Weather Shield, Outwell, HydroTex, it all sounds wonderful and fancy doesn’t it? But what does it mean? Don’t stress, you are not alone on this issue. In Fact many people new to the camping world are just excited to buy a tent, and often find themselves confused when it comes to purchasing the correct one. The main reason for this often comes down to the tent’s marketing and display methods. Bright wonderful pictures with fancy words and a price tag to match; you could be forgiven for simply overlooking what your tents materials are made of and what their strengths and weaknesses are.
Perhaps you have noticed the smaller details on the packaging but are stimulated with excitement of a brands name that you simply forget to think critically. What is this brand of material actually made of? It sounds good, so it must be good right?
While the tent itself might be of good quality and satisfactory design there are always simple yet overlooked variables.
Tents are becoming more and more affordable, but at the cost of lighter cheaper materials. While this may be fine for the casual once or twice a year camper, it can lead to financial frustration and more stress for any beginning camping enthusiast. If you’re new to the game, then you want to avoid making such mistakes and buy the right tent for your geographical location, temperature range and weather patterns. No one can predict the weather 100% but if you are camping in your home land, you, more than anyone else can predict and make accurate weather considerations for your adventures.
For a small review on the four major tent materials comparing their strengths and weaknesses please see other post (Tent Material Comparison, tentsforcouples.com.)
Once you have figured out what type of material best suits your needs, have a look below to decipher the tent material’s brand names. All of these brand names sound amazing, but may not inform you of the fabric etc.
Outwell Outex 100% Ripstop Cotton
Outwell Outexx 100% Riptop Cotton is a special brand of cotton created by Outwell. It features cotton with specially designed weaves to reduce teaaring. The added strength also allows Outwell to use a thinner cotton material allowing for a lighter tent.
Colman WeatherTec System-
Leak free seams- Fully taped rainfly seams covering doors and windows with Velcro attachments.
Weather Resistant Fabric- Polyester coated fabric with anti-wicking, webbing, thread and zippers.
Protected Seams- Inverted floor seams hiding internal needle holes from the elements.
Waterproof Floors- Strengthened floor joints which also eliminate stitch holes.
Zipper Protection- Added zipper cuffs providing element protection.
Wind Strong Frame- Wind responsive triangular frame to increase performance.
Kampa WeahterShield is the name which Kampa has given to the water resistant coating applied to their polyester tents. The product is available in a wide range of hydrostatic head (level of water resistance) levels.
Hydromfilm is a type of polyester ground sheet with a high hydrostatic water resistance used in Jack Wolfskin tents and camping products.
Outwell Outex 3000, 4000 etc
Outex is the brand name Outwell have given their polyester water resistant fabric. The hydrostatic Head (3000, 4000 etc.) refers to the different level of applied water resistant coating and hence the differnt level of water resistant properties the polyester product has before water is able to leak through.
Outwell Taslon is considered the premium polyester product of Outwell tents. Though it is polyester, it features an exterior weave which gives the visual impression of cotton. The material is often treated with Outwell Outex 6000 and is claimed to tougher and longer lasting.
Robens HydroTEx HD & DP and 5000 Range
These range of Robens tent fabrics are polyester which offer different performances. The HD range typically has a higher denier level with a lower thread count, while the DP Range offers a lower denier level with a higher threadcount. Each of these properties offer a different purpose for performance. The Robens HydroTex 5000 brand name refers to the hydrostatic head which the polyester material is protected with.
Vango ProTex 70, 150 Range
The Vango ProTex fabric product is a range of polyester fabrics used for their tents. These tent fabrics usually come with a variety of Denier levels (thickness of thread). Though typically polyester on its own has a high water resistant level, there can also be an added hydrostatic head treatment added which will be displayed as (1000, 3000, etc.)
Robens HydroTex LT
Robens HydroTex is a nylon flysheet with a Ripstop silicon external coating and a polyurethane internal coating. Typically available in a variety of Deniers (thickness of tread) often displaced as; 40D, 50D etc.
Airtex is the name Outwell have given to the water treatment applied to thier poly-cotton fabrics used for tents. The treatment is claimed to allow water droplets to roll off of the tent material more easily. Also more commonly known as water beading.
Robens HydroTex Polycoton
Robens HydroTex Polycotton is the brand name Robens have given to their polycotton tent fabric range; it is usually a mix of 65% cotton and 35% polyester. This mixture of fabrics provides higher ventilation insulation and water resistance. The fabric often comes with a lighter water resistance coating because of the higher water resistant properties naturally found in cotton.
Vango Protex Cotton
Like many other polycotton designs, Vango Protex Cotton is a mix of cotton and polyester, which allows for the pros of both cotton and polyester and typically less cons associated with each material if it were used by itself. It also typically comes with a light water resistant application.
Clarity = Peace of Mind
I can’t think of anything worse than having your camping trip, which took time to plan and money saved and spent to happen, being ruined by something as simple as not buying the correct tent for your trip. I made the mistake of buying a cheap tent once at the beginning of my adventures. I figured I would only use it once and so it would serve its purpose. Unfortunately though it was pretty good in terms of water resistance it was uncomfortably hot during the day and regretfully cold at night. To be fair, it held up pretty good in a mild shower/storm but even the slightest wind would result in it flapping about loudly. It was a real nightmare for me, as I sleep lightly and will wake up to the slightest noise.
I hope by sharing my experiences and what I’ve learned, you can all avoid such silly errors and make well suited informative purchases for your own adventures. If you find yourself confused about Denier, thread count and hydrostatic head. please head on over to (insert post) where I have made a small comprehensive post regarding their meaning and tents performance.
Feel free to leave a omment of your own adventures, mistakes and solutions.
Help me help you. If you know of any tent fabric brands I’ve left out, please leave a comment below and I will update this review.
As always, stay safe and make some great memories =)