Nothing too fancy here. Set up the Springbar for a family backyard camp and I wanted to film me taking it down so that people who are considering something like this has a reasonable expectation on what’s involved and the pros and cons.

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It took me about 9 lazy minutes to setup and about 7 less lazy minutes to pack up. Cut that in half with help. Its hard work since there are 16 stakes and canvas is heavy and bulky but frankly I don’t think its much more work than a flip out fabric RTT (I’ll have to recruit Vicariousilive to perform a side by side comparison).

I feel its fair to give a review here as well. My tent is a Springbar traveler 5. Springbar is a local Utah company that’s been doing wall tents since 1944. They know their stuff. their craftsmanship is top notch.


SPECS


  • Weight: 62 lbs
  • Tent Bag: 17 in x 24 in
  • Pole Bag: 8 in x 56 in
  • Floor: 10 ft x 10 ft
  • Floor Area: 100 sq ft
  • Sleeping Capacity: 5 adults
  • Minimum Height (Inside): 75 in
  • Maximum Height (Outside): 78 in
  • Number of Doors: 1
  • Number of Windows: 3 full-height windows (One in Front and Two in Back)
    Front Window: Top- 18" Height- 62 1/2" Bottom- 25"
    Back Windows: Top- 18" Height- 62 1/2" Bottom- 25"
  • $759
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What I love about it


I breaths like you wouldn’t believe. With the windows down you can desert camp comfortably as it cools and breaths wonderfully.

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It’s about the only stand up sized tent I would erect if I was expecting bad weather, it’s CRAZY good in the wind and surprisingly water resistant. The fact that its thick canvas instead of nylon also means it isn’t as noisey in the wind and when it rains is less a sharp “tick tick” but more a deep “whomp whomp” which is way more soothing and conducive to sleep.

Zip up the windows and its warm in the cold. Its not insulated so temper your expectations but its tolerable.

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It’s a TRUE 5 man tent. You can squeeze 7-8 people in in the same way a “3 person” backpacking tent could fit 3.

All the headroom you need.

Its a lifetime tent. Treat it right and it will easily be able to be handed down. Steel poles, heavy weight canvas and a thick nylon floor. its tough. We’ve had ours since 2010 and it looks fresh as a daisy and still keeps out rain like it was new.

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A relative simplicity and a durable design. It has 2 top poles with 4 steel bars and 2 side poles. They are strong and overbuilt and don’t contain fiddly latches or special connectors. Also no bungie cord in the poles. Any connector or hub is cast and all parts are field serviceable.


What I don’t love about it.


Its HEAVY! 62 lbs isn’t something you cart far from the car, that and the bulk make it somewhat comberson.

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Setup means staking in 16 stakes. This isn’t optional, the structure of the tent requires that the floor be staked into the ground. Staking in 16 steel spikes on good ground will tire your arm, doing it in rocky ground will try your patience. The upside to this is that you don’t have a choice to stake in or not so if a storm whips up in the night you aren’t caught off guard.

Don’t put it away wet! This is true of most tents but its REALLY true of a canvas. No biggie if you live where its hot and dry...might be a pain in a wet area.

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Poles are long and don’t collapse enough to make transportation a treat, plus as mentioned the sheer bulk of the thing means if you are limited on cargo space this tent will exacerbate your problems.

Like any ground tent you need a flat chuck of ground. This doesn’t require guy wires so you need only 10x10 of flat ground but it still means choosing your tent site carefully.

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You are on the ground and that may concern some. I don’t like being on the ground but being in this tent doesn’t bother me at all like it does it smaller tents/out in the open. There is a lip on the entrance to keep critters out and the door fully zips closed.

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RTT vs Canvas


PROS:

  • Stand up living
  • Quiet in a storm
  • not tied to your car if you need/want to drive off without it.
  • Not tied to your car for movement
  • better insulation( (ground vs air)
  • Less expensive
  • Doesn’t require a roof rack/take up all your roof space
  • No CoG penatly

CONS:

  • You are on the ground vs a RTT
  • You still have to bring, unpack, setup, repack bedding (a bed roll certainly helps)
  • substantially more cargo space used
  • More effort to deploy/pack but not much
  • requires a level site

Frankly the more I setup this tent the more I realize it’s not THAT big a deal to setup and teardown... and I’m not convinced that its largely better or easier than a folding RTT...and once you do the benefits are substantial. It’s a quiet, strong, temperate, large, comfortable living space. Some days I wish I had an RTT some days I don’t. If the weather is foul I would take the Canvas 10 times out of 10. Its a place you could spend the entire day in if you had to and not go crazy.

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