it is known to leave behind slight stains on the fabric if the application is overdone, so you want to take it easy on the spraying. Other than that, this is a reliable product that you can use before setting off on your camping adventure. If you can look past the stains, then you should be covered throughout your stay.

Pros
  • Easy to apply
  • Great protection from rain
  • Boost breathability of the fabric
  • Suitable for a range of fabrics
Cons
  • Leaves behind a streak of stain

Atsko Silicone Water-Guard

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The Atsko Silicone water guard spray is a hardcore waterproofing spray that will not only protect your camping tent but also all the other gear you carried for your adventure.

You can use it on umbrellas, shoes, jackets, and much more. Unlike other cheap products in the market, the spray does not leave behind uneven patches; it sprays uniformly over the entire surface of the tent fabric.

It also dries relatively faster and clear, which prevents a mess on the fabric and avoids any kinds of mistakes. You won’t have to worry about uncomfortable smells on your tent; the Atsko silicone spray does not give off a bad smell like some of its rivals in the market.

Furthermore, you only need one coat to get the amount of protection necessary to keep off water molecules. Meaning, it will be a great choice if you want to economise.

The spray is suitable for both natural and synthetic fibres and dries clear in such a way that you can’t even tell there’s a coating on your tent gear.

This waterproofing spray is also often used on high-quality products with Gore-Tex or eVent material, which is essentially double the waterproof protection.

On the downside, you might notice some slight colour discolouration if the layering is not done properly during application. Otherwise, the Atsko Silicone water guard spray for tent waterproofing will come in handy when you want to protect any of your camping gear. It blend of versatility and effectiveness ensures that you get value for your money!

Pros
  • Versatile and multipurpose application
  • Dries clean and evenly
  • No undesirable smell
  • One layer of coating is enough
  • Great for both natural and synthetic fibres
  • Easy to apply
Cons
  • Uneven layering may lead to discolouration

303 30605 Fabric Guard Trigger Sprayer

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Marine enthusiasts and those who like to camp in the rainy season will find great use in this waterproofing spray. While it will serve you diligently during a camping trip, the 303 Fabric Guard also features waterproofing elements specifically designed for marine water.

The only thing you need to avoid when using this spray is over-saturating your fabric given that it doesn’t guard against UV rays.

The 303 Fabric Guard will restore your tent’s water, as well as stain, repellency to factory levels. This is achieved through the addition of a protective layer that does not give off any unwanted scents.

Furthermore, it enhances oil-based resistance, helping to keep your tent clean, dry, and colour-rich. Another beneficial aspect of this waterproofing spray is that it is versatile enough to be used on both natural and synthetic fibres.

Unlike other sprays, the Fabric Guard does not alter the texture or colour of the tent fabric. Its role is strictly to boost the fabric’s resistance to water and stains.

The same effect is felt on the breathability of the material, which you’ll notice by the change in weight of the tent after application. You can buy the spray in bottles of 16, 32, and 128 ounces, but you can also find it in packs of four and six.

303 Fabric Guard It comes with great versatility and can be used on all kinds of camping gear that need protection from wetness.

This is why it makes a compelling case when it comes to the best waterproof spray for tents currently in the market.

Pros
  • Great for both natural and synthetic fibres
  • Effective performance
  • Versatile use on different fabrics
  • Enhances breathability
  • Doesn’t discolour the tent
Cons
  • Takes long to cure

Star Brite Waterproofing With PTEF

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This will be the waterproofing spray to go for when dealing with high-quality tents, boat covers, and even outdoor furniture.

Thanks to a special formula employed by the manufacturer, the spray manages to reclaim the waterproofing ability on old fabric that had lost it, resulting in protection against moisture, as well as harmful UV rays.

While it will come in handy for outdoor gear like tents, boat covers, and patio canopy, the Star Brite is versatile enough to be used on clothing accessories such as hiking boots, jackets, gloves, socks, etc.

