If you’re in a rush and want to find out what the best bell tent is, we recommend the Danchel Outdoor B5 Pro Bell Tent.
Camping is something that I really enjoy doing, and since you’re reading this, there’s a high likelihood that you feel the same way. At the same time, cramped spaces, less than ideal sleeping arrangements, and difficulty regulating temperature can get annoying after awhile. Sometimes you just want to go camping without…well…camping.
This is where glamping comes in, and I’ll be the first to admit that it’s my guilty pleasure once I’ve gotten tired of regular tent camping. But in order to pull it off, you’ll want to invest in one of the best bell tents to give you the space and protection you need to experience a time of luxury in the great outdoors.
In this article, we’ll be reviewing the following best bell tents:
- Whiteduck Regatta Canvas Bell Tent – Best for Couples
- Danchel Outdoor B5 Pro Bell Tent – Best Overall
- Teton Sports Sierra Canvas Tent – Best Bang for Your Buck
- Toogh Regatta Canvas Bell Tent – Most Versatile Tent
- SAFACUS Teepee Tent – Lightest Bell Tent
- Outsunny 10 Person Bell Tent – Best Affordable Tent
- Glamcamp Bell Tent – Editor’s Choice
Best Bell Tents – Reviewed
Best for Couples
A 4 person canvas bell tent, the Whiteduck Regatta is perfect for couples who want a bit of luxury while camping. The stove jack allows for year-round use, and the canvas is both breathable and waterproof.
The Whiteduck Regatta is one of the smaller bell tents in this review, but that’s okay – we don’t all need a monster tent to live in. It’s a 4 person tent, so technically you could fit a family inside of it, but I find that the size is better suited for couples who want to indulge in a bit of luxury. This is the style that my wife and I use most often, and it’s just big enough to fit a queen size mattress and some other odds and ends.
Like all canvas tents, the Regatta is a shelter that you can use year-round. Especially since it comes with a stove jack, you can comfortably live in it during the cold winter months, as long as you have enough fuel for the stove. I’d still recommend investing in a welding blanket to put under and around the stove, to prevent any heat damage to the tent, but the canvas holds up pretty well near the jack itself. That’s mostly thanks to the special flap around the jack that’s designed to withstand high temperatures. I’d still keep a close eye on it to make sure it’s not starting to burn over time, but generally speaking, it does its job well.
The canvas is breathable and waterproof, allowing condensation to escape without letting rain in. It’s also mold and mildew resistant, but that doesn’t mean you can get away with never cleaning it. Given enough time and a lack of maintenance, it will still start to develop some nasty growth, but it will take awhile to get to that point. Overall, the durability is what you’d expect from a canvas bell tent, making the Regatta a great option for small families or couples who want to tamper in glamping.
– Sewn in ground sheet
– Waterproof and fireproof (depending on which one you buy)
– Stove compatible
– Though it breathes well, it could use something more to help it shed heat better
A solid family camping tent, the Danchel canvas tent comes with two stove jacks and variety of modes that allow you to prepare for any type of weather coming your way.
A bigger guy than the Whiteduck Regatta, the Danchel canvas tent is more suitable for family camping. Marketed for six people, I’d probably limit the capacity to four people, just so you’re not squished in there uncomfortably.
With that extra space comes extra weight, so don’t be surprised when you see how much this tent weighs (it’s 83 pounds, in case you missed it). Needless to say, transporting and pitching the Danchel tent is not a one person job, so hopefully you’ve got a couple friends or family members who are willing to help with the heavy lifting.
Once you’ve got it up, though, it’s a bell tent that’s a force to be reckoned with. There are two stove jacks for your convenience, allowing you to bring heat into the tent, along with the ability to cook. When it’s not freezing out, I’d recommend rolling up the bottom quarter of the canvas to let the breeze in. It’s a handy feature that I’ve noticed in several bell tents, as it still provides shade and protection against popup showers while providing a view of your surroundings and an unobstructed path for the wind.
