What’s the greatest tent materials to purchase?
The reply is easy…All of it comes right down to the form of tenting journeys you’ll be occurring.
Planning a backpacking journey? Weight might be on the prime of your record of priorities.
Automobile tenting? You may be extra involved about breathability and UV resistance.
Going tenting in tough terrain? You’ll need to be sure that your tent is fabricated from a extremely sturdy materials.
Widespread tenting tent supplies you’re more likely to come throughout in your search embrace:
- Cuben Fiber
On this article, I’m going to let you know what it is advisable know in regards to the traits of every of those tent materials.
As soon as you already know the professionals and cons of every material, you must have a greater concept of which one is greatest for you, primarily based on your priorities.
Fundamental Data About Generally Used Tent Materials
With all of the totally different supplies on the market, it’s straightforward to get confused.
While you lookup particular supplies, you’ll typically get a bunch of technical data which may as properly be written in Swahili.
Let me simplify it for you.
Listed below are all of the essential issues you must bear in mind about varied supplies when shopping for a tent, minus the technical jargon.
The commonest materials you’ll encounter when taking a look at tents is nylon.
It’s an artificial materials, with a denier score that signifies how thick it’s. The thickness of the material will have an effect on each the sturdiness and UV resistance of your tent.
Nylon is usually the fabric of alternative for backpackers, on account of the truth that it’s so light-weight.
It’s additionally extremely breathable. That is essential as a result of airflow prevents condensation from accumulating inside your tent.
One factor that isn’t nice about nylon material is that it’s extremely absorbent. That implies that it doesn’t provide nice water resistance. When you anticipate wet climate, it’s a good suggestion to apply waterproofing spray to your tent earlier than you head off in your tenting journey.
Ripstop nylon is a kind of nylon that has ripstop threads woven into it, for added sturdiness.
The benefit to getting a tent fabricated from a ripstop materials is that any small holes and tears gained’t flip into large gaping holes over time. Due to the ripstop, the injury gained’t get any worse, which means your tent will finally last more.
On the draw back, ripstop nylon isn’t as light-weight as common nylon.
Professionals & Cons Of Nylon
- Lighter than polyester and far lighter than canvas
- Stretchier than polyester
- Good breathability
- Dries faster than canvas, making it much less susceptible to mildew
- Absorbs water
- Much less sturdy than polyester
- Not as UV resistant as polyester
Polyester is one other artificial materials that’s typically used to make tents.
Like nylon, polyester materials even have a denier score, relying on how thick they’re.
Typically, a nylon tent will include a polyester rain fly. It’s because polyester doesn’t soak up as a lot water as nylon does, making it a more sensible choice for moist climate.
Polyester material can also be extra sturdy than nylon.
Why use nylon in any respect, then?
Nicely, despite the fact that nylon is much less sturdy, it nonetheless has a much better strength-to-weight ratio than polyester. It’s additionally stretchier, which implies it gained’t rip as simply when beneath stress.
Plus, the truth that it’s lighter than polyester makes it a a lot better alternative for backpackers.
That being stated, it’s value noting that in recent times the strength-to-weight ratio of polyester has improved quite a bit.
Sturdiness was as soon as reserved for thicker polyester materials. Now, there are increasingly more light-weight polyester materials obtainable which can be impressively robust. Because of this, polyester tents are undoubtedly on the rise.
Like nylon, polyester may have ripstop material woven into it, for a stronger materials.
This will even sluggish put on and tear, as any insignificant injury gained’t worsen over time.
It does, nevertheless, additionally add to the general weight of the tent.
Professionals & Cons Of Polyester
- Higher UV and water resistance than nylon
- Extra sturdy than nylon
- Additionally dries faster than canvas, making it much less susceptible to mildew
- Heavier than nylon
- Not as breathable as nylon
- Not as stretchy as nylon, making it extra susceptible to ripping
Canvas is fabricated from cotton, which is a pure materials, in contrast to nylon and polyester.
One of many benefits of a canvas tent is that cotton is extra breathable than artificial supplies.
It additionally performs higher in terms of UV resistance.
That every one makes it nice at regulating the temperature inside your tent. A canvas tent will hold you cool in the summertime and heat within the winter, so you’ll at all times get a very good night time’s sleep.
Then again, it’s additionally heavier and much slower to dry. Sadly, this could result in issues with mildew forming contained in the tent.
The water resistance of a cotton canvas tent will be improved dramatically by weathering it. The method of weathering (or seasoning) your tent includes drenching it fully and letting it dry out. This may be accomplished as soon as, or a number of occasions, relying on the tent in query.
