/ Tent possible condensation?

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climbwhenready - on 01 Jan 2014
Hi,

We've bought our first tent for walking/camping/climbing trips and thought we'd give it a test before doing any real camping by rigging it in the garden for the last 24 hours (in Yorkshire, where it is raining). We didn't actually sleep in it, we just rigged it to see if it's waterproof.

This evening when we took it down it seemed that there was significant amounts of water on the inside of the fly, plus a large number of isolated beads of water on the inner. We think it is likely that this is condensation/dew, given the humidity (ie. rain), changing temperatures and general coldness - but are slightly concerned it might be a non-waterproof outer. Notably the water droplets on the inner were all over, not focussed at any point ie. it did not appear to me as if they were wicking in.

Is condensation a sensible explanation for this, and is there an easy way to test the waterproofing of the fly short of rigging it again and using a hosepipe? We just don't want to find out by getting soaked through the first time we camp in it!

Thanks a lot for any help/suggestions!
Jim C - on 01 Jan 2014
In reply to climbwhenready:

What is the tent called/ link ?



climbwhenready - on 01 Jan 2014
In reply to Jim C:

Sorry, it's a Coleman Cobra 3.
Mountain Llama on 01 Jan 2014
In reply to climbwhenready: u can get condensation forming on the inside of the fly from cooking or simply from your breath.

What was the state of the vents, where they closed, if so this would not have helped.

......but you said that you did not stay in the tent long, not sure but with poor ventilation in such damp conditions, condensation may form.

Siward on 01 Jan 2014
In reply to climbwhenready:

It sounds very much like normal tent behaviour.

If the humidity is high outside (which it is if its raining) and there is evaporation from the grass/ground (which, looking at pictures of the tent, is entirely possible) then the net result is a damp humid atmosphere which will lead to condensation. To some extent that's inevitable.

To reduce it, try putting down an impermeable footprint/groundsheet under the tent covering the whole floor area so there is no exposed grass. Also, perhaps more important, arrange vents so that there is a constant through draught. You'll need that when there are breathing humans inside!

Unlikely, however, that your new tent is simply not waterproof.
climbwhenready - on 04 Jan 2014
In reply to Siward:

Great, thanks. That's what I thought but wanted to check!
crayefish - on 04 Jan 2014
In reply to climbwhenready:

Fine on the inside of the fly... its one of the ways the double skin tents work. It's when you find wanter on the groundsheet inside the tent that you worry.

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