Springbar Tent

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I have been using a Springbar Tent successfully for a few years now. It can be seen at this link although, I didn't have a canoe out that trip.
http://garysoutdoorwanderings2.blogspot.com/search?q=spring Scroll down that page.

The tent all fits into a gear bag and stows away nicely. The downside is that it's 30 pounds but, I situate it for the best ballast for the canoe load I have. The material is ultra strong and the quality is excellent. I can have it up in ten minutes max.
 
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I have a Springbar Compaq 2, weighs 22 lbs.

I like the Springbar tents. One problem I have with them is it's difficult to placed them close to a firepit as your able to do with an open floor canvas tents or tarp. Their fully enclosed which is more restrictive but beneficial to prevent insects from getting inside the tent.
 
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Funny I find this conversation today. I have been looking at Springbar "Compact 2" and the Kodiak "8.5x6 VT" for the past few days.
I am tired of using nylon dome tents for a season and usually throwing them away after because they are worn out or the zippers gave in or...etc.

I read a lot of comparisons about the small canvas tents, and I am not sure there is a clear winner. The biggest advantage for the springbar is the weight. At least as advertised weight goes. The Springbar weighs in at 22lbs, the Kodiak at 30.5lbs, so 8.5lbs difference. Most of that weight difference lies in aluminum vs. steel tent poles and stakes.
Here are some differences I see in general:

Floor:
Kodiak: Sewn and welded-in floor that is waterproof
Springbar: Sewn-in lighter weight floor, not welded, not water proof
I'd be a little worried about the thinner floor on the Springbar and buy the additional ground cloth.

Height:
Springbar: 40" minimum internal height
Kodiak: 48".
That is a bigger deal for me, as I am a little over 6' and the extra 8" in height are meaningful.

Sidewalls:
The sidewalls (long side) on the Kodiak seem a little steeper, which would also provide a little more internal space, but I just looked at photos, and my perception may just be an optical illusion.

Windows/Doors:
Kodiak has two side windows and two doors. It is nice not having to climb over your camping buddy to get to the door.
Springbar has one door and no side windows.

Back to the weight, I think the added ground cloth I would buy, if I bought the Springbar, might add about a pound, whereas I could exchange the steel tent stakes, that come with the Kodiak, for aluminum ones, saving about a pound. With a little additional custom tuning, the weight difference between the two tents likely becomes marginal. I don't portage much at all, and if I do it is generally very short distances. I can handle the effective weight difference of the Kodiak. For folks that portage a lot and longer distances that may be different.

I have not seen a Springbar tent in action, but from what I can tell, they are quality tents. I have seen the Kodiak tents in action. A friend of mine has two of the Kodiak 10x10 cabin tents. They are almost more cabin then they are tent. Very sturdy and well made.

Now that I wrote all this down, I think I might have just talked myself into that Kodiak...:) [h=1][/h]
 
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I have a Springbar Compaq 2 and a Kodiak Flexbow 8 x 10. The Sprinbar Compact 2 weighs only 22 lbs with stakes and poles. I recommend keeping the stakes that come with the tent as they're the wedge type that are imo better than the rod type and don't weigh all that much.

Neither tent is waterproof near the edge of the tent walls where they connect to the floor. Only the floor is waterproof. The Kodiak uses a 13.5 oz vinyl. Polyester reinforced material whereas the Sprinbar uses a 9 oz vinyl-laminated polyester, (CPAI-84 fire-retardant, antibacterial, UV inhibitor)

The only method I know of to waterproof the tent floor where it connects to the tent walls is to use a silicon spray.

How the floor is attached is different from the Kodiak as the Springbar additionally installs a rope with metal ground loops around the floors perimeter. Which is preferred by many over the Kodiak, as it creates a better ground attachment preventing the floor from ripping when staked down. All that's securing the Kodiak to the ground is the sewn in plastic floor and sewn in fabric stake loops. The floor of the Kodiak uses a thicker poly but I'm uncertain if it's any stronger than the Springbar's floor material. I believe both floor materials have approx. the same strength.

The only time the Kodiak's floor ripped was because the Kodiak was left up an entire summer in an area with poor drainage that sometimes became wet with several inches of water. The ground water to an extent was siphoned into the tent walls, one corner of the canvas edge of tent floor ripped where the canvas tent material became water logged over an extended length of time. Also I never treated the tent with silicon which I probably should have done to prevent the tent walls near the floor from becoming saturated with water. I took the tent to a canvas repair business and they sewed in some more canvas material in the area of ripped canvas.

