My first stay in a Lotus Belle tent was completely unexpected and completely amazing. For my birthday this year, I was given a surprise stay at a luxury campground. I didn't even know where I was going until I got there and found myself among an array of strange, bulbous canvas tents. Inside, there was plenty of room to stand and walk around, as well as a queen-size bed, a mini-fridge, and a small wardrobe. Soft yellow light from the lamp inside gave the tent a homely glow, and the tent stayed cool even in the steamy Thailand night.
For me, I'll always remember that sudden birthday getaway, which is what Lotus Belle strives to do. Created to help people get back in touch with nature, Lotus Belle tents are both beautiful and functional. But a one-night stay in a luxury campground is far from the investment it takes to actually purchase a tent like this. So, whether you're looking for a high-end tent for your own vacation or a place for your guests to stay, we're going to take a look at what might make a Lotus Belle tent worth it.
Lotus Belle is a luxury tent company based out of the United Kingdom. Their founder, Harriet Seddon, had been obsessed with an outdoor-centric lifestyle her entire life. She started designing the original Lotus Belle tent at 19, and in 2012 the company was born. Seddon's business partner, Jessica Walsh, recognized the eco-friendly impact of the canvas Lotus Belle tents. Most tents which were part of music festivals are nylon, which is detrimental to the environment. Having a canvas alternative that was at once beautiful, spacious, and portable, made the Lotus Belle an attractive choice for festival-goers.
A distinctive bulbous shape is what gives the Lotus Belle tent its name. Its unique shape, which accommodates the lofted ceiling meant to allow for maximum headroom in the tent, sets it apart. All of the tents in the main Lotus Belle line are spacious as well, allowing campers to live comfortably in their Lotus Belle tent. Not only can you stand and walk freely in a Lotus Belle, but all tents can fit a queen-size bed. This makes the Lotus Belle tent ideal for "glamping" or glamorous camping.
The Lotus Belle Tent and glamping
The makers of the Lotus Belle tent designed them for eco-friendly glamping. This means you can take your tent out into the wild, or into a field for a festival, and leave no footprint behind. Part of the company's mission statement is to help people reconnect with their environment and with each other. This fits with the founder's fixation on a nomadic lifestyle. They don't want you to do so uncomfortably, though, and their tent design encourages luxury. Glamping is the process of experiencing nature without sacrificing modern comfort. In a Lotus Belle tent, you can fit at least one king or queen-size bed, even in the smallest model.
The Lotus Belle's construction is particularly conducive to this. Not just content with eco-friendly tents, they also work for the most quality construction they can offer. Lotus Belle uses a high-strength canvas that is sealed to resist fire, rot, and water damage. Their center poles are made of wood or aluminum, and the guy lines which hold the tent down are made of durable 12-millimeter nylon. The tents can stay standing even in 45 mile-per-hour winds, meaning a Lotus Belle tent will keep you safe in nearly any scenario.
What Others Say
Lotus Belle has earned attention over the past six years for its solid construction and attractive design. The Festival Guy reviewed the 13-foot Lotus Belle tent across several North American festivals. The tent's size impressed him - its 20-square-foot area allowed for two queen-size mattresses or eight people in sleeping bags to fit comfortably. The Lotus Belle's regal design also caught attention from other festival-goers. At Burning Man, the tent kept out the worst of the dust, and Outside Magazine also recommended it for this purpose. Finally, the tent stays cool throughout the day so that you can rest comfortably at any time.
On Amazon, the Lotus Belle 16-foot option only received four reviews. They were all 5-star reviews. Customers were pleased with the relatively short setup time, which was between 35 and 45 minutes. They also applauded its durability in any weather situation and the excellent customer service Lotus Belle provides. Reviewers on ukcampsite.co.uk gave Lotus Belle tents 9.86 out of 10 stars. These reviewers liked the Lotus Belle's ability to stand in any weather, even in an English winter. It also earned points for its headspace and ease of decoration.
Products and Pricing
Lotus Belle's main tent, appropriately called the Lotus Belle tent, comes in three sizes: 13-foot, 16-foot, and 20-foot. These tents are the core of the company's product line and offer the most space at the most competitive prices. The 13-foot Lotus Belle runs between $$ and $$. The 20-foot tents cost as much as $$. Their product range is not limited to the standard Lotus Belle tent, though. The Lotus Mahal is a massive structure that effectively combines three smaller Lotus Belle tents into one large pavilion and costs $$$. For a more traditional camping experience, the Lotus Pearl fits two and costs $.
Glamping has become an increasingly large industry, and since 2012 Lotus Belle has had a chance to accrue some competition. The brands represented here are CanvasCamp, Heimplanet, and Montana Canvas. These tents all offer different experiences with the same goal in mind. They aim to help you get in touch with nature while maintaining comfort and, if you need, style. We chose competitors based on both their intended use and their design. Some tents on the list, like Heimplanet, are distinctly separate from the Lotus Belle in design although the creators have the same mission. Othe tents offer less luxury than the Lotus Belle while still protecting you from the elements and encouraging natural exploration.
How we reviewed
Tents were selected based on best-of lists by sites such as Forbes and Digital Trends, as well as independent research into luxury canvas tents. We reviewed the competition based on their utility, ease of setup, square footage, and price. Although we did not give the brands here a ranking or a grade, they are listed in alphabetical order.
