A good canvas tent can make or break your next outdoor adventure. The variations in style, quality, materials, and size all come into play when you are choosing the right tent for the situation. Canvas tents offer a more durable structure that has been time tested and proven effective over the years among military and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Get ready for your next heavy duty camp-out with the best canvas tent for the job.
Let’s take a look as we review the features, pros, and cons of the five best canvas tents.
The 5 Best Canvas Tents
5. Springbar Highline 8 Canvas Tent
We are big fans of the Springbar Highline 8 canvas tent. This 10 x 14 foot tent is a comfortable staple for any hunting trip, large family outing, or any outdoor adventure. The tent provides sleeping room for up to eight adults. The waterproof cotton duck canvas shell holds up to high winds and all forms of weather. For structure support, the Highline utilizes durable steel poles, stake loops and stakes to provide a perfect enclosure for every outing.
Additionally, Springbar has been a trusted brand among outdoor enthusiasts since 1961. The quality is top-notch and we highly recommend their camping tents and outdoor products.
The duck canvas resists mildew and remains water tight even in heavy rains. It also prevents wicking from the ground below. It provides a 6’6” standing height so you can move freely inside without being crouched over or crawling around.
With a lifetime warranty, Springbar stands behind the Highline 8 and boasts that it is the last tent you will ever need.
Inside the tent, the standing room is a definite plus – especially for long-term camping and general mobility. As an 8-person tent, there is enough room inside to house a small family, and still have enough space to keep your gear inside. The retractable awning also provides shade and shelter so you can enjoy the outdoors despite too much sun or rain.
At a hefty 86 pounds, this tent is ideally for backpacking or carrying long distances. It comes in two separate duffel bags – one for the poles and one for the tent, so special care must be taken to make sure that one or the other doesn’t get left behind.
4. Springbar Classic Jack 100
Like its larger cousin, the Highline 8, the Springbar Classic Jack 100 Tent affords a fair amount of space without ducking out on head room. The Classic Jack 100 has a 6’6” standing height inside, and a 10×10 base – which provides enough room for up to six people. Just like the Highline 8, the Jack 100 has the same waterproof canvas and benefits, but it does have a smaller footprint.
The smaller base of this tent allows for more tents on the same campsite, and generally takes up less space than the larger models. It also retains the awning feature of the larger Highline 8, which provides a sizeable covered area just outside the door. Inside the tent, the mesh gear loft provides a convenient storage area that’s lifted off of the ground. Additionally, the tent’s treated canvas allows water to roll off without additional waterproof treatment required.
The Classic Jack 100 Tent provides an all-season option for road warriors with enough room and privacy to best most competitors. For a couple, or you and a hunting buddy, there’s enough room to store gear inside to keep it out of the weather while still providing a solid, weathertight shelter. The nearly vertical walls allow a significant amount of space and ease of movement inside.
The height may be cumbersome for vertically challenged individuals, so setup may require some help. It’s slightly lighter than the Highline 8 at 80 lbs., but still more than one person would want to drag around.
3. Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent
Unlike most other canvas tents, the Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent is designed to be pitched using the bed of a truck. In recent years, the evolution of tents reached new heights with the advent of truck bed tents. Combine that with a high-quality canvas, and you get the Kodiak Canvas Bed Tent. This option affords mobility, easy setup, a large interior space, and an elevated sleeping arrangement. These tents clamp to the truck’s bedrail, and then erect similar to a traditional pop-up tent.
The Kodiak Truck Bed Tent provides a versatile camping solution for owners of small-to-mid size trucks. With the tailgate down, you will have enough room to sleep and a 5’ ceiling height. Since there is no base, the tent weighs just 41 pounds, which is significantly less than most standalone canvas tents. The tent has five windows which provide light, ventilation, and a view of the exterior. In addition, this tent also has a cab access window for trucks with a rear slider, so you can access gear locked away in the truck without getting out of the tent.
The mobility and weight afforded by this tent makes it an ideal choice for lone, solo campers. The tent also eliminates the need to search for a flat, level surface. As an added benefit, you stand a better chance of skirting heavy snow conditions by remaining several feet off the ground.
