Waterproof Tents: The Best Waterproof Tents Made Without Harmful Flame Retardants [2022]

A fun camping trip can quickly turn into a nightmare if it begins to rain and your tent starts to leak. This is why it’s important to buy a tent with a waterproof rating of at least 1,000mm.
North Face Assault Waterproof Tent

If  you’re planning on camping outdoors where rainy or snowy weather is a possibility, having a high-quality waterproof tent is essential to a successful trip.

A waterproof tent will stay completely dry inside and create a sealed environment impervious to moisture and dampness. 

How are tents rated waterproof?

Waterproof tent ratings are calculated by measuring the amount of water that can stand on fabric before it permeates the surface. Waterproof tents are usually constructed from water-resistant materials like polyester or nylon, and also include a rainfly for maximum protection.

In addition, waterproof tents have fully sealed seams, protected vents and bathtub shaped floors to ensure that the elements cannot sneak inside your watertight environment.

These waterproof tents are also made without flame retardant chemicals. Flame retardants can cause major health problems, including liver and kidney cancers, respiratory failure and reproductive problems.

A List of the Best Waterproof Tents Without Toxic Flame Retardants

BEST OVERALL WATERPROOF TENT

Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Tent

Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Waterproof Tent

Spacious, all-weather tent with one of the highest waterproof ratings on the market.

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FEATURES

Design: Freestanding

Rated 10,000mm waterproof

Capacity: 4 Person

Seasons: 4

Doors: 2

Vestibules: 2

Poles: 5

Peak Height: 50 inches

Floor Dimensions: 96 x 94 inches

Vestibule Area: 16 square feet

Minimum Trail Weight: 11 pounds, 7.5 ounces

Packed Size: 9 x 28 inches

Material: Nylon taffeta

PROS

Designed to withstand severe rain and wind

Direct connections at each guyout point creates extra stability between the tent body, frame and rainfly

Watertight shelter is created with a fully taped fly, taped seams, welded corners and welded guy clip anchors

DAC Featherlite® aluminum poles are coated using technology that reduces dangerous chemicals

Bathtub-style nylon floor keeps the foundation dry

Internal tension shelves

Mesh storage pockets

Removable vestibule storage area

Internal guylines for extra stability

CONS

Heavy weight makes this tent difficult for backpacking or hiking

Inadequate ventilation when the doors are closed

BEST WATERPROOF TENT FOR WIND RESISTANCE

Big Agnes Battle Mountain 3 Tent

Big Agnes Battle Mountain Waterproof Tent, 4-Season Tent

Optimized for high-altitude trips and constructed from Domenico ripstop fabric to provide exceptional storm protection.

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FEATURES

Design: Freestanding

Rated 1200mm waterproof

Capacity: 3 Person

Seasons: 4

Doors: 2

Vestibules: 2

Poles: 3

Peak Height: 44 inches

Floor Dimensions: 86 x 88 inches

Vestibule Area: 13 + 6 square feet

Minimum Trail Weight: 7 pounds, 15 ounces

Packed Size: 22 x 8 inches

Material: Dominico undyed ripstop polyester / nylon ripstop

PROS

All seams are waterproof and taped with PVC-, and VOC-free polyurethane tape

Dominico® ripstop polyester fabric provides exceptional rip resistance in heavy storms and UV resistance in hot weather

Dual-zipper doors

Windows with mesh ventilation provide superior airflow and minimal condensation

Fully close-able fly vents

DAC NSL aluminum tent poles

Color-coded hub pole design for easy setup

Vestibule zippers with storm flaps

High/low internal guylines

Gear loft

CONS

BEST VENTILATION IN A WATERPROOF TENT

The North Face Assault 3 FUTURELIGHT™ Tent

North Face Assault Waterproof Tent

Designed for high altitudes and severe weather, the North Face Assault tent is constructed to create an airtight space, with a breathable 3-layer fabric to keep airflow moving inside the tent.