- Sibley 450 is 4.5m (14ft 9in) in diameter with 15,8 m² (171 ft²) of floor space. The 'goldilocks' size is ideal for 3...
- Zip in/out Floor: Water and vapor impenetrable groundsheet (540 gr/m² or 15.93 oz/yd²) 'bathtub style' rises 10cm...
- Roll Up Side Walls: Unzip the floor to roll up the side walls for maximum ventilation, or remove the floor completely to...
CanvasCamp tents are the most similar to Lotus Belle's product line. This brand dedicates itself to helping people experience nature in sustainable shelters and carries canvas tents in bell, tipi, and cabin styles. Their least expensive offerings are not even tents, as they carry a partition to seal off a wall in larger tents. Their smallest canvas tent, a dome tent which sleeps no more than three people, costs $. It is 75 square feet. At the top of CanvasCamp's price range is the Sibley 600 Twin Pro, which uses two support poles to maximize headroom in a 220 square foot tent. It sleeps four on queen-size beds and costs $$
Gear Junkie reviewed CanvasCamp's Sibley 500 Ultimate tent, an $$ tent which can sleep four on queen beds or as many as eight on sleeping pads. This is similar to the 13-foot Lotus Belle, but for less than half the price. Gear Junkie reported that the tent went up in under an hour on their first try, and there was ample interior space for all of their supplies. Reviewers on Amazon gave the Sibley 400 3 out of 5 stars. There were only four reviewers. Positive reviews found that it kept warm in 10-degree temperatures with a propane heater, and stood up to 50 weeks of use.
Heimplanet's tents are, in a word, unique. Built with inflatable supports and geometric designs, Heimplanet's tents focus on ease rather than on luxury. Starting in 2008, Heimplanet's founders set out to create a tent that was sturdy and liveable, yet easy to put together. They struck upon a geodesic dome, which gives Heimplanet tents their distinctive style. While Heimplanet tents lack the luxurious appearance of others on this list, they provide good square footage and superior durability. Their flagship tent, the Mavericks, is built for extreme conditions and can sustain winds of over 110 miles per hour. It has a 142 square-foot footprint and costs $$$. Ten people can sleep in the Mavericks tent. On the smaller end, the Fistral holds two campers in its 45 square foot area and costs $ on the Heimplanet website.
Active Traveller and Independent Wolf both reviewed Heimplanet's tents. The Fistral, their smallest tent, was given overall positive scores with extra points for performance and looks. It stands out among other tents on this list in that it is not necessarily made for glamping, but goes up quickly if you are on the festival circuit. Their Cave tent, a midsize offering in their product line, sleeps three and offers 54 square feet. The reviewers gave a positive rating to the Cave for going up in a minute and comfortably fitting three. It's worth noting that these two reviewed tents do not offer the same stand-up luxury that other tents on this list do.
- Traditional 10 oz. 'A' Grade Treated Canvas.
- Montana Canvas 1 3/8" aluminum frame with patented joints.
- Front zippered door with storm flap and buckles.
Montana Canvas has been making canvas tents in Montana for 40 years. Their wall tents and lodge tents provide a sturdy and safe shelter for hunters in the wilderness. Now, they also make custom luxury tents to let you fit your tent to your needs. These tents have decades of reliable work behind them and start at $$ for the most basic luxury tent. Custom luxury tents from Montana Canvas range from 80 square feet to an enormous 414 square feet. A tent of this size would allow for several sleeping sections in one large tent.
While there are no professional reviews of Montana Canvas, Cabela's features a total of 30 customer reviews across two canvas tents. Overall, reviews were positive for the two tents. The tent's resilient structure, with plenty of space and headroom, kept them secure on trips in the northwestern United States.
Pros and Cons
As far as luxury tents go, a Lotus Belle tent is one of the best you can buy. For their price range, square footage, and number of features, it's hard to beat one for luxury camping. But they're not without their flaws, and they may not be the tent you're looking for.
Guilding The Lotus Belle - Our Verdict
A Lotus Belle tent seems to have it all. It's incredibly attractive, and its bulb-shaped design can be picked out from a field of standard-shaped tents. Its high-quality, eco-friendly materials make it sustainable and durable. The tent goes up in less than an hour, so it's best if you're planning on staying put for a few days. Even better, it keeps out dust, bugs, and water, so all of your belongings stay clean and dry. The canvas insulates against the weather outside. So, a heater can make sure your Lotus Belle is open for use year-round.
The only hanging point is the price. At its cheapest, a 13-foot Lotus Belle tent will cost you $$. For that price, you could get nearly anything from the other three companies included here. If it's a canvas tent that you want, it's impossible to go wrong with one of the offerings from CanvasCamp. While their tents don't have the same instantly recognizable appearance of the Lotus Belle, they are less expensive and offer similar sizes. If budget comes before style, consider a CanvasCamp over a Lotus Belle.
Other than the high price tag, the Lotus Belle is an instant classic of glamping and luxury. Whether you're setting up in your backyard, at a festival, or as part of a tent hotel, the Lotus Belle is both eye-catching and roomy. You'll love being able to decorate the tent, and mesh windows will let you keep bugs out while letting air in. The Lotus Belle will be around as long as people want a sustainable, comfortable outdoor experience. You should be part of that movement.