Tents with Fireproof Canopies

Tents with Fireproof Canopies
Pavlo Lysyy August 17, 2023 6 mins read time

Fire hazard is one of the biggest concerns for hikers and campers who go out on several-day-long trips. It is important to keep yourself and your companions safe when cooking, burning a campfire, or heating up your shelter. Campers use woodstoves, gas burners, and other sources of fire. Manufacturers have been trying to find a safe and effective solution that should help them avoid fire.

Today, most canopies are made of synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester. Also, there are canvas tents that use cotton and polycotton. In order to reduce their flammability, some manufacturers apply chemicals that prevent the material from catching fire and won’t let it spread too fast. Tightly woven materials are less likely to catch fire.

All tents are expected to live up to the CPAI-84 flammability standard. The abbreviation stands for Canvas Production Association International. Prior to sale, all products have to pass flammability tests, during which a material is briefly exposed to fire, and the damage should not exceed a certain limit.

Some British test makers treat their products with Proban® – an advanced flame retardant that firmly clings to the material and does not pose danger to your health. The polymer penetrates between the canvas fibers and won’t rub off during set-up or take-down. Proban-treated canopies should meet the British quality standard BS7837. To ensure compliance with the standard, they are put to a flammability test, during which they are exposed to fire. The treated material will char, but it won’t burn or smolder after the flame is taken away. Besides, the treated material is impervious to rain and solar radiation.


What is bad about it?

Given these facts, it should be noted that this whole thing is about fire resistance, not fire-proofness. No matter how far the industry has advanced, materials mentioned above are fire-resistant or fire-retardant, but not fireproof. Simply put, completely fireproof camping tents do not exist. Even what one might call the most advanced fire-resistant canopy won’t get off with a whole skin if fire does break out.

Second, some flame retardants that are applied to camps are active organic substances – phosphates (particularly tris (1,3-dichloroisopropyl) phosphate, TDCPP), phenols, ethers, etc., and some of them are very toxic. They can peel off from the canvas and remain on your skin. Some tiny particles can be inhaled and cause damage to the lungs and other organs. These substances bioaccumulate inside the body, affect the immune and reproductive systems, and are highly carcinogenic.

This whole thing poses a choice between buying a so-called fireproof camp, which does not even exist, and putting your and your loved ones’ health in danger. For this reason, you should be very careful when choosing a shelter with a fire-retardant canopy. Please check the California Proposition 65, which lists harmful chemicals and on which manufacturers and dealers should inform customers. One thing you should remember is that you can buy another product, but you cannot buy health. Just take fire precautions and enjoy your trip!

All-Season Tent with Stove Jack Up-2 Mini

This two-layer four-season camp is tailored for use in cold weather. It presents a simple yet effective insulation technique that will keep the inside warm even in severe frost and high winds. The shelter features an umbrella-type frame made of AA7075 aluminum, which can be set up in less than a minute.

The Up-2 Mini features a stove jack – a device that holds a flue pipe. It is made of fire-resistant material that withstands a temperature of 2,192 °F. There are wood stoves available for sale, and they are tailored for this particular type of shelters. Although it is not a fireproof canopy, fire safety is ensured by the construction of the stove. It features metal shields with adjustable clearings, and the stove jack is placed safely away from the wall, so it won’t catch fire.

The shelter is well ventilated. It features four 5-layer windows and consists of two layers, the inner one made of Oxford 210 PU 2000, and the outer one made of Oxford 300 PU 4000. The tension ropes feature light-reflectors that make the structure visible in the dark from a long distance. The floor is zippered to the canopy, leaving zero chance for insects, crawlers, and animals.

This shelter can keep up to three persons comfortable when it is -20 to +82 °F outside. Thanks to the camo pattern, it is less visible in the wilderness, and it is well suited for fishermen, hunters, and regular campers. It can accommodate two people in sleeping bags with a stove, and three people without a stove.

5M Fire Retardant Made for trade Bell Tent

The Life Under Canvas bell tent showcases the use of Proban®. It features a cotton canopy treated with the healthy, safe, and effective fire retardant. Unlike many chemicals used by some manufacturers (particularly TDCPP), Proban® does not come off from the fabric, so it won’t cause you any health problems. It fully complies with the BS7837 flammability standard. Although it is not actually fireproof, the substance will char if affected by fire, so you will have enough time to detect fire and put it out before it breaks out and completely destroys your shelter.

Apart from fire resistance, this shelter offers a good amount of space for a family of up to six persons. The Life Under Canvas has a very stable pole structure with a reinforced door pole. A four-layer top provides extra protection against inclement weather. Poles are equipped with stoppers that secure rubber ends. A set of rebar pegs will hold guy lines tight and keep the whole structure strong and sound in any weather. Like most shelters, this one has mosquito nets. The guylines have fluorescent flecks, so the shelter will be visible from a distance late at night.

The Life Under Canvas is quite large and heavyweight, so it is less of a hiking tent. It fits in a large bag with strong handles and takes a vehicle to get it to a camping site. There are good reasons to consider it a glamping shelter, as it is spacious enough to handle a good-sized team or family.

Canvas 5M Fireproof PRO Bell Tent

This camp is very large and accommodates a group of up to 8 people. It features a canopy made of a 360 gsm cotton canvas that is highly fire-retardant. Besides, it features a stove hole, so you can heat it up with a stove without much fear of fire (please take fire precautions anyway!). Most important, it uses the non-toxic Proban ® fire retardant and meets international flammability and safety standards.

This shelter is great for a variety of outdoor activities. It comes with a bathtub-style zipper floor, which keeps water and bugs outside. The door features a mosquito mesh, which keeps the inside ventilated and insect-free. The central pole is thick and strong enough to hold the entire structure. The guy ropes feature wooden sliders and light reflectors.

The shelter offers enough space to accommodate four double air beds. Although it is good-sized, it fits into a compact shoulder bag, and it takes about 10 minutes to put it up. The canopy is breathable, so there is no big condensation problem. It helps maintain comfortable temperature and humidity levels both in summer and in winter.

Although the name suggests it is a fireproof shelter, it is actually fire-retardant, but not fireproof. Once again, there are no fully fireproof tents. The fire retardant that is applied to the canopy does impede ignition, but it does not prevent it.


🏕  Where can I buy a fireproof tent?

There is no such place because they do not exist. In the contest of tents, the term “fireproof” is incorrect and should be replaced with “fire-resistant” or “fire-retardant”. These apply to canopies treated with a fire retardant – a chemical that impedes the ignition and burning.

📦  Are fire retardants harmful?

Some are, some are not. Phosphates (particularly tris (1,3-dichloroisopropyl) phosphate, TDCPP), as well as phenols, ethers, etc. are unstable on the surface. As tiny particles come off from a canopy, they may stick to your hands or become inhaled as you handle your tent. They tend to bioaccumulate and cause harm to your body for years.

💡  Will a so-called fireproof tent burn if exposed to fire?

Yes, it will. Canopies are made of flammable natural (cotton, polycotton) and synthetic materials, and a fire-retardant accounts for just a small share in the composition. It can slow down the burning process, but it cannot stop it.



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