8 Best Tents for Year-round and Long-term Living

8 Best Tents for Year-round and Long-term Living

We researched for 12+ hours to choose the WHITEDUCK Regatta Canvas Bell Tent as our top canvas tent for year-round and long-term living. For synthetic tent lovers, we’re impressed with the CORE 9P Lighted Tent.

Buying a tent to live in for the long-term can definitely be scary! What a commitment! 

Plus, separating the good tents from the bad are more important than ever since you’ll be staying in your tent for an extended period.

To help you narrow down your choices, we chose the WHITEDUCK Regatta Canvas Bell Tent as our favorite canvas option. Offering multiple sizes and all the ventilation and insulation properties of canvas, you can’t go wrong with this choice. 

But for those who aren’t ready to commit to the higher price and weight of a canvas offering, the CORE 9P Lighted Tent is our top pick thanks to its weather resistance and lovely LED lights.

Best Tents For Year-Round And Long-Term Living – comparison table

Product Name Recommended Capacity Weight/Size Price Notable Features
WHITEDUCK Regatta Canvas Bell Tent 4-6 51lbs, 10’, other sizes available $$$$ Weather resistance and stove jack for cooking/staying warm
Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Tent  1-2 57.7lbs, 9×8’ $$$$ Hardy winter camping option with superior insulation
Coleman Elite WeatherMaster 6 Screened Tent 3-5 35.8lbs, 11×9’ $$ Extremely strong weather resistance, tough floor can withstand pet traffic
CORE 9P Lighted Tent 3-5 35lbs, 14×9 $$$ Features integrated LED lights with 3 brightness settings
Raptor Series SUV Camping Rooftop Tent 1-2 159lbs, 4.5×6.5’ $$$$$ Mobile 4 season camping
Gazelle T4 Plus Extra Large 4 to 8 Person Portable Pop Up Outdoor Shelter 4-6 58lbs, 7.8x 14′ $$$$ Durable construction,  instant setup, standing height
DANCHEL OUTDOOR 8 Person Large Lightweight Yurt Tent 3-5 30lbs, 16.4’ $$$ More affordable canvas-like alternative
Dome Camping Tent 5-6 Person 1-2 14lbs, 12.5’ $$ Affordable fair weather tent that can be converted to a full screen room

WHITEDUCK Regatta Canvas Bell Tent

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 9/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 8/10
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 9/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 5/10, pitching is a bit of a process
  • Weight & Portability (10%) – 6/10, 51lbs is heavy
  • Company history and reputation (10%) – 8/10

Best for: 4-6 glampers who want to invest in an incredibly comfortable and stylish lifelong tent; $$$$

For anyone looking for a serious, 4-season long-term tent, the WHITEDUCK Regatta Canvas Bell Tent might have your name on it.

There’s a lot to love about the WHITEDUCK Regatta. First, it comes in 3 sizes, from 10’ – 16.5’ in diameter. This offers plenty of flexibility regardless of your group’s needs.

And with a standing height of a whopping 10’, even the tallest campers will feel right at home.

As far as durability goes, this thing is a beast. It’s constructed with a special fabric called Dynaduck canvas. This fabric is army-grade cotton that’s pre-treated for waterproofing and resistant to UV rays and mold.

Plus, there’s a 5” stove jack, meaning you can stay cozy through the coldest nights with a serious tent heater. Or you could whip up something tasty….all from the comfort of your tent.

When it comes to withstanding the weather, users give it a giant thumbs-up. It’s held its ground through 30 mph winds, and stayed dry through plenty of storms.

Pros:

  • Plenty of size options 
  • Heavy-duty; will be a lasting investment that retains its longevity and value
  • Handles bad weather like a champ
  • Stove jack included for cooking or staying warm

Cons:

  • Heavy at 51lbs; getting it to your destination will be a bit tedious
  • Slow setup

Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Tent Deluxe 

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 8/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 7/10, great in extreme temperature shifts and rain, not so great in the wind
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 9/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 5/10, setup takes some getting used to
  • Weight & Portability (10%) – 6/10, 57.7lbs is considerably hefty
  • Company history and reputation (10%) – 8/10

Best for: couples or an individual looking for a cozy yet heavy-duty canvas option that excels in winter; $$$$

The Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Tent Deluxe is the tent for you if you plan on camping through an extremely cold winter. Full stop.

