9 Best Waterproof Tents For Heavy Rain in 2024

Last Updated on 31/01/2024

best waterproof tent for heavy rain and wind

In this guide to the best waterproof tents for heavy rain, we share the most waterproof tents to keep you dry in heavy rain and strong winds. We share the different waterproof ratings of not just the rainfly but the floor too. Then further down, you’ll learn why waterproof HH ratings don’t determine how good a tent is in heavy rain and bad weather.

If you love camping, then you have to be ok with getting rained on from time to time. You don’t have to be ok with getting wet though. That’s where a totally waterproof tent comes into play.

I can’t stress this enough: a good waterproof tent can be the difference between an enjoyable adventure and a camping catastrophe. Many of you will have been there, waking up in a damp sleeping bag because your tent couldn’t stand up to the weather. It sucks. What sucks more is if you then have to camp the remaining nights in a cold and wet tent and sleeping bag.

Whether you’re a solo backpacker or a family of campers, there’s a waterproof tent that’ll keep you dry no matter what Mother Nature throws at you. Trust me, investing in a waterproof tent is a game-changer. So, let’s jump in and find the perfect one for your next camping trip!

9 Best Waterproof Tents For Heavy Rain


Hilleberg Soulo 1 Person RL Tent for 4 Season

Hilleberg Soulo 1 Person RL Tent for Rain

  • HH RATING: Kerlon 1200 30 D High Tenacity Ripstop Nylon Triple Coated Silicone on Both Sides 5,000 mm Rainfly, 70 Denier Nylon Triple-Coated Polyurethane 15,000 mm Floor
  • WEIGHT: 5 lb 5 oz / 2.4 kg
  • CAPACITY: 1 Person
  • SEASON: 4 Season

The Hilleberg Soulo RL Tent is undoubtedly the best waterproof tent for heavy rain and wind if you are a solo camper. It is incredibly lightweight, tough, comfortable, and waterproof. It is often described as the Rolls Royce of waterproof tents. The RL stands for Red Label, which is used to define the caliber of materials used.

The materials they use are fit for a king who likes to camp. The rainfly is not only coated on both sides with silicone, but they repeat the silicone coating process three times to ensure longevity. This is unfeasible to most tent manufacturers because of the logistics and cost involved in doing it. The incredibly lightweight and tough Kerlon fabric has a HH rating of 5000 mm and has one of the highest tear strengths of any tent fabric.

Inside, you get plenty of space for a wide sleeping pad, but you are better storing your backpack in the porch vestibule unless you are short enough to keep it at your feet. The walls are nice and steep to shed rain and snow but can create a large target for wind if you pitch your tent sideways in the direction it’s blowing.

To stop me from rambling on about this 100% weatherproof tent, here are some more features that make it number one: Outer pitch first with the connected inner tent so you can literally set it up in 2-3 minutes in heavy rain and the inner tent will stay completely dry. Handmade and signed by the craftsperson because quality assurance matters to them. Excellent ventilation and very little condensation. Freestanding. Compact and Packable. The list goes on…

VERDICT: The Hilleberg Soulo RL Tent is the ultimate one-person tent for heavy rain; it can’t be beaten in terms of waterproofing and build quality. The only downsides are the extremely high price and the relatively low roof, which is only just tall enough to sit up in. If you can afford it, though, and you want the very best, this is the one.

If you want even more waterproofing, you can choose the BL option, which uses stronger poles and thicker fabric for the most extreme conditions on the planet. If you want something even more lightweight, then check out the Hilleberg Akto 1 too.

