Getting the most from the great outdoors

Is a canvas tent better?

is a canvas tent better

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Modern tents come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and materials. Lightweight and easy to manage tents are popular among many campers with canvas becoming less common.

But which tents are better? Is a canvas tent better than a modern, synthetic tent?

It all depends on your needs as a camper. Canvas tents are much more durable than synthetic tents. They offer greater wind resistance and warmth and are tougher than synthetic tents and you can fit a stove to heat them. But canvas is heavier than modern tent materials and requires more maintenance, but, that said, in our view canvas rules.

Canvas tent v Synthetic tent comparison

Interior dampness and moisture

Tents can get wet inside from condensation and in this area canvas tents are better than synthetic versions.

Canvas has qualities that allow the tent to ‘breathe’ allowing water to pass through the canvas to the outside meaning that interior condensation levels are kept to a minimum.

Synthetic tents do not have this level of ‘breathability’ and the water vapour condenses on the inside walls of the tent, resulting in a wet and damp interior.

Heat Retention

Canvas is thicker than most synthetic materials and is a better insulator than nylon and the other materials that are used in tent production.

One of the great features about a canvas tent, that you cannot do with a synthetic tent, is that you can add a wood burning stove. This will keep you warm and dry throughout the year and, if you camp in an area where wood is plentiful then you have a free source of heat.

You cannot put a stove in a synthetic tent – it will melt and catch fire if you try to.

Water Resistance

Canvas is surprisingly water resistant and will keep you dry in the heaviest of downfalls. The natural qualities of canvas cause rain to slide off the tent easily and the fibres prevent water from getting through to the interior.

Plastic type tents will provide some levels of water resistance but as they become more water laden they will eventually become overwhelmed with damp levels which will make your tent feel cold and damp on the inside.

Added to this you will need to ventilate your plastic tent to get rid of the humidity, which leads to drafts and colder temperatures inside.

Strength

Canvas tents beat synthetic tents hands down when it comes to strength and durability.

Canvas is difficult to tear and, if you do manage to suffer a rip in a canvas tent, then you can repair it easily, either by sewing it up or by adding a new canvas patch to the area.

A canvas tent that is looked after, treated and well maintained will last a lifetime without any major issues.

Conversely, plastic type tents are thin and will tear easily. They are almost impossible to repair with the only option normally being to use special repair tape or duct tape to seal rips and tears. 

Many plastic tents come with repair kits, similar in nature to bicycle puncture repair kits which can be used to repair small areas.

Ease of use

Both canvas and synthetic tents can be tricky to setup and often the bigger the tent the more difficult it is to set it up.

A synthetic tent would be the sensible option for anyone looking for an easy to erect tent.

There are many quick ‘popup’ type synthetic tents available, some of which can be erected in as little as 5 to 15 minutes for family sized tents.

The modern materials that synthetic tents use are also lightweight and relatvely easier to handle and work with.

is a canvas tent better

Our View

We have camped in both canvas and synthetic tents and, in our view canvas makes for the best camping experience.

If you are camping in an area where the weather could change becoming cold or wet, then canvas is absolutely the best choice.

Synthetic tents do have some benefits though, the main ones being that they are lightweight and normally easier to setup than canvas.

If you are wildcamping or camping in a climate which is hot and dry, then a synthetic tent would make a good choice.

Which canvas tent should I get?

If you have decided to get a canvas tent then there is a wide range of options available and it can be tricky to make sure that you get the best canvas tent for your camping needs.

You will want to ensure that your choice of tent is large enough for your camping party plus their equipment and that it can be transported easily to your camping pitch.

Once there you will want a tent that is easy to erect and that provides good wind and weather resistance while offering good standards of build and comfort.

We’ve looked at a range of canvas tents and narrowed our list down to five tents which we think are perfect.

