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What is a tent stove jack made of?

A tent stove jack is an opening in a tent that allows the stove pipe from a wood stove to safely exit the tent. Tent stove jacks are typically made from heat resistant fabrics and materials that can withstand the high temperatures produced by wood stove pipes. Choosing the right materials is crucial for fire safety.

Tent wood stoves provide a great source of warmth for winter camping and cold weather expeditions. However, the stove pipes get extremely hot and need proper ventilation out of the tent. Stove jacks provide a secure, heat-shielded opening to run the stove pipe through. There are a few key factors to consider when choosing materials for a DIY tent stove jack or purchasing a premade one:

  • Heat resistance – Materials must be able to withstand temperatures up to 700°F from the stove pipe
  • Strength and durability – Jacks need to hold up against wind, rain, snow load and regular use
  • Waterproofing – Materials should repel moisture from rain and snow
  • Flame retardation – Fabrics should meet fire safety standards

The most common materials used in quality tent stove jacks include metals, heat-resistant fabrics, fire-retardant plastics and silicone. Let’s look at the properties of each material in more detail.


Metals like stainless steel and titanium are commonly used in manufactured tent stove jacks. Here are some of their benefits:

  • Withstand very high temperatures – Can resist heat up to 1000+°F
  • Durable and rigid – Resist damage from abrasion and hold their shape
  • Long lasting – Do not degrade over time

Metal stove jacks are often made from thin stainless steel that can be easily shaped into a tube or funnel. This allows the hot stove pipe to pass through while providing an air gap insulation barrier from the tent material. Stainless steel is rust resistant.

Titanium is very strong but lightweight, and provides excellent heat resistance. However, titanium is more expensive than other metals.

For DIY jacks, thin stainless steel flashing is a good option. Aluminum should be avoided because it melts at lower temperatures compared to steel.

Heat-Resistant Fabrics

Specialty fabrics are engineered to withstand temperatures up to 1000°F. Some common types include:

  • Silicone Coated Fiberglass – Fiberglass coated with silicone can resist temperatures up to 550°F. It provides excellent heat insulation.
  • Nomex – Made of flame-resistant aramid fibers and suitable for up to 800°F.
  • Zetex – Withstands up to 1000°F. Contains glass, silicone and ceramic materials.

These fabrics are often used as protective wraps around stove pipes where they exit the tent. Layers of fabric can provide additional insulation. The materials are bendable for fitting around irregular shapes.

Advantages of Fabric Jacks

  • Lightweight and packable – Easy to transport for camping
  • Can be cut and sewn for DIY application
  • Softer surface compared to metal – Less risk of ripping tent fabric
  • Withstand extreme heat

Silicone coated fiberglass is a popular choice for homemade tent stove jacks. The fabric can be cut larger than the stove pipe diameter, wrapped around the pipe, and sewn to form a heat shield.

Fire-Retardant Plastics

High temperature thermoplastics are resistant to fire and melting. Popular types include:

  • Phenolic Resins – Withstand over 750°F temperatures. Offer electrical insulation. Prone to charring.
  • Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) – Maintains stability up to over 700°F. Very expensive.
  • Polyimide Plastics – Withstand over 500°F. Used in aerospace applications.

These plastics are not as heat tolerant as metals or specialty fabrics. But they can be machined into parts like washers, grommets and threaded connectors for DIY stove jacks.

Benefits of Fire-Retardant Plastics

  • Heat resistance
  • Lightweight
  • Low smoke emissions
  • Electrical insulation
  • Machineable into various parts and connectors

Phenolic washers spaced along the stove pipe can minimize heat transfer to the tent fabric. PEEK is very expensive but offers the highest heat resistance.


High-temperature silicone is extremely heat tolerant and flexible. Key benefits:

  • Withstand temperatures up to 600°F
  • Waterproof and weather resistant
  • Creates an airtight seal
  • Stays flexible after curing

Silicone is commonly used to seal gaps around stove pipes as they exit jacks. High-temperature RTV silicone cures into a rubber-like solid that is highly heat resistant.

Silicone coatings also improve the heat tolerance of fabrics. Fiberglass fabric coated with silicone gains over 500°F in additional heat resistance.

Using Silicone in Stove Jacks

Here are some tips for utilizing silicone in DIY stove jack applications:

  • Apply a bead of silicone sealant around stove pipe – seals any gaps
  • Adhere overlapping pieces of fabric – creates layers of insulation
  • Coat seams and stitches – prevents fraying
  • Seal pop rivets or metal joints

High-temp silicone sprays can also be used to improve heat resistance of fabrics. Silicone provides a highly flexible, waterproof seal with flame retardant properties.

Comparing Material Properties

Here is a comparison of the typical heat resistance, durability, and cost of common tent stove jack materials:

Material Max Temp Durability Cost
Stainless Steel 1000°F+ Excellent Low
Titanium 1200°F+ Excellent High
Fiberglass Fabric 550°F Good Low
Nomex Fabric 800°F Good Medium
Zetex Fabric 1000°F Good High
Phenolic 750°F Poor Medium
PEEK 700°F Excellent Very High
Polyimide (Kapton) 500°F Good High
Silicone 500-600°F Excellent Low

This comparison shows the exceptional heat resistance of metals, along with good durability and low cost. Fabrics withstand high temps but are less durable than metals. Plastics and silicones complement metals and fabrics with specialized properties like flexibility, machinability, and adhesives.

Recommended Materials

Based on material properties, here are some recommendations for the best tent stove jack configurations:

All-Metal Jacks

Pre-fabricated stainless steel or titanium jacks provide a complete heat shield solution:

  • Cut a hole in the tent and insert metal jack
  • Secure with interior/exterior fastening plates
  • Thin-gauge metals withstand heat and resist corrosion
  • More expensive but very durable and withstand abuse

Improvised Fabric Jacks

For DIY applications, stove jack wraps made from silicone coated fiberglass offer a lightweight, inexpensive option:

  • Wrap multiple layers around stove pipe
  • Secure layers with high-temp silicone, stitches, or rivets
  • Seal seams and gaps with silicone
  • Can be easily replaced

Hybrid Fabric & Metal

Combining metals and fabrics provides enhanced durability and protection:

  • Use metal flashing around stove pipe exit hole
  • Add silicone fabric wrap around flashing as heat shield
  • Secure with metal screws, washers, or pop rivets
  • Seal gaps with high-temp silicone

The metal base better reinforces the stove pipe opening while the fabric adds insulation.


In summary, tent stove jacks need to withstand extreme heat while protecting the tent material. The best jacks utilize metals like stainless steel or titanium as a primary barrier. Fabrics like silicone coated fiberglass add lightweight, flexible insulation. Fire-retardant plastics provide machinable parts. And silicone seals gaps while further increasing heat tolerance.

Carefully engineered stove jacks use these materials in layered configurations to create durable, heat-shielded openings. With the proper materials and design, stove jacks allow wood stoves to be safely used for heating and cooking inside tents.