Camping in the rain.
It’s never ideal, right? But it’s definitely bearable when your tent’s watertight.
There’s even something quite nice about being in a tent when the heaven’s open. The steady pitter patter of rain hitting canvas is enough to send me to sleep in seconds!
It feels cozy, atmospheric, and a little adventurous.
…Until the tent starts letting in water.
Then it’s just annoying. After all, the last thing you want is water coming into what’s basically your bedroom.
You may as well sleep in the shower.
Alas, with enough time, wear, and tear, almost all tents start to become less waterproof.
Polyurethane starts to peel, seams start to suffer, and water trickles in as a result.
Thankfully, getting your hands on some high-quality tent waterproof spray can solve the problem. Waterproofing a tent restores (or bolsters) the waterproof barrier and stops the leak in no time.
But first you’ve got to find the best tent waterproofing spray for the job.
Want some help doing it? Keep reading for 8 reviews of the best waterproofing spray for tents.
Heads up, this post contains affiliate links.
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- The Best Teepee Tents for Camping
Tent Waterproofing Tips – How & When to Do It
Let’s begin with some tips about the waterproofing process. After all, it’s no good finding the best waterproofing tent spray if you don’t know how to use it properly! In the coming sections, I’ll go through when and how to waterproof a tent before moving onto the reviews.
1. When to Waterproof a Tent
Nobody likes going camping and getting caught in a rainstorm. But if your camping tent’s not fully waterproof, an unfortunate situation ordeal can soon become a nightmare.
Thankfully, all modern camping tents come with a degree of water resistance. However, even the best of those can use an additional layer of protection- especially with time and use.
This is where tent waterproofing comes in.
Waterproofing a tent can greatly prolong its functional life, protect it from the wear and tear of use, and, of course, keep you drier throughout it all!
So, when should you waterproof a tent? Ideally, you should do the procedure before taking it on its first camping trip.
However, that’s not to say you can’t waterproof an old camping tent of yours too.
Spraying sealant onto your trusty tent may not reverse the previous damage, but it prevent its decline and provide a useful boost to its waterproofing capabilities.
Just make sure that you have washed any dirt and grime off of the tent beforehand, so the waterproof layer you apply to it will be even and uninterrupted.
In addition to the first coat of waterproofing you apply, there are times when you’ll want to repeat the procedure a second time. The need to reproof arises when the first layer wears off due to use or time.
For a frequent camper who uses a quality tent waterproof spray, this is usually once every two years. Of course, another way to tell when your tent requires re-waterproofing is when it starts to leak!
2. How to waterproof a tent
The good news is that waterproofing a tent is quite a simple procedure.
You should always begin with a standing, clean tent, though, or the waterproofing will not be as effective as it could be.
So, the first step in the process is actually setting up the tent in your backyard.
If you’re waterproofing a tent that isn’t brand new, then be sure to wash it down with water and a gentle soap first. When that’s done, use a water hose to ensure all the soap’s been washed away (along with the dirt and grime).
From there, let the tent air dry. And finally, use the best tent waterproofing spray you can find to apply an even layer over every surface.
Got a big tent? Use a ladder for help reaching the topmost portions.
Top tip: while you want to cover every inch of the tent surface, make sure you’re not too liberal with your waterproof tent spray. A single, even layer of waterproofing works better than a double coat.
After you spray down the surfaces of the tent, it is time to seal the seams. These are the areas that are most susceptible to water leaks, so they need special attention.
Last but not least, leave the spray for waterproofing to air dry before taking the tent down and packing it away.
Top Tip: How to Maintain Your Tent
As I mentioned before, with the waterproofing done, your tent shouldn’t need too much more maintenance. For instance, you shouldn’t need to waterproof your tent again each year- unless it’s started to struggle in a downpour.
The main job for any camper is to treat this key bit of kit with care!
To make the waterproof protection on your camping tent last, store it in a cool, dry place whenever you’re not camping. Likewise, avoid leaving it out in the sun for days, or the harmful UV rays will begin to eat away at the waterproofing.
When the tent gets dirty, always wash it with a mix of mild soap and water. Extreme temperatures and washing machines aren’t good for your tent.
Last but not least, if any leaks start to show up, make all necessary repairs as soon as you can. Putting off a much-needed waterproofing session only makes your tent vulnerable to more damage!
