PVC or Canvas Base for your swag?

We are often asked what is better pvc base or canvas base. The simple answer is that pvc performance is inferior to canvas in most respects - but not all

We are often asked what is better pvc base or canvas base. The simple answer is that pvc performance is inferior to canvas in most respects - but not all

There has been a recent push and trend with more and more swags using pvc base, but putting synthetic floors in tents in NOT the same as putting them in a swag.

The following points are some of the pitfalls with pvc as base on a swag:

1. Condensation - PVC creates serious condensation problems (not always immediately obvious unless you look under the mattress but it soon starts to cause deterioration in the swag).

2. Mildew - When rolled up (with pvc base on the outside) moisture cannot escape due to the non porous nature of the material. Micro-biological degradation is inevitable and the life of the swag and mattress are consequently reduced. It can also cause the swag to develop a serious odor problem.

3. Damage prone – pvc base (plastic) cuts very easily. The quality generally used in swags is not always durable enough and is damaged by sharp stones, sticks etc. Try the Stanley knife test on some pvc– the PVC cuts very easily and is much less abrasion resistant.

4. Seams – PVC can leak where sewn. Being a solid material, the sewing needles punch holes in the fabric. This does not happen with woven canvas as the needles slip between the weave. Binding around seams is needed here when PVC base is used. Further, when canvas becomes wet the fibers swell and seal the thread.

5. Cost – PVC base is generally cheaper to use in production, hence the general capitalist market push to use PVC and convince the market it’s just as good.

The 2 only benefits of PVC over canvas base is that the pvc is easier to clean and wipe down due to its non-stick nature, and its generally more waterproof. However in this regards it tends to be counter intuitive. It is true to say that PVC has a higher water column, but good quality waterproof canvas is designed not to leak under the conditions in which it is likely to be used.

In summary Good breathable canvas has many more desirable qualities which outweigh the cleaning advantage and the perceived waterproof advantage of pvc base.