Welcome visitor you can login or create an account.
menuMenu
pukka-seal

Has my Pukka tent been treated with chemicals?

Pukka tents are made of heavyweight 100% natural cotton canvas. But to extend the life of the canvas it has been specially treated during manufacture to improve water resistance, mould resistance and resistance to the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays.

Are your zips good quality?

We use YKK branded zips throughout Pukka Tents – on all doors, windows and zipped wall-to-groundsheet joins, even the carry bags.

Zips are one of the most hard-working components of a tent – having to stand up to wind stress and heavy use – so we decided not to compromise on this, even though they cost us more to buy. You get what you pay for as the saying goes.

YKK zips are recognised as the most reliable zips around.

Is Pukka tent canvas dyed or bleached?

Our canvas has not been dyed or bleached, which means it is naturally coloured and may vary in colour from batch to batch.

Is Pukka tent canvas dyed?

Our canvas has been dyed a natural 'Camel' colour, which means our canvas tents, tarps and awnings blend in perfectly with nature. Actual colour may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Is Pukka tent canvas fireproof?

Our tent canvas has not been treated with any fireproofing chemicals as these can be extremely toxic and there is evidence that they can leech into the environment, including the air you would breathe inside your tent. Traces of chemicals used in fireproofing fabrics have been discovered in breast milk and in swabs taken from people's hands after having handled fireproofed tent fabrics.

Are Pukka tents ethically produced?

Our tents and tarps are responsibly made at regulated tent factories. All our suppliers operate according to the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI). Our suppliers produce tents for the UN and other international relief agencies, who regularly inspect for compliance with ETI standards. The main codes of conduct of the ETI are:

No forced labour
Freedom of association and right to collective bargaining
Safe and hygienic working conditions
No child labour
Wages are reasonable and fair
Reasonable working hours
No discrimination
Regular employment
No physical or verbal abuse
   

Are Pukka tents and tarps easy to erect?

All our tents and tarps are so easy to put up that you can even do this on your own, although it always make things a lot easier when there are two of you. Full instructions are available to download to guide you through the stages. You will be amazed at how quickly you can put up/take down one of our tents once you are used to it.

see FAQ 'How do I erect/care for my bell tent/tarp?'

What is “Leave No Trace”?

Leave No Trace is both a set of ethical and practical principles and the organization that promotes those principles.

The principles are intended to help all outdoor enthusiasts in making decisions about how to reduce their impact on the environment whilst enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, bike riding, fishing, skiing – or even enjoying a picnic. The basic principles make good karma for all of us to practise.

The organization strives to educate all those who enjoy the outdoors about the nature of their recreational impacts as well as techniques to prevent and minimize such impacts.

The Leave No Trace message is framed under several principles:
Plan Ahead and Prepare
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
Dispose of Waste Properly
Dispose of Waste Water away from natural water sources/ditches
Leave What You Find and don’t interfere with what’s around  
Minimize Use and Impact of Fire – use lightweight camp stoves instead of fires
Respect Wildlife  
Be Considerate of Other Visitors

For more information: www.lnt.org
 

How can I pay for purchases from Pukka Tents?

You can pay by credit/debit card (online or telephone), by cheque or by BACS bank transfer (contact us for details).
 
We accept the following cards: American Express; Visa; Mastercard; V PAY; Visa Electron; Solo; Maestro; JCB.
 
Credit card transactions are securely processed by Barclays. Pukka Tents personnel never have access to your personal or financial information.

 

Can I see a Pukka tent before I buy?

Yes. You are welcome to visit us at our base in North Suffolk, but you will need to make an appointment first to ensure someone will be available to greet you.

Please be aware that we do not have a 'showroom'. But we do have a large field, and we also can put our hands on tea and biscuits if so required!  :)
 

What is a Bell Tent?

A modern bell tent is a single-pole (usually canvas) tent, based on tents widely used by the military during campaigns in the 19th century. The basically circular and conical outline make for a very stable structure that stands up incredibly well to violent wind.

How should I store my Pukka bell tent?

All canvas tents need to be packed away clean and dry and stored in dry, airy conditions (never pack your tent away in either a damp or a humid environment). Ensure your tent is cleaned/swept inside to avoid any insects, food crumbs etc from lingering. The groundsheet must also be clean and dry on both sides.
 
