Kodiak or Springbar tents

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by Sagebrush, May 5, 2011.

  1. Sagebrush Member

    Posts: 64
    portland, or
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Anyone out there using either of these two tents? We do a lot of car camping and have for years (16) used a eureka equinox 6. It has been a fantastic tent holding up to days of rain, wind and snow. But now the zipper needs replacing, and worse yet, it just doesnt quite fit my wife, myself, a 14 and 10 year old.
    So looking for big family tents I have come up with nothing that I like, it seems that when you get to the larger tents they start turning into the walmart specials. I want a tent that I can rely on to withstand the weather.
    So I came on these two companies that produce nearly identical canvass spring bar style tents.
    Kodiak
    http://www.cabelas.com/product/Camp...Rprd747004&WTz_l=SBC;BRprd747004;cat105517980
    Springbar
    http://www.springbar.com/shop/proddetail.php?prod=41010077
    The spring bar company is $100.00 more.
    Anyone have experience with either of these brands and can provide some insight to quality ease of use? Is the springbar worth the $100.00 extra?
  2. Dustin Bise Active Member

    Posts: 3,089
    509
    Ratings: +7 / 0
  3. Sagebrush Member

    Posts: 64
    portland, or
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    You dont say why you would never buy either of these. Or for that matter the reason for the ones you link.
    I have looked at all of f these tents before and have found most lacking in what I am looking for. In fact I consider my old Eureka pretty much superior, its just doesnt have the room we need anymore. Since we usually take at least one summer trip of 1-2 weeks at a time, comfort, room and the ability to stand up the elements is a must.

    REI Kingdom 6: Too small for a family of 4. Ever been in a 4 day rain storm in a small tent with kids?
    REI Kingdom 8: I might take another look at this.
    Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6: too small and 5’6" peak height? Im 6’
    North face Docking tent: No floor on station ( I know use a tarp) But bad reviews apparently issues with How the docks connect.
  4. kyle Member

    Posts: 62
    Yelm, wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    If it was between those to I think I would go the spring bar. Only because of the lifetime warranty. It nice to have a company stand behind their product like that. If you were going to go that route I have a friend who has the cabelas bighorn III and it is awesome bigger than the spring bar and only ten bucks more. I know he is happy with it.
    http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabe...oduct.jsp?productId=715015&WTz_l=RI;IK-518235
  5. Sagebrush Member

    Posts: 64
    portland, or
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Thanks Kyle, I looked at that, my wife liked the idea of a stove int he tent. but in the end too much time to take up and down for just a weekend. The Kodiak and Springbar can be up in about 15 minutes pretty nice.
    The only down sides in my mind is weight, not free standing and the extra care needed for canvass.
    I made a couple of phone calls and was really impressed with the customer service people I spoke with at Springbar, very patient, and answered all of my question's completely. Although the Springbar does not have the D doors
    and a few other interior features of the Kodiak, we have decided to go with it. The reasons are: made in Utah, Lifetime warranty, will never have to waterproof after the factory treatment, better canvas. Awning with sides available.Springbar will also customize the tent to some degree. Downside is it is more expensive, however this is a lifetime tent if kept care of. I'll be ordering this week so we can use it for Memorial day at the Metolius. Pictures and a report will follow afterwards for those who may care.
  6. grizz New Member

    Posts: 24
    Campbell River, B.C. Canada
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    you made a good call on the tent.
  7. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,701
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,744 / 0
    Well, it looks like you have made your decision already.

    I have the Kodiak Flexbow 10x10 basic and find it to be a very nice tent. Easy to setup, even for one person, and comfortable in cold, wet conditions. It is a bit heavy but I was looking for a long term tent and have used it for week plus trips. The care and feeding is minimal with the most important item is to not stow the tent while wet or damp. I am fortunate to have a large garage to hang the tent in and allow it to dry completely before stowing. I also got a custom made ground cover which helps keep the bottom of the tent clean and dry. They likely say this about the springbar also but before using it, set it up in your yard and mist it with water. This will help "shrink" the canvas and tighten up the seams. All in all for what I purchased the Flexbow for it has performed very well.
  8. Sagebrush Member

    Posts: 64
    portland, or
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Hi Kerry,

    This has been a difficult decision as the tents are nearly identical.
    We really like the D door on the Kodiak but what tipped our band was
    That the waterproofing seemed to be better on the springbar. Since we
    Look at this as a long term investment, time will tell.
    We have a double garage so drying should not be an issue.
    To start we will use a plastic ground cloth, eventually pan on purchasing
    A canvass one.
    It sounds like you've got a great tent and are very happy with it,
    I hope that we have as good luck with ours. Thanks for the feedback.
  9. Sagebrush Member

    Posts: 64
    portland, or
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    I thought I would give a report back on the Springbar tent that I purchased. I ordered it on a Friday after being helped through what I needed by the customer service rep at Springbar. I ordered the Family camper 7 a 10 x 14 ft tent, with the ground cloth, and front awning with sides (portico they call it). I asked for ground shipping and was told 5 day delivery. On Saturday, I got a call that the order was filled and would be shipped soon. Came home from work on Tuesday and was surprised to see two boxes waiting for me on my doorstep. One of them VERY large. Make no mistake this is big and heavy (around 60 lbs ).
    I went to set it up in my back yard, because I didn't want any nasty surprises on our first camping trip. It is not a free standing tent so you have to stake it down. This takes the most time as it is 16 stakes ? Then the rest goes up real easy. It can be done easily by one person, and on my first try it took about 15 minutes including staking it down. Very impressive tent, well built and roomy for a family.
    Well comes time for the first trip, this last Memorial weekend. I was a little concerned due to us hitting heavy rain then snow going over the Santiam pass to the Metolius river. Again it set up pretty quickly. Over the course of the weekend it came through the rain and one time sleet like a champ. It got down to the low 30's, but the tent seemed warmer than our old Eureka. It was really nice having the awning overhead to take off boots and leave them outside, not worrying about them getting wet. The door is tall enough that I don't have to stoop to get in. We put in two cots and sleeping bags on the floor for the kids, and still had enough room for a folding table with chairs. Take down and roll up was easier than my old Eureka. I can see where this tent will last many years if taken care of. They do recommend that it be thoroughly dried before putting away, so you need some room at home. Currently it is hanging in my garage before storing . Is it better than the Kodiak? I couldn't tell you, but I can say that we are mighty pleased.


