Last Updated on March 20, 2023
Okay, I’ll admit it: I was a bit overwhelmed this summer when I started to search for my perfect canvas basecamp tent. My month-long Colorado archery elk hunting trip was looming, but my head was spinning all the tent brands and choices I found online.
I knew I had to make the right choice, something guaranteed to shelter me and my gear from Colorado’s unpredictable fall weather. But it also had to do double duty as a comfortable backcountry office while I was there.
Enter the 13’ White Duck Regatta, a proven bell-shaped tent design from a reputable brand. Not only was I super impressed with its overall design, materials and features, but it also checked all the boxes as a cozy hunting basecamp and a remote office combo.
If you’re a camper, glamper, or hunter needing a new sturdy canvas tent that won’t let you down, stick around and I’ll give you a tour of mine.
White Duck Regatta 13’ – Specs & Features
- Living area: ~133 sq. ft.
- Wall Height: 2’ 7”
- Center Height: 8’2”
- Door Height: 6’6”
- Weight: 66 lbs
- Weather Resistance: Four-season
- Stovepipe Exhaust Sleeve: 4-6”
- Colors: Beige, Brown, Olive, Charcoal
- Price: $799 as tested
- Treatment: Water repellent (Optional: Fire + Water Repellent)
First, the basics: A tent’s sole function is to provide shelter and security for its inhabitants and their gear. In this, the White Duck Regatta scores an immediate bullseye. But it also comes with a home-away-from-home feeling that made my time in the woods much more comfortable than any previous camping trips.
While creature comfort mainly came from all the gear I loaded into the Regatta, its thoughtful features also allowed me to transform it into quite the comfy little cottage. Let’s take a look at what makes it so satisfying:
Ease of Setup
This tent is dead simple to put up. Two of us assembled it in 20 minutes, and I know we could whittle that down further with practice.
We quickly staked out the floor, put up the poles, and then staked and tightened the guylines. So that’s it, your empty backcountry canvas lodge awaits you.
As with any tent, plan ahead and factor in exposure and drainage. Rain runoff wasn’t a factor during our stay, but the flat spot we initially chose had too much solar exposure. More on this later.
I chose the medium (13’) version of the Regatta. Inside, I furnished it with a twin-size cot, a table/desk, and all my essential gadgets for a month of hunting and remote work. That still left plenty of spare room. (Consider what inside footprint you’ll need because White Duck also offers smaller and larger versions.)
In the 13’ version, you could try a queen-size mattress (or two) and maybe squeeze in two more cots if you want to get cozy. Luckily, I had the tent all to myself, so it became my roomy pseudo-cabin-in-the-woods with an ample remote office.
My hunting buddies and I used the Regatta as our meeting place, and it was spacious enough for four adults to escape the rain. However, any more than that, and you’ll be crowding each other’s personal bubbles.
Its build quality is what sets White Duck apart from other affordable generic tent brands. The heavy-duty, double-stitched cotton canvas took a moderate month-long beating in September but revealed no manufacturing defects.
The tent’s three windows have mesh screens to keep the bugs and other pests. At least, that’s the theory. In practice, however, the mesh screens were breached by mice on a midnight mission to raid my granola bars. They chewed a hole through the mesh windows to nibble on my stockpile of snacks. A bummer for sure, but it was my fault for leaving food exposed.
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The 13’ Regatta comes with two sets of three pockets, one on each side of the entrance. They’re standard mesh tent pockets you can fill with things like towels, toiletries, and other small trinkets—everything else you’ll need to store elsewhere.
I stored most of my belongings in totes and on tables, but clothing was more of a challenge. I stuffed them in my duffle bag this year, but next year I think a small clothing rack would fit nicely in the corner of the Regatta.
Nothing drives me so crazy as cheap zippers on tents. Have you ever stumbled back to your tent in the dark after a refreshing midnight pee, only to be locked-out by a stuck tent flap zipper?
I had no such problems with the Regatta. Their tent flaps use beefy and reliable YKK zippers that don’t snag or grab. That’s midnight peace of mind.
The tent comes with a durable carrying case and a set-up kit. Inside the kit is a mallet and a bundle of half-inch rebar stakes for keeping the tent floor taut and crease-free.
Reflective guy lines hold the tent walls in place, and the substantial guyline stakes stayed solidly in the ground for the entire month.
As tents settle and stretch, you may need to tighten the guylines to keep the walls taut. On the White Duck 13’, this is an effortless adjustment using small, no-slip buckles. Easy-peasy.
Electric Cord Access
There’s a small zipper on one side of the tent for running electrical cords into and out of the tent, which is surprisingly convenient. However, I’d like the feature even more if there was electrical access on both sides of the tent, or via an access hole in the middle.
Multiple cord access points would be more helpful, especially if you dream of adding power lines from your portable solar panels. Ah, the rugged life of modern camping!
A sewn-in polyethylene groundsheet makes the floor watertight and keeps insects and other pests out. In the past, I’ve used canvas tents that lacked floors, and they always turned into muddy nightmares when things got wet. I much prefer a sewn-in floor.
Poles & Hardware
This tent only needs two poles, a small one for the entrance and a bigger one for the center peak. Both poles are made from heavy-duty galvanized steel and didn’t budge at all during the several windy days of our month-long stay.
Comfort & Temperature Control
The Regatta has a stove jack/sleeve that lets you use a wood-burning stove inside. Or an air conditioner, as you’ll read in a later section. Fortunately, we didn’t need either as the temperate September climate in Colorado gave us mostly perfect weather.
It did get a bit chilly at night, however. I used a propane Buddy heater in the mornings, which would heat the tent in just a few minutes. This tiny heater would often make it too hot in the tent. Heavy-duty cotton canvas is good at trapping heat.
Remember how I mentioned “too much solar exposure” earlier? Well, our initial choice of pitching the tent in a lot of direct sunlight was a mistake because the inside temperature skyrocketed on hot days, making mid-day naps unbearable. Needless to say, we quickly moved the tent into some nearby shade.
Hot scenarios like the above are precisely why you might bring an air conditioner along in the summer and vent it through the stove jack hole. Sure, opening the windows and entrance flap helps, but sometimes it’s better to find deep shade. Which I’ll be sure to do next fall.
Who Would Find This Tent Useful?
- Families that camp regularly
- Glampers and Airbnb hosts
- Remote workers wanting to go off-grid
- Festival Goers
Who Wouldn’t Find This Tent Useful?
- Short-stay or overnight campers
- Wilderness or dispersed campers who need a lightweight solution
Is the White Duck Regatta Worth the Money?
My favorite part of the Regatta is its affordable price tag. The 13’ version sells for $800, a bit more expensive than other low-end basecamp tents on Amazon. But judging from buyer comments, it doesn’t seem like those other brands offer quite as good a mix of features and durability.
Don’t Sleep on the White Duck Regatta
My month spent hunting this year was quite satisfying, even though I didn’t harvest an elk. Most importantly, I was able to do what I love—spending time in the wilderness.
I had the right equipment this year and could focus on the hunt without a lot of fuss. And after a day of moving stealthily through the woods, I returned to a secure shelter that made me feel at home.
In the Regatta, I could stretch out, work comfortably on my laptop, and sleep warmly and deeply at night. I knew I had a tent that would keep me snug as a bug regardless of any bad weather swirling around outside.
In the market for a new basecamp tent for camping, glamping, or hunting? Then the White Duck Regatta should definitely be on your short list of contenders.
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