F.A.Qs

DIAMANTINA TENTS AND CAMPING GEAR FOR AUSTRALIA

Our customers are our key focus. We strive to make your experience shopping with us a very satisfying one. Should you have any questions, or simply wish to offer a suggestion, please send us an email to info@diamantina.net.au

Heres some feedback we have received from a client:

"on the Diamantina tents they are definately the way to go if your using it often as they are dear, however a couple of my mates have them and they are second to none, they're quick to set up and really well built they are a lot cooler tent then my coleman dome tent they are made of all the top grade stuff and in a storm my tent was all but blown over and there's were as good as gold. if i was buying one i would get a Diamantina tent for sure but if depends on what you want to spend"

Leon Cruse, Ausfish Premium Member

Caring for your new tent

Your new Diamantina tent has been made using the best materials available. Each tent has been carefully designed and made to provide exceptional service to you, using only the best possible techniques, machinery and workmanship. To ensure you maximise the life and enjoyment from your tent, it needs care and attention.

Click here for detailed tent care information

Warranty - Diamantina Quality

The range of Diamantina dome tents are fully warranted against defects in material and workmanship for a minimum of one year from the original date of purchase. Proof of purchase is required to obtain warranty service.
This warranty covers replacement parts and repairs at the discretion of the manufacturer. It does not cover accidental damage or storm damage, mildew damage or damage caused by misuse, abuse, damage to other property or acts of God. It is the responsibility of the Original Purchaser to transport items for warranty claims to and from the original place of purchase.
Tents are designed for temporary holiday accommodation, therefore, are not suitable for permanent or semi-permanent accommodation which will void the warranty.

Repair Services

We provide a repair service for items such as tents, backpacks and canvas products. So if you accidentally damage your Diamantina tent, we have spare parts and expert machinists available to repair your problem for you. For all repairs, warranty claims and questions, please contact your camping store for the right advice.

A few hints and tips relating to the use of your tent

Q?

What is a Vestibule?

A.

It's a passage or small room attached usually to the outside of a tent door. It can be used for storing wet or extra gear. Vestibules are great for storing gear but can also inhibit airflow if ventilation in the design is not taken into consideration. Vestibules are used on backpacking tents and weekend tents.

Q?

What is the Rain Fly?

A.

It's the outer waterproof covering or top of the tent, designed to protect the breathable inner roof. A fly is always included with dome or non cabin tents (except Single Wall tents).

Q?

What is a Gear Loft?

A.

This small mesh hammock or net attaches to loops in the upper interior corners of some tents. It is used for extra storage space for small items or accessories. They can lie flat like a hammock across the top of the tent or can be hung as a pocket along the side wall of a larger family tent. Some hammock types have pockets to help keep gear in its place and to add organization.

Q?

What is a Freestanding tent?

A.

A tent that stands alone without the benefit of stakes or guy lines is said to be self supporting or freestanding. All tents need to be staked or guyed to prevent wind damage, the possibility of being blown away and to provide stability. Also guying out the fly helps ventilation, thereby reducing condensation by allowing more air to circulate under the fly. Most tent companies do not warranty wind damage to a tent.

Q?

What is a non-freestanding tent?

A.

A tent that needs stakes and guy points in order to stand is non-freestanding. Many ultralight backpacking tents, as well as larger cabin tents, are non-freestanding. All tents should be fully staked in order to prevent loss and damage as well as to aid in ventilation and condensation reduction.

Q?

Do I need to stake my tent down?

A.

Yes you do! Your tent will blow away if you do not stake it down. Putting gear and equipment in the tent will not be sufficient. You must use stakes to hold it to the ground. Tents with damage from rolling around due to high winds are not covered by any warranty. Damage can range from broken poles to holes in the floor, fly and tent body as well as rips and tears.

Q?

What are these nylon loops on my tent fly?

A.

Those are guy line loops whose specific purpose is to stabilize the tent in high winds. In windy conditions you want to run 1-3 lines (depending on wind conditions) from the loop to stakes on the ground. They are necessary because even though you have staked your tent to the ground high winds can actually blow the top of the tent over. This can result in broken poles and ripped fabric. The lines will prevent the tent from shifting from side to side and and ease the stresses on the fabric.

Q?

Do I need a ground sheet or ground cloth?

A.