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Hilleberg Nallo 4 Person RL Tent for Heavy Rain

Hilleberg Nallo 4 Person RL Tent

  • HH RATING: Kerlon 1200 30 D High Tenacity Ripstop Nylon Triple Coated Silicone on Both Sides 5,000 mm Rainfly, 70 Denier Nylon Triple-Coated Polyurethane 15,000 mm Floor
  • WEIGHT: 6 lb 10 oz / 3 kg
  • CAPACITY: 4 Person
  • SEASON: 4 Season

The Hilleberg Nallo 4-Person Tent has been my go-to for all-season camping, albeit in the 2-person version. The four-person version is exactly the same and is one of the best tent designs in the world, in my honest opinion. Just bigger with more space inside and a taller roof. I find it crazy how something this lightweight pack’s so much strength. Made with Kerlon 1200 fabric and 9mm DAC Featherlite poles, this tent stands up to anything yet doesn’t weigh you down on the trails.

I can’t overstate how much I appreciate the stormproof construction of the Nallo 4 tent, which is second to none. The space-to-weight ratio is a game-changer and allows just one person to carry the entire tent without issue (as long as the other group members carry the food, water, fuel, and other heavier items you need for camping in the rain). The inner and outer tent can be pitched together, which saves a bunch of time and headaches if set up in the rain.

Like all Hillebergs Red Label tents, the outer fly uses a triple coating of silicone on both sides for a 5000 mm HH rating and a triple-coated PU floor that wouldn’t let water through if you pitched in a puddle. Quality is guaranteed, and the tent is single-handedly constructed and signed by the maker in Europe (unless otherwise stated).

VERDICT: I can’t recommend the Hilleberg Nallo 4-Person Tent enough. It’s a reliable, all-weather shelter that keeps the weight off your shoulders and 100% of rain outside the tent. Whether you’re hiking, climbing, or backpacking, the Nallo 4 is worth every cent, even though it costs as much as many used cars. If you want the most waterproof and best 4-person tent for rain and wind, then this is it.

You can also get this in a GT version that has a much bigger porch area if you are bikepacking or want more space to hang out when it’s raining.

VIEW ON BLACKOVIS

 


Nemo Chogori Mountaineering Tent 3 Person For Rain

Chogori™ Mountaineering Tent 3-Personshop outdoor gear

  • HH RATING: 30D Sil/Sil Nylon Ripstop 3000 mm Rainfly, 70D PeU Nylon 5000 mm Floor
  • WEIGHT: 7 lb 11 oz / 3.47 kg
  • CAPACITY: 3 Person
  • SEASON: 4 Season

The Nemo Chogori Mountaineering Tent might be the best waterproof tent for heavy rain and wind ever made for three people. It doesn’t have the highest HH rating in this guide, but combined with the design and construction, it is incredibly well-protected inside. The 30D rainfly has been tested up to a water column of 3000 mm, while the flooring is a thicker 70D nylon with an HH rating of 5000 mm. 

Some of the specific features designed to protect against heavy rain are the snow skirts, external pole pitching, geodesic shape, siliconized material, and a large porch vestibule for leaving any wet gear before climbing into the inner tent. The external pitching design means you can set up in heavy rain without getting the inside tent wet, which is such a massive factor for camping in the rain.

The domed shape of the tent means it can withstand wind from any direction, and you never get any pooling of water on the roof. Along with the snow skirts at the bottom for winter camping which help to divert any rainfall an extra 5 or 6 inches away from your tent. This helps keep the floor dry inside and adds sturdiness if the rain turns to snow.

You can get the tent in a two or three-person version (like the one above); however, due to its popularity, you may have to wait a few weeks after putting your name on a waitlist.

VERDICT: The Chogori Mountaineering Tent from Nemo is an excellent tent for heavy rain and wind. You can use it all year around, even in summer showers, because the vents at the top open up nice and wide without letting rain in. If I had to pick a lightweight and pack-friendly tent to spend a week in heavy rain showers, this would be it. If weight was not an issue, then obviously, a tent you could stand up in would be a bonus.

