Treatment of Silnylon Floors

Feedback for the article published May 11, 2005.

Treatment of Silnylon Floors

Postby dougs52 » Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:07 pm


Just found your site @ thru-hiker. I really appreciate your hard work in testing and writing the article on treating silnylon floors. I've got a question. I just purchased both the Big Agnes Sarvis SL1 and SL2. It is my understanding that the floor is Silnylon with a polyurethane coating on the inside. Is this correct and does that affect the treatment that you suggest in your article?

I'm just discovering light weight backpacking after years of being a "pack mule". It has brought a joy to the experience of hiking that I never experienced before. This is really fun.
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Silnylon treatment question

Postby Jim Wood » Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:58 am

Doug -

Not positive about the construction of the BA Sarvis line of tents since I think they've been discontinued (at least they're no longer on the BA website). However, BA does use the silicone/PU combo for most of its other tents, so I'd guess that yours use the same construction.

Most major shelter manufacturers are now using this silicone/PU combo fabric for several reasons. It's more water-resistant that standard silnylon, the PU coating allows the seams to be taped (not possible with regular silnylon), the PU coating makes the inside surface a lot less slippery than standard silnylon, and the PU coating satisfies the fire-retardancy laws in all US states and Canada (standard silnylon does not).

The only downside is that the silicone/PU combo fabrics are slightly heavier than standard silnylon, but not by all that much (~1.5 to 1.6 oz/sq yd for the combos versus ~1.3 oz/sq yd for standard 30/40D silnylon) .

Bottom line: I wouldn't bother applying the treatment described in the article unless you really wanted to beef up the water resistance (probably unnecessary). And even then, you'd only want to apply it to the non-PU coated side, since the treatment would not stick to the PU coating.

Hope this helps...
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Silnylon Floor Treatment

Postby dougs52 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:28 pm

Thanks Jim for the quick reply. I'll just watch the floor carefully and see if it ever needs treatment. Either way your article helps greatly in just understanding the fabric.
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