Understanding Tent Material Ratings: Denier, UV, and PU Explained

Tent with Rain

When shopping for a camping tent or shelter, you may come across terms like denier, UV, and PU, which describe the tent's material rating. Understanding these ratings is important in choosing a tent that suits your needs and withstands the elements of nature. Below, we'll break down what these ratings mean and compare them to our ArcHaus and new Moon Unit Tailgate Shelter.

Denier Rating

Denier is a unit of measurement that describes the thickness of the tent fabric. The higher the denier rating, the thicker and more durable the fabric. A higher denier rating also means the fabric is less likely to tear or puncture.

Most tent fabrics have denier ratings ranging from 40D to 75D. Tents made with lower denier ratings, such as 40D, are lightweight, breathable, and great for backpacking or summer camping. On the other hand, tents with higher denier ratings for their rainflys, such as 70D or 75D, are heavier and more durable, making them ideal for harsher weather conditions or car camping. When it comes to the Moon Unit and ArcHaus, our Let’s Go Aero tailgate shelter are made rugged with a 185D rating to withstand even the heaviest rain. That’s more than 2x the average 4-season tent that you will find.

Moon Unit and Crashpad Camping Trailer in the Rain

UV Rating

A tent's UV rating describes how well the tent fabric can resist the sun's ultraviolet rays. The higher the UV rating, the better the tent fabric can protect you from harmful UV rays. Tent fabrics with a high UV rating can prevent fading and degradation of the tent material over time. A tent's UV rating is typically measured on a scale of 0-50+. Let’s Go Aero’s Moon Unit sits at the highest possible rating, 50UV so you can enjoy the outdoors and be protected from the sun for many years to come.

PU Rating

PU, or polyurethane, is a coating applied to tent fabric to make it waterproof. The PU rating measures how much water pressure the fabric can withstand before it starts leaking. PU ratings range from 500mm to 10,000mm or more depending on the use, with the average 4-season tent rainfly sitting around 1,500mm. 

A tent with a low PU rating, such as 500mm or 1000mm, may be fine for light rain or a drizzle but is likely to start leaking in heavy rain. A tent with a higher PU rating, such as 1,500mm, will be more waterproof and able to withstand heavy rainfall. Due to this range in water protection, many tents refrain to claiming to be completely waterproof. Let’s Go Aero’s Moon Unit and ArcHaus shelter boast a high 2,000 PU rating so you can always count on a waterproof canopy above your head.

ArcHaus on Gloomy Camping Day

Understanding tent material ratings such as denier, UV, and PU is crucial in choosing camping tents and tailgate shelters that meets your needs. While shopping always consider the type of camping, tailgating, or outdoor activity you'll be doing, the weather conditions you'll encounter, and your budget when selecting a shelter with the appropriate ratings. With the right material like that from the Moon Unit, you'll be able to enjoy the great outdoors and have a comfortable camping experience even if your sunny forecast turns into a rainy day.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

About the Author

Amanda Kennedy

Camping Enthusiast & Product Tester

Amanda Kennedy is an avid camper and captivating storyteller. Whether exploring new trails or writing about them, Amanda brings adventure and inspiration to every aspect of life.