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Snugpak Scorpion 3-Person Waterproof Tent

Snugpak Scorpion 3 Tent, 3 Person 4 Season Camping Tent, Waterproof, Oliveshop outdoor gear

  • HH RATING: 210t Polyester RipStop PU 5000 mm Rainfly PU Coating, 190t Nylon 5000 mm Floor PU Coating
  • WEIGHT: 7.5 lbs / 3.4 kg
  • CAPACITY: 3 Person
  • SEASON: 4 Season

The Snugpak Scorpion 3-Person Tent has the joint most waterproof rainfly of any tent in this guide. The outer shell uses a 210T ripstop polyester with a polyurethane coating with a tested HH rating of 5000 mm, which is incredibly high for a tent rainfly. The floor is slightly thinner than the walls because it is made with nylon instead of polyester, which is tougher, but with the same level of waterproofing.

Some things I like about the design of the Snugpak Scorpion are that the pitch first poles, bathtub floor, and porch area has a higher roof so that you don’t have to crawl in like you do some tunnel tents. This isn’t really a tunnel tent, though. I would say that it is semi-geodesic and, therefore, excellent at deflecting wind without bending or snapping any tent poles. 

The large porch area is perfect for keeping all your wet gear and backpacks, and in an emergency, you can fit six people inside (sitting up) if you don’t pitch the inner tent. 

VERDICT: The Scorpion 3-Person Tent Snugpak is partially designed as a military tent that can be used all four seasons of the year. I say partially because there’s no special pocket inside to keep a gun or anything like that; it’s just built strong enough to withstand military use (hardwearing). Other than that, it is very competitive on weight and pack size and so is one of the very best waterproof tents for rain and bad weather.

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Vaude Mark XT 4P 4-Person Tent for Rainy Weather

VAUDE Unisex_Adult Mark XT 4P 4-Person Tent, Green, Standard Sizeshop outdoor gear

  • HH RATING: 100% Polyamide 40D Ripstop Double-Sided Silicone Coated 3.000 mm Rainfly, 100% Polyamide 40D Ripstop Thermoplastic Polyurethane Laminated 10.000 mm Floor
  • WEIGHT: 10 lb 6 oz / 4.8 kg
  • CAPACITY: 4 Person
  • SEASON: 4 Season

The Vaude Mark XT 4P is the best 4-person waterproof tent for heavy rain. It uses a tunnel shape with an aerodynamic design to maximize space inside, allow for easy entry, and repel rain, like water off a duck’s back. It is kind of like a modernized pitched roof tent seen in years gone by.

The outer rainfly uses a 40D ripstop polyimide with a waterproof silicon coating on both the inside and outside. This increases waterproofing but does reduce fabric breathability. Thankfully, though, there are two wide air vents at either end to promote airflow when you pitch into the wind. The floor uses the same 40D ripstop polyimide material, but instead of a silicone coating, it has a thermoplastic PU lamination for incredible durability and total waterproofing (10,000mm HH).

Again, we love the design of pitching the poles on the outside so that if you need to set up the tent in heavy rain, you can do it quickly without getting the inner wet. One observation I did make was that while the poles are lightweight, there are a lot of them, which does add weight. Still, a 4-person tent weighing under 5kg is very manageable if one person carries the poles and the others carry the inner, outer, and tent pegs.

VERDICT: The Mark XT 4P 4-Person Tent from Vaude is definitely a premium product and designed for serious conditions. It costs a lot of money, but most good things do. If you’ve ever watched a BBC nature documentary where the film crew has to camp in the most remote locations on earth, you may notice that many of them, in fact, use a Vaude tent like the MARK XT, which comes in different sizes/capacities. If you can afford it, you will join an elite group of campers and will not be disappointed in the quality.

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MSR Remote 2-Person Tent for All Weather

MSR Remote 4-Season 2-Person Mountaineering Tent with Dome Vestibuleshop outdoor gear

  • HH RATING: 68D Ripstop Polyester 1500mm Rainflly, 40D Ripstop Nylon 10,000mm Durashield Floor
  • WEIGHT: 7 lb 2 oz / 3.23 kg
  • CAPACITY: 2 Person
  • SEASON: 4 Season

The MSR Remote 2 Tent has some awesome features that make it one of the most waterproof tents for heavy rain, snow, and wind. The rain fly doesn’t have an especially high HH rating (1500mm), but as we explain further down the page, waterproofing tests are only a part of what makes a 100% rainproof tent.