The floor is puncture resistant, and it won’t show noticeable signs of wear and tear for a good long while. The walls and ceiling of the tent are also pretty weatherproof, as you’d expect from canvas, making this a safe and cozy shelter for the whole family to enjoy.
– 2 stove jacks
– Large interior space
– Ability to roll up the bottom of the tent, and the front half of the canvas
– Heavy-duty groundsheet
– Well ventilated
– Waterproofing holds up well
– It’s a cheap option, so you get what you pay for
– Windows need to be closed when it rains, which can steam up the inside pretty fast
Best Bang for Your Buck
One of the larger tents in this review, the Teton Sports Sierra is highly adjustable and versatile, withstanding powerful weather systems without flinching.
One of the larger bell tents in this review, the Teton Sports Sierra has 2-in-1 technology that’s similar to the Danchel tent mentioned above. What this means is that you can use the tent like normal, or you can roll up the side walls, keeping the canopy supported by the center poles and guylines. It’s a useful mode for outdoor parties and get-togethers, or if you just need some fresh air and want to enjoy the view.
For all the space that you get, it’s not as heavy as you’d expect, coming in at 77.7 pounds. While that might sound like a lot, it’s pretty reasonable for a canvas bell tent of this size, especially when you take the steel poles into consideration. The door is large, making it easy to come and go without needing to slouch over too much. And on the inside, the whopping 113 inch (9 foot, 5 inch) peak heigh will ensure that no one will need to hunch their neck and shoulders while walking around.
You’ll want an extra set of hands to help you get the center pole upright, but other than that, it’s a pretty straightforward tent to pitch. And considering the overall quality of the materials and its resistance to the elements, it’s surprising that Teton Sports isn’t trying to sell it for more. But hey, who are we to complain? It’s definitely going to give you the best bang for you buck, so if you don’t have $1,000 to spend on a bell tent, this might be the one for you.
– 2 in 1 canopy or tent
– Access ports for power
– Holds up in extreme weather
– One person can set it up easily
– Good price for what you get
– The actual size of the tent is a little smaller than advertised
Most Versatile Tent
Large and spacious, the Toogh Regatta is a versatile tent that’s easy to pitch with a little bit of help. While lacking in durability, it’s still a solid option for families who need a comfortable place to live away from home.
Another bell tent sporting the name “Regatta,” this one by Toogh certainly shines in some areas, but is still lacking compared to the Whiteduck tent with the same name. But let’s talk about what it does well, before we get into the areas of improvement.
For starters, it’s a fairly large tent, with a peak height that just exceeds 9 feet. The 135 square feet of space gives you a good amount of room to work with, regardless of what you want to do. Set it up as a comfortable hangout area for you and your friends, turn it into a semi-permanent (or permanent) living space, or use it as a canopy for your smaller camping tent.
Multiple windows provide a good deal of ventilation, and the door is big enough for most people to enter and exit with minimal effort. Setup is a little tricky, but not as bad as other bell tents that you might encounter. Once you have a good understanding of how the process works, it shouldn’t take you more than 10-15 minutes to put everything together with the help of a friend or two.
Unfortunately, the rave review ends there. The overall durability of the tent is somewhat debatable, especially since a good amount of plastic was used for hinges and other important bits. I’m not worried about the canvas itself, but I’m also not convinced that the tent will hold up after a decade of moderate use.
– Well ventilated
– Easy to pitch
– Tall peak height
– Durability is questionable
Lightest Bell Tent
Affordable and lightweight, the Safacus teepee tent is great for festivals and backyard camping, but it lacks much of the durability needed for more extreme camping situations.
Despite being marketed as a teepee tent, this shelter by Safacus still falls into the bell tent family, since the central pole is its primary form of support. It’s also one of those rare “non-canvas” bell tents, which is part of the reason why it’s also the cheapest (and lightest) tents in this review.
However, it’s hard to say that the Safacus bell tent was designed for serious camping. It’s not terribly weatherproof, and the plastic windows amplify the intensity of the sun, making it dangerously hot inside during peak summer. There certainly isn’t enough ventilation to counterbalance the sauna effect, so I’d limit your usage of the tent to cooler months. Backyard camping with the kids or outdoor festivals are going to be your best bets, if you want to have a comfortable experience.
