standard-title FAQ


Q: How do I choose a good place to pitch my tent?

It is very important for you to choose the best spot to pitch your tent. The ideal way to pitch your tent is in a flat surface with short grass, or on a solid structure.

Please remove any stones or anything that can cause damage to the groundsheet. Or anything that can cause discomfort when sleeping.

Please be reminded that pitching on an uneven spot can cause uneven tension on the tent. Things to avoid when pitching your tent:

Avoid areas with a flooding risk Avoid pitching under trees.

Q: Will there be any leaks on my brand new canvas bell tent?

Cotton canvas bell tents can sometimes leak when new, but worry not it's all part of the process. 

Weathering your tent is an important step that should be done in most bell tents, (at least for your peace of mind). When purchasing your bell tent make sure that you do not miss this step just incase you do get a leak.

In order to insure the canvas fabric is fully water tight, simply hose down your tent with water. Make sure to lightly saturate all areas of your canvas. Then simply let the canvas dry all the way though. 

Once wet, all the cotton fibres in the weave will simply swell and nestle into each other causing the canvas to be completely water tight.

Q: What's the best way to store my bell tent?

The groundsheet and the canvas must be completely dry before storing, otherwise there is a risk of mildew forming on the canvas. Even on hot days mildew can grow due to condensation and damp, please ensure that the tent is fully dried before storing.

Start by removing the A frame, then the centre pole. Once that is done un peg the ground sheet and the guy ropes, try not to drag the tent on the floor, instead pull the tent on itself and fold. 

Your storage area should be chosen with care. Please ensure that you check on your tent every so often. Most canvas tents would have been proofed, but some treatments can be less effective if your bell tent is not stored completely dry.

Q: What's better, a ZIG or a SIG?

The ground sheets in most modern bell tents are detachable and come zipped in. There are also sewn in ground sheets and pegged ground sheets.

The sewn ground sheets (SIG) have the inability to have the sides rolled up for ventilation, but they are very easy to erect and they are durable. 

Pegged ground sheets are much more difficult to use as the tent has to be pegged down after the ground sheet is down. Then the tent can be tucked under to be secured. The downside is that rain or mud can be tracked in if not accurately pegged which it is quite tricky to do.

The zipped in groundsheets (ZIG) are great as they have the ability to be rolled up for ventilation, and it is easy to peg down when erecting the tent as it is zipped into the bell tent.

They all have positives and negative points. It is down to preference the options are there for you to find the one that suits your needs best. 

Q: What's the best weight of canvas to buy?

Lightweight canvas - From 200g - 260g per square metre. The lightweight canvas bell tents provide the benefit of being lightweight, perfect on hiking trips. These lightweight canvas tents tend to be cheaper in price, and they have quick drying times even after heavy rainfall. However, they may be more prone to rips, and therefore they are not as durable. They let in a lot more light which is bad news for those mornings when you want to stay in bed just a little while longer.

Middleweight canvas - From around 285g - 320g per square metre. This weight canvas a great all rounder as it shares the benefits of the light weight and the heavy duty canvas tents. The canvas tents in this weight range have quick drying times, but also they are light enough to carry. but best of all. The canvas is very hardwearing.

Heavy duty canvas - From around 400g - 800g per square metre. The heavy duty canvas has the benefit of being really robust and durable. They are very good at keeping the light at bay and not letting too much light in the tent, giving you that extra piece of mind in the mornings. However they can be quite heavy to carry around, and it also takes a long time to dry due to the thickness of the canvas.

The decision is yours in the end, it is your preference. What is most important is how it will benefit you in the long run. These canvas bell tents are not cheap and they are built to last, so making a decision like this should warrant some time to deliberate.

Q: Are bell tents warm at night?

A good quality canvas bell tent is great at retaining heat in the winter and having a cooling effect in the summer. Due to the canvas weight, you are able to keep warmer on winter nights. If you are planning on purchasing a bell tent made out of another material you will not have the same warming or cooling effect.

You can also add a few things to your tent to ensure great warm nights. 

Inner tents can make a difference in keeping your tent warm. In those cooler nights in the winter the inner tents will make a huge difference in temperature. 

Matting for the tent can also help with heat retention. If you are thinking about keeping your tent warmer matting could be your solution. Coir matting is a natural insulator due to the thickness of the material. It will produce an excellent barrier between the groundsheet and your bed. 

Stoves are also a great way to keep your tent warm in the winter. They are a great way to create a fantastic atmosphere and give the tent a warm homely feel. 

Q: How long will my bell tent last?

The lifespan of your tent is dependent upon camping conditions, as well as the type of bell tent you decided to purchase.

Air pollution, ultraviolet radiation, natural dirt (bird droppings, sand, salt water), and domestic dirt (cooking stains, soda, wine, sun cream) can all limit the lifespan of your cotton canvas tent. The canvas tent should be good for long term use cared for correctly.

Ensuring that the tent is completely dry before storing can extend the lifespan of your tent. 

Q: Are all bell tents waterproof?

The most common fabrics for bell tents are Cotton canvas, Polyester, and Poly-cotton.They each differ in many ways, but in terms of waterproofing they all consist of different waterproofing qualities.

Most of the cotton canvas bell tents come proofed with water repellant and they can easily be retreated for water repellence, mould resistance and ultra violet radiation. There are a lot of products available on the market today that will proof the canvas tents with ease.

The Polyester tents are water proof, as all Polyester materials for tents are coated with Polyurethane (PU). This coating achieves waterproofing with all Polyester fabrics, and ensures extreme durability against rain. 

The Poly-cotton tents are water proof as they have all the good qualities of having a cotton canvas. The tent will need reproofing, but the tent will not need to be reproofed for a really long time.