Choosing the right shelter for your hunting trip is essential for safety, protection, and comfort during your stay. Outfitter tents are perfect for hunting expeditions. They’re durable and spacious, giving you everything you need after a long day stalking game.
We’ll go over the different styles of tents and what to look for when you’re in the market. Read on to learn how to choose the best outfitter tent for your hunting adventures.
Outfitter tents are ideal for hunting expeditions. An outfitter tent is a heavy-duty canvas tent that stands up over time. Their superior strength and durability make them perfect for extended hunting trips in any season. There are three main styles of outfitter tents: wall tents, bell tents, and cabin tents. Each offers unique benefits, but they all provide exceptional weather protection and comfort during your trip.
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Wall tents, sometimes called safari tents, are the most widely used outfitter tents for hunting. They’re known for their large capacity and durability. If you’re looking for a robust tent that will never let you down, this is the tent for you. Wall tents are spacious canvas structures with four vertical walls and an enclosed roof. They’re secured using a tent frame, reinforced poles, and flexible guylines.
Wall tents come in various sizes, usually ranging from 100 to 400 square feet. They offer plenty of room for many campers to sleep through the night. Wall tents are made with heavy-duty cotton canvas, reinforced D-rings, and a rugged internal frame. They usually come with wide doors, large windows, storm flaps, and a stove jack. It’s not uncommon to see extra fortifications, shock-absorbing cords, and special weatherproofing.
Wall tents can cost a little more than bell tents and cabin tents. They’re often heavier due to the cotton canvas, and may take longer to set up. But a good wall tent will keep you happy and safe throughout your entire trip, no matter what.
Our Alpha Wall Tent series is a popular 4-season choice for hunters. They come with a host of benefits, features, and tent accessories. These indestructible tents are designed to withstand any weather conditions.
Bell tents are another popular choice for hunting. If you’re looking for a durable, spacious tent that’s easy to set up and take down, this is a good option for you. It’s also an excellent choice for hunters who want a sturdy tent with a smaller investment. Bell tents are heavy-duty tents that look like teepees or yurts.
They have a large round base with an enclosed pointed roof. Bell tents are similar to wall tents in a lot of ways. They’re usually made with durable canvas and reinforced poles, come with wide doors and windows, and protect you from the most extreme weather elements.
Like wall tents, bell tents come in a variety of sizes, with ample room for several campers. Most bell tents are 8 feet to 20 feet across, with a center height between 6 and 12 vertical feet. They usually include groundsheets, stove jacks, weather coatings, and mesh panels. Many companies, like White Duck Outdoors, offer extra features and bell tent accessories, like awnings, triangular tarps, and windbreaker screens.
Even though bell tents are often less expensive than wall tents, they can still be an investment. It’s well worth the tradeoff. Bell tents offer incredible resilience and comfort to any hunting trip.
We offer two amazing bell tent styles. The Regatta Bell Tent and the Avalon Bell Tent are two great models for your next hunting trip. We even offer a Mini Regatta Bell Tent for smaller hunting parties and hunters on a budget.
Cabin tents are great outfitter tents for hunters on a budget. They’re lighter and more versatile than other options but still hold up in any weather condition. Cabin tents are rugged, 4-season tents with plenty of functional space for everyone. They’re made with durable canvas and include large mesh windows, spacious doors, and awnings. A cabin tent’s high, expansive ceiling makes it an excellent choice for taller hunters. As the name implies, cabin tents are shaped like a cabin, with four angled walls and a roof.
Cabin tents come in various sizes, accommodating anywhere from 2 to 10 campers. They’re generally lighter, easier to carry, and quicker to set up than wall tents or bell tents. The design is closer to a “traditional” camping tent, with reinforcements, stronger poles, and top-quality materials to get you through any expedition.
How to Choose the Best Outfitter Hunting Tent
Choosing the best hunting tent shouldn’t be complicated. But when it comes to outfitter tents, you want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. With so many options, it can be hard to know what to look for. Here are some essential criteria for choosing the best outfitter tent for your hunting adventures.
Material is one of the most important factors to consider in a hunting tent. Regardless of the season, your tent should be comfortable and protective . Most hunting falls between September and November when you’re more likely to face inclement weather and storms. And let’s face it, buying a hunting tent is an investment, so you want your tent to last more than a season or two.
Cotton canvas is the best material for outfitter tents. Canvas is a tightly-woven material made from cotton. The strong weaving pattern provides a tough, sustainable exterior that keeps out the weather and withstands long-term use. There are three main types of canvas tents: plain canvas, cotton duck, and army duck. Plain canvas is versatile and beautiful, but cotton duck uses a more robust weave that holds up over time.
