Pop-up canopy tents can offer shelter from sun and wind, and they can also keep you dry on rainy days.
But sometimes water can leak inside a pop-up canopy tent or backpacking tent. If you are tired of water dripping down on you or your stuff inside your tent, there are steps you can take to stop it from happening.
With a high-quality tent, a suitable setup, and the right techniques and treatments, you can ensure that the space underneath your canopy stays nice and dry.
1. Get the right type of tent to begin with.
It all starts with picking out a high-quality canopy tent that is intended for use in rainy conditions.
That means getting a tent that is constructed out of a water-resistant material like durable 600 Denier polyester.
Naturally, if you are expecting the breeze to blow any of the rain sideways, you also are going to want to attach sidewalls to your canopy tent.
2. Set up your tent properly with quality ropes and stakes.
To prevent your tent from sagging and keep water from pooling, on top, you are going to need to set it up the right way.
That means using long, heavy-duty stakes and strong ropes that really allow you to get the corners tight. Check out this resource to learn how to properly stake down your tent.
Some products come with high-quality ropes and stakes. But if the ropes and stakes that came with your pop-up canopy tent are a bit flimsy, you might want to shop for aftermarket alternatives. You will be surprised what a difference it can make.
Are you setting up the pop-up canopy tent for long-term use in one spot? If you are not going to be taking it down anytime soon, you should rope to the frame itself, not the eyelets on the covers.
3. Try using pool noodles or hula hoops.
If the problems with pooling and dripping continue even after setting up a quality waterproof tent the right way, there are a couple of tricks you can try.
The first is to shove pool noodles into the corners. What this will do is add tension to the canopy. Water is then less likely to pool on top of the tent.
There are a couple of different techniques you can use with the pool noodles. So, you may need to experiment a bit to find out what works best with your particular model of canopy tent.
Does your tent have a cross-braced truss system? If so, you can use hula hoops instead of pool noodles to achieve the same thing. You will need to attach the hula hoops with duct tape.
4. Patch up any holes or tears you find.
While the tips above can prevent pooling and leaking in your canopy tent, they will not be sufficient to stop water getting inside if you have any kind of hole or tear.
In that situation, you will need to pick up a patch repair kit (one may have come with your tent; if not, you will have to buy it separately).
We suggest that you apply patches to the tent material on both sides.
5. Apply sealants.
Finally, there are some products you can apply to your tent to further enhance its water-resistance. Among those products are sealants and water-repelling sprays.
If you purchased a tent that was marketed as waterproof or water-resistant, it presumably has a polyurethane coating. Over time, that coating can wear down, allowing water to soak through the fabric and start dripping inside your tent.
This does not happen in a uniform way; you will probably notice there are certain spots where the coating is especially compromised. What you can do is apply the sealant directly to those areas. Make sure the sealant has time to dry completely before it is exposed to more water. Otherwise, it will just wash away.
If it is the seams of your canopy tent that are leaking, you can use the same solution. Just apply seam sealant to the spots where you see the old sealant degrading.
What if your seams are completely unsealed to begin with? It is up to you whether you want to try applying sealant to them or not. If they are not leaking, you can just leave them alone. But if they are—or if you just want to take extra precautions—you can go ahead and seal them.
6. Apply a water-repelling spray.
Along with sealants, water-repelling sprays are also available to enhance the water-resistance of your pop-up canopy tent.
Water-repelling sprays are fast and easy to apply to large surface areas, making them ideal for covering all of your tent fabric.
Once the spray is applied and has a chance to dry, it will help water to bead and drip rather than penetrating the fabric to the interior.
7. Don’t forget about the entrance to the tent.
Even when you have sidewalls set up, your tent is still going to have an opening serving as a door. Rain may be able to get in through this opening.
What you can do about that is hang a shower curtain or curtain liner in the opening. This will keep the water out, but still make it easy for you or other people to come and go from the pop-up canopy tent.
Stay Dry Underneath Your Canopy Tent
If your canopy tent leaks, there is a good chance you either do not have a well-constructed, water-resistant tent to begin with, have not set up your tent effectively, or you need to take some additional steps to enhance its waterproofing.
Quality pop-up canopy tents can do an excellent job keeping out water once you have adequately patched, sealed and sprayed their fabric and tightened their corners with heavy-duty stakes and ropes, pool tubes and hula hoops.
Give the tips and recommendations in this post a try. After you do, you may be surprised by just what a great job your canopy tent does keeping you dry on rainy days.