Granger's Tent + Gear Care Kit
Test Series by Kurt Papke
| Kurt Papke
| 6' 4" (193 cm)
| 230 lbs (105 kg)
| kwpapke (at) gmail (dot) com
|City, State, Country:
|Tucson, Arizona USA
I do most of my hiking in the desert Southwest, but occasionally get
up into the Pacific Northwest and my old stomping grounds in
Northern Minnesota. I am a comfort-weight guy when it comes to
most gear, trying to stay as light as possible but I don't go to
extremes. I rarely clean my gear, but my tent footprints and
floors are in desperate need of rehab after numerous Grand Canyon
This product is designed to clean dirty outdoor gear and renew
water repellent properties. Granger's is a bluesign(r)
system approved company, which provides assurance that the
products are manufactured in an environmentally-friendly fashion,
and should be reasonably safe to use.
|Granger's International Ltd
|Tent + Gear Care Kit
|Country of manufacture
|USD $29 (Amazon - I was not able to get the price directly
from their website)
|One year limited warranty
|Tent + Gear Cleaner: 500ml / 16.9 fl.oz, gross weight 558
g (19.7 oz)
Tent + Gear Repel: 500ml / 16.9 fl.oz, gross weight 577 g
Sponge: gross weight 31g (1.1 oz)
|Cleaner: contains <5% non-ionic surfactants;
preservative (1, 2-benzisothiazol-3(2H)-one,
As the name implies, this is a "kit" that contains everything in the
box needed to renew camping shelters: cleaning solution, applicator
sponge, and a spray bottle of water repellent. In the above
photo, upper-left is the front of the box, upper middle the back of
the box, lower left is the box contents. Upper right is the
back of the Cleaner bottle, lower right is the back of the Repel
bottle, both showing the instructions for use.
Usage seems pretty straightforward with only the cleaner requiring
mixing with water, the Repel solution is used full-strength from the
spray bottle. I will likely use rubber gloves for the cleaning
solution to avoid skin contact, and use both products
outdoors. Good thing I live in Arizona where the weather is
nice enough to do this outdoors year around!
Testing strategy: I have two tents that I use with "footprints"
extensively in the Grand Canyon. They are pretty filthy with
red Canyon sandstone, and one tent is over eleven years old. I
will likely tackle these first, then have a look at my tent floors
to see what kind of shape they are in.
I have four hammocks with associated tarps. Because they hang
off the ground they are not too dirty, but I'll inspect them to see
if they could use a touch up.
The Granger's Tent + Gear Care Kit is a complete solution for
cleaning up my act. I have never been much of a "clean
freak", but I look forward to seeing what the product can do with
my camping shelters. I have no concerns over the product or
Thanks for reading this Initial Report, stop back in three to
four months for the Long Term Report.
Long Term Report
As I had planned, my first project was my two tent
footprints. Since I moved to Tucson in 2009, I primarily use
my tents in the Grand Canyon where hammock camping is
prohibited. As can be seen in the following photos, this is
a very dusty environment. In particular use in areas such as
Boucher, where the ground is mostly red sandstone, result in very
Note that the two Grand Canyon trips depicted above will not be
found in my trip log below. The occurred prior to the Granger
kit test, and are used for illustrative purposes only.
The footprint of my LL Bean tent is barely visible beneath it, but
in the photo of the Sierra Designs tent directly above it was quite
visible while I was pitching my tent. I often use this tent in
the "fastpack" configuration, i.e. just the footprint without the
inner tent. This saves substantial weight, but as I found the
night the picture was taken it allows mice to run all over my face
during the night!
I followed the product directions: I mixed up a half-batch of the
cleaner (1 capful to 2.5L (2.5 qts) of water), hosed down the gear
to get the big chunks off, washed with the supplied sponge and
rinsed off the cleaner with the hose. Next I drained a lot of
the water off, sprayed on the Repel and rubbed it in with a clean
sponge. When I was all done I hung the gear up to dry off.
Here are the project photos:
The dirt on the black LL Bean footprint at upper left is much more
visible than it is on the tan-colored Sierra Designs tent at lower
left. The "after" pictures on the right were taken with some
water sprayed from the hose to see how well it would bead up.
The results are more obvious on the Sierra Designs footprint because
my camera was a little closer so the water droplets are more
visible. What I neglected to take a photo of is the ground
beneath the footprints after I picked them up: there was no trace of
any water bleed-through.
