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About Us

We’ve made the tent. You make the memories…

Hand-stitched canvas, crafted wooden toggles, the great outdoors, toasted marshmallows, lemon drizzle cake and lashings of ginger beer. It’s what memories are made of.

Inspired by a bygone era and the favoured accommodation of colonial adventurers, intrepid explorers and plucky pioneers, we have taken the bell tent and reimagined it for the 21st century.

This simple but utterly ingenious concept remains at the very heart of our tents today. And inspired by Sibley’s passion to innovate and improve, we’ve made a few modifications of our own.

Our starting point was the very materials from which the tent is constructed. We use the finest quality unbleached, cotton canvas available. Canvas technology has come on a long way since Sibley’s day and the canvas we use is durable, waterproof, breathable and mildew resistant. At every point of the design and development of our range of tents, quality has been absolutely paramount, so we only use the best materials and components available. Wooden toggles from natural and sustainable sources, marine grade rope and the very best zips money can buy. It may seem like a small detail but there is nothing more annoying than a zip that jams or breaks, especially when nature calls in the middle of the night or the local badger is making a beeline for your marmalade sandwiches.

Cooler than a caravan and hipper than a hotel, our tents are stylish, practical, durable, fun and incredibly functional. Their prime purpose is obviously as a highly efficient self-contained shelter and comfortable portable pad, whether you’re hitting a music festival, the Himalayan foothills, the majestic plains of KwaZulu-Natal or the unexplored corners of your own back garden. But they work equally well as an outdoor kitchen for a garden party or barbecue, as a unique al fresco dining room, a wonderful outdoor/indoor play area for the kids, a pop-up stall, an artist’s studio, a writer’s retreat or a suburban sanctuary.

Our Story

The Vintage Tent Company

All started with a young boy and his love of camping. From the young age of 4, the creator of the vintage tent company Steve was taken on regular camping trips. His growing appreciation for camping and all things outdoors led him into Adulthood wanting more from the overall camping experience.

Then he discovered bell tents. The bell tent or ‘Sibley tent’ was invented by American military officer Henry Hopkins Sibley in 1856. His design radicalized traditional tents by being supported by a central pole that telescopes down into a tripod. Not only does this give the campers more ground space but it also makes the tent much easier to erect and pack.

Being introduced to the bell tent swiftly changed Steve from a camping fan to a camping fanatic but there was still something missing he couldn’t quite put his finger on. After owning 5 different bell tents with a number of different issues Steve decided to re imagine the bell tent and improve on what he saw were imperfections that ruined the camping experience. Aiming to create the ‘Rolls Royce’ of bell tents and make sure people buying them glamp rather than tramp, Steve deconstructed the bell tent, took everything he didn’t like about it and changed every single little niggle he had.

You will find hidden extras in our tents that you will not find anywhere else on the market. How many times have you been camping and cursed the electric hook up for needing to go somewhere terribly inconvenient that has a huge gaping hole that lets in bad weather and god knows what else?

Well, our individually designed tents have a zippable electric hook up to stop this ruining your experience. Have you ever wondered how nice it would be to have a wood burner in your tent? We have a flue hole so you can do this safely and practically.

These small issues are ones that Steve felt he needed to solve when he started his own camping company, but there was also one huge issue he wanted to address. While the traditional bell tent used to be always canvas, many other materials like cotton have slipped into the ever-growing market. Cheap imitations made in materials like cotton are ugly and smelly and stay creased no matter how hard you try not to crease them. If they get wet it is unlikely they will fully dry out for the duration of your trip and they are well known for being prone to leaks.

See why our tents are different from the rest click here

100% canvas tents not only look beautiful and are incredibly durable, but they are quick and simple to erect. So even if you are a first-time camper, you can turn your can’t into CANvas!