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Thread: tent seam sealing

  1. #1
    Member Alaskan22's Avatar
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    Default tent seam sealing

    Alright, got the new AO10 and it says to seal the seams. Now...on my other tents it always came with a sealing bottle for the seams, but I never did it. Never had any real issues, but never tested it in BAD weather either (camping just isn't any fun in that kind of weather, and it hasn't seemed an issue on any hunts so far).

    How important is it? You all do it? (for the record, i am doing it...as might as well make this tent perfect).
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    Member ironartist's Avatar
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    Theres a guy out here in the valley who does boat upohlstery and I bought some sealer from him for seams on my jeep rag top, it's in a small dobber bottle and worked very well, I think it would work killer on tent seams
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  3. #3
    Member Alaskan22's Avatar
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    Yeah, the tent comes with a sealer bottle of stuff. Just curious on who does, or does not do this on their tents. I'm guessing it's a good idea, but shoot up until this point, i haven't done it before.
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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Sealed all my tent seams. Ounce of prevention to my thinking.
    Sometimes even without any recommendation.

    Like you, if the good folks at Ak Tent & Tarp suggested sealing, I'd be inclined to just do it.
    Congratulations on that new tent.

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    ALWAYS SEAL!!! Unless you want to get wet. It's your choice.

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    Member Alasken's Avatar
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    If the people who made the tent are telling you to seal the seams, that's what I would do. IMO the best seam sealer available is Seam Grip made by McNett. It stays flexible and be used to repair holes in tents, boots, raingear, etc. It's available in ANC at Barney's.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuprofessor View Post
    ALWAYS SEAL!!! Unless you want to get wet. It's your choice.
    or unless it's a Hilleberg.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    or unless it's a Hilleberg.
    Dang, I scrolled all the way through this post to say that only to get to the last one and find you beat me to it... so I will settle for a "+1"

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    Well, I sealed my Northface when I first got it and had no problems. When I first got my Sierra Designs CD I didnt and I got caught in monsoon conditions which were probably a little too much for an ultralight backpacker and I fought water in the tent on that trip. I sealed the seams and havent had a problem since. But also I havent encountered weather that bad again either, but at least I know the seams wont leak. I would just do it for peace of mind cause if you dont you know murphys law will get you. Tough tent though!
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

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    Member Alaskan22's Avatar
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    Well, i'm thankful for the responses. Spent a lot of time on my knees sealing all the seams up, and hope it makes the difference. Even a little bit of moisture can be bad on some hunts.

    I'll let you all know how it works on this coming October hunt.
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  11. #11
    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    Most modern backpacking tents come with factory sealed seams now.

  12. #12
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Rule of thumb: Start with your tent manufacturer's recs...

    1. Alaskan22's OP about the AO10 seemed straightforward because ATT recommended sealing, but in a brief search, I'm surprised how many fine points there were about the necessity and advantages of seam sealing. This one from another forum is pretty good:

    http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-...hread_id=30255

    Among the interesting points made there:
    a). Seamsealer reinforces seam strength, and
    b). Taped seams along the edge of bathtub floors is vulnerable to leakage
    c). Silnylon seams need sealing

    In the end, I guess you'd go with your manufacturer's recommendation. Hillberg and some others might say it's not needed, as Snyd, Lujon and tyrex13 posted.

    2. I recall having to seal the seams on my TiGoat, which is made with silnylon. Although I didn't find any comments on the Ti Goat website, here is some information about the limitations of taped seams on silnylon (http://www.backpacker.com/gear/13238?page=2):

    "Silnylon requires seam sealing to ensure waterproofness (factory-applied seam tape doesn't bond to silicone). Use a syringe to apply SilNet ($7, mcnett.com) to all seams on the inside".

  13. #13

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    I just bought a AO12 and used 24 ounces of Seam Grip to do the fly and floor.It took me 4 days in the garage but I am sure it will be worth it..

    Quote Originally Posted by Alasken View Post
    If the people who made the tent are telling you to seal the seams, that's what I would do. IMO the best seam sealer available is Seam Grip made by McNett. It stays flexible and be used to repair holes in tents, boots, raingear, etc. It's available in ANC at Barney's.

