Weathering new tents
(also known as wetting out).
Most manufacturers will claim their tents don’t need to be weathered as they want to say their
tents are waterproof, straight out the box. However, years of experience have taught us that
following a simple weathering process on a new tent will ensure no leaks on the first few uses.
Tents used to be supplied with a small tube of seam sealer to go over the seams before first use,
but now most tents have taped seams – and as high waterproofing becomes the main
specification that customers use to differentiate between tents of varying quality – manufacturers
have started to say that their tents do not need to go through a weathering process.
Wrong. Manufacturing has got better but there is no factory process that can substitute for the
natural weathering process.
What does weathering do?
The size of the needle used in the factory stitching process is always going to be bigger than the
thread. The weathering process simply draws the stitching together and tightens the seams to
complete the manufacturing process and seal the tent.
How do I weather my new tent?
Pitch the tent
Allow it to get wet and air dry naturally
If you can leave it up in your garden until it rains, this is the easiest way to get it wet. If it’s dry,
get out the garden hose and soak for 15 minutes. Allow to dry, then repeat once or twice more.
Note - Check the inside for small patches of water especially around the seams and make sure it
is dry before packing away
Some people naturally allow their new tent to weather on their first (wet) trip away. You can sleep
in modern tents quite happily, but prepare for some slight leakage along seams the first 2 or 3
times it gets wet.