8 Best Tents To Live In Full Time

**If you are in a hurry I recommend the Coleman 8-Person Camping Tent with Built-in Closet as the best tent to live in for its great live-in features and ventilation options**

Whether by choice or by circumstance, knowing how to switch up your lifestyle to live inside a tent isn’t an easy transition. Especially without understanding how the tent will do in warmer or colder climates or what features could make your life easy in the outdoors. Learn which ones will be durable enough to handle the outdoors while bringing the comforts of home in the best tent to live in reviews below.

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staring outside the entrance of canvas tent

What Makes A Great Tent To Live In

Material

There are two major material categories you can consider for tents to live in that will be both durable enough to withstand the outdoors but also breathable enough to create some air circulation. 

Canvas tents are going to be much thicker, heavier, and harder to set up but its because the fibers of the material are larger and will provide better protection against rain, wind, or snow. This can trap heat inside and keep your tent feeling warm and toasty on cold days. That’s great for winter months but when it starts getting hotter outside the canvas can often create even hotter temps inside the tent than outside. But canvas will last much longer than other tents that aren’t built to handle such extreme conditions and are better suited for colder climates.

Polyester tents are probably what you think of when you imagine traditional outdoor camping. It’s a thinner material than canvas but it’s also much more breathable. Polyester tents are still water-resistant and will prevent any leaking when its raining but they allow more of a breeze to come through. They are often combined with a lot of mesh paneling to provide a ton of air flow to keep you cool during warmer weather. Polyester tents are generally better for warmer climates and will come with a rainfly for weather protection.

Weather Resistance

As mentioned above, the canvas tent is going to fare better in colder weather when you need to think about extreme low temps that include snow or freezing rain. The material is thicker and can support more harsh conditions. Also, large bell canvas tents will come with a stove jack opening so you move a whole stove inside to keep warm or cook meals. 

Polyester tents will almost always come with a rainfly of some kind so that you can be fully protected from rain but because the materials are thin and are put next to mesh you can still get lots of air circulation to keep cool. They will come with guy lines or stakes so you can secure it thoroughly during windy weather. 

Size

There are tents you can live in that are of all sizes on the list below. Generally, if you want as much space as possible and want to feel like you have your own personal home in the outdoors then a bell canvas tent will be best. You will definitely need to have a budget for this option as some of them can be more than a thousand dollars. But the upside is that they offer enough space for several pieces of furniture inside or you can house up to 14 people in some of the choices.

If you are looking more for a shelter that will offer some space but still be affordable enough for your budget then a polyester tent can be the right fit. These can store as many as 6 people inside and provide several features that can make easy like a room divider or built-in closet. 

There’s even a small 2 person tent on this option that will be durable enough to hold up in the outdoors but might not be your top choice to live in because of the very small size.

Features

Living in the outdoors isn’t always easy but if you can find a tent to live in that includes all the features you need to make life comfortable then you might not even notice that big of a difference. 

Warmer climates will need to worry about ventilation options and how you can stay protected from rain and wind without cutting off air flow. Mesh windows, mesh ceiling, floor vents, and door design will all be important inclusions to consider when looking for the perfect live-in shelter.

Colder climates will want to have a stove jack opening or full coverage rainfly in order to protect against very low temps. Without these elements you won’t have enough coverage to make it possible to stay in the outdoors for very long. 

There are other elements that can make it feel like home is just where the heart is. Features like a built-in closet, room dividers, or even hinged doors can help your transition to living outdoors easy.

Best Warm Climate: Coleman 8-Person Camping Tent with Built-in Closet

There are few other tents on this list that seem to have been built with the intention to live inside and the Coleman 8-Person has all the right features to make you comfortable in the outdoors. Complete with a full built-in closet you have a hangar bar for putting up your clothes and mesh storage shelves underneath for shoes or more clothes. And the closet even has convenient door flaps you can close to keep the organization out of sight. 

