Every outdoor enthusiast knows that a quality camping tent is essential to enjoying your time in the woods or the mountains. However, not all tents are created equal and finding the right one is a bit of a challenge.
Enter: the canvas tent. These highly durable and versatile shelters are perfect for family camping trips and hunting expeditions where you need a comfortable basecamp to lay your head at night. Canvas tents are certainly some of the best value tents around, but, with so many different options to choose from, it’s understandable if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed.
That’s where we come in. Up next, we’ve got your ultimate guide to choosing the best canvas tent for all your adventures, complete with reviews of the top models on the market today. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get to it!
If you don't have time for the details, here are our picks for the best rated canvas tents:
- 1White Duck Outdoors Premium Luxury Avalon Canvas Bell Tent
- 2Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe 8 Person Tent
- 3Unistrength 4 Season Waterproof Cotton Canvas Bell Tent
- 4Dream House Waterproof Cotton Canvas Family Tent
- 5Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent
- 6White Duck Canvas Wall Tent
- 7Vidalido Dome Camping Tent
- 8Trek Tents Cotton Canvas Cabin Tent
- 9Dream House 4 Season Camping Tent
- 10Danchel Cotton Bell Tent
Table of Contents
- What Is A Canvas Tent?
- Why Choose A Canvas Tent?
- Things to Consider When Choosing Canvas Tents
- Best Canvas Tent Brands
- Best Canvas Tents On The Market Review
- 1. White Duck Outdoors Premium Luxury Avalon Canvas Bell Tent
- 2. Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe 8 Person Tent
- 3. Unistrength 4 Season Waterproof Cotton Canvas Bell Tent
- 4. Dream House Waterproof Cotton Canvas Family Tent
- 5. Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent
- 6. White Duck Canvas Wall Tent
- 7. Vidalido Dome Camping Tent
- 8. Trek Tents Cotton Canvas Cabin Tent
- 9. Dream House 4 Season Camping Tent
- 10. Danchel Cotton Bell Tent
- Final Verdict
What Is A Canvas Tent?
A canvas tent is any outdoor shelter that’s made of canvas. Canvas is a cotton fabric that’s heavily woven to create a thick, durable, and lasting material. It’s made by tightly weaving cotton threads to create a solid sheet of fabric.
Canvas has traditionally been used to make a whole host of products, such as backpacks, sails, and shoes. When used to make a tent, canvas performs exceptionally well in a whole host of different environments.
Why Choose A Canvas Tent?
With so many different tent options out there, you might be wondering why you should invest in a canvas tent. Well, simply put, canvas is a highly durable, incredibly versatile fabric that’s perfect for use in the great outdoors.
Unlike most other fabrics, canvas has the ability to keep you warm or cool, depending on the conditions outside. Plus, it’s incredibly naturally water-resistant and is perfect for use during the winter months. Cotton canvas is also an easily repairable fabric, so you can keep using your tent for years to come. Oh, and canvas tents look beautiful, so why wouldn’t you want one?
Things to Consider When Choosing Canvas Tents
Before you drop a whole lot of money on a canvas tent, it’s good to know what you’re investing in. Here are some things to look out for when choosing your next tent:
There are a whole lot of different canvas tents out there, each made with their own unique materials. One of the most important materials in a canvas tent is, well, the canvas. However, not all canvas is created equal. In fact, there are many different canvas “weights,” and the kind you choose will impact your tent for years to come.
In general, the heavier the “canvas weight,” the more durable the canvas. However, heavier canvas is thicker, less packable, and more expensive. The vast majority of quality tent makers will use a 10.1 oz/sq. yd (340gsm) canvas, which should be considered the general minimum for your tent. We recommend avoiding anything that’s made of canvas less than 8.4 oz/sq. yd (285gsm) if possible, as these are quite low quality and are prone to damage.
