Ready to take camping to the next level?
Then it’s time to try camping long-term. That’s right -> living in your tent!
It is entirely possible, but only so long as you have a proper tent.
In this article, we’re going to review the best tent to live in year-round, as well as its close follow-ups.
We’ll also discuss everything you need to know when choosing the right model to live in full-time.
Let’s dive straight in. Here are the best long term camping tents:
Best Overall Long Term Tent: White Duck Regatta Canvas Bell Tent
Best Budget Long Term Tent: TETON Sports Sierra Canvas Tent
Best Long Term TeePee Tent: OneTigris Rock Fortress Hot Tent
Best Long Term Wall Tent: White Duck Alpha Wall Tent
Most Durable Long-term Tent: SpringBar Family Camper
Best For a Permanent Shelter: Davis Gold Glamping Tent
Best Long-term Rooftop Tent: Smittybilt – Overlander Tent
Best Long Term Camping Tent
White Duck Regatta Bell Tent
Tent Size (People): 8 person | Tent Type: Canvas, Bell | Weight (lbs): 90 lbs | Max Inside Height (in): 116 | Floor: 16 ft diameter (201 sq ft sq ft) | Stove Jack: Yes
If you’re looking for a long-term camping tent, then look no further than the White Duck Regatta Bell Canvas Tent.
With Regatta you almost forget you’re out in the wilderness – it’s that comfortable.
Made with durable 8.5 oz army duck cotton canvas and a water repellent, mold, and UV resistant finish.
The pre-cut heat resistant silicone-coated stove jack makes it perfectly easy to get set up for living year-round with added warmth from a dedicated tent stove.
Add to that the incredibly simple setup (less than 20 minutes for one person, 10 minutes for two) and you can see why this canvas tent is so popular.
Not to mention that if the 6 person size is not right for you, this tent also comes in 2, 4, and 8 person versions as well.
- Snow, rain, wind – this tent will stand up to them all without a hitch
- Easy setup – even one person can do it without any problems within 20 minutes
- At 71 lbs. weight, it’s surprisingly lightweight for a canvas tent of this size
- Three windows provide plenty of airflow for cooling and ventilation
- Comes tent stove ready, with a heat-resistant silicone-coated 5-inch pre-cut stove jack
- It’s a bit tricky to pack it back in the bag
Best for: the best overall long-term and year-round tent.
OneTigris Rock Fortress Hot Tent with Stove Jack
Tent Size (People): 6 person | Tent Type: Teepee | Weight (lbs): 9.2 lbs | Max Inside Height (in): 93.6 inches | Floor: 93.6 x 93.6 x 273.6 in (60.84 sq ft sq ft) | Stove Jack: Yes
This tent won me over with its teepee design, but its hot tent features are what make it the top pick on this list.
First is the stove jack. If you’re going to live in a tent all year round, you want to have the ability to put a stove inside, especially during the winter.
Precut with a 3.3×3.3 inch opening, the jack is compatible with the OneTigris Tiger Roar stove system and other models with similar-sized piper.
You don’t have to worry about the smell of cooking lingering for too long inside a tent, thanks to its great ventilation system.
There are two vents at the top, as well as two large door openings. During hot weather, you can keep them all open for superior airflow.
The tent is made of 70D coated nylon fabric, which is treated with a 3000mm waterproof coating.
So even though the material isn’t thick, it can withstand all weather elements with ease.
Due to the teepee shape of the tent, the snow slides down and collects at the bottom, creating a natural barrier.
The foldable snow skirt around the entire bottom perimeter ensures no wind-driven snow can get inside.
- Very affordable for a year round tent
- Features a precut stove jack, allowing you to cook inside during winter
- It’s very lightweight and easy to set up, so you can easily change your camping spot
- The snow skirt prevents snow from getting inside, keeping you warm
- Doesn’t feature a bottom
Best for: campers looking for a low-cost but high-quality long term tent.
TETON Sports Sierra Canvas Tent
Tent Size (People): 10 person | Tent Type: Canvas | Weight (lbs): 56 lbs | Max Inside Height (in): | Floor: 144 x 144 x 98 in (113 sq ft sq ft) | Stove Jack: No
If you’re looking for a quality canvas tent at a reasonable price, the Sierra by TETON Sports is a pick worth considering.
With a canvas thickness of 285 g/m4, this tent is considered to be a great all-rounder.
It’s relatively lightweight for easy transport, but rugged enough to be very hardwearing.