You also get an E-Port access hole where you can run an electrical cord through to power up a fan or other electronic. You’ll be reminded of home when you enter and exit because of the hinged door you can pull easily open and it will automatically close behind you. The six mesh windows and mesh ceiling provide plenty of ventilation in warmer months. The rainfly doesn’t have awnings and you don’t have a lot of protection for colder months. But if you live in a warmer climate and are looking for a tent that can bring a little bit of home to the outdoors than the Coleman is the pick for you.

Pros
  • Fully built-in closet
  • Mesh storage shelves
  • Electrical port access hole
  • Hinged door easy enter and exit
  • Full rainfly included
  • Mesh ceiling
  • 6 mesh windows
Cons
  • Not for colder climates
  • No awnings over windows

Best Cold Climate: WhiteDuck Cotton Canvas Bell Tent

The WhiteDuck is 100% cotton canvas and is durable enough to last long-term and keep you feeling comfortable in all four seasons. The canvas is water, mildew, and UV resistant and you can even choose to have a fire retardant finish applied as well. Which will come in handy given that it comes with a 5” stove jack opening so that you can safely cook inside or just turn on your stove to keep warm. 

There’s also 2 layered windows and 2 layered doors so that you can bring a little breeze into the tent when it gets warmer outside. You will need to bring some fans into the WhiteDuck during the warmer months because temperatures can get fairly hot inside. But you do have mesh on all doors and windows to be able to leave open and still have protection from the bugs. You are going to invest quite a bit more for a canvas bell tent but if you need something that you can live in for an extended period of time there are no better tent options to live in.

Pros
  • 2 layered mesh windows
  • 2 layered mesh doors
  • 5” stove jack opening
  • Can fit 10-12 people
  • 4 vents at top of ceiling
  • Very durable
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Needs more ventilation

Best Efficiency: GEERTOP Backpacking Tent

The GEERTOP is not going to be for everyone and especially if you are looking for a nice and spacious commode to live in the outdoors but if you need something extremely practical that will hold up in any weather it’s hard to beat. On it’s own it has two large mesh entrances to provide plenty of ventilation but with the full coverage rainfly on top it becomes impenetrable to weather conditions.

There are a couple of vents at the top of the rainfly so that you can still feel air flowing but the rest of the tent is completely covered. And the entrance extends outwards to provide a small vestibule where you can keep gear or keep open for some extra exposure to the outdoors without getting drenched. The rainfly even has flaps that extend past the bottom of the tent so that any rain is pushed past your tent preventing water from forming near the bottom. This is going to be your go-to choice for a tent to live in that is very functional and weather resistant.

Pros
  • Two large mesh entrances
  • Full coverage rainfly
  • Two vents on rainfly
  • Rainfly has small vestibule
  • Rainfly has extended flaps at bottom
  • Very affordable
Cons
  • Very small in size

Happybuy Bell Tent 10-12 Persons Canvas Tent

One of the only bell canvas tents on the list the Happybuy is a great long-term living tent that you can use when you need a shelter in the outdoors that will hold up over time. One of the more unique parts about this design is that you can roll up all of the sides to make it appear as if the Happybuy was floating in air. Combined with the mesh windows and doors you have great ventilation options in the summer when the inside can get exceptionally hot. 

And there’s also a stove jack opening made of fire retardant material so that in the winter you can keep warm or cook all your dishes inside. The cotton canvas is waterproof but you may want to go over the seams with a protectant because others have had slight leaking issues. It’s not quite as large as the WhiteDuck but you’ll still enjoy the spacious interior and high ceiling after being inside for a while. This tent was made to keep you safe and comfortable for an extended period of time in the outdoors.

Pros
  • 2 mesh windows
  • 2 mesh doors
  • Stove jack opening
  • Can completely roll up side walls
  • Durable
  • Water resistant
Cons
  • Can have water leaks at seams

KODIAK CANVAS Family-Tent

If you aren’t looking to make quite the investment that a bell tent would require but still want a durable outdoor tent to live in for an extended period of time then the KODIAK should be right up your alley. Comfortable enough to fit 4-6 people, you have a 6’1” ceiling height so most people would be able to walk around inside without ducking. There are four large mesh windows on the doors that you can leave open for full air circulation and there’s even an awning over the front entrance to protect from sun or rain.

