As the camping season approaches, many people are preparing to head out into the great outdoors for a memorable experience. One essential item that should be at the top of every camper’s list is a sturdy and reliable tent. Canvas tents are a popular choice for camping enthusiasts, thanks to their durability and resistance to harsh weather conditions. However, with so many options available, selecting the right canvas tent can be a daunting task. In this article, we will explore some helpful tips to guide you in choosing the right canvas tent for your camping trip.
Why choose a Canvas Tent?
Canvas tents are a popular choice for camping enthusiasts due to their durability and resistance to harsh weather conditions. Unlike nylon tents, canvas tents are made of thick, tightly woven cotton or polyester, which makes them more breathable, cooler, and quieter. Canvas tents also have a longer lifespan, as they can withstand extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain, high winds, and even snow.
Moreover, canvas tents have a classic, vintage look that appeals to many people. They are roomy and perfect for creating the home-away-from-home experience.
Tips for selecting the right Canvas Tent
- Size and Capacity
The first thing to consider when selecting a canvas tent is the size and capacity. Consider the number of people who will be using the tent, as well as the amount of gear you plan to bring along. Generally, it is recommended to choose a tent that can accommodate one or two extra people beyond the number of campers to allow for extra space and comfort. Additionally, you will want to consider whether you will use a wood stove on the inside or not as this will use up space. That all said, remember that canvas tents are already pretty big, so even the smallest wall tent is going to have room for a stove, 3 people. their cots, and their gear. But when in doubt, go bigger.
- Seasonality and Weather Resistance
All canvas tents work great in all seasons, but there are still some things to consider. First, a thicker canvas material will provide greater insulation which is particularly helpful during the winter but also nice during the summer. Second, the material used in the canvas will affect what treatments need to be applied to handle the different seasons. Polyester will require the least amount of attention and extra care.
- Tent Shape and Style
There are plenty options when it comes to style and shape, including unique A-frames and teepees, so I’ll just talk about the two most popular:
The wall tent is considered the industry standard. People like the high verticle walls and high ceilings. These end up feeling like a room in a home with a tall ceiling. They are sturdy and build to last. Plus, the rectangular design and high side walls means that every square foot can be used.
Bell tents go back over a hundred and fifty years but have become very popular recently because they offer the same sturdy protection but are easier to set up and look pretty stylish. Something to look for when shopping for a quality bell tent is the side wall height. One to two ft side walls is the norm for the style but having a 3ft or higher side wall will create more usable space. Lastly, if you are looking for the extra splash of fancy and fun, many bell tents have walls that can be completely removed.
- Quality of Materials and Construction
The quality of materials and construction is also a crucial factor to consider when selecting a canvas tent. Look for a tent made of a high-quality canvas. But how do you know the canvas is high quality? Here’s what to look for:
What is the weight of the canvas? This provides a quick look at its strength. 8 oz is too light, 10 oz is acceptable, 12 oz is the industry standard for high quality, and 14 or 16 oz is on the extreme heavy duty end of it. But every company will manufacture their canvas differently so it’s not exactly a one to one ratio of weight to quality.
What is the break and tear strength? This is where you can take it one step further. Any good company should be able to provide you with the break and tear strength of their canvas. This will look like X number of pounds of pressure. If you want to dive deep, you will see that 12 oz from one company may be better than 14 oz from another.
How much polyester is in the canvas? Incorporating more polyester into the canvas can add addition strength without adding more weight, so more polyester is generally considered more strength. This is a quick guide approach to strength just like how looking at the oz per yard weight can provide a good estimate for its strength.
What treatments have been applied to the canvas? This is largely a question for those who go with traditional cotton canvas, but these treatments can be expensive, so you may think you’re getting a discounted tent only to discover the upcharges at checkout for additional treatments that were not included. As a bare minimum your cotton canvas tent should be treated for rain and mold. The natural fibers in cotton canvas will get gobbled up by nature if you don’t protect it. Additionally, you may want to consider UV treatments and fire treatments. Of these various, expensive treatments, 100% polyester canvas would really only benefit from the fire treatment which isn’t even necessary if you’ve got heat shields in place.
How are the seems and pole contact points prepared? The seams of the tent should be reinforced with double-stitching, and the zippers should be of high quality to ensure durability. All canvas points that contact poles should be double thick.
- Ease of Setup
Canvas tents are already big and bulky. They are already going to be a challenge to assemble. So when I say consider ease of setup, I’m mostly just thinking of one thing: do not get a tent with a sewn-in floor if you also plan on using internal frames. It is incredibly annoying trying to put up a frame from within a heavy, canvas tent flopping down on top of you.
Elk Mountain Tents – A Reliable Brand for Canvas Tents
Elk Mountain Tents is a reputable brand that offers high-qality canvas tents for camping enthusiasts. Their tents are made from 100% oolyester canvas for added strenth and portability. Their tents require no rain, sun, or mold treatments. The tents are designed to be durable and long-lasting. Their approach to business has been to include as many of the most requested features, such as screened windows and a stove jack, in their base model and keep prices low by having a streamlined business with no brick and mortar store front.
Q: Are canvas tents more expensive than nylon tents?
A: Yes, canvas tents are generally more expensive than nylon tents due to the quality of materials and construction. However, they also have a longer lifespan and can withstand extreme weather conditions, making them a worthwhile investment for serious camping enthusiasts.
Q: Can canvas tents be used in hot weather?
A: Yes, canvas tents are breathable and cooler than nylon tents, making them ideal for use in hot weather. However, it is important to choose a tent with good ventilation and to set it up in a shaded area to prevent overheating.
Q: How do I care for my canvas tent?
A: To care for your canvas tent, it is important to keep it clean and dry. Avoid storing it wet, as this can cause mildew and damage to the fabric. Use a mild soap and water to clean the tent, and avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the waterproofing. Store the tent in a dry, cool place when not in use.
Selecting the right canvas tent is an important decision for any camping enthusiast. Consider the size and capacity, seasonality and weather resistance, tent shape and style, quality of materials and construction, and ease of setup when choosing a canvas tent for your next camping trip. Elk Mountain Tents offers high-quality canvas tents that are durable, long-lasting, and designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. With these tips in mind, you can confidently choose the right canvas tent for your camping adventure.