Our Canvas Tent Choices overview

Product
WHITEDUCK Alpha Canvas Wall Tent Waterproof 4 Season Outdoor Camping & Hunting Tent w/Heavy Duty Aluminum Frame, Best for Large Groups, Families & Outfitters (10’x12′, Water Repellent)
Regatta Bell Tent (Sandstone Beige, 13′ (4M), Water Repellent)
DANCHEL OUTDOOR B5 PRO Canvas Bell Tent with 2 Stove Jacks, Luxury Glamping Yurt Tent for 4 Person All Year Living Family Camping,13ft/4m
Cotton Canvas Bell Tent, Luxury Yurt Tent for Family Glamping, Waterproof and Breathable Cotton,4 Season Tent with Zipped Removable Floor (Beige, 13.1ft(4M),Water Retardant)
VANFOND Canvas Bell Tent, Yurt Tent with Stove Jack, Waterproof and Breathable Wall Tent, Glamping Tent, Detachable Groundsheet for Camping Party (Beige, 16.4ft)
Image
WHITEDUCK Alpha Canvas Wall Tent Waterproof 4 Season Outdoor Camping & Hunting Tent w/Heavy Duty Aluminum Frame, Best for Large Groups, Families & Outfitters (10'x12', Water Repellent)
Regatta Bell Tent (Sandstone Beige, 13' (4M), Water Repellent)
DANCHEL OUTDOOR B5 PRO Canvas Bell Tent with 2 Stove Jacks, Luxury Glamping Yurt Tent for 4 Person All Year Living Family Camping,13ft/4m
Cotton Canvas Bell Tent, Luxury Yurt Tent for Family Glamping, Waterproof and Breathable Cotton,4 Season Tent with Zipped Removable Floor (Beige, 13.1ft(4M),Water Retardant)
VANFOND Canvas Bell Tent, Yurt Tent with Stove Jack, Waterproof and Breathable Wall Tent, Glamping Tent, Detachable Groundsheet for Camping Party (Beige, 16.4ft)
Accommodates
Up to 14
4
4
6
4
Season
4 season
4 season
4 season
4 season
4 season
Product
WHITEDUCK Alpha Canvas Wall Tent Waterproof 4 Season Outdoor Camping & Hunting Tent w/Heavy Duty Aluminum Frame, Best for Large Groups, Families & Outfitters (10’x12′, Water Repellent)
Image
WHITEDUCK Alpha Canvas Wall Tent Waterproof 4 Season Outdoor Camping & Hunting Tent w/Heavy Duty Aluminum Frame, Best for Large Groups, Families & Outfitters (10'x12', Water Repellent)
Accommodates
Up to 14
Season
4 season
Product
Regatta Bell Tent (Sandstone Beige, 13′ (4M), Water Repellent)
Image
Regatta Bell Tent (Sandstone Beige, 13' (4M), Water Repellent)
Accommodates
4
Season
4 season
Product
DANCHEL OUTDOOR B5 PRO Canvas Bell Tent with 2 Stove Jacks, Luxury Glamping Yurt Tent for 4 Person All Year Living Family Camping,13ft/4m
Image
DANCHEL OUTDOOR B5 PRO Canvas Bell Tent with 2 Stove Jacks, Luxury Glamping Yurt Tent for 4 Person All Year Living Family Camping,13ft/4m
Accommodates
4
Season
4 season
Product
Cotton Canvas Bell Tent, Luxury Yurt Tent for Family Glamping, Waterproof and Breathable Cotton,4 Season Tent with Zipped Removable Floor (Beige, 13.1ft(4M),Water Retardant)
Image
Cotton Canvas Bell Tent, Luxury Yurt Tent for Family Glamping, Waterproof and Breathable Cotton,4 Season Tent with Zipped Removable Floor (Beige, 13.1ft(4M),Water Retardant)
Accommodates
6
Season
4 season
Product
VANFOND Canvas Bell Tent, Yurt Tent with Stove Jack, Waterproof and Breathable Wall Tent, Glamping Tent, Detachable Groundsheet for Camping Party (Beige, 16.4ft)
Image
VANFOND Canvas Bell Tent, Yurt Tent with Stove Jack, Waterproof and Breathable Wall Tent, Glamping Tent, Detachable Groundsheet for Camping Party (Beige, 16.4ft)
Accommodates
4
Season
4 season

