Bell tent vs. wall tent

Glamping is a term that combines glamour and camping; in other words, a more upscale camping experience. Bell tents and wall tents are both great options for creating an ideal glamping experience.
Glamping is a term that combines glamour and camping; in other words, a more upscale camping experience. Bell tents and wall tents are both great options for creating an ideal glamping experience. (BestReviews)

Which is better: a bell tent or wall tent?

Tents provide ample shelter from the rain, snow and other outdoor elements. Whether it’s a tent intended to shelter you for a night in the woods camping, or for several days on a trip away from civilization, you’ll want to ensure you’ve got the right equipment — which all starts with your tent.

Depending on the type of camping excursion you need a tent for, two very popular tent choices are bell tents and wall tents. Since each tent comes with its own benefits and unique features, read on to discover which option is best for your next adventure.


Bell tents

Bell tents are a very common and simple type of tent. They have a single support pole in the center and are draped with a cotton canvas. Bell tents are a good choice for campers as they’re resistant to fire and water and typically are quite breathable. They are commonly seen in campgrounds geared toward a more luxurious camping experience, backyards and at festivals.

Bell tent pros

  • Depending on the size, most bell tents can be pitched by 1-2 people.
  • Bell tents are tall and spacious and have more room inside to stand, move around and place furniture.
  • Because they are fire-resistant, you can easily have a wood stove in your tent.
  • They block UV rays, which means that, in hotter seasons, you can cool down inside and escape from the sun.
  • Price-wise, bell tents are a worthwhile investment if you're planning on utilizing the tent often.

Bell tent cons

  • Bell tents are quite heavy. While some can be assembled by 1-2 people, transporting your bell tent will be difficult if you have to reach a far-off destination on foot; this is what makes them more suitable for luxury camping, festivals or at-home backyard campouts.
  • Although a bell tent could be a worthwhile investment, it really depends on how often you'll use it — if you want to use it no more than a few times, this may be a bit of a steep choice compared to a wall tent, or even a small backpacking tent.
  • While the bell tent itself is breathable, there aren't usually a lot of windows in the tent, which is a con if you like to have a bit of a view from all sides while inside.

The best bell tents 

DANCHEL OUTDOOR Cotton Canvas Yurt Tent: available at Amazon
This 10-foot Yurt tent, which is a type of bell tent, has two stove jacks and is perfect for 1-2 people to enjoy in all weather conditions. It is breathable, durable and simple to assemble, making it perfect for camping trips or even a casual backyard campout.

Outop Bell Tent with Stove Hole (Roof): available at Amazon
This large, 6-person tent is perfect for glamping or other outdoor occasions. It features screened-in windows that allow for ample airflow, a reinforced seam and space for a stove.


WHITEDUCK Avalon Canvas Bell Tent — Luxury All-Season Tent for Camping & Glamping: available at Amazon
This canvas bell-tent features durable steel poles and tons of indoor space for up to four people to enjoy. It has a jack and outlet for a stove and is easy to assemble. It fits up to six adults, so you'll have plenty of room for friends and family.

Wall tents

A wall tent is a tent that has four walls, similar to the inside of a room in a house, and typically is much more spacious than other tents. While bell tents are roomy, a wall tent allows for more space and is often used on safaris, hunting trips or longer camping trips.

Wall tent pros

  • Wall tents allow for more space inside the tent for sleeping, a stove or your various belongings.
  • They are made from a durable canvas material and are well insulated — making them a great choice for camping in colder temperatures with poor weather conditions.
  • Price-wise, they are a worthwhile investment for those looking to use it on a regular basis.
  • In terms of versatility, wall tents are used for a variety of reasons; camping, hunting trips, safaris, events, backyard parties or any other occasion that may require some indoor shelter.

Wall tent cons

  • The size of the wall tent may make set-up and tear-down difficult if you only have a few people, a limited amount of space or only plan to have it set up for a short amount of time.
  • Transporting the wall tent could present issues if you have to travel far (on foot) or have limited space in your vehicle.
  • Cost. Although it is a good investment, if you're on a tight budget, a wall tent might not be your best choice (especially if you only want to use it occasionally).

The best wall tents

OneTigris TEGIMEN Hammock Hot Tent with Stove Jack: available at Amazon
This waterproof, four-season tent is 12-feet long and fits two cots or hammocks, a stove (including a jack and outlet) and your gear. It's ideal for 2-3 people and is compact and lightweight, making for easy transportation.

Happybuy Canvas Wall Tent: available at Amazon
This wall tent is perfect for 4-6 people. It's made of durable, high-quality materials that will keep you safe and dry in any weather conditions, and it has large windows so you can enjoy the view during the day and see all the stars at night. It also has a top dormer with PVC storm flap and two vents on the front door to provide ventilation when needed.

Core 10-Person Straight-Wall Cabin Tent: available at Amazon

This tent sleeps 10 people, has a center height of 86 inches and includes two rooms. It comes with a front door and a back door and even has a 1-year warranty.

Should I get a bell tent or a wall tent?

While there are benefits to both models, when it comes to size and availability, bell tents are the best choice. You will likely find more quality options in the marketplace and they’re great for low-key camping excursions, as well as glamping, parties and festivals.

Courtney Love is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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