Tents (2 Viewers)

Joined
Dec 15, 2008
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Ruston, LA
Starting to look around at tents and want to buy a better quality one than the ones i had growing up(cheap Walmart specials). I haven't bought a tent in like 15 yrs so I have no clue what's good and what's not. Fyi this will be for a family of 4(1&4yr olds) and used for basic family camping, nothing extreme or very far from the truck, or at least rarely. While I doubt we intentionally head out in stormy weather I'd like something that can handle your typical thunderstorms with ease--no caving in, leaking everywhere, flapping everywhere, etc. I'd rather go overkill for what we need and have it last a good long time than cheap out and regret it.

That said, any suggestions? How are the canvas tents, ie the Kodiak from cabelas? Is canvas too hot for warm weather camping? I like the durability and ease of repair aspects of them, and weight shouldn't be a big issue for us. How about the geodesic domes like the Alaskan? Never been in that style, how is the room? How about a small wall tent--are they too difficult to put up?

Sorry for all the questions--there's just so danged many options out there!
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2012
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245
I have the Kodiak from Cabelas. Bought the 10'x 14'. Happy I went with the bigger one. My son and I went to a music festival and we lived like kings in that huge space. It was a week long stay. It was comfortable and quiet. Can't give a report on how it is in the heat because, yes we stayed in the woods in June, but it was behind an electric camp site and we ran an extension cord back for a fan and lights. We glamped. In other words it wasn't camping per se. But it's a high quality tent that is easy to put up and it will serve us well for years. My last tent was an REI Base Camp 6 which was a great tent also.
 

spressomon

glutton
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Recently bought the Kodiak 10'x10' to serve as my base camp shelter for a big game hunting trip. I actually planned to sleep in my Autohome Columbus RTT and just use the Kodiak for gear storage while out scouting/hunting; however after sleeping in the Kodiak one night as an experiment...well the Columbus never got opened again for that trip.

The quality of materials and construction are just tops. From the well designed zippered and screened eyelet style twin upper vents to the quality fabric and near vertical walls with plenty of standing room head clearance and everything else in between it is certainly one of the best, IMHO, values on the market ($499 @ Amazon.com with free 2-day shipping apart of their Prime membership!) and definitely in the top 10 camping related items I've purchased over the years!

Also you can tell, after just the first day/night's use, the tent was designed by someone (or a team of someones ;)) that actually spent a night or 30 in it in the great outdoors! Apart of the hunting trip camp set-up we experienced hot temps in the upper 80's (hot for 8,000+ feet in September), windy conditions and even a deluge of about 3" of rain over 24-hours that left me even more impressed.

Obviously its not the tent of choice if you're in a new camp spot every night but for extended stays atop anything but hard rock (base needs to be staked out) its just a super tent and sound value!
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
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E.Wenatchee WA.
I have the Kodiak 10x14 deluxe and love it. Ran into high winds outside of Vegas gust of 60mph and thought for sure the tent would get damaged but it did not. Have used in rainy Oregon coast where it rained for 4 days with not a drop leaking in. Have taking it early April and got dusted by snow and have no complaints at all. Easy to set up one person under 15 minutes no problem, also we do run the big buddy heater to help keep the wife warm, happy wife happy life. Jeff
 
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
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Ruston, LA
Cool, just the type replies I was looking for. I was concerned the Kodiak might be a pain to put up with one person as I imagine I'll primarily be the one doing it. The 10x14 would be the one I went with.
How are they compared to the Springbars? Are those better quality or anything?
 

spressomon

glutton
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^ no personal experience with the Springbar other than I have heard very good things. This comparison of points through Kodiak's eyes ;) FWIW...


Also I forgot to mention the two very nice attachable internal organizers that come standard with the Kodiak: One is a large fine mesh gear loft and the 2nd is a multi-pocketed vertical organizer, also made from fine mesh material, designed to hang along any of the walls. Both are well designed, sturdily constructed and very useful: Very nice touch!
 

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Joined
Aug 29, 2012
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245
I was going to get a Springbar as I believe it's a better quality tent than the Kodiak and I have this thing about supporting American made products. But in the end the almighty budget won out and I got the Kodiak. That and I could view the tent at Cabelas. I actually called to order a Springbar and had a bad experience talking with them while ordering. It sounded like they were having a party and the last thing they wanted to do was take an order. Then after waiting 15 minutes on the phone for them to find an order form, they hung up on me. So I got in the car and drove an hour to visit Cabelas and bought the Kodiak on sight.

