Tent Fabrics

Types of fabrics

The materials from which they are made the outer foil, floor and inner tent are extremely important. Two main choices are nylon and polyester.

Nylon is transparent to ultraviolet radiation. This means that if the outer foil is made of nylon, and the tent is in the Sun, you can get sunburn. Although inside is shady, ultraviolet pass through the outer foil and can affect your skin.

Nylon is lighter than polyester and is more breathable, water vapor can cross easier. The fact that nylon is lighter than polyester, this is why nylon is mainly used in tents that are catalogued as “lightweight”.

Polyester is not transparent to ultraviolet radiation, but polyester is heavier.

Polyester resist better to damage in time, due to ultraviolet radiation. Polyester does not deform (stretch or contract) so easy as nylon in extreme weather conditions. This feature of the polyester makes it suitable for mountain tents.

Traditionally, nylon was considered inferior to polyester. But modern technologies make this distinction to fade. More specifically, the Ripstop technology significantly improves the characteristics of nylon. Ripstop Nylon use fibers interwoven in cross and at regular intervals are inserted thick fibers for strengthening. These fibers interwoven significantly improve the resistance of the fabric and this prevents unraveling. In case of the expensive models, nylon is waterproofed with silicon, which makes it extremely durable, and, in addition, resistant to UV. Same characteristics as the ripstop polyester. The polyester reinforced with silicon is used rarely because the resulting foil is heavier than that of nylon reinforced with silicon.

The outer foil fabric

It is extremely important to find information about what type of material is used to make the outer foil. On the material used depends if the rain stays out, tent deforming or if the tent keeps a breathable air. Also, the outer material is directly exposed to the wear and tear of the Sun, rain and wind.

Given the technical characteristics of the two types of materials: nylon and polyester, there are recommended tents with polyester (simple or Ripstop) or with nylon Ripstop because it resists better over time and can be used in summer, in the Sun, without damaging quickly.

Inner tent coating

The inner tent is where you really stay. He does not come into contact with rain or wind. It is important to ensure proper ventilation. Nylon is very good. You can use polyester.

The insects net of the inner tent is one of the factors that influence the ventilation. In order that a model can also be used when it is cooler, you must have the possibility to close the net for insect (closable vents). The fabric from which it is made the inner tent can ensure a higher temperature, but at the same time a breathable air, without creating an air flow. If you can`t close the net, on the inside will be more coolness.

The floor foil fabric

The floor must be made from a waterproof material, which ensures that water does not enter the bottom inside.

The floor is exposed to tent occupants’ pressure. The coat that is ensuring the impermeability of the tent and the material itself can be damaged over time. That’s why the impermeability of the floor will be something bigger than the outer foil.

The floor impermeability of 4,000 mm can be considered a good value, but a better value which saves you from worries is one of 10,000 mm water column.

For floor foil it is recommended polyester, laminated polyethylene or nylon.

Polyethylene is, in fact, a plastic foil. Lamination is the characteristic of certain materials to be cast in layers. Polyester is used for more expensive tents because it offers a higher degree of comfort and superior strength over time. Polyethylene is used for cheap models. The difference between a tent with a floor of polyester and one of polyethylene is like the difference you feel when you dress with clothes of synthetic material or dressing in a plastic foil.

Nylon or polyester is the most suitable choices.

Fabric thickness

There are 2 units of textile measurement for the linear mass density of fibers:

Denier (D) = the mass in grams of 1 fiber of 9000 meters. 1 D = 1 gram per 9000 meters

Tex (T) = in SO, the mass in grams of 1 fiber of 1000 meters. T = 1 gram 1/1000 m

Decitex, abbreviated dtex, which is the mass in grams per 10,000 meters.

Tex is a unit of measure for the linear mass density of fibers and is defined as the mass in grams per 1000 meters. Tex is more likely to be used in Canada and Continental Europe, while denier remains more common in the United States and United Kingdom.

The diameter of the filament can be calculated, posing dTex with:

Diam = sqrt (4 X 10-6 X dtex/(pi X en))

En = density of material in grams per cubic centimeters

Diameter in cm

Pi = 3.14

When a D or T factor is big means that fiber has a high density, that is denser. Being denser is more resistance over time.

75D polyester with 10-20% is more resistant than 70D nylon and have a life span with 30% longer due to ultraviolet radiation.

150D polyester is with 50% more durable than 70D nylon and has a life span with 200% longer due to ultraviolet radiation.