However, the spray produces a potent smell, so you want to find a place outside to perform the application. If you have to do it inside, then you’ll have to find a well-ventilated space.

The good news is that the noticeable smell fades once the spray dries. Also, the chemical will not affect or alter the color of your tent fabric.

Nonetheless, you want to take care not to overapply the spray, especially on the ventilation spots of your tent as this may affect the breathability. It is relatively easy to apply and won’t take too much of your time.

Depending on the size of your tent, you can buy a 22-ounce bottle or opt for a bigger 128-ounce version. One application coat is all you need to get the protective polymer barrier on your tent, although it may not last as long as you may want.

Overall, it will be a nice choice for those who want to restore the water repellency of their tents.

Pros
  • Easy to use and apply
  • Great for all kinds of fabrics
  • Protects against UV rays
  • Restores water repellency of a fabric
Cons
  • Produces a potent scent
  • Not very durable

Conclusion

The best waterproof spray for tents discussed above ensures that you never get caught off guard in the middle of your adventure. They do a wonderful job of protecting your tent from the rain by applying a water-resistant coating, but what’s even better is that you can use them on other camping gear.

So, if you are planning a camping trip in the middle of the rain season, be sure to include any of these products in your camping gear list.

FAQ

Why Do I Need Waterproofing Spray?

Generally, camping leaves you to the mercy of the elements. You’re fully exposed to the rain, wind, sun; so, if Mother Nature changes her timetable unexpectedly, your adventure could be as good as ruined. As such, you need some sort of insurance against and weather and when it comes to rain, a waterproofing spray will prove crucial.

Protection from moisture is not all you get with waterproofing spray; it also comes in handy when dealing with:

Wear and Tear

The longer you use your tent, the more it deteriorates in performance, thanks to the action of wear and tear. One of the properties your tent loses in the strength of the fabric due to exposure to elements. Waterproofing spray helps you to restore some of these properties and reduce the extent of tear and wear on the tent fabric.

Tent Seams

The seams of your tent also tend to wear down gradually as you continue using the tent. These are the most important part of the tent when it comes to keeping water molecules at bay. To prevent them from being porous, you can apply some waterproofing spray to restore their water-resistance abilities.

Sun Damage

Exposure to direct sunlight damages the fabric of your tent. UV rays can easily weaken the fabric and expedite the process of tear and wear. As a result, the material grows thinner and weaker, which compromises the integrity of your shelter.

Thankfully, applying waterproofing spray helps to prevent the damage of UV rays.

How Do I Waterproof My Tent?

Now that you’ve bought your waterproof spray, what next? Well, before you even start, there is a little prep work involved. First, you want to wash the whole tent to get any dirt, grime, and debris that may be lodged on the fabric.

Failing to do this will result in a bad seal and downplay the effectiveness of the spray. Once the tent is spotless, find a nice area outside to set up the tent then start spraying.

Be sure to spray on all corners of the tent but pay extra attention to the waterproofing seams. This is where most of the water gets inside the tent. After this, you can allow the spray to dry and cure.

Depending on how long the manufacturer recommends that you let the curing last, you can pack your tent and prepare for your next camping adventure. Be sure not to overdo the spraying as it can affect the breathability of the tent.

How Do I Make the Waterproofing Last?

With your tent fully sprayed and dry, your new task is to ensure that the waterproofing coat lasts! You shouldn’t have to go back to treating your tent after just a few days of use.

As long as you’re using an effective waterproofing spray brand, there are a few tricks you can use to make sure this is the case. For instance, you want to stow your tent away in a cool and dark place; a closet will do.

Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, and in case you stay too long without going camping, remember to check for any mold growth. Another thing you want to steer clear of is throwing the tent into a washing machine.

Otherwise, be proactive enough to restore the deteriorating water-resistance of your tent fabric before things get out of hand. This implies constantly checking on the condition of your tent and always having a bottle of waterproofing spray on hand!