And since it’s treated with a waterproof coating, it can withstand all weather elements.
All the seams are additionally reinforced to keep the rain from getting inside the tent.
I like the fact that this tent comes with a floor. It’s always more expensive to buy a floor separately, so this tent saves you money.
The floor is made of PVC material, meaning it’s waterproof and very durable.
It’s also very gentle on your feet when you’re walking barefoot.
What’s also great is that you can remove the floor when you just need a large canopy during hot summer days.
Simply zip it away, then assemble the tent as usual.
The tent features a very large opening and windows, which let a lot of sun and air in.
The mesh doors feature reliable zippers and large pulls that make opening easy.
- The canvas is waterproof yet breathable, so it’s great for year-round use
- Large doors and windows provide adequate airflow
- The bottom is removable, so you can use the tent as a canopy as well
- Built-in e-ports let you run electricity directly into the tent
- Due to its shape, there’s not a lot of headroom
Best for: flexibility in their long-term camping shelter.
White Duck Alpha Wall Tent
Tent Size (People): 12 person | Tent Type: Canvas, Wall | Weight (lbs): 262 lbs | Max Inside Height (in): 114 | Floor: 14 x 16 ft (224 sq ft sq ft) | Stove Jack: Yes
A lot of these 4 and 6-person tents are nice, but what if you need more space to live in a tent long-term? Well, then you are going to need an upgrade.
Now let me be clear: this is not a tent…this is a canvas mansion. Perfect for long-term living and room enough to sleep 12.
With 224 square feet of floor space and an incredible 9’6” center height, this spacious tent will make anybody feel comfortable.
In fact, a lot of people are using it as a second winter home in their backyard – it’s that comfortable.
On the downside, it is pretty expensive – so if you’re not 100% sure that you’re going to be heavily using this tent, you’ll probably want to give it a pass.
- HUGE – with 9’6” center height and 224 sq ft you can comfortably fit 8-10 people in there (and have room to spare)
- For such a large tent, the setup is relatively simple
- 100% waterproof (provided you season it beforehand)
- Comes with poles, stakes, and everything else you need
- Tent stove ready with a pre-cut stove jack
- Expensive – budget-conscious campers can look away
- At 200 lbs, it’s definitely one of the heaviest tents around
Best for: campers looking for the most room and high end feel out of a long term canvas tent.
Check White Duck Outdoors Price
SpringBar Family Camper
Tent Size (People): 6 person | Tent Type: Canvas | Weight (lbs): 77 lbs | Max Inside Height (in): | Floor: 10′ x 14′ x 6.5′ (140 sq ft sq ft) | Stove Jack: No
If you want to make the best use of the interior space, then a cabin-style tent like this one by SpringBar might be a better option for you.
With a height of 6.5 feet, most people can easily stand up straight without touching the ceiling.
The 3 full-height windows and a door let plenty of light in and can provide great airflow when needed.
The tent is made of boat-shrunk army duck canvas, which is a medium-weight material.
It’s strong and tear-resistant, with an additional layer of protection from moisture and mildew.
As for the bottom, it’s made of vinyl, meaning it’s heavy-duty and waterproof.
Even the mesh on this tent is military-grade.
In terms of durability, you can rest assured that this tent is going to last you a very long time, if you take proper care of it.
The tent features a large integrated shade awning covering the area above the door and window.
There’s plenty of room to set up a sitting area and even keep a part of your gear there.
Even though it’s large, this tent is pretty easy to set up, even for a single person.
You just need to stake it down, then insert the poles and spring bars. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes altogether.
- With a height of 6.5 feet, most people can easily stand up straight inside the tent
- The door and full-height windows let plenty of light and air inside
- The tent is quick and easy to set up
- A large awning provides ample outdoor space
- Relatively heavy for a tent this size
- Doesn’t include a stove jack
Best for: those looking to camp long-term without a tent stove.
Davis Gold Glamping Tent Package with 16 x 20 Natural Canvas Wall Tent
Tent Size (People): 12 person | Tent Type: Canvas, Wall | Weight (lbs): Depends on Custom Order | Max Inside Height (in): 84 inches | Floor: 16 x 10 (320 sq ft) | Setup Time: 1 hour
Who said that you must sacrifice space and comfort to live in a tent?
This tent by Davis Gold is practically a canvas house when it comes to size.
With the dimensions of 16 x 20 feet, you have plenty of space for the whole family (320 sq ft).
