November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Has anyone gotten wet in an Epic tent?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Lawrence Vito
(winefood) - F

Locale: Northern California
Has anyone gotten wet in an Epic tent? on 12/17/2006 05:33:15 MST Print View

Hello Everyone,

Has anyone gotten soaked in a tent made of Epic? I have read everything on this site that I can about tents made of Epic. Some people experienced leaks at the seams but I havn't read of anyone getting soaked.
I am strongly considering ordering a Titanium Goat Vertex made of Epic for year round use. Unlike other pyramid style shelters, the Vertex tents only have 1 seam instead of 4 to 6 and that should be equal less opportunities for leaks to occur. I got the idea of a tipi made of Epic, from a review of the Hex 3 by Ryan Jordan in which he said he said something like he uses a Hex 3 made of Epic because it has improved breathability for winter camping.

Titanium Goat offers their floorless tipis in different sizes and in a choice of DWR, Sylnylon and Epic. To my way of thinking Epic combines the best qualities of breathability and water resistance. My theory is that in a steep walled shelter like a tipi, Epic would not leak even after the 5 or so hours it is supposed take for tents made of Epic to start leaking because the water will wick downwards to the bottom of the tent as it does in the DWR version of the Vertex. If anyone thinks that a tipi style tent would leak just like any other tent, please let me know.

Most of my trips are done in the Spring and late fall in the high Sierra, although I am planning a trip this winter to the Lost Coast, which some of you know can be quite wet and windy and I don't want to drown in my own tent.

Your opinions are very welcome. Thanks for shareing.


Edited by winefood on 12/17/2006 05:37:13 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Has anyone gotten wet in an Epic tent? on 12/17/2006 10:33:31 MST Print View

I have -- in a seam sealed Black Diamond Firstlight.

Now, to be fair, the BD Firstlight is marketed as "highly rain resistant", not rainproof. Talking with a BD rep, the tent fabric can block out 5 hours' worth of rain.

In my backyard testing, the tent kept out heavy rain for about 9 hours -- substantially longer then expected. However, once water started to seep its way in, that was it. Water wasn't just coming in at one or two places where you could sponge it off -- it was really seeping through!

To me, an EPIC tent is great for places where rain is either seasonal or quick moving. But if there's a chance of a day-long downpour (or worse), then bring something that's truly waterproof. 9 hours might sound like a long time, but say it's 3pm and it's been raining hard. Do you put up your tent right then and there -- and risk getting soaked by midnight if rain continues? Or do you tough it out in the rain and wait until 9pm to set up your tent so you can remain dry through the night and into early morning? I wouldn't put myself between a rock and a hard place like that.

Edited by ben2world on 12/17/2006 10:54:26 MST.

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Re: Re: Has anyone gotten wet in an Epic tent? on 12/17/2006 12:46:17 MST Print View

is it "highly rain resistant" for a total product life of 5 - 9 hours, or does the 5 - 9 hours start over after it has dried out?


Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Has anyone gotten wet in an Epic tent? on 12/17/2006 13:01:47 MST Print View

One great thing about EPIC is how quickly it dries. All you need is, say, half an hour of drying time (although more is better) -- and you can get hours of rain protection again. I simulated this by simply putting the tent under a protective awning, towel it dry, letting it sit for a bit, and then repeating the test by re-exposing it to the rain.

BD's description of "highly rain resistant" is accurate. To me, this is a matter of matching the right shelter with the expected weather conditions.

Edited by ben2world on 12/17/2006 13:13:03 MST.

Lawrence Vito
(winefood) - F

Locale: Northern California
ATTN Ryan Jordan on 12/17/2006 16:18:07 MST Print View

Having had experience with a pyrmaid (Hex 3) made of Epic, can you comment on the how a steep sided Epic pyramid sheds water after extended rain exposure?

Thank-you everyone for your comments regarding Epic tents. I am thinking that a Pyramid is a special case and not the same as other tents because of the steep walls. According to this review and other reviews on, the Vertex does not leak when DWR wets out. Because Epic is more water water resistant then DWR fabric, I would think the results would be even better with a tent made of Epic.

Comments Ryan or anyone?

Thanks - Larry

(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
Epic opinion on 12/18/2006 01:40:51 MST Print View

I would guess that Ryan likes Epic for a winter shelter because it will handle frozen precip better than liquid precip. Snow probably will not wet through like rain would. I doubt that a tipi shelter's steep sides would prevent rain, heavy or sustained, from eventually soaking through.

If your like me, no matter what your shelter (bivy or tent), you have a poncho tarp with you (for three season camping). If you use a BD Epic tent you could use your poncho as a roof to prevent most of the rain from getting onto the tent. Simply place the poncho centered on top of the tent and guyout the corners creating a slightly arched top keeping most of the tarp off of the tent to allow the tent to breathe. The only place of concern should be the windward side of the tent. This area of the tent can be placed behind a large tree or bush to minimize exposure to rain. Of course this will only work on the 2 person models due to the small size of the poncho tarp.

I have not tried this technique since I don't own a BD tent. I do have a BD Lightsabre bivy and VAPR bivy and use the poncho tarp in a lean-to configuration. This method keeps most of the rain off of my bivy and I imagine that the method described above would work in the same manner.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
How EPIC works on 12/18/2006 02:35:29 MST Print View

EPIC fabric has the threads, even the fibres, coated with a silicone polymer. Surface tension between the threads blocks the water. If you lower the surface tension too much or raise the water pressure high enough, the fabric will leak ALL OVER.

You can lower the surface tension by getting the fabric dirty - and the dirt may be invisible to the eye. Prolonged rain will also slowly do this.

You can increase the water pressure by having rain and strong wind. Under these conditions the water can actually come through in a fine spray.

This is a good fabric for sub-freezing conditions when you don't get wet water, just snow. It is not a good fabric for serious rain. It will recover when it dries out (as someone asked).