Rain and wind are not your only enemies when you’re camping in exotic weather; dampness is far less conspicuous, and most beginner campers tend to completely neglect the fact that it can be even more dangerous to your gear by a long shot.
One of the main reasons why seasoned campers used waterproofing sprays is that these convenient little gadgets can help you combat such issues by waterproofing your tent and gear.
Today we’re going to discuss some of the most efficient models and say a couple of words about what you should be looking for in a waterproofing spray, so let’s begin:
Best Tent Waterproofing Spray
Nikwax Tent and Gear Cleaning Waterproofing and UV Protection
Our opener is Nikwax’s Tent & Gear spray that boasts both waterproofing and solar-proofing abilities. Basically, this is a 2-in-1 spray that offers an easy environmentally-friendly way to reinforce your tent.
The waterproofing and solar-proofing abilities are synergetic and practically ‘boost’ one another; the waterproofing layer restores and introduces water-repellent abilities to fabrics that it’s used on while the solar-proofing layer enhances the longevity of the primary one; additionally, the second layer substantially reduces the effect of wear caused by heat.
The formula of Nikwax’s waterproofing spray is water-based and biodegradable, which is only to be expected from a top-dollar model. Now, the only thing that we didn’t like about it is that it’s not as efficient when used on non-weather-proof fabrics (such as nylon or canvas, for example). Be it as it may, it still packs an incredible punch for the buck.
- Restorative and water-repelling capabilities
- Reduces wear from heat
- Water-based and biodegradable
- 17 fluid ounces in the bottle
- Most efficient when used on tents that are already weather-proof
- A bit more expensive than average
Scotchgard Water and Sun Shield
Here we have Scotchard’s Water & Sun Shield bundle; it’s essentially comprised of two 10.5-ounce aerosol cans that are packed with a premium-quality water-based formula. Speaking of which, the Water & Sun Shield is a 2-in-1 waterproofing spray, just like our previous pick, which boasts water-repellent and solar-proofing qualities.
The density and ‘robustness’ of the formula make it even more suitable for outdoor use, especially on tougher materials such as leather, suede, or heavy-duty Polyester for instance. The fact that there are two bottles in the bundle means that you’ll be able to cover several tents and virtually all of your gear.
Lastly, Schotchard’s 2-pack waterproofing spray bundle is not the cheapest out there, but it’s certainly not too expensive.
- Two bottles of premium-quality waterproofing formula
- Ideal for heavy-duty materials
- Water-proofing and solar-proofing ability
- Great for bigger (or multiple) tents
- Pricier than average
Nikwax TX Direct Wash-in Waterproofing
Here we have another model from Nikwax, the TX Direct Wash-in waterproofing spray. Basically, this model is ideal for tents and camping equipment made from synthetic materials, which includes both lighter and heavy-duty items. It’s water-based and completely ‘green’, just like its pricier counterpart, and it’s just as easy to use.
The main reason why we’ve included this particular waterproofing spray model as well is that it offers a slightly broader range at the expense of a portion of its longevity. As opposed to the Tent & Gear 2-in-1 (our opener pick), this model does not offer UV protection, but on the upside, it can be used on non-weather-proof tents, unlike its predecessor.
- Moderately affordable
- Water-based and biodegradable
- Perfect for synthetic gear and tents
- Very easy to use
- Large canister
- Needs to be reapplied often
- No additional properties (UV or heat protection)
Sof Sole Heavy-Duty Silicone Waterproofer
Sof Sole’s heavy-duty silicone waterproofer is a no-brainer pick for people who are looking for a robust long-lasting formula. This waterproofing spray also doubles as a seam sealer as it features a 12% silicone within its formula; the silicone repels not just water, but dirt and various oily compounds as well.
It’s very easy to use, and it’s suitable for use with most camping equipment items, but on the downside, it does leave visible traces and a faint odor behind it.
Nevertheless, Heavy-duty silicone waterproofing spray is a perfect choice for people who are using tents made of rougher materials and who are frequently camping under heavy rain, snow, and similar weather conditions.
- Unparalleled longevity
- Repels water, oily substances, and dirt
- Excellent for heavy-duty tents
- Suitable for use with most outdoor gear items
- Fairly cheap
- Leaves visible traces on the edges
- Possible issues with the faint odor
303 Products 30616CSR Fabric Guard
In essence, 303 Products’ Fabric Guard is a light-duty waterproofer that is meant to use for fabric, textile, and most non-weatherproof tents. It packs a spray-head design that is slightly easier to use than aerosol cans, and it offers 16 fluid ounces of top-quality water-based formula.
Aside from the fact that it repels moisture and dirt, it is also capable of reinvigorating older, worn-out tents. If used on tents that are already waterproof, it will simply reinforce their innate ability to wick away water and rain.
One of the biggest advantages that 3030 Products’ Fabric Guard waterproofing spray offers is the fact that it will not alter or change in any way the color, feel, breathability, and flammability of the items it is used on (including both tents and other equipment). It is a tad pricier than average, though.
- A sizable package can be used for months
- Ideal for use with light-duty fabrics
- Will not alter the color, feel, or breathability of your tent
- Long-lasting bond
- Just slightly more expensive than average
Nikwax Fabric and Leather Waterproofer
Our following pick is Nikwax’s Fabric and Leather waterproofer; essentially, this is an all-purpose solution for anyone who is searching for a quality water-repellent spray. It can be used on pretty much any type of material, and more importantly, it boasts a water-based eco-friendly formula.