If you do have to fold up your tent whilst damp (eg for getting home), it is essential that you dry it out at the earliest opportunity (within 24-48 hours). It must be completely unpacked, opened out, dried, aired and then re-packed. This is to prevent mildew and general degradation of the fabric. Make sure that the poles and pegs cannot damage fabric or groundsheets – pack poles, pegs and separate groundsheets in their own bags. If guy ropes are not absolutely dry, store them separately too.
 
The best way to dry out a damp tent is to re-erect it in dry conditions. Using a stove inside your erected tent will help to dry out the fabric faster than simply relying on good weather. If this is not possible and you have to dry your tent indoors in a restricted space, ensure that it is frequently turned/moved in order to prevent moisture being retained in any parts of the canvas, especially the seams. 
 
Our ultimate, preferred storage method is to store your dry tent loosely folded inside a purpose-built, rodent-proofed, ventilated, dry wooden box.
 
However this may not be possible so – store your tent off the ground, in a dry, airy atmosphere, loosely folded. Do not store anything else on top of your tent or poles as this could cause pressure damage to the canvas and/or the groundsheet as well as damage to the poles.
 
As with any natural fabrics that are stored for a while, it is always a good idea to occasionally check that your tent has had no unwelcome visitors.

What does 'weathering' my tent mean?

Canvas tents have a certain degree of natural water resistance and they are additionally treated during manufacture with a waterproofer to enhance this water resistance.
 
However, to become properly waterproof, canvas tents need to go through a process known as 'weathering'. This can be done naturally, by allowing rainfall to soak the canvas. Or artificially, by hosing down the tent sufficiently for water to penetrate the canvas and seams; but only use a gentle sprinkler as using a strong water jet could damage the proofing in the canvas.
 
An unweathered tent may suffer from a small amount of ‘leaking’ around seams when it is first wetted, although Pukka canvas bell tents have been treated to ensure minimal or even no leakage during weathering.
 
So to be on the safe side we do recommend that our customers erect and ‘weather’ their tents before using them.
 
Correct weathering involves allowing the tent to become totally soaked and then fully dried out, perhaps more than once – cotton canvas is a natural fabric, and as such no two tents will behave in exactly the same way. The canvas will need to be totally soaked and wetted through, especially at the seams, which may take a while where these are multi-layered.
 
On its first few soakings the canvas will shrink, so you need to adequately loosen tension on the guy ropes to allow for this. And when it dries out the guys need to be tightened again. Thereafter, whenever your tent is wet/damp it is advisable to loosen tension on the guy ropes, to allow the canvas room to contract in the wet without damaging the structure of the tent.
 
By the way, Pukka canvas bell tents should be re-proofed from time to time with a proofing agent that also includes protection against the harmful effects of UV. Apply at the end of each season, or as soon as water no longer forms 'beads' on the canvas surface.. See FAQ ‘Is Pukka tent canvas waterproof?

How often should I re-proof my Pukka tent?

A Pukka canvas tent will be affected by a whole range of factors such as length of time pitched, conditions pitched under and the degree to which the canvas is maintained and kept free of bird droppings, tree resin, coastal /salty weather conditions, airborne dirt etc.

Bird droppings, tree resin and general dirt including airborne dirt carried in the atmosphere etc all need to be removed as soon as possible after arrival, as these encourage mould development. Brush off dry dirt with a brush. If necessary spot-clean with a canvas cleaner, followed buy a re-proofer on the cleaned canvas.

Our tents are treated to be water, mould and UV resistant, but this does not make them waterproof, mouldproof or UV proof. So to keep your Pukka tent in the best condition it should be cleaned, re-proofed, maintained and repaired as necessary/regularly. A good rule is to re-proof as soon as water stops 'beading' on the outside of the tent and/or when the canvas appears to be retaining more water. Thorough, frequent and regular cleaning/re-proofing prevents the canvas from retaining excessive amounts of water – therefore keeping it drier and less prone to mould growth.

Our guarantee covers manufacturing defects, and mould is not one of these, so it is in the tent owner's interest to regularly re-proof their tent. It is up to the owner to make sure they re-proof the canvas as soon as any signs of mould appear or, preferably, as soon as the canvas begins to retain increased amounts of water.

Canvas is a natural product, and being left outdoors in damp conditions (even though it has been treated during manufacture for resistance to water, mould and UV) will encourage mould to develop. Even if a car is left outdoors, in the 'right' conditions, it will eventually become dirty and develop mould.

If you are unfortunate enough to find mould spots on your tent, a cleaning agent followed by a re-proofing agent should be applied as soon as possible. This should at least discourage the mould from spreading, even if the existing mould spots refuse to be removed.

