7 questions to ask when shopping for a new tent

July 24, 2019

7 questions to ask when shopping for a new tent

Shopping for a new tent is a complex task with many choices that may look very similar. With pitfalls aplenty we've compiled these 7 questions you should ask when shopping for a new tent.

Is the tent seam sealed?

Seam sealing is essential to make a tent waterproof. Tents that are not seam sealed are not waterproof, no matter what the sales person says. If a tent is sold as un-seam-sealed with the expectation that you seam seal it yourself, you should expect the tent to be cheaper than a fully seam-sealed tent. If it isn't cheaper, you're getting ripped off. Tape seam sealing, applied with a seam sealing machine, is more durable, lighter weight and more consistently waterproof than that done by hand with seam sealing glue.

All Mont tents are sold tape seam sealed, waterproof and ready for rain.

How waterproof is the floor?

Mont Tents, excluding the Eddie Series, use 10,000mm waterhead Nylon floor for superior protection in wet weather. Many competitor tents have only a 5000mm waterhead and some as low as 1200mm! With waterhead ratings as low as these, the pressure of you sitting in your tent can cause water to soak through from the wet ground!

What sort of waterproofing is used on the floor?

Many manufacturers use Poly-Urethane (PU) to waterproof their tent floors. Mont uses Thermo-Plastic-Poly-Urethane (TPU) which is a far superior form of waterproofing. TPU is more durable, more resistant to chemical damage (sunscreen, oils, insect repellent etc), and is almost impervious to hydrolysis. Hydrolysis is a reaction that results in a permanent and irreparable de-lamination between the PU and the Nylon fabric; the floor is no longer waterproof.

Is the floor waterproofing applied as a coating or lamination?

Coated floors are heavier, less durable and less waterproof than laminated floors. Laminated floors are lighter, more waterproof and more durable.

Does the tent have vents and are they accessible from inside?

Vents in a tent fly are very important to minimise condensation and to regulate air flow and temperature. Access to these vents from inside the tent is just as important particularly in poor weather; having to climb out of the tent in heavy rain to open or close the vents is not fun!

All Mont tents have vents in the fly that can be accessed from inside the tent. Mont tents with full-Nylon interiors also have large window vents in the doors for greater ventilation.

Are the edges of the fly bound or hemmed?

A bound edge on a tent fly is a sure-fire way of identifying a cheaply made tent. Bound edges are often made with another coloured strip of fabric sewn along the edge of the fly to prevent the fabric edge fraying. Bound edges are inferior to hemmed edges because bound edges will catch rain as it runs down the fly. A hemmed edge is a more costly way to finish a tent edge but provides far superior rain run-off. All Mont tents are made with hemmed edges.

How long is the tent inside?

Many lightweight hiking tents on the market have only 200cm of internal length. We suspect this is in an effort to reduce the weight of the tent. When you're in a short tent your sleeping bag is far more likely to press against the tent walls which will wet your sleeping bag if there is condensation. In addition to a wet sleeping bag, you will be more cramped especially when camping with a partner!

Mont Tents have at least 216cm of internal length for maximum comfort.

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