If you’re in a rush, go for the GEAR Seam Grip. In my opinion, it’s the best tent seam sealer available today.
Getting a new tent is always a fun experience, but there are times when you may find your latest shelter leaking at the seams. That’s when you need a tent seam sealer. These magical tubes will prevent any moisture from getting in, like a burly bouncer at a club.
Of course, picking the right one is easier said than done. However, today I’ll show you the ropes on how to choose the right tent seam sealer for you.
Let’s get right into it!
Table of Contents
Best Tent Seam Sealer: Our Top Recommendations
- GEAR AID Seam Grip Plus Water-Proofer (Best Seam Sealer Overall)
- GEAR AID Seam Grip Plus Silicone (Best For Ultralight Backpackers)
- Coleman Seam Sealer (Best Budget Tent Seam Sealer)
- GEAR AID Fast Cure Seam Sealant (Fastest Acting Tent Seam Sealer)
- Texsport Polyurethane Waterproof Seam Sealer (Best Premium Seam Sealer)
GEAR AID – Seam Grip Plus Water-Proofer
First of all, it’s made by GEAR AID, so that’s already a big plus. All of their products (from boot cleaner to reflective tape) are top-notch.
What I really like about this particular sealer is the level of versatility that it brings to the table. It can bond permanently to a wide variety of fabrics, including vinyl, canvas, polyester, and nylon.
Over the years, I’ve used it to repair various camping paraphernalia. This includes my prized lightspeed air mattress, among other things.
I’ve also used it to patch up various tents, awnings, and even tarps. Whether you’re trying to seal a seam or just repair a hole, it’s definitely up for the job. It dries overnight and then forms a permanent, waterproof rubber seal that will flex with your fabric rather than peeling or cracking.
It’s also quite cost-effective. A single tube of this sealer will seal up to 12 feet of seams. Overall, it’s tough to beat this waterproof masterpiece from GEAR AID, and I’d highly recommend you try it out for yourself.
- Works with various fabrics
- Can repair virtually any camping item
- Overnight drying
- Waterproofs your seams as well
- Comes with two applicator brushes
- Doesn’t peel or crack
- 12 feet of sealing per tube
- Manufactured by GEAR AID, a seriously reputable brand
- It might be tricky to apply. Make sure you read the instructions first, so you don’t waste any precious sealant.
Best for: campers who want top-of-the-line waterproofing that’s suitable for various materials.
GEAR AID – Seam Grip Plus Silicone
This silicone sealant is a bit more affordable, even though it’s larger in volume. This makes it a smart option for those who need to seal a few seams while on a tight budget.
The Silicone in the name refers to the silicon element added to this sealer. Like the previous sealer, this provides a waterproof seal. It’ll also flex your gear thanks to its superior elasticity. Seeing as it’s made by GEAR AID, you can be sure that it won’t peel.
The difference is that this sealant is a bit lighter than the first sealant. So, it might be better for ultralight backpackers who want to save some ounces.
This sealer is ideal to use on backpacks, rainwear, tarps, tents, or any shelters that are silicone-treated. I’ve used this particular sealer on quite a few pieces of gear. I can definitely confirm that it’s highly effective at keeping the water out, even under stormy conditions.
On top of that, this material will endure even the hottest heat or the coolest cold.
That being said, if you need to remove it, you can do so using mineral spirits (more commonly referred to as paint thinner). This allows you to remove your seam sealer so that you can re-apply a fresh coat.
- More affordable than Seam Grip Plus Waterproofer
- Elastic composition
- Ideal for sealing silicone-treated items
- Endures extreme weather
- Easily removed with paint thinner
- Doesn’t peel or crack
- Manufactured by GEAR AID
- It only comes with one tube, so you might want to pick up another one for backup.
Best for: campers trying to seal silicone-treated items or those who want a lightweight seal.
Coleman – Seam Sealer
Coleman has a reputation of offering more for less, and that reputation continues with this product. This sealer provides twice as much product as the others for the same low price.
One of the great things about the Coleman seam sealer is the fact that it can dry in an hour (according to them). That being said, it will be a bit sticky at that point, so it’s best to leave it out for another four to eight hours for good measure. I recommend sealing your seams the night before, then leaving your tent out (open, in the garage) for proper drying.
The downside to this product is that it’s not ideal for repairing gear. It’s much better at waterproofing items rather than patching up holes. You can’t really complain, though, since you’re looking for a seam sealer, not a repair kit.
Another tip – be sure to read the manual of your tent before applying the sealer since it will tell you to use it either on the outside or interior. Getting this information before applying the product is essential, so you don’t waste any of it.
Which reminds me, here’s a list of Coleman tents that will exceed your expectations.
- Comes with a foam applicator pad
- Definitely an affordable option
- Double the volume
- Dries in an hour
- Simple application
- Not fit for repairs
- Hard to apply under wet conditions
Best for: campers on a budget who want high-quality sealing.
GEAR AID – Fast Cure Seam Sealant
You might think that I’m a GEAR AID shill at this point, seeing as I’ve included three of their products on this list. In reality, it’s just because they’re a top manufacturer in the sealer industry — hence the extensive coverage.