Army duck is the most durable of the three types of canvas. It uses a double fill plied-weave design, with two cotton threads twisted together to maximize strength and resilience. Aim for a canvas between eight and 12 ounces.
A good hunting tent will protect you from all kinds of weather and environmental elements. So look for canvas tents that are coated (or “treated”) to be waterproof, UV-resistant, and fire-retardant. Even better if it includes double-stitched seams and a PVC groundsheet.
You can also find lightweight nylon or polyester tents, but they aren’t as stable or durable as cotton canvas. They’re better for short hunting trips in the warmer months or backpacking trips with weight limitations.
Size (or capacity) is another important detail in choosing a hunting tent. There’s a good chance you’ll be spending hours at a time in your tent, so you want it to be comfortable and accommodating. Your hunting tent should be large enough to fit all the campers in your party, as well as your gear and supplies. You’ll want to consider the square feet of the tent base (width and depth) and the tent height. A good rule of thumb is 20 to 25 square feet for every camper. Err on the side of having too much room, versus not enough.
Headspace is a critical component of tent size. You should be able to stand up straight throughout most, if not all, of the tent. The center of your tent should be between seven and ten feet tall, with a door height between five and eight feet.
You also want to consider the packed size of your tent. In many cases, portability isn’t an issue since you’ll be transporting your tent in your vehicle or OHV. But if you’re planning on carrying the tent, try to strike a balance between size, weight, and price. It’s going to be difficult carrying a large, 200-pound tent across ten miles of forest. If you’re camping in the winter, you can assuage this issue by bringing a sled.
Hunting tents can weigh anywhere as little as four pounds to over 500 pounds. A good outfitter tent will be on the heavier side, as canvas is a heavy-duty material that weighs more than, say, nylon. The sturdier your tent is, the more it’s going to weigh. It’s a tradeoff you can’t avoid. The average weight for a durable canvas outfitter tent is around 100 to 150 pounds.
Heavier, 4-season canvas tents can be harder to carry and may take longer to set up. They’re not ideal for most backpacking trips but are great for car camping. It’s up to you to decide what’s more important, ease of transport or durability. Cabin tents generally weigh less than bell or wall tents, making them a viable option for shorter hunting trips. But if you’re planning to be out there for a significant length of time, comfort and stability reign supreme.
For a short-term trip where you might be carrying your tent, look for a tent with fabric under 10 ounces. For more extended expeditions, aim closer to 10 to 12 ounces.
Your outfitter tent is your home-away-from-home, and the right features will make your stay as comfortable as possible. Some tents come with additional features, and it’s up to you to select which ones are most important. Here are some standard features hunters like you look for in an outfitter tent.
There’s a good chance you’ll use a tent stove during your expedition, especially in the winter. A stove jack (or stove vent) is a heat-resistant opening in the tent where you can insert a stove flue or chimney. Having a stove in your tent is critical for cooking food, boiling water, drying clothes, and heating the tent without starting a fire. You can even use them with air-conditioning units during the hot summer months.
Although not required, having a weatherproof tent floor will make your stay more comfortable. Most tents either come with their own flooring or provide a separate PVC footprint. With tent flooring, you don’t have to worry about tracking in mud, snow, critters, or other debris. Flooring also helps control the internal climate of your tent by sealing it for moisture control and insulation.
Storm flaps (or weather flaps) keep out the elements by protecting all the openings of your tent—primarily the windows, doors, and stove jacks. It’s an extra layer you can maneuver to cover (or uncover) your tent openings for ventilation. As the name suggests, they’re instrumental during storms or other weather conditions where moisture or debris would penetrate your tent.
It seems evident that you’d want to remain camouflaged during your hunting trip. Many lightweight nylon tents come in bright colors like orange, red, or yellow. But canvas tents usually come in natural shades of tan, green, or camo. A good outfitter tent blends into the natural environment without scaring away animals or drawing too much attention.
Storing your gear and supplies can get pretty messy. Keep everything organized and off the floor with storage pockets. Some tents come with built-in storage, but you can also get compatible roof organizers, cabinet organizers, and pocket organizers. Many storage pockets have enclosures to keep food (and other scented items) better protected from critters.
In addition to the features mentioned above, keep an eye out for other helpful accessories that make your trip more comfortable. You might want to consider things like a fly sheet, awning, porch, tarp, screen doors, storage bag, and snow load poles. It would also be nice to have a storage bag. When it comes to choosing an outfitter tent, accessories can make or break your decision.