One of the worst things you’ll ever hear inside your tent is the drip…drip…drip of water leaking in during a rainstorm. While camping, your tent is meant to be your happy place. Your safe place. Your dry place.
But if it starts leaking and getting wet in there, I bet no one on the inside will be too happy. That’s where the best tent waterproofing sprays come in, and I’ve rounded them all up for you.
These waterproofing sprays are designed to freshen up the water-repellent coating on your tent’s rainfly, which causes water to bead up and run off the tent. This water repellency prevents any sort of large water buildup or pooling that can cause leakage. They’re also incredibly easy to use and take no time at all.
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One other great things about tent waterproofing sprays is that they’re usually designed for all your outdoor gear and many also offer UV protection, making it an essential addition to everything you take when you go camping or hiking.
Who doesn’t want to get as much life as possible out of their tent and other camping gear?
What Are the Best Tent Waterproofing Sprays?
Waterproofing a tent is essential to staying dry on your next camping trip and protecting your gear. Plus, the top options on the market are relatively affordable, easy to apply, and can protect your gear in more ways than one.
Without further ado, the best tent waterproofing sprays on the market are:
- Best Overall: Kiwi Camp Dry Water Repellent
- Runner Up: Scotchgard Heavy Duty Outdoor Water Shield
- Fastest Drying: GEAR AID Instant Water Repellent
- Most Versatile: Gorilla Waterproof Patch & Seal Spray
- Best Water-Based: Nikwax Tent and Gear SolarProof
Best Overall: Kiwi Camp Dry Water Repellent
It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t start this list off with my personal favorite tent waterproofing spray and the one that I use myself: Kiwi Camp Dry Water Repellent.
The silicone-based formula creates a long-lasting waterproof bond with whatever fabric you’re spraying on, preventing water from seeping through while still allowing the fabric to breathe. This helps it to dry odorless while remaining as effective as any other option out there.
Even though it’s called Camp Dry, you can do more than just waterproof your tent. This affordable spray is great for boots, hiking gear, outdoor furniture, boat and RV covers, and more. The only real downside to this spray is that it takes 24-48 hours to fully cure, meaning you need to plan ahead and get ready for your trip a couple of days in advance if you want to waterproof your gear.
Before I became a bit of a camping expert myself, I looked around just like you and saw this one come up again and again so I had to try it myself. For the price and how effective it is, there’s not a better waterproof tent spray.
Runner Up: Scotchgard Heavy Duty Outdoor Water Shield
I have to admit, Scotchgard Heavy Duty Outdoor Water Shield nearly took the top spot. Made by 3M, you know you’re getting a quality product, and I’ve had great luck with it.
It’s similar to the formula above in that it’s silicone-based, bonds with the fabric you’re spraying it on, dries entirely odorless with no chemical smell, and creates a waterproof coating on just about any type of tent fabric or other outdoor gear. 3M boasts that it works on nylon, polyester, cotton, leather, polypropylene, suede, and more, and repels water both while you’re using the item you spray and while it’s in storage.
One can of the waterproof spray is designed to cover up to 60 ft2 of fabric, meaning you can easily coat your rainfly (or even your entire tent!) one, two, or three times per can without breaking a sweat.
In my experience, this tent waterproofing spray is right up there with the Kiwi product above as the two best options on the market. If you want to use what I typically use, go with the Kiwi camp spray; if you want something from a brand like 3M, you’ll love this product.
Fastest Drying: GEAR AID Instant Water Repellent
The biggest drawback to our top-rated pick is that it takes 24-48 hours to dry. And while the Scotchgard spray above can cure in 2-6 hours, sometimes you just want to get done as fast as possible.
That’s where GEAR AID Instant Water Repellent comes in, providing waterproofing for tents, jackets, boots, gloves, gear, and more in just 2-4 hours, slightly beating out Scotchgard for the fastest tent waterproofing spray on the market.
Unlike most tent waterproofing sprays, this spray is silicone free. This ensures breathability on anything you spray it on while also preventing that less-than-ideal yellow-tinged discoloration that can happen to light-colored materials over time with silicone-based products.