The most popular canvas tents on the market today are bell tents and wall tents (e.g. cabin tents). Wall tents look much like a mini-cabin, with four straight walls and a typical A-frame roof. This kind of tent is generally quite spacious, however, they take a long time to set up, so they’re best for longer trips.
Bell tents, however, look a lot like a yurt and feature a circular design. Usually, they have an internal pole at the center and are fairly quickly easy to set up. They generally are smaller than wall tents, however, they often hold up better in the wind.
The size of a tent has a direct impact on your camping experience. However, we can’t make any recommendations about what size tent you need, as that all depends on the number of people you go camping with and the amount of gear you bring. If you camp alone, you probably don’t need to spend as much and can get a smaller tent. Alternatively, if you camp with your family and friends, you’ll probably want a larger model.
While the weight of a tent doesn’t really affect you after it’s set up, it does make a substantial difference to your ability to transport it to and from the campsite. Heavy tents are a burden when it comes to getting them from your garage to your car and finally to the tent platform. However, heavier tents are often made of more durable materials, so you need to decide what’s more valuable to you - durability or ease of transport.
Canvas tents are large pieces of gear, which is great for comfort when you’re outside. However, transporting a large tent is no walk in the park, especially if your vehicle is already filled with other camping supplies. Thus, it’s important to look for a canvas tent that has a reasonable packed size. The best portable tents are going to come complete with their own carry bag and be easy to fit in your car. That way, you can worry less about how you’re going to fit all of your camping gear in your car on your next trip.
Ease Of Set Up
No one wants to spend their first few hours at a campsite setting up their tent. Indeed, setting up a tent is a major source of anxiety and stress for a lot of people, but it doesn’t have to be that way. While many tents are very complex and tricky to set up, others come with simple, easy to set-up systems so you can spend more time enjoying your camping getaway.
The last thing anyone wants is to spend a whole lot of money on a canvas tent, only to have it break after one or two camping trips. Thus, durability is of the utmost concern when buying a canvas tent. Often, this comes down to choosing a tent with thick canvas and durable, quality tent poles. This might cost you a bit more in the short term, but in the long run, you’ll save money by having just one tent that lasts for years.
A quality canvas tent is like your home away from home in the great outdoors. So, you want to make sure it’s a tent that you’re comfortable living in for days on end. A simple way to ruin a camping experience, however, is to have a tent with a low interior height.
Tents with low interior heights mean you have less livable space and that the taller people in your group are going to spend a lot of their time hitting their head on the ceiling. Of course, this is less than ideal, so we recommend choosing a tent with a high center height. That being said, tents that are exceptionally tall are less stable in the wind, so you’ll have to be mindful about where you pitch your shelter.
If you live in a hot, muggy, environment, you’re going to want to get yourself a canvas tent that’s got a quality ventilation system. Canvas is a thick, heavy material that’s great for trapping in heat, so it’s important that you have some way of cooling the tent down during the warm summer months. Mesh paneling and windows are great for adding breathability to your tent, but they often come at a price of added cost and increased durability.
Any way you slice it, a canvas tent is likely to run you a significant bill. Tents are expensive, so it’s understandable if you’ve got a budget that you need to stick to. However, when it comes to big-ticket items, like tents, it’s usually best to spend as much as you’ve got in your budget instead of trying to cut corners here. While spending more money doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get a better tent, if there’s a tent out there that perfectly fits your needs but is slightly over your budget, it’s worth considering the extra investment.
Best Canvas Tent Brands
We know that buying a canvas tent is a major investment, so it’s understandable if you want to find a reputable brand to purchase from. Here are three of the best rated canvas tent brands on the market today:
White Duck Outdoors
White Duck Outdoors is known as one of the top manufacturers of premium canvas tents. They use only traditional 100% breathable cotton canvas fabric in their tents and choose only materials that are proven to last a lifetime.