The 8 Best Tent Waterproofing Solutions – Reviews
Now that you know the when and how of waterproofing your tent, let’s focus on the what:
What’s the best waterproof tent spray for the task?
Below you’ll find 8 comprehensive reviews that I hope will provide the answer! You’ll read about 8 amazing products, their key features, and unique advantages and disadvantages.
1. Kiwi Camp Dry Heavy Duty Water Repellent (Best Spray On Waterproofing)
Tough Silicone Protection
The Kiwi Camp Water Repellant is the waterproofing spray of choice for anybody who wants heavy duty tent protection.
It uses silicone in its formula to guarantee high-levels of waterproofing for any storms that come your way. How? By making a strong bond with any fabric you spray it on!
The Kiwi Camp is highly-rated and popular online for the waterproof layer it creates on all of your outdoor gear.
That’s right. You’re not restricted to using this on your tent. You can just as easily apply it to your tarps, boots, boat covers…just about any fabric that you want to keep dry.
Protects Your Seams
When the rain comes down, it’s the seams of your tent that are most vulnerable to leaks.
Use this water repellant spray on your tent and it shouldn’t be a problem. Its high-strength formula targets the weakest areas of your camping gear to create an effective waterproof layer. No more getting yourself wet when you camp through a rainstorm!
Keeps Things Breathable
Not only does this quality product offer unbelievable water protection, but it also keeps things light and breezy.
Instead of creating an impermeable layer that’d make your tent interior stuffy, the unique formula of this water repellant spray is designed to remain breathable too. All told, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more effective waterproofing agent for your tent.
- One of the best water repellents to waterproof outdoor equipment- including tents!
- Easy to apply
- Strong, effective results
- Works well on all materials
- 2 bottles included
- This Kiwi Camp waterproofing spray isn’t resistant to abrasion and will not stand a washing cycle
2. Gear Aid Seam Grip Fabric Sealer for Waterproofing a Tent
Restores old PU coating
If you have an old camping tent (or backpack, or tarp, or sports bag…) that needs reproofing, the Gear Aid Seam Grip Tent Fabric Sealer would be well up to the task. This water repellent tent sealer’s designed to restore the coating to its previous functionality. Follow the instructions to remove the old layer before applying the Gear Aid over the top.
With a bit of time and patience to perform the job itself, you’ll notice a significant difference in the water permeability of your tent thanks to its new layer of lasting protection.
Clever applicator design
One way in which this fabric sealer distinguishes itself from the other water repellent products out there is its unique applicator design.
This water repellant features a foam section at the top that you press onto the surface of whatever you’re waterproofing. You’d then squeeze the bottle to releases the fluid into it. You can then maneuver the sponge around the surface to spread the waterproof sealant around!
That might sound complicated, but applying this coating couldn’t be easier and makes waterproofing surfaces a breeze (not to mention less messy). It might take a while to cover a large area, but a single bottle’s meant to coat 85 square foot of material.
The clever design also ensures that no product is wasted during application like you would experience with a spray. It also prevents the product from leaking through the opening when not in use.
It Dries clear
The Gear Aid sealer dries on fabric as an unnoticeable, (almost) invisible protective layer. Taking only four hours to dry, this heavy duty fabric sealer gives you an excellent finish. The texture might change- especially when you apply a thicker coat. But, all round, it wouldn’t compromise the aesthetics of your tent in any way.
- One bottle seals up to 85 square foot of material
- This waterproofing tent spray leaves no sticky or grimy residue
- The foam applicator makes it easy to apply without wasting any product
- It’s good value for money
- This product may not work as well on clothing as it does on tent floors and rain tarps
- Could take practice to master the technique and only apply a thin coating
3. Nikwax Spray for Waterproofing
Additional Solar Protection
While other water repellent sprays work only to increase the waterproof rating of your camping gear, the Nikwax Tent Protection Spray goes one step further.
In addition to adding all-important water resistance to your tent, this product would also protect it from harmful UV rays. Additional solar protection increases the longevity of your tent, which is good news for everyone!
The listing even claims to double the lifespan of your gear.
Safe for Everyone
From children to the planet, the Nikwax Tent Protection Spray is safe for everyone and everything.
This waterproofing spray contains no PFCs, VOCs, optical brighteners, or added scent. In addition to all that, it’s also biodegradable.
