When buying Tyvek online, there appear to be a myriad of options and numbers. Which numbers are suitable for making a tent footprint?

Known numbers: 1443R, 1622E, 10G, 10GX, 1460, RV, 14M... (may be others)

A Note: I can just go buy a "Tyvek Footprint". However I believe the products specifically marketed as footprints are just one of the above types, re-branded and marked up 10x.

  • Interesting question - this would be good to know. So did Tyvek come out best for these? I remember your question on sealing the bottom of your tent and wondered what you would settle on.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 12:13
  • @RoryAlsop -- I believe Tyvek will be the best option for footprint. Silnylon is a great material, but not as durable. I actually have a silnylon question coming soon too :) Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 12:54
  • @RussellSteen - Is there something more you are looking for in this question? I'd be glad to amend my answer if it is insufficient.
    – montane
    Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 2:56
  • @RussellSteen - I got ya. I just wanted to make sure I didn't leave anything out that you might have been looking for in an answer. Thanks!
    – montane
    Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 22:20

1 Answer 1


From what I've discovered there are really two main types of Tyvek: hard-structure and soft-structure. The numbers you refer to are variations in applications of the two types. Hard-structure, type 10, is most commonly recognizable in the housewrap application and is suitable for a ground cloth. It is stiff, noisy, and loud but that can be remedied. Soft-structure has two main varieties: types 14 and 16. Type 16 (1622E, 1673) is not suitable for a groundcloth as it has lots of tiny holes in it. Type 14 (1443R) has a soft hand and is just as water resistant as type 10 (10G or 10GX) so either type 10 or 14 will work for your application.

I might recommend the hard-type as it will be easier to lay out your groundcloth to cut and measure. After you have completed it you can then wash it several times to soften it and make it more manageable. It also will be easier to find as you can get it at both Lowe's and Home Depot. However, I don't know if you can buy small quantities there. You also might check construction job sites (with permission) as they often have some left over that they just throw away. I got almost 30 yards of good Tyvek this way because they had tossed it.

Here are some good resources for more in-depth information:

The Definitive Tyvek Article

Material Concepts

  • Thanks for the Home Depot/Lowes tip. Googling Tyvek, they don't come up and I didn't realize it was so easy to get. Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 0:17
  • 1
    You're welcome. Glad that was helpful. One thing about Lowe's though is they have their own store brand of housewrap which is not Tyvek. It has a different look to it and it isn't very suitable for anything outside of being housewrap.
    – montane
    Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 0:40

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