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June 27, 2022Taking Care

canopy material

An always outside pop-up tent offers a multitude of advantages. They are portable, affordable, and can’t be beaten for quick shelter on the go. They also are perfect for a wide variety of uses. Whether you’re planning a family gathering, holiday celebration, or corporate event, pop-up tents are an excellent solution for shade and protection from the elements. However, like most things in life, pop-up tents aren’t always perfect. Fortunately, even under less than ideal circumstances, you still can make successful use of your pop-up by planning and following our pop-up tent troubleshooting tips and guidelines.

#1. Heavy Winds Blow the Tent Away

There’s nothing better than a warm breeze on a beautiful spring day. However, when the wind goes from breezy to blustery, you may be wondering how much wind can pop up the canopy take? After all, it’s fun to fly a kite on a windy day, but not so much fun when your tent blows away and you have to chase it down. So how do you prevent your tent from taking flight? Start with quality. Look for pop-up tents made with a premium aluminum frame and a top made of 600D Oxford with PVC coating. For comfort and safety, also be sure your canopy is waterproof and flame-retardant. Look for PVC coating and high-quality polyester for the best quality. At American Tent, our tents feature:

  • 2” leg diameter with a hexagonal profile;
  • 50mm aluminum frame, footpads, and joints;
  • 600D Oxford with PVC coating.

You put a lot of planning into your special events. Don’t let the weather spoil your plans. If you keep all of these features in mind, you can rest assured that your tent will be able to withstand strong winds and even a storm. However, always keep safety in mind. When winds hit 38 miles an hour it’s time to discontinue the use of the tent.

Adding More Weight for Support 

You have many options when it comes to weighing down your tent to keep it from blowing away. For small pop-up tents, we recommend anchoring with water using our tent balancing system. A few of the many advantages of this system include:

  • It is lightweight;
  • It is compact;
  • It is portable.

pop up tent rain

#2. Tent Frame Breaks and Bends too Easily

Imagine this: you’ve been planning an important event, such as a wedding reception, for months. You spent countless hours preparing a guest list, scheduling caterers, and planning decorations. The big day arrives and horror of horrors, the tent frame is bent. They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so be sure to look for the following when choosing a tent for your big day:

  • An anodized aluminum frame. Anodized aluminum is 100 times as thick as regular aluminum, offering corrosion resistance and an impressive strength-to-weight ratio. Since aluminum is ⅓ the weight of steel, it can be used throughout the frame for increased durability.
  • Material thickness. A heavy-duty aluminum pop-up canopy should be 12 gauge aluminum (nearly 2mm thick) - anything under that will be less durable and more suitable for recreational use.
  • Leg diameter. Heavy-duty pop-up canopy models should have a leg diameter of 2” (or 50mm) consisting of 12 gauge aluminum.

Fixing the Bent Tent Frame

If you have the misfortune of a bent tent frame, you may be wondering how to fix a broken canopy frame. Have no fears, you still may be able to save the day. Try these quick tips for fixing a bent tent frame:

  • Braces. You can likely find braces at a local hardware store. With a drill and a few nuts and bolts, your tent will be almost as good as new.
  • Hammer. With a little elbow grease and a hammer, you may be able to coax the frame back to its original shape if it is only bent, not broken.
  • Plumbing pipes. If you are able to find narrow plumbing pipes that you can slide inside the frame, you are in luck! This quick solution works wonders.

#3. Tent Canopy Is Soggy with Water

canopy for rain protection

“Rain, rain go away, come again some other day”. We’ve all sung the childhood song and sadly, we know that we can’t sing the rain away. That’s why you need to make sure your canopy material is waterproof. Wondering what is a canopy tent that resists water? Some things to look for include pop-up tent rain resistance:

  • Water repellent tents that have an extra coating, allowing the water to bead up and roll right off.
  • Water-resistant fabrics with tightly knit fabric create a barrier to keep the water out.
  • Waterproof tents are the gold standard and have sturdier fabric with a solid layer of waterproof coating and they can withstand higher pressure than the other two options.

To ensure your tent is waterproof, you also can do the following: 

  • Clean your canopy.
  • Apply seam sealer and let it set.
  • Use a sponge to scrape off any previously applied waterproof coating that has started to wear off or peel.
  • Spray your whole tent with waterproof spray.
  • Let dry completely.

Another way to provide shelter during a storm is by sealing the seams to prep your canopy for rain protection. Ask your tent vendor how to clean the pop-up canopy and then apply the sealer to a clean tent at the seams and make sure to let it dry completely.

Fixing the Leaking Pop-Up Tent

If you feel raindrops falling on your head, then you probably have a leak in your pop-up tent. In this case, you should check all of the seams closely for any spots that seem to be letting water seep through. If you find any weak areas during the inspection, clean and dry the area and apply a seam spray.

#4. Pop-Up Tents Are too Big and Heavy for Transportation

Sometimes it can be difficult to strike a balance between durability and the ability to withstand poor weather conditions and portability and practicality. While larger, heavier tents may be able to provide more reliable shelter from stormy weather, they likely aren’t the easiest to set up or store. On the other hand, a lighter-weight tent will be much more portable and speedy to set up, they probably can’t provide the same level of performance in inclement weather conditions. 

Our Pop-Up Tents Are Easily Transported

Fortunately, American Tent has pop-up tent options that are not only quick and easy to set up, but they are also made from high-quality materials to provide optimal durability. 


Now that you’ve learned about the top pop-up tent problems and how to solve or prevent them, it’s time to start to shop for tents! We have a huge variety of pop-up tents and if we don’t have exactly what you want, we can customize a tent to your specifications. We manufacture the majority of our tents right here in the United States. This means that from sewing to welding, right through to the finished product, your tent is created with an unsurpassed dedication to quality. Contact us today for help with everything from planning and installation to maintenance.

Tony Ehrbar's headshot

Tony Ehrbar

Owner & CEO

Tony's entrepreneurial spirit is woven into the fabric of American Tent (an Inc 5000 company), shaped by his experience running a successful event venue & tent rental service. His recognition as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019 is a testament to his impact & dedication to his community. As the Co-founder and CEO of Renegade Plastics, Tony is leading initiatives in the tent industry to integrate eco-friendly, recyclable materials. Contributing as a board member for the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) & the Green Bay Area Public Schools Foundation and being featured by Entrepreneur, Oracle, & Modern Weddings, Tony plays a pivotal role in enhancing the growth and success of the textile industry.

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