In other words, it gets a thumbs up from the environment- something that can’t be said for other products that contain harmful chemicals.
Made for Outdoor Camping Gear
The Nikwax Tent Protection Spray is a top tier water repellent for all of your camping gear.
The manufacturers formulate this product especially to work with tents, rain tarps, backpacks, boat covers, waterproof jackets, and other such equipment.
That makes it super versatile and the perfect product for any outdoor enthusiast who needs to waterproof their stuff. Just spray it on and away you go.
Oh, and Nikwax is a well-known, reputable brand, meaning you can buy from them with full confidence.
- Helps maintain the breathability of fabric while adding to its water resistance
- Easy to apply
- Effective waterproofing from a reputable brand
- Adds UV protection too
- A layer of this protectant spray lasts a long time and does not need much maintenance
- Can withstand a washing cycle
- Best results require you to use with a separate product (Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarWash) to clean your gear first.
4. 303 Products Fabric Guard Tent Waterproofing Spray
Restores Lost Protection
If your canvas teepee tent leaks on rainy nights, then this spray bottle will fix your problem in minutes.
A bit like the Kiwi Camp product above, the Fabric Guard Spray restores lost water repellency by adding another layer of protection on top of it. What’s more, it also repels stains and keeps your tent cleaner for longer!
Multipurpose Water Repellent
For anyone looking for a single product to protect both their outdoor home and camping gear, this fabric guard spray could be the answer. This versatile, multi-purpose spray works well on all sorts of natural and synthetic fabrics. It’s also excellent for canvas, suede, and any of your outdoor upholstery.
My only concern is that it’s not specifically designed for camping gear. That doesn’t necessarily imply a problem. But it makes me wonder if the manufacturers really know what campers are looking for in a waterproof spray…
Nevertheless, the reviews and ratings speak for themselves. It has almost 2000 reviews of which 75% are rated 5 star.
Maintains Quality of Fabrics
The Fabric Guard Spray ensures any materials you treat would maintain their quality. It has no effect on the feel and breathability of the treated fabric. Nor does it bleach color from the fabric or alter its flammability. The spray itself, however, is extremely flammable and must be used with caution in a well-ventilated area.
- It’s endorsed by Sunbrella (as well as other fabric manufacturers) for restoring water repellency
- Made in the USA
- Repels both moisture and stains
- Easy to apply
- Does not work well with leather, rubber, and vinyl (not that this should matter for campers…)
- It isn’t specifically designed for tents.
5. Texsport Polyurethane Waterproof Tent Spray
Here’s another high-strength product that promises to restore your tent’s waterproofing to its former glory.
The Texsport Polyurethane Seam Sealer provides professional strength protection that lasts for years and (in theory) allows no leaks.
Once again, you can use it on a variety of outdoor products including backpacks and anything else made from synthetic fabrics.
The Texsport Seam Sealer’s another 2-in-1 product as it provides protection against both water and UV rays.
It prevents the sun from bleaching your tent, reduces fading that’s already occurred, and keeps colors looking fresh. That UV protection prevents further deterioration of the material and should ensure your tent stays intact (and waterproof) for longer.
Non-Toxic and Odourless Results
I like this this Texsport Polyurethane Seam Sealer dries relatively fast and leaves no color or smell (thought it’ll stink a bit when you apply it) on your stuff.
Apart from the increased water repellency, nobody will be able to tell your tent’s been treated with a waterproofing spray! It should look and perform as good as new.
That said, expect to use more than one can to do the job (unless you’re coating a small, one to two person tent), especially if you’re doing a second coating. For larger tents, expect to use 2 to 3 cans all up.
- Does not alter the look, feel, or smell of the treated fabric
- Repels dirt and stains too
- Easy application
- One year warranty
- Great value for your money
- Does not work as well on natural fabrics as it does on synthetic ones
- Expect to use more than one can!
6. The Scotchgard Heavy Duty Tent Sealer Spray
One Coat Application
In addition to being inexpensive, the highly-rated Scotchgard water shield offer great bang for your buck in terms of efficiency.
AKA it doesn’t take much of the spray to protect your tent (unless your tent’s a biggie). A little goes a long way and a single coat should be enough to keep your tent safe and dry. Just spray it onto the surface (after you’ve it, of course) and away you go.
One can should provide 60 square foot of resistant on light nylon. However, you are recommended to reapply it on a seasonable basis.