What I like about this tent are the snow skirt around the porch vestibule, clever guyline attachments that are welded from the inside, very strong for snow and for hanging wet clothes in the porch, and the secure feeling you get with a deep and waterproof floor. Some things I don’t like about the MSR Remote 2 are the small single doorway to the inner tent at the front, the fact you have to pitch the inner tent before the outer, and the small outer vents (the inner vents on the doors are okay).

I mentioned some features above that I think make this such a waterproof tent which I want to explain. It is so strong because the cyclone poles are made from the same material used with arrows which is as strong as aluminum but much harder to damage. In testing, you can completely flatten the tent to the ground, and the poles don’t snap or bend; they just pop straight back to position like magic. And also, the guy line attachment points are some of the best I’ve ever seen – they pull the entire wall outward instead of just the attachment point.

VERDICT: The Remote 2 Tent from MSR is a superb waterproof tent for two people but is also available in a 3-person option too. What makes this a solid recommendation are the strong and lightweight poles, clever design that makes sure all the was stay taut instead of baggy, and the double door entry, even though the door is a little small at the front. Get one and give it a go.

VIEW ON REI

 


Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 Waterproof Tent for 2 People

Mountain Hardwear Trango 3 Tent - Alpine Red - One Sizeshop outdoor gear

  • HH RATING: 70D Nylon Taffeta 2000 mm Rainfly, 70D Nylon Taffeta 10000 mm Floor
  • WEIGHT: 8 lb 9.7 oz / 3.9 kg
  • CAPACITY: 2 Person
  • SEASON: 4 Season

The Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 tent is a 100% waterproof 4-season tent designed for extreme weather conditions like camping on top of a mountain or on top of snow. People have criticized me when camping in this tent because it is much heavier than most two person tents for backpacking and mountaineering. The justification for this is that the material is so tough and durable that you can rely on it to last many, many years or constant and intense use in the most remote locations.

With its DAC Featherlite aluminum poles, color-coded setup, and direct connection points, the Trango 2 offers a robust shelter with quick and easy assembly. The triple-reinforced UVX window is an awesome feature that brightens the interior and allows visibility of exterior conditions via a zip vent at the top of the internal chamber.

The Trango 2 boasts two porch vestibules, providing generous storage and protection from the elements to cook in or do whatever – I normally stick muddy boots at the back and everything else at the front. The large dry-entry vestibule has double doors so each person can get in and out without disturbing the other one too much. The catenary-cut seams, fully taped fly, and bathtub-style floor work together to create a watertight refuge for you and your gear.

VERDICT: The Trango 2 tent from Mountain Hardwear is an excellent choice for mountaineers seeking a durable and reliable 4-season shelter for heavy rain. While it may be slightly heavier than some alternatives, the Trango 2’s performance and versatility make it well worth the investment for those exploring harsh environments in terrible weather. Stay dry!

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Kelty Rumpus 6-Person Freestanding 100% Waterproof Tent

Kelty 6 Person Freestanding Rumpus Tent for Camping, Car Camping, Festivals and Family with Extra Large Vestibuleshop outdoor gear

  • HH RATING: 68D Polyester Rainfly (1500 mm HH estimate), 68D Polyester Floor (1500 mm HH estimate)
  • WEIGHT: 18 lb 7 oz / 8.37 kg
  • CAPACITY: 6 Person
  • SEASON: 3 Season

The Kelty Rumpus Tent is an exceptional waterproof tent for heavy rain, providing ample protection against extreme weather for up to 6 people. Its spacious interior and large porch area can accommodate items like a bike, camping bench, or small table with chairs. Additionally, the tent’s porch design allows for easy entry and exit without the need to stoop and provides shelter to the internal tent, even with the outer door open.

