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6/27/2018 3:43 pm  #1

Seam Sealer

Hi all - I picked up a Eureka Bella Coola 4 early in the New Year, the price was right, and it will make a great family tent!

Does anyone seal the seams on their new tents?  If so, can you recommend a product?  I have had a MEC Tarn 3 for 17 years.  When I first bought it, we'd get drips from several spots and so I seam sealed it with "SeamGrip", which has worked amazingly well, as 14 years later, I still don't have any leaks!  The downside is that there are some pretty ugly looking silicone lines along the seams.  I am willing to fo this to our new tent in order to stay dry, but if there was a new or alternative product, I'd like to hear about it and your opinions on the matter.



8/03/2018 4:07 pm  #2

Re: Seam Sealer

I just had basically the same question you did and searched the forum - that's how I found your message.  I am looking at sealing a couple of tents, and am looking at two products.  One is Kenyon, the other is Gear Aid, they sell several products, one of which has kind of a magic-marker tip that sounds like it can be a little tricky to apply.  I think I am going to try the Kenyon product.  Reviews indicate that people have had success with it, and that it goes on pretty easily.  I don't know if that helps you or not at this point.


8/03/2018 6:53 pm  #3

Re: Seam Sealer

There are those here that will disagree with me but I do not seam seal my equipment (especially new equipment) unless it gives me a problem. If a tent or tarp should start to leak on a trip, well, I'm usually able to improvise a solution until I get back home or until the weather improves enough for me to do a field repair. Consider it a part of the adventure!


8/04/2018 9:55 pm  #4

Re: Seam Sealer

Bought my last eureka 4 person tent in the 90s. Did not seam seal it. Can’t even count the number of Algonquin trips with it. Still not seam sealed. Still does not leak. I hit it once with a spray more as a preventative maintenance than any thing else.   Bomb proof. Mine has fibre glass poles. Wish they were aluminum. I was unfamiliar with the Bella line. Now jealous. Mine is close to 15 pounds I bet. Yours 8 and change. Looks awesome.


8/07/2018 9:37 am  #5

Re: Seam Sealer

I didn't even know this was a thing! I've never seam sealed anything. We do keep some tenacious tape and some aqua seal in our repair kit. The tenacious tape has had more use on our hammock and the aqua seal is more for the boat but can be used on other things. 

We've never had a tent fail. We have a 10 year old MEC Wanderer and a 5 yr old REI Quarter Dome. 


8/07/2018 10:54 am  #6

Re: Seam Sealer

On old canvas tent's we used a candle, rubbing the seams where the sewing needle left a small opening.  Haven't had that issue since the newer materials that are in existence now.  I agree with AlgonquinTripper and bring a small candle for fire starter and sealing if necessary.


8/07/2018 5:09 pm  #7

Re: Seam Sealer

I do this to tents and tarps that are not seam taped. Or when the tape is failing. It works. No need for brand name stuff. It works on silnylon or polyester fabric.You could take the time to make it look nice but I just slop it on with a foam brush and wipe of the excess with a paper towel. 

If it is the fabric itself that is leaking and not the seams there is not much you can do. You can spray it with a waterproofer or wash a waterproofer in. But these are temporary fixes that will wear off (at the worst time possible). If that is the case, might be time for a new tent.


8/07/2018 5:13 pm  #8

Re: Seam Sealer

Also,  I think all Eureka tents have taped seams. So, there shouldn't be a need for seam seal. Unless, you are a belt and suspenders kind of person.


8/08/2018 12:36 pm  #9

Re: Seam Sealer

Thanks everybody for your responses, much appreciated.  I have never seam sealed a tent, and I guess I'm not alone.  I do have some Kenyon stuff on the way, but I don't think I'm going to go out of my way to worry about it between now and our trip.

Doug - I have color pictures of me dripping wax to seal my tent.  Here's how my trip report would go: "...and in two seconds the tent was gone, so I spent the next few nights sleeping under the stars."

Martin - Belt?  Never.  Suspenders?  Heck yeah!   


8/08/2018 1:59 pm  #10

Re: Seam Sealer

Good info here, thanks everyone.

Incidentally, we stayed in the Bella Coola 4 for the first time during our week long trip the week of July 23rd (Mink Lake - Great sites!).  It rained pretty good late in the afternoon/early evening, through most of the night and the tent was leak free.  That said, the ventilation could be improved...just a heads up for those on the hunt for a new tent.   The tent is very hot and stuffy if the air is relatively still...even in the evening.

     Thread Starter

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