Patti's Blog

Fabric Problems

Posted July 19, 2016, in Patti's Blog

The problem with coated fabrics is they can be affected by exposure to chemicals, heat, and humidity. The fabric starts getting sticky and gummy, and there is no way to stop this from continuing. So let me explain a little of what I have found out over the years. And how to store your tent or changing bag to prevent this from happening.

Once the material starts to get tacky, it means the coating on the fabric is breaking down. There is no way to clean it or arrest the process. We do know that certain chemicals can trigger the decomposition of the fabric- the insecticide DEET damages fabric, and we suspect there are other chemicals that can also. One customer spilled a can of Coke on his tent, and the Coke destroyed the fabric!  We are looking into the kinds of environmental chemical exposure that the tents may be exposed to,  but so far we have not been able to isolate one exact cause, and the fact that not every tent will have this problem.

We have some new recommendations for storage of our tents and bags to help keep the fabrics in top shape. These are similar to the recommendations for storing camping tents and other outdoor equipment made of fabric. We now recommend that the Tents (and Changing Bags) be stored loosely in a cardboard box when not in use for a long time. This helps the fabric ‘breathe’ and stay dry. It helps to throw some silica packets in the box, and store in an inside location where there are no big extremes of temperature. Make sure the tent is completely dry before storing it by leaving it set up overnight.

Only store in the supplied stuff sack when you are traveling.

Hope this helps. You can always contact me for further questions about storing your tent or bag.