Woodalls Open Roads Forum: New tent: want something a little larger this time
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 > New tent: want something a little larger this time

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Jeff10236

Annapolis, MD

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Posted: 06/09/13 11:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It seems that every spring or summer I look for a new excuse to buy another tent , and I am once again thinking about adding a new tent.

I have 4 tents right now, and I really love 3 of them. In fact, one of them (the 6 person Kelty) could mostly handle what I'm currently looking for, but I do really want a straight wall cabin tent to choose from for certain trips.

I am almost finished my masters degree (I have a few weeks to finish the final thesis-like project). Once I finish my masters, I'll have a lot more time for traveling/camping. For weekend trips and for trips where I'm traveling and making and breaking camp throughout the trip I will be happy to use my current, easy to erect/break down, dome tents. However, for longer trips where I'm going to stay in one place longer I want the cabin tent.

For a longer stay (4 days or longer) a cabin tent gives more room and should be more comfortable with plenty of head room. I like the straight walls, the curved in walls of a dome feel like they leave a lot of wasted floor space. For summer trips (or fall/early spring trips with a heater) I could use a cot or air bed for more comfort and still have a lot of room for a chair (for when I'm rained in) and gear.

While I do sometimes camp with friends, I also often camp alone. I'm still single and I don't have any kids. So, while I want a decent sized cabin tent, I need to be able to put it up alone. For size, 10x10 is probably about perfect (lots of room even when out with one or two other people but still small enough for most camp sites and to put up alone), but I will consider a little smaller or a little bigger.

I've considered outfitter style wall tents like the Cabelas Alaknak tent due to the versatility, but of course I've ruled them out due to the need to be able to set them up by myself.

My top choices, are a Springbar or Kodiak canvas cabin tent. They are pretty heavy duty tents that seem like they'd last a long time. Canvas breathes pretty well and the windows are well placed so it should be well ventilated, yet they can be closed up so winter camping with a heater should be reasonably comfortable. I've watched You Tube videos and both look pretty easy to put up alone (these aren't like the old canvas cabin tent my parents had in the 1980s). These are probably my top choices, though a bit pricey.

So, my top choices are (with the first two being far more likely than the next two):
-A Kodiak canvas cabin tent
-A Springbar canvas cabin tent
-Cabelas Outback Lodge (not quite a cabin, but roomy, and despite a lot of stakes and lines it can be put up easily alone)
-Eureka Copper Canyon (cheap, but decent)


Any feedback on these particular tents would be very welcome.

* This post was edited 06/09/13 12:03pm by Jeff10236 *


Vehicles: 2011 Ford Fusion (for car camping), 2009 Suzuki Boulevard C50 (motorcycle camping)
Tents: Boulder Creek Hunter Ridge 4 (cheap 4-season tent from Bass Pro Shops), Alps Mountaineering Vertex 4, Kelty Grand Mesa 6, Big Agnes Fairview 4

Jeff10236

Annapolis, MD

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Posted: 06/09/13 01:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've been reading online since posting, and I'm nearly 100% decided it will be the Kodiak, Springbar or Outback Lodge. I was thinking about replacing my cheap Bass Pro Shop brand (Boulder Creek) 4-season tent this year and all of these can do true 4-season service (at least with MD/VA/PA/WV winters, maybe not VT, Canadian or Rocky Mountain winters). Between the three, I'm leaning towards the Kodiak and Springbar since they go up so much easier than the Outback Lodge (not as many lines to set up). The price break of the regular 10x10 Kodiak would be nice, but the extra features of the Kodiak Deluxe or the Springbar would be nice (especially the extra ventilation).

From what I'm seeing, these go up easily enough that they may replace all but one of my dome tents should I buy one. I doubt my Kelty dome is any easier to put up, and it won't have any more interior space, so I'll probably donate it to Goodwill. The one thing that may save both the Alps Mountaineering and Big Agnes are that they will fit on the back of the motorcycle (and they are small enough domes they probably will set up a bit easier than the Springbar or Kodiak).

The only question really is if I buy one this year, or if I wait until next year (especially with the cost of these canvas tents). Well, that and whether the Springbar and made in the USA is worth the price premium over a Kodiak.

jim1632

Arlington, VA

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Posted: 06/09/13 01:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No longer in the tenting area but you did offer me a chance to look over the current Eureka line. We had a cabin Eureka tent that lasted more than a decade of hard family camping.

Agree that 10 x 10 or 12 x 12 size is the most reasonable for one-person setup and for most campsites. One issue is whether canvas tent technology has changed to avoid the drips due to wicking when someone touches the side. In my day (somewhat in the past) a single finger tip could provide a healthy leak. Small children just couldn't resist that magic.

I prefer tents with hooded rainfly so you can leave the upper window zipped about halfway for rain or for ventilation during day trips. The Eureka Sunrise 11 or the Titan series interested me the most. Titans do seem pricey though.

Copper Canyons have more vertical side but that leaves the window area less protected by rainfly overhang.

Hard choice to make. Maybe you could find a suitable choice among the Wal-Mart or sporting goods tent lines that would handle a few years. Now that the education is finished, I suspect you might be in line for some lifestyle changes.

Jeff10236

Annapolis, MD

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Posted: 06/09/13 02:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Both Springbar and Kodiak use a silicone treatment in the canvas which is supposed to address leaking. Supposedly you can touch or brush the canvas during a rain without any wicking.

As for lifestyle changes, I will always like tent camping. I do want to get a pop-up in a few years, but that is being put off a bit again (well, it probably is)...In addition to wanting to buy a house within a couple years, I want to leave MD. I have long entertained the idea of moving to Northern VA in the back of my mind. As soon as I get a job in NOVA or a MD job close enough to move somewhere between Alexandria and Reston, I will be moving (preferably Alexandria). That area is a bit more money than comparable areas in MD, thus putting off buying a house and a pop-up a bit (I probably won't buy a pop-up, unless I can pay cash for the pop-up and pickup, until after I get a mortgage). So, even if I somehow gave up tent camping after buying the pop-up (I doubt it), I'll get several years out of the tent.

tplife

SoCal

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Posted: 06/09/13 06:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Heavy is a good word to describe the canvas tents you mention. 6 and 8-man Polyester tents with lots of vertical room are available from the usual quality companies (Big Agnes, Mountain HardWear, Sierra Designs, Marmot, REI, EMS, Etc.) that have none of the seepage issues of canvas and weigh half as much.

FreeLanceing

Grand Haven Mi

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Posted: 06/09/13 08:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am still looking for a good cycle tent. You had done a good comparison last year. Those tents are no longer availible. If you run across another good option post it please.

tplife

SoCal

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Posted: 06/12/13 10:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jeff, it's your back, if you think 50# is reasonable I suggest a 2nd look at "Back to the Future" and bask in the nostalgia. No question about the quality of their products though...

* This post was edited 06/13/13 04:15pm by tplife *

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