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  10. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,701
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,744 / 0
    Nice. I really like the enclosed awning.
  11. Sagebrush Member

    Posts: 64
    portland, or
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Nothing like putting your boots on in the morning without rain pouring down your neck
  12. sourdoughsmitty Member

    Posts: 107
    cashmere,wa
    Ratings: +22 / 0
    The kodiack tent is a copy of the old coleman classic in a somewhat larger size , I spent a lot of time in the far north living in wall tents even in the winter so i am partial to them . I looked at the kodiack when it was in fairbanks at the sportsmans wharehouse ( like cabelas) a friend bought one and the first thing we did as it is casnvas or canvas like was to install a stove jack in it my friend likes it a lot so good luck with yours
    smitty
  13. Sagebrush Member

    Posts: 64
    portland, or
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Ours has been nothing but a pleasure to use so far. It's nice to camp with the family without being on top of each other. Plus it's prove to be fairly cool in the sun, also easy to put up and take down. The only possible negatives so far is that it is heavy to lug around ( but hey we're car camping) and the lack of attachment points inside the tent.
    So what's a stove jack?
  14. Elkman Ryan

    Posts: 98
    Silverdale,WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    We have the kodiak canvas cabin tent with awning and love it!
  15. Denny Active Member

    Posts: 4,044
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +45 / 0
    Don't know about Kodiak, but my dad has a Springbar, and it is a super well built tent. We encountered some inclement weather, with severe winds and rain, and it stood up like a rock in the wind and didn't bow down at all. I was highly impressed. My mom found it at a yard sale . . .
  16. Sagebrush Member

    Posts: 64
    portland, or
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Something to be said about old school. Must have been a pretty good deal at a garage sale. I have avoided those like the plague in the past as I have no need for someone elses coffee old cups or cheesy bric-a-brac, but maybe I should re-consider for the possibility of a useful camping or fishing item.
  17. Quizzle New Member

    Posts: 2
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    actually springbar has been around for 60 years and all of those 60 years they have been made in salt lake city by americans. springbar rented the patent to coleman for several years. the pattent ran out and kodiak came out with a real good knockoff of the springbar tent. springbar was invented by jack kirkham of kirkhams outdoor products in salt lake city which is the company that still makes makes the springbar. the main difference between the koidak and springbar other than features and where they are made is the stake loops. in the springbar the stake loops are made of steel and they are kind of stapled in, in addiion the spring bar as a polly rope that is sewn in around the base where the floor and canvas meet and the stake loops are "stapled" around that rope. that rope takes up most of the energy that the wind puts on the tent putting little pressure on the tent stitching and keeping most of the pressure on that rope minimizing the load put on the tent stitching. where the koidak has sewn in webbing for stake loops and no rope in the base so when the wind blows the stitching takes a lot of the brunt of that force. other than that the two tents are pretty much the same. but for me I went with springbar because if i break a pole or something i can walk in to kirkhams (i live in salt lake... im sure you could call and have one shipped) and just pick up a new one where kodiak made in china, getting a new pole or any repairs that i might need may be difficult.
  18. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,701
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,744 / 0
    Dude, do you realize this thread is damn near 3 years old?
  19. Quizzle New Member

    Posts: 2
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Yes, I do realize that. Do you realize how near the top it is when you Google the subject? Ive weathered some pretty gnar storms on the beaches of Lake Powell in my Family Traveler 6 made in 1988 (this model eventually evolved into the Family Camper). More than one time has it been the only tent in my group that has not blown down or sustained damage in the desert and mountains. This is still the tent I use today. I rarely come across gear like this these days, stuff built to last. I'm not in the market for a new tent dubiously, but I really believe in this product, and I hate to see the Chinese knock it off and sell it for $100 or so cheaper, ultimately that is why I commented on a 3 year old thread. Spring Bar is hand crafted by Americans and you can tell!! if you are ever in Salt Lake City you can stop by and see the show room on State Street and go through the factory in the back if you want. In my case they are a local shop, I have taken my old family traveler 6 in and had it upgraded with a few of the more modern features. it came with a stitched in awning and no canvas around the screen door zipper (they called them kick guards i think). I took it in to them in November they called me and i picked it up a few weeks later with a zip on portico and kick guards installed. I have never needed a repair but they are here to do it and I'm sure the warranty turnaround time would be around the same depending on the time of year. You will not get that kind of service from a Kodiak you got from Cabela's or wherever. I just thought folks should know.
  20. Sagebrush Member

    Posts: 64
    portland, or
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Has it been that long? This tent is still going strong after a number of week long trips in good and bad weather across Oregon. Its a little more weathered but no problems or worn areas. The family loves it. zPlenty of room, we sometimes bring a little table for playing cards in bad weather.