I think the floor in the Kodiak is better than the Springbar but that is just my opinion. I am more than happy with the Kodiak and I can put it up my self very easily. It takes longer to stake the floor down than to put up the poles. I would say it takes me about 15 or so minutes to put up the tent. 12 minutes of which is staking down the tent. It's a solid tent and hopefully I will pass it on to my kids.
 
Joined
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Do you guys have a problem finding room to set these things up? In my mind 10'x14' is rather large, and unlike a dome it has to be staked down(or at least that's my impression).
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2004
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1,324
More and more tents are incorporating vapor barriers, which make for a much more enjoyable camping experience, in my opinion. Tents like my Arctic Oven, and tents that use an optional inner layer are so nice. I won't buy another tent without an inner layer designed to deal with condensate. Also check out seekoutside.com
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2012
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Fernie, BC
I went with Springbar Family traveller 7 this spring and am not disappointed. We sleep 6 in it with room for bags.

The good:
-big, roomy, kids can bounce off the walls. Good on rainy days.
-durable and replacement parts.
-super easy to setup if you have a good hammer and tough pegs. Way faster than Costco Coleman.
-no issues in bad weather
-portico keeps all shoes dry.

The bad:
-heavy
-big. Takes up a lot of space. We have a Cndm101 trailer we keep packed in the garage.
-need to dry it. It's big and heavy and you need to dry it out when you get home. Not a big deal if you live somewhere dry but if I was back east it would be a pain.
-you must stake this tent. I bought both nail and v type pegs and use them both depending on ground. Looking at some hardened steel pegs for next year.
-no folding diagram. Great videos on there website though.

Issues pointed out:
-customer service; I had no issues they even sent me extra parts.
-floor: Kodiak pdf is BS. There is no floor seam. It feels thick enough to me. We do use a ground tarp we got for free as a special. Rocks under the floor do scare me but that would be an issue with any tent. There are reports of kodiak tent floors smelling like plastic. Maybe someone could confirm. No smell in the Springbar. Most of the weight is in the floor and the tent pegs.
Poles: again Kodiak is BS. The poles are strong and don't "weld up" with dirt. If they did I would just clean them. The poles and tent are bagged separately and I did forget them once :bang:. So much for prepacking the trailer.
-it is a big tent and finding a place to put it up is sometimes a challenge. The same challenge I had with the Costco Coleman I used last year and broke on the first trip.
-cost: yes it is more. Kodiak just gave be a bad feeling from reviews and investing this much figured might was well keep going. Price of eating out someplace nice for 20 years of tent :meh:.

We went cotton because it's cold here and snow is possible any time, we wanted something good forever, and it is what the hunting guides use (they use walled tents) We still pack around wool blankets though. Never any condensation on inside of tent. Supposedly more flame resistant.

This being said, next year I plan to buy a 4 season three person backpacking tent. If I had to do it again I would consider buying the next size down springbar and the other tent for the older kids. Still on the fence about this as the room is nice on rainy days.

Good luck with the search.
 

gregnash

Anal Retentive Analyst
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Definitely spend the money and get something like the Springbar or Kodiak. I was looking at both of those and ended up repairing my parents canvas tent from the 70s (literally my dad bought it in Australia in 1973). The bottom was just starting to rott a bit so I had it replaced by a reputable canvas repair place here in NV.

Now that we have it, the thing is freaking awesome. Plus a 9'x16' tent for the wife and I is overkill but we love the room.
 
Joined
May 23, 2005
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Ashland, OR
I have slept in a ton of different tents. Mostly summertime or early fall during bow season. Every time I have tried to take a mid day break in the tent I cooked off. Nylon and heat = uncomfortable. When my wife bought our travel trailer it was under the condition that I could get a good tent for bow hunting. I knew it would be canvas and quickly narrowed it down to the Springbar and the Kodiak. Settled on the Kodiak 10x12 cabin and the additional enclosure.

Our camping trip this summer included our 4 dogs and the enclosure is the perfect place for them. Our 4 family members slept in comfort with a lot of room to spare. The tent has huge windows, breathes fantastic and appears to be very durable. The down side is the weight and slightly complicated set up. It is something like 120lbs so we separated the poles and body just to be able to carry it. They must have figured customers would be doing that as each has it's own heavy duty carry bag.

I really look forward to using this as our base camp tent next bow season!
 

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