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    Member garnede's Avatar
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    I have 2 tents with taped seame and the first thing I did was to seal the seams. I hate being wet while camping/ hunting so I went for prevention. It does not hurt, and 1 of my 2 tents, the expensive one, recommended using seam sealer any way.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

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  15. #15

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    I bought an AO Arctica this fall and was very disappointed to find that the seams weren't sealed. I think all the tents I've bought in the last ten years have sealed seams and some seams taped. We were going on a back country road trip ( http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...ad.php?t=49052) and the tent arrived just in time so there was no time to deal with it. One night while in the Bitterroot mtns we got pounded with rain and the tent was soaked. I was furious. This tent cost $2300 and water was coming through every seam in the fly. Water ran down the tent body to the floor seam and into the tent. The body sheds water for a while but eventually it starts taking it up.

    After the trip I called T&T and expressed my... disappointment. The tent is advertised as a true four season tent (listen to the owners recorded message sometime when on hold). I was told it only takes two hours to seal the seams and they provided the sealer. There are roughly 500lf of seam in the Arctica tent fly. 2 hrs sounds optimistic!!! Anyway I told him that if it only takes 2 hrs AND it is recommended don't you think a 2300$ tent should come that way?

    Finally he asked what do I want, I said I'd return the tent. I settled with having them seal the seams. The only thing is I've got to bring the tent and fly to him. Not sure I can wait till I come home next year. There are a lot of good things about the AO tents but when water comes thru the seams it just doesn't cut it. I wouldn't buy another until they make sealing the seams the norm. The price of their tents is just too high to not come this way.

  16. #16
    Member Alaskan22's Avatar
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    Pretty much everyone I know said the same thing: "for that kind of money, they should come sealed already."

    However, I do like the idea of KNOWING the seams are sealed correctly and thoroughly.

    BTW, good luck on the 2 hrs part. Took me 4 days. Granted I had to do it when the little one was sleeping, but you can move and manipulate the tent fly to get to all the seams unless you have an open area of a football field. The bottle says it needs to dry overnight, but AK T&T says just 30 minutes. I went with the bottle's recommendations.
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  17. #17
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    I agree with you all for that price it should come sealed. For that mater anything that needs to be sealed should come sealed, I have seen this with tents and ultralight tarps both and just don't get it.

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    For that price they shouldn't need sealing or taping. It's all in the fabric, thread and how they stitch. It seems that more manufacturers should follow Hilleberg in this regard. Seams are not sealed or taped and do not leak. It's all in how they do it. The needles are cooled while sewing as well. However they do it, it works. I've been in two different Hilleberg tents in heavy rain and no leaks at all.

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    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    i said the same thing when i got my AO10....what the hell?! i just paid a million dollars and i have to seal this thing myself? But after a day or two trying to seal it in sections in our living room which appears to be smaller than the tent i think i got it all. I used almost the whole bottle on the outer tent so no rain or melting snow better come through. I have also heard different stories about sealing the seams on the outside of the tent versus the inside of the tent any answers to which is better and why? Even though having to seal them sucks they are still an amazing tent.

  20. #20
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjustinm View Post
    i said the same thing when i got my AO10....what the hell?! i just paid a million dollars and i have to seal this thing myself? But after a day or two trying to seal it in sections in our living room which appears to be smaller than the tent i think i got it all. I used almost the whole bottle on the outer tent so no rain or melting snow better come through. I have also heard different stories about sealing the seams on the outside of the tent versus the inside of the tent any answers to which is better and why? Even though having to seal them sucks they are still an amazing tent.

    I believe you are supposed to seal the inside of the rain fly, or tent if no fly. I could only guess that it is because the coating is on the outside of the tent and may not bond well? I sealed my tent for the sheep hunt after pulling it out of the bag and having not been used for 10+ years. The tape had failed. Pulled it off and got the seam grip at Sportsmans. Never had rain on the hunt, but glad I sealed for just incase! To me it seems odd they didn't seal the tent themselves, so that way it would under warranty and insure that it is done to their specs.

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