Tent?

Discussion in 'Shelter' started by MommaJ, May 10, 2018.

  1. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    For our upcoming trip (roadtrip to Yellowstone)I am in the market for a larger stronger tent then we currently have.
    (1,2,4 person tents). The original plan was Emma and I would take a 4 person and autumn and her boyfriend take the other 4 person. But between our recent trip out, seeing 2 cots don't fit in a 4 person tent and our spot on Beartooth hwy saying 1 tent allowed we need something larger.

    So I am looking for idk lol

    I like the look of the kodiak tents and the fact they look easy to set up but not sure if it will be a good investment.

    But a Coleman cabin style is much more affordable,closer to what I am familiar with,but a pain to set up.

    Hubby gave me a budget of around 600, it must have a floor,and I am not allowed to crawl into it.

    Any advice/ideas?
     
  2. mainewoods

    mainewoods Maine Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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  3. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    That's the 1 that had me fall in love with canvas tents. Lol it looks so easy to assemble.
     
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  4. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    No help in the way of tent suggestions, but that's fantastic! I hope you all have a terrific trip! Good hubby is trying to look after you with your back...
     
  5. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    It's an adjustment for sure. My sleeping system was just perfected until doctor's orders for a cot and hubby's orders for no crawling. The trip should be amazing I have so many great places to stop,sleep, or stretch during the drive out there and back home. The bad ouchie part is 2 weeks of camping almost 10 days of which is set up at night and break down first thing in the morning.
     
  6. Timex

    Timex Guide

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    Yesterday, I saw that backcountry .com had the Marmot Limestone 6P Marked down to $399.00 from $499.00. They still had both green and orange. I have also looked at the Big Agnes Bighouse 6. Good luck
     
  7. oddjob35

    oddjob35 Scout

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    For my family car camping tent I have a Wenzel Vortex 8 airframe tent, which I would thoroughly recommend for family car camping, especially with pre-teen children. I say that because with a couple of tries in the back yard, so I fully understood the how to details, I was able to get the whole tent up providing cover in a few minutes and fully pegged down/guyed out in about 6-8 minutes so you can keep younger children more controlled as it is so quick to put up (AND can be done by one person alone). It would also appear to be around $300, leaving money in the budget for a footprint/tarp to protect the sewn-in groundsheet outside, some of those jigsaw sports mats to create an interior floor to protect the inside of the groundsheet (especially where kids are situated or stomping around!) and these are great comfort for the feet of anyone inside without boots on, an extra tarp with some spare poles to create a porch and maybe even a new knife/stove/whatever your thing is LOL.

    Here is a link to a review ... https://www.whichinflatable.com/air-tents/wenzel-vortex-8-tent-review/

    A few notes from MY viewpoint and MY actual usage:-

    15' x 9' floorplan is pretty much all useable if on mats or low mattresses, Cots not so much as their height means moving out a bit. Although this does make for more floor space for storing bags of clothing/food etc. that is out of the travelled walkways.
    15x9 may "technically" be suitable for sleeping 8, but with family gear etc. in there I would suggest a max of 6. With myself, the wife and 3 dogs we have a sitting area permanently set up in the centre and an oversize cot at each end with dog beds spread around to suit the dogs!! This leaves enough room to get in and out of the tent with ease and leave everything set up fully (kitchen outside see below).
    As mentioned above, take a tarp (or even one of those pop-up canopy things) to create a covered porch just outside the door especially with youngins, so they don't tramp dirty gear straight inside especially when wet and so you can cook outside the tent. There is no way of lifting the door on poles to create a porch on this particular tent, which I like, as it preserves privacy inside the tent and means you have a covered (dry) area outside for kitchen gear etc. even at night when all zipped up. With the pop-up canopy you do have the options of side walls and skeeter netting if appropriate, though it is more standalone and wouldn't cover the tent doorway in wet weather, due to wall angles, which a tarp could do if set up appropriately (2 poles out front, guyed/pegged, and then long rope guys tied to trees/poles behind the tent so that the tarp covers about half the tent width above the door).

    Just some thoughts and hints which could apply to any tent you purchase. Good luck, OJ


    ETA Having just re-read the OP, there would easily be room for 4 cots across the tent with room to get between them (we use the giant oversized cots and there would be room for 4 of those just about with some storage space too!). Also takedown is pretty quick and easy too, just un-peg guy lines/floor, pull the plugs from the frame pieces and squash out the air as you fold/roll the tent up. Pretty handy if you are moving places every day.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
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  8. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    @oddjob35 I never even looked at the airframe designs.

