Best Canvas Tent – Expert Review

Updated: February 12, 2024
Best canvas tent

Canvas tents may be bulky, heavy and expensive, but if you’re after something more luxurious and weight isn't an issue, then these long-lasting tents are your go to.

For a spacious 8-person canvas tent, check out the Teton Sports Mesa Tent. Although it's a heavy tent, it is very well built, has great waterproof qualities and offers good ventilation.

For a luxury home in the woods, you may want to check out the WHITEDUCK Regatta Canvas Camping and Glamping Tent or if you're on a budget, see the Dream House Luxury Canvas Tent

Below are our top picks of the best canvas tents. 

Best Canvas Tents (Top Picks)

This article contains affiliate links. If you buy something through the links on this page, we might get a small commission. It will not affect your price but helps keep our site alive!

Top Camping Canvas Tents

We reviewed over 17 canvas tents for this article. Below are the best canvas tents that made our short list:

  1. Teton Sports Mesa Canvas Tent - Best Overall and Best Waterproof
  2. DANCHEL Cotton Bell Tent
  3. WHITEDUCK Regatta Canvas Camping and Glamping Tent - Best Luxury
  4. Dream House Luxury Canvas Tent - Best Value
  5. Winterial Single Person Personal Bivy Tent

Read our complete buyers guide for canvas tents.

Best Overall Canvas Tent

TETON Sports Mesa and Sierra Canvas Tents; Tent for Family Camping in All Seasons; The Right Shelter for Your Base Camp; Waterproof

4.6/5 Overall Rating

The Teton Sports Mesa Canvas Tent is a bell tent able to sleep 8-12 people. The setup is fairly simple, with a two-pole assembly, and can be assembled either as a tent for camping or as a canopy for festivals or picnics.

The product comprises the canvas tent, tent poles, carbon steel stakes and a carry bag. The door to the tent is designed to be over-sized, allowing for ventilation and easy loading of your belongings into the tent. However, the tent is very heavy, at 80 lbs (36 kg), and quite expensive.

Main Features
  • Easy to set up
  • Waterproof
  • Well ventilated
  • Extra wide doors
  • Dual use: tent or canopy
  • Carbon steel stakes
  • Heavy duty welded floor
  • Reinforced seams
What we like
  • Large and comfy
  • Extremely watertight
  • Huge – great for big families
  • High quality
  • Thick tent floor
  • Mesh screens with great views
What we dislike
  • Doesn’t fit that many sleeping
DANCHEL OUTDOOR B5 PRO Canvas Bell Tent with 2 Stove Jacks, 4 Season Glamping Tents for Camping, Yurt Tent House for 4/6/8 Adults Living,13ft/16.4ft/20ft

4.4/5 Overall Rating

The DANCHEL Cotton Bell Tent comes in diameters ranging from 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 meters). The cover is made of 300GSM cotton canvas and the ground cover is made of PVC.

The tent’s distinctive feature is a 3.9 inch (10cm) stove hole and double stove jacket in the top cover and wall for extra chilly winter nights. These jackets are multi-purpose and can be used for an air-conditioner tube, power line or solar panel line.

Main Features
  • Range of sizes
  • Waterproof
  • Windproof
  • Snow-proof
  • Thick PVC floor
  • Double stove jacket
  • Lifetime Warranty
What we like
  • Solid
  • Stable center pole
  • Roomy
  • Easy to pitch
  • Warm
What we dislike
  • Zippers can break easily
  • Needs a stove protector
  • Stakes are too feeble for snowy weather
Regatta Bell Tent (Sandstone Beige, 10' (3M), Water Repellent)

4.6/5 Overall Rating

Like other canvas tents, the WHITEDUCK Regatta Canvas Camping and Glamping Tent is made of 100% cotton and Army Duck Canvas. This beige-coloured tent is waterproof, UV Resistant, and also available with a Fire Retardant finish. 

The WHITEDUCK Regatta Canvas is decked with a spacious pavilion-esque door as well as a side entry. It also comes with an 8 x 8.5 inch (20 x 21 cm) awning, which you have the option to use or not.

The tent also has three mesh-covered windows for ventilation and can sleep 4 people.

Main Features
  • Tall ceiling
  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • Galvanized Steel Entrance Pole and Center Pole
  • High Quality Sewn-in PE groundsheet
  • Electric cable outlet
  • Stove Jack opening
  • Toolkit included
  • Roll-up canvas cover
What we like
  • Easy to set up
  • Great usage all year round
  • Stable in windy conditions
  • Rugged floor
  • Layered mesh door and windows to keep bugs out
  • Very watertight
  • Well ventilated
  • Keeps warm
  • Roomy
What we dislike
  • Occasional leaking issues near pipe stove area
  • Can feel very cramped with people and gear inside
Dream House Outdoor Waterproof Cotton Canvas Family Camping Bell Tent (Beige Cotton Canvas Tent, Diameter 4 Meter)

4.5/5 Overall Rating

The Dream House Luxury Canvas Tent  is aesthetically pleasing and is perfect for luxurious camping. This tent is available in four different sizes, ranging in diameter from 3-6 meters.

The tent cover material is cotton canvas with 3000mm PU coating for waterproofing, and the groundsheet is made of PVC. This four-season tent is waterproof and the door and windows are covered with mosquito mesh.

All sizes, except the 10 foot (3 meter) tent, have stove holes for winter warmth, and are wind-resistant up to 30 mile/hour (50 km/h).

