Got a leaky tent? Or worried that it might leak? Seams are the area of a tent most vulnerable to water incursion, so it makes sense to reinforce them a little. This is especially true if it's an older tent (or perhaps a more budget tent).
A great sealant should enhance the durability of your tent, and strengthen your shelter against nature’s many challenges.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Let your unique needs guide your choice of sealant. Below are what I consider the best team sealers today.
This one-ounce tube of Gear Aid Seam Grip can be used to seal up to 12 inches of seams on your tent, tarps, rain flys, and other camping gear. Its waterproof formula works with various materials such as nylon, leather, vinyl, and polyester.
The Gear Aid Seam Grip WP Sealant and Adhesive is the best sealant available in the market today for a number of reasons. Its versatility, for example, easily propels it to the top spot on our list. This sealant can be used on practically every fabric that you might carry with you to your camping expeditions.
You can use this sealant to strengthen not only tents but any other camping gear in your arsenal. It’s also very competitively priced.
Gear Aid Seam Grip isn’t just a must-have for your camping needs, but it’s also quite a handy tool to have around the house as well. The compact dimensions of the tube, coupled with its capacity to work with various materials make this the best tent seam sealer in the market today.
This is a urethane-based sealer that can be used to permanently seal rips in your camping gear and many household products. Its flexible and waterproof formula allows it to hold tent seams together even in the face of extreme weather conditions. It’s available in a handy 1-ounce bottle.
The second product featured on this list is an award-winning sealant, having secured the Editor’s Choice Gold Award from Backpacker Magazine. Peregrine McNett Seam Grip is a multi-purpose adhesive that is widely accepted as the most versatile product of its kind in the market today.
Its urethane-based formula works wonders on almost every material in your camping gear. I used it on my Patagonia rainproof jacket, and it didn’t disappoint.
It is also extremely easy to use and is very competitively priced. This sealant has the potential to become your new most trusted travel companion.
The Peregrine McNett Seam Grip is the one adhesive you should carry if you are looking to travel light.
This adhesive is very effective—once a tear is sealed, it stays sealed. Wouldn’t it be nice to have that degree of confidence when you hit the camping grounds?
This 1.5-ounce tube can be used to seal north of 24 feet of seams in your tent. Best results can be seen when used on silnylon materials. The cure time is 6 hours, and in that time any rips should be permanently fixed.
The Gear Aid Silnet silicone seam sealer is excellent if you are traveling with ultra-light, water-proof tents.
These tents are easy to lug around and extremely handy under bad weather conditions, but they also tend to be less durable than their heftier cousins. Enter Gear aid silnet silicone seam sealer—the best silnylon tent seam sealer in the market.
This adhesive manages to fix all tears in just one application, I personally saw no need for a second coat. The best part about this product is that it is tailored for ultra-light tents. Ultra-light tents are typically poorly sealed right out of the box.
If you are looking to buy these tents, you should seal the seams before first use—the Gear Aid Silnet has got your back.
This adhesive works equally well in both temperature extremes: extreme heat and extreme cold. It allows you to treat tarps, backpacks, tents, and even rainwear. All-weather sealants are a priceless buy, and the Gear Aid is easily the best the market has to offer.
Ultra-light camping equipment and gear are essential for the camper that’s constantly on the move. The material used in the manufacture of these equipment comes with an inherent risk of early tear, however.
You can’t have your cake and eat it when it comes to these gears. You best travel with a sealant that’s specifically designed to treat lightweight Silnylon products—the Gear Aid Silnet sealant.
This is a water-based urethane coating that, interestingly, waterproofs your camping gear. The 2-ounce bottle is designed with a tip for quick application—especially in the face of emergencies.
I loved the Keyon Seam Sealer 3 for two main reasons: First and foremost, it is an effective seam sealer working well with most tents and materials.
Second, it is designed in a manner that places convenience above all else. You should be able to swiftly seal your tent even in the face of torrid weather conditions. I welcomed the quick-application feature because, more often than not, I discover leaks in my tents when it’s actually raining.
The fact that it is packaged in a 2-ounce bottle, instead of the standard 1 or 1 ½ ounce variants, makes it even more bang for the buck.
Sealing your tent should be a relatively easy task unless the weather isn’t kind to you. If your tent exposes a leak during a storm, you are often at the mercy of your tent seam sealer and hand-eye coordination. If the latter is anything other than superb, you best hope your sealant is properly designed.
The makers of the Kenyon Seam Sealer 3 were kind enough to design an effective product that’s quick and easy to apply. If you are headed into campsites with rough weather conditions, it’s best to carry the Kenyon Seam Sealer 3 with you.
This is a high-performance tent and gear water-proofer that can add and restore durability to your camping gear. It is made out of a water-based fluorocarbon and is completely VOC free.
The bottle dimensions are 3.7 by 3.7 by 8.7 inches, and it weighs only 2.11 pounds. It is also environment-friendly.
The Granger brand has been synonymous with creating great quality camping products since 1937, and the Granger tent and gear repel is among their most reliable products.
This tent and gear water-proofer helps increase the resistance of your camping equipment to any type of water damage without compromising on the breathability of your gear. It is also known to work well on boat covers, outdoor furniture, awnings, and other similar products.
The water-based fluorocarbon formula helps replicate the original water-repellent finish that you can find in high-quality camping gear.
Of all the products featured on this list, the Granger tent and gear repel has been known to offer the most consistent performance across the board, making it the best performing product on our list.
