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Seam Sealing tape vs Seam Sealant


I have a much loved and well used Nylon Frame tent.

Bless it finally it is leaking from the factory applied seam tape which is puckering in places.

So I am wanting to make good. From what I have learnt everyone talks of using the gloopy stuff Seam sealant from a tube, which take a good 24 hours to cure and attitional faffing around with applying talc.

My hesitation with using this method is the additional wet weather and literally no window to get the job done.

I have come accross Seam Sealing Tape which is 2 layer applied hot melt using an iron. The seller informs me it is suitable for Nylon as long as I clean it beforehand. Also I can buy a whole 20m which is what I guess I will need..

So I am wandering if you could help, there seems to be no mention of people using tape on my google searches. Has anyone used and had experience in using this repair method?

If viable it seems that I could work with tape indoors regardless of the weather and have an instantly usable waterproof seam. 

As it is heat applied would it survive hot sunny days or would it start to peel?

I was thinking of removing most of the pealing old seam tape, but not forcing any stuck fast tape and cleaning the area with rubbing alcohol.

Then when all the seams are done finally applying the entire tent with a suitable waterproof coating. What do you think?

All help is greatly appreciated


I have used both approaches, but usually use seam seal from a tube, most commonly glueing the tape back on. I keep an open area in the garage (roughly "one car space") for the purpose of tent and other outdoor gear maintenance. You might not have that space available. I do not recommend replacing seam seal fluid inside your house (almost impossible to avoid some drips onto the carpet, even if you spread plastic drop sheets on the floor).

Unless you are highly skilled and have practiced with with the iron-on method, I do not recommend this to any but the highly trained and skilled. It is way too hard to judge the appropriate heat setting and how to move the iron if this is your first try (or 5th or 10th or probably unless you have been trained and are highly practiced). It is very easy to set the iron too hot (especially if you use a household iron instead of a purpose-made seam tape application iron - nylon and other synthetics melt very easily if you get the iron too hot, and nothing happens if the iron is too cool).

Yes, the glue is messy. But it is the least likely for an inexperienced person to screw up.

For the very reasons OGBO mentions, I would not try the tape. Even with perfect application, I think you'll find it will begin to peel much more quickly than the factory tape. 

The silicon seam sealer, however diluted, will be more reliable in the long run, methinks. Talc is not strictly necessary. The main thing to get past is that the final product will not appear as 'mint' as one off the shelf...the edges of the sealer, no matter how finely feathered, will be visible on close inspection. This effect can be lessened by applying a 10:1 diluted silicone solution to the entire tent beforehand, on the side you plan to seal.

Otherwise, I put a fan in front of a silicone sealer repair job just the other day, and it dried in 12 hours.

Applying seam tape is not really an option. You have to be skilled, and ideally use a proper seaming iron. There is a very narrow window of keeping the tape warm enough to melt the adhesive, and not melting the material. Seam seal works as well or better, but can be messy to apply. With tents or clothes, it is best to do in stages. If you try to do it all at once, you run the risk of glueing parts together. A disposable brush(the type with a metal handle and black bristles) works better that the brush that comes with the seam sealant.

Thank You

Bill S



Ok well it sounds very much that I don't want to go down the road of baking my lovely tent with an iron.

I will have to resign myself to finding a dry portal someday.

I have bought both methods in the hope that I could get cracking asap once I knew...anyone want to buy a not so needed 20m seam tape lol.

Is this a daft idea? Could I use the seam sealant to affix the new seam tape I bought cold to the tent? Or is the sealant goop strong enough to put up with making contact with my tent poles? The tent design is such that the top of the tent roof seam rests on the pole.


It is important to know if your tent is a silicon or urethane treated this will determine what kind of sealant you use.

I am a bit more crude in my application of sealant and simply use the tube of urethane sealant and a toothpick (or safety pin if in the field).

it sounds like your tent has some mileage on it.  one thing to consider is whether the company offers a lifetime guarantee.  The North Face replaced one of my gore tex jackets, worn for almost ten years, when the seam tape delaminated.  

October 27, 2021
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