A little advice from the Team @ IBEX Camping Buying a Canvas or Polycotton Tent?
When choosing your family tent or backpacking tent there are several considerations , on this page we are going to talk about some of the benefits and negatives of Canvas or Polyester Cotton Tents. There's been a return to these tents over the last few years especially within the inflatable ranges offered by Tent Manufacturers.
So why buy Canvas or Polyester Cotton - the main benefit of either or these fabrics is that they are breathable and are waterproof by nature , in your first downpour of rain you may experience some slight mist within the tent , this is to be expected and is part of the meshing process of the fabric. After one good downpour your tent is perfectly waterproof. The fabric being a little denser is also much more climate moderate , cooler in summer days and warmer at night or on colder days, this is great especially when camping in sunnier climates. The Fabric can also be expected to last longer than standard Polyester Tents with care and maintenance you can expect your Canvas or Polyester Canvas Tent to last many years. Camping under canvas is a very different experience to camping under Polyester , it's is slightly more comfortable environment to camp in. If you would like to try before you buy , we have several models in our Hire Fleet , these are available to hire on a daily basis. If you love it and decide to buy one we credit your daily hire charges against the cost of your new tent!
We've spoken about some of the benefits to Canvas Tents , we'll now mention some thing you should also be aware of when choosing your tent. Canvas and Polyester Tents are usually considerably heavier than their matched models in Polyester, sometimes weighing close to 46kg. With this can also come a larger packsize , also worth considering when you are trying to pack the boot of all your camping kit! Being made from Cotton , if you have a traditional summer holiday :) or weekend away and you have to pack down in a little rain you must always pitch your tent to dry. Canvas and Polyester Cotton has the possibility to shrink so pitching when you get home is a must. Don't forget to check your pitch size to make sure you have enough room to pitch in the garden or alternatively , if you have a campsite locally they may be kind enough to let you pitch for drying for a small fee.
Some Campsites require an early morning de-pitch , so even if there's no sign of rain it may be that there is a little condensation inside the tent or a little dew on the outside , either can potentially damage your canvas tent if you leave packed away for long periods of time.
Mildew .... that word that sends a shiver down most canvas tent owners backs! it's not unique to Canvas Tents and is completely avoidable and nothing to concern yourself about at all. With Canvas Tents the key is prevention rather than cure when it comes to Mildew , always make sure your tent is completely dry before packing away for storage. Make sure you maintain your Canvas Tent , most come pre treated and are rot proof , but a re-proof with Fabsil when needed (following the manufacturers and Fabsils Instructions) will help protect your tent against mildew too.
You can comfortably leave your tent packed a little damp for up to 24 hours before you re-pitch if travelling before your in the Mildew Zone ... we'd always recommend pitching as soon as possible though!
If you should be unlucky enough to get a little Mildew it's not the end of the world , the marks will probably stay , there are lots of tips and tricks available on line for advice on removing mildew. We've tried a few and to be honest short of applying bleach (which under no circumstances would we recommend) the marks are likely to fade but still be visible - see them as character!
The Important part about mildew is removing the spores, gently remove with a soft brush to loosen and then vacuum them up if they are on the inside of the tent , again there are lots of tips online for ways to effectively 'treat' the spores , from natural remedies to more aggressive chemical based remedies , we always choose natural , this is your family holiday home!
Don't forget if you have applied anything to your tent , unless just water - you will always need to re-proof once any treatment is completely rinsed away.
These words are a little advice and sharing from our own camping experience , they are not meant to be instructions or directions , always follow the manufacturers instructions. If you have any questions or would like a little more info , we are always happy to help!
Happy Camping , The Team @ IBEX Camping