If you’re in a pinch and need to waterproof your tent or outdoor gear as fast as possible, this formula from GEAR AID is the best choice on the market. It gets the job done in just 2-4 hours, getting you on the road or back to the trail as quickly as possible.
Most Versatile: Gorilla Waterproof Patch & Seal Spray
Even if you’re new to camping, you’ve probably heard of the Gorilla brand before and might even have some around the house. Gorilla Glue, anyone?
Well, if you’re looking for the most versatile waterproof spray on the market, look no further. Gorilla Waterproof Patch & Seal is designed for just about any outdoor surface you can imagine. It works on roofs, piping, chimneys, windows, RVs, tents, and more.
The rubberized formula creates a waterproof seal that will keep the inside of your tent as dry as ever. Once it’s on your rainfly, you don’t have to worry about it, as it is designed to last in both low and high temperatures (-40°F to 160°F), it resists damage from the sun’s harmful UV rays, and it is self-leveling so it’s super easy to use.
While any camper can take advantage of this waterproofing spray from Gorilla, I highly recommend it for anyone going on a trip with a camper or RV. Since it’s so versatile, you can use it on your tent and then turn around and stop any leaks you’re having with your camper. None of these other sprays can do as much as this one.
Best Water-Based: Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarProof
Let’s again venture away from the silicone-based waterproofing spray and look at the best water-based option on the market: Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarProof. This spray bottle formula is one of the best options on the market not only for someone looking to avoid silicone, but for anyone wanting UV protection out of their tent waterproofing spray.
This Nikwax spray is so good, in fact, you’ll see this option at the top of other similar lists you find out there. In the camping community, Nikwax is often at the very top alongside Kiwi and Scotchgard. Its spray-on application is incredibly easy to work with, and the added sunlight protection will protect your outdoor gear from fading and damage from the sun.
When it comes to a combination of waterproofing and UV protection, Nikwax SolarProof should be at the top of your list. You can’t go wrong with this water-based waterproofing.
Water-based waterproofing…that’s a bit of an oxymoron, isn’t it?
What Do Tent Waterproofing Sprays Do?
One of the biggest misconceptions that people have about waterproof tent sprays is that they’re the only thing you need to completely waterproof your tent. Unfortunately, none of these types of sprays will do that, no matter what the manufacturer says. Tent waterproofing sprays, or durable water repellents (DWRs), are designed to repel water from building up on your tent, particularly the rainfly on top.
This is just one piece of a three-part complete tent waterproofing plan that entails sealing the seams, refreshing the urethane coating, and refreshing the DWR. Tent waterproofing sprays like the ones in this guide will cover the third piece of that puzzle, refreshing the DWR.
Look for other articles here on Outdoor Andrew to find the best tent seam sealers, the best urethane coatings, and more about tent waterproofing! Gear waterproofing is a major part of camping, and your tent is just one piece of your overall camping gear that you need to take care of.
What to Look for in Tent Waterproofing Sprays
The right tent waterproofing sprays are going to first and foremost repel water, while also being easy to apply and relatively affordable. Some options will even protect your tent and camping gear from the sun’s harmful UV rays. When it comes purely to waterproofing, the UV blockage might not be at the top of your list of priorities, but it’s a nice touch for those that come with it!
Additionally, all of these waterproofing sprays are super easy to apply since they’re, well, sprays. You can find plenty of products that you brush or roll on, but there’s no reason to go down that route when an aerosol can or a spray bottle is so easy to use, making it possible to apply in just minutes.
Lastly, you shouldn’t be breaking the bank on a can of tent waterproofing spray, with all of the top best options costing far less than $20 per can.
Key Takeaways on Tent Waterproofing Sprays
- Tent waterproofing sprays are designed to freshen up the waterproof coating on your tent’s rainfly, preventing water buildup and leakage into the tent.
- In addition to waterproofing spray, you’ll need to seal your tent’s seams and freshen up the urethane coating to truly waterproof your entire tent.
- Some tent waterproofing sprays provide UV blocking to add a layer of protection against the sun’s harmful rays.
- Using tent waterproofing sprays is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to protect your tent and keep it dry.