Camping Tent Types Camping Tents

The Best Canvas Tent for Camping

Canvas tents for camping are some of the most durable tents for sale. When looking for the best canvas camping tents, it is important to understand when a canvas tent is the best option for your needs. Canvas camping tents are the best option for campers who plan extended camping trips. With a canvas tent, especially a canvas wall tent, you typically get a larger tent with more headroom and standing room. Most modern canvas is a mix of cotton and synthetics.  This material combination makes canvas an extremely durable fabric that breathes better than other synthetic tent materials.  For more information about canvas tent pros and cons, please see the end of this article. We have researched all the options for canvas camping tents, with value and quality as the highest priorities, and recommend Kodiak Flex-Bow Canvas Tents as your best option.

In addition to our best canvas camping tent pick, we have identified some other canvas tents for specific needs. We have included the best canvas wall tent, teepee tent, cabin tent, and bell tent. We have also selected a canvas truck tent option and include how to care for your canvas tent at the end of this article.

Our Best Rated Canvas Tent for Camping

Kodiak Flex-Bow Canvas Tents

The Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Tents are some of the best canvas tents for sale and should be your top pick if you’re looking for the best combination of comfort and durability with an easy set-up. There are many campers who swear by canvas tents, and the Kodiak brand is one of the favorites. If weight and pack size aren’t an issue and you take care of your gear, the Kodiak tents will reward you with a tent that will last for years. The tent was designed to provide maximum comfort while being as durable, sturdy and easy to set-up as possible. There are different styles of canvas tent options to choose from on our list, but Kodiak Canvas’ commitment to ease of set-up and value, makes it one of the best selling canvas tents on the market. 

Again, the Kodiak Flex-Box tents are specifically known for the following: easy enough for 1 person to setup, natural cotton canvas material that stays warm in colder temperatures and cool in warmer temperatures, extreme durability, and good weather performance for most weather conditions. The tent is a stand out for desert or beach camping such as surf trips or Burning Man where blowing wind and sand are no match. Hunters swear by Kodiak tents as base camps during hunting season. When not being used for specific tasks, they make fantastic family camping tents.

The Flex-Box offers a quick, easy, one-person setup that you don’t find often when looking for a canvas tent. The tents feature Hydra-Shield 100% Cotton Duck Canvas which is durable, watertight and breathable. The Flex-Bow keeps a tight pitch with an exceptionally sturdy frame and heavy-duty 12-inch steel rods and stakes.  There are two large D-shaped doors located at the front and back of the tent.  Large windows with no-see-um mesh along with two funnel-flow vents help improve air flow and temperature management. Inside the tents are spacious with 6’6″ ceiling height which provides walk-around comfort as well as a customizable gear loft and organizer pockets. The floor is a heavy-duty seamless 16 oz vinyl that is polyester reinforced for added strength and resistance to the elements. Additional features include a large awning and handy strap-and-cinch storage bag for convenient roll up. The sturdy frame is manufactured from 1-inch galvanized steel tubing while the Flex-Bow Rods are 3/8-inch solid spring steel.

The Flex-Box tent holds up to intense weather including hard rain and winds using their Trademarked Hydra-shield canvas, good design, and a tight pitch. The natural fabrics in the tent body and good airflow, reduces condensation and the tent handles hot weather very well with such great ventilation. The Flex-Bow is rated for All-season use year-round, but there is a disclaimer on their website that it is not designed for extreme winter mountaineering or heavy snow accumulations. Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon

Similar Tent: We also researched the Springbar Highline Canvas Tent tent. This tent is very similar to the Kodiak Flex-Bow Canvas Tent but it is Made in the USA. Because the Kodiak Flex-Bow has so many great features at such a great price point, we are comfortable recommending the Flex-Bow. If Made in the USA is a must for you, then you won’t go wrong with the Springbar Canvas Tent.


The Best Canvas Wall Tent (with Stove Jack)

Elk Mountain Canvas Wall Tent with Stove JackElk Mountain Canvas Wall Tent

The Elk Mountain Canvas Wall Tent with Stove Jack is an excellent option if you are looking for a base camp tent for hunting season. The features of Elk Mountain canvas wall tent that make it a favorite are the cotton-polyester canvas blend that is strong and lightweight, rot and mildew resistant, highly durable, and waterproof with seams already sealed. The lightweight, durable material provides warmth in the winter and ventilation when the weather warms up. This tent is an excellent choice for climates that see large temperature swings. Along with the superior material, six windows and 2 ridge vents provide excellent ventilation and prevent moisture building up inside the tent overnight. The canvas wall tent also includes an uncut Fiberglass Stove Pipe Jack w/ Cover that you can custom cut to fit your particular stove.

With one of the lowest prices available, you’re not going to find too many canvas wall tents like the Elk Mountain tents. A nice cost savings comes from the ability to make your own poles. If you are handy, you buy this tent and angle kit, then buy 3/4″ EMT Conduit from somewhere like Home Depot.  If you’re not into making your own poles, Elk Mountain does sell a pretty cheap pole kit on their website Elk Mountain Tents.