Inside, the tent boasts generous space, numerous storage pockets, and dual exits for added convenience. Compared to the Big Agnes Bunk House further down, I think this is the more waterproof of the two, even though they have the same estimated 1500 mm HH rating. What I like more are the porch design, the aerodynamic shape, which handles wind better, and the distance between the inner and outer tent, which is greater than on the Bunk House.

Despite the slightly short rainfly at the back, the tent’s design and structure are well-executed, providing a comfortable camping experience no matter how hard it rains. The dual-entry design ensures easy access, especially during nighttime bathroom breaks, and allows for full airflow through the tent in humid conditions.

VERDICT: The 6-Person Rumpus Tent from Kelty is perfect for creating a welcoming campsite with its wide doors, spacious porch, and ample room for tables, chairs, windbreaks, and BBQs. While a 4-person model is available, the larger version offers added height and space. The Kelty Rumpus is an excellent investment for those seeking a waterproof tent for heavy rain, and its highly water-resistant material on the internal tent at the back compensates for the slightly lifted back of the rainfly.

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Big Agnes Bunk House Waterproof Camping Tent for 6 People

Big Agnes Bunk House Camping Tent, 6 Personshop outdoor gear

  • HH RATING: Polyester Taffeta with PU Coating Rainfly 1500 mm HH, Polyester Taffeta with PU Coating Floor 1500 mm HH
  • WEIGHT: 19 lb 9 oz / 8.87 kg
  • CAPACITY: 6 Person
  • SEASON: 3 Season

The Big Agnes Bunk House 6-Person Camping Tent looks deceiving small until you actually put it up and walk around inside. It features a full-length rainfly that covers the entire tent and has steep walls for shedding rain. The material isn’t anything special, and there aren’t really any stand-out features, but it will keep you bone dry inside. It’s well made, sturdy, and has a tried and tested dome design that has just been scaled up to accommodate six people.

I used one in a heavy rainstorm with three other people, and there was more than enough space to move around, lay our mats, and keep our bags inside. With six people, it would be a more snug fit, but because it feels so spacious thanks to the high roof and steep walls, I am confident it would be almost as comfy.

VERDICT: The Bunk House Camping Tent from Big Agnes is a good choice for families and mid-sized groups, perfect for festivals with a bad weather forecast. Theres plenty of porch space, two large entrances/exits that you can walk through (if you’re not too tall), and plenty of options to tie back the rainfly when it isn’t raining heavily. It isn’t the most innovative design, but if it isn’t broken, why change it? I like the simple shape and steep walls; it’s what works.

VIEW ON REI

 


woman in waterproof tent while raining outside

The Truth About HH Ratings on Waterproof Tents

I think it’s important to point out that while waterproof ratings are a good indicator of how waterproof a tent is, they aren’t the be-all-end-all. The way that waterproof HH ratings are tested is with a collum of water that increases pressure the more water is added. In real-life camping situations, this just doesn’t happen.

But, heavy rain at full pelt will be traveling upwards of 14mph, not taking into account any wind that further drives rain onto the tent. So the tent does need a certain level of waterproofing, but in our opinion, a 1500 mm HH rating is more than enough. Think about it, if there is more than 1 meter of rain on top of your tent, you would be underwater!

Also, the floor of the tent should ideally be even more waterproof than the outer rainfly because your body weight can impact the water pressure on the other side. All that being said, when shortlisting the tents in this guide, the HH rating was one of the first things I looked for.

Guide to the Best Waterproof Tents for Rain and Wind

What Makes a Tent 100% Waterproof? There is no single defining feature to look for; it is a combination of things that make a tent totally weatherproof. One of the most important factors is the material and how well it has been waterproofed, but without strong seams, steep walls, aerodynamic shape, and strength, you will still get wet. Here are the things you should look for if you want the most waterproof tent for rain:

Material

The fabric used on tents has an incredibly tight weave, so rain naturally has a hard time getting through. But on its own, the material is more of determining factor for how strong the tent fabric will be as opposed to how waterproof it is. The thicker the fabric, the tougher it will be, but some material, like that used on Hilleberg tents, has remarkable tear strength way beyond regular tent fabric.

