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Types of Tent Fabrics and their Pros and Cons


While looking for a suitable tent, one is required to consider multiple factors. One of the most pertinent factors is related to the material of the tent itself. Most of us are familiar with the idea of tents, but we are grossly unaware of what they are made of. Thus in this article, we will serve as a comprehensive guide. This guide shall aid the buyer in identifying the pros, cons, and best uses of different tent fabrics. Furthermore, we will link all the suitable products to make your accessibility easier.


It is a traditional material that was immensely popular in the past. Even though many other options outweigh, a certain spark makes a camper come back to this.


  • Cotton can allow great airflow, which provides great relief in hot climates. 
  • Owing to inherent powerful insulation built-in cotton, it also keeps the inside of the tent warm during winters. 
  • It also greatly prevents condensation, leading to less humidity, making the whole experience much more hassle-free. 
  • Like most things made of Cotton, these tents are also durable.


  • Due to the thick density of it, Cotton is pretty heavy. Thus it is not ideal for long burdensome hikes. 
  • You will have to condition a brand cotton cloth before actual usage. Otherwise, it will leak. 
  • Due to high production, a cotton tent will be heavy on your pocket. 


Best usage – When you are going for a short trip where you would like to prevent condensation while also keeping the temperature of the hiking tent neutral, in that case, it does the job. 


Image from: Cloud Up 2

In the current day and age, many industries and manufacturers use polyester widely to manufacture tents. This synthetic material edges out its counterparts in the area of durability. Further, this is lightweight too. 


  • As aforementioned, the tents made up of polyester are very rugged. Thus they last long and can withstand a lot of use. 
  • The same material doesn’t weaken from the flow of sunlight, unlike its counterparts like Nylon. 
  • It is ideal for young adults and kids, as it is lightweight. Furthermore, since it is easy to carry and store, it can be used for long and burdensome trips where there is an acute shortage of space.
  • They are good for constructing ultralight tents.
  • Tents made out of Polyester are quite affordable.


  • There is a lack of air inflow. Thus it can lead to suffocation during hot days. Further, condensation can also build up owing to some reason. 
  • Owing to the lighter nature of the material when the wind picks up, polyester tents can make considerable noise. 
  • It is more durable than Nylon, but usually, it won’t be able to outlast Cotton. 


Best usage: if the buyer wants to buy an affordable tent, which is compact and lasts long, it is ideal for going on trips where the outside temperature is more or less stable. 



Image from: Illumina X Tent


You can also create this fabric material with synthetic means. Nylon tents are especially known for being lightweight. Further, they can also be cost-effective. 


  • As aforementioned, nylon is pretty light. It is so light mainly owing to the conditional properties of the Nylon Fabric. Nylon can supposedly form certain runs which may resemble nylon tights. The presence of a certain “rip-stop” thread pattern in Nylon reduces the chance of this happening. This pattern keeps the tent retaining its bulkiness while also keeping the material thin and light. 
  • Like Polyester, since these tents are lightweight, they are compact, and thus they can be used for transport.
  • There are a plethora of coating which are available for Nylon owing to which customer also has a plethora of options to choose from
  • Nylon comparatively way less expensive than other materials like Polyester and Cotton 


  • Nylon tents are susceptible to losing their respective shapes; this mainly happens when exposed to increased precipitation.
  • Sunlight and its UV rays have adverse effects on the material, which in turn shortens its lifespan
  • Some nylon coatings are quite exclusive, and at times they can be pretty expensive. 


Best usage: Primarily, a good and affordable alternative to other materials, if the buyer is looking for a compact and ultralight tent which they would like to use sporadically. 


As it is indicative of the name itself, this material is made up of a blend between Polyester and cotton. It was conceived to provide a good alternative to both of the materials.


  • Polycotton can be heavier than polyester, but it is quite lighter than cotton. Thus it allows the user to transport the same. 
  • Polycotton has some of the best cotton qualities as it is way more mildew resistant than polyester.
  • Likewise, it has a good protection layer against harmful UV rays, unlike its other synthetic counterparts. 
  • Due to having material qualities like cotton, they are also considerably quieter during windy weather. 
  • Due to cotton in the mix, the material is more rugged and resistant than other materials like Polyester and Nylon. 
  • The texture and inner odor of polycotton is also much more pleasing than other synthetic materials. 
  • There is an increased sense of insulation and breathability, which makes them ideal. 
  • The tents made of this material are also heavily resistant to condensation. 


  • Owing to the blending process, the polyester tents can be quite expensive at times. There are indeed way cheaper alternative available.
  • Like cotton-made tents, you will have to condition polycotton tents before they can be put to greater use. Otherwise, they have a tendency to leak during rainy weather. 
  • Maintain a Polycotton tent can be a cumbersome task at times, as, just like cotton, they require elaborate upkeep and maintenance.



Owing to two renowned tent materials, it is ideal for many purposes. If the buyer is planning to go to a trip nearby, where there is substantially transporting involved, these can be ideal. Further, they also counter erratic weather patterns well. These are ideal for creating a hiking tent and family tent.


What did you think about our article? We’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comment section below! Itching to go on a camping trip? Check out 3 season vs 4 season tent, or check out the most breathtaking free camping sites in Australia. Also, don’t forget to check out our store for more camping gear!

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