View Full Version : Tent Seam Tape Lifespan?

06-27-2015, 17:14
I'm curious what anyone's experience has been with how long seam tape on a commercial PU lined tent lasts. I have a Sierra Designs Flashlight 1 and I'm just over 3 months into my AT thru. While it's not leaking yet there are little white spots appearing on most of the floor seams where the tape is starting to pull away from the fabric. The tent was almost new when I started and I don't make a habit of staying in shelters or hotels so it has at least 80 nights of nearly consecutive service. Does that seem earlier than normal or about what I should expect out of a tent that's being ridden hard and sometimes put away wet? I've never used a tent this much so I have no idea if I would be justified in expecting any support from the company.

06-27-2015, 17:25
Delamination shouldn't be occurring so soon, in my opinion but I haven't seen the circumstances you have been experiencing.

Putting it away wet can be tough on one - do you pull it out later in the day and yardsale it or just leave it stowed until the next time you need to use it?

You could contact Sierra Designs and ask them: http://www.sierradesigns.com/images/SD_Repair_Request_Form_2015.pdf


06-27-2015, 18:46
I could not give you a figure but it happens.
The typical advice from tent companies, when the tape starts bubbling/peeling , is simply to peel it off, scrub away the residue and get a tube of Seam Grip and seal the seams up.
Takes an hour or so and mostly will work for the life of the tent.

06-27-2015, 18:55
Walkintom I often carry it wet through the day, but since I tent almost every night it is rarely stuffed away wet for more than one day. Except a certain national park in North Carolina where it was just soaked all the time for five days...

Franco thanks for the product suggestion, I thought no liquid sealer existed for PU coated tents and they were basically done for once the tape failed but apparently I was wrong!

06-27-2015, 19:01
You can also make your own seam seal if you can't find a tube.

I was going to type it all out but I googled and Six Moon Designs has DIY instructions already on their website.

I seam seal my own tents using this method and it does fine.


06-28-2015, 19:30
If a tent is seam taped , the fabric has a PU coating. (apart from Cuben tents and a few other exceptions, not including that Sierra Design))
The silicone DIY or Sil Grip (McNett) is made for siliconised fabrics.
With PU coated fabrics a polyurethane glue works better, Seam Grip is a slightly diluted version that comes with an applicator and so it is a bit easier to use than the standard polyurethane version found at hardware stores.
I find Seam Grip still a bit too solid (I prefer to have the glue penetrating inside the stitching not on top) but it is a bit messy to dilute it.
McNett sells a product called Cotol 240 to dilute either Seam Grip or Aquaseal which is a less diluted version of Seam Grip.
You can also use toluene if you happen to have some.

06-28-2015, 21:07
As consumers I think we expect much to much from some of the products we buy. Seam tape is an imperfect mechanical thing with many variables involved when applying, surface prep, humidity, installation, we can't hold a manufacturer responsible for such conditions after we've sat on it, ground our elbows in it, waded it up night after night and stuffed it in a sack, maybe even spilled a hot cup of coffee on it...can we? O'coarse there is always the "bad run" of tape, never know, maybe they will throw ya a bone.

06-28-2015, 22:59
Seam Grip was working long before taped seams came along. It's still working.


Sent from somewhere around here.