It’s constructed with an extra thick cotton canvas that includes a special “hydro-shield” coating.

Campers are incredibly impressed with its durability, hardiness, and most of all, its incredible insulation properties.

Yet, the Kodiak continues to deliver. 

Despite it’s extra-thick canvas construction, it still manages to be quite breathable. So if you get stuck waiting out a snowstorm, don’t worry: bunker down in your tent, close the 4 windows, and stay nice and toasty.

As far as weather resistance goes, it’s sort of a mixed bag. 

Sure, the Kodiak Canvas can handle water – rain doesn’t phase it thanks to that aforementioned coating.

However, it does struggle a bit against gusting winds. This is thanks to its shape, where the flat edges have the potential to act as a giant parasail.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty cotton canvas can handle rain and insulate through the coldest days
  • Very breathable
  • Awning overhead is a nice touch; good for reclining out of the sun
  • 6’6 standing height

Cons:

  • Heavy at 57.7lbs
  • Mixed feedback regarding performance in extremely high, sustained winds
  • Complicated pitch

CORE 9P Lighted Tent

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 8/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 7/10
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 8/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 9/10, instant setup
  • Weight & Portability (10%) – 7/10, 35lbs is somewhat cumbersome
  • Company history and reputation (10%) – 7/10

Best for: 3-5 campers looking for an all-around tent with lighting for a home-like feel; $$$

Anyone on the hunt for a tent that not only handles the majority of weather scenarios, but also feels like home, the CORE 9P Lighted Tent is a great place to look.

What do we mean when we keep talking about a “home-like feel?” Well, this tent brings the brightness of your home kitchen right to your campsite! 

This is thanks to its wildly bright 950 lumens built-in LED setup. Not to mention, it’s equipped with 3 different brightness settings. 

The lowest is gentle enough to act as a nightlight so you don’t need to fumble around for those late-night bathroom runs. Conversely, the brightest is brilliant enough to light up the night!

Meanwhile, you aren’t trading performance for luxury. Instead, the CORE 9P has proved its worth in the field. Users have confirmed that they stayed dry through multiple rainstorms and nasty wind.

That said, this is not a 4 season tent. So if you do plan on camping through an arctic winter, you’d better bring an impressive tent heater, or look elsewhere.

Pros:

  • Integrated LED lights have 3 different brightness settings for all scenarios
  • Operated by an interior and exterior control panel so you can handle the lights in or out of the tent
  • Stands up to bad weather conditions
  • Instant setup!

Cons:

  • Not the warmest and best insulated offering on our list

Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Tent With Screen Room

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 7/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 8/10, confident bad-weather performance
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 9/10, users are happy with the quality
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 6/10, 30 minutes isn’t the fastest setup
  • Weight & Portability (10%) – 7/10
  • Company history and reputation (10%) – 8/10

Best for: 3-5 campers who’d like a warmer-weather tent for long-term camping with pets; $$$

The Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Tent With Screen Room manages to bring a lot to the table, but let’s start with its weather performance.

Campers have taken this tent pretty much everywhere and subjected it to all sorts of bad weather. Some of these forays have included extended periods of downpouring rain.

Despite this, the Coleman WeatherMaster didn’t leak whatsoever. Most likely, this is due to the bathtub floor and fully taped and inverted seams.

As such, this tent is ideal for 3 season camping, regardless of any summer thunderstorms that may come your way.

Next, the floor is made of 1,000D polyethylene. That’s a really durable floor, which campers have tested by taking along their furry companions. 

Thankfully, the floor handled pet traffic without any issues. So if you’re concerned about bringing your canine friend, fret no more!

