What Size Wall Tent Do You Need? Your Guide to Choosing the Perfect Size

wall tent

Wall tents are exceptionally versatile camping structures. They provide durable, spacious living quarters for all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re a solo hunter looking to bag your first elk, a family of seven on a weekend getaway, or a group of friends looking to party, there’s a wall tent for you. 

A huge part of finding the perfect wall tent is deciding what size you need. With all the size options available, choosing the right one can feel overwhelming. We’re here to make the process easier for you. As the wall tent experts, we have everything you need to choose the perfect wall tent for your adventures.

What Is a Wall Tent?

A wall tent is a robust rectangular canvas structure with four vertical walls and a gabled roof. Many wall tents include standard features like picture windows, storm doors, and stove jacks. 

With their indestructible frames, sturdy reinforcements, and durable designs, wall tents offer a perfect balance of versatility and strength. They’re heavier and more expensive than a lightweight nylon tent but will give you a lifetime of safety, comfort, and happy memories.

Canvas wall tents are made with heavy-duty duck cotton that can withstand any weather conditions. The canvas is draped over an internal frame and secured to the ground with guylines. 

Wall tents are a popular choice for all kinds of outdoor adventurers. They’re great for recreational camping, hunting, long-term lodging, outdoor parties, glamping, and more. They provide generous living spaces, abundant headroom, and plenty of opportunities for luxury additions. 

You already know you need a wall tent. The remaining question is, “What size wall tent do I need?” You’ve come to the right place. We have everything you need to know to choose the perfect wall tent for all your camping adventures. 

How to Choose the Perfect Wall Tent Size

Buying a wall tent is a wise investment for your outdoor life. As such, you want to choose the right tent for your needs so you can enjoy a lifetime of luxurious camping. Determining the right size for your wall tent is essential, as it can be the difference between comfort and misery. 

The essence of choosing the right tent is finding the perfect balance of durability, comfort, and functionality. Once you know what to look for, you’ll better understand what you need in a wall tent to get the most out of your investment. 

Here are some of the most critical factors to look for when choosing the perfect size for your wall tent.

Sleeping Capacity

Sleeping capacity describes how many (averaged-sized) people can comfortably sleep in a tent. You’ll often see tents described as “one-person” or “four-person” tents, indicating the recommended sleeping capacity. The general guideline is to aim for 20 to 25 square feet per person. So, if your wall tent is 10 feet by 10 feet (or 100 square feet), you can comfortably sleep four to five people. This guideline leaves you enough space for gear, accessories, living space, or pets. 

If comfort isn’t a significant consideration, or you’re camping with kids, you can add one to two people to the recommended sleeping capacity. Conversely, if you plan on installing a tent stove or sleeping on cots, you’ll want to reduce the recommended sleeping capacity by one to two people. If you’re unsure or stuck between two sizes, err on the side of caution and size up.

Floor Area

The floor area represents the square footage of your wall tent. The square footage can be calculated by multiplying the tent’s width (in feet) by its height (in feet). For example, a 12-foot by 14-foot wall tent has a floor area of 168 square feet. Using the previous calculations, a tent that size would comfortably fit seven to eight people. 

But there are considerations beyond sleeping capacity. Do you have a lot of gear or supplies? Maybe you want to include a spacious living area with a table or chairs. Are you installing a tent stove? And don’t forget to leave space for your adventure pal’s dog bed. It’s also important to think about the people you’re camping alongside. 

You don’t want to be cramped shoulder-to-shoulder with a camper who snores, thrashes in their sleep, or steps over you several times in the night.

Tent Height

Tent height refers to the vertical space in your wall tent (or, the headroom). You’ll often see two different height measurements: a minimum height and a maximum height. 

The minimum height refers to the wall height (or eave height). That’s the height of the perimeter walls, where they meet the roof. The maximum height refers to the center height (or peak height). That’s the height where the center of the roof runs down the middle of the tent. 

Most wall tents have a minimum wall height of four to five vertical feet, accommodating most people. If you’re taller and aren’t excited about stooping, you’ll want to aim for a wall height closer to six or seven feet. The center height of your wall tent can be anywhere from six to ten vertical feet. The taller the center height, the more spacious your tent will feel. 

Total Weight

The total weight of your wall tent will likely be a few hundred pounds. If you’re trekking through the wilderness with gear on your back, it might not be the best choice. But if you’re looking for durability and performance, a canvas wall tent is precisely what you need. If portability isn’t an issue, you’ll have more flexibility to pick a wall tent for its size. 

