What Is A Tent Bathtub Floor And Do You Need One?

If you’re new to camping, the term “bathtub floor” may be unfamiliar to you – but it could be your next best friend.

Bathtub floors can prevent water from leaking into your tent and getting everything inside wet. So what is a tent bathtub floor, and do you need one? Let’s find out! 

Related: Looking to head out camping this summer but it’s just too hot? Try a tent with an air conditioner port.

What is a tent bathtub floor?

A tent bathtub floor is a feature of a tent to improve its waterproofing. A bathtub floor continues up the side of the tents to give you half a foot of extra flooring. This avoids having seams at the edge of the tent which are prone to leaking.

What are the benefits of a bathtub floor?

Bathtub floors are made to stop water leaking into the tent. When it has been raining the ground can get wet, and this water can leak through stitching. The bathtub floor raises the stitching up the tent, away from the wet floor.

Tent floors are also very waterproof and thick which makes them better at sitting on wet ground than the wall fabric is.

So why isn’t the whole tent made of the same material as the tent floor, I hear you ask?

Unfortunately, tent floors have very poor breathability. You’d end up in a puddle of condensation if the whole tent was made of the same material as the floor.

A woman setting up the ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr tent, the best 2 person backpacking and camping budget tent when it comes to storage.
The bathtub floor is typically very low on backpacking tents to keep the tent lightweight

Do I need a tent with a bathtub floor?

Bathtub floors are not necessary but they are useful.

More advanced campers will understand the importance of tent placement in the setup to avoid the worst effects of the weather. The floor is also thicker and heavier (with a texture like a tarp) which is a drawback for ultralight backpackers.

But for beginner campers who just want to get outdoors, a bathtub floor can be a useful waterproofing extra.

Related: Looking to hook up your tent to electricity? Check out our guide: what is an e port on a tent?

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Author at Wilderness Redefined camping website

James has been escaping to the outdoors for as long as he can remember. This first started in family camping trips but soon turned into adventure camps and hiking through the Scottish Hebrides. Now he has turned towards trying to make camping more comfortable and accessible.