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Camping can be so much fun. There is no feeling quite like it. If you camp in the right areas, it can be the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

When you camp, you can escape into the wilderness and be at one with the beautiful world of nature around us. 

If you are camping in the wilderness, then there is one piece of equipment that will be incredibly important. That is your tent.

While you are out in the wild, your tent will become your home, providing you shelter from the elements, and a safe place to rest your head at night. 

But, if you are new to camping, you might be wondering if tents are waterproof. In fairness, it is a pretty good question, and it is what we will be discussing in this guide.

So, if you want to find out if tents are waterproof, keep on reading! 

Are Tents Waterproof?

Are Tents Waterproof?

First things first, let’s take a look at whether, or not, tents are waterproof. In most cases, yes, tents will be waterproof.

As tents are designed for outdoor use, they will be designed and made using materials that will provide waterproof ability to the tent. After all, what is the point of a tent if everything inside it is going to get wet as soon as it starts raining?

Tents are usually designed to be waterproof in one of two ways.

Usually, the material that is made to build the tent will either be covered with a waterproof membrane, or it will be covered with a waterproofing agent during the manufacturing process.

Sometimes, manufacturers will do both to increase the waterproof ability of the tent. 

However, even if the material used to make your tent is waterproof, this isn’t enough to keep you dry. Without a proper ground sheet, the inside of your tent can get wet.

So, not only should you purchase a waterproof tent, you should also buy a waterproof ground sheet if you want a peaceful (and dry) night’s sleep.

How Is Waterproof Ability Measured In Tents?

So, all tents are waterproof to a certain extent. But that doesn’t mean that all tents will share the same waterproof ability.

Some tents will be made to be more waterproof than others, which can make purchasing a tent a little confusing. So, let’s take a look at how waterproof ability is measured for tents. 

When all tents are made, they will be given a waterproof rating. These waterproof ratings are measured in millimeters, and they can range from 1,000 mm  to 10,000 mm.

1,000 mm is the lowest end of the scale, and this is the lowest waterproof rating that a tent can be given in order to be considered waterproof. If a tent has a rating lower than this, then it is not waterproof. 

On the opposite side of the scale, 10,000 mm is the highest rating that a tent can be given. So, if you want to guarantee that you won’t get wet while you are camping, then this is the best waterproof rating to go for.

The higher the number, the more waterproof the tent will be. 

Although, it is worth noting that these ratings are given to tents based on downward falling rain.

The tests that are run on tents to give them their waterproof rating do not take into account wind driven rain, which is why no tent will be 100% waterproof.

How Long Do Tents Stay Waterproof?

Like all things, tents are susceptible to wear and tear. This wear and tear does mean that over time your tent will become less waterproof.

Especially if you are somebody who regularly goes camping in bad weather. So, how long do tents stay waterproof for?

Generally speaking, your tent will remain waterproof for between 1 and 2 years.

This length of time will, of course, be impacted by factors such as how regularly you camp, where you camp, and how you look after your tent after you have been camping.

For example, if you put your tent into storage while it is still wet, then the moisture will likely damage your tent and reduce its waterproof ability. 

If you complete good maintenance of your tent, then it is likely that you will get more than 1 to 2 years of use out of it before it stops being waterproof.

Whereas, if you fail to take care of your tent, its lifespan could be even shorter than this. 

How Can I Make My Tent More Waterproof?

How Can I Make My Tent More Waterproof?

As we have said, all tents will come with waterproof ability. But, it is possible to further waterproof your tent after you purchase it if you wish.

In particular, this is something that a lot of people tend to do if they are using an older tent, which they don’t want to replace. Thankfully, there are a lot of products that you can buy to improve the waterproof ability of your tent. 

In particular, Star Brite produces a number of great waterproof tent sprays, such as this one. All of these sprays are easy to apply, you just need a nice, dry day as your tent cannot be wet.

If the tent is wet, then the waterproof spray will not apply properly to the fabric. Then all you need to do is apply the spray following the instructions for the specific product that you are using. 

Once the liquid has been applied, you will need to leave it to cure. This usually takes around 6 hours, and during this time, the tent cannot get wet.

But, once this time has passed, the tent will be ready to use, and it should be more waterproof than it was before.


In short, yes, the majority of tents are made to be waterproof. This waterproof rating is measured in millimeters from 1,000 through to 10,000, with 10,000 mm having the best waterproof ability. 

Thank you for reading!

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