Ask the Gear Guy

Waterproof tent fly, but still get wet


Q. Dear Gear Guy, I have a tent with a waterproof fly, but I still get wet. Why is that?
—Soggy Samuel, Morristown, Ind.

A. Hey Soggy Sam. Thanks for the question. There are a couple reasons you’re getting wet. First off, if you’re not staking out your tent and fly correctly, water will definitely find its way into your tent. You need to make sure the rainfly’s lines are taut and that it keeps the fly off the fabric of your tent. It’s also possible your rainfly isn’t waterproof. Over time the tent’s factory-applied waterproofing can wear off—and then you get wet!

Here’s how to re-waterproof your rainfly and tent. Start with a tube of Monet’s Seam Grip (about $7; mcnett.com). Put your rainfly on top of your tent inside out and carefully reseal all the seams (those are the parts where there’s stitching and the fabric is sewn together). Also apply Seam Grip along the perimeter of the floor inside your tent. Next, flip your rainfly over, pitch it properly andspray it with a silicone waterproofer like McNett’s Thunder Shield (also about $7). That should keep you dry for a good long time.

Comments about “Waterproof tent fly, but still get wet”

  1. Sly Fow says:

    Water proof both sides of your fly, it really makes a difference. If it’s still persistant, place a tarp (Like at Home depot: about $3.00) between the tent and rain fly. It’ll stop any rain then and by placing the tarp this way the fly will keep it in place if windy.

  2. Chad 101 says:

    I think ATSKO WATER GUARD works the best for re-waterproofing a tent. You can also use WG on boots,backpacks,hats,gloves,coats and jackets.And it’s only 4.65$ a can!

  3. Anonymous says:

    yeah try colman water proof boot spray

  4. na8 says:

    If it’s been really windy and rainy, the tent fly might blow off to the side and some water might get into the tent.

  5. Smokey says:

    Maybe your fly is to thin. Also check for tiny rips in your tent fly. Try reading the manual for the tent if there is one.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Some tents have an airflow top, not good for wet camping. Need to have a full length waterproof fly. Still getting leaks, carry a small light weight tarp to deflect the water away from the tent.

    When you pick a tent sight be sure that rain runoff is away from your site. Carry a groundcloth (drycleaner plastic)just enough to cover the bottom of the tent.

  7. bob says:

    Also one reason you could be getting wet is thate your breath condensates on the inside of your tent sides as you sleep so when you wake up your tent appears to be leaking.

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