So, ensure that you clean/re-proof your tent thoroughly and frequently. Most modern cotton canvas cleaners/re-proofers also include UV resistance and mould inhibitors.

Is Pukka tent canvas mouldproof?

Canvas is a natural product and no canvas is mould-proof.

Our tents are treated to be water, mould and UV resistant, but this does not make them waterproof, mouldproof or UV proof. To to keep your Pukka tent in the best condition it should be cleaned, re-proofed, maintained and repaired as necessary/regularly. A good rule is to re-proof as soon as water stops 'beading' on the outside of the tent and/or when the canvas appears to be retaining more water. Thorough, frequent and regular cleaning/re-proofing prevents the canvas from retaining excessive amounts of water – therefore keeping it drier and less prone to mould growth.

Our guarantee covers manufacturing defects, and mould is not one of these, so it is in the tent owner's interest to regularly re-proof their tent. It is up to the owner to make sure they re-proof the canvas as soon as any signs of mould appear or, preferably, as soon as the canvas begins to retain increased amounts of water before the onset of mould.

Can I live permanently in my Pukka tent?

Although we have people who like to live in their tents long-term, our tents are actually not designed for this. Our tents are designed for recreational/light leisure use and are not intended for long-term erection, or for use in extreme or mountain conditions. Pukka tents are not intended as structures for permanent living.

How do I erect/care for my bell tent/tarp?

You can download relevant erection and care instructions here:

• erecting & caring for your Pukka Classic tent

• erecting & caring for your Pukka Zipped tent

• erecting & caring for your Pukka Tarp

Please also ensure that you do read all the relevant FAQ sections on this website, such as:

'What does 'weathering' my tent mean?'
'What weather conditions are Pukka bell tents suitable for?'
'How should I store my Pukka bell tent?'

Are your zips good quality?

We use YKK branded zips throughout the complete build of our Pukka canvas bell tents – on all doors, windows and zipped wall-to-groundsheet joins, even the carry bags.



Zips are one of the most hard-working components of a tent – having to stand up to wind stress and heavy use – so we decided not to compromise on this, even though they cost us more to buy. You get what you pay for as the saying goes.



YKK is the world’s leading zipper manufacturer. YKK zips are recognised as the most reliable zips around.

Is Pukka tent canvas waterproof?

Pukka tents are treated to be water, mould and UV resistant, but this does not make them water, mould or UV proof. To keep your Pukka canvas tent in the best condition it should be cleaned, re-proofed, maintained and repaired as necessary. A good rule is to re-proof as soon as water stops 'beading' on the outside of the tent which stops the canvas from retaining excessive amounts of water – therefore keeping the canvas drier and less vulnerable to mould. Clean all dirt off your tent canvas as soon as possible.
 
Even though the waterproofing on our tents is so good that our tents usually do not let in a single drop of water when first rained on, we still do advise that a new tent should be 'weathered'. See FAQ 'What does 'weathering' my tent mean?'

Why is canvas better than nylon?

Lightweight nylon tents have their advantages, but there are drawbacks, not least of which is that they can be very stuffy and uncomfortable in hot weather and very cold in inclement weather. Many people consider nylon tents as a short-term/single-use/throw-away solution.
 
Conversely quality cotton canvas tents are heavier and they demand a lot more maintenance, but if treated well they will give years of comfortable stylish service. They are cool and airy in hot weather and cosy on colder days, especially when made of our superior grade Pukka 360gsm cotton canvas. All our bell tents look terrific and are truly delightful to camp in. Once you’ve experienced the difference there is no going back!
 
Some people love their cotton canvas Pukka bell tent so much they want to use it as much as possible so install a Pukka stove with a safety flue. You can’t be doing that in a nylon tent!

 

What weather conditions are Pukka bell tents suitable for?

Pukka bell tents have been designed and built for use in mainly moderate weather conditions, for example, poor weather (ie. wet and windy) conditions. They are not intended for extreme or mountain conditions.



Pukka bell tents are ideal for camping in the UK climate during the traditional camping season of March to September. However, because we use 360gsm canvas as standard (heavier than the lighter 285gsm often used for leisure tents) they are more substantial so extending your potential camping season. Pukka canvas bell tents are not intended for use as a permanent shelter and, like any canvas outdoor product, will require regular re-proofing for resistance to water, mould and UV.



Pukka bell tents are classified as Category B, Level 2, according to EN ISO 5912:2011.

How long will my Pukka canvas bell tent last?

