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ian1357 08-15-2018 12:06 AM

Kodiak Canvas
My wife and I are just starting out camping. We are both in our sixties. We are considering the Kodiak Canvas 6133 Tent. Any thoughts form more experienced campers would be welcome.

MacGyver 08-15-2018 05:08 AM

I've never seen their cabin tents but I doubt you can go wrong with the Kodiaks. I own their 10x10 and 8.5x6 Flexbows. They're a lot more durable than nylon tents, warmer in cold weather and cooler in the heat. They also don't wick water like older canvas tents did. I usually have a tarp over my tents, but, since I go without the tarp in winter, I have been in rain and didn't get a drop of water inside. The only drawback out of the box is having to stake 'em down. The tent pegs that come with them are huge and take a bit of effort to hammer in. I'm no kid myself and figured out how to get around all that bending over and beating pegs by using a bolt you can get at Home Depot called Spax. By carrying a cordless drill my setup time was more than cut in half. See the thread I started here.

MacGyver 08-15-2018 02:54 PM

Try this link for the Spax bolts instead

ian1357 08-17-2018 10:51 AM

Since my original post. My wife has become very concerned about the canvas tents weight. to the point that she is dead against me buying this type of tent. The reason being I am 60 diabetic with a dicky ticker.
Is this a good argument? Can I change her mind with good reasoning?

MacGyver 08-17-2018 12:33 PM

I hate to see someone walk away from a good tent, but your wife is probably right. 100+ pounds is a lot of tent to be moving around. My 10x10 is about half of that and it's a bit of a chore to move around. It's not so much what it weighs as it is the weight and the bulk.

I'd start throwing out some recommendations for nylon tents, but first I have to ask if you really need that much room. The 6133 is HUGE. You might want to keep it in mind that tents that large don't always fit in parks where you're limited to setting up on a pad. Even if you're camping where there aren't any restrictions limiting to a pad, it can be seriously difficult to find enough flat space to set up.

ian1357 08-17-2018 11:03 PM

Did not realize the problem a tent that big, would be. I assumed with size of some RV's on the road a tent would be no problem. I bow to your superior knowledge.
At present we have this tent. The Ozark Trail 6 Person Instant Cabin Tent which has a floor area of 10' x 9' . Last time I used this was on my own, about two years ago and my memories of it, was that it was quite small. My wife and I are hoping to erect the tent in the next couple of days.
As regards my research into other tents. I am at an impasse. Every time I think I have found "the new improved tent" I then start reading the reviews it becomes "not the new improved tent".
So any help in that department will be appreciated.

PS Have just this night really looked at the Flexbow 10 x 14 versions. In the Q&A it says the canvas for this weighs 36lbs. I think that is manageable, just got to convince the wife:-). However would this size still pose a problem as you mentioned in your previous reply?

Jonesycampgirl 08-18-2018 06:37 AM

This is very interesting to me, regarding the size issue. Exactly how big is this beast of a tent, that I camping pads may not accommodate it?

ian1357 08-18-2018 11:07 AM

The main tent is 12 x 9 with an 8 x 8.5 awning sown in. here is a link to it https://www.competitiveedgeproducts....nopy_p_14.html

MacGyver 08-18-2018 12:10 PM

I don't know that I'd call it, "superior knowledge". Everybody has an opinion on what works and what doesn't and I'm no exception.

I looked at the 6133 again and have to take back what I said about it's size. The attached awning makes it look bigger. But, depending on where you'll be camping, the awning might still present a problem if you're on a site with a lot of trees or in a group. I don't have any personal experience with camping where you're limited to setting up on pads, but I have seen comments on other forums where people have had problems with larger tents.

The Ozark Trail 6 probably seems small because it's more of a dome tent with sloping walls. The Kodiak walls also slope but not as much, so you get more walk around room.

Reviews on just about any product drive me crazy. I've read where you're supposed to focus on the 3 star, middle of the road reviews to get the most accurate opinion. But it's awfully hard to ignore the complaints in the 1 and 2 star reviews. I've taken to looking at the percentages. If the 1 and 2 star reviews are running close to the 4s and 5s, I generally pass.

