Wall tents are among the strongest, largest, and most comfortable tents, and are very popular with hunters, outdoor adventurers, military, restaurants, and glampers. Typically made of thick, heavy canvas and a sturdy framework built to have vertical walls and a roof-like top, rather than pyramid-shaped tents, they provide lots of room for situations where multiple people and/or extra equipment require accommodation in the great outdoors, in a variety of weather conditions.
Wall tents might be made from “army duck” which is a thick, tight-woven cotton, or they are often made from polyester or vinyl based synthetics. Either way, they are generally constructed from materials that can withstand a variety of weather conditions, and are often more long-lasting than other lightweight tent designs. This makes them an excellent choice for those who need more long-term, multi-season, and sometimes non-leisure camping purposes. They can even accommodate a wooden stove, making them great for Winter camping.
Considerations When Shopping for Wall Tents
There are many tent components which may or may not be available with your tent out-of-the-box, and also may or may not be necessary for your particular needs. We’ve included a few details about each, to help you get an idea of whether they will matter for you.
There are several options when it comes to the floor of your wall tent. In some cases, a floor may not be necessary, but more and more these days a floor of some kind is desired or expected. Some choose to place their tent on a deck structure, and this is especially good for longer-term tent use, such as a frequented hunting ground, or a restaurant with tent seating.
Your other soft options for a floor may be included as part of your tent, possibly made from the same material as your walls, lies on the ground, and is either sewn into the whole tent itself, or is attached via zipper or other methods. In some cases, a tarp or drop-cloth may also be used. You’ll also want to consider whether the floor should have a hole for a wood stove, if you’ll be using it in Winter.
Naturally, the tubing used for your frame will determine its weight and sturdiness, in some cases PVC will be sufficient for structural integrity (depending on the weight of the canvas), and has the major advantage of being light. For many tents, however, a metal frame is required, and is much stronger. Your frame will come with your tent, in most cases, but if not, it’s important to make sure you use the frame material most recommended by your tent manufacturer.
While your tent already has a roof, it can be a good idea to have an extra layer of protection, in the form of a rain fly, which can be a tarp or a purpose built rain-fly included with your tent, or available at an outdoor supply store. Look for rain flies made for wall tents, which will often already have a hole for your stove pipe.
I’ve already mentioned you’ll want to consider the stove when purchasing your floor, but you’ll also want to be sure that your tent can accommodate a stove if you plan to use one, such as having the proper opening and stove jack for ventilation. You may also need to purchase separate, fire-proof stove footing, for it to sit on as well.
Here the options are either clear plastic or canvas, usually makes the tent a bit more expensive, and can be noisy in the wind. Canvas, on the other hand, can provide complete darkness when wanted, has better ventilation, but can let in bugs (unless you have netting to put on the windows).
Of course, you can go beyond these wall tent essentials, and get plenty of extras such as a porch, net wall to let in the Summer breeze and keep out the bugs, a separate cooking area, and various organizers and shelves. But these are the basic considerations, and I hope you found this helpful.
Here are some videos to learn more about canvas wall tents