Hilleberg Footprint Wetting Out - Reproofing?

Water coming through if you kneel on it

13 messages
29/04/2012 at 16:26

My Keron 3GT footprint lets through water if you put pressure on it, such as kneeling in the porch area while pitched on wet grass.  I've not has the same problem with my Nallo so I was thinking that it might need reproofing.

 So the question is has anyone had the same problem?  What would you use to reproof a tent footprint?

29/04/2012 at 17:15
 hi i have got a keron 2 with footprint no problem with it yet but most of the pitching spots have been kind to the footprint----how long have you had it?---regards lr
29/04/2012 at 17:27

It's about 4 years old with a couple of weeks use per year.  It's only on the last 2 trips that I've noticed - the tent was piched on wet grass after it had been raining and the ground was quite soggy.

29/04/2012 at 17:40
I would suggest you contact Hilleberg to see if they think it's a fault, or fair wear & tear.

We had a similar problem on a Nallo, which had had only light use, despite it being about 7 years old (life had dictated more car camping than backpacking in that time) when the issue occurred. I contacted Hilleberg who suggested going back to the retailer (inconvenient) or sending the inner only direct to them. They said they would have a look and let men know the cost of fixing the problem. About 10 days after posting we got our tent back with a new groundsheet, and no bill.
29/04/2012 at 17:45
i have had about the same use as you and soggy pitches with no problems---sorry can t help you with reproofing----if mine fails i think i would buy a new one as  find gear storage in the porches very useful---regards lr
29/04/2012 at 18:38
I think I'll send Hilleberg an email to see what they have to say.  I'd rather not have to buy a new footprint, they cost £105!
29/04/2012 at 22:41
Is it necessary to buy a Hilleberg footprint? Presumably if you are carrying a footprint, you are not backpacking (car camping?), in which case is weight an issue, and if not why not just buy a sheet of tarpaulin and cut to size?

In the porch of our car camping tent, we just use a plastic backed picnic blanket - its nicer underfoot and easily (cheaply) replaced at camping shops supermarkets etc.
29/04/2012 at 22:48
Damien ONeill wrote (see)
Is it necessary to buy a Hilleberg footprint? Presumably if you are carrying a footprint, you are not backpacking (car camping?), in which case is weight an issue, and if not why not just buy a sheet of tarpaulin and cut to size? In the porch of our car camping tent, we just use a plastic backed picnic blanket - its nicer underfoot and easily (cheaply) replaced at camping shops supermarkets etc.

Not necessary, but Hilleberg footprints attach to the tent and mean that you can put the whole thing up as a single unit, which is very convenient.  The Keron 3GT isn't my backpacking tent but I still use footprints for those - for the sake of a couple of hundred grammes you get a nice covered porch and it extends the life of your tent (those Hillies aren't cheap).

30/04/2012 at 11:07

It shouldn't be leaking at that age and use: it's basically the same stuff as the groundsheet, and those are pretty bombproof groundsheets.

When I suspected the groundsheet on my old Saunders Snowcat was leaking I got in touch with the late Robert S. and he suggested condensation, and the way to test was by suspending the sheet so it formed a bowl and pouring a deep pool of water in.  If it's leaking, then after a while drips should start coming out the bottom.  If it's condensation you might get a film of droplets over the outsdie, but you shouldn't get continuous dripping.

Pete.

30/04/2012 at 13:00

> and the way to test was by suspending the sheet so it formed a bowl and pouring a deep pool of water in.

I'd suggest warm water; then you shouldn't be fooled by condensation during your test.

30/04/2012 at 13:29

Is there also an issue with pressure of the knee on the fabric if it is not performing adequately too? Could the fabric potentially still be waterproof according to that test but in use water still come through due to pressure applied by the knee? I have no idea just wondering as I had an issue with my old tent groundsheet with water coming through where pressure was applied but not elsewhere. I did wonder if it was condensation too but I doubt there could be enough condensation to get a few inches deep in the foot of the tent like in my case.

I tried re-proofing with fabsil gold (get in larger containers cheaper from horsey shops). It is actually better than grangers and nikwax by all accounts. It won't work if your fabric is leaking or at least it never worked for me every time I have tried it with different kit.

30/04/2012 at 13:39
It definitely isn't condensation, it's to do with pressure causing water to come through such as when you kneel or sit on the footprint. 
30/04/2012 at 15:00

Condensation can give effects that look like that, with your knee or bum getting wet (the symptoms that made me think (incorrectly) my Snowcat groundsheet was leaking).  For a similar example, think of a plastic bag of cold fish from the shop: the bag is plastic so it is waterproof, but nevertheless the outside is verifiably wet to the touch.

I did wonder if it was condensation too but I doubt there could be enough condensation to get a few inches deep in the foot of the tent like in my case.

That much it's clearly a leak.  Condensation will only get enough water on you to get damp, not for small streams of water.

Pete.

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