Here at Boutique Camping you’ll find a range of beautiful, practical and innovative tents to choose from. Whether it’s a family camping holiday or a weekend away with friends at a festival, you’ll find the perfect tent to suit your needs. Looking for something classic and understated? Fed up with bland beige and want something to stand out? We’ve got the ideal tent! With so many different styles and options to choose from, we’ve put together this handy guide to provide all the information you’ll need to help you choose the right Boutique Camping tent for you.
What is a bell tent?
A bell tent is perhaps one of the most recognisable of tent styles, featuring a single central pole to support the canvas, giving it it’s easily recognisable shape. The entrance is formed with an A-frame pole and guy ropes sit around the outside of the bell tent providing stability. Here at Boutique Camping we’ve stuck largely to the original bell tent design, but have included some clever design tweaks and modifications, making our tents ideal for today’s campers.
Where Does The Bell Tent Come From?
An early version of the bell tent was known as the Sibley tent. Invented during the American Civil War by Henry Hopkins Sibley, a brigadier General from Louisiana. Hopkins Sibley studied the Native American Tipi/Teepee on his long expeditions in the American Old West. Inspired by natural, breathable materials and the durable versatile nature of canvas, his tent design was first presented in 1858. The modern bell tent is characteristically different to the Sibley tent thanks to its walls, ropes and larger, more practical entrance. The modern bell tent however, lacks the telescopic tripod and smoke hole, though a flashing kit can be fitted to most bell tents to allow a stove to be used inside. Today bell tents use modern treated canvas that are waterproof and breathable, offering a more natural, luxury camping experience. They have also become popular as marquees for parties and weddings too. At Boutique Camping we pride ourselves on making the best bell tents on the market. Through constant innovation and with a firm eye on design and aesthetics you’ll find an extensive range of our camping tents including bell tents, Yurt tents, Luna tent and our extremely popular new Star bell tent range including the 4m and 5m Star bell tent and the large Emperor star bell tent.
Types Of Bell Tents
Innovation is a driving force behind Boutique Camping and we’ve re-developed the classic bell tent to meet the needs of the modern camper, providing a range of unique and stunning tents of the highest possible quality.
Traditional bell tents Our traditional bell tents are perfect for all occasions and come in a vast array of colours, patterns and sizes. They have the added bonus of our new generous 2m high doors so you can walk straight in without needing to bend, and they feature screw on rain caps to hold the door A-frame in place, along with sturdy, easily adjusted reflective guy ropes. Our traditional bell tents also feature zipped windows for ventilation and mesh window and door covers to keep insects out. Traditional bell tents are available in a variety of different sizes, from 4m, ideal for single campers, friends and small families, right up to an enormous 7m, ideal for large groups.
Star bell tents Our recently launched Star bell tent is an innovative modern take on the traditional bell tent and our range includes 4m and 5m Star bell tents, as well as the Star Emperor bell. We’ve taken a traditional bell tent and improved the design by adding a large front canopy and features that provide even greater stability and protection from the elements. The star range was designed with glampers in mind, and for those looking for more space and a lot of durability; instead of traditional guy ropes, the Star bell tent features heavy duty webbing making it highly stable in bad weather and when pitched in exposed locations.
Every tent has an integrated canopy which provides a 50cm front porch area, ideal for storing muddy boots or for sitting under, providing effective shade and protection from the rain, making it the ideal choice for camping in unpredictable weather. The Star tents also feature slightly higher than usual walls and boast 360° netting, helping campers feel even more connected to the great outdoors.
Yurt tents The innovative Boutique Camping yurt tent is designed to provide campers with a true luxury glamping experience. Thanks to the high walls of our 5m Yurt tent there’s ample space inside, making it perfect for families and groups. Unlike traditional bell tents, one of the big differences with the Yurt tent is the addition of 4 Large windows with mesh covers and PVC ‘glass’ making it easy to enjoy the views. The large entrance makes it easy to get your camp furniture inside and the Yurt tent can comfortably sleep up to 6 people with space for luggage, furniture and amazing head room.
Bell tent ground sheet options Bell tents come with different types of ground sheet options, some have a sewn in ground sheet (SIG) others have separate ground sheets, but the most popular choice for Boutique Camping customers is the zipped in ground sheet (ZIG) which provides both convenience and flexibility. Tents with a sewn in ground sheet, also known as SIG tents, protect you against insects and are durable in extreme weather conditions. However because the ground sheet is permanently attached, you can’t roll the sides of the bell tent up, so this isn’t the most flexible option.