1. Whiteduck Canvas Wall Tent

WHITEDUCK Alpha Canvas Wall Tent Waterproof 4 Season Outdoor Camping & Hunting Tent w/Heavy Duty Aluminum Frame, Best for Large Groups, Families & Outfitters (10’x12′, Water Repellent)
  • STANDARD FEATURES: Canvas Alpha Wall Tent includes the complete tent with aluminum frame, rafter angle kits and free-floating PVC floor, NO NEED TO BUY THEM SEPARATELY! Basic features include the stove jack with flap, durable 3-layer large triangular windows, zippered door with storm flap, mesh, sod cloth and all standard essentials packed in a waterproof tent bag for easy transport and storage
  • MULTI-FUNCTIONAL FEATURES: Our camping tents include military grade YKK Zippers that provide enhanced product life and enhanced durability. The door and windows come equipped with a PVC dipped mesh which is robust and does not tear easily. The doors have an additional buckle fastening system (both inside and outside) with an additional flap across the door panels for extra protection to keep the tent dry during heavy rain and strong winds and an extra 16” sun/weather eave shade
  • INTERIOR FEATURES: Our 4 season camping tents are spacious enough to accommodate large group of people, families and friends making them ideal tents for camping. Durable 3-layer large triangular distinctive windows come with clear polyvinyl flap with a durable Velcro fastening system for letting in natural light without losing the heat from your stove, better ventilation and clear views. All the seams are double stitched, corners are reinforced for added strength
  • GROUNDSHEET & SOD CLOTH: The wall skirting and free-floating groundsheet are made from weatherproof, high UV resistant, heavy duty 16 oz. polyvinyl for a weather tight seal. Each wall tent features a sod cloth that is sewn onto the tent ground seam at the bottom of the tent and extends a generous 8″ beyond the tent floor. The side walls are standard 5’ high to give a spacious unobstructed head space inside the tent to move around. Pocket organizers also included
  • SETUP: Requires two or three people to pitch the tent. Include high quality powder coated metal brackets and lightweight anodized aluminum robust poles with steel wire for extra reinforcement (All stakes and rubber mallet included). Additional flexibility by adding a Porch for extra functional room that comes in different sizes or Fly Sheet for added protection. Perfectly suited for elk hunting, family tents for camping, glamping and even just living in a tent – Your home away from home!

2. Whiteduck Regatta Canvas Bell Tent

Regatta Bell Tent (Sandstone Beige, 13′ (4M), Water Repellent)
  • 【【BREATHABLE FABRIC and WIND ENDURANCE】 The Regatta is made from breathable performance canvas. It’s waterproof, mold resistant, UV resistant and available in multiple colors. With excellent wind and rain resistance, it’s your reliable shelter in any weather. It’s also available in a flame-retardant version for 4-season camping with wood stove. Elevate your outdoor experience with the White Duck Outdoors Regatta Tent.
  • 【OUTDOORS READY】The tent package includes a sewn-in groundsheet, stove jack, windows with mesh, roof vents, poles, a tool kit and a weatherproof bag – ALL are included with your purchase.
  • 【4 FOUR SEASON TENT】All our bell tents are built to perform in all weather conditions. Our PFC-free finish makes all tents completely water repellent. The stove jack, made from fire retardant material, allows for easy installation of a wood stove to stay warm on cold winter nights.
  • 【EXTREMELY SPACIOUS】This yurt style tent has a spacious design with standard wall height of 2’7″ which is higher than average bell tent wall heights. The super spacious interior boasts tons of stand-up space and walk-around comfort. The Regatta comes in 4 sizes, perfect for your group of any size.
  • 【HIGH QUALITY FEATURES】The Regatta boasts 2-layered doors and windows for ultimate protection from inclement weather and insects. An electrical cable outlet makes it easy to keep your devices charged. Pockets provide quick access to personal items. Our heavy-duty zippers are weatherproof, and maintain the longevity of the tent.

3. Danchel 4M Cotton Bell Tent

DANCHEL OUTDOOR B5 PRO Canvas Bell Tent with 2 Stove Jacks, Luxury Glamping Yurt Tent for 4 Person All Year Living Family Camping,13ft/4m
  • 🔸ROOMY&COMFORT: 4m/13ft for 4 person glamping. Can put two full size beds or four 75*30” sleep bags with all of their kit. 2.5m/8.2′ center pole, 4.9′ door height, 23.6”/60cm side wall, tall poles designed so didn’t have to crawl in tent and enough space to walk around. ‘D’ring on center pole can hang lights.
  • 🔸HEAVY DUTY CANVAS TENT: 60lbs. Made of 330GSM(9.7oz/yd²) thicker unbleached breathable cotton canvas. To make yurt tent smell odorless, we did not add extra PU coating which means that if you are camping in heavy rain, we recommend you to order rain fly tarp to add waterproofing.
  • 🔸4 SEASON GLAMPING: 5.9inch Dia. roof stove jack with waterproof flap for wood stove. Also can run plug in for an A/C unit or 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗮𝗻𝗲 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀 via 5.9inch Dia. side vent. Ideal for 4 season luxury glamping business or family camping.
  • 🔸STABLE CONSTRUCTION: Galvanized steel poles are stable in winds and strong enough to withstand about 0.8” thick snowfall. All metal 𝐘𝐊𝐊 zippers are flexible and reflect a high standard of construction. All seams are double robust stitches.
  • 🔸GOOD AIRFLOW: The side wall can be rolled up as sun shelter to enjoy 360° views. Both windows and doors are screen and canvas design. A velcro attachment to the door completely close off from 𝙗𝙪𝙜. The bottom creates a “bath-tub” to against the splashing.