As for the height, the side walls are 5.9 feet tall around the wall edges. This leaves enough room for most people to comfortably stand up anywhere inside.
On the front side, the tent features a large awning that covers a 7-foot covered patio.
There’s enough room to hang out underneath as well as to have an outdoor kitchen set up.
The tent is made of a Sunforger army duck canvas, which is water, rot, and UV-resistant.
You’ll need to additionally season it at home, but when you do, it will withstand all weather elements.
The tent features a tall and wide mesh door that provides beautiful views of the outdoors.
During colder months, you can keep the cool air out with the Colorado tent closure.
It features both zippers and a flap, so it provides excellent weather protection.
There are also 3 large mesh windows. They let lots of light through, so you won’t even feel like you’re inside a tent.
They also provide great airflow during hotter months of the year.
- With the dimensions of 16×20 feet, this tent provides quite an ample living space
- A 7-foot covered patio is great for an outdoor sitting area
- Large doors and windows create adequate airflow and let lots of light in
- The canvas is treated for protection against mold and mildew
- 12″ of ripstop vinyl coating on the bottom of the tent walls for weather protection
- Replaceable and removeable screen doors
- Pretty expensive
Best for: glamping and large families.
Smittybilt – Overlander Tent
Tent Size (People): 3 person | Tent Type: SUV, Rooftop | Weight (lbs): 116.5 lbs | Max Inside Height (in): 51 in | Floor: 95 x 56 in (36.9 sq ft sq ft) | Stove Jack: No
Looking for something a bit more mobile and easy to set up/take down – but that can weather the 4-seasons and create a decently livable situation?
Well, the Smittybilt Overlander tent unfolds right on top of your SUV, making setting up and taking down a breeze.
There’s plenty of room to fit two adults, even if they are over 6 feet tall, as well as pets or children.
While the shelter space is small, you’ll make up for it in mobility.
Most of the other tents on this list are going to be tents that you set up and leave up. But not this one!
You can easily move about and travel the country all while living in your tent!
- The multiple windows and big sunroof give this tent lots of light and ventilation, as well as making it great for sightseeing
- Unfolding the tent and attaching the rainfly only takes a few minutes – refolding the tent only takes a few minutes, as well
- The ladder to get in and out is safe and sturdy, even in the dark
- The tent is roomy, even for adults that are over 6 feet tall
- Made with rugged, durable material, this tent is waterproof and sturdy, even under stormy conditions
- Placing the tent on the roof of your car might take two people since it weighs over 120 pounds
Best for: campers who don’t want to take up a lot of campground space, or want to be high off the ground.
Factors To Consider Before Buying a Tent to Live in Full Time
How does one pick the best long term tent? Well, there are several factors you need to take into account when buying.
This one is pretty clear – you need to find a tent that’s large enough for the entire household (or better said, tenthold?).
And I’m not talking just cramping up like sardines. You want everyone to sleep comfortably.
Plus, you’ll need a place for your gear. This is no typical camping trip.
You’ll need much more stuff, for different weather conditions. Therefore, you’ll need to have enough place to store all of that.
Depending on where you’re situated, you might experience all four seasons while living inside a tent.
For that reason, a tent must be waterproof at the very least.
Of course, you should also make sure that the tent is suitable for both hot and cold temperatures.
This is where canvas fabric will really shine over traditional tent fabrics.
Most long-term tents have a pretty tall ceiling, to make moving around inside much more comfortable.
But the higher the walls, the more they can catch the wind.
Not all tent shapes can equally hold up against the wind.
Teepee and bell-shaped tents are somewhat more stable in wind than cabin-shaped ones.
That is why we recommend the White Duck Regatta Bell Tent over some of the other styles.
The tent frame also matters (look for galvanized steel), as well as the material of the stakes.
While steel is generally stronger than aluminum, the latter can bend under wind pressure without breaking or losing stability.
Durable And Heavy Duty
Casual camping tents aren’t exactly designed to be used in bad weather for more than a few weeks at a time.
Constant moisture and wind can definitely damage them in the long run. But with long term tents, that’s not the case.
You need something that can withstand all weather elements for a long time. For that reason, you need to find a tent that’s rugged and durable.
Aside from the choice of material (which we’ll discuss in the next point), pay attention to the additional coatings that can extend the life of the fabric.
While nylon and polyester are considered to be pretty durable options, they’re not ideal for long-term camping.
These materials can wear out pretty fast, especially when affected by bad weather for a long time.