Notice that if you happen to get a canvas tent that has a PVC coating, you gained’t have to climate it earlier than you utilize it.
Lastly, canvas tents are dearer than most nylon and polyester tents.
Professionals & Cons Of Canvas
- Nice breathability
- Higher UV resistance than polyester or nylon
- Strong water resistance when weathered or coated
- Heavier than polyester and nylon
- Slower to dry than polyester and nylon, making it extra vulnerable to mildew
- Costlier than polyester or nylon, generally
When you’re leaning in the direction of canvas, think about polycotton canvas. Polycotton is a cloth that’s a mix of each polyester and cotton.
By combining the 2, you find yourself with a cloth that has all of the qualities of cotton, with higher sturdiness and mildew resistance.
Sadly, together with all of the qualities, a polycotton tent additionally has all of the disadvantages of cotton. It’s heavier than polyester or nylon, and can also be dearer.
Professionals & Cons Of Polycotton
- Very breathable
- Extra sturdy than canvas
- Nonetheless heavier than polyester or nylon
- Tends to be dearer than polyester or nylon
Cuben Fiber, often known as Dyneema Composite Cloth or DCF, is the latest addition to the tent supplies household.
It’s extremely light-weight with an unbelievable strength-to-weight ratio. And, get this: it’s waterproof. That’s proper – it doesn’t soak up any water.
That makes it the best materials for a backpacking tent.
What’s the catch? Nicely, it’s a reasonably large one sadly. Cuben Fiber is way much less immune to put on and tear than any of the opposite supplies we’ve talked about.
Tents fabricated from this materials can’t be anticipated to final practically so long as tents fabricated from nylon, polyester, canvas or polycotton.
That, and the truth that they aren’t by any means low cost, make Cuben Fiber tents the least economical possibility you’ll be able to go for.
Professionals & Cons Of Cuben Fiber
- Doesn’t soak up water, making it waterproof
- Higher strength-to-weight ratio than some other materials
- Wonderful UV resistance
- Inferior sturdiness
- Seams susceptible to break
- Costlier than different supplies
Nylon Vs. Polyester
Nylon and polyester are each artificial supplies. Nonetheless, there are a number of key variations between them.
For starters, nylon has a greater strength-to-weight ratio. Nonetheless, polyester has a a lot better strength-to-weight ratio at present than it did previously.
Nylon can also be extra breathable, and it’s stretchier. Whereas some may argue that it’s stretchiness is a con, because it causes wrinkles within the material, that is only a minor aesthetic element. The stretchiness of the material means it’s much less more likely to tear when it’s pulled out tightly.
A few issues polyester has over nylon is that it absorbs much less water and it’s barely more durable.
Final however not least, it supplies higher UV resistance. Have in mind, nevertheless, that in the long term this may have much more to do with the colour and denier of the material than the kind of material itself.
Canvas Vs. Nylon / Polyester
In case your goal is to pack mild, you’d be higher off going for a tent fabricated from an artificial materials resembling nylon or polyester. Pure supplies resembling canvas are typically considerably heavier.
When you’re automobile tenting, this gained’t be a difficulty. However, if you happen to’re backpacking, you undoubtedly need to keep away from canvas.
Artificial supplies are additionally typically extra resistant to ripping and mildew progress. Nonetheless, canvas performs higher in terms of resisting UV ray injury and fading.
Canvas can also be extra breathable, which means you’re much less more likely to have an issue with condensation inside your tent.
Regardless of being extra breathable, it’s truly nonetheless a greater insulator than nylon or polyester. This implies it’ll hold you hotter when it’s chilly and cooler when it’s scorching.
There are, nevertheless, additionally tents on the upper finish of the value scale which can be fabricated from artificial supplies. These are 4 season and 5 season tents which can be made to face up to excessive climate situations.
The Ultimate Verdict
Which material is the most effective? Nicely, as you’ll be able to see, there isn’t one proper reply. All of it will depend on what your prime priorities are.
When you’re a backpacker in search of a light-weight tent that gained’t weigh you down, nylon is unquestionably the best way to go.
Excessive adventurers tenting in tough terrain would most likely be higher off going for polyester.
Automobile campers can go for something actually, together with canvas, which is a superb alternative if you happen to don’t thoughts the additional weight.
Hopefully you’ve now obtained a clearer image of what sort of tent goes to give you the results you want.
Now, all that’s left to do is discover a mannequin you want. Take a look at our tent opinions (like this one on 4-person tents) to see a number of the greatest tents available on the market at present.