tent fabric

Posted by: rookie580

tent fabric - 03/09/19 05:20 PM

I'm sorry for what is probably a dumb question. How can you tell what fabric a tent is made of?

I have a 1995 (approx) REI nitelite that I am considering repairing the waterproofing seams. But there are products for "silnylon" and regular(?). The seams have tape on them so I know I'll need to get off what I can of that. I'm also not sure if I need to use this sealant (see link), just tape, or the sealant and tape:


Posted by: Glenn Roberts

Re: tent fabric - 03/09/19 06:39 PM

Have you tried contacting REI customer service, and asking them what sealer to use? They’re usually pretty good about trying to help. (Also, their warranty may cover making the repair for you. It used to be a no-questions-asked policy where they either fixed it free or gave you a new, similar product. I think they may have modified it recently to exclude normal wear and tear.)
Posted by: rookie580

Re: tent fabric - 03/09/19 07:13 PM

I actually did just check with them after I remembered their old policy. Unfortunately, when the lady checked, while I was grandfathered in, the product guy said that it was guaranteed for the "life of the product" not life of the person. Unfortunately, they couldn't tell me what the "life of the product" meant for a tent. They were a bit hazy saying it depended on use, storage etc.... I wish they could have given me a number since that would help my decision on whether to repair or replace. don't want to put the work in if it's just going to fail more in other places soon. She tried to check which fabric it was but it was too old to be in her database frown

I remember the awesome days of no questions repair/replacement. If it said REI you could just take it to the nearest store and voila! I guess too many abuses made them stop that policy.
Posted by: JustWalking

Re: tent fabric - 03/11/19 02:03 AM

My guess would be a ripstop nylon, not unusual for tents back then.
Posted by: Bill Kennedy

Re: tent fabric - 03/11/19 05:14 AM

It wouldn't be silnylon, so a sealer for polyurethane coated nylon would be appropriate, like Seam Grip. There's also a product called Tent Sure (from McNett, I believe) that works well, and can be used to coat or recoat large areas, like the floor. You have to be sure to remove all the old flaking coating, though. I've done it with alcohol and a small, stiff brush.

I haven't used the iron-on seam tape, but it apparently works pretty well if applied properly.

In any case, it's a considerable amount of work, and debatable whether it's worth it, since newer tents are much lighter. I think the Night Lite is close to six pounds.