canvas vs nylon tents

Canvas Tent Vs Nylon Tent: Which One Is the Best for Your Camping Needs?

When it comes to camping, choosing the right tent is a crucial decision. The type of tent you choose can affect your overall camping experience. Two popular types of tents are canvas and nylon tents. Canvas tents have been around for a long time, but nylon tents have become increasingly popular in recent years. In this article, we will compare canvas tents and nylon tents to help you decide which one is best for your camping needs.

Introducing Elk Mountain Tents

Before we dive into the comparison, let us introduce you to Elk Mountain Tents, a company that offers high-quality canvas tents. They use premium quality canvas that is more durable and long lasting than traditional cotton canvas. Their tents are perfect for all seasons and can withstand harsh weather conditions.

Canvas Tents

Canvas tents have been used for camping for centuries. They are made of cotton, polyester, or cotton-poly canvas, which is a heavy-duty material. Canvas tents are known for their durability and longevity. They are also excellent for keeping you warm during cold nights and cool during hot days. Canvas tents are perfect for camping in all seasons.

Pros of Canvas Tents

  1. Durability: Canvas tents are incredibly durable and long-lasting. They can withstand harsh weather conditions and are perfect for all seasons.
  2. Breathability: Canvas tents are breathable, which means they allow air to flow through them. This makes them ideal for camping in hot weather.
  3. Insulation: Canvas tents provide excellent insulation, keeping you warm during cold nights. You can also hook up a wood stove.
  4. Headroom: The lowest point in many canvas tents is 5ft, meaning that you can walk around with ease.
  5. Space: These beasts are huge and can accommodate tons of people and their gear.

Cons of Canvas Tents

  1. Heavy: Canvas tents are heavier than nylon tents, which can make them challenging to transport and impossible to hike with.
  2. Expensive: Canvas tents are more expensive than nylon tents. They are an investment and worth it if you plan on using your tent frequently.
  3. Require Maintenance: This only true for cotton canvas, but canvas tents require more maintenance than nylon tents. They need to be waterproofed regularly, and the canvas needs to be treated to prevent mildew.
  4. Setup: Best with two people and take an average of 30 minutes but up to 60 minutes for those not familiar.

Nylon Tents

Nylon tents are lightweight and easy to transport. They are made of nylon fabric, which is a synthetic material. Nylon tents have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among backpackers and hikers.

Pros of Nylon Tents

  1. Lightweight: Nylon tents are lightweight and easy to transport. This makes them ideal for backpacking and hiking trips.
  2. Affordable: Nylon tents are more affordable than canvas tents. They are an excellent option for those on a budget.
  3. Easy to Set up: Nylon tents are easy to set up and take down. This makes them ideal for first-time campers or those who prefer a hassle-free camping experience.

Cons of Nylon Tents

  1. Not as Durable: Nylon tents are not as durable as canvas tents. They can be easily damaged if not taken care of properly. Something as simple as a stray pole or stick can puncture a hole.
  2. Poor Insulation: Nylon tents do not provide as much insulation as canvas tents. They can be uncomfortable to sleep in during cold nights without proper sleeping bags.
  3. Not Breathable: A high-quality nylon tent will have good ventilation built into the design, but many don’t. Condensation can be a serious issue.

Canvas Tents vs. Nylon Tents – Which one is better?

Choosing between a canvas tent and a nylon tent ultimately depends on your camping needs. If you are looking for a tent that will last for years and provide excellent insulation and breathability, a canvas tent is the better option. Canvas tents are more expensive, but they are worth the investment if you plan on using your tent frequently and in different weather conditions. They are the perfect longterm base camp.

On the other hand, if you are a backpacker or hiker looking for a lightweight and affordable tent, a nylon tent is the way to go. Nylon tents are easy to set up and take down, making them perfect for those who prefer a hassle-free camping experience.

canvas vs nylon tents


Q: Are canvas tents better than nylon tents?

A: Canvas tents are better than nylon tents in terms of durability, insulation, and breathability. However, nylon tents are more affordable and lightweight, making them a good option for backpackers and hikers.

Q: How long do canvas tents last?

A: A canvas tent can last up to 20 years with proper maintenance.

Q: Are canvas tents difficult to set up?

A: Canvas tents can be more challenging to set up than nylon tents due to their weight and size.


In conclusion, choosing between a canvas tent and a nylon tent depends on your camping needs. Canvas tents are more durable and provide better insulation and breathability, making them perfect for all seasons. On the other hand, nylon tents are lightweight and affordable, making them ideal for backpackers and hikers. Whichever type of tent you choose, make sure to consider factors such as durability, insulation, breathability, and ease of setup. And if you’re in the market for a high-quality canvas tent, be sure to check out Elk Mountain Tents for their premium options.