5 Yurt Kits for Modern Nomads

Freedom-yurts-cabin
Freedom Yurt-Cabins

In a nutshell, a yurt is the original tiny house on wheels minus the tires. Traditional yurts are round, tent-like structures engineered to collapse, pack, and assemble quickly for easy transport. Back in the 1970s, yurts caught on with counterculturalists and hippie homesteaders because they were relatively easy and cheap to DIY. Thousands of years earlier, they were the tiny houses of choice for Eurasian tribes and warlords like Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan.

These days, people appreciate the humble yurt because of its low building costs and minor environmental footprint. If you're thinking about becoming a modern nomad, gere are five yurt builders that sell prefabricated kits you can assemble.

  • 01 of 05

    Freedom Yurt Cabins

    A bike sitting next to a Freedom Yurt Cabin
    Freedom Yurts

    Many modern adaptations of the traditional yurt have collapsible wood frames and packable fabric walls just like their ancient ancestors. However, the fabric walls wear out quicker than solid walls. Plus, mice can chew through them, and severe weather can damage them. That's why many manufacturers say fabric walls require regular maintenance and eventual replacement to keep a yurt in tip-top shape.

    The Yurt Cabin by Freedom Yurt Cabins is a traditional yurt without the shortcomings. The tiny round portable house comes with solid walls engineered for longtime durability. It can be assembled and disassembled in hours. Even better, each Yurt Cabin comes with features that you'll never find in a standard traditional yurt, such as double-hung glass windows, insulation, and integrated flooring. 

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    Colorado Yurt Company

    A two-story Colorado Yurt Company home
    Colorado Yurt Company

    Most yurts have windows. But it's the dome—the crowning glory on top—that really allows daylight to fill the interior. That's why it pays to have a quality dome skylight.

    The one on this dwelling by Colorado Yurt Company is weather- and UV-resistant thick acrylic. It's a crystal clear material that's also impact resistant. Plus, the company offers dome upgrades, including a lifter that opens the dome to allow air flow, as well as a bronze tint that helps to keep the yurt cool. In addition, you can add a bug net/shade cloth to your dome to block insects and bright sunlight when the dome is open. And you can attach insulation for cold weather.

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    Pacific Yurts

    A Pacific Yurts-made yurt with a wooden deck
    Yurts.com

    If you've ever stayed in a yurt vacation rental, chances are Pacific Yurts built it. When it opened for business in 1978, it became the first modern yurt company in the world. Its standard prefab yurt packages are suitable for mild climates and feature architectural fabrics engineered to meet structural and performance requirements typically reserved for building materials. A solid wood door, clear vinyl windows, and a dome skylight are also included.

    If you want an all-season yurt that can withstand winter weather, you'll need a few fortifying features that you can add to your package using the Yurt Builder 3D pricing tool. It will also allow you to customize your yurt based on size and exterior colors. Structural upgrades that are available for an additional cost include energy-efficient glass windows, gutter systems, and snow ​and wind kits.

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    Smiling Wood Yurt

    A Smiling Wood Yurt completed kit
    Smiling Wood Yurt

    Who says a yurt has to be portable? This tiny house was built on a concrete slab using a yurt shell kit by Smiling Wood Yurts. Each kit includes all the materials you need to create a finished tiny house shell.

    A basic package comes with the following:

    • Doors and windows preinstalled into the walls
    • Exterior trim package to create a finished appearance for the outside corners, windows, and door
    • Roof kit, including the skylight dome
    • Hardware and construction manual

    Insulation and flooring are not included in this package. The company estimates it takes people an average of three to seven weeks to create their yurt package with the help of a designer, followed by a permitting and production phase of around two to 16 weeks. Then, construction of the yurt should take between 10 and 34 weeks, depending on how complex your package is.

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    Rainer Yurts

    A Rainier Yurt from a Neiman Marcus Catalog
    Rainier.com

    Every structure by Rainer Yurts is lovingly "manu-crafted." It's a term the folks at Rainer coined that sums up their unique manufacturing process, which combines state-of-the-art technologies with classic craftsmanship.

    The company sells prefab kits using quality materials, including some of the strongest lattice available and structural fabrics that can withstand the elements. The interiors can even be customized with many modern comforts, including electricity, plumbing, and heating and cooling. You’re also able to add room partitions and a loft in the larger kits. Plus, the company offers tips on adding a kitchen and bathroom to your yurt.