Canvas tents have a number of benefits over regular nylon/plastic tents. They are much more durable and breathable, plus they don’t suffer from condensation build-up. But which is the best canvas tent Australia? Let’s find out!
I will take a look at 3 of Australia’s most popular and compare and review them to help you figure out which one is right for you!
Best Canvas Tents in Australia
OZtrail Tourer 9 Canvas Tent
This is hands down one of the best value options in Australia. For only $300, you can get yourself one of these high quality units that boasts thick 230 GSM canvas, yet packs down to a small volume and weighs only 18kg.
It has the highest ceiling of any tent on this list at 210cm, front and rear doors, large floor space for sleeping and a generous 2 year warranty.
Generally speaking, this tent is widely loved as it represents great quality at a very affordable price. You won't find another one at this quality for this price in Australia.
Unfortunately, a few people have complained that their unit was not particularly waterproof, although others have not had any issues. As with all canvas tents, I highly recommend that you season the tent before you head out on your first trip.
Oztent RV4 Touring Canvas Tent
This tent is widely loved by Australians and generally considered to be one of the best, if not the best, canvas tents. I haven’t given it the top spot here largely because of the price, the heavier weight, and the much larger packed dimensions.
The Oztent RV4 seems to have much better build quality and workmanship than the OZtrail Tourer 9, with no one complaining about waterproofing issues with this tent.
Unfortunately, it is substantially more expensive (more than double the price), it is heavier, it is more bulky when packed up (over 2 metres long) and has a lower internal ceiling.
Ultimately, it will come down to whether you are willing to pay more for a better quality, yet heavier tent.
It comes in a variety of sizes, including the RV1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Outdoor Connection Tanbar Air Tent
Best Inflatable Canvas Tent
This canvas tent is quite different to the others on this list because it comes with air poles, which require inflation with a manual pump.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that air poles means a flimsy tent. Outdoor Connection have gone to great lengths to prove just how sturdy their air tents are, releasing a video of them demonstrating this by running a Holden Colorado over an inflated Tanbar Air Tent. The tent survived, and with just a few adjustments it was back up in position and fine.
It has a large sleeping area, 2,000mm waterproof rating and excellent 3 year warranty. It is very heavy at 29kg, but it packs down to a surprisingly small size.
Benefits of a Canvas Tent
There are a number of benefits to getting a canvas tent over a regular nylon/plastic tent.
Canvas is much tougher, rip-resistant and repairable than plastic. It is much less likely to get damaged in the first place but if it does, it can be easily patched up.
Plastic tents, on the other hand, often require complete replacement for anything other than a very small rip.
Canvas tents tend to have fine holes in their fabric which allows hot air and condensation to escape. Plastic tents trap in the moisture in the air, which eventually forms condensation on the inside of the tent.
The heat resistant nature of canvas means that it is possible to operate a wood burning stove inside the tent. This is no good for plastic tents, as they can easily melt when exposed to heat.
Canvas is much heavier than plastic, so it is less likely to flap around at the first sign of a stiff breeze. For light sleepers, this can mean a much better night’s sleep.
Downsides of a Canvas Tent
As with everything, there are pros and cons to having a canvas tent. Here are some of the less desirable aspects.
Canvas is much thicker and heavier than plastic, resulting in a much heavier unit. The lightest tent in this comparison is a weighty 18kg!
They are not suitable for carrying any more than short distances. Don’t even think about going on a hike with one of these!
Clearly, there are a lot of pros and cons to a canvas tent, but as to which is best for you? It really comes down to your personal preferences and what you’ll be using the tent for.
There aren’t nearly as many canvas tents on the market as there are plastic tents, but it can still be difficult to know which one is right for you.
Personally, I think that the OZtrail Tourer 9 is the best canvas tent Australia. It is relatively lightweight, has a large sleeping area and high internal ceiling plus a number of other features. It is outstanding value for money.
The Oztent RV4 is a close runner up. It is widely regarded as an excellent canvas tent that will last you many, many years (decades for some!). It is a little heavier and more expensive than the OZtrail Tourer, but the extra quality is worth it for those who spend a lot of time on the road.
If you are just an occasional camper, the OZtrail Tourer 9 is probably a better bet for you.
Still have some questions? Leave them in the comments below!
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