    A quick read on a different review mentioned moderate rain protection and that condensation can be an issue.

    Is that a true issue? A normal camping experience for us is muggy,hot NJ summers. Having it as just a cooler weather option would be fine but ventilation is a concern as I would want to get the chill out of the air with a space heater in the morning.
     
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  9. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    I can't help much in the way of recommding a tent that fits those parameters. But I do have a few tents and being my perfered shelter of choice (for some reason they aren't very popular around here) I have developed some opinions about them. I've found that a lot of the larger tents tend to be poorly designed for foul weather. I warned a friend about this with his 5 man Coleman tent, he finally admitted that I was right after waking up in a puddle.

    Anyway look out for rain flys that don't go down to the floor. A lot of times the flys are completely inadequate for the tent. Keep in mind that just because the tent wall is solid and not mesh does not mean that it's waterproof. The inner tent is ment to breathe and so generally only the floor is waterproof (maybe). If the fly comes short and water hits the inner tent wall chances are it's going to drip inside the tent at the first seam it hits. Check for taped seams on the fly and floor, seal them as needed. The stake loops at the corners of the tent are generally not sealed and act as wicks slowly sucking water into the tent throughout the night. Be sure to seal them and any seams running across the floor as needed.

    Here's an example of a large tent with a tall door that has a full coverage fly. Though I still think 4 cots would be a tight squeeze.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
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  10. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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  11. oddjob35

    oddjob35 Scout

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    As with ALL tents, different designs and makers give one or more issues to somebody. There is no single perfect tent to suit everybody!! LOL Oh how I wish!

    Firstly let me state that I am NOT, no way, an expert on family camping and I have no connections to/with Wenzel, but from my experiences with the Vortex I would say that the ventilation is just about adequate with all the windows open to the netting, though in calm/still, muggy weather (and yes we do get that here in the South), like anywhere that doesn't have a/c, it can get rather warm! I do take a Ryobi portable fan with a couple of spare charged batteries (along with a Ryobi lantern) which does help move the air a bit.
    As far as ventilation for a space heater is concerned I would say that it should be OK especially if it is in the morning and you can start opening windows (there are a couple of permanent vents in the vortex).
    Although 4 hot adult bodies breathing on a cold, cold night may give you some condensation on the walls (I have not tried out my tent under those conditions), the airframe itself is far less likely to have condensation on it compared to the metal poles of most family sized tents, due to the non-metallic (think blow up rubber inner tubes inside a cloth sleeve) construction.
    My tent has not had a serious amount of rain testing, but one week it was up and we had the usual summer late afternoon rain every day for the week and I only found water inside once when we hadn't closed all the window flaps properly (but the muggy air had cooled considerably anyway). Now that is not an exhaustive test I know, but I felt comfortable with the way my tent performed under those conditions. I would try to avoid using this type/size of tent if heavy storms and tornados were in the forecast anyway, but the more normal rain didn't seem to bother us at all.

    There are a number of manufacturers now making airframe/inflatable type tents and they all call their system something different, but I am happy with my Vortex and as an older person with several creaky bits (and a wife not a lot better!), I would really recommend that you look into the "inflatable" type of tents for ease of setup/take down. No poles to bend/crush/loose and then trying to pull canvas over the top of a 6'6" tall tent frame when you are only 5'9" high and then have to put in a ground sheet on wet ground .... yeah so much easier with it (basically) all in one piece with a pump to blow it up. Four pegs in to stake out the corners of the floor, pump up the frame components and you can start getting stuff into the dry, then the unlucky person to stay outside and finish the floor pegs and do the guy lines. 10 minutes and done at least for your main shelter and sleeping area, add a bit of time for a porch if required, which it probably won't be if only staying one night (unless raining I guess).

    Just MY opinions but hope this helps a bit @MommaJ and glad to hear you can widen your search to other inflatable tents (I hate to say "Blow-up" tents ... pass the TNT Mike!!), but they are serious contenders nowadays and not just for kids to play in the back yard in. LOL

    ATB with your search, OJ
     
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  12. Lichen

    Lichen Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    The Coleman Insta-tent 6 person is perfect for 2 cots. It's not canvas and the fly isn't great, but it sets up in one minute.
     
