There are many tent seam sealers on the market today. Knowing which one to buy is vital when it comes to the upkeep of your tent and enjoying your camping trip.
Whether you are a camping enthusiast or taking the family for your first camping trip, purchasing a tent is the largest investment you will make with your camping equipment. So, to get the best out of your tent, maintenance is important. Sealers not only protect or fix your tents seams, they also repair tears.
When you buy a sealer for your tents seams, make sure you buy the right type for the fabric coating of your tent.
The Best Tent Seam Sealers:
Gear Aid SIL Net Silicone Seam Sealer
Gear Aid Sil Net Silicone is one of the best seam sealers for tents available. The product comes in a 1.5 ounce tube. It is made as an adhesive to bond fabrics that are silicone treated. It is a firm silicone rubber that becomes flexible once it has cured. This is a great advantage as it will stretch as your tent does. The sealer makes the seams waterproof. Another advantage is that it will not crack or peel over time. It is also not affected by extreme temperatures of heat or cold. You only need to apply this silicone once and it is easy to apply which is a bonus. The quantity of product is enough for all seams on a 2 man tent.
Gear Aid Seam Grip FC Fast Cure Sealant
The Gear Aid Seam sealer is a great product, especially for larger tents or sealing multiple tents. This product comes in a 2 oz bottle with a built in applicator brush and contains enough liquid to seal 60 seams. It is a water based product that cures in 2 hours at room temperature. Once dry, it becomes a flexible sealant that is long lasting. It will protect the tents seams from leaks whilst also stretching with the fabric. It can be used on multiple fabrics and items. The fabrics it is suitable for are canvas and polyester. The bottles, with built in applicators, are perfectly sized for applications on both smaller and larger areas. This sealant dries clear which means no discoloration.
As this sealant is water based, it is an odorless solution which is beneficial. We highly suggest this product if you want to save money by having multiple usage and/or multiple fabrics.
Coleman Tent Seam Sealer
The Coleman Seam Sealer is an effortless sealant as it is already mixed. It is 2 ounces of a water based urethane formula that is ideal for tents that are made from polyurethane coated fabrics. There is enough product in one bottle to seal the seams of a 6 person tent.
This seam sealer has many advantages. It is fast drying and if you are after a seam sealer that is easy to apply then this one's for you. It comes with a foam applicator pad, which makes it even easier to apply and not make a mess. This sealer is made for sealing tents, however it is also great for sealing seams on other equipment and products, such as backpacks, shade cloths, tarps etc. Coleman's seam sealer is one of the cheaper priced seam sealers on the market, however it is a long lasting product that also gives permanent results.
Texsport Polyurethane Seam Sealer
This Seam sealer is a colorless treatment, with no markings after use. Once dry, it is odorless and flexible. It is a non toxic solution, which means no risks when using. It is a strong sealant that will protect the fabric from water and dirt. This sealant is one of the easiest to apply as it comes in a 14 ounce spray can that seals the seam in one application.
The Texsport seam sealer is a versatile option as it can be used on not only your tent but other items such as backpacks, tarps or any other product made from synthetic fabric. It is also used for waterproofing sections of your tent. This seam sealer will prevent fading along seams, caused by direct sunlight. The Texsport seam sealer is a great product if you want versatility.
Things to consider when purchasing a Tent Seam Sealer:
How To Seal your Tent Seams:
Here is a video on how to seam your tent seams:
Type of Fabric Coating
A seam sealer may work well on one fabric, however not on another. Find out the fabric coating of your tent prior to researching and purchasing.
Polyurethane coated fabrics - To seal a tent made from a polyurethane coated fabric you will need a urethane seam sealer.
Silicone coated fabrics - Fabrics such as silnylon and silpoly are coated with silicone. You should purchase a seam sealer that is silicone based. This is because silicone will only adhere to silicone
Silpoly coated fabrics - Silpoly or SilpolyPU coating is when a fabric is coated with silicone on one side and on the other side a urethane seam sealer. Before applying sealant to the seams you will need to find out which side of your tent is coated with silicone. If you are unsure, contact the manufacturer.
Cubenfiber/ Dyneema - Usually, you will not need to seam seal tents that are made from these fabrics.
Thickness of Tent Sealer
The thickness of a sealer differs from one to the next. There are pro’s and con’s for both thick and thin tent seam sealers.
Thin tent seam sealer:
Thin seam sealers are great as they are easier to apply than the thick. They do run a little as they are thin.
Thick tent seam sealer:
Thick seam sealers are great to make patterns to attach a specific part of the fabric or tent. You will also waste less with the thick sealer as it will not run.
Thinning out sealer - Sealants for silicone coated fabric tents are often thick. To thin your sealer out, add or mix a small amount of mineral spirits.
Another consideration when purchasing your sealant is the amount you will need.
For a small tent (2 person tent), you will only need a small bottle / tube of seam sealer.
For a larger tent, or more than one tent, you will need a larger quantity or multiple sealants. Buying a larger tube / bottle will save money in the long run.
If you are an avid camper and use your tent regularly, you will need more seam sealer as you will need to reseal the seams more frequently.
Tent Seam Sealers come with different application options. Some of these include:
Built-in applicator - This is the most convenient option of application that is part of the bottle or tube. They come in both foam or brush applicator.
Nozzle - It is common for seam sealers in a bottle or tube to have a nozzle. This allows you to apply the seam sealer directly from the tube / bottle to the fabric.
Spray on - Some tent seam sealers come in a spray-on or aerosol can which is convenient as it allows you to spray the sealer directly onto the seams.
Paint on - The sealers that are of paint on application come in two forms. One, you have to paint the product on with a paint brush, while the other is that the sealer comes with a built in brush on the end, either foam or brush head.
A tent seam sealer is not an expensive purchase, however it is an important one and there is a difference in price from one product to the next. The reasons for this include:Where you buy it, whether online or a hardware store for example. The brand, quantity and type of sealant are all factors in the price point.
Why Seal Tent Seams?
Prevention - Most tent’s nowadays have sealed or double sealed edges. The other type of tent is simply stitched. Simply stitched tents are usually water tight, their seams are not as waterproof or strong as seams that are sealed. It is advised that if you are going to purchase a simply stitched tent, you seal all seams before use. This will add strength and added waterproofing, reducing the risk of your tent getting a leak.
Maintenance - All tents suffer from wear and tear over time, in which the seams may start to fail. Check Seams before each use. It is easier to do a quick repair at home rather than out in the wilderness.
Repair - If you happen to get a tear in the seam of your tent, you can repair it using a tent seam sealant
A tent Seam Sealant is an important product to have on hand when camping, and generally as part of your camping maintenance kit. Seam sealers really do work and will have your tent last a lot longer and your camping trip stress free