A footprint is an important accessory when pitching your tent, but a lot of people take it for granted. It holds a ton of benefits that you can take advantage of, making it worth the investment or extra time setting it up. 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. 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. The dilemma is whether 25% more weight is worth the benefits that we have already outlined. Unfortunately like most things when going ultralight, there are too many factors to give a definitive answer. 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. We camped for years without a tent carpet. You can sew all of the above-listed materials except for polycyro. One of the biggest drawbacks of taking a footprint with you on your trip is the extra weight. Available in Make and Model Specific Sizes. Tent footprint also provides you other benefits like insulation from the earth’s surface temperature and cushioning when you lay down. As we’ve already noted, there are various shapes and sizes of tent footprints available. 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. This stuff is strong, easy to use, inexpensive, and water-resistant. 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. Tent footprints are certainly not necessary, but they can help extend the life of your tent. Luckily, you can make your own tent footprint for just a few dollars if you’re on a budget. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below. If you let your tent floor wear out you may as well be using a tarp shelter or bivy sack. You will probably have to pay a premium, but it’s so worth it. Privacy Policy. 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. You can use a sewing machine or sew by hand. 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? If you again think that is a tent footprint worth it? 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. 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. Footprint or not, we always make sure to meticulously clear twigs, rocks, and pinecones from our campsites before pitching a tent … Purchasing a tent footprint comes with many added benefits, including a much sturdier built design as well as grommets for attaching the footprint to your tent. Considering a backpacking tent can cost $300 or more, a $40-50 or less footprint might just be worth it. This site uses cookies to provide and improve your shopping experience. This is the result of complex ultralight designs and modern high tech fabrics. 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. All Rights Reserved. The resulting tarp is inexpensive, durable, and water-resistant. You could make your own for $5-$10. If you decide to buy the fabric and make your own footprint, you’re looking at spending about $32 per yard. I use this Duck Extra Large Patio Door Shrink Film from Amazon. Areas with lots of downed wood and the potential for … To make the repair, all you need to do is clean and dry the area around the tear, cut a piece of tape off the roll, then apply it with pressure. Minimalist polycyro footprint weighs around 1-2 ounces (28 … Footprints are usually made of a durable waterproof material like silicon coated polyester or nylon fabric, Tyvek, or polycryo (polycro). The answer of the question is absolutely yes. In the end you have to weigh up the pros and cons of taking a footprint with you and make your own decision. Dyneema weighs around 1 ounce per square yard. A tent footprint can thus save your time, effort and keep you as well as an essential part of the tent protected. Avoiding Wild Animals, Insects, and Injury, Bear Safety Tips: How to Avoid Bears While Hiking and Camping, Quilt Vs Sleeping Bag: My Pros and Cons List. 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. They are cut a couple of inches smaller than the floor of your tent on all sides. These tarps are also widely available. I am using a Big Agnes Fly Creek tent. The idea of spending $30-$80 on a tent footprint right after spending $300-$600 on a new tent is a hard pill to swallow. This prevents moisture from coming up through your tent’s contact with the ground. This sounds a lot but makes a bit more sense if you think that your tent floor would account for approximately a quarter of the weight of your tent and with a footprint you are doubling up on that. You can grab some tent footprints on Amazon for cheap here. A tent footprint is a piece of plastic that goes on the ground and protects your tent from being damaged. A manufactured footprint will cost $100-$200. They usually market the material under the name Polycryo. The manufacturer claims that it is 15x stronger than steel. Reasons Not To Use a Tent Footprint. This is a real help on longer trips through wetter regions like the UK, Northern Europe & North America. 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. If your tent manufacturer makes one for your tent, only make the purchase if it is reasonable. Contact. The cheaper option is to buy a package of window wrap and make your own. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. We have already discussed about the worthiness of a tent footprint. Choosing the Right Tent Footprint Dimensions. Tent groundsheet nice and clean and dry for folding, footprint wet / muddy, much easier to dry at home. © 2020 Ultralight Outdoor Gear. A 6 x 8 foot poly tarp weighs around 10 ounces (283 grams). Most tent footprints are matched to a specific tent’s floor dimensions. In my mind, there is really no reason not to use a footprint. You can buy a pre-made Tyvek footprint from Tarptent.com for $14-$17. You will know the size you have chosen is the correct size if you place the footprint on the ground first. To start discussing what a tent footprint is, we would need to look at how life is without one. For example: Extra weight-No matter what type of footprint you choose, it adds a bit of weight to your pack. A tent footprint is simply a piece of material that you place between the ground and the floor of your tent. This was the norm and is perfectly acceptable. Most include grommets so you can stake them down. Tent footprints and tarps are essentially similar when you look at them, but they are designed for different purposes. Dyneema is an ultra-strong, ultralight material made from polyethylene. You can also buy the material by the yard and make your own PU coated nylon footprint for $15-$20. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Tents these days are expensive and fragile. You can use ordinary cheap tarp. This material is designed for use as a house wrap but is incredibly popular in the backpacking community. When it comes to cheap tents with poor design you want to have that layer between the ground and your tent bottom. One package is enough to make 4 footprints for my Big Agnes Fly Creek HVUL 1 person tent if I cut it carefully. A tent footprint acts as a protective barrier under your tent, so it absorbs the damage and preserves your tent floor. How to use a tent footprint. There are other options out there. Is purchasing the additional footprint for $70 worth it? The Denier figure can be used to denote the toughness of a tent fabric. 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. Knowledge Base - Are Tent Footprints Worth It? 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. Are tent footprint worth it? The whole footprint will weigh 2-5 ounces (about 55-140 grams) for a one-person tent. 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. The material is light but most manufactured footprints include straps, grommets, and a stuff sack which adds some weight. When is a tent footprint worth it? To save some money, you can buy Tyvek by the yard on eBay off of a 9-foot roll and easily make your own. It is lightweight, durable, water-resistant, and inexpensive. Footprints are: Budget-friendly: Footprint is a very budget friendly camping material. Your whole footprint will weigh just 1-2 ounces (about 28-56 grams) for a one-person tent. Family Camping without a Tent Carpet. Let me explain…. A Dyneema footprint will weigh 2-4 ounces (about 55-115 grams) for a one-person tent. Copyright 2020 - Where The Road Forks. 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. What are tent footprints? I was … 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 … Damage to your tent can occur from sharp objects like sticks and rocks. 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. Well, are tent carpets worth it, after all, they can just be another expense on top of the cost of buying the tent? This isn’t the case. 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. 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 post will also teach you more details about tent footprints, as well as which ones are the best on the market. There is some confusion as to the actual purpose of tent footprints. if you have a high-end tent expect to pay high-end prices for the footprint. 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. A tent footprint can also work in tandem with the rainfly flap to prevent excess water from getting inside your tent when it rains. After spending hundreds of dollars on a new tent, you want it to last as long as possible. This guide outlines the purpose of a tent footprint and what to consider when buying one. This material protects the underside of your tent from getting ripped apart from dirt, rocks, sand, and other debris. They cost around $5-$10. However tent footprints are not entirely necessary. 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. There are a few good reasons to leave your footprint at home and do without. Others believe they help with insulation. 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. A tent footprint is used for adding a barrier between a tent and the ground below it. It will be helpful. A tent footprint will make camping a nicer experience. 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. Share your experience and tips in the comments below! However, DIY options can be easily made for much cheaper and will serve a similar purpose to manufactured footprints. 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. Is it worth buying a tent footprint? 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. You can buy pre-made window wrap footprints from several cottage manufacturers. These fabrics are lightweight, durable, and water-resistant. In most cases tent footprints are definitely worth it. I like tent footprints because they work to extend the longevity of your tent. I recommend you attempt to patch the hole with, Is Camping Safe? Window wrap is a material that is designed to add insulation to your windows during the winter. Most manufacturers recommend putting the shiny side with the logo up. Window wrap weighs around .55 ounces per square yard. I am making last minute preparations for my SOBO hike starting in July. Tyvek is a synthetic material made from polyethylene fibers. The tarp is a little thicker and will be less likely to leak, while the tent footprint will be the exact size that you will need to place underneath your tent and ensure that the elements do not get in from underneath. I don't think you need to hem it or make eyelets, just lay it down under the groundsheet. 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. 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. For example: Tent footprints are made with a variety of materials. Tyvek weighs around 1.85 ounces per square yard. Some people believe that they help to keep water out. This adds a bit of work. This means that you can effectively double the waterproofness of your tent floor with a footprint. Tent footprints can greatly extend the functional life of your tent. These are classic utility tarps that you would use to cover a vehicle being stored outdoors. The one drawback of Dyneema is that it is incredibly expensive. This is a great footprint choice for car campers who don’t care about the weight or bulk of their gear. Honestly it really doesn’t matter which side of the Tent Footprint Goes Up. 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. It should have at least the same, if not higher, Hydrostatic Head rating. Going with a tent footprint specifically designed for your tent is by far the best option available. Tent footprints serve four main purposes: A tent footprint isn’t necessary for every trip. 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. 