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Sticky coated nylon on tent

stitchagain | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

A tent that I have had for years all of a sudden has become sticky.  The bottom of the tent and the bags are all having the same problem.

Does anyone know what causes this or what I can do about it?  I believe the fabric is urethane coated nylon, it is not ripstop (the rest of the tent is ripstop and some of the red from the coated nylon has rubbed off on the beige ripstock.

The tent manufacturer is no longer around (Moss tents) or I’d ask them.


  1. BernaWeaves | | #1

    It's disintegrating.  Synthetics will do that.

    I had a faux leather camera bag that got all sticky on me after about 10 years.  It was pretty disgusting.  It was kept in airconditioning on shelf, so it's not like it was exposed to the elements or extreme heat or cold.  I threw it out and bought a Cordura nylon one that has held up much better.



  2. Teaf5 | | #2

    Rubber (urethane) dissolves over time (storage in a hot attic speeds up the process); our very, very expensive snowtent floor is sticky, too.  The last time we took it car camping (not in the snow!) I sprinkled baby powder all over it so that we could use it for the rest of the trip--it now smells good, but isn't waterproof.

    About the only solution is to replace the portions that are deteriorating, but with all the advances in tents and equipment plus the possibility of online closeout deals on new tents, it's probably cheaper to buy replacements.  Waterproof tent fabric by the yard is extremely expensive and hard to find, and then you'd have to seal all the seams.

    1. stitchagain | | #3

      Thanks for the advice.

      It is old, but a really nice tent.  A phone call to Rose City Textiles (Portland, OR) and The Rain Shed (Corvalis, OR) and also REI led to a few suggestions.

      Annette at RCT said that maybe a powdered silica lubricant that you find at hardware stores for locks might do the trick.  I ended up washing it with warm water dish soap (as per REI advice) and putting cornstarch on the sticky parts.  The tent worked great last weekend so maybe it will work OK for me for a while.






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