Main Features
  • All-year tent
  • Waterproof
  • PVC groundsheet that can be easily cleaned
  • Double stitching for extra strength
  • Windproof up to 6 degree wind
  • 3000mm waterproof PU coating
  • Taped seams
  • Screen meshes over windows and door
What we like
  • Easy to set up
  • Fits easily in the bag
  • Spacious
  • Good quality center pole
  • Great for any weather
What we dislike
  • Peg stakes are cheap
  • Not very resistant to sun
Winterial Single Person Personal Bivy Tent - Lightweight One Person Tent With Rainfly, 2lbs 9oz, Stakes, Poles and Guylines Included, Backpacking and Hiking Bivy Tent, Green

4.5/5 Overall Rating

Whether you’re solo-camping or just prefer to sleep alone, you might consider this Winterial Single Person Personal Bivy Tent an option for your camping needs.

The canopy is made of 100% cotton duck canvas, which allows for a waterproof, yet breathable cover. The tent comes with a 2” (5cm) thick foam pad and removable flannel cover, which can all be rolled into one bundle and cinched together using the straps provided.

This tent can be used for ground camping, truck camping, or with a cot. The top of the tent unzips and can be rolled back to allow for extra ventilation in summer heat and stargazing on clear nights.

Main Features
  • Durable
  • Watertight
  • 100% cotton canvas
  • Comes with sleeping pad
  • Top zips open
  • Comes with a doormat
  • Rolls all into one portable package
  • Well ventilated
What we like
  • Very roomy even for tall people
  • Keeps heat in
  • No leaks even in the rain
  • Quick and easy to set up
  • Super comfortable
What we dislike
  • Very heavy – not for backpacking

Canvas Tent - Buyer's Guide

What is a canvas tent?

Tents come in a variety of different materials, including nylon, laminates, polyester and canvas. Different materials are suited for different purposes so the type you choose should be based on how you want to use your tent.

Canvas is a heavier material usually made from woven cotton or hemp, while nylon tends to be much lighter and thinner. 

Canvas is stronger and much easier to repair than nylon or synthetic fabrics, although 'ripstop' weaves are now being utilized to prevent rips from getting bigger in nylon tents. 

Nylon is naturally water-resistant  while canvas tents need a special coating to prevent the cotton from absorbing water.

Canvas tents are great if you're car camping and place more emphasis on comfort and durability, but if you need something light, portable, or waterproof then a nylon tent or backpacking tent is the way to go. 

Care and Maintenance of Canvas Tents

One thing that is always mentioned when discussing canvas tents is the necessity for appropriate maintenance and storage. If a canvas tent is left wet or damp, it’s easy for mold to develop and for the material to become completely ruined.

It’s important to ensure that you store the tent totally dry to avoid any molding or mildew. There are certain tents that are coated in a water-resistant substance, but this reduces the breathability of the tent, which is one of the selling points of canvas tents in the first place.


Canvas tents can be either pure cotton canvas, or synthetic canvas – a polyester-canvas blend. Pure cotton canvas tents tend to be heavier, more expensive, and require appropriate maintenance. However, these tents are favorable for their durability, longevity and environmental friendliness.

Synthetic or poly-cotton canvas tents are lighter and more mildew-resistant. The material of the tent frame, poles and stakes is also important. You’ll need a sturdy material to hold up the weight of the canvas, like steel.

Durability & Weather Resistance

One of the benefits of canvas as a material is its durability. This is one of the key features to consider when making your purchase, along with the resistance to a range of weather conditions. Most canvas tents are four season tents, but just check before you buy.

Other Features of Canvas Tents


It may seem like quite a dramatic investment to make, but in the case of canvas tents, quality and cost are pretty closely correlated. You’re paying for a material that is durable, watertight yet simultaneously breathable, and one that you can use year-round. In general, this is a worthy investment, as a canvas tent will last you a lifetime and can be used in almost any weather. 

Shape & Size

The shape of the tent you choose depends on functional and aesthetic preferences. Bell tents are generally simple to set up and can sleep many people, but are bulky and heavy. They’re perfect for large groups of people, or for more glamping trips.

Cabin tents require a bit more framework, and are generally the most popular tent shape. Wall tents are similar, although have a pitched roof and are more spacious, making them great for longer trips. If you want to be able to walk around in the tent, make sure to check the interior height. However, if you just need something to sleep in, then a truck bed tent or swag tent (for one person) are the simplest options. 

Weight and Packed Size

Due to the heaviness of canvas, it would be almost inconceivable to take a canvas tent backpacking. So if you’re car camping, then the weight of the tent doesn’t matter too much, although it does play a part in how easy it is to set up the tent – heavier tents may require more than one person to set up.

Packed size is important especially when you’re travelling in a fully loaded car, so finding a tent that packs up easily into a neat bundle or bag is essential. You’re going to want to find a tent that you can pack up and go.

Set Up and Take Down

Canvas tents aren’t generally the quickest types of tents to set up. However, some are designed to be easier than others. If you’re potentially going to be setting it up alone, take into account the weight and simplicity of the structure. 


Camping is uncomfortable enough as it is, so why not ensure you have the best tools to make it more comfy? The factors that play into your camping comfort include the breathability, insulation, UV resistance and noisiness of your tent material. Canvas scores pretty well in these areas, making it a great quality choice.


Depending on the weather conditions and how long you’ll be camping for, you might want to add a few extras to enhance your camping experience. This could be something simple and functional, like a tent footprint, which is useful for keeping dirt out of the tent, or a stove for heating, or it could be more complicated, like an air-conditioning unit.


About the author 

Adie Marais

Adie is a nature and wildlife lover living in Cape Town, South Africa. Growing up, she had many opportunities to explore the outdoors by hiking, going on safaris and venturing into the karoo with her family. This led to her love of animals, the environment and discovering new places to explore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

We work with local guides to offer great value adventures at unbeatable prices