To top everything off, you’re also getting a bonus screen room. This is a great place to retreat into nature when the confines of your fabric house start feeling a little too stuffy.

Pros:

  • Screen room for relaxing outside of your home-away-from-home
  • Takes driving winds and rains without any concern
  • Pet friendly floor!
  • Room divider for partitioning and privacy

Cons:

  • Screen room isn’t weatherproof
  • Not the fastest setup

Raptor Series SUV Camping Rooftop Tent

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 6/10, small compared to others on our list
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 9/10, quite weatherproof
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 9/10, durable and long-lasting
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 9/10, instant pitch
  • Weight & Portability (5%) – 6/10
  • Company history and reputation (10%) – 7/10

Best for: couples or individuals who want a long-term tent that’s as mobile as it is functional; $$$$$

For the footloose among us, look no further than the Raptor Series SUV Camping Rooftop Tent as your long-term, mobile living solution.

Clearly, this is a rooftop tent. It mounts to the top of your Jeep, SUV, or any other compatible vehicle. As such, you obviously won’t have the walkaround livability that’s offered by the other long-term tents on our list.

Instead, you trade standing room for ultimate portability. And when you’re hanging out in this thing, it’s actually quite comfortable!

In addition, users love the weatherproofing capabilities. So no, when the weather turns sour, rest assured you won’t have to shelter in your car!

Plus, the Raptor boasts superior insulation properties, making it an ideal choice for 4 season camping.

Just remember that this is not a large or luxurious offering. With floor dimensions of 4.5×6.5’, you’d better get real cozy with your partner, or bunk up alone.

Pros:

  • Rugged construction withstands bad weather and extreme temperatures
  • Great ventilation 
  • Easy pitch

Cons:

  • Small even for 2 people

DANCHEL OUTDOOR 8 Person Large Lightweight Yurt Tent

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 8/10, users were happy with the size overall
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 7/10
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 8/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 7/10, about 20 minutes to set up
  • Weight & Portability (5%) – 7/10
  • Company history and reputation (10%) – 7/10

Best for: 3-5 campers looking for something that offers many of the same benefits of canvas but at a lighter weight and price; $$$

If you want an easy segway into the world of canvas tents, we suggest you check out the DANCHEL OUTDOOR 8 Person Large Lightweight Yurt Tent. It offers the great breathability you expect from canvas while coming in at a fraction of the cost and weight.

This is accomplished through the use of 300D Oxford fabric. Oxford is a type of cotton blend, so it sits somewhere between synthetic and pure canvas.

With floor dimensions of 16.4’, you’re getting quite a lot of tent for your money. In fact, a lot of campers were impressed by the sheer size of it. Additionally, the 10’ ceiling height helps sweeten the deal.

And even though the DANCHEL OUTDOOR is much more affordable than its canvas cousins, it doesn’t skimp out when it comes to performance.

For instance, it breathes like a true canvas tent. Users had no trouble with the ventilation woes that might accompany a synthetic option.

Pros:

  • Ventilation of canvas for a fraction of the weight
  • More affordable price tag
  • 16.4’ is a good size that campers love
  • Can handle poor weather

Cons:

  • The windows can’t be zipped from the inside

Dome Camping Tent 5-6 Person

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 7/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 6/10, not the best for bad weather
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 7/10
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 7/10
  • Weight & Portability (5%) – 8/10, 14lbs is pretty reasonable for a tent of this size
  • Company history and reputation (10%) – 6/10, not well known

Best for: couples or individuals on a budget willing to investigate a unconventional and bold option; $$

If you’ve been feeling frustrated by the sheer cost of some of these long-term tents, allow us to show you the Dome Camping Tent 5-6 Person.

Unlike some of their more expensive counterparts, this tent makes the world of long-term tent dwelling accessible to those of us without a lot of spare cash.

And although it’s affordable, you’re not buying a hunk of junk.

For one thing, you’re getting a reasonable amount of space at 12.5’ in diameter. This is nowhere near enough room for the advertised 5-6 people though. 