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FEATURES

Design: Freestanding

1500 mm shell / 3000 mm floor waterproof rating

Capacity: 3 Person

Seasons: 4

Doors: 1

Vestibules: 1

Poles: 4

Peak Height: 43 inches

Floor Dimensions: 60 x 90 inches

Vestibule Area: 14.5 square feet

Minimum Trail Weight: 6 pounds, 5 ounces

Packed Size: 8 x 23 inches

Material: Nylon

PROS

Waterproof, breathable laminate, 3-layer nylon constructed from recycled materials

Designed to decrease condensation accumulation in humid environments

X-tent structure for easy setup

Backdoor escape hatch

Detachable vestibule

Two top vents

DAC Featherlite NSL tent poles

CONS

1 door

Does not have rainfly

BEST LIGHTWEIGHT WATERPROOF TENT

REI Co-op Arete ASL 2 Tent

REI Co-op Arete Waterproof Tent

One of the most lightweight, waterproof tents on the market, designed to handle all 4 seasons.

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FEATURES

Design: Freestanding

Capacity: 2 Person

Seasons: 4

Doors: 1

Vestibules: 1

Poles: 4

Peak Height: 43 inches

Floor Dimensions: 88 x 57 inches

Vestibule Area: 8.7 square feet

Minimum Trail Weight: 5 pounds, 10 ounces

Packed Size: 6 x 6 x 20 inches

Material: Nylon taffeta floor / Nylon ripstop rainfly

PROS

Eco-friendly solution-dyed mesh that meets bluesign criteria to reduce harmful chemicals

4-pole design increases structural stability and interior space

No-wick welded construction prevents moisture from leaking through vulnerable areas

Larger than average interior space for the weight

Adjustable vents creates cross-flow air circulation

Color-coded, Dead End pole sleeves

Fully close-able inner tent

Corner and roof storage compartments

Reflective guylines included

CONS

Small vestibule

1 door

Footprint not included

What is the highest waterproof rating for tents?

Waterproof ratings for tents are typically measured in millimeters and range from 1,000mm (the lowest level designated waterproof) to 10,000mm. The higher the grade, the stronger the tent waterproof protection. Ratings are calculated using a hydrostatic head test. However, waterproof ratings do not include the impact of wind-driven rain.

What is the Hydrostatic Head (HH) rating?

Hydrostatic Head (HH) is a method for assessing the waterproofness of a material. The final measurement in millimeters corresponds to the height of a column of water that would need to stand on the material before the water could permeate the fabric. Other factors such as wind resistance and the shape of the tent also impacts the fabric’s waterproofness.

How waterproof is a >1000mm hydrostatic head?

HH ratings of 1000mm and less means that the fabric is water resistant, but not waterproof. Tents with this rating can withstand light rain for a short period of time, but will start to leak with prolonged exposure.

How waterproof is a 1000mm to 1500mm hydrostatic head?

HH ratings of 1000mm to 1500mm certifies that the fabric is waterproof and can handle light to moderate rain without moisture penetration.

How waterproof is a 1500mm to 5000mm hydrostatic head?

HH ratings of 1500mm to 5000mm means that the fabric is waterproof and will withstand moderate to heavy rain without leaking.

Do tents lose their waterproofing?

Mud and dirt can break down the water-repellent coating on the tent fabric over time and with repeated use. As the water repellency decreases, water will soak into the tent fabric instead of running off.

For this reason, it is recommended to periodically “reproof” the tent fabric using a solution like Nikwax Tent and Gear Solarproof Waterproof Spray. Nikwax products help extend the water repellency of your tent, is water-based and biodegradable, and does not contain toxic fluorocarbons or VOCs.

How long does a tent stay waterproof?

As a general guideline, you should be able to get away with waterproofing your tent once every two years. This is based on the expectation that you will use the tent for two to three weeks every year.

How often should you “reproof” a tent?

If you use your tent for an average of two to three weeks each year, it should be reproofed every two to three years to preserve its waterproof rating. You may alternatively wait until the tent begins to leak before reproofing it.

How do you keep a tent dry in the rain?

Your tent shell should be constructed with waterproof rated materials, and a wide, waterproof ground tarp or footprint should be placed below as a barrier to prevent moisture from the ground from seeping inside. The tent should also have a waterproof rain fly or rain barrier in order to create a completely watertight environment. If possible, place the tent at the highest point of a slope or hill, so that water can drain away.

If you like this article, check out our other non toxic tent guides:

Kristina M.

Kristina M.

Providing shopping recommendations for organic, sustainable, and eco-friendly products.

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