There are so many camping tent options out there that it can be hard to spot a good one from a bad one. And if you’re thinking of splurging for a high-quality canvas tent like the White Duck Prota, you’ll want to know what you’re getting for that extra cash.
What makes it different from Kodiak or Springbar? Who is White Duck anyway?
I got a 10 ft x 10 ft Deluxe Prota Deluxe tent along with some other goodies from White Duck Outdoors this past summer. After seasoning the tent in my backyard, I took it on a camping trip with my family in the mountains of Idaho.
I know it can be hard to find trustworthy gear advice online. But as I write this I am not yet a robot and, hopefully, my firsthand human experience helps inform the fulfillment of all your wildest tent dreams.
Rather watch than read? Check out our video review on YouTube!
Disclosure: Links in this article are affiliate links. We may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) if you make a purchase after clicking on one of our links. This post was not sponsored, but the tent was donated to us in order for us to complete the review.
Hands-on White Duck Tent Review: The Prota
The White Duck Outdoors Prota is a well-made canvas tent that will keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the cold. The workmanship and materials are quality from the zippers to the seams. While it takes a little organization, five people can sleep comfortably in the 10’x10′ size.
PROS: Quality built, tall roof, bathtub style floor, breathable, four-season worthy
CONS: Heavy and bulky, must use stakes, no zipper at the base of doors
Outdoor Empire Score: 4.2
Workmanship & Durability 5 | Ease of Use 4 | Comfort 5 | Features 4 | Versatility 4 | Value 3
When we evaluate tents at Outdoor Empire we look at six main criteria: workmanship and durability, ease of use and setup, overall comfort, features, versatility, and value. Each tent is given a score between 1 and 5 (worst to best) for each criterion, then the average of those scores is the overall Outdoor Empire Score. This helps us maintain some objectivity when comparing different pieces of gear against each other.
Quality Workmanship and Durable
The tent is made of 10.10 oz cotton canvas. While so far we’ve had fair weather when using it, I’m not at all worried about rain or snow getting in.
Canvas has all kinds of advantages for a camping tent including better airflow, no condensation build-up overnight, and better temperature management whether it is hot or cold outside.
All seams are at least double-stitched and the quality on mine was superb. Though I did have one of the plastic door ties break after very little use. So some of the plastic parts are on the cheap side.
The floor is tough! It’s made of 16 oz polyvinyl and it’s bathtub style so the floor comes up a bit around the edges to help shed water. It’s thick enough to stand up to rocks and sticks underneath. We had plenty of those under the tent, but I didn’t feel a need to have a groundsheet, and the floor still looks brand new.
I expect that this tent will last for decades, as long as I store it dry and don’t let mold rot it away.
Where are White Duck tents made?
White Duck tents are made overseas. The Prota tent is made in Pakistan as are most of their other models. In an effort to keep costs as low as possible, foreign manufacturing seems to be the norm among canvas tentmakers.
Not a Pop-up, but Easy to Use
If you’ve never used this style of tent before, you need to know that the Prota is not a freestanding tent. You have to stake it down well in order to raise it up. This is a bit different from most nylon family tents, but it’s not difficult.
In fact, I can set this up by myself in about 10 minutes. I know this because as per usual, as soon as our family arrives at a campsite, the kids bust a move out of sight exploring while Mom and Dad do all the work. I’m the tent guy.
Everything you need to set up the Prota tent is included, even the mallet for the stakes which has its own slot in the stake bag. I thought that was a nice touch since you don’t find that in competitors’ tent packages.
Once you find a nice level spot, you stick 16 heavy-duty metal stakes through the grommets attached to the thick floor material. This takes the longest of the whole process, especially if the ground is hard.
Once your stakes are set there are only a few poles you have to work with. You’re not threading nearly as many poles through pesky sleeves as you would with a typical nylon dome tent.
First, you connect the roof poles together. I kick off my shoes when doing this so as not to get the tent unnecessarily dirty. Then, it’s just a matter of propping the whole thing up with a single pole on either end.
I found it easiest to do this if I first unzipped a couple of windows or doors. Otherwise, you’re working pretty hard to lift the roof upward because the tent is trying to suck in air through the canvas instead of a big opening.
From there you can go inside and get organized, or you can drive a couple more stakes to set up the attached awning.