Maintains Breathability & Dries Odourless
We all know how uncomfortable it can be to spend time in a stuffy tent.
But that’s exactly what can happen when you apply low-grade water repellants! Thankfully, Scotchgard doesn’t fit that description.
Coat your tent with it and you’ll get all the water-resistance without impacting its breathability. I like that it dries odorless too. Nobody wants to wake up surrounded by chemical fumes!
Just make sure you spray it on in a well-ventilated area- expect it to smell super strong until it dries.
Ideal for Outdoor Gear
The Scotchgard product works well on all sorts of fabrics and materials. Be it leather, suede, canvas, nylon, or cotton, it’s compatible with almost everything. This useful versatility means you can safely use it on outdoor gear and garments alike.
- Provides high-quality & long-lasting protection against all elements
- Only requires a single coat
- Can be used on a variety of materials
- Dries clear and odourless
- Easy application
- This product doesn’t repel stains or UV rays
- One can will only cover 20 square foot of heavy fabric
7. Atsko Silicone Water-Guard Tent Spray
Great Value for Money
The Atsko Silicone Water Guard has a lot to offer at a low price point.
For $29.99, you get two cans of 10.5oz each with which to protect your camping gear/tent. This isn’t actually the cheapest product on this list, but it’s still a very reasonable price point for a water repellent of such quality.
One coating should sort your tent out with no trouble (though you may need more than a single can.
A hallmark of all good waterproof sprays, this product will leave no trace once it’s dry. It’ll be completely colorless (and odourless) on most fabrics.
That said, there are a few reviews claiming that some light-colored or clear materials might change colour with multiple coats. Follow the directions, though, and you shouldn’t have any trouble!
Out of all the spray water repellents out there, the Atsko Silicone Water Guard offers one of the easiest applications.
That sounds silly- after all, you just spray it on, right? Easy peasy!
And that’s true. But this particular spray is said to be good at applying a consistent, even coating. This ensures your tent will be better protected in a downpour.
- Great at protecting a wide array of items (including tents!) from getting soaked
- Works equally well on new and used items
- Compatible with several types of fabrics
- Easy to apply an even coating
- Good value for money
- This product may discolor glue and some other light-colored materials
- Smells of silicone when freshly applied
8. The Star Brite Waterproofing Spray
The Star Brite Waterproofing Spray offers not just double, but triple protection for your tent.
It promises to prevent leaks, provide solar protection, and repel stains all at the same time. That’s good value for money and, of course, a highly practical solution for protecting your camping gear.
Covers 80 Square Feet
A 22oz spray bottle of the Star Brite Waterproofing Spray should be able to coat up to 80 square feet of material.
That’s a whole lot of fabric, which is great if you’re trying to waterproof a larger tent. As with many of the tent waterproofing options on this list, you only need a single coat of this to offer high levels of protection. However, there’s nothing stopping you from applying another if you want even more water-resistance.
Keeps Things Breathable
Once again, this waterproof tent spray won’t change a fabric’s feel, breathability, color, or quality in any way!
Even after multiple coats, you’d never know the fabric had been treated with a water repellent spray. It’s made in the US, boasts thoooousands of 5-star reviews, and can be applied on a wide variety of different products/materials. In other words, it’s one of the best tent waterproofing products you’ll find!
Do note that this Star Brite spray shouldn’t be ‘cut’ (aka diluted) with denatured alcohol though.
Not only will it make the product less effective, but it might even clump and cause problems with your fabric. That’s not what you want for your treasured tent.
- Made in the US
- Easy to apply
- Great value for money
- One coat does the trick
- Extends the life of the treated fabric
- Great for new and used items
- Dilution with denatured alcohol may cause clumping and adverse effects on the treated fabric
Buy the Best Waterproofing Spray for Tents
There’s nothing worse than springing a leak in your favourite tent. Rainy camping trips are depressing enough! Unfortunately, time and use have a nasty habit of withering the weatherproofing capabilities of any canvas you choose to sleep beneath.
The good news is that waterproofing a tent can rectify the issue in no time. But only when you have the best waterproofing spray for the task and know how to wield it!
With any luck, this post will help on both counts.
Keep these reviews in mind and you should be a step closer to choosing the best tent waterproofing spray for your needs.
Still looking for the right spray for waterproofing your particular tent? Click here to see more quality options.