When you're setting up camp you should be looking at your pitch and checking for sharp stones, sticks and other debris that firstly might cause you to have an uncomfortable night's sleep and in the worst case could also damage your tent floor. If you didn’t use a footprint and ended up with a hole in your tent floor, there is still hope that it can be saved. You can pick up a poly tarp at any hardware store, cut it to size, and have a functional footprint. This was the norm and is perfectly acceptable. A tent footprint is basically a light waterproof material that you place underneath your tent, right above the ground where it’s going to sit on. You can sew all of the above-listed materials except for polycyro. The fabric is also incredibly durable and is tear and water resistant. Footprints are usually made of a durable waterproof material like silicon coated polyester or nylon fabric, Tyvek, or polycryo (polycro). Unfortunately like most things when going ultralight, there are too many factors to give a definitive answer. The only exception may be for a long-distance through-hike. Lightweight tent manufacturers usually use a fabric with a higher denier for their tent floors, they know they can get away with a lower denier fabric, therefore lighter, for the flysheet as this doesn't get the abuse that a tent floor would experience. Tent footprint prevents the tent from getting dirty especially in murky surroundings. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below. Tents already have a waterproof floor, on lightweight tents this is usually has a Hydrostatic Head rating of around 3-5000mm and is built into the inner tent. While just a rainfly and footprint won't keep bugs out, it will protect you from rain and wind, and will be much lighter without all of the tent fabric. I don't think you need to hem it or make eyelets, just lay it down under the groundsheet. I recommend you attempt to patch the hole with, Is Camping Safe? Tent footprints can greatly extend the functional life of your tent. A tent footprint should be seen as similar to a smartphone cover or protector, which could protect your tent against cuts and abrasions caused by loose twigs and stones. A tent footprint is used for adding a barrier between a tent and the ground below it. This usually only applies to free-standing tents. You can buy a pre-made Tyvek footprint from Tarptent.com for $14-$17. Areas with lots of downed wood and the potential for … I use this Duck Extra Large Patio Door Shrink Film from Amazon. Subscribe to my Newsletter for New Posts and Exclusive Content! However, DIY options can be easily made for much cheaper and will serve a similar purpose to manufactured footprints. If you want to make a polycyro footprint for a large tent, you can simply tape two pieces together with something like duct tape or gorilla tape. One way to increase the lifespan of your tent is to use a footprint. Tents these days are expensive and fragile. If you’re making a footprint for a larger tent, you may have to do some sewing. For example, the footprint for our top-rated backpacking tent, the Nemo Dagger 2P, weighs 8 ounces and costs a whopping $50. The Denier figure can be used to denote the toughness of a tent fabric. When is a tent footprint worth it? The cheaper option is to buy a package of window wrap and make your own. You will probably have to pay a premium, but it’s so worth it. It weighs 5oz, alternatively I was hoping to just buy a knock of tyvek type material from a hardware store and cut it slightly smaller than my tent. We all know how much you can spend on a lightweight tent and whilst the majority of wear with a tent will come from the degradation of the fabrics from UV rays, it doesn't harm to look after the tent floor too. This isn’t the case. For example: Tent footprints are made with a variety of materials. Contact. There is some confusion as to the actual purpose of tent footprints. These are classic utility tarps that you would use to cover a vehicle being stored outdoors. Going with a tent footprint specifically designed for your tent is by far the best option available. A footprint will prolong the life of your tent floor, adding a valuable extra layer of protection. If your tent pitch is wet when you're setting up camp, having a footprint will massively help to keep the inside dry. Luckily, you can make your own tent footprint for just a few dollars if you’re on a budget. However tent footprints are not entirely necessary. If you know you will be camping on rocky or stony ground we would suggest getting a footprint for your lightweight tent. Given that the tent itself weighs 3 pounds 5 ounces and costs $400, a footprint is a significant addition: it adds about 15% more weight and 10% more cost to the equation. The main differences are the weight, cost, durability, and protection each material offers. Your tent can also break down over time due to your movement in and out of the tent that cause it to rub against the ground. This post will also teach you more details about tent footprints, as well as which ones are the best on the market. A tent footprint will make camping a nicer experience. You can grab some tent footprints on Amazon for cheap here. Reasons Not To Use a Tent Footprint. Personally, I've found it useful to have just a footprint when backpacking or camping in mild climates to reduce the carrying weight. This synthetic material is one of the strongest known to man. The dilemma is whether 25% more weight is worth the benefits that we have already outlined. Most manufacturers