Waterproofing

The waterproof coating and DWR that are put onto the fabric are what really make it water-tight. For example, silicone can be applied as an extremely thin layer onto an already thin tent fabric to make it 100% waterproof. Silicone is expensive, though, which is why only the best waterproof tents use it. Cheaper rain tents commonly have a PU coating which is just as waterproof but lacks other beneficial qualities that silicone has.

Tent Seams

When a tent gets old, it is the seams that end up failing first. Every stitch is a tiny hole that moisture can get through. So to make sure the tent you buy is waterproof, make sure the seams are completely sealed on the inside.

You can get different types of sealed seams, including taped, siliconized, or welded. Welded seams are the strongest because they don’t break down as adhesive does over time. You can repair seams that degrade, but it is a massive hassle and rarely ever gets back to 100%.

Waterproof tent in heavy rain with door open

Bathtub Floor

Bathtub floors in tents describe the inner tent floor and how it has raised sides all the way around. These raised edges make a shallow bath, but instead of keeping water in, they keep it out. They ensure that even if you get a few centimeters of rain flooding your tent due to a heavy downpour, you can still stay dry and sleep comfortably inside.

Full Rainfly

When you need to know you will stay dry while camping in the rain, you really need to look for a tent with a full-length rainfly. These are double-layer tents where the outer tent completely covers the inner tent all the way down to the ground. This ensures that even if it’s raining sideways, you won’t be getting rained on inside.

Steep Walls

Steep walls are a feature that not many people talk about, but for 4 season camping in bad weather, steep walls are a surefire way to avoid water pooling on the roof and snow building up and crushing the frame. Steep walls also maximize the space inside so that you can sit back against the walls instead of having to crouch down or sit in the middle.

The downside of steep walls is that if you pitch the wrong direction into the wind, you can get a bit of a battering.

Taut Fabric

Taut fabric sheds water far more efficiently than a tent wall that is slacking or loose. To get a taut tent, you need to make a number of subtle adjustments to the peg placement, where the poles sit, and where you position your guy lines. Look for abundant tent attachment points all the way around and also how many guylines there are for each side.

Then when you set up, readjust and readjust again until you see no wrinkles and the tent fabric is perfectly taut all the way around.

Ventilation

Ventilation in a tent prevents condensation by enabling the flow of air, which carries out warm, moist air produced from breathing or from wet ground, preventing it from condensing on the internal tent walls, which is especially important in rainy conditions. It helps maintain an equilibrium between the inside and outside temperatures, reducing moisture buildup. However, the balance between ventilation and warmth is crucial to keep the tent comfortable, which is why most vents can be opened and closed.

best tent for rain and wind

Double Layers

All the best waterproof camping tents we recommend in this guide have both an inner and outer tent. The outer layer, or rainfly, provides the primary defense against the elements, while the inner layer adds an extra layer of protection. This design also facilitates airflow between layers, further reducing condensation inside your tent. I know you can get some amazing single-layer tents now, but in heavy rain, I highly encourage a double-layer tent to stay dry.

Pitch-Outer-First

For me, this is a big one. Being able to pitch your outer tent first is the only way that makes sense if you are forced to set up in the rain. If your tent is pitch-inner-first and it’s raining hard, your inner tent gets wet before you even have a chance to attach the outer shell, no matter how fast you are at getting the poles in (that’s what she said). Then as this moisture evaporates, it creates condensation, which is just a lose-lose situation.

Ease of Setup

Related to the point above, being able to set up easily and quickly is a big advantage when camping in the rain. The longer it takes you to set up, the wetter your gear and the inside of your tent get. Color-coordinated poles and pole sleeves are a big time-saver, but the best thing you can do to avoid an agonizing pitch is to practice setting up before you go camping.

