Seams are the most vulnerable areas of your tent when it rains. If not sealed properly, water can seep through any of the hundreds of needlepoint holes where the thread passes through the fabric.
Tent seam sealer is an easy and inexpensive way to strengthen and waterproof tent seams.
The best seam sealer for tens on the market is Seam Grip WP by Gear Aid. Depending on your tent, some alternatives might better suit your needs.
We’ve gathered everything you need to know about the top tent seam sealers and layered it out all in one place.
|all-around best||Gear Aid Seam Grip WP||
|runner up||Gear Aid Seam Grip SIL||
|Gear Aid Fast Cure Sealant||
|Texasport Waterproofing Seam Sealant||
|Nikwax Tent and Gear Solarproof||
|Kiwi Camp Dry Heavy Duty Sealant||
Review of Best Seam Sealer
- Seal seams and permanently repair holes in tents, tarps, awnings, rainflys and camping gear like Thermarest sleeping pads
- Treat up to up to 12’ of seams (1 oz) or repair torn outdoor fabrics with an adhesive that cures into a flexible rubber seal; also available in an 8 oz tube
- Waterproof gear with a sealant that flexes with fabric and bonds to nylon, polyester, canvas, leather and vinyl
- Apply it to repair or re-proof gear without worrying about the seal peeling or cracking; includes two applicator brushes
- Packaging may vary
The all-around best seam sealer for tents is Gear Aid’s Seam Grip WP. Gear Aid is an industry leader for seam sealer, so you can trust their products.
Seam Grip WP is our top-ranking sealant because of its advanced waterproofing capabilities. It is also flexible and dries clear so that it won’t alter your tent’s shape or appearance. Aside from seam sealing, this product can be useful for repairing tears in other pieces of outdoor gear such as backpacks and tarps.
This sealant is a permanent adhesive for a variety of outdoor fabrics, including nylon, vinyl, canvas, and rubber. A one-ounce tube of Seam Grip WP can seal 12 feet of seams. It is also useful in repairing holes and tears in tent fabric.
Gear Aid Seam Grip WP is a tried and true product.
- Seal up to 24 ft of seams with 1.5 oz of this durable, clear adhesive that bonds permanently to silicone-treated (silynylon) tents
- Apply to ultra-light gear including silnylon backpacks; cures to a flexible, elastic seal that flexes and stretches with fabric
- Creates a long-lasting, waterproof seal that won’t peel or crack over time; not affected by extreme heat or cold
- Also ideal for applying on silnylon tarps, shelters, and rainwear to keep water out (previously known as SIL Net)
- Packaging may vary
Like we said before, Gear Aid produces the best seam sealing products on the market. This is why our runner up is Gear Aid’s Seam Grip SIL.
Seam Grip SIL is very similar to Seam Grip WP in its function and application. It waterproofs seams with a thorough seal.
The major difference is that this one is silicone-based and explicitly engineered for silicone treated products. These products include silnylon tents and tarps, silnylon backpacks, and even raincoats.
This product is reliable. It forms to the fabric without stiffening its movement, and it does not crack or peel over time.
A single 1.5-ounce tube of Gear Aid’s Seam Grip WP can seal 24 feet of seams. This product is praised among customers.
- Seal up to 60’ of seams on tents, tarps and awnings with this water-based seam sealant that cures in 2 hours at room temperature
- Use this tent sealant on various outdoor fabrics including nylon, polyester, and canvas; previously known as Seam Sure
- Dries to a long-lasting seal that is nearly invisible and flexes with fabric
- Included applicator brush makes application quick and easy
- Packaging may vary
Gear Aid’s Fast Cure Sealant is our pick for the best quick drying seam sealer for tents. This sealant cures in as little as two hours at room temperature.
Two ounces of Gear Aid Seam Grip FC seals up to 60 feet of seams. This solution is practically invisible after it dries, and it moves with the fabric.
Gear Aid Fast Cure Sealant can be used on many outdoor materials including, nylon, polyester, and canvas.
This fast-acting tent seam sealer is strong and effective.