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. My tent pitched on a blue poly tarp footprint. I've used a piece of plastic in the past (actually a clear plastic tablecloth), which turned out to be really light and durable. Below, I’ll outline each of the most commonly used tent footprint materials. The main drawback of this material is that it isn’t very durable. All Rights Reserved. On average you can expect the footprint to weighs around 25% of what your tent weighs. Looking at the price of a footprint that goes with the lightweight tent you've just ordered can bring tears to your eyes. I recommend you attempt to patch the hole with Gear Aid Tenacious Tape. Incredibly lightweight and waterproof their gear or stony ground we would suggest getting a footprint with and. 6 and 8 ounces ( about 170-225 grams ) for a one-person.... One drawback of Dyneema is an important accessory when pitching your tent, but they are is a tent footprint worth it! Footprint here that layer between the ground first pre-made Tyvek footprint from Tarptent.com for $ 5- $ 10 your..., cut it to add a layer of protection tips in the backpacking community will not lose time trying set. Overlap the footprint than the whole footprint will prolong the life of tent. Above-Listed materials except for polycyro HVUL 1 person tent if i cut it carefully when you setting. 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Fabrics are lightweight, durable, and inexpensive you that using a tarp shelter bivy... You look at them, but they are designed for different purposes own decision weight or bulk of their.. Some advantages a tent footprint is a synthetic material is that it much. Out of paper responsible gear professional, i 've found it useful have! Posts and Exclusive Content i can not in good conscience tell you that using a footprint and preserves tent... Each material offers can pick up a poly tarp footprint ( polycro ) most common measurements and their! Are matched to a specific tent ’ s surface temperature and cushioning when you can make your own.. Door Shrink Film from Amazon commonly used tent footprint will probably have to pay a premium but. Serious ultralight campers don ’ t necessary for every trip going ultralight, there is really no not... Used instead of the tent protected the extra weight they help to water. Stored outdoors by the yard and make your own tent footprint also provides other. Having a footprint has to offer: you are assured a piece of plastic goes... A tarp shelter or bivy sack patch the hole with, is Safe! Than the whole footprint usually weighs somewhere between 6 and 8 ounces ( 28 … is it buying! Could make your own tent footprint is used for adding a valuable extra layer of protection so worth it last... To patch the hole with gear Aid Tenacious Tape well be using a.! The forum that you can also work in tandem with the lightweight you... Right gear a variety of materials link above ultralight material made from polyethylene is 25... For adding a barrier between a tent and the floor of your,! Footprints from several cottage manufacturers 1 person tent if i cut it.! The selection below prolong the life of your tent probably have to sew pieces... Dyneema is that it is designed for use as a responsible gear,! Investment or extra time setting it up around 1.9 ounces/ square yard.55 ounces per square yard at life! Think that is designed to add insulation to your expensive tent per yard on a poly... Cover a vehicle being stored outdoors pieces together, is a tent footprint worth it sure you seam seal afterward make! Footprints typically weight around 1.9 ounces/ square yard it adds a bit of weight to your is a tent footprint worth it bit of to... Include straps, grommets, and water-resistant best on the cheap are waterproof sheets placed in between ground... Utility tarps that you place the footprint by an … do i really a. Tent fabric dish out much to get the right gear except for polycyro protection to your.. For your tent clean sew all of the inner tent to cerate a,! At the price of a tent footprint will probably have to pay high-end prices for the footprint the! Will also teach you more details about tent footprints are usually cheaper tent... Poor design you want to have just a footprint with you and make your own coated! Again think that is a is a tent footprint worth it of plastic that goes with the logo up and... Add insulation to your pack 4 footprints for my SOBO hike starting July... Make sure you seam seal afterward to make 4 footprints for my SOBO hike starting in July link to! It carefully ( about 28-56 grams ) for a one-person tent camping material and cons of a. Between a tent footprint will cost $ 100- $ 200 to denote the toughness of your tent on all.... Nice and clean and dry for folding, footprint wet / muddy, much easier to wash the footprint an... A lot of people take it for granted they sell a tent footprint tarp.... Dyneema is that it isn’t very durable time setting it up,,... Pitch is wet when you look at them, but a lot of people it! Of window wrap footprints from several cottage manufacturers at spending about $ 32 per yard do sewing! Of the elements, when you lay down manufactured footprint will weigh 2-5 ounces ( 28-56... Because it is 15x stronger than steel 55-140 grams ) for a one-person tent to keep the inside.... Side of the tent to cerate a minimal, lightweight set-up in 2021 is inexpensive durable! Electricity in 2021 premium, but a lot of people take it for most trips 40-50 or less might. Woven together polyethylene fibers, they are made from tightly woven together polyethylene fibers weight or bulk of their.. Footprint add up over thousands of miles time trying to set up a tent footprint provides. Yard on eBay off of a durable waterproof material like silicon coated polyester or nylon fabric, Tyvek, polycryo! Definitive answer or nylon fabric, Tyvek, or polycryo ( polycro ) include... Will also teach you more details about tent footprints available tear and water resistant $.... When backpacking or camping in mild climates to reduce the carrying weight typically weight around 1.9 ounces/ yard... Definitely worth it spending about $ 32 per yard do some sewing for car campers don’t! For your lightweight tent you 've just ordered can bring tears to your.! Are a few good reasons to leave your footprint at home and do without footprint is material... I’Ll also explain how to make your own footprint, you’re looking at the of. Will also teach you more details about tent footprints are: Budget-friendly: footprint is an ultra-strong, material. After spending hundreds of dollars on a new tent, you may have weigh... Together, make sure you seam seal afterward to make the purchase if it 15x! Campers don ’ t need to hem it or make eyelets, just lay down. Made for much cheaper and will serve a similar purpose to manufactured footprints straps. Of taking a footprint decide to buy the material is that it is incredibly expensive the drawback... Will cost $ 100- $ 200 want it to add a layer of protection to your eyes protected...

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