Setup is relatively simple, though it will be a little difficult to do on your own. That’s pretty standard for bell tents, though, so I don’t really consider it to be much of a pain point. The zippers can be a little finicky, but they work well enough for this style of tent and what it should be used for. Overall, it’s definitely not the highest quality shelter in this review, but if you’re looking for a cheap option that can be used for some light camping, this might be the one for you.
– Good for festivals and backyard camping
– Easy to pitch
– Heats up inside quickly
– Not the most waterproof
Best Affordable Tent
A polyester bell tent, the Outsunny isn’t just lightweight and affordable – it’s also incredibly spacious, sporting one of the largest floorplans out of any other shelter in this review.
The Outsunny tent is another one of those rare bell tents that isn’t made from canvas. With polyester walls, just like the Safacus mentioned above, it’s an incredibly cheap and lightweight tent that’s perfect for shorter camping trips. Polyester bell tents just aren’t as weatherproof as canvas tents, so you’ll have to be a little more cautious with them, but the Outsunny is still well worth the price.
For the most part, rain isn’t going to be a problem with the Outsunny. The water resistance is on point, but you’ll want to be careful with strong winds, as the shape of the tent is perfect for capturing the breeze. Some of the stake loops and other tethers may rip or come undone if a powerful enough gust hits it, so try to keep the tent in a sheltered area as much as possible.
In terms of space, the Outsunny is one of the biggest in this review. I know a lot of people use it as a semi-permanent living space, or they rent it out as an Airbnb, and I would say that those are the best ways to use the tent. It’s not really for “camping” so much as glamping, and as long as you use it with that in mind, you shouldn’t have too many issues with it.
The space is big enough for a bed or two, a chest, a dresser, and perhaps some other odds and ends. For the price, you’re going to have a hard time finding something bigger, better, and more comfortable.
– Easy to pitch
– Well ventilated
– Doesn’t handle wind very well
Big and spacious, the Glamcamp bell tent might not be the highest quality shelter in this review, but it’s definitely one of the cheapest, making it a great option for folks on a budget.
If you like to have options, you’ll appreciate the Glamcamp canvas tent. Like many of the other shelters mentioned so far, this bell tent can function as a tent or as a canopy, depending on your mood and the weather. Just roll the walls up and secure them, and before you know it, you’ve got a sheltered location that lets you fully enjoy nature. You can also remove the floor, if you so choose.
While it’s technically easy to set everything up, it can be a struggle if you’ve never pitched a bell tent before. The directions are hardly satisfactory, and there are a lot of stakes and guylines to consider, which can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you plan on using it outside of your property, I’d practice putting it together and taking it down a few times before you have to do it for real.
Overall, it does a pretty good job of blocking the weather. It holds up solidly through strong winds and rain, but since the zippers don’t actually close all the way, there’s a potential for rain to blow inside the tent. Or, if you experience any kind of flooding, a puddle at the front of the tent could start to leak into the front of the shelter.
However, aside from those cons, it’s a spacious tent that performs well in most circumstances. You can easily set it up as a glampsite for you or guests, but I would recommend keeping it on a raise platform, if possible.
– Separable floor
– Stove compatible
– Bell tent design
– Large and spacious
– Weather resistant
– Door entrance is a little low for taller folks
– Doesn’t always come with instructions
Best Bell Tent – Buyer’s Guide
Bell tents come in all different sizes, weights, and materials, so it can be a little tricky to figure out what will work best for you. Here are just a few key points to keep in mind when choosing your next bell tent, whether for personal use or to rent out as an Airbnb.
Bell tents are big and bulky, and since they’re primarily made out of canvas and steel, they’re going to be pretty heavy as well. The heaviest in our review is 106 pounds, but I’d say the average bell tent comes in around 60 pounds. They’re definitely not meant for weekend camping trips, or any kind of excursion where you’ll have to carry the tent long distances. I find that they’re most suitable for glamping, or as a fun getaway that you can set up on your property for yourself or for someone else.