Bell tents with a separate ground sheet can be trickier to pitch as the ground sheet must be pegged out first, then the tent erected on top of the ground sheet, making exact positioning difficult. The downside is that this kind of bell tent is less watertight, and campers are more likely to be exposed to insects. The benefit however, is that on hot days, the sides of the bell tent can be rolled up.
At Boutique Camping, all of our tents come with a zipped in ground sheet (ZIG), which provide customers with the most versatile option. Zipped in ground sheets can remain permanently attached and the tent pitched in one, or the ground sheet can be zipped off and the sides rolled up, or not used at all for those wishing to use their bell tent like a marquee.
New to 2018
2m Doorway Improved entrance space on all tent doorways.
High Quality Rubber Mallet Free with every Boutique Camping tent.
Reflective Guy Ropes Interwoven reflective guy ropes.
Screw On Rain Cap Rain cap to keep your tent dry.
Improved Slider Design New design for easy use on all guy ropes.
Waterproof Bag Base Waterproof tent bag,keeping your tent free from mould.
Bell tent fabric options
As well as different ground sheet options, our bell tents come in a variety of different fabrics and we currently offer three fabric choices; Polycotton, Oxford, and Polyester.
Polycotton We’re continually checking out what’s new in the world of glamping and looking for ideas and inspiration to help us in our mission to bring customers the very best possible camping experience. Over the past couple of years, we’ve been testing Polycotton as a suitable alternative to our traditional 100% cotton canvas material. Essentially Polycotton is a cotton fabric with polyester weaved into it, which makes it easier to care for and more hard-wearing than traditional 100% cotton canvas. For all new 2018 stock, we have made the decision to make the switch away from 100% cotton to manufacturing Polycotton bell tents. This provides customers will all the benefits of cotton canvas but with the added durability and ease of care associated with Polycotton.
With so many benefits, it’s easy to understand why Polycotton has rapidly become the high-end tent fabric of choice for the world’s leading camping companies like Robens, Nordisk, Outwell, Kampa, Vango and Tent Tipi. Your Polycotton tent from Boutique Camping will provide you with many years of hassle-free, happy camping. Below some of the benefits of Polycotton that include:
Durable More durable and less likely to rip than cotton, making it more suitable for extreme conditions.
Mildew Resistant Less maintenance required and more resistant to mildew.
Breathable Fully breathable just like cotton canvas.
Quick Drying Quicker drying time than standard cotton tents.
Holds Colour Holds colour better and less likely to fade as quickly as cotton.
Crease Resistant Looks and feels just like traditional cotton canvas and less prone to creasing.
Oxford Canvas After many months of researching for the perfect easy-care tent fabric, we developed the Oxford Canvas, a synthetic man made fabric. Oxford Canvas looks and feels just like traditional cotton but it’s stronger, more durable and it’s waterproof straight away. Oxford fabric is tremendously strong and it also holds colour better than cotton canvas, which does fade over time. It’s also more robust against rot, mould and mildew making it the ideal choice for campers who want a bell tent, but aren’t keen to take on the additional care and upkeep associated with 100% cotton canvas.
Polyester tents We also have a range of polyester tents available on our site which are particularly good for those looking for a lightweight and waterproof tent in a classic bell tent design. As well as being lighter, the big benefit with our polyester tents is that they allow you to own a bell tent, but at the fraction of the usual price you’d pay.
Bell tent sizes
Boutique Camping offers tents in a variety of different sizes, from 4m tents suitable for solo campers, right through enormous 8m tents ideal for large groups. All of our bell tents benefit from generous doors making entry and exit a doddle and they all have great head space, making them feel spacious, bright and airy. Choosing the right size of bell tent for you however will depend on a few different factors.
What size bell tent is best for you? Our 4m Bell tent is perfect for single campers, couples and small families, sleeping up to 4. If you want to factor in living space, camp furniture and luggage however, you might be better off choosing something a little bigger, and our 5m bell tents are generally the perfect size for family campers. Our 5m tents provide additional space that will give you enough room to set up a table and chairs and even a camp kitchen inside your tent, making it our most popular tent choice for families. Our 6m Bell tent is great for larger families and it can sleep up to eight adults comfortably, with plenty of space to create a luxurious glamping haven. By comparison our 7m and 8m Bell tents are enormous with enough room to seat around 20 people and standing space for many more!
If you still aren’t sure what style, material or size tent to choose, why not get in touch with one of the friendly team who can advise you further? You can find all of our contact details here, and we’ll be only too happy to help you find the perfect tent for you!