The basis: the canvas. The purpose of your tent largely determines the choice of the cloth. What are your camping plans? Will you stay the longer time in one place or move around with your tent? A tractor shelter should be light, fast drying, and is rarely a day in the sun. At a base camp tent contrast, weight and volume play a much smaller role. Such a tent should be comfortable (so breathe!) Survive a heavy rain and can tolerate a lot of sunlight. If weight still does not play a decisive role, you might also consider buying a tarp.

Apart from the question of whether you choose a tractor or a tent base camp tent, you must also weight with other requirements. How many sleeps want, what seasons and climates, go camping and how you attach to things like price, durability, and reliability? Roughly speaking, we can distinguish three types of canvas that affect the choice of your best camping tents:

  • Cotton
  • Synthetic canvas
  • Polyester-cotton


Travelling down to a warm holiday destination? Then a cloth tent probably the best option. This natural material breathes optimally and ensures proper ventilation; something which is an advantage not to be negligible at high temperatures. When it rains once at your destination, it takes longer before a cloth of cotton is dry. Cotton is also sensitive to dirt and can be discolored by the influence of the sun. Mount Cotton always bone dry to prevent mold.
A tent of cotton is less suitable because of its weight to pull it, but there are certainly lightweight cotton small tents. One downside for campers who their tent and unpack every day is that cotton dries slowly.

The breathability of cotton

Between the threads of a cloth tent are tiny air holes. That is the reason why immediately cotton breathes so good because the holes are large enough to allow the passage of water vapor. When the impregnated cotton yarns are wet because it’s raining, they swell up so that the holes are smaller. This prevents raindrops from outside can penetrate the fabric, but condensed subsequently pass so quickly. That is why you will sometimes condense on the inside of a cotton tent during a rainstorm. There arise, however, rarely drops such as in tents of synthetic material is the case.

The pros and cons of cotton:

+ Highly breathable
+ Remains in good shape
+ Strong and durable
+ Long life
+ Airy
+ Less sensitive to UV light

– Not to be packed wet
– Susceptible to dirt and fungus
– Likely to grease, oil, soap, and solvents
– Heavy
– More expensive than synthetic materials
– Discoloration of the cloth

Synthetic canvas

Synthetic tarpaulins have been under especially lightweight campers increasingly popular. Outside the Netherlands, there are virtually even just camping tents available from nylon or polyester. That is easy to explain. Tents made of synthetic materials are light, durable and can take a lot of wind or rain. Because they are so light, they are also easily portable than a cotton one. Unlike cotton polyester and nylon hold no moisture and should be packed wet.
Opposite the advantages are also disadvantages. Synthetic canvas has virtually no breathability. Water vapor you exhale and sweat that you are at losing night, about half a liter per adult, can not escape in a polyester tent “settles” on the inside of the tent. This is called condensation. Also, polyester less resistant well against UV radiation; especially nylon is very sensitive. UV radiation breaks down the synthetic fibers of the tent cloth off so that the canvas fabric continues to be “weaker”. For itinerant campers, this drawback plays a minor role because they usually set up their tent at the end of the day and the morning break off again. The effect of direct sunlight on the canvas is small.

The advantages and disadvantages of synthetic canvas:

+ Cheap
+ Light
+ Fast drying
+ May be packed wet
+ Easy to clean

– Warm
– Shorter life than cotton
– Condensate Sensitive
– Sensitive to UV light


Polyester-cotton (also known Technical Cotton or just referred to as TC) is a combination of (usually) 65% polyester and 35% cotton. Tents made of this kind of cloth can better withstand sunlight, are lighter and dry faster than cotton tents. And as compared to synthetic materials, the canvas is stronger. TC is widely used for the larger arc pole tents like family domes and tunnels, as well as tents. To make use of TC 100% waterproof canvas, there is provided a waterproof polyurethane (PU) coating applied on the inside. Hence the tent breathes no more. Since a few years there is, therefore, Breathable TC (BTC) on the market. BTC is a water repellent impregnated with TC. This makes the breathability is retained in part.

The advantages and disadvantages of polyester-cotton:

+ Sustainable
+ Good resistance to UV radiation
+ Lighter than cotton
+ Dries faster than cotton

– Dries slower than polyester or nylon
– Relatively expensive

All-season fabric

Finally, a word about all-season fabric. If you’re camping several times during the season (i.e., several weeks or months at a time), you will attach different types of weather. In that case, you can opt for all-season fabric. This material consists of several layers of coated polyester which are arranged on the outside. The all-season material is easy to clean and dries quickly. The moisture-regulating capacity is better than tents of pure polyester or nylon, but the formation of condensation is also to tents of all-season cloth can not be ruled out.

Canvas repair or cleaning

You want as long as possible to enjoy your tent. Therefore it is important that you store the tent clean and dry after your holiday. Many stains can clean itself. Sometimes it is better to do nothing because the dye does not affect the waterproofing of the tent.

For more information, visit http://www.familytentcenter.com/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Get in touch

Subscribe to our mailing list NOW


Profile Photo

Cendrillon Bellemare


+33 275146234