Remember old-fashioned striped outdoor tents & cabanas? Take a look back!

Retro striped outdoor tents and cabanas - Retro canvas backyard changing area from the 1970s

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As charmingly retro as they seem, small striped outdoor tents were nothing new in the 1960s and 1970s — in fact, they have been used for centuries.

Striped outdoor small tent in the middle ages - Medieval era

While 20th-century striped outdoor tents were nowhere near as fancy as the small royal tent from the middle ages shown above, they still had plenty of charm.

And you have to admit: changing into a swimsuit inside one of these pop-up tents — even a tiny one — would be easier than using something similar to step into a set of shining armor.

Medieval style inspired these striped outdoor tents, changing rooms & cabanas

From House Beautiful (1966)

Sir Tristan’s pennon will flutter over party pavilions this summer, and Sir Launcelot’s jousting tent will offer fresh towels and a poolside place to change.

Re-created at the shore or in your own backyard, such tents will recall the days of knighthood. You can almost hear the clash of armor.

The crenelated valances and fluttering tassels of royal pavilions have influenced designs for today’s gazebos, canopies, party marquees, and cabanas. All can be built on steel frames and covered with sturdy canvas.

Beneath their fanciful designs and colors, as heady as wine, the tents provide spots for parties, cat naps, dining, reading, or blissful idling.

Knights tents - Blue and white striped cabana changing room tents for outdoors

Knights’ tents, where swords flashed and armor shone, make a group of single bathhouses and shady retreats. For quick changes and dry towels, cabana tents can be pitched beside the pool.

A fringed valance adds charm to a cabana built for two. A canvas partition holds ample storage pockets for each occupant.

Retro 60s beach cabana for two - Yellow stripes


Take cover in a red & white striped dressing room tent

From American Home – Summer 1965

If you’re lucky enough to have a pool, this portable dressing room can ease the traffic through the house, and also be a poolside addition.

Red and white striped dressing room tent



Have a picnic under a blue and white canvas tent & awning (1965)

This special-occasion tent could make its home in your backyard all summer long. It could be a poolside refreshment pavilion, a party setting, a play tent, a knight’s jousting tent, you name it. It’s easily set up, and dismantles quickly if it’s to be used occasionally. Why go away for picnics?

Blue and white striped outdoor dining tent


Red and white striped Sunbrella cabanas/backyard tents (1972)

All kinds of wonderful things happen with Sunbrella! Things like cabanas and patio covers and sunshades and boat ports and fences.

Handsome things that stay handsome because Sunbrella is made of 100% Acrilan acrylic fiber. So it won’t shrink or crack or peel or harden and it won’t be affected by mildew or rot.

Vintage red and white striped Sunbrella cabanas and backyard tents (1972)


Palmetto lawn tents used for fortune tellers in 1907

Fortune teller tents from 1907 - Palmetto lawn tents


Even the Victorians liked their stripey tents

Here’s a throwback tent from the Bloomingdale’s catalog in 1890!

Striped tent from 1890

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