You have a couple of ceiling air vents too at the top of your tent so that you can increase the air flow on hotter days when the canvas can hotbox the inside. If you are looking to move your shelter around and maybe that’s why you didn’t want to invest into a giant bell tent then the KODIAK presents some challenges because of its weight and packing time. But if you want to invest into a durable and reliable outdoor tent to live in you can trust in getting a KODIAK.

Pros
  • Tall 6’1” ceiling
  • 4 large mesh windows on the doors
  • 2 different door entrances
  • Front entrance has awning
  • 2 vents at top ceiling
  • Durable
Cons
  • Can get hot in summer
  • Expensive

White Duck Luxury Avalon Canvas Bell Tent

If you want the creme de la creme of tents to live in then there is no reason to look further than the WhiteDuck Luxury Avalon Bell Tent. Made with 100% cotton canvas and towering at 8’6” there is no tent on the market with more spacious size and durability. Not to mention if you get the 6M that you get a total of 12 different windows so that you can adjust exactly how much air flow you want throughout the day. And you have 4 vents at the top ceiling to help with circulation but that’s not all. You can even roll up all of the sides of the tent to leave it completely exposed. 

The two large doors at the entrance also have mesh so that you can leave them opening while still being protected from bugs. And some of the mesh windows actually detach and you can purchase a sleeping pod separately and attach to the bell tent for even more room. It’s water resistant and has a stove jack opening so you can cook meals inside or heat up the inside during colder months. There really isn’t any question on which shelter is the best tent to live in, it just depends if the WhiteDuck matches your budget.

Pros
  • Very durable
  • Extremely spacious
  • 8’6” ceiling height
  • Up to 12 mesh windows
  • 2 large mesh doors
  • 4 mesh vents at the ceiling
  • Stove jack opening
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Very large

HIKERGARDEN CAMPROS Tent-8-Person-Camping-Tent

Large enough to fit 4-6 people comfortably and durable enough to last you every season throughout the year, the HIKERGARDEN is a great tent to live in when you’re staying outdoors. There’s a complete mesh ceiling with 5 mesh windows including a large D-shaped door so that you always have enough air circulation on hot, summer days. And the included rainfly has small awnings over the side windows so that you can leave them open without water dripping through the mesh. 

There’s also a room divider you can zipper up across the middle of the tent so that you can separate it into two rooms in case you and your family or friends are rooming together for the foreseeable future. The HIKERGARDEN won’t perform as well in winter months as a canvas tent might but it is much more suitable to warmer climates. The CAMPROS is spacious enough for your and others and is also rain and wind resistant so you can stay comfortable while living in the outdoors.

Pros
  • 5 mesh windows
  • Large D-shaped door
  • Rainfly includes awnings over windows
  • Mesh ceiling – great ventilation
  • Room divider
Cons
  • Not great for winter

Core 9 Person Extended Dome Tent

The Core 9 Person Extended Dome Tent provides great weather resistance and air ventilation for someone looking to live outdoors. There are four official mesh windows but the ceiling is mesh as well and extends half way down the side panels to give you lots of exposure to the outdoors while still being protected from bugs. And the rainfly has full coverage across the top half with a slight awning extension over the front entrance for rain protection. 

The dome shape means that you don’t get as much headspace as other cabin style tents. So if you want a nice and roomy tent to live in where you can stand up and walk around this might not be your first option. But considering the rainfly has very good protection against wind and rain and you can fit up to 3 air mattresses this will be more than enough comfort while living outdoors. 

Pros
  • 4 mesh windows
  • Large mesh ceiling and panels
  • Rainfly fully covers top half of tent
  • Lots of ground space
  • Large D-shaped door
  • Floor vents
  • Electrical cord access
Cons
  • Not great for winter
  • Small storage bag

Summary

My recommendation for the best tent to live in is going to be the Coleman 8-Person Camping Tent with Built-in Closet because of its great live-in features and ventilation. No other closet on the market is going to come with a fully built-in closet with a hangar bar and mesh shelves. On top of that you have electrical cord access and plenty of mesh ventilation to bring in a cool breeze. The Coleman leaves you completely prepared to live in the outdoors with the same comforts of a home.

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