4. Glamcamp Canvas Bell Tent

Cotton Canvas Bell Tent, Luxury Yurt Tent for Family Glamping, Waterproof and Breathable Cotton,4 Season Tent with Zipped Removable Floor (Beige, 13.1ft(4M),Water Retardant)
  • 🎪🎪LARGE SPACE for 8-10 PEOPLE to SLEEP:Bell tent diameter 16.4ft (5m), door height 63in, top height 118in, side wall height 23.6in, the stove hole center from floor is 15.7in. It can fit 1 King-sized bed and 2 twin-sized beds.
  • 💎💎100% COTTON CANVAS:glamcamp Bell Tents use durable and breathable 100% cotton canvas,water Repellent and UV Resistant. All our seams are double stitched,reinforced for the corners.
  • 🎁🎁COMPLETE PACKAGE: Includes zipped PVC groundsheet, 4.5”/5”(Different production batches, there are 2 sizes) wide Stove Jack opening, Standard Bug Mesh on Door and 4 Windows, 4 top Vents for extra ventilation, Galvanized Steel Entrance Pole and Center Pole, Tool Kit that includes Pegs, Pins and A Mallet- ALL packed in waterproof tent bag.
  • 🎉🎉SEPARABLE GROUNDSHEET DESIGN:The tent’s coolest feature is the zip-away floor that transforms your tent into a canopy for outdoor events such as festivals, Family Camping, weddings, Picnics, parties, Luxury Camping and group campouts.
  • 💯💯EASY to SET UP:It can be finished within just 20 mins;Step 1:Get the poles out, make them stands in an upright position;Step 2:Get the A frame Entrance pole to enter the tent , move it forward, and use the large pegs to attach;Step 3:Attach the guy ropes to the canvas loops,and use the large peg to attach the guy rope above the door,do the other guy rope around the tent.

5. Outop Canvas 4 Season Bell Tent

VANFOND Canvas Bell Tent, Yurt Tent with Stove Jack, Waterproof and Breathable Wall Tent, Glamping Tent, Detachable Groundsheet for Camping Party (Beige, 16.4ft)
  • 🏕️【Spacious Space】 Waterproof, with diameter 16.4ft(5M)/door height 5.6ft(1.7m)/top height 9.9ft(3m)/side wall 23.6in(60cm),you’re able to fit a queen bed and two blow-up mattresses, the bell tent still has plenty of room to walk around.
  • 🏕️【Complete Package】Our yurt tent comes with a high-quality sewn-in PVC groundsheet, a 5” wide stove jack opening, standard mesh door, 4 windows and roof vents to increase air circulation, galvanized steel center pole and A-frame pole. Additionally, the canvas tent comes with a tool kit that includes stakes, pegs, a rain cap, and a rubber mallet.
  • 🏕️【Bell tent with Stove Jack】Our glamping tent is not only waterproof but also highly breathable, ensuring a comfortable and dry camping experience in any weather. The 5” stove Jack on the top made from fire retardant material, ensuring safety during heating and won’t take too much space.
  • 🏕️【Versatile 2-in-1 Design】 The detachable groundsheet and roll-up walls offer 360-degree visibility and airflow, allowing you to enjoy the breeze and stunning views under the sun. This 4 person tent is suitable for use in gardens, lawns, forest camps, and is perfect for both summer and winter camping, luxurious glamping, park activities, and festivals.
  • 🏕️【Easy to install】Our 4 season tent is designed for effortless set-up, allowing you to spend less time on preparation and more time enjoying the great outdoors. With just 25 minutes, you can have the tent ready to use, ensuring a hassle-free camping experience.

Final Words

Some of the things that we considered when choosing the canvas tents above included their size and how many people they can comfortably accommodate.

Weight, build quality and ease of use were also considerations as well as whether the tent could be used in all seasons.

Therefore regardless of your choice , we guarantee that you will be investing in a quality product.

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