Hydrostatic Head on tents – what does it mean?

Hydrostatic Head (HH) is just about the most quoted number when looking at tent specifications. At Camping Cooking we thought it worth 5 minutes to explain the term…

Visualise Hydrostatic Head as follows. Stretch your tent material out horizontally and imagine a column of water standing on top of it. The height of the column before the water penetrates the material is the Hydrostatic Head rating (in millimetres). Therefore the higher the HH value, the more waterproof the material.

A general purpose value for ‘waterproof’ is 800mm. However in a tent you should really be thinking about 1500mm as a sensible minimum to withstand the additional pressure of wind-driven rain.

A Hydrostatic value of 2000 is a good allround value for a quality tent. Unless you are into weather extremes this would make for a good all-season tent. Some tents will quote a higher value for the groundsheet – sensible as it has to cope with you walking on it and pressing it into the wet ground.

One Response to “Hydrostatic Head on tents – what does it mean?”

  1. [...] As usual with Vango tents, people were happy with the build quality. It was also reported that the 2000HH rating has no problem keeping out foul weather. On the negative side we did find a report of a broken tent [...]