Backpacking is an adventure that calls for lightweight, compact, and efficient gear. One of the most crucial pieces of equipment for any backpacker is their shelter. With the myriad of tent designs available in the market, the Bell Tent, known for its aesthetic appeal and spacious interiors, often catches the eye. But is a Bell Tent the right choice for backpacking? Let's delve into the specifics.

Advantages of a Bell Tent

  1. Spaciousness: Bell Tents offer a generous amount of space, making them perfect for family camping or group outings.
  2. Aesthetics: Their vintage look provides a unique camping experience, especially for those looking for Instagram-worthy moments.
  3. Easy Setup: With just one central pole and a few stakes, Bell Tents can be relatively easy to set up.

Challenges of Using a Bell Tent for Backpacking

  1. Weight: Our Bell Tents are made of heavy-duty cotton canvas, making them significantly heavier than the lightweight nylon or polyester tents designed for backpacking.
  2. Bulkiness: Due to their design and material, Bell Tents are not as compact as other tents. This can be a challenge when trying to fit all your gear into a backpack.
  3. Ground Footprint: The circular design means they require a larger ground area, which might not always be available in remote or rugged backpacking locations.

Ways to use a Bell Tents

A Bell Tent could be used by backpackers if each person carried a different part of the tent: for example, for a 4m Bell Tent, one person could carry the canvas, another the groundsheet, and another the poles and pegs. For two people, we would recommend our 3m Bell Tent with a separately purchased single pole to help reduce the bulk and weight of the tent.


While Bell Tents are undeniably charming and offer a unique camping experience, they might not be the best choice for backpacking. Their weight, size, and design are more suited for car camping, festivals, or glamping where transportation isn't an issue. Backpackers would likely benefit more from a tent designed specifically for backpacking, which prioritizes weight, compactness, and functionality. However, for those willing to trade off convenience for style and space, and perhaps for shorter distances, a Bell Tent could still be an option worth considering.

Bell Tent 2.0