When it comes to finding a durable, long-lasting tent, you should consider one made of canvas. Canvas tents are great for outdoor adventures, especially if you need a year-round, waterproof shelter for camping. While they often have a higher price tag than their nylon competitors, their weather resistance and sustainability make them incredibly popular.
There are plenty of great canvas tents out there, and it can be overwhelming trying to decide which one is right for you. However, you can narrow down your choices with a few considerations. If you are looking for a breathable structure that is large enough to keep the entire family comfortable and dry, the TETON Sports Mesa Canvas Tent is a top pick.
What to know before you buy a canvas tent
To determine what size canvas tent you need, consider how many people will utilize the tent. Will you be camping on your own, or will your entire family join you? Canvas tents come in all shapes and sizes, some are for just one person, and others are large enough to accommodate up to eight people. Think about how big your party will be and use that to guide you toward the right size.
Ease of setup
Be sure to check out the setup instructions before you purchase a canvas tent. It will list how easy it is to put it in place and how many people you need to set it up. The last thing you want is to be in a remote location when you realize you can’t get your tent set up. Canvas tents come with comprehensive instructions on how to set them up and take them down, but make sure you can do it with ease when you set out on your camping trip.
Canvas tents can be heavy, and their weight depends on the size of the tent and the thickness of the canvas. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the tent, the heavier it will be. Single-person tents are the most lightweight and best suited for long hikes.
Canvas tent features
One of the top features of a canvas tent is its durability. Canvas acts as an all-weather material designed to withstand all four seasons. If you plan on camping year-round, a canvas tent is your best bet. They are designed to stay warm in the winter by trapping heat, and they stay cool in the summer by releasing moisture.
While nylon tents are lightweight, they also tend to trap moisture. Nylon tents do not breathe as well as canvas tents. Canvas material releases moisture from the tent easily, so there are no issues with condensation. As a result, a canvas tent is ideal for both the winter and summer months.
You can easily patch a canvas tent in the event of a tear. They are cotton-based and designed to last for decades. Canvas is a sustainable material that is environmentally friendly as well.
Canvas tent cost
A canvas tent can cost anywhere from $300-$1,000. Smaller tents are less expensive, and larger ones cost the most. If you go with a trusted brand name, you may pay more. However, the tent will likely offer long-lasting durability.
Canvas tent FAQ
Is a canvas tent better than a nylon tent?
A. A canvas tent is a better choice if you plan to camp year-round, or at least during the spring, summer and fall seasons. It is also a great pick if you tend to camp for an extended time and offers the most protection during inclement weather or wintery conditions. However, a nylon tent is lightweight, easy to set up and a great option if you plan on camping after a long hike.
Why are canvas tents so expensive?
A. A canvas tent is breathable and durable and is especially effective at offering water-resistant protection and insulation. A canvas tent also offers excellent ventilation and keeps moisture out. It also has effective UV protection.
Which canvas tent should I get?
Best of the best canvas tent
TETON Sports Mesa Canvas Tent: available at Amazon
Our take: The all-weather canvas of this high-quality tent comes from a trusted brand. It features six storage organizers along with a built-in awning.
What we like: This waterproof tent is easy to set up, has extra-wide doors and high ceilings for added comfort. The roomy tent is available in two sizes for six or eight people, and it comes with mesh screens for added ventilation.
What we dislike: The tent has a hefty price tag, but it's made to last.
Best bang for your buck canvas tent
WHITEDUCK Mini Regatta Canvas Bell Tent: available at Amazon
Our take: Designed for three seasons, this budget-friendly tent is lightweight and more compact. It's perfect for two people spending time in the great outdoors.
What we like: It comes with windows for additional ventilation and a large door to provide airflow. This rainproof yurt-style tent has portability in mind, so it's easy to set up and take down in just a few minutes.
What we dislike: While ideal for one to two people, it is not large enough to accommodate an entire family.
Honorable mention canvas tent
Kodiak 1-Person Canvas Swag Tent: available at Amazon
Our take: This canvas tent designed for just one person offers durable shelter and a compact design that is easy to roll up and transport.
What we like: At nearly 7-feet long and 3-feet wide, this roomy tent comes with a comfortable foam mattress pad and is spacious enough for you to sleep on the ground or on a cot. The windows zip open at your head and feet for added ventilation.
What we dislike: This is an expensive canvas tent for just one person.
Kellie Speed is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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