Imo both brands are good tents, however there slight differences in construction and design. Springbar is made in the USA whereas the Kodiak's are manufactured to Kodiak's specs and imported.

Springbar tents:

8.5 oz Shelter Duck, double-fill construction, 100% cotton with Sunforger marine-finish boat shrunk treatment
Roof- 10.1 oz Army Duck, double-fill construction, 100% cotton with Sunforger marine-finish boat shrunk treatment
Windows- Polyester no-see-um mesh, CPAI fire-retardant
Zippers- YKK #10RC and #8CF nylon coils with nickel-plated sliders

Springbar Compact 2

  • Weight: 22 lbs
  • Tent Bag: 10 in x 30 in
  • Pole Bag: 8 in x 36 in
  • Floor: 6 ft x 8 ft 6 in
  • Floor Area: 51 sq ft
  • Sleeping Capacity: 2 adults
  • Minimum Height (Inside): 40 in
  • Maximum Height (Outside): 48 in
  • Number of Doors: 2
  • Number of Windows: None


Springbar Outfitter 3

  • Weight: 34 lbs
  • Tent Bag: 12 in x 29 in
  • Pole Bag: 8 in x 35 in
  • Floor: 7 ft x 8 ft
  • Floor Area: 56 sq ft
  • Sleeping Capacity: 2 adults or 1 adult with extra gear
  • Minimum Height (Inside): 67 in
  • Maximum Height (Outside): 68 in
  • Number of Doors: 1
  • Number of Windows: 1 half-height back window
    Back Window: Top- 20 1/4" Height- 34" Bottom- 25 3/4"


8.5 x 6 ft. Flex-Bow VX Tent

Pack Weight: 30.5 lbs. (Tent 15.5, poles 10.5, stakes 4.5 lbs.).
Pack Size: Tent-- Length 30 in., Diameter 10 in.
Capacity: 2-person (8.5x6 ft. floor, 4 ft. ceiling height).
Ceiling Material: 10 oz Hydra-shield™ canvas.
Wall Material: 8.5 oz Hydra-Shield™ canvas.
Floor Material: 13.5 oz vinyl. Polyester reinforced.
Frame: 1-inch, galvanized, steel tubing.
Flex-Bow Rods: 7mm diam., solid, spring steel.
All-season: Use year-round, but not designed for extreme winter mountaineering or heavy snow accumulations

I found this to be interesting, there is a Flex-bow camouflage version: http://www.longwayleisure.com.au/pro...086-camouflage

Springbar metal floor/ground loops. A piece of rope is also sewn into the edge. The Kodiak on the other hand sews directly to the plastic floor material using fabric ground loops, which is iirc a nylon or nylon re-enforced fabric.
stake-loop.jpg
 
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You think you could fit a Kni-co Trekker stove https://www.kni-co.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=70 (or similar) in one of the compacts, Kodiak or Springbar? I don't think either come with a stove jack, but I have seen jacks for retrofitting canvas tents. At 8.5 x 6, floor space would become small but OK for two I would think.

Ideally, there was a canvas tent / wood stove combination at no more than 50lbs total weight that sleeps 3 :). Maybe the Springbar Campsite 3 customized to be not quite as tall, to shave some weight off, would fit the tent bill. I like the floor size and think it might work for 3 + small stove. I looked at the Seek Outside folding type stoves as well. They are light, but they look really flimsy and not air tight at all. I think it might eat fuel fast, so the tent would go cold in the middle of the night or one would have to get up several times to put more wood on.
Thoughts?
 
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You think you could fit a Kni-co Trekker stove https://www.kni-co.com/index.php?rou...tegory&path=70 (or similar) in one of the compacts, Kodiak or Springbar? I don't think either come with a stove jack, but I have seen jacks for retrofitting canvas tents. At 8.5 x 6, floor space would become small but OK for two I would think.

Ideally, there was a canvas tent / wood stove combination at no more than 50lbs total weight that sleeps 3 :). Maybe the Springbar Campsite 3 customized to be not quite as tall, to shave some weight off, would fit the tent bill. I like the floor size and think it might work for 3 + small stove. I looked at the Seek Outside folding type stoves as well. They are light, but they look really flimsy and not air tight at all. I think it might eat fuel fast, so the tent would go cold in the middle of the night or one would have to get up several times to put more wood on.
Thoughts?


The Trekker Stove appears to be a good size, weight and cost. It appears you would need to supply your own 4" flue. Some of the tent stoves come with flues of various sizes that can be tightly packed with the stove.

Using a wood stove you would need some sort of floor pad such as a piece of wood or carpeting. There are many wood stoves to choose from which usually vary in weight, size, size of flue, type of door, etc.