The easy paint-on application of the bottle will allow you to quickly and effectively water-proof your tent and protect it against dirt, dust, and other impurities that may infiltrate your camping gear. You can also dilute the liquid and use a spray applicator for an even finish.
This is a fast-acting sealer that is capable of curing your camping gear in just two hours at room temperature. It can work on a wide range of fabrics including nylon, canvas, and polyester.
The bottle includes two ounces of sealant liquid that can cover 60 feet of material. The product dimensions are 4.9 by 1.8 by 8 inches, and the bottle weighs a total of 3.2 ounces.
Camping is an unpredictable activity. To help tilt the scales of variability in your favor, it is best to travel with a tent and gear sealer that is capable of working quickly and efficiently with damages.
The best product in the market in terms of instant sealing capabilities is the Gear Aid Seam Grip FC Fast Cure Sealant for Tents. It is an incredibly reliable sealant capable of curing your tent in just two hours of applying the liquid.
The formula is designed to allow your gear to flex with the fabric and avoid causing further damage in the affected area. It also dries to a long-lasting seal that cannot be seen once the liquid has merged into the material.
You cannot afford to come unprepared when you are up against the elements in your camping adventure. The Gear Aid Seam Grip FC Fast Cure Sealant for Tents is a reliable ally for your camping adventures thanks to its quick-dry formula. It’s also very durable—it’s capable of working on 60 feet worth of material.
This 2-ounce bottle comes with a foam applicator pad for quick and easy sealing. It features a fast-drying water-based urethane formula that allows you to waterproof tents, backpacks, tarps, and other synthetic gear.
The Coleman 2 oz. Seam Sealer is an excellent option for when you can’t get to a camping gear supplier, but your tent desperately needs fixing.
This sealer features a quick-dry formula—a welcome feature if you are seam sealing in a hurry and don’t want to wait 6-hours for it to cure. It also has a brush built into its design so that you can apply the adhesive with absolute ease.
This sealant is on the cheaper side as far as sealants go.
The Coleman Seam Sealer is one of the most common sealing products around. You can always count on finding this seam sealer at a Walmart or any other major convenience chain.
If you are ever in a bind and you cannot get your hands on one of the aforementioned products, you can always make do with a Coleman Waterproof Seam Sealer. It's a handy adhesive that dries quickly and ensures that your gear lasts long enough for you to find a grade A sealant.
This is a colorless, odorless, washable spray that also doubles as a waterproofing layer on your camping gear. Its non-toxic formula allows you to protect your equipment from the sun, mud, dirt, and water.
This product is excellent for the camper whose main concern is convenience. Seam sealers in a spray are easy to use.
Convenience aside, Texsport Polyurethane Waterproof Seam Sealer is an excellent product that doesn’t compromise on quality.
This easy-to-use spray should allow you to tackle all tears in your camping gear swiftly and efficiently. It’s also completely non-toxic and the aerosol spray leaves no traces whatsoever once dry.
Spray sealants are easy to use, therefore, perfect for beginners. This particular product allows you to create a protective layer around your equipment and gear—it doubles up as a protective wall against most of the elements you may encounter during your camping trip: mud, water, and the like.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Tent Seam Sealer
Camping, as a recreational activity, has really exploded over the years. Tents and the relevant tent seam sealants are a dime a dozen, but sealants all differ in three main areas:
- Cure time.
- Type of tent fabric.
Usability is a decisive factor when selecting a sealer for seam sealing. A sealant is one of those products that you’re most likely to use under bad weather conditions. This is why it’s advisable to have an easy-to-use sealant when you go camping.
One of the factors that affect a sealant's usability is the viscosity of the product. The thicker the product, the more difficult it is to apply to tent seams.
Water-based products are very easy to apply and they often come in padded nozzles or spray cans. If you have the option, I suggest a spray can over a padded nozzle—sprays are very quick and easy to use.
A spray can, by design, allows you to apply the sealant more efficiently and evenly to the tent seams. The trade-off, however, is that you need to spray a spot twice. This eventually leads to some wastage in the long run.
Another factor you have to consider is how much time you are willing, or are able, to put aside for the tears to seal. Most sealants should take 4-12 hours to fully cure, but you can hasten this process by carrying a curing accelerant.
Waiting for a sealant to fully cure isn’t an option if it’s raining. Remember that when buying a tent seam sealant.
Type of Fabric
Before deciding what product to purchase, consider what material you plan to use it on. Manufacturers design tent sealers with specific materials in mind.
Polyurethane coated tent fabric is common in tents, making them the most widely available material in the market. This is a low-cost way for companies to make your tent waterproof.
Polyurethane, however, is not the most durable material around and is often prone to damage. Sealing these tents with a urethane-based product should prolong their lifespans.
Silicon coated tents don’t tear or need seam sealing as often as Polyurethane coated tents. Silicon is usually used in higher-priced tents, such as tarps and ultralight tents. However, any tears or rips wouldn’t be solved so easily—you’d have to sew the tears before using a silicon-based sealant.
The best seam sealer will vary with each unique set of needs. That said, the Gear Aid SilNet Silicone Seam Sealer is the best choice if you are looking for a well-rounded tent seam sealant to suit all your camping needs. This product has been tried and tested and remains the go-to option for experienced campers around the world.
Another noteworthy mention would be the Peregrine McNett Seam Grip—the most versatile sealant in the market. That’s a close runner up. If you can afford it, buy the two together.
By carrying the most durable and the most versatile tent seam sealers with you, you’re essentially preparing for every possible scenario mother nature can throw your way.