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Keep synthetic tents protected from the rain and UV rays

Nikwax’s duo of tent aftercare products are safe for the user and the environment, they are water-based and contain no PFCs or harmful chemicals.

Your synthetic tent must be protected from the sun. The ultraviolet (UV) rays can be incredibly damaging and reduce the fabric tear strength, making your tent vulnerable. UV rays, as well as general dirt, will also damage the durable water repellent (DWR) coating on the tent, so sooner rather than later you may find it is not as dry inside as you need it to be!

When getting your tent out for the new season of sleeping outdoors, it is always best to give it a clean. Tent & Gear SolarWash® is a high performance cleaner that will remove all dirt and contaminants embedded on the fabric – even if you think it looks spotless, there is most likely dirt on the outer fabric!

Tent & Gear SolarWash has a hidden power to truly help your tent – it will protect the fabric against the harmful UV rays! If you left your tent in sunlight for 2 weeks of continuous exposure, the tear strength of the fabric would reduce by half, thereby reducing the useable lifetime of your gear. Tent & Gear SolarWash efficiently protects against UV damage, and, at the same time, will revive the DWR coating.

When your tent no longer is beading up water on the outer fabric, then you need to re-proof it in order to remain nice and dry inside. Tent & Gear SolarProof® is an easy-to-use waterproofer for synthetic tents and gear, such as panniers and rucksacks (avoiding the straps). It provides a high performance water repellent coating to keep you and your equipment dry. It also gives additional protection against UV rays.

It is best to use Tent & Gear SolarProof when your tent is new, but older tents benefit from its high performance protection.

Both aftercare products will effectively double the useable lifetime of your tent and gear!


  • Use approximately 50ml of product for 1m2 of fabric.
  • Spray evenly to the outside and rub in with a damp cloth – paying attention to any really dirty areas.
  • Rinse with clean water and, if not reproofing, ensure the tent is completely dry before packing it away.
  • Tent & Gear SolarWash can be used on both synthetic tents and cotton/canvas tents.

You don’t need to let your tent or gear dry after cleaning before you apply Tent & Gear SolarProof. It can be applied by hand to both wet and dry fabrics.


  • Use approximately 50ml of product per 1m2 of fabric.
  • Spray evenly to the outer fabric and leave for 2 minutes.
  • Remove any surplus with a damp cloth and check that no areas have been missed.
  • After several minutes check again and remove any surplus.
  • The DWR will develop upon drying and you must ensure that your tent or gear are thoroughly dried before packing away.
  • Cotton or canvas tents should be proofed with Nikwax Cotton Proof.

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The history of the tent

The history of the tent is as unique as the tent itself. From prehistoric times to modern recreational camping, tents have been a part of human comfort and survival for thousands of years.

Pre-historic era
A tent – first and foremost – provides the basic survival need of shelter. The first evidence of tent construction can be carbon dated to around 40,000 B.C. where the protective elements of the tents were made from Mammoth hides. Over the centuries this proved rather impractical, particularly due to their smell and lack of portability!

Ancient Greece and Rome
The ancient Greeks and Romans provided tents for their soldiers; they were built using wooden support frames and large cloth coverings.

Teepee influence and the U.S. Army
As the U.S. Army began its westward movement across North America, it adapted the Native American tepee into portable shelters. The Sibley Tent, invented by the American military officer Henry Hopkins Sibley, differed from other tents of the time by borrowing the unique cone design of the tepee.

World War I
By World War I larger tents were being used to provide shelter for support activities and supplies.

The 1970s saw a boom in interest in backpacking and camping, and designers began mass producing camping tents. Manufacturers began to experiment with lightweight metal poles and weather resistant fabrics such as nylon and polyester. Simple frames that snap together were developed and the use of pegs was introduced to hold the fabric and frame locked into the ground.

Tents of today
Today, consumers have a huge choice when shopping for tents, from luxurious family accommodation with separate bedrooms and living spaces to activity-specific tents designed for mountaineering, trekking and more.

Synthetic fabrics have proved wondrous weather resistant fabrics for today’s outdoor shelter needs but have one drawback – they break down under UV light. To maintain the durability of tents Nikwax offers Tent & Gear SolarProof to protect against UV deterioration and to maintain water repellency. Just one application can double the effective life of a tent!

Throughout history the tent has evolved from a means of necessary shelter to an indispensable piece of camping gear for today’s outdoor enthusiast. We can only imagine what the next millennia will bring in the evolution of this fabric mobile home!