Thinking about splurging on a canvas tent

are they worth the price? and what makes them better than your standard tent you’d get at REI? just learned about these, so i’m a total newbie

I’ve wondered the same thing @lennyg - the price difference for a canvas tent can be pretty shocking, sooo what are getting for that money? Are they better for cold weather? I’m guessing they’re going to be waaay heavier than typical polyester tents, right? Clearly I’m a canvas tent newbie too…

I’ve rented a canvas tipi at a state park and a canvas tent from airbnb, I would recommend trying to find some canvas lodgings to try out before you invest. I had fun on both of my canvas experiences, but both times it rained on day 1 and damp canvas is not a fun smell.

Canvas tents are best for a little longer use, 3 days - 3 months, at a time. They are heavier for sure, but more durable, longer lasting, weather resistant, and way more spacious. But they can pack down enough to take camping. Check out this article to learn a bit more:

I own a Kodiak Canvas Flexbow. I’ve only camped in it twice, but I would wholeheartedly say YES they are worth the money. Especially if you stalk Craigslist or FB Marketplace for a used one. I found mine on Marketplace and drove 3 hours to buy it. After using it twice, I would say it’s worth the price brand new, too.

I used to own a Coleman family tent. It leaked pretty badly in the rain and was a pain to put up and take down. After a couple of years, we upgraded to a Trailmanor camper. We weren’t able to use it enough to justify the cost of owning and storing, so we sold it a couple of years ago. That’s when I started researching tents again.

Look at Springbar and Kodiak Flexbow. Both are basically the same design.

Here are some pros:
WATERPROOF. This was my chief concern going back to tent camping. The Flexbow doesn’t leak a drop, and you don’t have to worry about stuff touching the walls. It won’t wick in water. I was very skeptical of the waterproof claims–which is one reason I waited until I could find one used for cheap. Mine has been rained on twice and stayed perfectly bone dry inside. There was no smell as someone previously commented. Oh…and no seam sealing. That was such a pain with my old tent, and it didn’t even help.

It’s more breathable. I’ve camped once in cold weather (40’s with a LIttle Buddy propane heater) and once in hot weather (85-90), and we had zero condensation either time.

Easy to put up and take down. Hammering in the stakes is the hardest part. There are 16 for mine (14 x 10 footprint). Once the stakes are in the ground, the tent is up in a matter of minutes. Yep, it’s a heavy tent, but I’m female 5’ 5" tall, 50 years old, small framed, and I can put it up by myself. The only thing I struggled with was getting the second main support pole on the pin. I needed my daughter to hold the pin so I could use both hands to lift the weight of the tent on the pole. Very doable. So, so much easier and faster than my old Coleman.

Very durable. Steel poles. Stands up to high winds.

No rainfly. No need for one.

It’s heavy and bulky. Takes up a lot of space in your car.

I love it so much, I’m planning a cross country trip for next spring. I sound like a commercial, I guess.

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