Weathering an Outwell® Polycotton Tent
That’s not a question many campers brought up using synthetic tents will have heard but it is one of the common questions that we are asked when people choose tents made from our hybrid Outtex® Airtech Technical Cotton fabric.
Polycotton fabric relies on its cotton element swelling when wet to close the small spaces found between the yarns in the weave. This ensures a high degree of resistance to water penetration while still allowing water vapour to leave the tent, keeping the inside free from condensation and maintaining a comfortable microclimate.
Weathering is the traditional way to help speed up cotton’s ability to absorb water and swell. It’s a simple process – you just pitch your tent and soak it with the garden hose, leaving it to dry before repeating the process a few times.
While not strictly necessary thanks to the little water required to ensure the cotton swells enough to seal those small spaces between the yarns of our densely woven Airtech fabric, we recommend weathering is carried out after purchase and if a tent is stored for extended periods of time to ensure maximum performance. If you do not you might experience some water ingress the first time it rains.
Weathering also ensures you have a practice pitch before you camp, inspect for any problems and check the tent’s seams.
It is a natural part of the manufacturing process that sewing can leave noticeable needle ‘holes’ along a tent’s seams. These are nothing to worry about and will seal themselves in a short space of time as the thread and fibres swell. But, sometimes one hole in the thousands present in each tent may drip. Weathering will help you identify these so they can be sealed using a dab of a proprietary seam sealer, such as Outwell Seam Guard.
Whether or not you weather your tent is a personal decision, but we would highly recommend this traditional art of tent maintenance. It will certainly enhance your camping experience.