How to weather a Bell Tent?

Wet Cotton Material

So, you've just bought a bell tent, you are so excited to use it. You've pitched it up in the best location, but out of nowhere, it starts to rain. Your tent is water resistant, so you stay dry, but you notice the fabric at the seams looking a bit wet, or the canvas is damp to touch? This is completely normal!


Cotton is naturally water resistant so will keep you dry on days like that - but to get the most out of your canvas sanctuary, proper weathering is essential. Weathering, also known as seasoning, helps transform your canvas bell tent into a reliable shield against the elements. Here's your comprehensive guide to weathering our bell tents for peak performance:

Why Weather a Bell Tent?

Our exquisite bell tents arrive with top-notch canvas, but microscopic gaps exist between the fibers when new. Weathering tackles this by:

  • Enhancing Fiber Performance: Water exposure makes the canvas fibers swell, effectively closing those tiny gaps and creating a denser weave, ultimately repelling water more efficiently.
  • Activating Built-in Protection: Each of our tents boasts a water-repellent treatment. Weathering distributes and activates this treatment for superior waterproofing performance.
  • Fortifying the Seams: The stitching process creates miniscule holes. Weathering allows the canvas fibers around the seams to swell and fill these gaps, improving overall water resistance.

Weathering Essentials:

  • Your trusted Boho Bell Tent
  • Hose with a spray nozzle, or douse with a large bucket of water
  • Open space for setup (ideally your harden)
  • Sunny weather (for optimal drying)

Weathering Your Bell Tent: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Pitch Your Tent: Following our instructions, assemble your bell tent. Ensure all guy lines are properly secured for stability.

  2. Commence the Wetting Process: Pick a sunny day with good air circulation. There are many methods to thoroughly wet the canvas, here's our favourites:

    • Hose Method: Use a hose with a gentle spray nozzle to soak the entire tent, including the roof and seams. Avoid high water pressure, as it can damage the canvas.
    • Bucket Method: Using a bucket, pour water on the very top of the bell tent ensuring as even pour as possible. The goal is to get all the fabric wet so you may need to do multiple goes
    • Sprinkler Method: For larger tents, consider using a sprinkler to provide continuous, gentle soaking.
  3. Allow for Complete Drying: This is the most crucial step. Let the tent dry entirely, both inside and out. For optimal airflow, open all doors and windows. Depending on the weather, drying might take several hours or even a full day.

Pro-Tips for Weathering Success

  • Repetition is Key: For maximized results, repeat the wetting and drying process 2-3 times, paying close attention to the seams during subsequent wettings.
  • Sun Smart: While sunlight is excellent for drying, prolonged exposure can affect the canvas. Consider using a tarp to provide shade during part of the day.
  • Weather Watch: Don't weather your tent if rain is expected. Weathering needs to be done in stages with complete drying in between.

Maintaining Your Weathered Bell Tent

Once your tent is weathered, proper care ensures it continues to perform exceptionally:

  • Store it Dry: After each adventure, ensure the tent is completely dry before packing it away. Mold and mildew can thrive in damp environments.
  • Re-Proofing Over Time: The water repellent treatment might need refreshing over time. Use a high-quality canvas reproofing product specifically designed for tents, following the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Gentle Cleaning: Clean your tent with warm water and a mild soap solution after each use. Avoid harsh detergents that can damage the canvas.

By following these steps, you'll effectively weather your bell tent, transforming it into a dependable fortress against the elements, ready for countless adventures under the open sky. Shop our exquisite collection of bell tents today and embark on unforgettable camping experiences!

Back to blog