Polyester vs. Nylon Tent Fly

11:27 p.m. on June 1, 2009 (EDT)
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Do you perfer Polyester or Nylon fabric for a Tent Fly and why? To keep things fair, let's say the fabric is of similar weight.

2:49 a.m. on June 2, 2009 (EDT)
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649 forum posts

Aren't bot materials more or less the same ?

12:58 p.m. on June 2, 2009 (EDT)
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6,010 forum posts

The big difference is that polyester flies are far more resistant to UV damage than nylon. If you are going to be pitching the tent where it will see a lot of sunlight (for example, anywhere outdoors except in a tropical jungle under the foliage) or especially at altitude where the UV is more intense, your tent fly will last significantly longer. Those of us who camp above tree line pick polyester flies where possible, which is pretty easy since most high quality expedition tents are made only with polyester flies these days.

In my experience, I have found that the first thing to fail on tents has been the fly. Nylon flies fade severely within a hundred or so days of sun exposure (which for me means a couple of years of use).

10:27 a.m. on June 4, 2009 (EDT)
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polyester flies will also not stretch as much as nylon.

this happens more so in rope or cordage. nylon will soak up more water and stretch more than dacron polyester will. dacron will keep your tent tighter than nylon especially in the rain.

it was the nylon on my old gerry sleeping bag that finally gave up not the down. my new sleeping bag has a dacron polyester cover.

June 22, 2018
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