You’ve got a budget to stick to, and a handcrafted, sustainably made wall tent feels outside of it. Of course, you’d love to prioritize buying an eco-friendly tent from a legacy tentmaker — who wouldn’t! But with the prices some retailers are able to offer for discounted tents made in bulk overseas, a pricier canvas tent can feel hard to justify.
We get it. And, as economical people, we’re all for you making the right purchase for your pocketbook. That’s also why we thought it important to address something the dime-store tent sellers won’t necessarily advertise — that a cheaply made tent will actually cost you more money in the long run.
There is, after all, something to the whole “you get what you pay for” truism. While pricier on the frontend, a durable, sustainably crafted canvas wall tent will save you substantially over time, compared to cheaper synthetic models that need to be replaced more often. Although it’s an extreme example, some synthetic tents are even meant to be “single use,” a fact that comes bearing major environmental costs. One Say No To Single Use 2019 campaign reported that, every year, an estimated 250,000 of these tents are trashed at music festivals in the U.K. alone — which is the equivalent of throwing away 8,750 plastic straws.
Meanwhile, well-crafted canvas tents — including our festival-ready LMNL glamping tent system — are about as far from disposable as you can get. Better for the planet and for your bank account, they’re equipped to power more than one generation’s worth of adventure.
Below, we walk through three reasons an enduring, eco-friendly canvas tent is an investment worth making.
3 reasons to invest in a sustainably made canvas tent
1. The hyper-durability of canvas wall tents means that, over time, they’ll pay for themselves.
Synthetic tents, at all price points, need to be replaced more regularly than canvas ones. The frequency of replacement will depend on everything from the tent’s exact materials and manufacturer to how regularly you’re using it and in what conditions. Nylon tents, for instance, while lightweight and naturally waterproof, fade quickly and lose efficacy under direct sunlight. On average, tents like this will need to be swapped out as often as every four to five years.
Canvas is much longer lasting — but not all canvas is created equal. Wall tents made solely from canvas can pose their own problems, as they’re more susceptible to mildew and mold when used in the wrong climate. That’s why we offer — among other rugged fabrics, with options for every climate — a heavy, 13oz blended poly-cotton Polaris fabric. Combining the best of canvas with the added protection of polyester, it makes for a super-durable, all-purpose fabric that requires replacement and repairs far less often than 100% cotton or 100% synthetic-made tents. While those fabrics may break down a bit more quickly in landfills, for true sustainability, blended poly-cotton’s lifespan makes it one of the greenest options out there.
And on the subject of longevity: a properly cared for canvas wall tent can last anywhere from a few decades to a lifetime (or longer). Multi-use and multi-purpose, when you consider this may be the only tent you’ll ever need to own, that knocks the overhead down quite a bit. At $1,049, the most compact size of our classic Atlas wall tent, used for a well-maintained 15 years, would come out to about $70 a year. (Plus, our partnership with Affirm means you can buy now and pay at your own pace!)
We know we’re biased. But we think that beats running through an inexhaustible supply of throwaway tents you’ll ultimately wind up paying more for.
2. Rip in your tent? Canvas tents are super mendable.
It’s not just the quality of our fabric, vetted by textile specialists, that makes our thick canvas wall tents so durable. With lifetime warranties, an in-house repair shop, and an on-the-road team for large-scale repairs across the country, we’re committed to helping preserve your heirloom-ready, handmade tent for generations to come.
As a craft manufacturer, we’re more than happy to take the time to clean and repair tents that are ready for more adventures. We’re here to prolong the life of everything we make, including by providing replacement parts and DIY repair guides. With 140 years in the business, that’s a whole lot of gear we’ve helped folks breathe more life into — which may not be as revenue-friendly as, say, Amazon would take. Our priority, though, is keeping tents in your family and out of landfills, even if that means we’re selling fewer tents overall. We think the health of our planet matters more.
Have a tent you think is beyond the point of repair? With a goal of becoming a zero fabric waste factory, we’re working on all kinds of creative, circular ways to turn post-consumer and post-industrial waste into new products. We accept 100% of everything we’ve ever made back for refurbishing, and what can’t be refurbished will be sent back to you in the form of a recycled, rescued-fabric bag. (Plus, when you return a damaged tent to our factory, you’ll get a discount on a comparable new tent, too!)
3. Your money is supporting the livelihoods of craftspeople earning a certified living wage.
We think being a sustainable company means more than taking care of our planet. It means taking care of all those who call it home, including our team of skilled craftspeople. Here in North Carolina, we’re building a stronger and more resilient local business community.
What, exactly, does that look like? It looks like 100% of our employees earning a certified living wage (or more) for Henderson County, North Carolina. It looks like, through our Gainsharing Program, splitting our excess gross margin profits 50/50 with employees every month. And it looks like offering benefits, like an Employee Assistance Program, to non-salaried Diamond Brand Gear employees, too, to ensure that all of our workers are truly supported in caring for themselves and their families.
We realize that knowing this may not make a difference in your personal budgeting needs. But if your money has to go somewhere, consider supporting North Carolina craftspeople and the Diamond Brand Gear mission — and, in exchange, get a tent that’ll last you a lifetime’s worth of adventure.