So I have a question...

2:23 p.m. on April 21, 2010 (EDT)
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I recently acquired a brand new Alps Mountaineering Triton 2.0 tent. It is actually technically the first tent I have ever owned. That being said, I was wondering if I could just have some tips and advice on how to do basic maintenance on it. For instance, should I have to waterproof it straight out of the box? Should I have to apply any sort of waterproofing to the actual tent or just on the rainfly if at all? Is there any special kind of waterproofing sealent that is the best on tents (like a name brand)? If the seams are seam-sealed coming out of the factory, should I have to apply any sort of waterproofing to those seams out of box? Just general questions like all of these. If there was any sort of common problem you had that I missed, please feel free to let me know so I can try and troubleshoot it or avoid it.

5:27 p.m. on April 21, 2010 (EDT)
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This is really a question for the Gear Maintenance forum, since it is such a common question, even among old-timers. Read this article on Trailspace. Products change and tent construction changes. Here are some answers (NOTE: Everyone, and I really mean EVERYONE has an opinion on this).

1. Waterproofing out of the box - Current quality backpacking tents (which yours is, despite the "Mountaineering" name) either have a fly coated with a non-breathable plastic (double wall) or the single wall tents use a waterproof breathable fabric. So either way, the tent is inherently waterproof, no coating needed and no DWR treatment needed.

2. Seams - In general, seams do need to be sealed, since the holes left by the sewing needle are really holes in the fabric. There are some "welded" seam tents and garments, but not your Alps. The seams in the floor of the main body of the tent (all seams in a single-wall tent) and the seams in the fly of double wall tents should be sealed. Taping helps, but most manufacturers recommend sealing the edges of the tape. These same areas need to be re-sealed periodically, depending on use and how hard you use the tent. With tape, you reseal when the edges of the tape start to loosen.

Note - a big controversy is whether to seal from the inside or outside. I have done both and found no difference from the waterproofing standpoint, except that sealing from the outside leaves areas that seem to attract dirt, hence look like ugly dirty stripes on the tent. But it doesn't happen for the tents I use only in the snow or on glaciers.

By the way, seam sealing does nothing for condensation, which is actually a bigger problem.

3. Products - There are several good products out there. I use whatever came with the tent, if I can remember what it was when resealing. Otherwise I use SeamSeal.. Others like SeamGrip for non-silicon-coated fabrics or SilNet for silicon-coated fabrics, both by McNett. There are a couple others as well.

Read the article linked above for more detail.

9:57 a.m. on April 22, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks Bill, I figured it was somewhat of a Beginner question so I put it in that forum, I apologize and will be sure to redirect any gear maintenance questions over here. I really appreciate the article and advice. I think I'll go buy some seam sealent now!

1:59 p.m. on May 16, 2010 (EDT)
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I have an old Kelty external backpack(15 yrs old) , does anyone have a clue on where i can go on the net to find replacement parts ?


Thanks


Bob

10:43 p.m. on May 17, 2010 (EDT)
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I have an old Kelty external backpack(15 yrs old) , does anyone have a clue on where i can go on the net to find replacement parts ?

Kelty will service old packs. I recently factory ordered shoulder and waist straps for a pack I had since the mid 1970s.
Ed

September 21, 2014
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