Yes. A ground cloth prevents the floor from getting rips and holes as well as keeping it cleaner. The groundsheet is not for waterproofing. Remember, a tent floor is waterproof until you put a hole in it. The ground sheet should be 3" smaller than the tent floor in a backpacking tent and 4-5" smaller in a family size tent. It is very important that it be smaller than the tent floor so water does not become trapped between the tent and ground sheet. If that happens, the waterproof rating of the floor will be exceeded as you move around the tent or even sleep.

Q?

Should I put a ground cloth inside the tent?

A.

No. A ground sheet inside the tent will not protect the floor from rips or holes. In addition, a ground sheet in a tent can damage the tent floor if water or condensation is trapped underneath, by allowing mold or mildew to form. Or, in extreme cases, the urethane coating on nylon floors can delaminate.

Q?

What is a better floor, nylon or polyethylene?

A.

For hiking style tents the best material is Nylon as it is light, compact and more durable, long lasting. Polyethylene is a good durable floor material for weekend style or cabin style tents. It is lower cost than Nylon, and with the right coating it will perform well for its intended use. There are different grades or thicknesses used in these materials for tent floors.

Q?

What is seam sealing and do I have to do it?

A.

When two waterproof materials are joined by stitching, there are thousands of tiny holes that water can and will go through. These holes must be sealed shut with a seam sealer, which is usually a liquid urethane that must be applied to the affected seams. And yes, you must seam seal your tent. Many synthetic tents have a heat sealed coating applied to the seams on the flysheet. However this coating does not stick to canvas tents, so seam sealing is required. It is recommended to seam seal the floor seams of any new tent with a seam sealer.

Q?

What seams do I seal on my tent?

A.

As a general rule any waterproof material that is stitched to another waterproof material needs to be sealed if it is not protected by the fly. Any waterproof material sewn to a breathable or permeable fabric need not be sealed because water will go through the permeable fabric anyway so sealing that seam is a waste of time and it is protected by the fly anyway. Some tents have Factory sealed seams usually done with a clear seam tape on the coated side of the fabric. These seams do not need to be sealed. You can seal them if you want on the other side of the seam, but it is generally not necessary. Putting sealer on the tape is not recommended as it won't stick. Generally, 2 light coats of a water based sealer on both sides of the seam is better than one heavy coat. Here is a list of seams that need to be sealed on most tents. Again if these seams are taped they do not need to be sealed. All main fly seams need to be sealed. Perimeter fly seams can be ignored. On the body of the tent any corner seams, reinforcements or stake loops need to be sealed. Side wall seams where the floor and wall meet need to be sealed unless covered by the fly. Outer seams around windows and doors need to be sealed on the outside. If webbing is attached to the corners, it should be sealed top and bottom unless factory taped. If your tent has a sewn-in floor with an outside perimeter floor seam this seam needs to be sealed on the outside top and bottom all the way around the tent. This seam should not be sealed inside the tent because the seams are not accessible and you will glue the floor and wall together causing damage to the floor and wall. Never seal a seam directly adjacent to a zipper because if you get sealer in a zipper it may impact its performance. Also seal the stitching of any guy rope tabs or Velcro loops on the fly. Remember to follow the directions on whatever brand of seam sealer that you use. Of course, each tent is different in what is sealed and what needs to be sealed. For more info on your specific tent, or if you have any questions please email info@diamantina.net.au.

Q?

What are the top five ways to kill a tent?

A.

1. Store it damp or wet (mold and mildew).
2. Leave it in the sun for 3-5 months (ultraviolet light damage).
3. Forget to stake it down (it will blow away).
4. Store food in it (critters will come visit).
5. Lend it to a friend (fool ;).

Q?

Can I cook or put a candle in my tent?

A.

NO! WARNING! DO NOT OPERATE ANYTHING THAT BURNS FUEL IN A TENT: i.e. STOVE, CANDLE, GAS LANTERN OR HEATER.
Combustion consumes oxygen and can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, which could lead to serious injury or death. Some tent materials are treated with a fire retardant treatment, however they will still burn if left in contact with a continuous ignition source and so will you.

Q?

What is better, clips or sleeves?

A.

