Are Tent Bags Waterproof: Everything You Need To Know [2021]

When camping in the great outdoors, you often need to be prepared for anything. Changing plans and threats from weather will always loom over a trip. Being prepared is the best way to combat any issues that may arise.

The most common aspect of the wilderness to be prepared for is rain. Rain is super common in many areas of the world. Having wet gear is one of the biggest downers that you can experience while camping.

Your tent is one of the most important gear pieces to protect you from the elements. However, it is also important to protect the tent itself from the elements.

In order for you to be dry, your tent needs to be the same. Every tent comes with a bag, but that doesn’t mean it is already protected.

So, are tent bags waterproof? More times than not, tent bags are not waterproof. They are generally made of basic materials that are there to simply store the tent and not much more. However, there are things you can do to waterproof your tent bag.

Read on for tons of useful info based on years of outdoor experience!

Are tent bags waterproof?

If you were to walk into any sporting goods store and pick up a bagged tent, there is a high chance that the bag is not waterproof. Just like not all tents are waterproof.

 a tent bag

The bag of my 3 person tent is slightly water resistant. Certainly not waterproof.

In fact, unless the brand is outwardly marketing the bag to be waterproof, it is safe to assume that it is not.

It is important to understand that a majority of tent bags are not waterproof. This allows you to plan ahead and come up with an alternative solution. We discuss these solutions later on in this article.

What are tent bags made of?

Most tent bags are made up of canvas, nylon or polyester. These materials are not inherently waterproof without any alterations.

In fact, water can push through these materials quite easily and without too much resistance. An exception is the polyester, which could be water-resistant but not fully waterproof.

These materials are used, because you want the tent bags to be very light. The tent itself is going to be the main source of weight, so tent companies want the bag to be as light and as simple as possible. 

You will likely not find too many tent bags that are made from different materials. Along with the reasons we have already laid out, other materials, specifically those that are waterproof, can get really expensive.

Tent manufacturers want to spend as little on the packaging as possible to keep their margins up.

Can you waterproof a tent bag?

So, now that you know that tent bags are not waterproof, it is time to lay out some options to make it happen.

You absolutely can waterproof a tent bag. In fact, it does not take a ton of work to achieve this. The process is much easier than waterproofing an entire tent.

One of the most common ways to turn your tent bag into a waterproofed vessel is with waterproofing spray. Watch the video below!

Waterproofing spray is quite common and can be found in basically any sporting goods store that sells camping gear. Also, it is quite affordable, so you can load up on some products with few issues.

Applying the waterproofing spray every so often will give it the best chance of keeping that tent dry.

Can you put your tent in a dry bag?

You absolutely can put your tent in a dry bag to protect it! You can also put it in a compression sack if it’s waterproof.

dry bags

Alongside using waterproofing spray, this is the best way to keep the inside tent as dry as possible.

Dry bags are quite literally what they sound like. They are waterproofed bags that you can seal and use to keep anything inside as dry as a bone.

These are great add-ons that can keep anything dry, especially a tent and all its parts. They are usually fairly lightweight and not overly expensive, so you can access them quite easily.

Dry bags are usually made by a third party or sometimes the same company as the tent. So, it will require an additional purchase on top of what you pay for your tent.

Best Dry Bags For Tents

If you are in the market, here are a few of the best dry bags for tents! Those will make sure to keep your precious tent dry.

KastKing dry bag

KastKing is a fairly well-known fishing brand that has also branched into the outdoor and camping space.

kastking dry bag

Image via kastking.com

This is a highly-rated bag that will keep all of your belongings dry, including a tent.

GeerTop boating dry bag

One of the most affordable options out there was GeerTop.

geertop bag

Without having to make a large investment, you can have an excellent dry bag that is big enough to fit your tent and the original bag all in one.

Outdoor Products Ultimate Dry Sack

If you really want to save a buck, the Outdoor Products Ultimate Dry Sack pack is the way to go.

outdoor products dry sack

image via outdoorproducts.com

For cheaper than many other options, you can get three dry sacks. Now, they are not of the best quality, but they can get the job done.

Last but not least, you can also check out our extensive Unigear dry bag review. I recently tested this bag, and it impressed me.

Conclusion

So, you should never assume that tent bags are already waterproof, but there are a number of things you can do to achieve that status.

If someone ever asks you “are tent bags waterproof,” you can tell them probably not but I have a solution!

The key to keeping your tent dry while out in the field is taking the matter into your own hands. Firstly, you can look into waterproofing spray. This is fairly affordable and easy to find.

Plus, you can use it on your hiking boots and other camping essentials to keep those dry as well.

The other great solution is using a dry bag. There are some excellent dry bags out there that will not break the bank and can still get the job done!

Overall, keeping your tent dry is super important, so do whatever you can to keep it that way.

Happy camping!

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Asen Stoyanchev

Founder of this website, Asen is a passionate hiker and writer who is also a gear nerd. He’s been featured on many established hiking websites where he gives hiking advice & tips. When he is not trekking with his family or friends, he is writing articles and product reviews. Asen spends most of his time in Bulgaria but he constantly travels the world in seek of more unforgettable experiences. Read more about Asen here.

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  • July 20, 2021
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