- Seam Sealer ideal for tents, backpacks, outerwear and all other synthetic fabrics
- Colorless, washable, flexible. Odorless when dry
- Reduces fading caused by the sun
- Profession Strength, Protects new or cleaned fabrics from water or dirt
- Non-toxic and odorless when dry
Texasport Waterproofing Seam Sealer is the best high strength seam sealer for tents. This seam sealer is professional strength, and well praised by customers.
Unlike the Gear Aid seam sealers that we have reviewed thus far, this seam sealer comes in an aerosol can. Keep in mind. Aerosol cans do not provide the same precision as a brush applicator. However, they are easier and quicker to use. If you are thorough, a spray-on sealant like this is just as effective as a brush-on sealant.
Texasport Waterproofing Seam Sealer is polyurethane-based. This sealant works well on all synthetic outdoor fabrics. And, it dries clear and odorless. The cure time is about 24 hours.
Not only does this sealant provide advanced waterproofing, but it also protects from dirt and damage caused by UV rays.
- Great for use on tents, fly, backpacks, awnings, boat covers, umbrellas, patio furniture, and panniers
- Water based, biodegradable, and contains no PFCs, VOCs, optical brighteners, or added scent
- Adds UV protection to prevent sun damage and double the lifespan of gear; works best after application of Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarWash
- Spray-on application
Nikwax Tent and Gear Solarproof is our pick for the best spray-on seam sealer. Technically, this sealant is designed for full tent or gear coverage. However, its properties make for a great seam sealer.
This sealant is a liquid solution that squirts in a narrow stream. It is easy to apply and spread to cover the entire seam. The thin consistency of Nikwax Solarproof allows it to get into every nook and cranny of the seam.
Not only does Nikwax Tent and Gear Solarproof waterproof seams, but it strengthens the fabric and protects from UV damage. It can be used on a wide range of synthetic materials. And, the smallest bottle is 17 fluid ounces, so you get a lot of sealant for a great price.
Nikwax Tent and Gear Solarproof is also good for the environment. It is water-based, biodegradable, and does not contain unnecessary chemicals to enhance its color or smell.
- KIWI Camp Dry Heavy Duty Water Protect provides a tough, long lasting and breathable water protection that becomes odorless when dry
- Ideal for tents, tarps, boots, hunting apparel, outdoor gear, boat covers and patio furniture
- Treated material stays odor free after drying
- Keeps water out while still allowing article to breathe
- Silicone bonds to leather/fabric to create an extremely tough water barrier
The best multi-use seam sealer is the Kiwi Camp Dry Heavy Duty Water Repellent. This product is great at sealing seams, but can also be used on shoes, tents, and other outdoor products, including clothing.
Kiwi Camp Dry Heavy Duty Water Repellent is a silicone-based sealant. It offers a formidable water barrier while maintaining the breathability of the fabric.
This sealant is easy to apply by spraying it onto your tent seams. It has a strong spray that will coat the seam well. It is recommended that you let the sprayed surface cure for 24-48 hours.
Kiwi’s Camp Dry Heavy Duty Water Repellent has great customer satisfaction.
Buying Guide: Choosing The Right Tent Seam Sealer
The first step to choosing a seam sealer for your tent is identifying the fabric. The three primary classes of tent fabrics are polyurethane coated, silicone-coated, and canvas.
Polyurethane coated tents require a urethane-based seam sealer. In many cases urethane is the default type of seam sealer, and any alternatives will be clearly labeled on the package. A good seam sealer for a polyurethane-coated tent is Gear Aid Seam Grip WP.
Silicone coated tents require a silicone-based seam sealer in order for the sealant to adhere to the fabric properly. The most common silicone-coated material found in tents is silnylon. With this type of fabric, you should use a sealant like Gear Aid Seam Grip SIL.
Lastly we have canvas. You really need to be careful to use the appropriate seam sealer on canvas tents. This is because some sealants will seal up the fabric entirely and ruin the breathability of the fabric.
The thickness of the seam sealer can effect its application.
Thick seam sealer can be hard to spread out and apply to the seams. This will lead to some wasted product and a longer application time. However, a viscous seam sealer can be a good thing because it adds durability to the seams.
