Do you want to camp full-time? You need a tent that can stand up to the weather all year long without buckling or breaking. While most camping tents are not up to the challenge, we’ve compiled a list of the best tents to live in permanently. These models are spacious and accommodating and, most importantly, weatherproof. Let’s take a closer look.
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Best Compact Model
Best Luxury Model
Best Budget Pick
|Capacity||2, 4, 6, 8 person||3, 4, 6, 8, 10 person||6, 8, 10, 12 person||4-6 person||4, 6, 8 person||2, 4, 6, 8 person||6, 8, 10 person||8, 10, 12, 16 person||6, 10 person|
|Value for Money||4.8/5||4.8/5||4.8/5||4.8/5||4.4/5||4.8/5||4.6/5||4.5/5||3.0/5|
This four-season tent really means it, thanks to its waterproof material and built-in stove jack.
If you're camping solo or with a partner, this tent from UniStrength will keep you warm and toasty all year long.
Glamping is an excellent choice for long-term camping. The Avalon gives you tons of space for extra amenities.
If canvas is a bit too pricey, the Rock Fortress works in all seasons, thanks to its teepee design.
This is another model that stands tall. This tent works well in sandy conditions, but rain might get in.
This tent holds up well enough under most conditions. You can also detach the floor if necessary.
Wall tents give you extra space and room to move. This is a sturdy tent with steel beams.
Extra vents on the top help this tent stay cool, but it doesn't offer ideal water protection.
Coleman tents are ideal for short camping trips, but they can struggle to stay in good shape for long periods.
Best Tents to Live in Full Time
Full-time camping is much different than heading into the woods for a weekend getaway. So let’s break down our top tents to see what they have to offer when you’re living in them all year round.
- Weather-resistant material holds up to rain and sunlight
- Four strategic vents for better airflow
- Double-layered doors and windows keep the warm air inside
- Extra-tall interior allows you to move around comfortably
- Not as wind-resistant as other models
- In rare cases, the zippers may snag and rip off
If you’re in the market for a high-end canvas tent, WhiteDuck is one of the top brands in the industry. The Regatta is an all-purpose model built to withstand all four seasons. Thanks to its rugged canvas material, you can stay in this tent when it rains, snows, or gets windy. The main structure is durable enough to keep you warm and dry no matter the conditions outside.
As with many canvas tents, the Whiteduck Regatta tent comes with a fire-retardant stove jack. This flap allows you to put a camping stove in the tent, which is perfect for staying warm when the weather gets cold. Best of all, the stove jack is designed to prevent water from getting inside, so you don’t have to worry about leaks.
The size and shape of this tent are incredible. The lower part of the walls come up higher than most bell tents, at three feet high. And the centre height of the various sizes of this tent ranges from 7 ft 5 in up to almost 10 foot, meaning you should have more than enough room to stand up and walk around. The bell shape means you can maximize your interior space.
As far as ventilation goes, this tent has double-walled mesh windows to allow air to flow through. There are also vents on top to allow heat to escape as necessary. So whether you have the stove roaring or the sun is too hot outside, this tent should stay relatively cool.
- Durable cotton canvas material
- Waterproof yet breathable canvas
- Spacious interior to walk around
- PVC flooring resists ground moisture
- Not ideal for snowy conditions
- When using a camping stove, a lot of heat escapes from the top
When shopping for tents, you’ll notice that many models claim to be 100% waterproof, but many of them are not. Usually, water can leak in through seams and windows because it’s hard to seal these points completely. Fortunately, that’s not a problem with the UniStrength 4-Season Bell Tent. We haven’t heard any reports of water getting in, so you can feel confident that it will hold up all year long.
You can buy this tent in multiple sizes, including a small version for two or three people. Despite the smaller size, you can still stand up and move around inside, making this tent ideal for campers of all ages. Plus, it comes with a stove jack, so you have room to bring a camping stove to help you and your companions stay warm.
Speaking of warmth, heat does escape pretty easily from the top vents. So, if the weather is frigid outside, you might feel it inside the tent, even if you have a raging fire.
Related: Looking for a canvas bell tent in particular? Check out our reviews of the best canvas bell tent for camping.