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  13. NJStricker

    NJStricker Supporter Supporter

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    We have this ALPS 2 room cabin tent: http://www.alpsmountaineering.com/products/tents/camping-tents/camp-creek-two-room

    It has a door at each end with a fabric room divider. We can fit 4 Walmart air mattresses inside in each corner. Plenty of room to stand. Big windows for lots of ventilation. It withstood 35 mph winds on Friday that flattened a lot of smaller tents at our scout camporee.

    If you are associated with a scouting program you can get significant discounts through HikerDirect. We bought ours last summer for around $200.
     
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  14. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    Yeah.. my back hurts just thinking about that! Medication is your friend in this case.. Also air activated cold/heat might be part of your packing!

    :40::40:
     
  15. popedandy

    popedandy Scout

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    My wife and I have been pretty happy with the Big Agnes Big House 6. Easy to put up and take down, should have plenty of room for four cots. We use two twin air mattresses and have lots of room to move around. It's $400 at Campmor. We also have some sort of thin carpet that is designed for tents that helps protect the floor and helps keep the tent clean.
     
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  16. slysir

    slysir Guide

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    Sure, that tent looks great. Easy set up...but

    Look at the pic. It's a beautiful sunny day, no wind no rain. That's not the reality of tent camping. Rain fly doesn't go down to the ground. You'll soon find out why that's important. Large "sail" area...30+mph winds you'll be chasing that thing all over the camp ground. Murphy says...rain and wind in the middle of the night!!

    Keep a low profile...rain fly the the ground. The only time that's going to be spent in the tent is sleeping. You don't need a house!!

    -John
     
  17. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    John, did you read the OP, or my first post for that matter? The fly does in fact go to the ground which is part of why I was willing to present it as an option, it just happens to be open in that picture. The OP was requesting a tent that could fit four cots (sloping tent walls make cots difficult to fit) and didn't require crawling into the entrance due to medical reasons from what I understand. I believe the OP was a tarp camper. And here's my tent I used on my last outing, with the fly flipped over to dry in the morning sun.

    [​IMG]Camp Two by MJGEGB, on Flickr

    I don't think either can be categorized as a house. Though I actually have a smaller tent in route since I don't need such a large shelter while solo.
     
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  18. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I really appreciate all the feedback. Just got back from a JROTC military ball and will be showing my hubby the different options and input.

    I love my current tent but it's just too small and well crawling in and out is no longer an option for more than a night or 2. Hence the search for a larger tent.

    I never put much notice into the fly before or the differences between cabin vs non cabin before let alone airframe or normal frame.

    Lots of info to research.
     
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  19. Cheapeats

    Cheapeats Guide

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    Try Craiglist you can find some great deals my local had a 3 room cabelas tent with great rain fly for $200 and a big canvas tent for $600 .
     
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  20. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

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    I would peek at Seek Outside- they make a variety of larger pyramid/tipi style tents; they're spendy, but should last a lifetime of camping

    they have optional floors to put in, also option for a small wood stove if you ever get the bug for late all/winter camping

    they have become the defacto shelter choice for big game hunters in the west


    btw the Beartooth Highway rocks, one of my favorite drives- lots of good day hiking options right from the road too :)
     
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  21. M.Hatfield

    M.Hatfield Midnight Joker Supporter

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    Backcountry is a great web resource and online store to check.

    Here is a search which meets your specs, I think: https://www.backcountry.com/3-season-family-campground-tents?page=0

    All suggestions have been great thus far but the above resource could let you find some additional choices.

    Yellowstone sounds like an awesome destination........ I hope you and yours have an incredible time!
     
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  22. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Those are way way outside my budget but very very nice looking.

    On the beartooth we are staying at limber pine campground. Are the spots small 1 tent spots or can you use 2 tents in the space?
     
  23. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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  24. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Most of the airframe tents I have seen are single skin but in the UK big second skin fly sheets are sold to give an airbeam tent better resistance to heat gain and cooling I think it depends on the brand and the market. Wenzel are available here but I haven't seen any in use
     
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  25. Avohei

    Avohei Supporter Supporter

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    Question. Is the new tent going to be something you use a lot? I mean, if it's going to be rarely used then I do have a suggestion.