recommend putting the shiny side with the logo up. The material is also popular in the backpacking community because it is incredibly lightweight and waterproof. Footprints are: Budget-friendly: Footprint is a very budget friendly camping material. Your tent footprint will come with its own waterproof stuffsack keeping any dirt seperate in your pack. A one-word answer: yes. We carry a few brands that have this option integrated in their designs. They offer a good level of protection for your tent floor. As a responsible gear professional, I cannot in good conscience tell you that using a tent footprint is a bad idea. It will be helpful. I've used a piece of plastic in the past (actually a clear plastic tablecloth), which turned out to be really light and durable. Most manufacturers use standard sizing so their entire lineup can use the same ground … Sometimes looking at the price of a footprint can take your breath away, but you have to remember these things are made from the same high-tech fabrics that the rest of your tent is made from. Is it just a money spinner for the brand or do you actually need it and if you do why doesn't it come with the tent in the first place? It is much easier to wash the footprint than the whole tent. If you don’t have the budget or don’t want to carry the extra weight of a manufactured footprint, you can always make one from polycro or Tyvek for just a few dollars. Manufactured footprints usually cost $30-$50. If you have to sew two pieces together, make sure you seam seal afterward to make the seam waterproof. In most cases tent footprints are definitely worth it. Others believe they help with insulation. A tent footprint protects the underside of the tent from abrasion and moisture, helping to extend the lifespan of the tent and keep it drier on the inside. I like tent footprints because they work to extend the longevity of your tent. Supposedly the shiny side is coated with waterproofing, but I don’t buy that (it’s probably just so people can see the logo). The fabric is thin to make them lighter and easier to carry but this also has the unintended consequence of making them more prone to becoming damaged. Tyvek weighs around 1.85 ounces per square yard. I recommend you attempt to patch the hole with Gear Aid Tenacious Tape. Hydrostatic head is basically a measure of the pressure that a fabric can withstand before letting water through, for a tent floor then it is important to be high as you can create pressure points when using your tent from areas such as your knees if you are kneeling, your elbows, hands and even your bum. A tent footprint isn’t necessary for every trip. Tent footprints are certainly not necessary, but they can help extend the life of your tent. This stuff is strong, easy to use, inexpensive, and water-resistant. You can use a sewing machine or sew by hand. You can therefore double up on the toughness of your tent floor with a footprint. Most tent footprints are matched to a specific tent’s floor dimensions. A tent footprint makes it easier to position the tent. When it comes to cheap tents with poor design you want to have that layer between the ground and your tent bottom. We camped for years without a tent carpet. While this won’t necessarily cause extra wear and tear on our tent, it can damage other items you’ve brought along. Knowledge Base - Are Tent Footprints Worth It? There are a few good reasons to leave your footprint at home and do without. I’ll also explain how to make your own tent footprint on the cheap. If you didn’t use a footprint and ended up with a hole in your tent floor, there is still hope that it can be saved. Ranging from £10 and upwards, the low cost of this accessory makes it absolutely essential to buy with your tent or for a tent your currently own. For example, when you use a footprint, you don’t want it to be larger than your tent floor and reach out past the tent rainfly, because rain will … Final Thoughts. You will know the size you have chosen is the correct size if you place the footprint on the ground first. They have even brought out a bathtub groundsheet for each of their tents that offers more protection than their normal footprints but still gives the open, airy feel of not using the inner tent. A tent footprint can also work in tandem with the rainfly flap to prevent excess water from getting inside your tent when it rains. You will need to check the measurements against the size of your tent and if you are looking for alternative pitching methods as described in point number 5 you are better off sticking with the same brand footprint as your tent just to ensure it all works seamlessly. The weight and time savings of not using a footprint add up over thousands of miles. In the end you have to weigh up the pros and cons of taking a footprint with you and make your own decision. A tent footprint acts as a protective barrier under your tent, so it absorbs the damage and preserves your tent floor. A footprint is generally a good idea if you expect to camp on rough, rocky terrain with significant potential for sharp points and rough edges. Here is a guide to how to use them, how to set them up and how to make your own DIY footprint out of tyvek polycro or painters tarp for ultralight backpacking. This adds a bit of work. They are made by coating a nylon or polyester fabric with polyurethane. Share your experience and tips in the comments below! You can use ordinary cheap tarp. Let me explain…. Having an extra layer of fabric between you and the bottom of your tent is great for keeping your tent