- Reinforced seams and corners for extra durability
- Large and spacious interior
- Shock absorbing grounding system for better weather resistance
- Rugged army duck cotton canvas
- Heavy to carry around
- Takes a while to set up and tear down
If you’re going to live in a tent full-time, why not have a high-end model that feels like you’re living in a mobile palace? You get that feeling from the Avalon, which is one of the most spacious and good-looking tents we’ve seen. However, WhiteDuck didn’t just put all its resources into making the camping tent look glamorous. The company also reinforced the seams and edges to ensure extra durability and water resistance. So, you can feel like you’re living in luxury without worrying about rain or snow getting inside.
This tent has many windows around the edges to help with airflow and ventilation. However, they can also close to help keep heat inside when the weather’s cold. The main drawback of this tent is that with so much surface area to manage, a single camping stove likely won’t keep the whole interior warm. Also, you’ll need at least one or two people to help you set this tent up since it’s so massive.
- Windproof snow skirt to keep cold air at bay
- Waterproof nylon material
- Tall enough for most people to stand up in the middle
- Durable snag-free zippers
- Relatively lightweight at nine pounds
- Teepee-style tent doesn’t allow for much movement while standing
- In rare cases, some of the spike loops may rip off
So far, we’ve been looking at canvas bell tents, which resemble yurts. However, if you live in a colder climate, these models can often lose heat quickly because of their shape and design.
This Hot Tent from OneTigris is a great teepee tent, which traps heat much better than others. Also, since it comes with a stove jack, you can be warm and toasty all year long.
The main drawback to this design is that you can only stand up in the center. That said, this tent is designed for four to six people, so it won’t feel too cramped inside. Compared to other tents of this size, the OneTigris tent is much lighter, weighing only nine pounds. Most of the other tents are well above that.
- Waterproof cotton duck canvas material
- Front awning to keep the rain out
- Tall ceiling so you can walk around inside
- Durable spring steel rods
- In rare cases, the canvas may tear along the seams
- Angled tent design can allow rain to come in through the windows
One issue with most tents is that water can come in through the door when it rains. You can keep water out by closing the windows, but if you open them, water will come right in due to the tent’s angled design. Fortunately, this Kodiak canvas tent deluxe comes with an awning, so you can keep the front area dry all day long. The tent also has a tall ceiling so you can stand up and move around. This tent really holds up well against sand and desert conditions.
- Heavy-duty canvas khaki material
- Dual stove jacks for added convenience
- Four mesh windows for maximum ventilation
- Waterproof coating on the outside
- A-frame design to get in and out easier
- In rare cases, water can get in through the stove jack
- Windows must be closed to prevent water from getting in
If one stove jack works well for winter camping, imagine how good it is to have two. This way, you can keep the entire tent warm and not worry as much about losing heat to the top vents.
This tent is spacious and easy to move around in, but we’ve heard reports that the seams can leak pretty easily. So, while this tent might work for cold temperatures, it’s doesn’t hold up well in the rain.
- Massive interior
- Tear-resistant material
- Waterproof tent coating
- Tent poles not provided
- More expensive than other models
A wall tent resembles an actual building with four walls and a roof. So, if you want a big tent with lots of interior space, this is an excellent model. The canvas is also pretty rugged and holds up to virtually all weather conditions.
There are some setbacks for this tent, though. First, this tent is much more expensive than other models, even the Avalon camping tent. Also, it doesn’t have all the poles necessary to set it up – you have to buy those separately.
- Removable floor to allow for better airflow
- Extra-wide door for easier in and out
- Electrical outlet port
- Extra vents on top for a cooler interior
- In rare cases, water can come in through the top
- Taller campers can’t stand up inside
If you live in a temperate climate, this camping tent should work well. It’s designed as a backyard tent for events or lounging, which is why it has a removable floor. So, if you want to keep the interior cool, you have that option. The canvas material holds up relatively well under rainy and windy conditions, but not as good as the WhiteDuck models. Otherwise, this tent is spacious and has more than enough room for everyone and their gear.