Thin seam sealer is much easier to apply, and at times it can be more effective. If you aren’t one to meticulously brush every nook of the seam, then a thin seam sealer may be a better choice for you. The thin seam sealer’s liquid consistency allows the sealant to spread into all the hard to reach places of the seams.
The effectiveness of a good quality seam sealer all boils down to application. There are two main ways that seam sealer is applied: brushed and sprayed.
Like the Gear Aid sealants in this review, thick seam sealers are applied using a brush applicator. Many sealants come with one brush that can be twisted on in place of the cap and one to use freehandedly. This is more time-consuming, but if applied properly is highly effective.
Thinner seam sealers often come in an aerosol can or a spray bottle. Spray on seam sealer for tents is much easier and faster to apply. However, product is at risk of being wasted because of the spray application. Spraying close to the seam is a good way to preserve as much sealant as possible. It would help if you also were careful to spray every part of the seam.
Sealing tent seams can be tedious and take a good chunk of time. For small jobs we recommend using one of our top picks, Gear Aid Seam Grip WP or Gear Aid Seam Grip SIL. One Gear Aid sealant tube can cover 12-24 feet of seams depending on the specific product you purchase.
If you’re sealing multiple tents or several pieces of gear, then a spray-on applicator may be helpful to you. Spray sealants are priced higher, but they contain much more product that will get you through several pieces of gear.
Brush on seam sealers is quite a bit more expensive per ounce than spray on sealants. However, they are specifically engineered for seams and one tube can seal seams of a good-sized tent.
Some people find more value in spray-on sealants because they can be used for a variety of fabrics, sometimes even shoes and clothing. Kiwi Camp Dry and Nikwax Tent and Gear Solarproof are two examples of sealants that have a lot of value for their price.
What is a Tent Seam Sealer?
A tent seam sealer is a urethane or silicone-based glue that is applied as a coating over the seams of a tent. This is done to keep water from leaking into the tent through the stitching holes at the seams.
There is a large variety of seam sealers available. Tent specific seam sealant is made to adhere to synthetic fabrics and resists water and UV rays.
Should you seam seal a new tent?
Yes, you should seam seal a new tent.
Many new tents come with some waterproofing sealant on the seams, so it is not absolutely necessary. However, manufacturing errors happen all the time, which may leave a portion of the seam bare. Also, depending on the brand of the tent, the sealant may not be of high quality.
We recommend sealing even new tents. It’s better to be overprepared than to have leaks in your tent.
How to waterproof a tent?
Waterproofing a tent with seam sealer does take some time. Nonetheless, it is an easy task to complete.
First and foremost, clean the seams with a wet rag or rubbing alcohol. The sealant won’t seal properly if dirt is on the fabric. Then, brush the sealant over the seams making sure to coat every nook and cranny of the seam. Let the sealant dry for about ten minutes and apply a second coat to high-stress areas such as guy out points and reinforced areas.
To waterproof the rainfly, flip it inside out so that the underside is on top. Seal the seams just as you did with the rest of the tent.
When using seam sealer, it is important to avoid contact with the zippers. The silicone sealant will block the zipper from zipping up.
Can I use seam sealer to waterproof a jacket?
Yes, you can use seam sealer to waterproof a jacket. However, we recommend that you use a sealant designed for clothing application or a multi-use sealant. Sealant made for tents is thicker than sealant made for clothing. Plus, it may leave some visible residue on your clothing.
A better choice would be to use a garment specific seam sealer to waterproof a jacket. A good option from the list above is the Kiwi Camp Dry Heavy Duty Seam Sealant. This is a multi-use sealant that has been tested on clothing by many satisfied customers.
What Is The Best Seam Sealer For Tents?
We’ve looked at several products in this seam sealer for tents review. The best seam sealer for tents is Seam Grip WP by Gear Aid. This brush-on sealant is hardy and can cover a good length of seams. This is a seam sealer for outdoor fabric so that it can be used on tarps too.
These products are reliable and can go the distance, so you can stay dry in stormy camping conditions.