Some people make their own out of propane tanks, while others construct them from steel plates. The difficult part is usually fabricating a door with hinges, getting the door to easily swing open and close with a tight fit.

People have installed stove jacks in both Springbars and Kodiaks that are larger such as 10 x 10's and 10 x 14'.
Springbar at one time and I think still does install stove jacks by special order. You would need to order a Springbar tent from them and have them install a stove jack (for an additional service fee). Possibly other outfitters selling Kodiaks and Springbars offer tent modification services, installing stove jacks. Their not really that difficult to install, does require some pre-planning and patience.

Using a sewing machine or sewing all you can install your own stove jack

Google search "stove jack" (springbar OR flex-bow OR kodiak) There are also several Youtube videos showing how to install a stove jack.

Tent011.jpg


20140309_080121_zpsinlutfe9.jpg
 
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Sorry to keep spinning the yarn about canvas canoe tent possibilities here, but I think I am in love with this new (new to me) tent I found.

Look at this think https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDO4WknzoVw

The one in the video is 6x8, but the they also come in 8x10, 10x12 and in 12x14. The photo is the 10x12 (10x6 tent with a 10x6 porch).
I like the 8x10 size which is separated into 2x (8x5) sections. His regular 8x10 Torrent tent weighs 43lbs, but I think the split one would probably come in at about 37lbs (just a guess).

They look to be very high quality and yes, they are not cheap...
 

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Nice, but way to heavy to my liking, and I'm no light weight gear junky. I'm still looking for the perfect summer canoe tripping family tent, need to sleep 3 with room to spare, it would be nice to be able to somewhat stand in it so maybe 6' tall(I'm 6'2").... I'm thinking something in the line of the campfire tent, made out of a nice light fabric floor measurement 7 wide, 7 or 8 deep, with floor!! Ho wait it does exist... http://www.canoemapscanada.com/2015...pfire-tents/314-cotton-campfire-tent-7x7.html

I contacted him last year and he told me he was using either Ethaproof or Ventile(same product, different makers) But I'm still wondering why he doesn't advertise it like so, it would be good marketing I think!!

To me that could be a great set up... Not the best in the wind, but most place we travel we can set up out of the wind in the bush!!
 
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I'm still looking for the perfect summer canoe tripping family tent

This could be a good thread, unlike the 1-3 man backpacking style tents, which are well covered in many other forums and at least one recent post here... I have a Kodiak Canvas 10x10' (which is a nice enough tent w some faults for sure) but you almost need a separate porter to carry it, suitable for campground set up only, or rafting.

Need: A good smart design with reasonable forest colors, decent weight, well ventilated, but 3 season suitable, with tall easy exit doors (and fully closable screens on the doors for wind, rain, privacy), aluminum poles, all at a reasonable price... there are so many offerings but so few I have looked into really seem to fit my wants.

What have other people used on the lakes that work for them in that family size?
 
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Southcove,
There is a German expression for what you (and I) are looking for. It is called "Die Eierlegende Wollmilchsau", "the egg-laying wool-milk-pig".
I have been comparing various canvas and poly tents for canoeing. More specifically, the type of canoeing/camping my family does most. We live in northern California where canoeing is possible year round. 90% of our canoe trips are on flat water because most rivers, along the west slopes of the Sierras, are torrents with WW-III and up. Most of our flat water is provided by reservoirs, and most of those are day-trip, or single over nighter size. Virtually zero portage ever. There are a few rivers near by, but again, pretty much no portaging required.

Our favorite canoe places are in the Sierra Nevada at elevations of 4,000 to 6,000 feet. Many of those locations are (IMO) only enjoyable, once the masses have left, between October and March. That is also the time of snow and night time temperatures to below zero. We have not camped in those conditions, mostly due to lack of access to those lakes in the winter (Tahoe being the exception), and due to the lack of a suitable tent. Well...and due to my wife thinking I am insane for even contemplating winter camping. We are very fortunate to have access to some private land along some of the lakes, and mostly crowd-free camping is possible from May through November. However, summer temperatures, even at the elevations mentioned, are often above 100°F. Long story short, I am looking for a 3+ season tent with great ventilation and the possibility to stick a small stove in it if need be.