- Spacious interior with an extra screen room
- D-shaped door for easier in and out
- Fits two queen-sized beds
- Mesh openings for maximum ventilation
- Doesn’t hold up to rain very well
- Material is not as durable as other tents
- Not recommended for long-term camping
Coleman tents are well-suited for weekend camping but not necessarily living in long-term. The WeatherMaster tent is a pretty large extended dome tent, and we like the screen room that offers extra space for equipment or lounging. This room is convenient when it’s hot out, and there are lots of bugs. However, this tent is not very durable, so it won’t last as long as the other models on this list. Overall, we don’t recommend this tent for living in, since it won’t last very long, especially in inclement weather.
Our Rating Criteria For Tents To Live In Year Round
Living in a tent year round is different from taking it out occasionally for a weekend getaway or family camping trip. So, we focused on tents that offer extra durability and comfort. For example, nylon and polyester can work well for a few days, but if they stay outside for weeks at a time, they can rip and fray pretty easily.
Often, a canvas tent is the best option for long term camping because they offer heavy duty materials and hold up better to changing weather patterns. Also, there’s a good chance your cotton canvas tent will come with a stove jack, enabling you and your family to stay warm during the winter.
One of the big drawbacks with canvas tents, a long setup time, doesn’t matter much in this case too. Who cares about an extra ten minutes of setup time when you’ll be living in this shelter for a long time?
Here are the factors we paid attention to when delivering our rankings.
A Tent That Provides Comfort And Livability
Typically, camping tents are not meant for long-term use, especially those that aren’t tall enough for people to stand. However, since you’ll be spending lots of time in one of these tents, we chose models that offered plenty of room for sleeping bags, supplies, and a lounging area. This way, even if the weather outside is frightful, the inside of the tent is delightful.
For this reason, we like the WhiteDuck Regatta Tent because it’s spacious and easy to move around inside. Plus, once you add a camping stove, you’ll be more than comfortable all year long.
Living in a tent permanently means enduring wind, rain, heat, and potentially snow and ice. So, the model you choose has to withstand all temperatures and elements. As a rule, canvas tents are the best for this purpose because they’re durable and weather-resistant. Plus, canvas tents often have a space for a stove jack, meaning you can keep the inside toasty warm even if there’s a snowstorm outside.
The best tent for full time living is both water-resistant and breathable. Once summer hits, you want to be able to get as much airflow as possible. Ideally, you can also prevent bugs and other pests from getting inside. Again, the WhiteDuck Regatta Camping Tent hits both points perfectly. The UniStrength Tent is another all-weather tent that holds up well.
Good Ventilation for living comfortably in summer
For the most part, if you’re going to live in a long term camping tent, you want to be able to use a camping stove inside. So, you need something with proper ventilation to ensure you don’t expose yourself to too many toxic fumes. Fortunately, most of these tents come with a stove jack, so all the smoke and other chemicals can be released safely outside.
Ventilation also matters to prevent overheating inside the tent. Whether you have the stove blasting or it’s just hot outside, vents can help you stay cool and comfortable. Vents can also prevent too much condensation from building up inside, especially at night. Most canvas tents have top and bottom vents for maximum airflow. We like the WhiteDuck Regatta Camping Tent and Avalon Tent for this purpose.
Durable and heavy duty for long lasting tents
Most camping tents are made to withstand the elements for a few days or a couple of weeks at most. While nylon and polyester are pretty durable, they can wear out relatively fast. So, the best tent to live in will be able to hold up for months at a time without breaking down or becoming brittle.
Again, canvas tents are often the most rugged, although you might want to treat the material before setting up the tent outside. Adding some waterproof coatings can extend the life of your tent dramatically. The UniStrength Tent and the WhiteDuck Regatta Tent are pretty reliable models that should last at least a year or two without any significant issues.
A permanent tent that provides Value for Money
When comparing tents to live in, you have to consider the cost as an investment. As a rule, a canvas camping tent is much more expensive than nylon or polyester models. However, compared to paying for a hotel room or apartment, the cost is much more affordable.
That said, we like tents that offer amenities and will last a long time. You don’t want to spend a lot and then have to replace your tent in six months. For that reason, the WhiteDuck Regatta Canvas Tent, UniStrength Tent, and Elk Mountain Canvas Tent tents are our top picks.