You can ease some potential burdens by learning how to set up and take down your wall tent before heading out on your adventure. Once you get good at it, you won’t notice the difference in weight between a smaller and larger canvas wall tent. Either way, the larger your tent is, the more it will weigh. 

So if you have weight limitations, factor those into your final decision.

Tent Stove

One of the best features of your wall tent is the ability to install a wood-burning tent stove. Most canvas wall tents come with a built-in stove jack, making it a breeze to set up your stove and reap the benefits. They’re a great way to stay warm during winter camping trips while drying your clothes and delivering delicious meals. 

Most tent stoves take up 35 to 40 square feet on their own. You’ll also want to factor in a few extra feet of space between the stove and your gear so there’s no risk of something catching fire. 

Gear Storage

It’s important to factor in gear storage when choosing the right size for your wall tent. The last thing you want is to end up in a cramped tent with nowhere to put your essentials (and luxuries). 

Leave enough space for your camping gear, supplies, and any specialized equipment you might have. And add another 20 to 40 square feet, so you have room to unpack and spread your stuff around. You know, make it feel like home. 

If, for some reason, you run out of space to store your gear, come prepared with a backup plan. You can utilize the vestibule for some of your gear or keep it underneath a tarp.  

Making the Most of Your Wall Tent Space

How you utilize the space in your wall tent is almost as important as the tent’s size. Like any living space, there are functional and non-functional ways to organize the floor area. Plus, a well-organized wall tent will have a homey, inviting feel. 

The best way to maximize space is to divide the floor area into linear sections according to function. Place sleepers on one end of the tent—preferably farthest from the door—with clothes, sleeping gear, and personal items within reach. This end of the tent serves as your “bedroom” area. 

Place the rest of your gear and supplies at the other end. Kitchen supplies, chairs, and tables can be organized to create separate living space areas. 

If you have enough free space, you can arrange sleepers around the tent’s perimeter, with a central living room in the middle.

One of the most significant factors in saving tent space is how you sleep. Sleeping cots and air mattresses take up more floor space than sleeping pads and sleeping bags. So if you don’t mind roughing it a little, you can save space by sleeping on a basic closed-cell foam pad or placing your sleeping bag directly on the ground.

Take advantage of gear organizers as much as possible. Many wall tents have built-in pockets and compartments for your gear and supplies. You can save even more space by installing roof organizers, pocket organizers, and tent cabinet organizers. If you’re sleeping on a cot, you can store gear and supplies underneath the cot to further maximize floor space. 

Try to stack some of your gear vertically. Install fold-up tables or chairs with space underneath to hold your gear or clothing. The more floor space you have, the more spacious your wall tent will feel. 

Standard Wall Tent Sizes

These are the most common sizes for wall tents. The suggested sleeping capacity is based on a comfortable fit that still gives you room for gear storage, accessories, and pets. For a tighter fit, you can add two to three people to the sleeping capacity. The minimum height represents the wall height, and the maximum height represents the peak height. For convenience, we’ve also included our most popular wall tent models for each size.

8’ X 10’

Sleeping Capacity: 3-4 people

Floor Area: 80 square feet

Min Height: 4’-5’

Max Height: 6’-8’

Weight: 120-180 lbs

Model: 8’X10” Alpha Wall Tent

10’ X 12’

Sleeping Capacity: 5-6 people

Floor Area: 120 square feet

Min Height: 5’-6’

Max Height: 8’-9’

Weight: 160-220 lbs

Model: 10’X12’ Alpha Wall Tent

12’ X 14’

Sleeping Capacity: 7-8 people

Floor Area: 168 square feet

Min Height: 5’-6’

Max Height: 8’-9’

Weight: 180-240 lbs

Model: 12’X14’ Alpha Wall Tent

14’ X 16’

Sleeping Capacity: 9-11 people

Floor Area: 224 square feet

Min Height: 5’-6’

Max Height: 9’-10’

Weight: 220-300 lbs

Model: 14’X16’ Alpha Wall Tent

16’ X 20’

Sleeping Capacity: 12-16 people

Floor Area: 320 square feet

Min Height: 5’-6’

Max Height: 9’-10’

Weight: 320-400 lbs

Model: 16’X20’ Alpha Wall Tent

16’ X 24’

Sleeping Capacity: 17-20

Floor Area: 384 square feet

Min Height: 5’-6’

Max Height: 9’-10’

Weight: 410-500

Model: 16’X24’ Alpha Wall Tent

Choosing the perfect wall tent doesn’t have to be rocket science. Armed with the right knowledge, you can determine what size wall tent you need for your favorite outdoor adventures. We hope the information outlined here helps simplify the process for you. And if you have lingering questions for the experts, you can always reach out to us.