Both are good and both have advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes, setting up a tent with clips is easier especially with fiberglass poles as the ferrule (the metal end of the fiberglass pole) can get caught on the sleeves. Clips allow greater air circulation under the fly thereby reducing condensation. Clips can be faster to set up than sleeves, although in high winds some folks believe that continuous sleeves can be a little easier. Sleeves provide a more even distribution of stress on the tent (particularly across the centre arch where you will find many tents have sleeves), although it is rare for a clip to pull out due to wind especially in high-end tents. Continuous sleeves are better than non-continuous sleeves as they are generally easier to set-up. Sleeves do inhibit airflow under the fly. Mesh or vaulted sleeves allow more air to pass than solid sleeves.

Q?

What is condensation?

A.

Condensation forms when the tent is warmer inside than outside (physics). When people are in a tent it will always be warmer in the tent than outside the tent. Warm bodies heat up the tent and the colder outside air hits the warmer tent wall forming condensation. Also, each person in a tent exhales approximately 1/2 a litre of water each night. If that water cannot evaporate out of the tent through venting it will form on the tent walls and floor. You should leave every window or vent open as much as possible to minimize condensation especially if there are a lot of people in the tent or it is very small. Only close your windows if it is very cold or rain is coming in. Remember, the more ventilation the less condensation!

Q?

Should I believe everything I read in a tent company catalog?

A.

No. Don't believe everything you read especially from a tent company. They have a vested interest in making you believe that their tents are the lightest, strongest and roomiest on the market. Research your purchase. Ask the sales staff any questions you might have, tell them how you intend to use it and in what conditions it is to be used. Tell the sales staff what you want from the tent. Buy the tent that is right for you and not the one that had the catchiest ad campaign or the shiniest new colors. Keep in mind things like weight, size, shape, number of people, the season it is to be used and if it is going to be carried long distances or just set down and left there.

Q?

What is the difference between fiberglass and aluminum poles?

A.

Fiberglass poles are less expensive than aluminum poles. They are more likely to break, especially in temperatures below 50 degrees. In order to get the same strength from a fiberglass pole it has to be longer and thicker than an aluminum pole which can be problematic for a backpacking tent. Aluminum poles are lighter than fiberglass, less likely to break, stronger and suitable for cold weather. They are more expensive than fiberglass and work well in any temperature. In backpacking tents, the sections tend to be shorter to make for a small pack size. Aluminum poles are essential for 4 season tents (snow and wind).

For weekend tents, practical cost comparisons and performance, many tents will use fibreglass poles. There are various thicknesses of fibreglass poles on the market. Steel frame structures are the best option for cabin style tents for their added strength and reasonable cost. All tent poles can and will break if the force applying pressure to the structure is greater than it is designed to handle.

Q?

What are season ratings for tents?

A.

3 Season
Spring, Summer or Autumn. No snow - fiberglass poles. Vents and windows may not close.
3.5 Season
Spring, Summer or Autumn. Cold weather, no snow - aluminum poles. Vents and windows may not close.
Light Duty 4 Season
Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter. Light snow in a sheltered area - aluminum poles, all vents and windows close.
4 Season
Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Snow or wind - more aluminum poles, all vents and windows close.
4 Season Expedition
Winter - heavy snow. Anytime anywhere - Arctic, Mt. Everest, Mt. Washington etc - even more aluminum poles, all vents and windows close.

Q?

What is a four season tent?

A.

A tent that can take high winds and snow is a 4 season tent. It must have aluminum poles. It has the structural integrity to withstand snow loading and high winds (usually 3 or 4 aluminum poles). The ability to close all windows and vents to prevent spindrift or blowing snow from getting inside the tent is vital. These tents are not generally recommended for summer conditions because of weight and venting considerations.

Q?

What is a single wall tent?

A.

Traditional double wall tents vent moisture through windows and breathable nylon walls and roof vents. Single wall tents eliminate all breathable nylon and a separate fly. The walls function as the fly. Primarily, with backpacking tents, this is done to save weight. Condensation is eliminated from the tent through hooded vents. All tents will have condensation at some times, but single wall tents may have a little more. The primary advantage to a single wall tent would be lighter weight and ease of set-up. Some very expensive single wall tents are made with a waterproof breathable material (ie canvas) where the fabric actually moves moisture out in addititon to air venting.

Q?

Should I stuff or roll my tent when I put it away?

A.

