The fight against condensation

To stay warm, dry and safe is something we all aim for on a hiking trip. A shelter that can withstand the challenging forces Mother Nature thrusts upon us makes for an enjoyable and thrilling experience. The outer fabric on our tents is made from ripstop nylon 30D with silicone coating on both sides. It can withstand a water pressure of 3000 millimeter. Imagine the flysheet shaped as a pool and you pour water into it 3 meters deep. Despite the high water pressure being forced on the flysheet it will still remain waterproof. That’s great, you don’t have to worry about water from the outside penetrating into the tent. However, this also works the other way around. The tight and non-breathable fabric will not let moisture out through the tent flysheet. Moisture develops inside the tent from the people inside and from the ground beneath. When the humid air hits the cooler tent walls it is transformed into liquid water dripping down from the walls and ceiling. This is condensation. It can be particularly bad on rainy days. Get a little wind beating on the canvas sprinkling the condensed water around inside, and you may be under the impression that the tent is leaking. Which is not the case, of course. 30D silnylon is 100% waterproof. So how do we beat condensation? Here are three solutions to the problem:

  1. Heating the tent. Hot air absorbs more moisture than cold air and condensation on the inside walls will evaporate. Our tents are designed for use of an stove. It will give you a warm and comfortable atmosphere on the cold days.

  2. The use of an inner tent. It is a breathable fabric. Its walls are breathable nylon and the floor is nylon impregnated with silicone on the side facing  the ground and PU on the side facing upwards. (We use PU on this side because it is more waterproof when put under pressure like a foot or body). The humid air is allowed to pass through the fabric and leave the inner tent area dry and comfortable. However, this will not prevent condensation from building up on the flysheet walls, but the environment within the inner tent will stay dry.

  3. To apply good ventilation is a key factor. Humid air is transported out of the tent before it hits the tent walls and transforming into liquid water. Our tents are well equipped for this purpose. Lower vents allow somewhat warmer air (heat generated by body heat of people inside) to enter and rise up through the tent and exit the upper vents. If you take note of the ventilation you can obtain a warm and dry indoor climate. In addition, our tents are designed with two entrances. On particularly humid days it is wise to also make use of them to optimize ventilation.


NorTent Tipi 6 has many options to achieve a nice indoor climate.As mentioned above, you do not really prevent condensation inside the tent with an inner tent. You just keep it outside the living area.  The inside of the outer tent walls may be quite wet. This is noticeable if the inner tent comes in contact with the flysheet on wet days. If you do not have a stove, it’s not as easy to heat up the tent. Therefore, good ventilation is perhaps the best way to avoid condensation and moisture inside the tent. If you have good ventilation, the air is constantly replaced inside the tent with new and fresh air, where the humid air is transported out of the tent before it leaves the water on the tent walls. Our tents all have solutions where you have the opportunity to get fresh air into the tent down at the edge of the tent. The air coming in will be somewhat warmer as a result of, for example, the persons staying in the tent. The hot air then rises up and out through air vents at the ceiling of our tent. If your are aware of the ventilation you can have a very warm and dry indoor climate. But remember, air MUST come in and air MUST exit the tent. On particular humid days, it is not always enough to only use the air vents. It may be wise to also use the entrances to get enough air flow through the tent. All our tents have entrances at both ends of the tent to effectively control the indoor climate in addition to the air vents.

Ventilation is also important on hot days. It can be directly dangerous to stay in the tent on a hot summer day where the dense outer fabric makes the tent close to a baking oven. With the big living space and the air ventilation in our tipi, however, you can stay in the tent on very hot days since the ventilation here will be optimal. On these days you may experience a comfortable breeze inside the tent where air entering is quickly heated, rising and disappearing from the tent through both air vents and entrances while staying inside the inner tent shielded from for example Mosquito and bugs.