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The Ultimate Bell Tent Size Guide

6 min read 0 Comments

Canvas bell tents are a wonderful addition to activities and adventures, from camping to yoga retreats to backyard soirees. But when looking to purchase, you might have lots of questions. Questions like how many people fit in a bell tent? And how do you choose the right bell tent size? Well, we have you covered in this bell tent size comparison guide!

Below, we break them all down and demonstrate exactly how many people can fit in each bell tent size comfortably and some extra tips to help you choose.

Bell Tent Size Comparisons

Bell tents many sizes, are viewed as roundish shaped (which is why many people call them yurt tents. 

The "bell" shaped canvas roof provided that illusion of these tents being round, but bell tents actually have between 8-13 sides that create the wall of the tent.  Typically you will find a single center pole that functions as the main support system, along an a-frame door pole that strengthens the entrance.  

Bell tents come in the following popular sizes (diameters):

You may wonder why so many descriptions include "meters" to communicate their size.  The answer is that the metric system is the global standard.  For us here in the U.S., the metric system is not easily converted in our minds since we've stood our ground and stuck with the Imperial measurement system.  Therefore you will likely see both dimensions mentioned to help you out. 

10 Foot / 3 Meter Bell Tent Size

The smallest usable footprint you will find is a 10-foot (3-meter) bell tent size. These tinier bell tents are designed to sleep up to four people if they’re “roughing it” in a sleeping bag on the floor. However, you can fit one full size bed or two doubles in a 10-foot bell tent, which makes it a lovely retreat for couples.  Beds can fit because this side of tent supported by a tri-pod frame, rather then a center pole.  

  • Footprint Diameter: ~9 ft. 8 inches (without guy lines)
  • Footprint with guy lines:  ~16 feet 
  • Center height:  6'3"-6'5"
  • Square Feet: 78
  • Sleeps: 2-4
  • Weight (with poles):  45-55 lbs.

13 Foot / 4 Meter Bell Tent Size

The advantage of smaller bell tent sizes is that they’re easier to carry (but still not to take backpacking). But if you seek a bit more interior space, we highly recommend a 13-foot (4-meter) bell tent that offers enough room for four to six people.  This size is most popular with car camping.

Let’s break this down further. A 13-foot bell tent can fit two full beds, one queen, or 3-4 cots. Sleeping bags are required to sleep a full six guests.

With an 8-foot, 3-inch ceiling height, the standing room is better too.

4m bell tent graphic
  • Footprint Diameter: ~12 ft. 9 inches (without guy lines)
  • Footprint with guy lines:  ~19 feet 
  • Center height: ~8 ft. 2 inches
  • Square Feet: 133
  • Sleeps: 4-6
  • Weight (with poles):  60-80 lbs.
Shop 13 ft bell tents

 

16 Foot / 5 Meter Bell Tent Size

The most popular size size bell is the 16-footer, which leans into the more luxurious side of camping:  glamping. You'll find this roomier bell tent sized used frequently as a glamping tent that is set up for several weeks at a time at one location - decked out with a posh queen bed, chairs, tables and even A/C units!

For non-glamping use, 8 adult sleeping bags around the center pole is the most this 16-foot bell tent can fit. Alternatively, this tent size can also accommodate two queen beds (which is tight) or one queen bed and two cots.

Again, the center ceiling height, door height, and wall height increase as each canvas bell tent grows in size.

5m bell tent graphic
  • Footprint Diameter: ~16 ft. 5 inches (without guy lines)
  • Footprint with guy lines:  ~25 feet 
  • Center height: ~9 ft. 8 inches
  • Square Feet: 212
  • Sleeps: 6-8
  • Weight (with poles):  90-105 lbs.

 

Shop for 5M bell tents

 

 

20 Foot / 6 Meter Bell Tent Size

Technically, this bell tent is sized at 19.5 feet in diameter, but it might as well be a 20-footer. The largest of all the bell tent sizes at Life inTents, we offer this spacious canvas tent in three styles: the Stella Stargazer, the Fernweh, and the Timberline Exchange.