Born in the Rockies, Kodiak Canvas is known for making some of the best canvas tents in the world. A tent from Kodiak Canvas is reliable, comfortable, and durable. Made to last, Kodiak Canvas tents are designed using only the highest quality materials so you can spend less time worrying about your tent and more time exploring the mountains.
Dream House Tents
Dream House Tents was started to help bring people outside by providing them with the highest quality tents on the market. They put a lot of thought and consideration into every aspect of the tents they design and provide a multitude of different options so every camper has the shelter they need to enjoy the great outdoors.
Best Canvas Tents On The Market Review
Here are our reviews of the 10 best rated canvas tents on the market today:
1. White Duck Outdoors Premium Luxury Avalon Canvas Bell Tent
If you like to camp in luxury, then look no further than the White Duck Outdoors Premium Luxury Avalon Canvas Bell Tent. The White Duck Avalon is a glamper’s paradise, thanks to its spacious interior design and 3’ wall height, which allows for maximum livable space as a 6 person tent.
As one of the best 6 person canvas tents around, this shelter is made for all four seasons and features a no-see-um mesh door to keep the bugs out in summer, a stovepipe hole for staying warm in winter, as well as eight windows so you can enjoy the view from your humble abode. It even has strategically placed vents to keep things cool and comfortable during the hot dog days of summer and a fully waterproof construction to weather any storm. What more could you ask for?
2. Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe 8 Person Tent
The Flex-Bow Deluxe is a unique 8 person canvas tent from Kodiak Canvas, which features an efficient, yet comfortable design. This tent is made with a 100% cotton duck canvas called Hydra-Shield, which is durable and waterproof in the harshest conditions.
While it doesn’t have a traditional wall or bell tent appearance, the Flex-Bow Deluxe has a 6’6” ceiling height that allows campers to stand up tall and be comfortable in their home away from home. The Flex-Blow Deluxe even has two large D-shaped doors and four large windows, all equipped with no-see-um mesh for plenty of ventilation and airflow during the summer months.
Inside, campers can also find customizable gear loft options to stay organized when on the go, while a large awning provides some nice shade at the doorway. This super-strong tent is easy to set up, even if you’re alone, and is ready for even the heaviest of snow conditions. It’s a great addition to any camping set up and is particularly good for hunting, thanks to its sturdy design.
3. Unistrength 4 Season Waterproof Cotton Canvas Bell Tent
Made with premium high-strength cotton canvas, this shelter from Unistrength is a great family tent. Unistrength’s canvas tent features a classic bell-shape design with one stove pipe hole that’s surrounded by fire-resistant material for extra safety With enough space to house 6-8 people, the Unistrength canvas tent is a luxury home in the mountains when you’re tired at the end of a day of hiking or hunting.
The tent comes with four large side windows and four vents, each with mesh netting so you can stay cool during the summer months. You can even roll up the sides of the tent for a full 360-degree view on those, particularly nice days. That being said, the Unistrength canvas tent can hold its own in a storm, thanks to its watertight canvas and burly, waterproof groundsheet, which means it's great for use in both bushcraft and as a family tent!
4. Dream House Waterproof Cotton Canvas Family Tent
One of the best canvas family tents around, this shelter from Dream House is perfect for any camping getaway. Simple in design, the Dream House Canvas Family tent features a single central pole and a classic bell shape, which makes it easy to set up. Plus, the Family Tent has extra sturdy guylines, which allow for better stability in rough weather.
When it comes to keeping you dry, the Family tent has a removable groundsheet and a cotton canvas that’s waterproof tested up to 3000mm with fully sealed seams to weather any storm. It also has four ventilation holes on the top of the tent and the ability to roll up the sidewalls for extra fresh air. With enough room for the whole family, there’s a lot to love with the Dream House Waterproof Cotton Canvas Family Tent.
5. Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent
If living life on the open road is your way to see the great outdoors, then the Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed tent just might be for you. This premium truck tent is made from Hydra-Shield 100% cotton duck canvas and can fit on the back of a wide variety of full-sized pick-up trucks.