You should always fold and roll your tent and put it in its carry bag. Some people believe that if you fold and roll your tent the same way every time you will cause creasing in the urethane coating. This is nonsense; the coatings used today are fantastic. Also if you could fold and roll your tent the same way every time you have other issues that need to be addressed. Don't believe me? Call any tent company or try this at home. Take your neatly folded and rolled tent and stuff the fly in the carry sack. Let it sit awhile and then take it out. Look at all the stress points (hundreds) on that fly where the urethane has been creased. Also, if you stuff your tent and it gets caught on the poles in the sack it will damage or rip the fabric. And if you have stuffed the tent without the poles in the bag you won't be able to get them in the bag. Storing your poles in their bag provided in any place other than the center of your rolled tent invites loss or damage.

Q?

How do I roll my tent to put it in that little bag?

A.

First, shake out all loose dirt and debris and make sure the tent is dry. Never store a tent for a prolonged period if it is wet or else mold and mildew will form and begin to destroy your tent. Lay the tent flat and fold one third into the center lengthwise. Try to leave the windows and vents at least partially opened so as you roll the tent up, air won't be trapped and balloon. The fold should be just shorter than the tent bag. Fold the fly in thirds and lay it on top of the tent and fold the last third or the tent over the fly. Put the folded ground sheet on top of that. Take the poles and stakes and place them at one end or the tent and tightly roll the tent up. It should drop right in the bag.

Q?

Can I pack my tent when it is wet?

A.

There may be times when you will have to pack your tent up wet. Always set it up and dry it as soon as possible. Never store it at home or for long periods of time wet (ie no more than 12 hours). If you have a family tent and you leave a campground with a wet tent you must open and dry your tent as soon as possible in order to prevent mold and mildew from forming.

Q?

My tent has mold/mildew. How do I get rid of it?

A.

You can't. Mold and mildew form under the urethane coating and invade the fabric. If left untreated it will cause an awful smell and possibly lead to delamination of the urethane coating and weakening, disintegration of the fabric fibres. To treat mold/mildew there are mildew removing products available to purchase from camping stores. These treatments will kill the growth of the fungus, but may not remove the stain altogether that wildew creates. The treatment may remove the waterproofing coating from the fabric and the material will then need to be re proofed. For hiking and light weight tents, another alternative is to fill a bucket with warm soapy water (no detergents please). Add 2 cups of lemon juice and mix. Set up the tent. Take a sponge and gently clean all areas of the tent inside and out. Rinse the tent by lightly sprinkling it with a hose. Let it air dry and be sure to stake it down. To clean the fly lay it on the ground and repeat cleaning procedure described above. After finishing one side, flip it over and do the other side. Rinse and air dry to finish.

Q?

How do I wash my tent? Can I put my tent in a washing machine?

A.

NO! All tents must be hand washed. Washing machines put a terrible strain on stitching and can rip your tent in short order. To wash your tent fill a bucket with warm soapy water (no detergents please). Set up the tent. Take a sponge and gently clean all areas of the tent inside and out. Rinse the tent by lightly sprinkling it with a hose until rinsed. Let it air dry and be sure to stake it down. To clean the fly lay it on the ground and repeat cleaning procedure above. After finishing one side flip it over and do the other side. Rinse and air dry to finish.

Q?

Why are there two weights for backpacking tents?

A.

To avoid confusion a number of years ago, the industry decided to provide a minimum weight or tent weight. The minimum weight includes the tent body, poles and fly. It does not include the carry sacks, stakes, guy lines or anything else that you would carry with the tent including, the ground sheet or footprint. This was done so all companies' weights would be comparable when choosing a tent. Some tents such as expedition tents have over a 500 grams worth of stakes. The total weight or pack weight is really the weight that is closest to what you would be carrying on a pack. This include lines, sacks and anything else that you would carry with the tent. Again this would not include the ground sheet or footprint.

Q?

I have tree sap on my tent. Can I get it off?

A.

For nylon or polyester tents - Yes. A cloth dipped in either mineral oil or white gas will clean it. For canvas cabin style tents no. The tree sap will stain the tent material permanently. Best to put a silver coated flysheet over the top of cabin tents to prevent this.

Q?

Will ultraviolet light damage my tent, canopy or screen house?

A.

