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REI Seam Lock: Field Test

A few months ago, I sealed a Lunar Solo Tarptent from Six Moon Designs with REI Seam Lock seam sealer to see how well it would perform compared to the industry standard, McNett’s Silnet silicone seam sealer.  I wrote up that process up in a post that describes how to seal tent seams.

Since then I’ve taken my Lunar Solo on a number of backpacking trips but the REI seam sealer has not held up at all. Instead, it’s started to flake off the tent rather severely, littering the ground around my campsites with god knows what. Here’s a photo of the seams on my Lunar Solo. As you can see, the REI Seam Lock has already peeled off rather significantly. My advice would be to stay away from this product.

Instead, I can heartily recommend McNett’s Silnet silicone seam sealer. The following photo shows what a well sealed seam looks like on my JRB (JacksRbetter) 8′ x 8′ tarp. I sealed this tarp about 3 years ago with McNett’s and the seal is still holding strong and flexes easily.

If you had a similar or different experience with REI’s seam lock product, I’d like to hear more.

Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.

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5 comments

  1. sNot a similar experience, but I've used the REI product on regular coated nylon and seams on hiking shoes with no problems. I don't think REI Seam Lock is designed to be used on Silnylon.

  2. I just checked the product page on REI.com and the only material they warn you not to use the product with is vinyl. I think you got the lucky ketone.

  3. REI blows

  4. While this product has issues, I don't agree with you about REI in general. Some of their stuff is good and some of it is ok, and they carry a lot of brands that are very good. Overall, I rather like them as an outdoor retailer, and their return policy can't be beat.

  5. I love REI's seam lock for the seams on gloves and shoes, it seems to strengthen the threads, now I cant find the stuff.

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