You also have the option to drive the additional 16 smaller stakes that are included through the elastic loops on the base of the canvas walls. These pull the walls taught to shed water away from the floor of the tent. I thought this was a clever feature that you don’t find on similar tents like the Kodiak Flex-bow or Springbar Classic Jack.
Size and Weight
One of the bigger downsides of a canvas tent is that they are heavy. The 10 x 10 Prota Deluxe weighs in at 81 pounds (37 kg) with everything that’s included. So moving it around is most comfortable with a couple of people.
I really like that the canvas carry bag it comes in is oversized and you can also fit the stakes and poles inside. This was handy when I put the whole kit on my hitch-mounted cargo carrier. However, I found it much easier to get from the car to the tent site when I took the poles out.
You’ll never get it to pack down as tight as it came from the factory, so plan on using up a sizeable portion of your trunk or cargo area in your SUV. Or do what I did with a cargo carrier. People with pickups need not be concerned with this.
Comfortable for Our Family of 5
My family of five managed to sleep comfortably in the 10 x 10 Prota, including some basic gear.
The way we make this size work for us is by using cots. This allows you to store your bags of clothes or miscellaneous gear underneath the cots leaving all the floor space for sleeping.
Even the dog had his own spot on his super durable canvas dog bed (from White Duck Outdoors as well).
By the way, I loved this dog bed because it’s super easy to clean. Even though my dog came in at night muddy from playing in the river, the next morning I was able to just sweep off the dirt and grime. It doesn’t seep into the fabric like it would with other materials. A canvas dog bed is brilliant!
If we wanted to be really comfortable, the 10 ft x 14 ft Prota tent would be extremely roomy for us.
A bonus is that the roof is relatively flat with a slight arch. At 6 ft 1 in, I can stand up straight throughout the tent. That’s not possible in dome, tunnel, teepee, or even most cabin-style tents.
White Duck says you can sleep six people in this tent. Maybe if at least some are kids or canines. Six people will only fit in a 10 x 10 if no one is over five feet tall and no one wants a bag with them.
The Prota is available in the following sizes:
- 7′ x 9′ – Roomy for 2, comfortable for 3, tight for 4
- 10′ x 10′ – Comfortable for 4, doable for 5, tight for 6
- 10′ x 14′ – Spacious for 4, comfortable for 6, cozy for 8
Not sure what size tent to get? Check out our Camping Tent Size Chart and Guide.
Features are one thing that can set one tent apart from another. The Prota has a few that are noteworthy.
- Big side windows (Deluxe version)
- Sewn-in pockets for flashlights and gear
- Small zipped access point for cords for a generator or heater
- Rings along interior roof for organizers or clothesline
- Mallet and extra stakes included in a convenient pouch
A few features that are functional, but not a perfect design (in my opinion) are:
- Two juxtapositioned doors are not entirely necessary, one would be fine
- Bottom of doors attach only by Velcro (easy entry for snakes and vermin)
- Poles don’t break down to the same length as rolled-up tent
Year-round Car Camping
With the White Duck Prota tent, you can count on being able to camp year-round in most places.
During winter in the Rocky Mountain West or Northern US, you’ll need some supplementary heat or massive sleeping bags to stay comfortable. But the tent is built for four seasons.
That’s what makes this tent so versatile. It will hold up to the elements far better than most lightweight nylon tents.
Where it lacks a bit in versatility is in its packability. It is not small and could easily take up the entire trunk of a small car. So it’s nowhere in the running for backpacking.
This tent is good for either car camping or extended backcountry trips on stock animals like horses, mules, or llamas. If that’s not you, or you’re tight on space, look elsewhere.
Are White Duck Tents Worth It?
You may have noticed there are a handful of canvas tents with an awfully similar (ahem, near identical) design to the White Duck Canvas Prota tent. Springbar was the original, and then there is Kodiak Canvas and Teton Sports.
Be sure to check out our detailed comparison of the Best Canvas Tents to figure out which one you like most.
Overall, you get decent value out of the White Duck Prota tent. Both the standard and Deluxe models are more expensive than their counterparts from Kodiak or Teton. But it is cheaper than an original USA-made Springbar.
It has a few unique features like the extra stakes, loops, and a bathtub-style floor to run water away from the base of the tent. And the quality of the materials and workmanship are excellent.
I even did a customer service test and got a response back within three business days. Not the quickest, but acceptable. The tent is also backed by a lifetime guarantee.
If you are seriously considering buying a canvas tent, I don’t think you will regret buying a White Duck Prota Tent.