Canvas Tents: Specifications, uses and top brands
For many, canvas tents bring back memories of outdoor adventures at Girl Guide camps and scout jamborees, where the tent leaked like a sieve if you touched it during the night. While canvas may have been overtaken by synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester, it is still used extensively in cabin tents and wall tents (which are also known as outfitter tents).
Wall tents are designed for extended stays in the back country and they’re ideal for campers who want plenty of room to store lots of equipment or home comforts. They come with a strong metal or wooden frame which usually allows even tall people to stand up inside. The straight sides also utilize space well, making the tent very roomy and comfortable which is ideal when you’re forced inside during wet conditions.
Canvas wall tents also boast the added bonus of being able to have indoor heat some have the ability to be set up with a portable wood burning stove inside. These stoves can produce a consistent flow of heat, making the tent warm and cosy in cold and miserable conditions. These tents are usually extremely durable and designed for four season use. They perform equally well in summer as they do in the winter months. However, outfitters are not suited for backpacking or for those who campground hop regularly as the strong canvas and poles usually makes them extremely heavy and bulky to transport.
If you’re looking at buying a canvas tent for camping it helps to understand a little bit about tent fabric terminology, before making a purchase. The term fill, refers to the weave of the fabric, double fill is considered to be the highest quality canvas made. This is when two threads are weaved together to make a single stronger, more durable thread. Army duck double fill, is when the threads are woven both length wise and cross wise.
Check to make sure you canvas has been treated, as an untreated canvas can shrink by up to 10%, which may result in you having to cut your tent poles so they still fit the tent. An untreated canvas tent can be okay if you plan to camp in only the summer months.