I believe most poly tents are out for stoves. Yes I know, some people have done it with other than poly outfitter type tents and claim it is fine, but just the idea of the tent catching fire or melting while we are asleep, is just not appealing. So for me, the stove thing excludes poly tents right there. I am also looking for a tent, comfortably large enough for 3 plus the stove and maybe some gear and/or a dog. My initial weight limit was 30lbs. I know that is heavy, but again, no portages and base-camp type setup rather than moving camp every day. Also, I am hopelessly in love with the idea of a canvas tent, so I have adjusted my weight limit to 45lbs, and I may be insane for doing so. As far as price goes, I have pretty much given up on finding the combined attributes I am looking for, for under $1K or even more. The closest I have been able to find are some of the Springbars, or the Split Torrent tent from Ellis Canvas, or even the Baker tent Canotrouge mentioned above. Although I am worried about wind (Sierra lakes are very windy in summer afternoons), and ventilation with only one large opening in the front. The alternative to what we are looking for may have to be two different tent setup, based on season.

Below is a spreadsheet (copy) of the tents I have contemplated so far, sorted by weight.

Any additional tents to look at and any constructive criticism is always welcome! :)
Canoe Tent Comparison
CANVASModelFloor size HeightWeightPriceComments
Ellis CanvasPrairie Tent8 x 8373”19#$980.00Protected rear window, outside frame, pyramid style with awning, awning too small to sit under
SpringbarCompact 28.5 x 6240”22#$330.002 large windows
Ellis CanvasRange Tent8 x 8373”28#$899.00Awning maybe extra, Awning can't be sat under
Kodiak8.5x6 Flex Bow VX8.5 x 6248”30.5#$300.004 windows all around for good ventilation, taller, only 5# more compared to SB compact when using plastic stakes
Ellis CanvasSplit Torrent6x8273”30#$1,100.00Makes two 6x4 areas, large enough for 2, no stove
Ellis CanvasPrairie Tent10 x 10490”32#$1,166.00Suitable for stove
SpringbarOutfitter 37 x 8367”34#$420.00no awning available, tarp setup will fix, can sleep 3. May shave some weight with AL stakes
Ellis CanvasSplit Torrent8x10397”37#$1,300.00Makes two 8x5 areas, marginal for 3 plus stove
Ellis CanvasSplit Torrent10x124110”45#$1,550.00Makes two 10x6 areas
SpringbarCampsite 37 x 10372”48#$530.00loft, organizer and awning, maybe OK due to under 50#, probably can reduce weight to 45# with plastic or AL stakes
SpringbarVagabond 48 x 10376”51#$490.00most vertical walls, awning available for $75
Kodiak9x8 flex bow9 x 8373”54.5#$550.00
SpringbarTraveler 510 x 10475”62#$690.00No side windows
SpringbarTraveler 510 x 10475”62#$690.00
Kodiak10x10 Deluxe10 x 10478”68”$570.00Two doors, two windows
Kodiak10x10 Basic10 x 10478”68#$499.00two doors
Kodiak10 x 10 VX10 x 10478”68#$620.00Has additional side windows, good for hot weather
PolyModelFloor size HeightWeightPriceComments
Big AgnesFlying Diamond 49' 2” x 7' 5”356”10#$350.002 doors, not a geodesic, appears smaller inside compared to Alaskan Guide.
TheTentlabMoonlight 48' x 8'356”10#$550.00that price at pre-order. Regular price $825. Tent has many great features. Probably one of the best tents on market! Not very tall.
REIKingdom 48' 4” x 8' 4”375”19#$400.002 doors, AL poles, may be more wind issues do to design.
Big AgnesFlying Diamond 612.5 x 8'466”20#$500.002 doors, not a geodesic, appears smaller inside compared to Alaskan Guide. Much lighter though and fewer poles
CabelasAlaskan Guide 48' 6” hex356”23#$350.00Large vestibule, geodesic shape, AL poles and lots of them like any geodesic tent. This one is not tall enough.
CabelasAlaskan Guide 610' 8” hex475”32#$450.00Large vestibule, geodesic shape, AL poles and lots of them like any geodesic tent
 
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Good stuff, Dagger! Thank you for sharing your list, comments and getting me thinking about my prior life in CA.

I cut my teeth in the Sierra's too, from summer camps to weekends at my folks acreage (Mariposa) to years of wandering forest service campgrounds and then into the high country around North Fork and Yosemite, backpacking into wilderness areas, PCT and one truly memorable horse packing trip. We always had whatever gear my dad and his friends had vetted on their trips to WA, OR, Baja and the desert...so an odd mix of whatever backpacking tents, gear on up to the latest and greatest Eureka or Edmund Hillary by Sears Roebuck family style shelters...good memories, glad to revisit them!