How many people fit in this bell tent? With a 289-square-foot interior space, you can sleep anywhere from 8 to 12 people. Twelve people can fit in a 20-foot bell tent, however, that is assuming they’re sleeping on the ground in a sleeping bag.

Most opt to have a more luxurious experience with this size of tent, and desire a 1-2 king size beds, or 5-8 cots. With such a large space, the bed configuration options are abundant! 

20 foot bell tent chart
  • Footprint Diameter: ~19 ft. 5 inches (without guy lines)
  • Footprint with guy lines:  ~32 feet 
  • Center height: ~11 ft. 4 inches
  • Square Feet: 289
  • Sleeps: 10-12 
  • Weight (with poles):  120-150 lbs.

 

Shop 6 meter bell tents by life Intents

 

Choosing the Best Bell Tent Size For You

Now that you have your bell tent size guide and comparison, it’s time to choose the ideal style. So here are a few extra tips and tricks to keep in mind.

Consider Your Campsite Accommodations

Keep in mind that larger bell tents will require larger sites. The interior space of an unstaked bell tent is one thing, but the extra space needed for the rope supports around the tent is another. Use our handy breakdown and bullets in this bell tent size guide to verify the footprint diameter with ropes too.

Why do we mention this? Because not all campsites are designed alike, and sometimes even what appears to be a wide-open land on the campground map might not be enough room for your bell tent.

If you plan to raise your tent pole in the middle of a grassy meadow or field to stargaze, then by all means, go big! But some campgrounds tend to pack ‘em tight. So if you intend to take your bell tent camping at state and national parks, remember this piece of advice when weighing your options.

Remember to Provide Extra Space for Accessories and Gear

Standard-size tents come in a universal per-person size measurement. But if you are a camper already, you know first-hand that camping tent sizes are not always what they claim. For instance, a four-person tent realistically fits three people at the most, once you take into account the camp gear, backpacks, and pets that need to stay dry too.

So when deciding on an appropriate bell tent size, remember to leave some room for any camp gear. A canvas bell tent is a beautiful way to camp, but it’s even more stylish with a few well-appointed camp furnishings like chairs, tables, and whatever your heart desires.

In short: Quite often, families are only thinking about how many bodies can sleep inside. But provide extra space for decorations and accessories, as well as room to move about comfortably.

Adding a Stove to Your Bell Tent

For winter camping, a wood burning stove is a must. Heck, even in spring and fall, a stove adds a convenient means of cooking and a lovely ambiance inside the bell tent. So if this bell tent accessory is something you might be considering (now or in the future), it’s important to acknowledge how much room a woodburning stove can take up. Not only does it need room for the footprint of the stove and fireproof floor mat, but it also needs a safe perimeter to prevent fire hazards. It’s also worth noting that a stove will hug closer to the wall of a tent (as opposed to the center) to make it easy to install the stove jack flashing kit.

If you want to add a stove to your bell tent, we suggest allocating a sleeping bag-size space to accommodate the size. Think roughly three feet in front and three feet behind the stove.

The Winnerwell Woodlander Double-View tent stove in our shop has an 18-inch length body with spring-loaded tripod legs and shelves that extend a little past. So give your woodburning stove some extra breathing room in your bell tent to maintain a safe distance from the canvas, camping gear, and anything else – from children’s fingers to pet fur – that can smart or singe if touched.

Need Help With Bell Tent Sizes? Reach Out

If you have any questions whatsoever about Life inTents bell tent sizes, please don't hesitate to reach out or check out our Life Intents tent model comparison. We are canvas bell tent experts and can offer advice to help you discover the absolutely perfect tent for you. 

Brette DeVore
Brette DeVore

As a former hospitality interior designer with an adventurous spirit and love for travel, I now help interior designers and tourism-related businesses in creating online content and media.



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