Picture this: you are driving down the highway with your family or friends heading towards a gorgeous, secluded mountain location. The awaiting evergreen trees and the sparkling blue lake is enough to make anyone take a deep breath of fresh air, and think to themselves… I wish I had a canvas tent.
Alright, maybe that won’t happen. However, you will definitely think that when you realize your current tent has a tear, lets the rain in, blows over in the wind, is cramped and crowded, is way too stuffy and warm, lets insects in while you are sleeping, and is not Instagram worthy.
Cue the grand entrance of canvas tents! Although they have been around for a long time and they certainly last a long time, they aren’t as popular as polyester tents. However, they boast many advantages and can be even more beautiful than traditional tents.
Since they are made with heavy-duty fabric, they can be constructed like a house with four walls and a roof or they can be shaped like a bell. This makes them spacious enough for beds, small tables, rugs, decorative arrangements, and you can even have a fire indoors (*only if the tent is created specifically for a fire).
You will have a delightful experience going glamping or having a fully decked-out camping tent. Either way, you will be well-protected from the elements and you won’t be putting your tent durability to chance.
The Best Canvas Tents on the Market
White Duck 7’X9′ Prota Canvas Cabin Tent, Deluxe
The White Duck is one of the most affordable, high-quality tents on the market. It is pretty standard when it comes to design and size. It is a structured tent with a porch roof that extends outwards. The main tent is 7’ by 9’ by 6’3” and the porch is 6’ by 4’ by 6’3”.
It has 4 windows with mesh screening, one on each side of the tent, giving you an exceptional amount of ventilation. You can even opt for add-ons like an electrical outlet, larger porch roof, or O-rings.
Material-wise, you are looking at duck canvas treated with silver, protecting you from the sun, rain, and making sure you stay cool and dry. The hardware will live up to your expectations as well, complete with YKK zippers, polypropylene rope, aluminum poles, and heavy-duty steel pegs.
Get it for $599.99: Amazon.com
Kodiak Flex-Bow Canvas Tent
The Kodiak Flex-Bow is a structured tent featuring an extendable porch roof, coming in different choices of sizing. There are four windows with mesh screening and two funnel-flow vents for maximal ventilation.
It is made with duck canvas that has been treated with a special silicone spray so it will never need re-treatments. Further on the durability list comes a vinyl floor, reinforced stitching, YKK zippers, steel tubes, spring steel rods, and steel rod stakes.
Get it for $769.99: Amazon.com
White Duck 12’X14′ Alpha Wall Tent
This is another amazing White Duck tent on our best canvas tent list! But, this one has to be one for the books. It is a huge canvas tent that looks like a house with four walls and a peaked double-sided roof. It has 168 square feet of spacious room, with an 8’8” height at the peak. This tent is known for its durability and longevity.
It is made up of duck canvas, which you can choose to be flame-retardant or waterproof treated. It also features aluminum poles, galvanized steel pegs, a silicone-coated stove jack (in case you would like a cozy fire), a PVC groundsheet, a protective storm door, and tripled layered stormproof windows. Undoubtedly, this tent will last you generations!
Get it for $1,749.99: Amazon.com
Danchel Bell-Style Canvas Tent
The Danchel is a beautiful bell-shaped canvas tent featuring peaked doors and an overlapping roof. It is available in many different sizes to accommodate you and your family or friends. It has low windows with mesh screens and roof vents for superior ventilation.
It even has a stove jack on the wall and roof which will allow you to set up a fire or air conditioning. It is composed of durable canvas khaki fabric. It does not have a PU coating but it is still waterproof, windproof, and snowproof. It also has a PVC groundsheet, and a raised floor so that even in very rainy weather, you’ll never wake up to soggy shoes.
Get it for $599.00: Amazon.com
White Duck 13′ Regatta Bell Tent
We simply cannot get enough of the White Duck tents. They truly are exceptional in terms of aesthetic, versatility, and durability. This bell-shaped tent is a gorgeous set-up. We would even use it as a guest house. It features peaked doors, an overlapping roof, and three windows.
It also comes in three different color options: beige, olive, and brown. Again, the durability for White Duck tents is unmatched and the specs on the Regatta are no different. It is composed of duck canvas, treated for sun, rain, and mold. It contains aluminum poles, a PE groundsheet, and galvanized steel pegs.
Get it for $669.99: Amazon.com
TETON Sports Mesa Canvas Tent
The Teton is a structured tent with an extendable porch roof, coming in two different sizes. Both sizes are very spacious, offering more room to move around and spread out.
It also has two large doors which makes it very comfortable to move in and out of. Especially if you are a larger or taller than average individual.
It is made of 100% cotton canvas and has steel poles and pegs. It is also incredibly easy to set up in comparison with most canvas tents, or even most tents in general!
Get it for $670.09: Amazon.com
SpringBar Highline Canvas Tent
SpringBar offers the crème de la crème of canvas tents, and the Highline is arguably one of the best tents out there. It is a structured, spacious tent with dimensions of 10’ by 10’ by 6’6” and an extendable porch roof. It has a couple of windows and two doors!
SpringBar always provides the highest-quality materials and composes them exceptionally well. The Highline is made of duck canvas treated to repel water, mildew, and mold. It has a waterproof vinyl floor, galvanized steel poles, zinc plated spring rods, and steel mail stakes. If the heavy-duty materials weren’t enough, the lifestyle warranty would surely seal the deal.