Ultraviolet light is invisible and is always present during the daytime. It causes fabrics, such as nylon, polyester and polyethylene, to degrade and breakdown over time. A tent, screen house or canopy made from any of those materials is subject to ultraviolet damage. Polyester lasts longer than nylon in resisting damage and dark colors fare better than light colors. A nylon tent left up continuously for about 3 months will be completely destroyed by ultraviolet light. A polyester tent fly would last about 5 months before it succumbs. Polyethylene has about the same UV characteristics as polyester. The material looks thinner, dryer and fades as the damage progresses. Finally, the material will shred and fall apart. Ultraviolet light does not break down canvas materials as quickly as synthetic materials. All the tents, canopies, screen houses etc. that Diamantina sells are intended for occasional use and not for permanent or season-long use. No tent company warranties ultraviolet damage and neither does Diamantina.

Q?

My tent fly has UV damage. Can I get a new one?

A.

Yes, from the manufacturer, but we don't recommend it. If the fly is destroyed by UV the body surely has damage too. You might not see it but it's there. So, if you spend the money for a new fly, the tent might not even last another season before it gives out.

Q?

My 10-15 year old tent stinks. What is it and what can I do about it?

A.

If the smell is from mold or mildew see question 25. However when tents get to the advanced age of 10 years some of them begin to smell (like stale milk or baby vomit). This is the urethane coating and the fire retardant on the fabric beginning to break down chemically. There is nothing that can be done that we are aware of that will reduce the smell. Washing the tent will lessen the odor but not eliminate it. IT may be time to purchase a new tent.

Q?

My zipper won’t work. What’s wrong?

A.

Most zipper problems are Slider problems. This is the piece that moves up and down and actually opens and closes the zipper. Usually, when this wears out, the zipper opens after you close it. Sometimes you can crimp the slider with pliers temporarily making the zipper work. But, what you really need is a new slider because the old one has worn out. This can happen over time or if sand or grit get in the zipper and wear it out. Replacing a slider is not hard. A replacement slider can often be provided. A full zipper only needs to be replaced if the teeth or coils are damaged. Replacing a zipper is not an easy task and should only be attempted by a qualified stitching engineer.

Q?

If I touch the walls of my nylon/polyester tent, will they leak?

A.

No. If you touch a canvas tent wall or ceiling it may leak. Canvas absorbs water causing the threads to expand and thereby stopping water from going through. However if you rub against the walls, you may break the surface tension and cause a drip from that spot. A nylon/polyester tent has a waterproof urethane coating that prevents water from going through the fabric. What you will feel, though, is condensation. It is almost always present and certainly in prolonged rain or in tents with a high occupancy it will be noticeable. Remember, the more ventilation the less condensation.

Q?

Can I waterproof my tent with a silicone spray?

A.

Yes and no. Silicone can be sprayed on to improve waterproofing but can not be applied as a primary waterproof coating. When your tent is new the nylon or polyester on the fly, floor or walls has what is known as a Durable Water Repellency or DWR. This is applied to the actual threads and is separate from the urethane coating on the underside of the fabric. The DWR causes water to bead up and run off similar to the wax finish on a car. As the tent is used or through age the DWR breaks down and allows water to stay on the fabric where it can seep through any breaks or abrasions in the urethane coating. Silicone renews the DWR so that water beads up and runs off before the water has a chance to find any breaks or cracks in the urethane. Silicone usually needs at least 2 coatings to be most effective but follow all directions with the product you are using. Silicone is to be applied to the outside or the uncoated side of the fabric; it will not work if applied to the underside or the urethane coating.

Silicone spray should not be applied to canvas tents. Canvas tents rely on water resistance and breathability in the one layer of fabric. Silicon sprays will clog the pores of canvas and reduce breathability. Specific canvas waterproofing treatment are available for different types of material.

Q?

The waterproof (urethane) coating of my old tent is coming off. Can I recoat it?

A.

You could, but it is a lot of work. By the time the coating comes off of a tent, the tent is usually in its advanced years (10-15) and maybe ready to retire. However, if you can't bear to let your old musty friend die, it is possible to recoat the tent. Most tents have the urethane coating on the under side of the fly and the inside of the body. First, the surface must be cleaned with a light soap solution (see above) and dried. Then all the loose urethane must be removed. Then, and only then, can you apply a recoat. Follow all directions on the product carefully. Whatever you apply will not be as good as when the tent was new as it is only a surface coat and the original was sprayed on under pressure. Good luck.

Q?

Additional Questions?

A.

If you have any additional questions about purchasing a tent, or the care of your tent, please contact info@diamantina.net.au.