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OBI Camping & Leisure

Condensation - Why and How to Minimize

If you have been unlucky enough to find water in your tent the good news is that it is very unlikely that your tent has leaked. The tents we sell are made to the highest specification, using quality materials and components. BUT Most Modern tents are made from Polyester to give a lightweight, waterproof tent or Awning.

Polyester is 100% waterproof, The fabric cannot leak,but because it is man-made it also cannot breathe like a Cotton or Polycotton fabric.

It will therefore suffer from condensation. The feature below is taken from Vango, but applies to all  tents. & awnings. 

Where has all the water in my tent come from?

1 person can produce up to 1 pint of condensation per night. 5 people in a tent equals a potential 5 pints of water. Other sources of moisture include wet shoes, clothes, dogs, cooking, even the air itself.

What causes condensation to form in a tent?

Air temperature in the tent can become warm and humid from people, heaters and a lack of ventilation. When the warm air inside the tent hits the relatively cool fabric of the tent, the moist air condenses into liquid form.

Do all tents suffer from condensation?

In certain weather conditions, the design of any tent can be overwhelmed by moisture. If it is a cold night and there is no breeze to circulate the warm, moist air out of the tent, it could be difficult to prevent condensation.


The air held within the beams of a Vango AirBeam tent, circulates within the beams. If the outside temperature is much cooler than that inside the tent, then the cooling of the air in the beams is quite quick. The warm, humid air inside the tent then condensates onto the area of the beams inside the tent. This moisture can then appear as water droplets on the AirBeams and in some cases create pools of water at the base of the AirBeams. If the prevailing conditions are particularly prone to condensation, remove items from around the base of beams.

What weather conditions can make condensation worse?

Condensation can be made worse when the air outside the tent is significantly cooler than inside, especially after a warm, humid day.

Rainy conditions can also increase the chances of condensation occurring, often leading to the appearance of a leaking tent. Rain water on the outside of the tent, or rain water evaporating off of the outer surface of the tent causes the temperature of the fabric to decrease, leading to more rapid condensation as the air inside the tent comes into contact with it.

My tent is wet from condensation, what should I do?

Wiping the walls with a towel or cloth is a good way to remove condensation from the surface and stop any drips. Avoid anything touching the side of Polycotton tents as this can cause water to seep through.

 If you are staying in one location, remove all wet items from the tent and dry them so that they don’t create more moisture the next night. Dry and ventilate your tent as best as you can.

 Tents can be slow to dry on cold mornings. If you are trekking, you may wish to pack your tent and dry it out properly in the midday sun.

How can you prevent condensation in your tent?

Here are our top tips for a dry night! 

  • Ventilate!
  • Store wet stuff outside
  • Don’t touch the sides
  • Never cook inside
  • Turn Electric Heaters Off (You should NOT be Using Gas or Oil heaters in a Tent)
  • Pitch in a spot that gets a natural breeze
  • Don’t pitch too close to water