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  4. What is The Best Canvas Tent?

What is The Best Canvas Tent?

Tipis vs Sailcloth Tent

What is the best canvas tent? You may find yourself looking at pictures of all kinds of outdoor structures. I’m sure we can all agree that they are all stunning! Unfortunately, this doesn’t make your choice any easier. Looking into the advantages and disadvantages of each type may help you decide, and there’s a good chance you haven’t thought of them all.

We’re going to focus on what we know best: Tipis and Sailcloth Tents. What is the best canvas tent? The rustic, natural vibes of a Nordic Tipi or the pure, elegant and clean look of a white sailcloth tent? Join us and lets find out!


A big question when people are looking at having an outdoor event is whether they can trust structure to stand through tough weather or any other anomalies that can come during an outdoor event. So when it comes to durability what is the best canvas tent?

What is the best canvas tent? 3 large tipis in the rain

When talking technically; the tipi comes out on top. This is assuming that the tipi is an authentic Nordic tipi from a supplier like Tentipi; who test their products to destruction, have the best waterproof canvases and have accurate structural integrity data for their structures visible to the public.

In the UK, you could leave such a tipi up all year round without any worries. As they are designed for the harsh environment of northern Scandinavia, there is nothing the British weather can throw at them that they won’t handle. We have had tipis up during some of the biggest UK storms in recent years and never encountered a major problem. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for English Tipis, that although will be fine in the summertime, can struggle in adverse weather due to not having the same quality timber or canvases.

The sailcloth tent, on the other hand, is not recommended for winter use. It is still a very strong structure and is perfect for summer use – it’s just that it may struggle in a harsh winter. The Sailcloth is completely waterproof and has good temperature control due to you being able to put the sides up yourself.


As much as we all wish it didn’t; cost drives so many of our decisions. If you’ve already settled on having either a tipi or sailcloth, the cost effectiveness will depend on the size of your event. So what is the best canvas tent when it comes to cost?

what is the best canvas tent? Aurora Sailcloth 240 at night

The sailcloth tent wins this round provided your numbers fit the capacity nicely. They are not quite as versatile as the tipis. Large kata tipis can be linked together endlessly whereas the sailcloth cannot. Two end sections make up the structure, with between 1-3 middle sections. If you have between 130-220 seated guests, the chances are that the sailcloth tent will have a lower cost. If your guests are lower; Tipis will be a better option.

With guest numbers that exceed the capacity of a sailcloth tent; there are two options. Either have a super-structure of linked tipis – or have both! Tipis and a sailcloth can look very nice together. You would also open up possibilities for the layout of your event and how to structure the day.


It goes without saying, if you’re putting this much effort into your event it is going to be incredibly stylish! With such a subjective topic, it is tough to say what is the best canvas tent. Everyone has their own opinion and there is no right answer.

What is the best canvas tent? 3 kata tipis next to a Sailcloth 240

The Tipis give of a rustic vibe, perfect for nature themes. The sailcloth suits a black tie event really well, as well as your classic white wedding. My favourite thing about both of these structures is how they look from a distance. The fact that you can see them on the last part of your journey just builds excitement in your guests! Add in that they are built specifically for your event and they send a very clear message to all who attend: It’s time!

Personally, I prefer the tipis, but I 100% see the appeal of the sailcloth and if possible I would love to have both structures together! In perfect conditions with clear blue skies and summer heat I think the two are equal – but I like how the tipis look incredible and work just as well in all conditions.

What is the best canvas tent?

The answer, as with most decisions of this nature, is it depends! Hopefully this blog has helped to separate the two in your mind so that you can start to see which fits you best. Continue your research and figure out which elements are the most important to you. As you get further into your planning journey it will become apparent which structure you really want.


Until Next Time,

The Elite Team x

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Authentic Nordic Tipi Association

Elite Tents insist on Tipis made by Tentipi and are proud members of the ANTA. Tentipi have been manufacturing Authentic Nordic Tipis for over 25 years and their quality is second to none. With a Tentipi Tent you DO NOT NEED TO WORRY about having a 'weatherproofing option' as these tents were designed for the weather in Scandanavia and will stand up to wind, rain or whatever the British weather can throw at them!