As far as the 10x14 Flexbow goes, one of my camping buddies has one and it is definitely nice and definitely roomy. But I can't imagine anyone with serious medical issues hauling one out. I also can't imagine the canvas alone weighs 36 pounds. There are no scales in my house so I can't weigh the canvas for my 10x10, but it certainly feels like it's at least that much.

ian1357 08-18-2018 12:20 PM

I know I will bow to my wife's wishes and pass on the kodiaks. But I would be interested in your views on the lighter tents.

MacGyver 08-18-2018 01:08 PM


Originally Posted by ian1357 (Post 29969)
I know I will bow to my wife's wishes and pass on the kodiaks. But I would be interested in your views on the lighter tents.

Before I spit out a bunch of links, it would be good to know what you're looking for in a tent. What all gear do you want to keep inside with you? What will you be sleeping on? In other words, what all do you need room for? If you're looking for room to do jumping jacks or play Twister, you might be out of luck. I've had a friend stay in my 10x10, both of us on our own cot, in winter which meant having a heater going (with the requisite clearances) and we still had room for gear under the cots.

ian1357 08-18-2018 01:28 PM

inside the tent we will have twin air beds. A table 27 x 39 (maybe) two folding chairs (the standard folding uptight kind not the big lounger chairs). just been looking at this

MacGyver 08-18-2018 01:55 PM


Originally Posted by ian1357 (Post 29973)
inside the tent we will have twin air beds. A table 27 x 39 (maybe) two folding chairs (the standard folding uptight kind not the big lounger chairs). just been looking at this

That's what I call the Livingroom/Bedroom setup. Definitely looking for at least an 8 person tent. You might notice that the tents I've linked to stay away from the traditional simple dome configuration. The sloping walls of your Ozark 6 is probably why it felt so small - you lose real estate and walk around room. Unfortunately, when you get into tents of that size in nylon, you start to get into the problem of weather protection. Not just rain, but wind. Until you get into high dollar basecamp tents, rain flies are notoriously minimal. Wind becomes a problem with straighter walls that act like sails. Here are a few to check out (The last one as a joke):

REI Co-op Kingdom 8 Tent
Coleman Outdoor Montana 8
Coleman Weathermaster Tent 17x9
Eureka Copper Canyon 8
Mountain Hardwear Space Station Tent 15

Personally, I would stay away from instant setup tents. I've seen the joints on the poles break which presents the problem of fixing them in the field. Unlike standard ferrule connections that can be splinted with sleeves designed for that purpose, or even a stick and duct tape, those joints are harder to hold together.

ian1357 08-18-2018 03:21 PM

Thanks for the recommendations. Really do appreciate your advice. I have not mentioned this, but the REI Kingdom 8 tent, I nearly pulled the trigger when I was in the store about 6 days ago.
So the million dollar question. Which would be your choice? Just interested in your answer that is all.

Jonesycampgirl 08-18-2018 03:37 PM

I agree about the insta-tents, I personally have no experience with them, but when researching/shopping around for tents, I was tempted to go that route for the ease.

I also researched the EZ-Ups and the like, type tents. Basically a canopy that you set up, then can attach a tent onto, there are several styles and sizes. With those, you don't really have tent polls, I believe they have guy-lines and it still needs to be staked down. I'm still on the fence about those now as well.

I was always under the impression that domes are better wind equipped than straight sides of cabin-style tents. I've had Eureka domes years ago, which I thought were very nice. I've also heard good things mostly about Coleman's as well, as for looking into the non-high-end tents that is.

As for your 10 x 9, I understand how it seemed small, my Coleman 6P is 12 x 10, and it felt like a decent size for 2 people, with furnishings and gear. When I read "room for 2 queen size beds", I'm thinking that as to be without much walking/standing area. Depending on how you were laying out your twins, I think you'd have decent floor space in any one of those linked above.

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