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BA Flying Diamond 8 vs Kodiak Canvas 6041VX

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  • 1 Post By mick
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  #1  
Old 10-08-2018, 08:29 AM
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Default BA Flying Diamond 8 vs Kodiak Canvas 6041VX

I'm just back from a long weekend at Cedarville State Forest in Maryland set up as home base to take the grand kids to Fright Fest at Six Flags America. We used our newly purchased BA Flying Diamond 8 tent on this run. Our normal tent is the Kodiak Canvas VX. The BA was simple to set up but I was a little disappointed in the interior space as compared to the Kodiak. I don't like hunching over (I'm just 5'7") to get into and stand in that was necessary in most places in the BA. The straight walls of the Kodiak are far preferred over the dome shape of the BA. Floor space was also limited which I knew going in but the back bump out is pretty much only useful for gear when your grand kids are 11 and 7 and everyone prefers sleeping above floor level on their own cot and not in sleeping bags. We travel with the Cam O Bunk beds and these things while oversized are very comfortable and in the day can be converted to a Cam O sofa set up. Naturally they took up a good bit of space in the front of the BA and had to be stacked so that the other cots would even fit in the limited floor space. I had to set up a table in the back to hold my CPAP machine and I had a small fan and heater on the floor next to the table so that are was used for that and gear storage. I don't think we will be keeping the BA as it doesn't really match up to the Kodiak but I did like the 23 lbs or so of the BA as compared to the 60 lbs or so of the Kodiak but both being car camping tents the short distance to the tent pad to haul the Kodiak far outweighs (no pun intended) the lighter weight of the BA.


I will say that my biggest complaint with the Kodiak was the staking of the base. That being said, there are at least as many stakes involved in the set up of the BA.. And, anyone who has been to Cedarville State Forest can appreciate the absolute nightmare it can be to drive stakes into that ground. I swear every spot I had to drive a stake was 2" from a ledge of hard rock.. Thankfully I have been using Spax lag screws with a drill and was able to get all of them securely driven. The campground was full and mostly with tents and I heard more than a few "complaints" about trying to drive tent stakes. I wish had a good supply of lag screws and drills with me. I could have made a few sales I'm sure.



Lastly, our tent pad was right under an acorn tree. All night long acorns would hit the rainfly of the BA and the sound was deafening. Checking each morning did not find any damage but it sounded like gunfire through the night
I will say that the BA was the most impressive of the tents in the campsite that I saw. It presents very nicely and I'm sure it is a great, stable, sturdy tent but if you want something that is better suited for "glamping" for a family of 4 and weight isn't a huge concern, I would go for the Kodiak VX any day. The one thing that I would be concerned about with the BA are the zippers. They seem a bit lightweight to me. Why BA didn't use YKK zippers is a wonderment. I'm sure cost was the biggest concern as weight would not be an issue with a car camping tent such as it is.
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2018, 05:18 PM
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Very nice comparison. And always happy to see people using those Spax bolts!
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Old 10-09-2018, 10:43 AM
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We were camping a year or so ago and a gentleman in a neighboring site walked up to me and was admiring our Kodiak Flex Bow. I showed him the inside with the Cam O Bunk set up and then how the base was anchored with the Spax lags and he was just amazed since he had bent most of his stakes staking down his tent. After explaining about the Spax lags he said "you're like McGyver". I said no I'm not but that was a good guess on who turned me onto the lags....
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Old 10-09-2018, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mick View Post
I said no I'm not but that was a good guess on who turned me onto the lags....
Propelled to national prominence. Autographs $5.

Coming back down to reality... I contacted the Spax people a couple of years ago and told them they should start making bolts with extra wide heads just to market to campers. I explained that there is a company in the U.K. making Peggy Pegs, that they sell fairly well over there but are prohibitively expensive here in the States. I was told that they were happy I found a use for their product but that they were strictly a construction oriented company. I think they're missing out on a cash cow
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Last edited by MacGyver; 10-09-2018 at 11:28 AM..
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  #5  
Old 10-09-2018, 12:00 PM
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I use a large fender washer with the Spax lag screw so the tent flaps are very secure under there. I worry more about the loop getting any where near the screw part while drilling and wish the portion that is smooth was a little longer as all I really need is a short bit of screw to cut in.
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Old 10-09-2018, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mick View Post
I use a large fender washer with the Spax lag screw so the tent flaps are very secure under there. I worry more about the loop getting any where near the screw part while drilling and wish the portion that is smooth was a little longer as all I really need is a short bit of screw to cut in.
Yeah - the fender washers are kind of a gotta have and I think about threads and peg loops, too. I've considered grinding off some of the threads but instead just make sure I'm careful when screwing them in. I don't like stretching the loops out too tight anyway, figuring that a drum tight tent isn't just unnecessary, it needlessly stresses out the fabric. In fact, the only thing I do worry about with the Flexbows is the longevity of the top canvas because of the stress it's under when set up. Time will tell on that...
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Old 10-09-2018, 03:04 PM
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Our camping trips are seldom more than 3 or 4 days, 3 or 4 times a year so that roof should be good for a while. That tent will certainly outlive me at nearly 69 years of age. It won't be too much longer that I will need someone to lift it up on set up and maybe even to help me find my way back from the bath house ;-)
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