Related: The Elk Mountain tent also ranks as one of our best canvas wall tents for camping.
Keeping warm in your tent with a wood stove
If you want to live in a tent full time, you’ll probably want a way to stay warm. Most of the canvas tents have a stove jack to use a wood stove during cold weather periods.
Which of These long term living Tents Come With a Stove Jack?
The exact models with this feature include:
- WhiteDuck Regatta Canvas Tent
- WhiteDuck Avalon Canvas Tent
- UniStrength Canvas Tent
- OneTigris Rock Fortress Tent
- Danchel Outdoor Yurt Tent
Which long term living Tents Have the Best Weatherproofing?
As a rule, canvas tents can repel water and snow better than other materials. However, some tents are better than others at keeping the elements at bay. Let’s break down some specific situations where these tents shine when you’re living off grid.
Best Tent for Rainy Weather
Although a stove jack is useful for cold weather, the opening can sometimes let rainwater inside. The tents that don’t seem to have this issue are the WhiteDuck Regatta Canvas Tent, the UniStrength Canvas Tent, and the Elk Mountain Canvas Tent.
If you’re looking to live outdoors in nature and have decided against a canvas camping tent, do make sure to pick up a tent with a rainfly. A rainfly is a waterproof tarp that goes over your tent and the rainfly ensures rain runs away from your tent, and not through any mesh walls. A full length rainfly is best for avoiding horizontal rain when the wind picks up, but you’ll also want to pick a rain fly that can provide ventilation.
Top Tent for Windy Weather
Wind can be an even bigger problem than rain because it can knock your tent over if you’re not careful. While most tents have guy lines to help keep the structure stable in the wind, not all models are well-suited for high winds. Plus, if the guy lines lose their tautness, it can adversely affect the tent’s waterproofing. This is one of the reasons why car camping, basic tents won’t give the best living experience.
Our top pick for a “windproof” tent is the OneTigris Rock Fortress Hot Tent.
Which is the Best 4 Season Tent for Winter Weather?
Technically, any great 4 season tent with a stove jack works well for winter weather because you can stay toasty warm no matter how much it snows outside. However, snow on the roof can sometimes cause a tent to collapse, so you need something extra sturdy. For that reason, we like the WhiteDuck Regatta Canvas Tent and Elk Mountain Canvas Tent.
Which Tent Has the Best Ventilation for Summer Heat?
Unfortunately, tents designed to stay snug and warm in the winter aren’t always well-ventilated when the weather gets warmer. However, both WhiteDuck models (the Regatta Canvas Tent and Avalon Canvas Tent) have openings in the front and back, allowing you to get a great cross breeze. The Whiteduck Avalon tent has more windows, making it a great choice for spring and summer weather.
Best Tent For Comfort And Space
When camping full-time, you want a tent that allows you to move around inside and live in without feeling cramped and crowded. The tents that offer the most interior room for full time living are the WhiteDuck Avalon Canvas Tent and the Elk Mountain Canvas Tent. These models are great for tent living when both camping and glamping, depending on your preference.
Best Budget Tent To Live In
One thing you’ll notice about canvas tents is they’re often more expensive than nylon or polyester models. However, when camping long-term, you have to consider the cost as an investment in your comfort and safety while staying outdoors. When it comes to cost, the OneTigris Rock Fortress Tent is our favourite tent to live in on an extremely tight budget. However, when looking at the best value tent overall to live in, we prefer the WhiteDuck Regatta Canvas Tent or the UniStrength Canvas Tent.
Our Pick for the Best Wall Tent for living in
There is only one wall tent that makes our list of the top tents to live in, and it’s the Elk Mountain Canvas Tent. Although we like the style and spaciousness of this model, it’s pretty expensive. It’s much pricier than most other tents on this list, although many who have lived in this tent have found the space of a wall tent quite useful.
Top tent for long term Camping
Overall, long term camping comes with many unique challenges and obstacles to overcome. However, now that you’ve seen the best tents for living in, you should be able to find something you love, head outdoors and connect to nature in your new tent house.