Get it for $599.00: Springbar.com
Pros and Cons of a Canvas Test
Although canvas tents are certainly exceptional, they are not the best tents for everyone. We have listed the pros and cons of canvas tents below so that you can easily and quickly see if it is the right one for you:
- They offer protection from the sun
- They will last longer in the sun than other types of materials
- They are waterproof
- They retain temperature well (they will remain cooler longer in the summer, but they will remain warmer longer in the winter)
- They have an incredibly long lifespan
- They can be repaired easily
- They stand up to wear and tear better
- They are excellent for glamping since they can fit furniture due to their common shapes
- They are great for long camping trips
- They are heavier to carry than other types of tents due to the canvas
- They take time to set up, rather than being of the pop-up variety
- A high-quality canvas tent is more expensive than other types of tents
How do I choose the best canvas tent?
It can be difficult to know how to choose the best canvas tent for your needs. We have composed a brief checklist to make sure you have considered all the important criteria.
- Select a canvas weight that suits your needs: The general rule of thumb is that the heavier the canvas tent is, the stronger, more tear-resistant, and more durable the tent is. You can check canvas weight by looking for it listed in the specs. The best quality tents are going to be above ten ounces per square yard. It would be wise to never purchase any canvas tent that is less than this, as it will simply not last more than a few camping trips.
- Choose between a structured tent, a bell tent, and a wall tent. The main kind of canvas tent is a structured tent that is round or square. Another type is a bell tent, which is relatively fast to set up. It is a circular tent with one internal pole holding up the roof in the center, creating a bell or dome shape. Another type of tent is the wall tent which forms a house shape with multiple rods, possessing four walls and a roof. It takes longer to set up than a bell tent but it is more spacious and comfortable.
- Consider the components. The canvas fabric is not the only tent component that needs consideration, it is important to examine the hardware that makes up the skeleton of your tent. Amongst these parts are the main poles, the zippers, the pegs, and the guy lines. The strongest poles will be made up of iron or steel, rather than plastic. The zippers and tent pegs should be composed of metal. Finally, the guy lines should be thick rope. Avoid plastic parts at all costs; they will break easily.
- Inspect the tent floor. Your tent floor should be composed of a strong, durable material that can stand up to regular wear and tear. Additionally, it should be waterproof rather than water-resistant. Typical materials that accomplish both of these requirements are PVC or vinyl. Furthermore, some tents are made with sewn-in floors or detachable floors. A detachable tent floor is excellent if you live in a dry and hot climate, where you aren’t too worried about bugs and other critters.
- Verify the tent dimensions when fully set up: It is important to consider the dimensions to ensure the number of people and the specific size of people will fit in the tent comfortably. Often, tents that specify that they can fit up to a certain number of people mean small to average-sized people all sitting very close together without any other objects in the tent. Additionally, it is wise to make sure the height is adequate for the tallest member of your group.
- Confirm the ventilation is adequate: It is too easy to assume that a tent will be made with proper ventilation, only to realize later that the tent gets incredibly warm and stuffy. Choose a tent with several windows and a door with an optional mesh screen. Furthermore, as hot air rises, you may look for a tent that has mesh vents located at the top of the tent.
- Ensure that the tent was made with high-quality craftsmanship: Quality is always in the small details. Just as you look for durable zippers and tent pegs, ensure that the stitching on the canvas is expertly done; one key sign of quality is double stitching, reinforced edges, and no loose threads.
- Look into the protective treatments that were used on the canvas: Although canvas is a high-quality material, it is still an excellent idea to invest in a treated canvas to be further protected from the outdoor elements. Treatments to look for include water, mold, mildew, and flames.
What is a canvas tent?
A canvas tent is a tent that is made from cotton canvas, thick poles, and stakes. They are well-known for withstanding most elements, weather conditions, and temperatures. They are also extremely durable and last a long time.
Do canvas tents stay warm?
Canvas tents stay warm in cool or cold weather, especially when all the windows and doors are zipped and sealed properly. You can add extra insulation by purchasing a tent with storm doors and windows.
Are canvas tents good for camping?
Canvas tents are the best tents for camping and glamping because they can withstand different elements, weather conditions, and temperatures. It is important to consider the size and weight of your tent, and how many people you are bringing along camping.
How long will a canvas tent last?
A canvas tent is the most long-lasting tent on the market. If you purchase a thick canvas material with quality hardware, your tent may even last generations.
Are canvas tents worth it?
Canvas tents are absolutely worth the price, as long as you are verifying they are made with thick and durable fabric, treated surfaces, and high quality and strong hardware. Confirming these aspects of their construction will ensure your tent will hold up in a wide array of conditions, and handle normal wear and tear.
Are canvas tents waterproof?
Canvas tents are waterproof, although it is always an excellent idea to make sure their surfaces are further treated against sun, rain, and snow. It is also wise to verify that their floors are waterproof and their doors and windows have a lining to prevent rain from entering your tent.
Are canvas tents good for winter camping?
Canvas tents are excellent under the winter elements, especially when they are listed to be waterproof, windproof, and snow-proof. Be sure to check that the canvas tent of your choice can hold the amount of regular snow in your area and withstand wind speeds that are normal for your area. Furthermore, canvas tents hold warmth very well. Sometimes, canvas tents have an integrated stove vent so that you can build fires within your tent.