For that reason, we recommend this tent for couples or individuals, especially if you’re going to be living in it for longer than average.

One thing we love about this Dome Camping Tent is the fact that you can transform it into a screen room! That’s right – remove the rainfly and you end up with a tent that’s 100% made of mesh, aside from the floor.

This will likely make those days when you’re a little tired of tent life feel…well, less restricting. Simply open the fly when you need to escape your tent walls, yet also remain protected from bugs.

Pros:

  • Much more affordable option
  • Transforms into a giant screen room
  • Comes with colorful flags and pennants to festoon your tent with your own flair

Cons:

  • Not the hardiest option for bad weather
  • The steep taper makes it tough for multiple people to be fully standing simultaneously

Gazelle T4 Plus Extra Large 4 to 8 Person Portable Pop Up Outdoor Shelter

  • Space & comfort (30%) – 8/10
  • Weather resistance (25%) – 8/10
  • Build quality and durability (15%) – 8/10, campers praised its hardy feel
  • Ease of setup (10%) – 8/10, super quick pitch
  • Weight & Portability (5%) – 7/10
  • Company history and reputation (10%) – 6/10, not very well known

Best for: 4-6 campers who want ample space without the hassle of a complicated pitch; $$$$

The Gazelle T4 Plus Extra Large 4 to 8 Person Portable Pop Up Outdoor Shelter is worth considering if you’re tired of seeing these yurt style tents with crazy, fiddly setups. After all, you’re here to camp, not set up base camp, right?

The instant setup is thanks to the pre-assembled hubs. This means that all you need to do is pop out the corners and roof. Bam! Instant shelter.

Some campers have called this the “Taj Mahal” of camping. They likely aren’t exaggerating, due to the 7.8x 14′ floor plan. 

Then add in the 6.5’ standing height and it makes a little more sense to compare this tent to a palace.

Users were more than pleased with the construction overall, praising its hardy feel, which – according to them – beat out the cheap competition of your local department store.

The Gazelle T4 has had a few chances to prove its chops too. It was buffeted by 40 mph winds, and withstood all but the nastiest blows. So while this tent can handle a lot of abuse, it’s not quite bombproof.

Finally, this tent also comes with an additional screen room. You can even partition it off with a room divider – extra handy for when you just need a little space from your long-term roommate(s)!

Pros:

  • Instant setup
  • Hardy construction withstands most of the poor weather
  • Lots of storage options; 2 gear lofts, storage wall nets and pockets
  • Bathtub floor protects against rain leaks
  • Screen room can be separated with a room divider

Cons:

  • Can handle a lot of rough weather, but isn’t the best for extreme conditions

How to Choose the Best Tent for Year-round/Long-term Living 

A tent that you plan on living in for an extended period takes the phrase, “home away from home” to a whole new level.

As such, it’s even more important that you make your tent purchase carefully. So to help you find your perfect “fabric home,” we’ve put together this buyer’s guide.

Size

The first thing to consider with just about any tent purchase is its size, capacity, and how many people you intend on stuffing inside.

For reference, if you plan on living in your tent with a buddy or by yourself, something smaller like the Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Tent Deluxe would probably make sense.

But on the other hand, if you’re camping out with a family, you’d want something with ample space, such as the CORE 9P Lighted Tent.

It’s worth noting your personal space preferences at this point too. 

Here’s what I mean: since you intend to dwell in this tent much longer than a week-long camping trip, being extra mindful of space is crucial. 

You may initially think that you can hang with your pals without needing a cavernous space. 

But think carefully! You’d be surprised how cramped an enclosed space + a few bodies will feel after a few weeks, let alone after a year.

As such, we’d strongly recommend that you err on the side of caution and choose a tent that’s 2 – 4 sizes larger than your required capacity.

Weather Protection

If you’re going to live in a tent for the long haul, you’d better be confident in its ability to weather the weather! So let’s start with a broad overview.

