A tent is a shelter consisting of sheets of fabric or other material draped over, attached to a frame of poles or attached to a supporting rope. While smaller tents may be free-standing or attached to the ground, large tents are usually anchored using guy ropes tied to stakes or tent pegs. First used as portable homes by nomads, tents are now more often used for recreational camping and as temporary shelters.
There are lots if different tent fabrics, with some being a lot more expensive than others. But are they worth it?
Each tent fabric has its good and bad points.
Which tent material is the best will depend on your needs. For example, do you need a tent that’s easy to transport, or are you looking for a tent to be your holiday home for a week or more?
The vast majority of tents are made out of man-made fabrics, either polyester or nylon based.
For family tents, you will typically find Polyester. Nylon is used for lightweight backpacking tents.
Canvas is the traditional tent fabric, and it has lots of great properties for a tent.
In days gone by, Canvas was made from Hemp, but these days canvas for tents is made from cotton. So, tents advertised as ‘canvas’ or ‘cotton’ are actually made from the same thing
The man made fabrics will be made or covered with coatings to increase water and UV resistance.
The quality of these coatings can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and tent to tent.
Man-made fabrics are graded by how water resistant they are, known as the Hydrostatic Head. Some tents will have more water resistant fabrics than others.