Canvas wall tents have been a staple in the world of the great outdoors for centuries. Some architects even believe that a wall tent frame is an inspiration for many homes in America today.
These tents are flying off the shelves for hunting parties, exclusive outdoor festivals, and as the earth makes yet another turn around the sun, for camping with ease in winter.
With hundreds of variations in the market, it is easy to get confused about what wall tent will serve you best. You can go by making a checklist of all the modern features, but that won’t be enough, you need to decide what wall tent leans more towards your specific purpose for it.
In this blog, we have compiled pointers and considerations that encompass everything that you need to think about before buying your wall tent.
Table of Contents
The Main Factors To Consider
Wall tents for one are large enough as they are. You have to consider two things when picking out the tent. 1. How many people will be camping together, and 2. How much gear do you need to store inside the tent? This can vary greatly if you are camping minimally or if you plan to go on a luxurious glamping experience; in which case you will need more space than you think. The smallest canvas tent a pair of campers will pick out is 12×15.
The Material and Weatherproofing
Wall tents are made from synthetic materials or cotton. To ensure their sturdiness they are more commonly manufactured with a combination of both. This keeps the tents in top shape as you store them for long periods till you have to bring them out for camping again. If you stick to purely cotton tents you will find that they are more at risk of mold and mildew. For camping in the cold, this is a big no. We recommend picking out the polyester tents that will protect you from the melting snow and other extreme weather conditions.
If you are worried that synthetic material tents will not be as breathable as cotton canvas tents, don’t stress about it. All wall tents are designed with adequate ventilation and controllable window and door flaps.
Setting Up the Tent
When erecting the tent, you may customize the prep depending on the environment and temperature. For example, if the ground is damp you will want to set a layer of tarp. If you buy sewn floors, for example, you will not be able to tailor the tent as you like.
No matter how small a wall tent you purchase you will require at least one more person to set it up. This is a winter tent with a stove, which means close attention has to be paid to the equipment and instructions. If you are new to camping, you may have to run a practice run first.
Ask Yourself the Right Questions
While all wall tents are designed with the best of features, at the end of the day, you will be choosing a wall tent that suits your particular needs. Here are the questions that you must answer first.
- Will You Be Using the Tent Frequently?
Remember wall tents can be repurposed for multiple occasions. Think about it, will you be needing it again for a booth or makeshift shed in your backyard? Pick the size and material accordingly.
- How Much is Your Budget?
You cannot opt out of a wall tent with a stove jack. All wall tents come with some fundamental features that make them so popular. If you want to be savvy with expenditure, get a wall tent that you can store in a way that increases its longevity; such as one that is made entirely of synthetic materials.
- It’s Winter. Are Wall Tents a Good Idea At All?
Wall tents are excellent for winter. Especially because of the stove that you can install for heat and warmth. With secure tethering and weatherproofing, you are in good hands with any quality wall tent.
How to Inspect a Wall Tent As You Make the Final Choice
Now that we are down to picking out the one-wall tent from a series of acceptable ones. Here are the often-overlooked details and items that a wall tent must have. It is everything that needs your closer attention in terms of quality and functionality.
You want a floor that is easy to clean but also acts as a shield from the ground. The best type of tent floor is a vapor barrier kind. You can always add sleeping pads between the ground and your sleeping bag for that extra layer of insulation.
Grommets and D Rings
These should be positioned every 3 to 4 feet. This helps in the distribution of the pressure and keeping the tent sturdy while taught. It can be very useful during high winds or when it snows.
If you have already decided what material you want your wall tent to be, you would think this part would be easy. Unfortunately, it is never apparent whether you are getting the material that a tent company advertises. You can feel it, look for texture and pattern, and still would not be able to identify the exact combination of materials. The best marker to determine the quality of the material is the price point. Cheaper tents will always skimp on the wall tent’s canvas first.
The Wall Tent Frame
Canvas tent frames are available from aluminum to wood. Both are sturdy. That being said if you are camping in winter, you do not want to get the poles damp when setting up. A wooden pole will expand as it absorbs water during setup. The best bet here would be going for aluminum. The best thing about this option is that in case you need to replace it, they are readily available as tent parts.
The Stove Jack
All wall tents come with a stove jack. This is the hole where the exhaust of the stove sticks out as a chimney. Some wall tents have this hole on the roof, others on the side. We like one on the side as it won’t leak.
That being said, a stove jack on the roof is much easier to handle on a camping trip as it stays out of the way from the campsite, without smoke fumes invading whatever activities people you are camping with are engaged in.
The Zipper and Openings
Brass zippers are the most durable kind. In a wall tent, these are the most frequently used attachments. You have a door flap, and then the windows. All of which you will be opening and closing for ventilation and to avoid loss of heat during winter camping. Do not make the mistake of settling for a plastic zipper if you have the option for brass. Plastic zippers are good as a secondary option only.
It is also important to note here that the door opening has no reason to have space left over at the top or bottom. You want a tent that has a zip that goes all the way up so you have no difficulty leaving or entering. It also makes it easier to move gear in and out of the wall tent.
Frame corners can rub against the canvas and wear it to tears in the fabric. A good wall tent will have reinforced mesh or heavy-duty fabric here to hold the frame in place without the risk of the structure tearing through it.
Wall Tents Vs. Bell Tents
People get confused between wall tents and bell tents all the time, owing to their similar shape. Here is how you can spot the difference. Wall tents have horizontal roofs that sometimes slightly slope. Bell tents have shorter walls and a swooping canopy roof at an acute slope. The roof takes up most of the shape in these canvas tents.
Bell tents are pleasing to the eye and less heavy to carry than wall tents. But, the material they are made out of is not as thick as wall tents, making the latter the perfect choice to go camping in extreme weather conditions. Bell tents, though spacious, are not as spacious as wall tents, even though they take the same amount of real estate on the ground.
By understanding the details that make an excellent wall tent, it will be easier for you to pick and choose which features you want and which you can go without and perhaps even save money on.
If you are in the market for your first canvas tent, check out our best sellers and pick out the wall tent that is suited to you.