Are Ozark Trail Tents Waterproof? The TRUTH Revealed

By: Derek Vitiello | Last Updated on February 7, 2024

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If you’ve been planning a camping trip, you might have come across the brand Ozark Trail. They make some large and spacious camping tents that are meant for families. You may wonder if these tents are waterproof, and the short answer is, well, sort of. These tents are more accurately described as water-resistant, able to […]

If you’ve been planning a camping trip, you might have come across the brand Ozark Trail. They make some large and spacious camping tents that are meant for families. You may wonder if these tents are waterproof, and the short answer is, well, sort of. These tents are more accurately described as water-resistant, able to hold up under light rainfall but may struggle with more severe weather conditions.

That being said, it’s important to know that this doesn’t mean Ozark Trail tents can’t be a good choice for your camping needs. Depending on your camping style, location, and expected weather conditions, these tents can still serve you well.

Stick around as we dive deeper into the specifics of what it means to be water-resistant versus waterproof, how it applies to Ozark Trail tents, and why that might be perfectly fine for your next outdoor adventure. Let’s unravel the mystery together, shall we?

Understanding Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant

When we talk about waterproof, we’re referring to the ability of a material to completely resist the penetration of water, even under pressure. This is crucial in situations with persistent heavy rain or when submerged underwater. A waterproof rating is typically given in millimeters (mm), indicating how much water pressure a material can withstand. For a tent to be considered waterproof, it generally needs a rating of 1200mm or more.

On the other hand, water-resistant means the material can resist the penetration of water to some degree but not entirely. It’s designed to repel water on its surface, making it suitable for light rain or drizzle but not for heavy or prolonged rainfall.

To continue learning more about the difference between these two terms, read our tent waterproofing guide.

Are Ozark Trail Tents Waterproof or Water-Resistant?

So, how does this apply to Ozark Trail tents? While these tents come with water-resistant features, such as a coated fabric and sealed seams, they are not technically waterproof. Ozark Trail does not typically provide a waterhead rating, suggesting it may be less than the 1200mm needed to qualify as waterproof.

That said, an Ozark Trail tent can handle a light sprinkle or brief rain shower, but in a downpour, water could start to seep through. But don’t pack up your camping dreams just yet! There are ways to enhance your tent’s water resistance, which we’ll explore later in this article.

Ozark Trail Tent’s Weather Resistance Features

Ozark Trail tents are engineered with several features to help them withstand various weather conditions. Though they may not be fully waterproof, they do possess a degree of water resistance which makes them suitable for certain camping scenarios. Here are some of their weather resistance features:

1. Coated Fabric: Ozark Trail tents often feature a durable polyester fabric coated with a water-resistant material. This coating helps repel water, preventing it from soaking through the fabric under light to moderate rain.

2. Sealed Seams: The seams – where different pieces of fabric are stitched together – are potential weak points where water can infiltrate a tent. To counter this, Ozark Trail tents often have their seams sealed or taped. This means a waterproof material is applied along the seams to block water from seeping through.

3. Rainfly: Many Ozark Trail tents come with a rainfly, an additional layer of fabric that covers the tent to provide extra protection against rain. It’s designed to repel water and channel it away from the tent.

4. Tub-Style Floor: Ozark Trail tents often incorporate a tub-style floor, where the floor material extends a few inches up the side of the tent. This design helps prevent water on the ground from seeping into the tent.

How to Enhance the Water Resistance of Your Ozark Trail Tent

While Ozark Trail tents have some water-resistant features, there are methods to further enhance their resistance to wet conditions. This often involves applying a waterproofing spray to the tent fabric, sealing seams with specialized seam sealants, and using a protective footprint or tarp beneath and on top of the tent. Such measures can significantly improve your tent’s ability to keep you dry during a downpour. If you’re interested in learning more about these waterproofing methods, be sure to check out our in-depth guide on how to waterproof a tent.

When Are Ozark Trail Tents a Good Choice?

Ozark Trail tents are a great choice for those seeking value and convenience for certain camping situations. If your camping trips are generally short-term, take place in mild weather conditions, or are located in areas where heavy rainfall is unlikely, these tents can serve you quite well. Their water-resistant features can handle light showers, and their sturdy construction provides adequate protection from the wind. They are also perfect for first-time campers who aren’t ready to invest heavily in more expensive gear, or for families seeking a roomy, comfortable camping experience.

Ozark Tents Brand

The Ozark Trail brand, sold by Walmart, is known for offering affordable camping gear that’s beginner-friendly and straightforward to use. The brand covers a wide range of outdoor equipment, but their tents, in particular, have gained popularity for their generous sizing, ease of setup, and budget-friendly price point. While they might not have the top-end features of some high-end brands, Ozark Trail provides reliable gear that’s ideal for recreational camping and occasional use.

Comparing Ozark Tents with Other Brands

Ozark Trail tents have some comparable brands like CORE and Coleman. Much like Ozark Trail, both these brands offer water-resistant, not waterproof, tents and are recognized for their budget-friendly pricing. However, if camping in more severe weather or for extended periods is your plan, considering a higher-end brand with more substantial waterproofing might be beneficial. Brands such as REI, Marmot, or The North Face offer tents with higher waterproof ratings, though at a higher cost.

The Bottom Line: Are Ozark Trail Tents Right for You?

To wrap things up, whether an Ozark Trail tent is right for you depends on your camping needs and expectations. If you’re a casual camper planning trips in mild weather or a beginner not ready to invest heavily in top-tier gear, Ozark Trail tents could be an excellent choice. With their water-resistant features, ease of setup, and budget-friendly price, they offer value and convenience for many campers. Just keep in mind, if you anticipate heavy rainfall or desire a tent for long-term durability, you might need to look at higher-end brands or consider additional waterproofing measures

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Ozark Trail tents need to be waterproofed?

While Ozark Trail tents have water-resistant features like coated fabric and sealed seams, they are not designed to withstand heavy or prolonged rainfall. Light to moderate rain should be okay, but in a downpour, you may experience some water leakage. If you are going to be exposed to these conditions, you will need to waterproof your Ozark Trail tent.

Are Ozark Trail tents suitable for all weather conditions?

Ozark Trail tents are ideal for fair to mild weather conditions. They can handle light rain and wind but are not designed for heavy rainfall or harsh winter conditions.

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Since 2017, Know Nothing Nomads has cemented itself as the “approachable experts” in everything camping, hiking, climbing, and adventuring in the Great Outdoors.

With over 60 years of experience in the outdoors, we don’t just talk about outdoor gear or recommend a good hiking trail.

We USE the gear we talk about. We’ve hiked 1000’s of miles. We have camped 1000’s of nights in the wilderness. We have sent hundreds of boulders and projects.

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We are not journalists from a magazine telling someone else’s stories from behind a computer. We are the ACTUAL outdoorsmen that those people write about. 

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About The Author

Derek, Co-Founder at Know Nothing Nomads

My goal with my writing and Know Nothing Nomads as a whole is to share my passions of hiking, camping, and a love of the outdoors with our readers.

Making the difficult and uncertain feel more approachable to people that might not know enough to feel comfortable taking their first steps into the wilderness is a driving factor for me.

When I'm not writing you can find me on a trail, in a forest, or next to a river with hiking shoes on my feet and a fly rod somewhere close by.

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