    NTK Cherokee GT 5 to 6 Person 9.8 by 9.8 Foot Outdoor Dome Family Camping Tent 100% Waterproof 2500mm, Easy Assembly, Durable Fabric Full Coverage Rainfly - Micro Mosquito Mesh for Maximum Comfort.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NO7EL3S/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    81zvoOVNdjL._SL1280_.jpg

    I've had this tent for around 2yrs now. First big tent I bought for family outings. It's big with that almost 10x10 base. I'm 6'3" tall so I can't stand up in it as it has a 5'3" top height. I can fit a queen size air mattress with room to spare. Had it in hot, cold weather as well as thunderstorms and it's held up. I've kept it in the trunk of my car ever since I bought it and no problems with it. Packs small for what I consider small for it's size as well.

    Reason I asked if it was something you were going to use a lot is because the tent is 120$ on amazon and if you're not going to use it all the time then why waste more money on something you'll rarely use?

    Just another option I guess. Let us know what you pick up and maybe you can review whatever tent you buy.
     
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  26. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

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    I think the vehicles are limited to one, people to 8, but I've never seen a restriction on the number of tents- it's US Forest Service site- you could call the Red Lodge Ranger station and they could tell you for sure
     
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  27. KittySlayer

    KittySlayer Tracker

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    .
    .
    <-----<<< here is an option. Mirror is optional.
    .
    .
     
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  28. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I personally would say just going to be using it for this trip but speaking honestly it's more than likely going to become a primary car camping trip. Hence the large budget for 1.

    Which ever the tent or tents,hey with return policies being what they are I might be able to purchase a few to test out and stay with in budget, I will review on here. Seems despite all the hammock and tarp lovers there is a need for info on family/large tents.
     
  29. DanTN

    DanTN Tracker

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    I have that Kodak tent myself and I love it. I can set up by myself. 2 people is easier. Anybody else is just gravy. I does HAVE to be staked before setup as this allows for the wall tension which keeps it erect. It is heavy and bulky compared to n
    Your more common nylon tents. The stakes are substantial and there one every 20 inches or so the entire perimeter. So take a real hammer. I have had mine around 10 years in every thing except snow. I have even up an air conditioner in the back door on wood blocks in Tennessee and Oklahoma summers and been very comfortable at night. It has been rained on every trip but one. I have had six people in mine on a combo of the doodle size inflatable mattress and thermarests. Not much moving around room like that but we slept well.. This tent is not a purchase its an investment. I love mine so feel free to ask any questions
     
  30. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    What works well for some won't work for others We are all different in our needs.
    What works for our friends is an idea I have been thinking of copying for summer; a Large Coleman dome shelter for lounging /reading/cooking etc coupled with a pair of smaller tents for sleeping
    These shelter domes really need to be pegged down tight and all the guylines used tho because they have been known to really take off in a wind but even a 12 foot dome is a lot of living space The downfall of the cheaper shelter domes is the use of cheap fabric but there are products out there to minimise UV damage or you could always paint over with diluted neutral silicon or even whitewash to stop sun damage
     
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  31. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    That's great to hear how much you love it. I agree it's in investment not so much a purchase hence the questions before I jump. Hubby is working overtime this weekend to cover the cost of a new larger tent so its not just money its gonna cost us.

    I can say I didn't realize how many stakes it has or that they all have to be in before setting up.

    1 question we are stuck in the debate of how many windows should we opt for. It looks like that is the main difference between each level. Since you mentioned the hot muggy summers how many windows are on yours and do you find it sufficient?
     
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  32. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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  33. DanTN

    DanTN Tracker

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    Don't know about any window options, but the back wall is an exact mirror of the front minus the awning. So looking at the front there is a door on the right side and a screen window to its immediate left. Both the door an window have screen opens about 2w by 4t. If you step to the door there is an equal size window on back wall with a door to its immediate left. So doors are diagonal to each other. I have had front windows under awning unzipped in a downpour and back windows unzipped at the top and been fine. The is also a screened ad protected vent at top middle of each side. Plenty of ventilation. I will try to post so e pic from my phone tomorrow if I can figure out how
     
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  34. Bolexguy

    Bolexguy Tracker

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    Please stay away from coleman-wenzel-ozark trails etc the waterproofing is under 1000mm which is an industry standard to call something "waterproof" also - build quality in wind is a concern.

    my usual suggestion for large family style tents od decent lasting quality is eureka's copper canyon series. with the copper canyon 8 and 12 b eing most popular

    13x10 cabin style - seams sealed - big windows - 1200mm waterproofing

    always! always! check that waterproofing number. it normally speaks to if you got something large and cheap or of lasting quality for your $. AND is why you normally see coleman tents with blue tarps over them and wet sleeping bags.
     
