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If you love to camp by the river, your sleeping options can sometimes be limited if you arrive via a boat. We have been researching and asking the locals for advice on what is the best tent for Canoe/Kayak camping. The results we got were rather broad as there is a lot of tents available to buy both online and offline.
However, there were a few that just kept getting mentioned over and over. “Oh yea we see that tent set up all the time”, “It’s a popular Canoe tent” etc. You, yourself may have even seen some of the tents below along the banks during your boat trip. While it’s not the only thing to consider, it is a good indication that many of the fellow campers are using a similar tent.
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What To Look For When Buying A Tent For Canoe Camping?
Lightweight and portability are two of the more common requirements for a canoe camping tent. These are pretty obvious, but sometimes get forgotten in the excitement of buying another tent. If you have an adequate canoe for camping, or a camping Kayak. Then you would be aware of the exact weight limit of the canoe and therefor can budget how heavy your equipment can be.
For me, it’s how well the tent can handle the weather and longevity. I would hate to spend $100+on a tent for it to me breaking at the seems after just a few outings. However, it’s not easy to predict how long a tent will last and its ability to withstand the odd unexpected storm.
So going off just a description is not enough, you need to ask around. Go down to your local river or camping equipment store and ask the people whom are out canoe camping frequently. Get them to give you first hand experience with the tents they are using. They will give you the most honest response possible.
It’s feedback from real people and the alternative research that has enabled us to pick a few of the most recommended canoe/kayak tents for campers as listed below.
Most Popular Canoe & Kayak Camping Tent
The Timberline 4 Person A Frame Tent By Eureka
Eureka is a brand name that seems like it has been around for ever and have a number of popular tent models when it comes to the water camping lifestyle. One of the most talked about tents was the Alpine Meadows which is not available anymore.
But, the Timberline range is one of the most popular models going around. The Timberline by Eureka is very similar to the famous Alpine Meadows, minus one small feature. That is it’s sacrifices a tiny bit of space compared to the Alpine Meadows model.
But regardless of that, the Timberline is the new hot tent in town. IT cam recommended to me by many experienced campers, so it was hard to not consider. So lets have a look at why the Timberline 4 person A frame tent is good for kayak camping.
- Long Lifespan – According to people in my town that deal with tent repairs on a daily basis, the Timberline is one of the highest regarded for longevity. Huge positive for me.
- Quick and easy to set up like many Eureka tents. That seems to be part of their draw card is ease of assembly.
- The Timberline line of tents has been hitting the earth for decades now. To me this speaks volumes. For a product such as a tent to be around and to this day pleasing it’s customers is amazing.
- Not too expensive for an above standard tent which is rather roomy, keeps you very dry and is considerably light to carry.
- The optional gear loft is a great idea and compliments the mesh storage pockets well.
- 4.10″ center height which is sufficient for sitting, but bit short to stand in. But hey, this is not 5 star camping right.
The Best Lightweight Canoe & Kayak Tent
Alps Mountaineering Taurus Tent Review
Alps Mountaineering are another popular camping and outdoors adventure brand. They make some quality camping chairs, air mattresses and tents among other things.
This Taurus is a great lightweight counterpart to the Alps Mountaineering sleeping pad. Both very lightweight and made from quality/durable materials. This tent weighs a staggering 10.31 pounds. Which is quite impressive for a tent of this quality.
As for its size, it’s a 4 person tent which can fit a standard queen size air mattress. Alternatively, two adult size camping cots and room for gear.
One of the features that works rather well for the Taurus is the Weather Shield. This protects the tents extremely well from the harshest of conditions Mother Natures decides to throw on the day. Even the water proof window withstands a beating for many camping seasons. So the Taurus definitely gets a tick in the lightweight, spacious and durable department.
Overall, I think you will find this one of the better moderately priced tents that can handle all four seasons. Plenty of ventilation during the stickier months due to the mesh material on the roof of the tent. Nice touch to complete a very good tent for Kayak camping.
Best 3 Season Tent For Families On The Water
Eureka Tetragon 3 Season Tent Review
If you are on a strict budget but want a really good 3 season tent to impress the family then the Tetragon by Eureka is a good fit. Another super easy to put together tent by Eureka. Two poles construct this 4 person tent in mere minutes. However, doing anything for the first time is usually harder and longer. So I recommend trying this at home before heading out on the water.
I pretty much consider the Tetragon a budget version of the Timberline. Naturally I would always recommend the Timberline over this tent, but not every one can afford such a tent. But truth be told, this is still one heck of a tent for the price.
As for size, you can squeeze a Queen size air mattress in this tent, but you re limited on space after. Another of the shorter varieties, this tent is about 5 foot in height. So if standing while getting dressed is high on your priorities I would suggest a more bulkier tent. But for canoe and kayak camping, this tent does the job nicely at a price that won’t break the bank.
Alternatives To Tents For Sleeping By The Water
Tent Cots Rock For Solo Canoe Camping
There’s much to love about tent cots, but there’s one draw back. They are mainly suited to solo campers. You won’t be squeezing the family into one of these tents.
What they are essentially is a camping cot with a enclosed tent to keep the weather and the insects away. Which is pretty cool if you like to pack light and like your own space.
A good quality tent cot will come with a weather shield to keep the rain out and better protect you from animals, while the insect netting keeps the bugs out. If you feel a little claustrophobic over the whole ides, fear not. Oversized tent cots exist and do give you a little more breathing space. Not as much as a tent, but they are raised above the ground unlike a tent.
Hammocks Are Increasing In Canoe Camping Popularity
Camping down by the water certainly has it’s charms, but also comes with a few bugs to say the least. With hammocks growing in popularity for camping beds, more and more people are taking them canoe camping.
They are lightweight, simple to assemble and this particular hammock will keep you safe from all those annoying critters. In particular the mosquitoes!. It is fully encased in netting to keep the bugs on the outside while you relax by the water after a hard days paddling. Becasue they are so small, they make ideal bedding arrangements for camping Kayaks .
While this hammock is rather strong in the joints/zippered and impact areas it does have a weight capacity of just 250 pounds. So this may be of concern for some campers. It’s not really built for larger people if you want to sleep comfortably. It’s a bit tight int here, but none the less, its a alternative to the traditional tent.