The When buying a canvas wall tent, it is important to understand why you would choose a wall tent over other types of tents. The canvas wall tent is a large base camp tent that you use for extended trips. Because they do take longer to setup, it’s not something you want to setup for just an overnight trip. You can take them places a lot of trailers and campers equipped rigs can’t go. Canvas wall tents also have no floors so you’re not constantly tracking dirt into the tent or worrying about taking boots off.  If a canvas wall tent fits your needs, we feel like you should very much consider the Elk Mountain Canvas Wall Tent with Stove Jack.  Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon


The Best Canvas Teepee Tent (with Stove Jack)

The Colorado Range Cowboy Tipi Canvas Tent

We recommend the Cowboy Tipi Tent to anyone looking for a canvas teepee tent. This particular tent is our top choice in this category because its easy and quick to set up as well as being a quality product that is resistant to all types of weather conditions and made with materials that will last for many years. In addition, the Cowboy Tipi has proven to be excellent shelter in bad weather and can be supported with an external pole set, or the peak can be hung from a tree limb.  Although the ability to hang from a tree limb is versatile, the pole set is recommended.

The Cowboy Tipi tent is hand-made by the Denver Tent Company in Denver, Colorado. Features of this tent include: Stove Jack. Sewn in Floor. A 2-way zipper with snap and D-ring closure, Steel stakes and stake bag, Ropes and rope tighteners, Tent bag, and a Basic Weight of just 24 lbs. Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon


The Best Canvas Cabin Tent

Kodiak Canvas Cabin Tent with Deluxe Awning

Kodiak Canvas Cabin tentIf you are looking for a tent with a lot of featured for extended camping trips, the Kodiak Canvas Cabin Tent might be a good choice. The tent takes significantly longer for setup than the Flex-Box and requires multiple people, but once setup, you have an extremely versatile and comfortable tent for all types of weather.

Like the Flex-Bow, the cabin tent feature Hydra-Shield 100% Cotton Duck Canvas which is durable, watertight and breathable. The Flex-Bow keeps a tight pitch with an exceptionally sturdy frame and heavy-duty 12-inch steel rods and stakes.  There are two large D-shaped doors located at the front and side of the tent.  Five large windows with no-see-um mesh along with roll up side walls help improve air flow and temperature management. Inside the tent is spacious with steep side walls and a spacious with 7’5″ ceiling height which provides walk-around comfort. The floor is a heavy-duty seamless 16 oz vinyl that is polyester reinforced for added strength and resistance to the elements. Additional features include a large 8′ x 8′ deluxe awning that can be turned into an additional room with the addition of an enclosure kit. The sturdy frame is manufactured from 1-inch galvanized steel tubing while the Flex-Bow Rods are 3/8-inch solid spring steel.

The Kodiak Canvas Cabin tent holds up to intense weather including hard rain and winds using their Trademarked Hydra-shield canvas, good design, and a tight pitch. The natural fabrics in the tent body and good airflow, reduces condensation and the tent handles hot weather very well with such great ventilation. The Kodiak Canvas Cabin tent is rated for All-season use year-round, but there is a disclaimer on their website that it is not designed for extreme winter mountaineering or heavy snow accumulations. Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon

Upgrade: You can buy the Enclosure Kit to turn the awning into an additional room.


The Best Canvas Truck Tent

Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent

Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed TentThe Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent is the perfect solution for campers looking to setup camp anywhere their truck goes. If you can drive there, you can setup this tent. Because you are up off the ground you don’t need to worry about typical camp site issues that hinder a normal tent setup, such as uneven ground, rocky ground, and flooding. In addition, to staying up off the ground and keeping you dry, it also keeps you up off the ground away from critters such as mice, bugs and snakes.

Like other Kodiak Canvas tents, the Truck Bed Tent feature Hydra-Shield 100% Cotton Duck Canvas which is durable, watertight and breathable. The Truck Bed Tent keeps a tight pitch with a sturdy steel tube frame and clamp-on rails for an easy mount on the truck bed for a secure fit.  There is a large D-shaped door with top of the line YKK zippers and covered entry. Along with large windows with no-see-um mesh to help improve air flow and temperature management, there is a cab access window in the rear of the tent. The tunnel shaped design maximizes interior space with a tall 5 ft. ceiling height and the tailgate down design expands useable space. Inside the tent are two convenient gear pockets.

Also included is a convenient carry bag. The Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent is rated for All-season use year-round, but there is a disclaimer on their website that it is not designed for extreme winter mountaineering or heavy snow accumulations.  Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon


The Best Canvas Bell Tent

Lotus Canvas Belle Tent

Lotus Canvas Bell TentThe Lotus Canvas Bell Tent is the best option for campers looking for a canvas bell tent. Canvas bell tents offer many advantages including: ease of setting up and taking down, a large interior space,  sides that can be rolled up for warmer days, and natural canvas material to regulate temperatures. 