The Truck Bed tent has a unique tunnel design that allows you to maximize your interior space and enjoy tall 5-foot ceilings inside your home away from home. It also features a large D-shaped door that makes it easy to get in and out as well as two gear pockets for staying organized on the road.
With five windows, the truck bed tent provides lots of ventilation and even access to the rear cab window. Plus, thanks to its sturdy 3/4in steel tube frame, you can use the Truck Bed tent all year round.
6. White Duck Canvas Wall Tent
Perfect for extended hunting trips and family outings, the uber-spacious White Duck Canvas Wall Tent is the perfect retreat at the end of a long day outside. Multi-functional to the core, the White Duck Canvas Wall Tent is a large canvas tent spacious enough to accommodate up to 10 people (depending on the size you buy) with ease.
Inside this cabin tent, you’ll find a waterproof groundsheet and a stovepipe hole, so you can hunker down in during the colder winter months. Or, you can roll up the canvas coverings and expose the tent’s large triangular windows for a view of the great outdoors. With a peak height of almost 9’, the White Duck Canvas Wall Tent has enough room for the whole family, and all of your gear, for the perfect glamping adventure.
7. Vidalido Dome Camping Tent
If you love to camp out in the winter months, the double-walled Vidalido Dome Camping Tent just might be the canvas tent you’ve been looking for. Thanks to its conical shape, this tent easily sloughs off snow while keeping you warm and toasty on the inside.
But, just because it can keep you warm in the winter doesn’t mean it’s out of a job come summertime. In fact, the Vidalido Dome Camping Tent features a no-see-um mesh bug net inner that protects you from the creepie crawlies while providing lots of airflow. Oh, and with a quick, easy five minute set up, you’d be hard-pressed to find something to complain about with the Vidalido Dome Camping Tent.
8. Trek Tents Cotton Canvas Cabin Tent
Simple, yet effective, the Trek Tents Cotton Canvas Cabin Tent is everything you need - no more, and no less. Made from 100% cotton canvas in the walls and roof, this cabin tent features a heavy-duty vinyl-coated canvas floor to help reduce wear and tear over time while keeping you dry.
The tent also has three large screen windows with storm flaps, so you can get fresh air when the weather is nice or stay dry in a storm. Sewn-in interior pockets help you stay organized while you’re in camp while an easy setup system makes things quick and simple when you arrive.
9. Dream House 4 Season Camping Tent
Incredibly spacious, this four-season tent from Dream House is perfect for large families and groups. With enough space to house up to 10 people, this Dream House tent is great for families that want a single tent that can do it all.
This Dream House tent is made from heavy-duty waterproof cotton canvas and has two large doors and four triangle-shaped windows for extra ventilation. In addition to its heavy-duty fabric, the tent features double stitching all around and extra-reinforced points at place of high wear for maximum durability and in rough conditions of up to 30mph of wind, making it a great choice for years of camping fun.
10. Danchel Cotton Bell Tent
Built to last, this heavy duty weatherproof bell tent from Danchel is a simple solution to all of your camping needs. The Danchel canvas tent has a single center support pole and one door pole, which allows for easy set up when you get to camp, making it one of the best car camping tent models available.
With two high-temperature resistant stove jackets (one on the top and one on the wall), the Danchel canvas tent makes it easy to stay warm in the cold winter months. The Danchel canvas tent even has a fully waterproof bathtub floor design to help you stay dry in a storm. It also comes with a handy carry bag and an industry-leading 5-year warranty so you can camp with peace of mind
Ultimately, if we had to choose just one of these tents to take with us on our next adventure, we’d have to opt for the White Duck Outdoors Premium Luxury Avalon Canvas Bell Tent, for its fantastic spacious and functional design. Of course, this comes with a high price tag, but when you find the best canvas tent this luxurious, it just might be worth it.
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