REI tent fly cover soaked all the way through & logo ink bleeding down fabric!
I've had my REI Half Dome 4 Plus tent for about three years and have used it about five times in sunny, clear weather. I've taken very good care of it over the years. After every trip, regardless of humidity during my trip, I open it back up in the garage for half a day and let it air out before packing it up for storage in a plastic bin.
This past weekend was the first time it rained only at night for the two days I was camping. It was a light, steady drizzle with no wind. The first morning, I noticed that the maroon REI logo printed on the sides of the light gray fly cover were starting to bleed. It was dry during the day and the cover had time to dry (not completely but mostly) so that evening when it started to drizzle again I figured I would be dry despite the strange bleeding of the ink. The next morning, I woke up to dripping water in about five places inside the tent, and the fly cover was completely soaked through. I quickly packed up the things inside the tent so they wouldn't get too wet, and noticed that the underside of the fly cover was very slimy and slick to the touch, leaving almost a soapy residue on my hands and on the tent poles it had been resting on. It didn't smell like anything. The REI logos had bled even more, making the tent look like some kind of horror movie scenario.
In terms of the steps I took in setting up the tent, I used a tarp underneath it, staked the fly cover out so there was ventilation from the sides, and kept all of the top vents open the whole time. There didn't seem to be any leaking from the vents. The rain was steady but definitely on the light side, and very little wind.
Anyone know what could be going on? The sliminess of the underside of the tent is concerning. I've never washed or soaked the fly cover before. Unfortunately, since this tent is no longer being made, I can't get a replacement fly cover so it looks like I'm going to have to camp in my horror movie tent with the bleeding logos.
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very odd indeed, the half dome has the rep of being 'bomb proof' so to say.
If it was me, and I still wanted to use it, I'd spray it down with water (the fly) in the backyard to wash it more or less, let it dry in the sun, then set it up as a tent, then spray it to see if it's still leaking, and where.
at that point, all you can do is re-seal it real good, re-spray with water, and hope for the best.
re-sealing may be a 2 step process...brushing the seams with a home made silicon slurry, then spraying the body with an of-the-shelf tent water proofing product (walmart)
imo, it's possible to re-seal an old rain fly, if you're willing to cover the entire fly, but you should take it out and test it before using it, the sealant will rub/come off eventually.
here's my rei quarter dome T2 in iceland in 2019, the tent's got to be going on 10yrs + and was leaking, but, I sealed it up for this trip and it held up perfectly in driving rain. It's a bit on the heavy side, but I was told I needed a 'stand alone ' tent for setting up snow (July)