In summary, this was a very successful project. I now have
clean footprints that will inhibit ground moisture from coming into
contact with my tent floors.
On a sunny Saturday morning in May I set out to wash and treat
the tent bathtub floors of the same two tents which I had
previously cleaned up the footprints. The floors were not
nearly as dirty because I almost always use the footprints here in
Arizona. The ground here is not only rocky, but often
contains sharp objects like cactus thorns, scorpions, etc.
Here's some photographic evidence of my work:
Cleaning the tent floors was pretty straightforward, though since I
wanted to clean both sides it required turning the tent inside-out
to clean the inside floor. I cleaned and rinsed both sides and
let them hang for a few minutes for the excess water to drain off
before applying the REPEL. Upon completion of cleaning and
waterproofing the floors, I had exhausted the supply of REPEL, and
had roughly 1/2 bottle of the Cleaner remaining.
REPEL Spray/Separation Failure
While waterproofing my LL Bean tent the REPEL sprayer
failed. I tried cleaning out the pump, and stuck a toothpick
into the output orifice, but nothing worked. Nothing
catastrophic, I was able to continue by pouring the waterproofing
solution onto the wet sponge and using that as an
applicator. In fact, this seemed easier than using the spray
bottle, at least on the flat surfaces I was using it on. The
pump may have been seriously plugged from separation of the
product which became apparent when I poured it out of the bottle
after removing the spray head:
Despite repeated vigorous shaking, I could not get the precipitate
to go back into solution. The product has been stored for
several months in a closet at normal room temperature with no
exposure to temperature swings nor sunlight.
Tent Floor Results
After the tents were fully dry I set up the Sierra Designs tent
on my patio to try it out. I hadn't washed the rain fly, but
when I crawled in I thought the tent smelled better. I had
used the tent extensively in Minnesota over a decade ago so it had
some exposure to wet conditions, and it is now about a dozen years
old. I can't say there is such a thing as "new tent smell",
but it was improved.
|February 4-5, 2019
|Painted Desert/Petrified Forest National
Monument near Holbrook, Arizona
|9 miles (14.5 km)
|Partly cloudy, very windy, chilly: 35-55 F
|February 7-8, 2019
|Gila River canyon near Kearny, Arizona
|Section 16 of the Arizona Trail
|Sunny, variable winds, 32-65 F (0-18 C)
|May 5-6, 2019
|Coronado National Forest, Santa Catalina
Mountains just North of Tucson, Arizona
|AZT: Gordon Hirabayashi TH to Hutch's Pool
|Mostly sunny, slight breeze. High of
around 85 F, low of 46 F (29-8 C)
My go-to tent is the LL Bean one person ultralight tent. The
Sierra Designs tent was the first shelter I ever bought, and is
supposed to be a two person tent, but for me it is just a very roomy
and heavy single-person tent. I only use it when weight is not
an issue, typically for car camping, so my field use of the clean
gear was restricted to the LL Bean.
The top photo above was my campsite in the Painted Desert, the big
"rocks" are petrified logs. The cleaned footprint got a little
dusty and dirty, but did its job. The lower photo is of my
campsite along the Gila River on the Arizona National Scenic Trail.
For some reason I had a lot of condensation in my tent that
night, including on the floor. The top of the footprint was
soaked, so apparently the condensate seeped through the tent floor
(dubious), or perhaps escaped through the netting and condensed on
the ground. The good news is the Granger's Repel worked very
well, and the moisture did not penetrate through the
footprint. Good to know the waterproofing was effective!
The bottom photo in the collage above is the tent before I put the
rainfly on, during a hike along the Arizona National Scenic trail in
the Catalina Mountains. This was the only use after I
cleaned the tent floors. Everything went smoothly with no
condensation on the footprint this time.
I can honestly say that in all my years of backpacking I have
never cleaned and restored my tents so thoroughly.
- My tents are the cleanest they have been since their first use
- The REPEL seems effective with condensate, though I didn't
experience any rain during the test period
- The cleaner is easy to mix up, dissolves easily in water, and
goes a long way
- The REPEL is simple to apply to flat surfaces
- Given the REPEL precipitation I don't know how much
waterproofing it will add to the tent floors.
- I ran out of REPEL while still having 1/2 the cleaner
remaining. This may have been pilot error - perhaps I
over-applied the REPEL product.
Many thanks to Granger's International and
BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product.
Read more reviews of Granger gear
Read more gear reviews by Kurt Papke