Canvas Tent VS Nylon Tent

Canvas tent


What Is The Best Material For A Tent?

With so many different tents on the market these days, it can be a daunting task to sit and research everything that is currently out there.

For this article, we are going to be discussing the difference between the canvas and nylon materials as well as the benefits and different situations that these materials will be best suited for.

Benefits Of Canvas Material 

Good canvas tents are made from a high-quality canvas (Cotton) and can be a much better material in some areas over the more traditional tents made from nylon. In what ways? Well, let’s take a look.

  • Superior Insulator– Insulation is key when in cold weather and canvas is simply a much better at this then a nylon tent. Canvas tents can also be used with a wood-burning stove in a safe manner which is nice if you are in extreme cold.
  • Ventilation– Because canvas is a natural material made from part of the cotton plant, it can naturally breathe and offer ventilation. It will not cause wet, damp walls like your nylon tests typically do.
  • Strength– Nylon plastic tents can rip and tear much more easily than canvas. A canvas tent can withstand much harsher winds not only because of the canvas but also because of the heavy-duty poles and steel stakes. This is why they are a popular choice for military, hunting, and humanitarian efforts.
  • Quiet– This can be important when hunting or military situations where you don’t want a plastic tent flapping in the wind and making noise and movement.
  • Durable– Canvas tents can last for years or even decades if maintained properly. They can be cleaned and waterproofing agents can be added to prolong the life of these tents.
  • UV protection– Quality canvas will be treated with a UV protectant that can be periodically applied to prolong the life of the tent.
canvas tent at night

Situations For a Canvas Tent


If you are hunting in a remote area and need a good home base, then a good strong canvas tent can be a great option. They are large enough for you and your supplies. Since they can be safely used with a stove, they are amazing in cold winter conditions.

Long Camping Trips

If you are going camping for a long period of time, canvas tents are a good choice. They are durable and strong so when unpredictable weather occurs, you will be well protected with little worry.

Those who camp in large groups should look into canvas tents because of the large space and toughness they offer. They are easy to get in and out of and also can provide a great space for an outdoor kitchen or congregation area. 

Special Events

Having a special event and need something extra large? Then you should look for a canvas tent since they come in huge sizes that can accommodate larger groups of people.

Some examples:

  • Weddings 
  • Corporate Events
  • Dinner Parties
  • Festivals
  • Flea Markets
  • Trade Shows

Why would you choose to purchase a nylon tent?

The more modern nylon tents are popular and for good reasons. They are affordable, light, and easy to set up for most people.

Below we will discuss the benefits of these tents and what situations would be best suited for them.

Benefits Of Nylon Material

  • Cost– Nylon tents can be very cost-effective and can range from extremely cheap to pretty pricey and everything in between. This is great because you can find good tents in a price range you feel comfortable with.
  • Weight– These tents can be extremely light for long hiking trips or expeditions where every ounce is accounted for. 
  • Fast Drying– In rainy humid climates, you want something that can dry out quickly when you get a break in the weather. This is a huge advantage with a nylon material over a canvas material.
  • Ease of use– With the advancements in the tent engineering and design, they make these things super easy to set up even offering models that are classified as instant tents.
  • Styles– Modern nylon tents come in all sorts of styles and designs, making them great for family or singles alike.

Situations For a Nylon Tent


These tents are popular for camping trips can offer designs and features that are great for hot weather conditions and ones that do amazing in cold weather. No matter what time of year you are planning your trip, you can find a modern nylon tent to meet your needs.


Nylon tents are popular with hikers because you can get ones that are very light and yet can do well in many weather conditions.

When going on long hikes you are always conscious of weight. That’s when nylon tents can come in handy. You can get a very minimalist style or even hammock tents that can maybe just the ticket for a single individual.


When I think of expeditions, I think of trekking up huge mountains at high altitudes where weather can be extreme and turn on a dime. 

They make double-walled nylon tents that are designed to withstand these conditions while also being light and portable.

The 4 season flavor of tents that are insulated for snow and can tolerate high winds would be the one you would look for in this situation.


There is no one tent material to rule them all, but there are certain situations that one will be a better fit than the other. 

So at the end of the day, whether your hunting, camping or exploring the vast wilderness or mountain range, you will have a better idea which material will suit your needs best. 

We discussed the benefits of both and hope you have found this article helpful when it comes to making a decision on materials.

Good luck, and happy trails!

Brad Visser

Brad is the owner and operator of Team Camping. He has been camping since he was a kid and now loves to camp with his wife and three children.

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