Selecting the right product for your application is important, but getting too wrapped up in the fabric composition, coating, stretch co-efficients, hydro-static properties, weight etc. Jargon which may take longer to figure out than the actual life span of the product may not be the best time spent. We have no doubt that there is as much info on the net as you have time to research, and for the vast majority of our subscribers / guests / campers we summarise the key points below;
Cotton Canvas – the original fabric used for tents and this dates back literally hundreds of years. Cotton canvas is 100% cotton and as such creates a wonderful ‘out of Africa’ feel, it is warm in winter and cool in summer, it breathes beautifully eliminating condensation, and it is generally used for sturdy tents. But, there are some really significant disadvantages; it is expensive, it is heavy, really hard to clean, but most importantly it will rot and not before too long either. Cotton, being a natural fabric is highly susceptible to mildew as a result of a little damp and it is almost impossible to ensure that the tent is 100% dry before packing it away. Cleaning mould or mildew is also difficult and will abrade the fabric.
The long and short of it is that you should side step this option, and if you feel irresistibly drawn to it, we can create a tent based on our Pop-Up Camp safari tents using cotton canvas.
Poly-cotton Canvas – The vast majority of serious campers probably have a poly-cotton canvas tent or two and, as the name suggests, this is a fabric made from a blend of cotton and polyester, which was deemed the ideal combination of the ‘breathability’ of cotton and the durability and strength of polyester. This fabric is generally used for tent-on-frame designs; they are hardy and weather resistant including the fact they will still be standing long after nylon tents have blown away. Of late this fabric has evolved into a teflon-coated, rip-stop polyester fabric without cotton, which to the untrained eye is difficult to distinguish from poly-cotton.
Poly-cotton (or polyester) tents are generally larger than the typical nylon ‘pop-up tents’ and are ideal for larger spaces and where you anticipate a bit of inclement weather and where you are likely to be based somewhere for a week or more (these are typically the tents that we use for our crew at our pop-up camps).
Nylon Tents – The most common all-purpose domestic tents in use today are made from nylon, and mostly using carbon frames, some of which are integrated and cannot be detached from the fabric. Nylon has good water resistant qualities, is reasonably cheap, tough, light weight, and is available in a variety of colours. Nylon tents are not great in wind, and will often fold over in a storm, and they don’t breath, so expect much condensation inside the tent in the morning.
Ideal for hikers, kids and novice / casual campers.