September 14th, 2020
Wall Tent Flooring 101: What to Know Before You Buy
Choosing a Wall Tent Floor for Your Trip
Staying in a wall tent can be significantly more comfortable than a traditional, synthetic camping tent. The primary reasons for this are that wall tents provide versatility when it comes to usage of the space, and the breathability of the natural cotton canvas keeps you cool in summer and warm in colder months.
When deciding on a wall tent, it’s important to consider the features that come with it, some of which include a stove jack, windows, pocket organizers and a floor. While features like windows are considered essential, a floor tends to be given less priority but is also very important.
If your wall tent doesn’t have a floor, it may lead to some unpleasant situations during your stay. Not having a floor on your tent can make for a damp night’s sleep. It also welcomes insects and other critters into your temporary home.
If you’re in the market for a wall tent, we talk about different types of floor options and why they’re important in this post. Ultimately, the one you go with will depend on the nature of your trip.
Do wall tents come with a floor?
Typically, your purchase of a wall tent does not come with a floor. This could be beneficial as it gives you the option of choosing the kind of floor for your tent. On the other hand, it is an added cost you need to incur after purchasing your tent.
White Duck’s Alpha Wall Tents come with a free-floating vinyl flooring, customized to the size of each tent so they cover the entire interior footprint of the tent.
Types of Wall Tent Floors
There are different types of floors that you can choose for your wall tent. Each one has its own pros and cons, which depend on what you plan to use your tent for. These include a free-floating floor, sewn-in floor, full floor and 3/4 floor.
Free-floating floors are exactly as they sound. This type of floor is a separate piece that you lay down on the ground before building your wall tent. Free-floating flooring is very easy to set up, as it just requires you to lay it on clear, even ground. The poles of the frame of your tent hold the floor in place securely without any complicated installation or connection.
This type of floor is easy to clean, compact to carry, and can be easily replaced if it’s damaged. It can also be used as a tarp in other instances where it isn’t needed as a floor. While this is a simple and easy to use flooring option, it does not offer as much protection from the elements as some of the other flooring options do.
All White Duck Outdoors wall tents come with a free-floating floor. We understand the need to create a customizable space but also have the option for easy cleaning and carry, luxuries which a sewn-in floor doesn't provide.
A sewn-in floor is often not recommended by users of wall tents. While it does the best job at keeping pests out of your tent, it also adds significant complexity to the setup process. A tent with a sewn-in floor requires more people to construct, as it’s much harder to build while you’re fully inside the tent.
Another reason this type of flooring isn’t recommended is that tent material is very high-quality and expensive. Walking on it all the time causes a lot of unnecessary wear and tear to expensive materials. So, while this may be the most protective option for your tent setup, it’s worth thinking about the troubles you may encounter with opting for a sewn-in floor.
The full tent floor covers the entire floor of your tent. It is made to fit your size tent exactly, but isn’t sewn in. The full floor is customized to the specific tent sizes, so it covers the entirety of the floor of the tent it's meant to be used for, without much extra material.
Full Floor (With Stove Cut-Out)
Another option is choosing a full floor with space designated for a stove. This is the same as the full floor option described above but it has a section missing for you to place a stove. While some floors like this just have a missing piece, others have a zippered section that can be removed to place the stove.
The 3/4 floor covers the ground of three quarters of the floor of your tent. It’s designed to cover the back part of your tent, while leaving the front quarter of the floor of your tent to be bare ground. You can place your stove on the bare ground portion of the floor, or even use it as a little mud room to place your wet and dirty clothes.
A floor like this is especially useful if, rather than glamping, you expect to find yourself roughing it in the woods and facing harsh weather. In this context, the 3/4 floor allows you to keep the actual floor clean, while taking shoes off or discarding dirty clothes when you first reenter the tent from outside.
Wall Tent Floor Materials
When it comes to the material for your flooring, there are a few things to consider. First, the floor of your tent should offer some water protection. At the very least, the material you choose should be water resistant. Waterproof flooring keeps everyone inside your tent the most comfortable in any type of weather.
Another quality to consider is the durability of the fabric you choose. Since it will be on the ground and walked on, it should be thick enough to resist easy puncturing or abrasion. Examples of quality tent floor materials are treated ripstop nylon, polycro, silnylon, or kerlon. It’s important to note that many of these materials are not waterproof without being coated or treated with an additional finish.
Choosing a Wall Tent Floor Before Your Trip
Keeping all this information in mind, when you're thinking about investing in a wall tent, it's advisable to choose one that comes with a floor. The advantage of this is that you can be sure the floor will be the right size if it's included with your purchase.
It's also a cost saving, since you don't have to incur an additional cost on top of your wall tent when buying a floor separately. All White Duck Outdoors tents have a free-floating floor included, which not only gives you the flexibility of customizing your space, but means the floor is also easier to remove, clean and pack up after your trip.
If you do find yourself in a situation where you have to buy the floor separately, we'd recommend going with a free-floating floor for the reasons mentioned above. Sewn-in floors generally make the wall tent tougher to pack and store away, and 3/4 floors don't cover your entire space.
Written by Mike Williams
Mike is an avid outdoors enthusiast with a great love for the American West Coast. Having graduated with a degree in Communications, Mike quickly moved into freelance writing for a variety of brands before joining the White Duck Outdoors team to work in a role and industry that excited him..
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