Re-Waterproofing an older tent?

Has anyone ever re-waterproofed an older tent?

My parents let me borrow their older 20’x10’ Quest tent and it has seen better days. The fabric is see-through/worn along all the folds or wrinkles. I thought about buying some spray-on waterproofing, but I am unsure how much I would need or if it would even work. We took the tent camping over the weekend and it rained a lot. We had to set up and dry the tent out later.

I don’t know what kind of fabric it is and the idea of it melting or something breeds hesitation. I am trying to dig up information through the company about best practices, but have yet to hear back. Buying a comparable tent right now is very expensive and a lot of brands don’t have fully separate zippered rooms. There are so many things I like about this tent. I really don’t want to get rid of it. I want to use it forever so that it never hits a landfill, there is already so much waste in the world.

Also I have seen people reference re-sealing seems and think that I probably need to do that as well. Would you do that before or after re-waterproofing?

It seems to me that the tent is in good condition otherwise. Should I invest in this tent or is it a waste of time? Would the waste from the re-waterproofing be worse than getting a new tent?

I have a lot of research to do, but figured I would come here and see if anyone had first hand knowledge of the failure or success.

Seams are sealed from the inside and you only spray waterproofing on the outside so you can do both in whatever order you want. If you’re worried, you can test a non essential corner flap, but i don’t think it’s going to harm it. It’s silicone spray… You can look at the ingredients online. It’s a nice tent, i think with yearly waterproofing and care/maintenance you’ll get a lot of years out of it :slight_smile:


Hey, I agree with you. There is enough garbage in the world. Friends of mine also rescued an old tent in the spring. I would have it professionally done, preferably at a tent store. And then you will have, certainly still a few years of joy with the tent. I know a store that uses this waterproofing spray. Unfortunately, you can not buy it as a private person. Therefore, I recommend you to look in a store. :relaxed:

Get the large tube of Seam Gripper from Amazon, and some CHEAP dollar store type artists paint brushes. Some rubbing acohol, and at least 3 to 4 cans of Silicone Wate-Guard.

Seam Grip WP 8oz.
Silicone Water-Guard is easy to find, I’ll let you do that…

Anyway, set the tent up on a nice dry day. Start witht the fainfly laid out inside out, and clean the seams thoroughly with rubbing alcohol, let dry, clean the seams in the tent body thoroughly. Again let dry. Once dry coat all seams, and within 1/2" surrounding with the seam gripper. Let it dry and cure per pkg instructions. Typically 24 hours.

Lay out rainfly right side up separate from tent. Open windows, and thoroughly clean all surfaces with rubbing alcohol and let dry. Once dry, apply Silicone Water guard to all fabric surfaces. Obviously don’t bother with the screens… Allow to cure at least 24 hours before testing.

Once cured. Set up rainfly, and simulate a heavy rain using a sprinkler if you can, at least 3 to 4 hours.

Depending o the age, condition, and honestly quality of the tent, you may find holes in the fabric that will weep. Patch, or otherwise fix.

Once all leaks are fixed, and sealants are cured etc… Pack the tent up and get ready for your next trip!