We have a Kodiak Canvas, a Snowtrekker, Mtn Hardware Hoopster, Cabelas 4 man (not sure of the model, but its 4 season, hell for strong) and a few others too (canvas, backpacking, fly tents, etc) collected, bought, traded, etc from years of all season camping (Sierras, Yosemite in winter on vacations, Alaska during the summer and fall, years now of Adirondack trips...). There is (as you noted) no perfect tent for any of those activities.

Ways to heat a non-canvas tent - propane for short usage and very, very careful woodstove usage (self installed stove jack, special mat and/or underlayers under stove for heat and sparks to protect floor) and then just practice a no burn after bedtime (which we do pretty much even in the canvas tents). The other approach we use spring and fall is to have a open sided shelter (EZ-up, tarp, etc), heat that w the woodstove in one corner and then each person retires to one's own personal shelter - I like that approach more and more and might be thinking along the lines of a Baker tent if I can ever figure out a good pole system (guessing $ will come from the KTM ADV Bike fund, now a sinking dream...) as the best solution in camp (adding mosquito netting, wind wings, etc)...

Note to self...mostly these are my solutions for our group camps where common gear is shared, also water transport less of an issue. (so maybe not too far away from your own type of usage) Solo, no way.

Canvas tents are fun in a way that is hard to explain...shoulder seasons ROCK, winter is FUN, but you need to have everything fine tuned before hand or you will then be going solo in the future... my wife enjoys (tolerates) a fall week in the ADKs where temps can be high of 60 or low of 25 by having a largish canvas tent w a window, a clear vinyl door, chairs, 2 burner stove, tables, full LED lighting, wood stove and me, running around to keep her comfy! (not a problem, I love the company)...that's in a state campground, so w those amenities too. Great paddling and hiking nearby.


100F .... man, does that bring back dusty, dry memories! Camp at the folks acreage, camp as a kid, tarps strung from oaks to block the burning sun...always hot, dirty, thirsty...but it also reminds me of wonderful afternoon breezes coming up from the central valley...incense pines tickling the nose...hot water showers that were HOT just from the sun and air.

Good stuff!

And you got me thinking...that is always dangerous... (and potentially expensive!)
 
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Dagger that is a heck of a list. I just received my new Alaska Tent and Tarp Artic Oven Igloo last week. 35 pound, geodesic design, sleeps three with a stove, condensation free interior, huge vestibule. Size is 9 1/2 by 9 1/2 .

Pricey but worth it. This is my second AO tent and I am ordering an AO Quest first of the month. The quest will be my canoeing tent based on the light weight it offers. It also has the condensation free interior Vapex material. Depending on your budget I would not buy without looking at them as well.
 
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I use to have an arctic oven tent, great tent, well made, super strong and dependable... That said, they are super heavy and bulky, when they say 2-3 people wile using stove, is having the third person laying across the door, really not practical. As for summer use, I wouldn't want to sleep in one even up here, they are way to warm and to little ventilation to be confortable in summer temperature imo anyway!! But if weight and bulk is not an issue, one if not the best winter tent made today!!
 
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Thank you Nodrama. AO are great tents.
The Quest intrigued me as well, for packability, but it is too small for 3 plus gear, and maybe a dog. The smallest I would even consider is the 8 or likely the 10.

They didn't make it on my list, mainly because of the concern for adequate ventilation in the summer. As Canotrouge said, they are probably just too hot for summer camping. AOs are excellent, purpose built tents for extreme conditions, or perhaps survival.
Heimo Korth (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iq0rZn8HFmQ) uses one in case the cabin burns down.

For now, I'll stay home if conditions are bad enough to require an AO :).
 
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Canotrouge I bought the AO Igloo for winter. At 9+ x 9+ and only 35 pounds it isn't heavy or bulky at all. Now the AO 12 I had at 80 pounds was heavy and bulky but people don't buy them for canoeing. There will never be more than two people in my Igloo tent and 99% of the time only myself. The igloo at the same size as a canvas tent, includes a dry bug free floor, and weighs less. Having zero moisture on the inside walls of the tent is fabulous. The biggest downside to the AO igloo is the price tag.

Dagger I agree the quest is a 2 person max tent for sure. Maybe two people and a favorite dog. I like the fact it has a huge door at each end. I believe it will provide plenty of ventilation for where and when I will be using it. I will be sure and put up a tent review after I get a few nights stay logged.
 
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I have been researching tents again this evening....and it appears that the Quest tent is going to be huge when packed. AT&T claim packed dimensions are 21x16x14? That by itself would take an entire pack....egads.

My wife and I both have nice quality 2 person tents. she uses hers on her bike trips and I use mine on solo canoe trips. for our trip this summer in WCPP I am wanting to get a quality 3 or 4 person tent so we have plenty of room.

The search continues.
 
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