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Does Silnylon need retreating?

Old 12-08-22, 03:49 PM
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mtnbud
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Does Silnylon need retreating?

Tinkering around in my shop, I built a modified Turtledog tripod stand for my hammock. Because I wanted to use my full coverage silnylon rainfly, I designed the ridgepole to do double duty as the ridgeline. I had left it set up in a torrential downpour last night and discovered some water leaked through. The tarp is 3 - 5 yrs old. I was wondering if I need to retreat the silnylon tarp, or if silnylon has a problem with capillary action? If silnylon has issues with capillary action, retreating the tarp won't fix the problem. If it doesn't, I'd assume silnylon needs to be retreated every so often?

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Old 12-09-22, 08:44 AM
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I don't think direct-contact is ever a good idea with fabrics like this. A ridgeline attached via tie-off loops and carabiners is a better approach.

It seems refreshing silnylon is an ongoing topic..the BackPackingLight webpage has some good discussions:

Silnylon renew
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Old 12-09-22, 10:47 AM
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1. We have two DCF (Zpacks Duplex) and one silnylon (Big Agnes Tiger Wall) tents. DCF is more waterproof than silnylon (perhaps by a factor of 10). Yet, under heavy downpour, a DCF tent can be "misting" -- water pressure lets a fine mist through the fabric, and occasionally a drop of water. This said, we were caught in a major rainstorm this past summer and our Tiger Wall was still reasonably dry. So... if things got damp under your tarp, probably normal. If you mean that you could see small pools of water, probably not normal.

2. You can recoat. Search should return several recipes, including spraying silicone (available at most outdoors stores, meant for tents and rain gear). Should improve things, but I'd say -- do not expect perfection. In particular, my experience with rain jackets is that these treatments do not last for long.

3. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to consider a DCF tarp. Our DCF tents are still in decent shape, after hundreds of nights over the past 7 years.
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Old 12-09-22, 02:15 PM
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Thanks all. I'm thinking I should retreat it with some silicone once it's dry. I appreciate verifying the tarp in contact with the pole isn't a good idea. I know the tarp was water tight when I first bought it. Since I'll only be able to use that hammock stand when car camping, I figure it'd make sense to use a cheap Harbor Frieght HD tarp with the hammock or pitch my other tarp underneath the pole.

I'd like to use that tarp with a ridgeline when snow camping this winter, so I'll need to be sure it's water tight before I commit to using it on a trip.

I can tell from its weight it has absorbed some water. I like the coverage this tarp gives, but I'll have to resort to using a different tarp if I can't get it watertight.
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Old 12-09-22, 03:05 PM
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I know that it absorbs moisture, as it usually sags a lot when wet, then tightens up when dry again.

I have not had any leakage problem with it.

Seams might need some sealing. I have used this:
https://www.rei.com/product/705425/g...m-sealer-15-oz
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Old 12-11-22, 04:48 AM
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Never heard of any need for re-treatment. We had a Hilleberg tent and I hated the sagging issue. Going out in the night to tighten things up then with a sunny morning it seemed dangerously taut. Lucky for us it had leaky corners and we managed to get a full refund, though it was a fight with Hilleberg who insisted their tents are perfect. Nylon with silicone on one side and PU coating on the other is really the best. Though in terms of not letting water in without need of future treatment then silynlon must be the winner. So if you don't mind the sagging, happy camping with nothing much to do.
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Old 12-11-22, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by waddo View Post
Never heard of any need for re-treatment. We had a Hilleberg tent and I hated the sagging issue. Going out in the night to tighten things up then with a sunny morning it seemed dangerously taut. Lucky for us it had leaky corners and we managed to get a full refund, though it was a fight with Hilleberg who insisted their tents are perfect. Nylon with silicone on one side and PU coating on the other is really the best. Though in terms of not letting water in without need of future treatment then silynlon must be the winner. So if you don't mind the sagging, happy camping with nothing much to do.
I would rather it did not expand and sag when wet, but otherwise I am quite happy with my tent that is made with that material. I do not bother tightening it up when damp, that saves the effort of later loosening it up if I am staying in the same spot for a day. I have a couple of tents made with that material.

I have never heard of anyone wanting to return a Hillberg tent, but I have only see a few of them and the ones I saw were not in N America.
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Old 12-11-22, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
.... I like the coverage this tarp gives, but I'll have to resort to using a different tarp if I can't get it watertight.
I picked this one up at a REI scratch and dent sale. Someone apparently used a knife to open teh package, there were three slits to patch. Not silnylon. It is a Eno tarp, includes guy lines with it. I do not use a hammock, was looking to replace an old coated nylon tarp that I have used for decades that had lost half of the coating over the years. More on the tarp it at this post:
Bringing a Lightweight Tarp

Another photo of it from another trip:



No stakes were included with it, but since I got it used, I do not know if there were any before I got it. I added them myself.
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