What Are Different Tent Fabric?

tent fabric comparison

The first and foremost thing while purchasing anything is to have enough knowledge about that product or any equipment. Its availability in the market, price, and purpose. This way you will be able to choose the right thing.

Are you still confused about the tent selection, fabric, and quality? Not a big deal. Here you can find all the reliable information which will guide you in selecting a good product.

tent fabric comparison

What Is Denier of Fabric?

Denier is a type of unit for measuring the thickness of an individual filament or thread. The fabric having more denier count is resistant, heavy-duty, and long-lasting.

On the other hand, any fabric having less denier count is more towards the silky, smooth, soft texture. Also, it will be less hard or heavy. The higher a denier in number, the stronger it will be and prevent wear and tear.

Similarly, the weight of fabric depends on the number denier used. If you’re looking for something less transparent and more opaque then you must consider the higher ranges i-e above denier 80.

The fact is that it refers to the thickness of the fabric and the quantity of yarn used in the making of it. Each yarn will be in the same ratios explained as the number in the denier.

However, there are different labels attached to the fabric. According to common observation, it ranges between 45D to 75D in normal fabric and for tents, it can vary from 105D to 850D. The “D” is the abbreviation of denier.

For instance, a 200 denier fabric will be light in weight. In contrast to this, a 600 denier will be more durable but heavy.

what is denier of tent fabric


Common Types of Tent Fabric

A huge amount of diversification is commonly found in tent fabric. Every single one has its pros and cons. Try to find out the reason for buying as there are several varieties which can easily make the process of selection more difficult.

An essential step is to understand and compare the characteristics of different fabrics to get the best outcomes out of them according to the requirements.

Let’s talk more about the suitable kind of tent fabric. Their advantages or disadvantages according to the outdoor places, usage, and convenience.

1. Polyester

tent fabric of polyester

One of the famous fabrics used in tent making. The best thing about this fabric is that it is lightweight and high in strength.

Although in comparison with nylon, polyester is a little stretchable which makes it more stable and resistant tent fabric.

Few studies proved that polyester is much better when it comes to UV protection. Unlike nylon, which can easily become declining and is a less absorbing material.

Polyester is more stable which includes it in the list of perfect choices for fabric. Also, the number of deniers used in polyester allows one to identify its quality which confirms the non-fading of colors even in humid weather.

Polyester fabric doesn’t get heavier or shrink when it comes in contact with water. It is technically hydrophobic. They are affordable and have waterproof layers which act as water repellent too.

This is why polyester is the most promising fabric and tents made up of this material are everlasting.

Generally, 600 denier polyester fabric is good for high quality and increases durability.


1 – It is high in resistance.

2 – Easily maintained and less expensive.

3 – Gives full waterproof protection.

4 – No such stretch issues.


1 – It absorbs water.

2 – Less breathable.

3 – Low heat and UV protection.

4 – It doesn’t have more life.

Good polyester tent recommended:

2. Nylon:

tent fabric of nylon

This fabric is affordable and comes under the list of widely used in the production of three-dimensional camping tents.

Although, nylon’s strength to weight ratio is quite amazing as compared to polyester. But in most cases, nylon stretches up to the limits that put extra stress on the fabric and result in breaking it.

This happens rarely. The other drawback reported is its water absorption issues that make the fabric saggy and expands it. Polyester fabric has no such problem comparatively.

Nylon is cheap similar to polyester but it shows less waterproof properties. Moreover, the penetration of ultraviolet rays in nylon is common.

It is due to less thickness, denier, diameter, and density which do not support the overall structure. It is important to search for ripstop fabric.

If the nylon fabric is not coated with the protective coating of silicone or polyurethane, it may affect its resistance. try to make sure it doesn’t get in contact with sunlight more.

There is a possibility to find silicon-coated nylon tents a bit pricey but there is an alternative with acrylic coating as well. Otherwise, nylon is a good resistant fabric that limits the wearing or tearing of the material.

It is a highly used fabric for outdoor uses with a minimum of 40D used in making them.


1 – It is affordable and cheap.

2 – Much light weighted.

3 – Fabric is waterproof with coatings.

4 – Strong strength and breathability.


1- It is less UV protective.

2- Not considered heavy-duty in structure.

3- Stretches more in wet conditions.

4- Can be torn down after a few uses.

Good nylon tent recommended:

3. Canvas:

tent fabric of canvas

Canvas is a woven fabric. It is the best for any weather because of its ventilation properties. In the market, there is a huge amount of availability of different kinds of bags, shoes, and tents.

Even though the non-synthetic canvas is having some natural insulating properties against many outside elements like sound or other environmental problems.

But, synthetic fabric is best for both humid and snowy weather. In comparison with polyester, canvas tents tend to store more warmth in colder areas and vice versa.

One of the major issues found in canvas tent fabric is its weight which is much heavier than nylon and even polyester. However, it makes the handling procedure complicated.

Also, they are not naturally occurring as waterproof material. But weathering or coating methods will make them enough to bear rain or excess water during camping.

The chances of absorption of water are higher when it rains heavily. This is why silicon coating is the best choice for that purpose.

It is important to confirm the durability after the weathering process, which is necessary at least once before you start your trip.

This will give you the satisfaction that your canvas tent is ready for use. Make sure to check the shrinking claims before buying as it is commonly observed that canvas material does shrink depending on the quality.

Their denier ranges are different and can vary from one market to another. Try to select after discussing the further details with the vendor.


