TENTS | Life Under Canvas 5m Bell Tent – Review

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Life Under Canvas 5m Bell Tent

What is it?

5m Canvas Bell Tent available in grey or sand £489



  • 280g 100% cotton canvas – rot, mould and water resistant
  • 540g grey PVC floor – thick and waterproof
  • Bucket style floor – prevents leakage
  • Zipped in floor – to roll up the sides
  • ABS zips – strong and durable
  • Mosquito mesh at the doors – standard in all tents with zips all round
  • 4 zip down windows – mosquito mesh as standard
  • Storage Pockets – 2 handy storage pockets for keys, wallets, books etc
  • Inside fixings – for inner tents
  • Tie back doors – easy tie back and release
  • Strong polyester guys – more secure in high winds
  • Elastic Toggles – to secure guys tidy when packing away
  • Thick grooved pegs for guys – to prevent slipping
  • Extra set of skirt pegs – extra pegs to secure skirt more tightly
  • Metal sliders – stronger than plastic, more secure in high winds
  • Metal central pole – spring loaded for strength and durability
  • Metal door poles – with foot pockets for extra strength
  • A handy carry bag – plenty of space for an easy re-pack
  • Spare floor and canvas material – for small repairs
Life Under Canvas 5m Bell Tent - Review

One of the things we’ve learned over the years is that despite canvas bell tents all looking very similar, models from different manufacturers vary significantly in terms of canvas quality and things like the height of the sides and doorway which impacts the amount of usable space inside.

First impressions

First impressions of the Life Under Canvas tent were good, and we really liked the far more contemporary colourway of the tent – a dark grey colour with contrasting lime green detailing.

Life Under Canvas 5m Bell Tent

Putting the tent up

Just like any bell tent, the Life Under Canvas 5m bell tent is fast and easy to put up and can be done by one person.

After pegging out the tent, you then enter the tent to put the sturdy centre pole into place, followed by slotting the A-frame doorway in place. With both poles in place it’s then just a simple job of pegging out the guy ropes to secure the tent in place.

The tent has premium aluminum guy rope sliders that are easy to adjust and we really liked the contrasting lime green guy ropes, a colour which is carried through to the detailing on the tent carry bag too.

Space & practicality

This bell tent has relatively high sides which help to improve the amount of usable space inside the tent, but perhaps the biggest thing we noticed was how dark it was inside.

Life Under Canvas 5m Bell Tent
Space inside the tent with our huge kitchen unit, cool box, camp loo and double camp bed in place

Quite aside from this being a negative though, we really liked the darker interior which meant we weren’t waking up at the crack of dawn and blinking into blinding bright sunlight.

The darker interior we feel mimics the blackout technology used by manufacturers of some modern family tents, making it an ideal choice for families with young children prone to rising early when camping.

Life Under Canvas 5m Bell Tent
The interior of the tent, dark even in bright daylight

The only negative of the darker material was that it made getting internal shots tricky. Even during an August heatwave, the interior still looked quite dark in bright sunshine in the middle of the day, definitely not a negative as far as we’re concerned though!

As with all bell tents, if you have camp furniture, you’ll need to factor in the sloping sides, but we found the 5m plenty big enough for our 5 day festival event which saw us pack out the tent out with not only a double camp bed, table, kitchen unit, camp loo and large cool box, but with additional costume boxes and things we wouldn’t take on a regular camping trip with us.

Life Under Canvas 5m Bell Tent
Air vents at the top of the tent

As we were camping in a heatwave and with wasps out in force, having mesh across all 4 half-moon side vents and the door was a bonus, and the doorway was tall enough to walk in and out of without needing to bend.

Final say

Our Rating
Quality 5/5
Practicality 4.5/5
Styling 5/5
Value 4.5/5

Overall Rating 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

This is a lovely canvas tent with obvious premium touches which include high-quality guy ropes and sliders, heavy duty zips, heavy-duty pegs and a strong carry bag that includes handles at either end as well as the usual longer central carry strap, which made handling the tent much easier.

The bag is a generous size, meaning that even after a hurried pack down in blistering heat that resulted in a mild case of heat stroke (i.e. not the neatest roll-up of a bell tent we’ve ever done!) it still fitted easily back into the bag and we also really liked the elastic toggles which made tidying away the guy ropes during pack down much easier.

This Life Under Canvas bell tent competes extremely well with the other more well-known brand bell tents that we’ve tested and owned, and we love the beautiful recycled bell tent floor mats too that are ideal for creating a cosy feel inside and help to insulate the tent in colder weather.

We’d definitely choose the grey over the usual sand/beige colour (as you may have noticed from our camping gear and some of the tents we use most frequently, we’re definitely not ones who like to blend in!) and the fact it keeps the interior darker makes it the perfect choice for family campers.

Life Under Canvas 5m Bell Tent

Thank you to Life Under Canvas who loaned us the featured tent to test. We were not paid to write this review.

Where to next?

Shell Robshaw-Bryan
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