Lotus Tents are the highest quality canvas bell tents for sale. The tent includes a groundsheet, giving you the freedom to roll up the tent walls and enjoy maximum ventilation and cross breeze. All Lotus tents include the highest quality mesh screen door and unique zippable mesh windows that let you open the tent for a breeze or a view without worrying about bugs or critters.  Lotus describes the tent: “Our unique design uses the whole interior for greater space and comfort. Tardis shape makes it ideal for glampling, gatherings, yoga, weddings, camping, music festivals.”

Like all of the canvas tents on our list, Lotus Bell Tents are All-season use year round.  The natural canvas fabric performs as well in hot weather as it does in cold weather. This tent is a premium product that uses high quality materials that results in a tent that can be left up for extended periods of time.  Read All Customer Reviews on Amazon Check Price on Amazon


Important Considerations for Canvas Tents

Canvas tents perform throughout all seasons. Canvas is not only breathable, but it takes more time to heat up than synthetics. In the winter, canvas tents can be heated within and maintain temperatures better than thinner synthetic materials. Of course, with their larger size and heavier material, canvas tents take up much more room and are heavier to transport. In addition, they require more maintenance, but if maintained well, they last for years and can even be repaired with a standard thread and needle.

Value – When you are venturing out into the backcountry wilderness and you’re possibly miles from the nearest shelter or your car, it is not the time to have saved money by buying a cheaply built tent. It could very seriously be life and death if your tent fails in a camping situation, especially when extreme weather rolls in. We feel that our top pick, the Kodiak Flex-Bow Canvas Tents, are the best combination of comfort and safety. Our other options should be considered based on your specific needs and how much money you are willing to spend to meet those requirements.

Comfort – If you are looking at canvas tents, you are most likely considering large, long use tents. Your comfort is going to be important at the end of a long day of hunting or hiking especially in bad weather conditions. Most tents are sized to how many standard adults the tent will fit, not including gear and certainly not taking into account extra space for taller or larger-bodied campers. If you want extra space, choose a tent with an extra 1 person capacity. Also consider the number of vestibules and their size to store all your gear outside of the tent while still being protected from the elements.

Durability – Durability goes hand in hand with value and quality. All of our top canvas tents are manufactured by companies who stand behind their products. They provide quality canvas tents built to last. Choosing the right tent to match camping conditions and where you camp are extremely important to the life of the tent. In addition, using proper footprints and understanding that basic tears and holes are easier than ever to repair, will go a long way to extend tent lifespans.

Airflow and Ventilation – You’ll know it when you wake up inside a poorly ventilated tent. Condensation will collect overnight and you’ll wake up to damp and soggy sleeping bags and clothing. Not a nice way to begin the day. When you exhale while sleeping, your breath is giving off about 1 liter of water. For every other person you are dealing with extra liters of water each night. That water vapor needs to go somewhere otherwise it stays trapped inside the tent and can soak gear. Ventilation is an important aspect of a good quality tent so all of the canvas tents on our list provide excellent ventilation. Airflow is more important when facing hot and humid temperatures. Again, we have only picked canvas tents with good quality materials to provide maximum airflow so the tents can be used in a variety of temperature conditions. 

Weather Performance – All of the canvas tents on our list were designed to perform well in most weather conditions, keeping you safe, dry and warm. They provide protection against rain, wind and blowing dust, provide airflow in hot weather, and will do quite well when night time temperatures get colder. If you are considering a canvas tent for winter camping, choose a tent with a stove jack from our list so you can camp with a stove to warm the tent.

Heating – We offer an article on the best tent heater. In this article you will find both propane tent heaters and also wood burning tent stoves.

Canvas Tent Maintenance and Waterproofing

Standard Maintenance – We recommend the following when caring for your canvas tent:

  • Try to clean and dry your canvas tent as much as possible at the campsite before packing it up.
  • If you can, wash the canvas as much as possible at the campsite with water and let dry.
  • Never pack a wet canvas tent away. Mold will destroy the natural fabrics in canvas.
  • If you see mold or mildew, wash it completely and let dry. Avoid using any detergents or harsh cleaners as they can damage the fabric.
  • If you cannot let it dry completely, hang it or set it up completely when you return home to let it dry.
  • If it is still raining when you return home, setup the canvas tent in the rain and leave it up until it has a chance to fully dry.
  • Avoid setting it up on asphalt or concrete, as these can cause mold and insect infestations.

Canvas Tent Waterproofing – All of the canvas tents on our list are prepared immediately to be used in the rain. In addition to the natural water resistance that canvas offers, they all have been treated with waterproofing processes. If you keep your tent for years, you will need to re-waterproof. We have written a tent waterproofing article for standard tents but most techniques and products in the article will also work for canvas tent waterproofing.