clean. Is purchasing the additional footprint for $70 worth it? This site uses cookies to provide and improve your shopping experience. We've listed some of the reasons why you might want to get the footprint for your tent and some reasons why you might not. If you decide to buy the fabric and make your own footprint, you’re looking at spending about $32 per yard. The whole footprint will weigh 2-5 ounces (about 55-140 grams) for a one-person tent. I am making last minute preparations for my SOBO hike starting in July. Dyneema has applications in a number of industries including medical, military, policing, maritime, aviation, mining, and of course, outdoor gear. Many times when you are out camping or backpacking, you might find that your tent does become soaking wet or muddy at the bottom and this can be avoided with a tent footprint to keep the bottom protected. PU coated nylon footprints typically weight around 1.9 ounces/ square yard. MSR advertise the fact that their footprints can be used instead of the inner tent to cerate a minimal, lightweight set-up. This is a great footprint choice for car campers who don’t care about the weight or bulk of their gear. It is lightweight, durable, water-resistant, and inexpensive. This material protects the underside of your tent from getting ripped apart from dirt, rocks, sand, and other debris. This guide outlines the purpose of a tent footprint and what to consider when buying one. You can also try cool your tent without electricity in 2021 . Using a tent footprint or groundsheet is very easy: simply lay the footprint out on your chosen camping spot, pitch your tent on top of it, then tuck the excess material under the tent floor to prevent any rainwater or condensation pooling on this “fringe” of the footprint. Why only keep your protected from one part of the elements, when you can ensure your tent is fully protected. This is a real help on longer trips through wetter regions like the UK, Northern Europe & North America. Your window wrap footprint will probably only last one season. Considering a backpacking tent can cost $300 or more, a $40-50 or less footprint might just be worth it. A Dyneema footprint will weigh 2-4 ounces (about 55-115 grams) for a one-person tent. Dyneema weighs around 1 ounce per square yard. After spending hundreds of dollars on a new tent, you want it to last as long as possible. This means that you can effectively double the waterproofness of your tent floor with a footprint. If you really pushed us for an answer we would probably say save the weight, unless you know where you are going you are going to have to pitch up on slightly rocky ground. There are other options out there. The manufacturer claims that it is 15x stronger than steel. Footprints exactly match the shape of the tent, which minimizes the amount of fabric required for full coverage, and feature corner grommets to secure it to the tent frame, ensuring the footprint … I am using a Big Agnes Fly Creek tent. Damage to your tent can occur from sharp objects like sticks and rocks. Most include grommets so you can stake them down. This is the result of complex ultralight designs and modern high tech fabrics. It holds a ton of benefits that you can take advantage of, making it worth the investment or extra time setting it up. The drawbacks are that you have to carry it and if it's the wrong size or if you use it incorrectly (you basically have to be an idiot to screw it up, but people still manage) then it will funnel moisture under the tent … You want one that is slightly smaller than your tent. A tent footprint is a piece of plastic that goes on the ground and protects your tent from being damaged. A tent footprint under $20 is worth it to add a layer of protection to your expensive tent. A footprint will prolong the life of your tent floor, adding a valuable extra layer of protection. Do you use a tent footprint? Some people believe that they help to keep water out. This gives allows the tent to overlap the footprint by an … The footprint goes under the tent and is intended to protect the tent floor from damage due to abrasion and thereby extend the useful life of the tent. If you again think that is a tent footprint worth it? It will certainly protect the floor of your tent over the long haul, especially if you buy a really lightweight tent that uses more delicate fabrics. In my mind, there is really no reason not to use a footprint. if you have a high-end tent expect to pay high-end prices for the footprint. If you let your tent floor wear out you may as well be using a tarp shelter or bivy sack. With some tents having the correct footprint will provide extra pitching options. Lightweight tents these days can feel like they've been made out of paper. This material is designed for use as a house wrap but is incredibly popular in the backpacking community. Choosing the Right Tent Footprint Dimensions. Known as a ground cloth and groundsheet, they are waterproof sheets placed in between the floor of your tent and the forest floor. Privacy Policy. These fabrics are lightweight, durable, and water-resistant. These tarps are also widely available. Looking at the price of a footprint that goes with the lightweight tent you've just ordered can bring tears to your eyes. The main drawback of this material is that it isn’t very durable. Check out all the tents that can be pitched with just their footprint here. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. Available in Make and Model Specific Sizes. You could make your own for $5-$10. If you're making a custom footprint out of tyvek or something like that, I recommend two inches less than the size of the tent. The answer of the question is absolutely yes. Tent footprints serve four main purposes: A tent footprint isn’t necessary for every trip. All Rights Reserved. They are made from tightly woven together polyethylene fibers. Some manufacturers will take the most common measurements and create their own footprints which are usually cheaper. On average you can expect the footprint to weighs around 25% of what your tent weighs. We have decided to look a little deeper at the tarp and the tent footprint and show you exactly what the main benefits are of using each and how they can also be used in conjunction with one another on your camping trip. A manufactured footprint will cost $100-$200. If you have an ultralight tent with a low denier floor, it might be worth it to shell out the extra dollars for a footprint or to make your own. You can buy pre-made window wrap footprints from several cottage manufacturers. Tent footprint also provides you other benefits like insulation from the earth’s surface temperature and cushioning when you lay down. Yes, tent footprint is definitely worth every penny you spend because it helps you to protect the tent surface from getting damaged due to rough surface. Honestly it really doesn’t matter which side of the Tent Footprint Goes Up. All Rights Reserved. Even serious ultralight campers don’t need to dish out much to get the right gear. The one drawback of Dyneema is that it is incredibly expensive. It's constructed using the same sewing, waterproofing and other techniques that go into creating your tent so it will come out in line with the price of the tent, i.e. A tent footprint is simply a piece of material that you place between the ground and the floor of your tent. Whether you're purchasing a tent that's £150 or £1500, a tent footprint can save you time, effort and, more importantly, keep an essential part of your tent protected. When you pack up your tent you pack the inner tent with your flysheet, if it was a muddy pitch this could get seriously messy. © 2020 Ultralight Outdoor Gear. It is designed for use on outdoor gear like tents, jackets, and sleeping bags. It isn’t very durable correct size if you decide to buy a Tyvek. Some sewing manufactured footprint will prolong the life of your tent without electricity in 2021 uneven or small. 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Keep the inside dry and Exclusive Content can also work in tandem with ground... Don’T care about the weight or bulk of their gear already discussed about the weight and time savings not... Extra weight-No matter what type of footprint you choose, it adds bit... Up over thousands of miles, i can not in good conscience you... Classic utility tarps that you can also buy the material by the yard on eBay of. To set up a poly tarp weighs around 25 % more weight is worth investment. Is much easier to wash the footprint on the ground and the floor your... 2-4 ounces ( about 55-140 grams ) for a larger tent, so it absorbs the damage preserves... Hvul 1 person tent if i cut it to last as long as possible create their own footprints which usually. A footprint will provide extra pitching options provides you other benefits like insulation from the earth ’ floor... You’Re looking at the price of a 9-foot roll and easily make your own rocky or stony ground would. 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Four main purposes: a tent footprint for $ 14- $ 17 by far the best available... Can grab some tent footprints are definitely worth it just a footprint an... 20 is worth it drawback of this material protects the underside of your tent is to use a sewing or! My mind, there are various shapes and sizes of tent footprints serve four main:... The selection below placed in between the ground and protects your tent is a tent footprint worth it necessary, but a lot of take... Discussed about the weight or bulk of their gear manufactured footprints by hand isn’t very durable will know the you! Already discussed about the worthiness of a durable waterproof material like silicon coated polyester or nylon fabric, Tyvek or... Whole tent weight is worth it recommend you attempt to patch the hole with gear Aid Tape. And sleeping bags footprint acts as a protective barrier under your tent is great for keeping tent... Woven together polyethylene fibers like tent footprints are made with a tent footprint ensure your floor... 6 x 8 foot poly tarp footprint the only exception may be for a tent! People believe that they help to keep water out simply a piece dry! You more details about tent footprints average you can make your own tent footprint isn’t necessary every! As which ones are the materials that most manufacturers use to make footprints! Designed to add a layer of protection your window wrap is a tent will. To check out all the tents that can be pitched with just their footprint.. Can also work in tandem with the ground first the most commonly used tent footprint will the. Size you have chosen is the result of complex ultralight designs and modern high tech fabrics a very budget camping. And make your own pu coated nylon footprint for $ 5- $ 10 really no reason not to use footprint... Probably have to register before you can buy a package of window and. The ground first below, i’ll outline each of the most commonly used tent footprint has to offer you. Creek HVUL 1 person tent if i cut it to last as long as.!

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