  35. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Ah ha you have the 1 above the basic version(just 2 doors and no vent). The 1 above yours has 2 large screens on the left and right size. The 1 I am looking at getting is your version.
     
  36. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Thank you!!! I never realized what the min number was with waterproofing. But I have noticed my 2 man tent will have no water in it meanwhile my 4 man Coleman will have a puddle on the floor. Hence I try to avoid using the 4 man if there is even a whisper of rain.

    Both are waterproof, dont know the number, 1 has a great rain fly 1 doesn't so I just assumed it was the rain fly issue.
     
  37. MisterE

    MisterE Supporter Supporter

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    For car camping we use the Coleman weather master 10 person. Got it at Costco for about $250 if I remember. Sweet tent, cheap, lots of room, easy to set up and the ceiling is mesh so you can stare out at the stars. Heavy but perfect for car camping. There is a separate room in the tent for changing and plenty enough room to stand. I really like this tent.

    [​IMG]

    Generic google image of tent I mentioned. We never use the guylines for the rain fly as shown and never had issues.
     
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  38. DanTN

    DanTN Tracker

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    20151024_150705.jpg 20170315_173102.jpg The pic with the blue tarp is only pic I have of the rear of my tent. It shows the window (left) and door (right). When camped for mor than a day and I think rain is possible, esp in the Smokies, I always put a tarp over the tent. It allows me to keep the windows open an keeps the water away from tent as much as possible, and prvide extra cover for cooking and firewood. Tent needs to dry before storage or have to set up when you get home
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
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  39. bosque bob

    bosque bob Scout

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    I also have a Kodiak and agree with the advice the other member has given. I use my 10x10 as a warm weather tent and have never been disappointed. That being said, it might be worth considering what physical limitations you will be working with. Like any canvas tent these puppies are heavier than poly tents so lugging it around could be something to look at. Bending to drive the stakes or reaching down for the zipper is also worth looking at too. Of course if you have help it shouldn't be a problem. It might take a little longer to get it done on your own. It's not recommended but I have set mine with as few as 4 stakes. Don't tell anyone.

    They are quick and easy to set and strike, handle any weather a camper is likely to meet, have great headroom and almost straight sidewalls so plenty of useable space. I consider mine a good investment.

    Best of luck, always.
     
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  40. wrath0r

    wrath0r Supporter Supporter

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  41. JC1

    JC1 Guide

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    I like Montana Canvas tents, the wall or the Spike tents are the ones I've owned in the past and currently have a spike on order
     
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  42. naten

    naten Tinder Gatherer

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    I've got the 10x14 Kodiak Flex Bow Tent. We used it in Wyoming on our pronghorn hunt. The wind blew a good 60 mph one day and the tent did perfect, can't say that for my pop up canopy though.

    The 10x14 has plenty of room and is very easy to put up even for one person. The model we have has the windows in the doors, vents where the walls and ceiling meet and doors on both sides. We stayed comfortable even when the temps climbed and the sun was beating down.

    I'm looking forward to camping with my family this year in it.
     
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  43. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    So a tent arrived today and it's going in the reject pile. It's a Mountainsmith Cottonwood 6.

    I bought it for the price point $140 with free shipping, front awning area,
    and the familiar shape.

    20180515_144923.jpg

    The plus sides was the price, the headroom, and very easy to set up. I loved that it came in a pull close bag instead of a zippered bag

    The downside was the floor feels paper thin and it only fits 3 cost.

    We have a wicked storm on the way so fingers crossed I get it down before the rain hits(next 4 days call for rain) or it might get a water test without a ground tarp under it.
     
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  44. M.Hatfield

    M.Hatfield Midnight Joker Supporter

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    Sorry to see that didn't work. Maybe a similar design with some more durable materials and construction or does it need to get bigger too? :)
     
  45. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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  46. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Needs to also be bigger. So back to the drawing board.
     
  47. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I did it. I bit the bullet
    20180529_074204.jpg

    And I cannot be happier.
     
  48. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Thumbs up; although I would advise cutting the blue tarp down to be slightly smaller than the tent itself if using it as the full time footprint
     
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  49. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Right now it's a shield for keeping the poopy grass and mud off of it after all the rain. The kids did a dog pop pick up it yeah I didn't want to risk it. When I go to take it down I will be tracing an outline of the tent onto it and trimming it down to fit.
     
  50. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Now THAT is a tent! Good job. You won't be sorry with that one. :)
     
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