Though it’s not always the case, most bell tents are going to be made out of canvas. Compared to synthetics like polyester and nylon, canvas is thick and heavy, and it requires more maintenance since it’s made out of organic material. Mold and mildew can accumulate if it’s not properly taken care of, which can create bad smells and other health concerns over time.
However, there’s no denying that it’s the most durable tent material that you’ll find. You’re not going to poke a hole in it as easily as you might with a synthetic tent, and recent technology has made canvas more weather resistant than ever before. If you can overlook the weight and clunkiness of it, a canvas bell tent is the best friend you can have for safe and fun camping.
I’ve spent the night in a lot of different bell tents, and without fail, they all had a stove jack. In case you don’t know what that is, a stove jack is an opening in the tent wall or ceiling that allows you to expel smoke from your tent stove through a chimney. It’s a necessity if you plan on heating the inside of your tent with wood, as opposed to gas or electric powered sources.
Some bell tents have one stove jack, others have more than one, but whatever the case, you’ll want to make sure you know how to use it properly. I’ve seen more than a few jacks that were scorched around the edges because the material got too hot from the chimney piping.
As we’ve already mentioned, most bell tents are made out of canvas. Once upon a time, this would spell bad news if you got caught in a heavy rain shower, as canvas was notorious for leaking when oversaturated. However, with modern manufacturing practices, there isn’t much different between canvas and synthetic, in terms of weatherproofing. In fact, I feel more comfortable inside a canvas tent during a raging storm than I do in my (comparatively) flimsy backpacking tent. When pitched properly, the best bell tent won’t move an inch in a thunderstorm, and it certainly won’t let any water inside – unless you forget to close a window.
Most bell tents have a variety of ventilation options. The doors are large and can be left open, and most have plenty of windows that can be opened to create even more air movement. On occasion, you’ll even encounter a bell tent with removeable walls, giving you a nice big canopy to relax under, while allowing the breeze to come in from all sides.
During a storm, when all of these openings are closed, you’ll still have a little bit of ventilation coming from the vents near the apex of the tent. It’s not nearly as much, but it gets the job done well enough to prevent condensation from forming.
Ease of Setup
As we’ve mentioned, bell tents are big and heavy, which means they’re going to be a lot harder to pitch than your average camping tent. Most often, you’re dealing with 60 pounds of canvas that spreads out across a wide space, and it’s all pushed upward by a large, central pole.
There is the rare bell tent that could be put together by yourself, like the one designed by Safacus mentioned above, but more often than not, you’ll need the help of a friend (or two) to get the job done. However, since these tents are supposed to be left up more permanently, the amount of effort needed to set them up shouldn’t come as a surprise.
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How Do I Choose the Right Size Bell Tent?
When choosing a bell tent, it’s important to consider how many people will be using it, as well as how much gear you’ll need to store inside. Most bell tents come in sizes ranging from 4-person to 8-person, so be sure to choose a size that provides enough space for all of your people and belongings.
How Much Should I Expect to Spend on a Bell Tent?
The cost of a bell tent can vary depending on the size, materials, and features. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $1,000 (or more) for a high-quality bell tent. However, I usually say it’s worth it to invest in a durable and well-made shelter so that you can save money in the long run by avoiding the need for frequent replacements.
Are Bell Tents Suitable for Long-Term Camping or Living?
Yes, bell tents can be suitable for long-term camping or living, but it’s important to choose a size and style that provides adequate space and comfort. Consider additional features such as insulation or a wood-burning stove to make the tent more livable in colder weather. It’s also worth noting that bell tents are not necessarily designed for permanent living, so they won’t provide the same level of comfort and convenience as a traditional home.
Glamping has been increasing in popularity, both as a fun escape and as a semi-permanent (or permanent) living arrangement. Many people will even rent their tent out and use it as a source of income, making bell tents one of the most versatile shelters available.
However, when considering what constitutes the best bell tent, you have to pay attention to features like weatherproofing, weight, ventilation, and ease of setup. With all those in mind, we believe that the Danchel Outdoor B5 Pro tent is the best one that you’ll find.