Even the most expensive tent can’t last forever. However, there are still some tips to improve the lifespan of the tent and save a buck of replacement. Check now!
In general, a good tent is supposed to last for 3 years. Meanwhile, the exact time depends on several factors such as materials, the frequency of use, ways of maintenance, etc.
Here we not only answer your question “how long does a tent last?”, but we also reveal tips to maintain and store your tent properly. As a result, you can expect to use the tent much longer.
Let’s get started!
Average Lifespan of a Tent
After how long should a tent be replaced?
There is no rule when it comes to the lifespan of tents. Here we divide the tent into three main groups to make it easier to estimate how long a tent lasts.
If you use a tent occasionally or for your children to play around in the backyard, then an affordable tent is enough. In that case, such tents can be used for 10 to 30 nights per month and for multiple years.
Pay more, and you normally get better.
In the mediate pricing category, tents are often made of canvas or high-quality nylon. These materials can hold up very well, making them ideal for camping purposes.
With proper use and under frequent maintenance, the kind of tents can work for 150 nights per year and for 5 years.
If you are a serious hiker or traveler who looks for tents for heavy-duty use, say, you want to leave them up for weeks or you pitch up and pull it down very often, then it is worth buying premium tents.
Those tents should not be too lightweight and should be along with waterproof coatings, heavy buckles, durable PU, and UV-resistant features, etc.
High-priced tents can still be functional within 200 and 300 nights at a high altitude. Some famous tents like the Eureka are confirmed to work well for 25+ years.
Factors That Affect The Lifespan of Tents
What makes your tent last longer or shorter? Let’s figure out
Tent fabrics are such a science subject, from which you can get some thoughts about the tent’s lifespan. The following are several common materials to make tents.
- Nylon and Polyester
Most of the family tents now are made of polyester, whereas backpacking ones are nylon-based. These fabrics are more affordable and lightweight, so you can bring it along to the campsite at ease.
However, nylon and polyester are easily prone to rips and mildew, so you can’t expect the tents to last from years to years.
- Man-made fabric coatings
The coating – as its name suggests, is to enhances resistance against water, rain, and UV. As a result, the tent with coating lasts longer than the standard one.
- Canvas and cotton
These two are traditional materials for tents and surprisingly, now they are still popular thanks to their durability over time. More importantly, canvas and cotton fabrics as similar features.
In terms of comfort, both are breathable and water-wicked. They are also quieter than nylon or polyester.
Coming to think of the lifespan, canvas and cotton tents are tough enough to fight with water and UV rays. Tus, they can last for years.
Frequency of Use
It makes sense that the more you use the tent, the more wears and tears it will suffer from.
Firstly, the tent is more exposed to environmental factors like rains, winds, and UV rays, etc. Secondly, you have to put up and pull down the tent more often, so all components are affected and even lose the form and functions quickly.
It does not mean you should camp less or so. The point is, do not expect the tent to maintain its new look all the time. Also, if you want to use the tent frequently, make sure you pay more care for it, too.
So, how many times are “frequent use”?
From our experience, putting up the tent for 10 summer nights is very low usage. 30 nights in the summer are normal usage.
Weather patterns are inevitable when we camp outsides. Some that commonly affect your tent the most are strong winds, heavy rains, high temperatures, and harmful rays.
For example, winds can break the poles and even blow off some parts. Meanwhile, hot weather causes some materials like nylon or polyester to shrink and deform. Even worse, UV rays can not only degrade the fabric, but they also cause harm to your eyes and skin.
Fortunately, you can minimize the effects of those weather patterns by picking up waterproof or UV-resistant fabrics, as well as strong-framed tents. Plus, avoid putting up your tent in harsh environmental conditions as above.
It is almost impossible to control the weather. Neither should you reduce the frequency of use. Thankfully, you can still protect your tent and improve its overall lifespan by taking good care of it.
Scrolling down here. We provide you with some useful tips for tents maintenance to help.
When to Buy a New Tent?
Carefully as you use and maintain the tent. It will eventually reach a time when you need to get rid of it or at least, store it in your memory box.
Most of the time, it is when the tent fails to be your cozy shelter as it introduces winds or rains in. If the reason is the small holes, wear, or tears, you can patch them up. The dis-waterproof fabrics are harder to repair, though.
Another case is the poles are broken and the tent can no longer withdraw with strong winds and rains. Then, it collapses. Even though such a part is sold separately, finding a compatible one might cost time, money, and effort.
Sometimes, it is because the fabric loses its original color and shape that you possibly do not want it any longer.
How to Make Your Tent Last Longer?
From the time you take the tent out of the box, you should treat it the right way, then, the tent will also be nice to you.
Choose a nice campsite
Whether, as we mentioned, can significantly shorten the life of tents. Thus, you had better go camping/hiking on a nice day and in places that do not have so strong winds, rains, or too many direct sunlights.
Moreover, we know many of you who put up the tent in your backyard and let it bake all the season. Don’t do that! Take off and store the tent properly.
Put up or disassemble the tent
During setup, poles and zippers are the most vulnerable to damages. Thus, you should be aware of it.
Please keep the poles’ ends from banging with each other and getting dents/cracks. Plus, try not to overstress and deform the poles.
We also recommend uống footprints, if there are any, to protect the floor from dirt, water, and excessive abrasion. This, helpfully, relieves the cleaning and lengthens the lifespan of the tent.
Use the tent gently
Never put on shoes on the tent. Your shoes not only collect dirt and water into the tent, but they can also tear or wear the floor.
Be nice to the zipper by using two hands and going slow with them.
Clean and maintain the tent
When you are ready to pull out the tent, always remember to flip the tent inside out to remove Dita and unexpected objects.
Seal the leaks, holes, broken seam tape, as soon as possible.
Pack the tent dry and only clean it at home according to the cleaning instruction of the manufacturer.
Finally, store the cleaned tent in a dry place, without exposure to direct sunlight.
Related: How to fix a sticky tent?
How long does a nylon tent last?
While some manufacturers promise that their nylon tents can stay strong with you for a decade, we do not believe in this information.
In fact, nylon tents are more easily damaged by winds and UV rays, making them last for around 2 to 3 years only.
Obviously, if you use the tent occasionally and with proper care, the lifespan can be 5 to 7 years.
How much money should I spend on a new tent?
It depends on your purposes (for kids’ playing, for a family gathering in the backyard, for camping, or for long trekking, etc.)
Also, how long do you expect the tent to last?
- Low-priced tents: Most affordable options for 2 people are ranging from $35 to $50.
- Medium-priced tents: $100 to $250 is what you should pay for mid-end tents. You might get enhanced fabric or additional spaces for 2 to 6 people.
- Premium tents: The top tents can be as expensive as $600. However, you get what you pay for. Those tents are both light and durable. Also, there are many adds-on to enjoy.
How long does a sleeping bag last?
Surprisingly, a good-quality sleeping bag can be used for even 15 years. So, ít is well worth investing in one along with the tent.
How often should I re-waterproof my tent?
Even when you do not figure any leaks on your tent, it is still recommended to re-waterproof every two years.
If you use it more frequently than 2 or 3 weeks per year, you can even re-waterproof it annually.
In sum, 3 years is the answer to “how long does a tent last?” when it comes to standard terms on high altitude usage. However, with more money spent and proper care, you can expect the tent to work even for a decade.