A Pukka cotton canvas bell tent should last for a long time if well looked after.


 
The life of a Pukka bell tent will be affected by a whole range of factors such as length of time pitched, conditions pitched under and the degree to which the canvas is maintained and kept free of bird droppings, tree resin, coastal/salty weather conditions, airborne dirt etc. How a tent is stored will also affect its longevity. Cotton canvas tents must always be stored totally dry and free of mould.
 
Our canvas bell tents and tarps/awnings are treated to be water, mould and UV resistant, but this does not make them water, mould or UV proof, so to keep your Pukka bell tent in the best condition it should be cleaned, re-proofed, maintained and repaired as necessary. A good rule is to re-proof as soon as water stops 'beading' on the outside of the tent, which stops the canvas from retaining excessive amounts of water – therefore keeping the canvas drier. Clean dirt off your tent canvas as soon as possible.
 


Pukka bell tents are intended for recreational/leisure use in mainly moderate weather conditions and will stand up to heavy rain and wind. Our tents are not intended for extreme or mountain conditions.
 
Pukka bell tents are not intended to be used as permanent shelters or for long-term erection. We recommend erection for not much more than 2-3 weeks at a time.

See FAQ 'How do I erect/care for my bell tent/tarp?' to download care instructions.

What's Pukka?

Pukka, Pucka, Pukkah: an Anglo-Indian word meaning genuine, authentic, superior, first class, properly or perfectly done/constructed.

Tent: portable shelter or dwelling of canvas cloth, supported by poles and stretched by cords secured to pegs driven into ground.

A Pukka tent: a superior quality canvas tent that is easy to erect, durable - and great fun!

see our range of tents

Why canvas?

Canvas is a tightly woven fabric traditionally used for making tents, awnings and sails. It is usually made from cotton, nylon or polyester or a mix. We prefer to use cotton canvas for our tents because this fabric has many advantages over synthetic materials.

Cotton canvas is very hard-wearing, breathable and generally naturally water and UV resistant. The cotton threads absorb water and swell so sealing the tiny gaps in the weave. Pukka canvas is also treated to increase water, UV and mould resistance.

Nylon and polyester canvas are chemically treated or coated with PU (polyurethane) to make them water resistant. A PU coating will stop water penetration but prevents the flow of air through the fibres making the fabric non-breathable, stuffy and prone to condensation. Some canvas tents are also treated with PU coating. Synthetic materials are lighter in weight but tend to deteriorate faster than cotton as they break down more quickly in ultra-violet light.

Canvas comes in various densities or weights depending on the quality required. We prefer a weight of approximately 320-360 gsm because it provides better all round performance:

Better durability for regular pitching and striking

Extra insulation – cooler in warm weather and warmer in cold conditions

More suited for year-round use

see our range of tents

What is a Bell Tent?

Crimean Officers of the 57th Regiment in front of their bell tentBell tents are beautiful conical single-pole tents with low sidewalls. In some versions the sidewalls can be rolled up to allow cooling breezes to pass right through.

The hugely stable design is based on the North American tipi and similar Scandinavian and Siberian shelters that were developed over the centuries to best withstand violent arctic winds. Bell tents are said to withstand strong winds better than modern tunnel tents. Bell tents were favoured by many countries during the extensive military campaigns of the 19th century.

More recently bell tents have been re-discovered for leisure use, largely due to their spacious interiors, their ease of erection, and their generous headroom and all-round comfort.

Pukka Bell Tents marry the best of traditional design with modern innovations,not to mention our quality detailing. Pukka bell tents are ideal for a number of uses from luxury festival accommodation and wonderful family camping holidays to peaceful sanctuary, overflow guest room or children’s play area in the garden. They can be dressed up to suit any individual style. They can even have stoves fitted to make them really cosy in colder months.

see our range of tents

Do I need to look after my zips?

Pukka Quality YKK ZipsThe quality YKK zips used in all Pukka canvas tents will probably serve well – but they still need to be given a little bit of TLC.

Never place too much stress on zips, and always use both hands when opening or closing to avoid unnecessary strain.

Always ensure that your zips are kept clean. Wipe mud, grit or other types of dirt off as soon as possible. Avoid standing on zips. If your lay-flat threshold is laid flat it is a good idea to cover the zipped edge with a protective covering, such as a mat.

Finally, maintain zips by lubricating the teeth occasionally. Use a zip lubricant, or, for example, beeswax, or even candle wax. Never use a detergent, as this will damage canvas treatments.

see our range of tents