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Sublite Question / Tyvek and Silicone?
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Corey Miller
(coreyfmiller) - F

Locale: Eastern Canada
Sublite Question / Tyvek and Silicone? on 03/19/2012 18:22:12 MDT Print View

Hey Guys,

I am seriously debating a Sublite. The only thing I am worried about is the issue it has with rain. I know its a big issue as I am living on the east coast of Canada.

Has anyone tried a silicone coating on it? I don't even know if this is feasible using the DIY Silnylon approach.. ie mixing mineral spirits and silicone. I was just going to lightly brush it on the portions I think will have the most rain coming through... though I don't know if it will eat through the Tyvek.

My other options would be to make either a polycryo or silnylon tarp for it. That adds weight but may be the only option.

Any insight is greatly appreciated! I know I have the option of the Contrail but something about the sublite is calling my name.


Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
sublite tyvek and seam sealer on 03/19/2012 19:46:09 MDT Print View

I bought a used sublite tyvek off the forums. The previous owner sealed the seams with a silicone/mineral spirit mix just like we would with any silnylon tent. I don't see any wear or "eating away" of materials. It appears as I would expect it to. Hope that helps!

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
Sublite/Tyvek on 03/19/2012 20:14:05 MDT Print View


As I understand your post you are proposing coating the entire tent to waterproof it? Is that the question? If so the coating would mitigate the design purpose of Tyvek to allow the tent to breath and reduce condensation. Just go with silnylon. I have a Tyvek version and can't say enough good things about it. But I hike here in California am fairly certain that a shower in the Sierras is going to stop before the Tyvek begins to wet through.

Corey Miller
(coreyfmiller) - F

Locale: Eastern Canada
Tyvec and Silicone on 03/19/2012 20:37:40 MDT Print View


Yes that information is great! Gives me some encouragement to play with the idea at least.


I wasnt thinking of saturating the entire tent. Just the portions that are horizontalish... the spots that will get hit hardest with rain. So perhaps the top above the body and the bit above my head. My thinking is.... and I could very well be wrong is that Tyvek cant sustain rain but not rain under pressure and sitting water.

Could be entirely off on that... but I was considering coating the top and the sides would be left to breath.

Having said that, if it was in Silnylon I would buy it in a second. Perhaps I could sew a few smalish triangles of silnylon to do the same thing.. that I could string out.

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
Re: Tyvec and Silicone on 03/20/2012 00:40:04 MDT Print View

Some months ago, exploring light shelters I looked at the Sublite. There is a review which suggests the basic shape of the design is vulnerable to rain, so its not just the fabric.

Read towards the end of the review.

I'm also in CA and there are months of nothing more than the possibility of fog to worry about so sure the Sublite has some contexts it is a light appropriate shelter, but I don't think it can handle much of the wet stuff. The reviews to me suggest Henry did right to currently only offer Tyvek version for that particular design.

There's the Notch now of course.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
rain and sublite on 03/22/2012 20:09:44 MDT Print View

I dont have much direct first hand experience, but FWIW, I met a guy on the JMT this past summer who used a sublite tyvek for the entire length of his trip. While we were on the trail, we got a good amount of hail and rain showers (lasting a couple hours at times). When I asked about how it was holding up, he never complained once about anything soaking through. He said he only had 1 night of condensation as well.

Edited by Konrad1013 on 03/22/2012 20:11:29 MDT.