When you’re shopping for a tent, make note of its season rating. 1 and 2 season tents aren’t even on this list, as they’re built for mild-weather summer trips. 

You can expect rugged performance from a 4 season tent – seen here in the Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Tent Deluxe – but be aware that you’ll be paying for it.

That’s why we recommend a 3 season tent, which is most of the products on our list. They offer good weather performance and increased breathability without the extra weight and high price of 4 season tents.

If you’re really planning on living in your tent in an extremely cold climate, check out our list of 10 best tent heaters. These should be more than sufficient to add a burst of warmth to your 3 season tent.

Next, check for taped and/or inverted seams and a bathtub floor. These are good ways of judging if the tent will hold up to downpours. 

As you can see, weather protection is a pretty in-depth subject. You can learn more about it in our article covering the 10 best tents for bad weather.

Ventilation

Ventilation refers to a tent’s ability to allow air to circulate throughout the tent. A tent with poor ventilation will quickly feel hot, stuffy, and downright suffocating!

To prevent this, some tents are naturally near-immune to ventilation woes. 

Take for instance, the WHITEDUCK Regatta Canvas Bell Tent. Since it’s made with canvas – which is inherently breathable – you don’t need to worry about stuffiness.

And even if a canvas tent isn’t your thing, not to worry. 

For synthetic tents, simply be on the lookout for lots of mesh, as well as vents in the rainfly. The Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Tent With Screen Room is a good example.

Materials

The most common fabric for tents meant for long-term use is polyester, which you can see on the Gazelle T4 Plus Extra Large 4 to 8 Person Portable Pop Up Outdoor Shelter.

It’s more durable than nylon, especially when a thicker weave (often referred to as “denier” or “D”) is used.

Although it doesn’t get as much love for lighter weight and casual camping tents, canvas is highly popular as well. Check out the WHITEDUCK Regatta Canvas Bell Tent for a prime canvas offering.

Unlike polyester, which is a synthetic, manufactured fabric, canvas is natural, made of cotton. As such, it has natural insulation properties that synthetic fabrics simply can’t match.

And yet, it does this while being extremely breathable. But keep in mind that canvas is a high-priced item.

If you’re wondering whether canvas is worth it for you, we take a deep dive as we check out the 15 pros and cons of canvas tents.

Shape

Like all other tent types, you can find long-term tents in a variety of shapes.

First up,we have cabin tents, like the CORE 9P Lighted Tent. They feature nearly vertical walls, meaning it won’t feel cramped no matter where you are in the tent.

The WHITEDUCK Regatta Canvas Bell Tent is a prime example of our next shape, a teepee tent. Their sharply angled walls offer a low profile against gusting winds.

But as a tradeoff, that same sharp angle also means you might hit your head if you’re walking around the far edge of the interior.

Extra Features

Who says that living in a tent has to mean living in squalor? You may be surprised, but a lot of tents offer a host of extra features to make your experience even more home-like.

As the name indicates, the Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Tent With Screen Room boasts an added screen room. 

Basically, this becomes your “outside living room,” minus the bugs, of course. It’s the perfect place to sit and relax when the fabric walls just aren’t doing it for you.

You could also check out the CORE 9P Lighted Tent for a real taste of home. This is thanks to the LED lights in 3 adjustable settings. 

The lowest setting is dim enough to function as a nightlight. Conversely, the highest setting is so bright it feels like sitting in your kitchen!

Final Verdict

To round everything off, our favorite choice for a year-round living tent is the WHITEDUCK Regatta Canvas Bell Tent. It’s been a long-time crowd favorite, and for good reasons. Its construction is second to none, and it even offers several sizes to perfectly fit your group’s needs.

Plus, it brings all the benefits of canvas, including superior breathability and natural waterproofing.

For those of you who aren’t super keen on canvas, we have the CORE 9P Lighted Tent. It has integrated LED lights with 3 different brightness settings. We feel it adds a true “home-like” boost to the entire experience. 

Not to mention, this tent can withstand some pretty bad weather conditions while offering plenty of room for everyone.

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