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Bell Tents for Camping – Guide and Reviews

For those who want to experience the great outdoors in relative comfort, bell tents are the way to go. These luxury accommodations are a far cry from their leaky, slippery nylon counterparts. Made from sturdy canvas and high-quality detailing, bell camping tents are beautiful in design, inside and out.

The tall, spacious design of many models is more like a portable cabin than a tent. As glamorous camping (or “glampingâ€) continues to gain popularity, campers are turning to canvas bell tents for a stylish and comfortable alternative to traditional tent camping.

Tips and recommendations

Bell tents are known for their centralized, single support pole—giving them their bell shape. The entrance is usually an A-shaped design, and the entire frame features weather-resistant material like treated canvas.

While luxury camping tents come in a variety of shapes and sizes, the most common are traditional bell styles with high doorways and ample room to stand inside the tent without ducking down. Star bell tents include a covered canopy for extra outdoor living space that is still protected from the elements. Yurts take the best of both styles and add additional features like higher walls and weatherproof windows.

While the most common material for bell tents is treated canvas, many manufacturers offer options in polyester, polycotton, Oxford cloth, and other cotton blends. The most essential factors in choosing tent material are weatherproofing and breathability.

Pros and cons

Just like any other style of tent, bell tents have pros and cons, depending on what the individual camper is looking for. For example, they are quite simple to put up and take down, but they are also heavy to transport and maneuver. And while the material keeps rain on the outside of the tent, it can take a while to dry the canvas completely before putting it away.

How many people, in general, can sleep in bell tents?

Bell tents are often measured in meters, but most manufacturers include a guide for how many people each tent sleeps comfortably. Smaller tents may sleep one or two people, but larger, yurt-style tents can easily accommodate a large group or family of twenty or more.

Related guide and reviews: Large Camping Tents for Families

How long does it usually take to put up a bell tent?

While it may take a few tries to get the hang of it, it’s quick and easy to put up a bell tent by taking the steps in order. Most tents are manageable for one person to erect, although extra help speeds the process along. With some practice, it’s possible to complete the entire process in fifteen minutes or less.

Using a stove inside a bell tent

The best part of bell tents is that they are usable all year long. In the cold months, heating may be necessary to keep the temperature of the tent at a comfortable level. Avoid fuel-burning stoves, which may give off dangerous carbon monoxide. Make sure the flue of the stove aligns with the opening at the top of the tent for proper ventilation. Lastly, keep the stove and any flammable materials away from the sides of the tent.

Related guide and reviews: Best Camping Tents for Winter

Top 5 Bell Camping Tents

Those are the basics of choosing a tent and using it safely. Here are five of the best bell tents for camping when it’s time to shop.

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Teton Sports Sierra 12 Canvas Tent

This traditional bell tent is simple to set up, using a two-pole support system. At 113 square feet, it’s perfect for a family of six to ten people, with plenty of light from the built-in windows and breathability through the sturdy canvas.

Buyers love how easy it is to put the tent up alone, and in thirty minutes or less. Others rave about the tent’s waterproofing and durability, but caution that it isn’t advisable to put a stove in the tent when it’s at full occupancy.

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White Duck Premium 100% Cotton Canvas Bell Tent

This all-season, circular tent features three windows, four vents, and an ample stove vent opening. It comes in several different sizes, from three meters to five meters, sleeping 2-8 campers comfortably, depending on the chosen model.

Campers are impressed by how well the canvas keeps out rain and wind but report that inside temperatures get very warm during hot-weather camping. Others say that the stove vent is a bit lower than they would like. While buyers state that they can assemble and disassemble the tent on their own, they warn that the directions must be followed exactly to set the tent up with ease.

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UNISTRENGH 4 Season Large Waterproof Cotton Canvas Bell Tent

This large, canvas “glamping†tent comes in four sizes, from three meters to seven meters. The largest model is perfect for classes and groups, seating twenty-five adults comfortably and allowing sleeping room for ten. It’s made of fire and water-resistant canvas and includes a stove vent for camping in cold weather.

It has high ratings for its durability and water resistance, as well as its stylish design and roll-up, 360-degree window. The only word of caution from previous buyers is that the directions for setup are vague, and the first setup may take extra time to complete.

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Dream House Outdoor Waterproof Cotton Canvas Family Camping Bell Tent

This sturdy canvas bell tent is perfect for family camping trips. The five-meter tent can easily sleep a family of four, with plenty of room for seating and a stove. It features plenty of ventilation and a semi-circular window with a zippered, canvas flap.

Users report that it’s simple to set up and is fully waterproof, even in heavy rain. They love the roomy interior design and thick canvas. Some users have experienced issues with faulty zippers. Dream House offers a product warranty for any manufacturer defects.

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White Duck Outdoors Premium Luxury Avalon Canvas Bell Tent

With a five-inch stove jack, plenty of ventilation, and a roomy interior that sleeps up to ten (in the six-meter model), this White Duck Outdoors tent is perfect for big families or group outings. It features high walls to accommodate taller campers and a bug screen around the perimeter to keep pests at bay.

Campers say that it is exceptionally well built with a high degree of waterproofing after it is seasoned for the first time. The only negative that previous buyers report is that the tent is heavy and may require more than one person to carry.

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