This work addresses the problem of efficient control of gene expression in the context of viral vectors, which still represents a difficult challenge. A number of lentiviral vectors incorporating the different elements of regulatable transcriptional systems have been described, but they fail to perform satisfactorily either because of a poor dynamic range of transcription levels or because they display high background activities in the uninduced state and mediocre inducer response. We report here on the systematic comparison of vector designs containing the elements of the doxycycline-inducible Tet-on system in their most advanced versions (rtTA2S-M2 transactivator and tTS(Kid) repressor). We show that a simple "all-in-one" vector can be obtained and used for efficient control of transgene expression in long-term tissue culture and in the hematopoietic system of mice following bone marrow transplantation. Using this vector, the uninduced state can be kept at background levels and induction factors of 100-fold are repeatedly obtained over months both in tissue culture and in vivo. Interestingly, the low background activity of the all-in-one vector renders the use of the tTS repressor dispensable, avoiding the problem of progressive loss of inducibility over time associated with irreversible modifications of the chromatin surrounding proviral sequences.