On top of the fact that it’s very straightforward to use, the Nikwax fabric and leather waterproofer is also pretty cheap. It works perfectly fine with camping boots, backpacks, and most leather-based hardware pieces too.
- Decently affordable
- Eco-friendly water-based formula
- Simple and straightforward application
- Can be used with tents and most fabric or leather-based equipment
- Mediocre longevity
Gear Aid Revivex DWR Spray
Gear Aid’s Revivex DWR spray is a durable, long-lasting waterproofer that boasts water-repelling and fabric-restoring capabilities. One bottle sports 16.9 fluid ounces, which should be enough for multiple uses on several tents and gear pieces.
The longevity of Revivex’s formula is just one of the many reasons why many seasoned campers rely on it. It’s equally suited for use with heavy-duty tents as it is with lighter materials, such as certain types of Polyurethane, nylon, and similar.
Kiwi Camp-Dry Fabric Protector
Kiwi’s camp Dry Fabric Protector is perfect for cash-strapped campers. This is a highly efficient budget-friendly waterproofer that offers an excellent balance between longevity, package size, and efficiency.
The formula of Camp DFP is odorless and completely invisible, which means that it will not leave any kind of stain when it dries out. It’s also perfect for on-the-spot waterproofing, as it dries rapidly; many campers keep it just in case the rain gets heavy, as its formula will not lose its efficiency even if it’s mixed with water while being applied.
- Perfect for tents made of lighter material
- Can be used on non-waterproof tents and weatherproof ones
- Quick-drying water-based formula
- Excellent for on-the-fly corrections
- Not suitable for heavy-duty waterproofing
Gear Aid Tent Waterproofing Spray Kits for Nylon Tents
Here we have another Gear Aid waterproofing spray from the Revivex series called the Waterproofing Spray kit for nylon tents. Just like its name suggests, this is a light-duty waterproofer that was specifically meant for use with tents made of nylon. It will also work just as fine with lightweight tents and certain bits of gear (shoelaces, fabric shoes, and such).
Although it comes in a relatively small package, the formula of Gear Aid’s tent waterproofing spray kit is incredibly potent and boasts excellent longevity.
- Decently affordable
- Excellent for light-duty tents and equipment
- Long-lasting PFOA-free formula
- Suitable for use with nylon or leather
- Tiny package
Collonil Waterstop + UV Protection
Let’s wrap it up with Collonil’s Waterstop. Essentially, this is a light-duty 2-in-1 waterproofer that also boasts solar-proofing capabilities. It’s remarkably easy to use, and it boasts dirt, oil, and water wicking abilities.
Its durability allows it to withstand incredibly harsh weather conditions, and it won’t lose its efficiency even when the tent is dug in deep in snow.
- Water and solar-proofing capabilities
- Long-lasting formula
- Dries rapidly when applied
- Suitable for use with multiple types of material
- Moderately pricey
Tent Waterproofing Spray Buying Guide
The only real concern you need to have is not to confuse ‘tent waterproofers’ with other types of waterproofing sprays. Namely, there are waterproofers for all kinds of things, from items as small as shoelaces, over clothing pieces, to entire buildings.
Further on that note, different models will not perform the same when used on different types of material. That’s why it’s important to understand the difference between light-duty waterproofing sprays (used for nylon, fabric, and such), heavy-duty waterproofers (hard Polyurethane, leather), and all-purpose models.
Obviously enough, all-purpose models are a bit more expensive, and not all of them are exactly as efficient and long-lasting as sprays that were specifically designed for one or two particular types of material.
Alternatively, going with an all-purpose waterproofer option is great if some of your camping buddies didn’t bring any water-repelling sprays and their tent is different than yours.
Another thing you should keep an eye out open for is the ability, or rather the ‘abilities’ of the spray you want to buy. Waterproofers generally serve one purpose, which is to add water-repelling capabilities to the items they are applied on. However, certain models also boast solar-proof abilities and can wick away dirt and oily substances as well.
The ‘durability’ of the spray’s formula refers to its ‘longevity’. Sprays that can form long-lasting bonds need to be reapplied less frequently, and vice versa.
Lastly, your budget will not play a key role when deciding which waterproofing spray you should buy, although you should definitely not waste money on things you don’t need. Most waterproofers are relatively inexpensive.
Frequently asked questions
What is a ‘waterproofing spray’?
Waterproofing sprays are used to add water-wicking coatings to various items. In this particular context, ‘waterproofing’ refers to using a waterproofing spray to reinforce the tent with a water-resistant layer.
Can waterproofing sprays be used on tents that are already waterproof?
Water-resistant tents lose their water ‘resistance’ over time; the harsher the weather conditions are, the bigger the chunk of ‘resistance’ will be lost. Applying a waterproofing spray on such tents will replenish some of their initial abilities.
Are waterproofing sprays good for all kinds and types of tents?
The shortest answer to this question would be ‘no’, and for a very simple reason too. The main criteria used to differentiate waterproofing spray types is ‘which type of material they are supposed to be used on’. Light-duty waterproofing sprays are meant for nylon and textile-made tents while heavy-duty tents should be treated with a bit more robust formulas.
Do waterproofing sprays leave smells, odors, and marks?
Most waterproofers are colorless and odorless, and if you’re using the correct type in most cases you won’t notice any traces after the formula wears off. Obviously, if you’re using a heavy-duty waterproofer on a light-duty surface, certain marks will be left after a certain period of time. Silicone-based formulas typically have a faint smell.