1 – It has high UV protection.

2 – More environmentally resistant.

3 – Good condensation qualities.

4 – Tough and heavy-duty material.


1 – They are expensive.

2 – It requires weathering.

3 – Also needs a lot of maintenance.

4 – It is heavy.

4. Oxford:

tent fabric of oxford

Oxford fabric is made up of a mixture of polyester, cotton, or nylon. The texture is smooth and soft which also provides good protection for camping.

Almost 300D tents are more reliable and have waterproof characteristics. Comparatively, this fabric is thicker than the other ones. As mostly, it is manufactured by mixing two different types of fabric and it does not occur naturally.

So oxford shows countless properties against heat, light, and water resistance. A process called PU (polyurethane) coating is commonly done for improvements in absorption strategies.

It is a kind of colorless internal coating. In this process, polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride coating makes the fabric finish smoother that increases its waterproof qualities and protection. The heavier the coat is, the more it takes time to seep water into the fabric.

Sometimes, even after doing the polyester urethane method, the fabric still absorbs water which creates trouble. The data collected from different researches show that PU fabrics are weaker than those without them because it slows down the slippage properties.

This affects the tearing process as the high slippage supports in making the tent fabric stronger and safe it from any further breakage.

The thickness of thread can be 210D, 240D, 300D, 600D, or above depending on the type of manufacturing and requirements.


1 – It has a longer life span.

2 – Water, heat, and dirt resistance.

3 – Easily well maintained.

4 – Rough and tough material.


1 – Tend to absorb an extra amount of water.

2 – Shows electric and static accumulation.

5. Cotton:

tent fabric of cotton

Just like canvas, cotton tent fabric has amazing ventilation characteristics. The most prominent factor that makes it different from other materials is that cotton is a good insulator.

It improves the surrounding by limiting the noises and disturbances up to some extent. Also, this tent fabric is highly recommended for those who are looking for ultimate ultraviolet protection.

Its manufacturing and synthesizing are to increase the strength for absorption. That is why cotton fabric sometimes swells and makes the tent structure less reliable.

Similarly, in canvas, the best advice given is to take precautions and go for a weathering process once. This will make the tent more long-lasting, tough, and resistant.

Other than this, cotton is one of the best choices as it is cool and maintains the overall temperature very well. Ideally, cotton is cooler than polyester.

Its disadvantages include the heavyweight and will be more space-consuming. Comparatively, cotton is more well structured than polyester.

It can handle heavy atmospheric pressure. As per different estimations, around 70D up to 150D is ideal for cotton fabric.


1- Provides good heat resistance.

2- Also,  it is highly UV protective.

3- No condensation issues.

4-  Lightweight and better in strength.


1- It requires more maintenance.

2- A little costly.

3- Needs coating to improve water resistance.

6. PVC:

tent fabric of pvc

Polyvinyl chloride is the most common yet the finest fabric for outdoor activities. The material is very versatile and waterproof.

As compared to nylon or polyester, this fabric is lighter in weight which makes it more convenient for use. In addition to other qualities, the PVC coating gives the tent the best finish.

There is no need for a weathering process like in cotton/ canvas tent fabric. This makes it more popular among all the other varieties of available tent material.

On the other hand, one drawback of polyvinyl chloride coating is the condensation issue. The waterproof layer becomes more exposed to condensation which can create problems in different weather conditions.

Currently, this fabric is becoming famous because of the material’s flexibility and life. It is one of the most manufactured types of material and widely used. PVC bubble tents are in demand.

They are perfect for camping, hiking, and different outdoor events. These inflatable bubble tents provide maximum heat resistance and protection for other environmental changes.

Not only this but they are also coated to give the ultimate 99% protection from UV radiations. In bubble tents, curtains can be easily installed for privacy and they have a longer life span.

One of the fascinating qualities is their safety and strength which is stronger than the glass. Also, the bubble tents are transparent, having amazing air-conditioned options.

Its designs are highly modified ones that offer comfort as well. However, the ranges of denier vary from 100D to 1100D mostly.


1 – It is heat and UV-resistant.

2 – Stronger and more durable.

3 – Also, a good waterproof fabric.

4 – An economical and pocket-friendly.


1 – PVC is heavier in weight.

2 – It takes up so much space.


What Tent Fabric Provides Better UV Protection?

what tent fabric provides good uv protection

According to different observations, experiments, and research that took place in the past, not every material is reliable.

Especially for those places which have direct exposure to sunlight. PVC and cotton/canvas tent are highly suitable.

They are much better than polyester, nylon, and other types of fabric available. The insulating properties of cotton fabric are outstanding which acts as a barrier for outdoor noises.

Also, it is a good insulator that does not support condensation. The same conditions and rules are applicable for the canvas fabric as well.

Although, polyvinyl chloride tents also provide the best UV protection they have slight issues with condensation. That is why experts always suggest the coated PVC ones or cotton fabric.

Apart from UV light, they are good, durable, and strong enough which maintain the structure properly. Nylon and polyester both are not a good option when seeking a material which gives high ultraviolet rays resistance and protection.

They can be easily weakened by getting in direct contact with the sun after some time. It is better to purchase PVC or cotton/canvas tent fabric because they are the best ones until now for showing protection against sunlight and rays.

These tent materials are long-lasting with the guaranteed safety from harmful UV rays.



The right tent selection process can be very difficult for people who are unaware of the material details. It is good to collect information from different platforms and research everything from strength to UV and waterproof qualities of the fabric.