This can somewhat be prevented with additional coatings.
The canvas tent is a universally great option for long-term camping.
The material can be seasoned to be waterproof, yet it’s breathable. This makes it suitable for both hot and cold weather.
What’s more, you can use a wood-burning stove inside.
In case the tent doesn’t originally feature a stove jack, you can install your own with a little bit of work. We don’t recommend it though, since most of the tents with pre-installed stove jacks have a fireproof, meltproof coating.
Good Ventilation for Summer Use
During hot summer days, you’ll need to achieve adequate airflow to make being inside the tent bearable.
Aside from mesh doors, your tent should also have vents positioned in such a way as to let the breeze go through when they’re open.
There are some other features that could make long-term camping even more enjoyable.
Awning – this allows you to hang out outdoors without getting affected by weather elements. It also provides additional room for storing gear.
The Davis Tent comes with a huge 7′ awning extension, but most of the tents on this list will have awnings that can be purchased separately.
Tent Stove Jack – usually found on canvas tents, but hot tents come in various shapes and sizes.
The stove jack allows you to use a wood-burning stove inside the tent during winter.
Windows – windows let more light and air in.
A tent with windows feels more like home than a tent.
How To Build A Permanent Tent Shelter In The Woods
Ready to settle into the woods? There are a few things you need to know about building a long-term shelter in the wilderness.
Choosing a Location
Since you’re going to be out there for a while, you want to find a location that’s close to all the necessary resources, such as a water source.
Even more importantly, you should try to avoid locations with potential dangers.
For instance, flooding or avalanche areas are definitely places you don’t want to be situated in during bad weather.
Take into consideration the wildlife as well. You don’t really want to camp right next to the bear cave, do you?
Choosing a Tent
The next thing on your list is picking the right shelter. Make sure it’s designed to withstand different elements.
If you’re situated in an area with a warm climate, you might not need a tent that’s designed for winter camping.
But if you do, make sure it can withstand the snow.
Waterproofing your tent is a must if you own a canvas one.
The coating should also be applied on nylon or polyester ones, as their original waterproofness will wear down over time.
Additionally, you should also seal the seams, as that’s the part of the tent that naturally lets more moisture in.
Also See: Best Tent Waterproofing Spray [Top 5 Reviewed]
In case you’re camping during winter, you should take additional steps to winterproof your shelter.
This means using additional ground insulation.
If there are dry leaves nearby, pile them up underneath the tent.
Then, place a tarp over it. This will prevent the cold from coming in from below.
You can also add carpets and rugs for extra coziness.
In case of extreme cold, you can also add a space blanket as the inner liner of the tent.
It will assure all the warmth stays inside.
Bonus: Build a Tent Platform
With a little more time and money invested, you can create a tent platform that will ensure the ground underneath you is perfectly flat.
What’s more, it will also serve as ground insulation.
Keep in mind that the platform will be exposed to weather elements.
For that reason, you want to use treated lumber and fasteners designed to withstand changing weather conditions.
Can you live in a tent year-round?
Yes, you can, as long as you’re properly equipped to do so.
You need to have a tent that’s designed to withstand all weather elements experienced year-round in the area you’re camping.
Can a tent be permanent?
A high-quality tent can be used as a permanent shelter, as long as it’s designed to withstand changes in weather.
Of course, you also need to take proper and regular care if you want it to last a long time.
What is the most durable tent?
A canvas tent is a more durable option. When you season and waterproof it, it will hold well all year round.
Can you live in a tent in the winter?
As long as you take proper measures so that your tent withstands harsh weather, you definitely can.
Your tent needs to be both waterproof and breathable. Plus, you need to be able to warm it up without losing too much heat through the walls.
Are there tents you can live in?
As long as you’re able to make sacrifices, you can actually live in a tent. Of course, you need to use a model that’s able to withstand weather elements throughout the year.
Can you live by camping?
Sure, as long as you’re situated in a location that allows living in a tent indefinitely.
How much should I invest in a tent?
Since this tent is going to be your long-term shelter, it’s always worth investing a bit more.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you should buy the most expensive one.
But if the difference in price is a good reflection of the quality and longevity of the more expensive model, it’s well worth considering investing more.
To Sum Things Up
When you’re long-term camping, you absolutely need a tent that can pass the test of time.
It has to be durable and weather-proof.
We believe that White Duck Regatta Canvas Bell Tent checks all the boxes.
It’s also spacious, affordable, and has a precut stove jack. What more can you ask for?