pjclinch wrote:pwa wrote:I have a Saunders that is very good in some respects, but I was astounded to find that the maker did not seal the seams! You were expected to do it yourself. Which I did. You can't do that in today's market. It must work straight out of the pack.
It's not that simple. Bob Saunders didn't seal the seams because he (like Bo Hilleberg) figured that having the strongest possible fabric at the weight was more important than seam taping, and a silicone coating on the underside meant that the seams wouldn't take a tape (vauDe and Lightwave now ship silicone coated flysheets with seam tape, but this doesn't appear to be a generally available process like the hot taping used on PH coats).
So for your how much? investment in a Hilleberg you get a tent with no seam taping. How could they? Rather than use seam tape, which adds weight, bulk and (at least with typical hot-taping) heat ages and weakens the seams, Hille invested quite a lot in sewing machines (and staff) that minimise heat damage from needles, and carefully make a fairly elaborate double-interlocked seam which typically doesn't leak even without taping. It can't be guaranteed watertight, but it usually is, and if it isn't a few minutes with some seam goop solves it. Personally, I'd much rather have that than seam taping with all of its downsides. (Neither of my Hilles leak, even without seam sealing, I did seal my Saunders tents but as a "just in case" rather than proven leaking, but Bob's seams weren't generally the neatest on the planet).
Most marketing departments seem to agree with you that it must be guaranteed waterproof out of the bag first time, but Hille don't, and nor do people that buy them because they want a strong flysheet more than they want the seams taped at the factory.
I don't care how it is done so long as it works. My Hille doesn't leak and if they achieve that without taping, great. My Saunders did leak, a lot, so I applied silicone sealant. Point is, if someone sells tents they know are not going to keep the rain out without fettling they are selling an unfinished product and they will go out of business if they continue doing that.