Interior Space

The interior space of a tent is often overlooked for backpacking tents that need to be as lightweight as possible. It is only when you have to spend hours and hours inside your tent while it gets pelted with rain that you realize how much of an advantage it is to be able to sit upright. Even better, having a tent tall enough to walk around in so you can stretch your legs and dry your clothes across the ceiling. Consider the space inside, especially if you are tall.

Storage

Storage space is very important for a waterproof tent in the rain because every time you go outside, you bring moisture back in on your footwear and clothing. Stripping off all your wet gear and being able to leave a soggy backpack in the porch vestibule keeps the inside of your tent dry and clean. Much more comfortable when you have to spend hours trapped inside your tent while the weather brightens up.

Weight and Packability

When looking for a lightweight and packable tent for things like backpacking and hiking, you want it to be as small as possible and as lightweight as possible. With tents for rain and wind, waterproofing becomes the priority, and so you may have to compromise on your size and weight limits to ensure your tent is strong enough to withstand extreme wet weather.

Price and Value

I know I always say this, but you get what you pay for. You found this guide by searching for the most or best waterproof tents for camping, which is what this is. We may write another guide about budget tents for rain, but here, we wanted to share only the best. Therefore, you should not be surprised to see many of these tents costing over $300-$500. For example, Hilleberg tents are super expensive but hand built and innovated so much that they can’t be beaten on performance.

how to improve the waterproofing of a tent

How to Improve the Waterproofing of a Tent

To improve the waterproofing of an old tent, you need to check a few things first to make sure it isn’t leaking before anything else. If the seams are fine and there aren’t any holes to be patched, then you can use treatments and sprays to rejuvenate and improve the waterproofing of a tent.

Patch Any Holes

This may seem obvious, but if water is getting into your tent, then check for any holes where it may be getting through. Start at the top of the tent and work your way down, closely inspecting for any potential leaks. Also, check the floor and any bug mesh on the inner tent, which can damage easier than the shell fabric. Try and do this on a nice warm day so you can look from the inside and outside and do some tests with a hosepipe or watering can.

If you find any rips and tears, or holes in the tent, then you can use a tent patch kit to repair them in under 5 minutes. 

Check the Seams

Damaged seams are probably the most common place where water will find its way into your tent. Most tent seams are sealed with a strip of fabric that is held on with adhesive. This adhesive has a lifespan of around 20+ years, but if you use your tent a lot, then the constant unpacking and packing away can cause wear and tear to the tape, causing it to delaminate or peel off in sections.

You can repair any damage with new seam tape, silicone applied with a brush, or by a few other means, but in my experience, it is only worth it if you have to make a small repair. Completely replacing all the seam seals is a difficult task to get right and do well. I think it is better to send it back to the manufacturer or simply upgrade it to a new one.

Use a Durable Water Repellent to Treat the Fabric

Using a waterproof spray is the easiest way to give your tent waterproofing a boost. It is also cheap and fast, which gives you no excuse not to do it. I personally like two products: Grangers Waterproof Tent Spray and Nikwax Waterproof Tent Spray.

Tighten the Guy Lines and Tent Stakes

As we mentioned above in the buyer’s guide, having taut tent walls makes a big difference in how effectively it can shed rainfall. Tightening the guy lines and tent stake positions so that all your walls are as tight as is reasonable helps a tonne. 

Use a Tarp Over Your Tent

If all else fails, you can use a rain tarp over the top of your tent as additional protection from above. This can be tricky without proper tarp poles, but you can often find a way to make it work when you have to. Trees make a good anchor point, but even draping a tarp over a tent with no additional support can help somewhat (it can occasionally make it worse too, but I’ll save that story for another time).

 


Thanks for reading this guide to the best waterproof tents for heavy rain and camping in all weather. Let us know any comments below or by email.

Gear Assistant
Gear Assistant

This article has been written and/or edited by Andrew N. 20+ years of hiking, mountaineering, and camping experience, with access to all the latest outdoor gear.

  1. […] could look for tents with a full rainfly, tents designed for heavy rain, geodesic tents for 4-seasons, or maybe you already have one that is suitable. Most pop-up tents […]

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