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Tent stickiness - does that mean it's done?

I keep my tents in good shape and use them over many years.  The last tent I retired was a North Face Mountain-25 from 20+ years ago (great tent).

I have a North Face VE-25 where the floor is sticking to it shelf and has a feel no longer smooth, but not yet tacky.  The fly and everything else is in good shape.  I have carefully cleaned the floor in the past with only mild improvement. The next rain (in a few days), I will test it for water resistance, but expect it will leak.

I think the tent is done.  Any reasonable solutions or has the material just worn out from age?

3 Replies

@OldBoot Thanks for reaching out!

As long as the material is still in good shape, i.e. not threadbare or full of holes, you might still be able to repair your tent and get even more years out of it. Check out this thread we had with another member who had the same question. If you'd like to jump right to the Expert Advice article on How to Waterproof a Tent you can do that here. There's a section in that article about how to re-seal your tent floor.

Hope this helps!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Should I seam seal first, then use spray on the tent floor?  Not sure if more modern spray products are enough.

Per the video, same product to waterproof the floor as the tarp? (i.e., SolarProof)

Should I spray on the inside of the tent floor, bottom, or both?


  • You are correct: seam seal first, then spray the tent floor.
  • There are three products at work here: 1) A seam sealant for the seams on the tent, 2) a tent fabric sealant for the inside of the tent or fly (this is the part that typically flakes off), and a DWR Treatment for the outside of the tent. 
  • You want to use the Polyurethane treatment on the inside of the tent floor and the DWR treatment on the outside.

Hope this helps!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.