While the previous two sealers by GEAR AID that we’ve covered above are top-notch, sometimes you’re in a rush and need something that will dry faster. That’s where the Fast Cure Seam Sealant comes in.
At room temperature, this sealer will cure in around two hours. That may seem like a long time, but when you look at things in the context of products drying, you’ll realize that it’s actually comparatively speedy.
Also, note that manufacturers are a little…aggressive with their dry times. With this sealant, don’t worry. It’ll be dry as a desert in a few hours.
A single bottle can seal up to 60 feet of seams, which is absolutely insane when compared to other options currently on the market. If you’re trying to seal a large (three- to four-person) tent, then this is definitely the right sealer for you.
Speaking of, I compiled a list of the tents for 4-people right here.
- Two-hour curing time
- Built-in applicator brush, so you can fix your seams on the road
- 60-foot sealing capacity per bottle
- Suitable for large tents
- Doesn’t peel or crack
- Manufactured by GEAR AID (my obvious favorite)
- It might be tricky to apply since it doesn’t have a separate applicator brush like the others.
Best for: campers who want a seam sealer to bring with them on the trail.
Texsport – Polyurethane Waterproof Seam Sealer
This seam sealer is a bit pricier than the other options I’ve covered on this list. That being said, it does have some unique benefits. The main advantage of using Texsport’s sealer is the fact that it’s both colorless and odorless (once it dries), so it’s like it isn’t even there.
The subtle nature of this product can appeal to campers who want to use a seam sealer on their gear without ruining the aesthetic. This sealer can also help your equipment stay safe from dirt, sun, and water making it as versatile as it is covert.
It’s also washable and flexible, meaning that you can do whatever you want with your gear without having to worry about any cracking or peeling.
Sadly, there’s no such thing as a perfect seam sealer. This sealer requires two coats, and each layer takes 24 hours to dry.
Obviously, campers who are working on a tight schedule will prefer the GEAR AID Fast Cure, which cures in two hours rather than two days. But, if you have the time and want a tight seal, then Texsport is definitely a viable option.
- Colorless and odorless when dry
- Protects from dirt, sun, and water
- Doesn’t peel or crack
- Takes two days to cure
Best for: campers looking for a high-end option and willing to wait two days for the curing process.
Choosing The Right Tent Seam Sealer
There are quite a few things that you need to consider when selecting a tent seam sealer. I know that it can be overwhelming, especially for beginners, to pick one of them while drowning in all the variables, so I wrote this guide to help you out.
The first thing to consider when picking out a seam sealer is what material your tent is made out of. If it’s made out of silicone-coated fabrics, then you should go for GEAR AID Seam Grip with silicone. As a silicone-based product, it’s ideally suited for the job.
If your tent is made out of cuben fiber — sometimes referred to as Dyneema — then you most likely won’t need to seal it at all. This is why researching the material of your tent is crucial before you spend hard-earned money on a sealer.
Some tent manufacturers have tested their fabrics and know which sealant works best. Check your instructions to see if there are any recommendations.
The thickness and viscosity of a sealer will vary from one product to the next. Different levels will have their own sets of pros and cons, so you should choose carefully based on your needs. Thick sealers tend to be harder to apply, but they’re more efficient at coating seams.
Likewise, thin sealers are more convenient to apply, but you’ll end up wasting some product if it runs. It’s worth noting that the thickness of a sealer isn’t static. If your sealer is too thick, then just thin it out using mineral spirits, and you’re good to go.
There are different ways to apply a seam sealer, but most of it comes down to preference. The most common type is known as paint-on — which is precisely what it sounds like. Spray cans are also available and tend to be quicker but could waste more product.
Some sealers (such as the Coleman) come with a foam applicator pad, which can make it a whole lot easier to apply everything to the seams evenly. Just pick whichever one is most aligned with your needs.
You should also take note of how much volume you’ll need by measuring the size of your tent. If you’re gonna be camping in a small tent, then a single tube should be more than enough to seal all the seams.
Obviously, larger tents will require more product. Buying in bulk can actually save you money since you may need to reseal later down the line. Go for the Gear Aid Fast Cure if you’re looking for quick-drying volume.
Of course, as with any camping gear, you should factor in the cost when you’re picking out a specific product. You don’t want to spend a ton of money on sealant if you’re not going to use it, but you also don’t want to go for a low-quality sealant that’ll fail after first use.
Buying online tends to be cheaper than going for brick-and-mortar shops since they have less overhead. Just ensure that you always put product quality above price to get the best result.
I hope that this guide has made it easier for you to make an informed decision on which tent seam sealer fits your needs best. All of these options are suitable and will last throughout your adventures.
However, if you want my expert opinion, I’d have to recommend that you go for the Seam Grip Plus Waterproofer from GEAR AID. The versatility and level of waterproofing that this sealer provides are just leaps and bounds beyond any other product.
Sure, it won’t dry as fast as some of the other options on this list, but perfection is worth waiting for. The flexible nature of the sealer ensures that it will roll with the punches rather than cracking at the first sign of motion.
It bonds to nylon, polyester, canvas, and vinyl, to name a few materials, so you won’t have to worry about compatibility when using this seam sealer. Just take note of the fact that one tube is suitable for 12 feet, so if your tent is rather large, then you may want to buy two or more.