Since it depends upon the truck for support, this tent can’t be left behind like a traditional standalone tent. Before driving, you must remove the tent from the truck bed and disassemble it, which can be very inconvenient if you only intend to take a quick drive to the store.
Truck bed tents are not ideal for backpacking or camping in secluded areas. Because the tent must be built upon the truck bed, you are only able to use it in areas that have roads or truck access.
2. Kodiak Canvas Cabin Tent
For those who prefer extra head room, the Kodiak Canvas Cabin Tent is a great choice. At 7’6” tall, it stands nearly a foot-and-a-half taller than the average adult male. Additionally, the tent provides a spacious 12 x 9 foot footprint, so you really have a lot of room to stand and walk around inside.
The Kodiak Canvas tent hold up great in inclement weather. The cotton duck canvas is treated with Hydra-Shield to provide waterproof protection in all types of weather. For airflow, light, and visibility, the tent has five large windows with mesh screens.
This tent comes with a retractable awning that adds some exterior space that’s protected from too much sun or rain. If properly anchored, this tent can withstand high winds and heavy snowfall, thanks to the sturdy steel frame and welded corner braces.
This tent is definitely ideal for taller campers — especially for long trips that span multiple nights outdoors.
The interior of the tent provides a ton of space. There enough room for a small hunting party to stand and stretch, plus store gear or supplies inside.
At 112 pounds, the added space comes with the price of added weight. Due to the weight, the Kodiak Canvas Tent is not ideal for backpacking, hiking, or carrying long distances. Additionally, the set up requires two people, so this is not a suitable tent for solo campers.
1. Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe
The Kodiak Flex-Bow Deluxe is a 6-person canvas tent that combines the time-tested durability of canvas with lightweight materials to create the best canvas shelter on the market. With a 10×10 footprint and a 6’6” standing height, there is ample room for up to 6 people and all of their gear. In addition, the tent sets up and packs down easily, which makes it a suitable option for solo campers or a couple.
This tent has a lightweight base made of a puncture-resistant 16 ounce polyester reinforced floor. The walls and ceiling are made of marine-grade cotton duck treated with waterproofing Hydro-Seal. With the lightweight base, the Flex-Bow tent is easy to transport while still providing puncture-resistant reliability. It has both spring steel rods and a sturdy tube steel frame that work together to support the shelter in all types of weather and environments. The tent also has four large windows, interior storage, and sturdy zippers.
Compared to similar versions, this canvas tent weighs significantly less. Including the steel stakes, the tent weights approximately 68 pounds. The weight and design make it easier for a solo camping trip, since it can be packed and set up almost anywhere by just one person. Plus, the strap-and-cinch closure eliminates the struggle typical of a duffle bag and aids in the speed of teardown when you’re ready to pack up the campsite.
Traditional canvas tent enthusiasts might be off-put by the polyester-reinforced vinyl base. While lighter than comparable tents, it may still be a struggle to pack without the aid of an ATV or a vehicle.
Canvas Tent FAQs
Do canvas tents have a place for a stove pipe or insert?
No. The vast majority of canvas tents are not rated or designed for stoves and do not include pipe penetrations. You should only operate camping stoves and cooking equipment outside of the tent.
Do canvas tents have to be staked down?
Yes. The base of a canvas tent must be staked down at all points to achieve the proper wall tension and support the structure of the tent. Canvas tents are heavier than modern polyester tents, so the stakes are essential.
How long does it take to set up a canvas tent?
Setting up a canvas tent takes approximately 20-25 minutes. The setup process can be completed much faster with two or three people working together.
Whether you are setting up camp for a week-long elk hunt with your buddies, or embarking on a camping trip with the family, canvas tents provide a solid long-term shelter. Improvements over time have made for higher quality fabrics and water resistance, along with easier setup. These units are more expensive, but also much more resilient and provide more protection than the average pop-up tent. If you can muscle the heavier carrying weight, a high-end canvas tent is the way to go for any lengthy camp out.
For less heavy-duty, more lightweight options, you may want to opt for a more modern family camping tent. Rather than canvas, modern family tents are polyester, which weighs much less and is significantly more affordable.