Zipper is Leaking on Rain Fly

3:44 p.m. on February 13, 2008 (EST)
12 reviewer rep
11 forum posts

I have developed a leaky zipper on the vestibule. What is the best product to treat it with? (i.e. silicone spray?)

8:46 a.m. on February 14, 2008 (EST)
28 reviewer rep
1,261 forum posts

water coming thru the sewn seam or thru joints in metal teeth?

Hopefully, the seam, in which case "seam sealer" should do the trick

11:19 a.m. on February 14, 2008 (EST)
12 reviewer rep
11 forum posts

I am not completly sure. I thought it was the metal teeth. Last night I sprayed the entire fly with NikWax tent spray and soaked the zipper. I am headed for the Smokies tomorrow (Fri)and expecting some rain, if I get a chance tonight I will re-seal the seam and see what happens should the current weather forcast hold true. If it is the teeth, I guess I will use a silicone spray, though I have read it will attract dirt. I have a bar of bees wax and thought about running it along the teeth.

12:01 p.m. on February 14, 2008 (EST)
28 reviewer rep
1,261 forum posts

Hmmm, seems to me that the zipper should be covered by a flap of tent material...which probably is leaking thru the seams

If it were my tent, I would clean the seams with some denatured alchohol and apply seam sealer.

Make sure the sealer is completely dry before packing your tent! I've been with a guy who sealed his tent the night before a trip. When he went to set his tent up the next day, the material was stuck together and he ripped a huge hole in it.

Luckily, I carry a roll of tent repair tent in my "survival kit"

12:55 p.m. on February 14, 2008 (EST)
12 reviewer rep
11 forum posts

The Tent is an REI clipper tent that I have used for 6 years. It does not have a zipper flap like most tent do, the zipper is similar to the new "water proof" zippers found on packs and jackets these days, again it is similar but not completely the same, when the zipper is zipped closed, a small flap on either side of the teeth come together to form some what of a seal over the teeth. Looks like I will go with the treatment I have done so far and if it does not work I will seal it when I return.

9:42 a.m. on February 18, 2008 (EST)
49 reviewer rep
6 forum posts

Try running an old candle over the teeth of the zipper. It will 'lubricate' it and might help with waterproofness. That's the problem with 'waterproof zippers'. The more you use them, it wears off part of the coating off of the zipper and then they are not so 'waterproof' anymore!

You could always take/send it back to REI and complain about the zipper. I imagine they would either replace the zipper, or give you a refund, as I don't think they make that tent anymore. Worth a go. Give them a call anyway.
If you are strongly attached to this tent and don't want to part with it, you could always get a repair shop to sew a piece of nylon onto the fly, to cover the zipper. Seal the seams of that section when returned to you.

Ed G - Tell your friend that the next time he/she seam seals a tent, let it dry for a good 8 hours or so and then give the seams a light dusting with some talc. That prevents the seam sealer from sticking to other parts of the tent, or to itself.

July 21, 2018
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