a Lifetime Investment in Camping
I ordered and received this product from Competitive Edge Products in October of this year (2013).Since then I have set up the tent four times, and camped in it twice. I can testify that all of the positive reviews are true, from my experience. This is one seriously heavy duty (and seriously HEAVY) tent.*********************Here are some pros which I like about this product:-- when setting up or taking down this this tent, it will lay FLAT on the ground, due to the heavy weight canvas construction (and super heavy weight floor), and not get blown around in windy conditions! No running around (like synthetic tents) fighting the wind. This makes folding and unfolding the tent much easier than lightweight tents.-- taking the tent down and storing it in the cinch-style bag is fabulous. As others have said, no fighting to stuff it into a sack. Just fold it in half lengthwise twice, roll it up, and then roll it into the bag. Then fold over the bag flaps, cinch the straps up, and youre done. ALL large tents of any type should have storage bags designed like this!-- one person can indeed set up this tent alone, in maybe 20 minutes or less. As others have said, the longest time spent will be staking it down. The first time you use the ridge poles, you may have to take a little longer figuring out how they work. But if you read the included instructions, it is not difficult.-- once the tent is staked and the ridge pole/flex-rods are assembled, the tent is simply raised on each side by hooking the two upright poles (one at a time) onto the t-connectors, and then slowly raising up each pole until it can stand upright (and also slipping it into its d-ring pin). After that, you put up the awning and youre finished.-- the poles are galvanized steel, and are very heavy duty-- the stakes are solid quarter inch, plated steel (or maybe stainless steel?). You can pound on them with a metal hammer or small mall without bending them, even in hard pack soil. Ive never before seen stakes this heavy duty.-- this tent is very comfortable inside, due to the canvas construction, as well as significantly more quiet than my synthetic tent. Others have already commented on this, as well as other interior features, so I wont comment further.-- the roof vents are awesome, especially since they can be kept open in the rain, allowing condensation and heat to flow out from the ridge. They are very easy to open and close from the inside. The design helps promote flow-through ventilation (as well as convection, when the doors or windows are kept slightly open near the bottom).-- once you get the hang of guiding the heavy duty YKK zippers around the corners of the doors (without grinding or forcing the zippers), you will be able to easily open and close a door one-handed. Each zipper has both a standard metal pull, plus an attached sturdy rope pull. By learning how to use the rope pulls efficiently, one handed operation is quite easy, both from the inside and the outside. Also, there is a separate pull for the bottom of each door. This allows the top and side of a door to be fully zippered, while the bottom is left slightly open to allow an extension cord or propane hose to pass through.-- the weather flaps all around the doors and windows are excellent, and will keep out rain even when the zippers are somewhat open. (The rope zipper pulls really help here, as the weather flaps cover the zippers so completely that just having the metal pulls would make operation difficult from the outside of the tent.) The bottom of each door overlaps the tent wall on the outside, allowing the bottom of the door to be kept completely unzipped without rain entering the tent.-- there are two doors (which have built-in high quality noseeum screens), and two full windows. When looking at the front of the tent (awning side), the door is on the right, the full window on the left. Looking from the back, the arrangement is the same (door on the right). This is great, as it means that the doors are diagonal to each other. So people sleeping on either side of the tent can slip out of the door closest to them, when answering the call of nature during the night watches. :-)-- the floor: wow! It appears to be a very heavy duty, fabric-reinforced vinyl material of some sort, maybe akin to a swimming pool liner? I cant imagine water ever being able to get through it. If you dont like a plastic-y feel underfoot, you could use a canvas tarp over it. Cleanup is super easy, as any mud, etc., can be easily wiped off with a damp cloth.*********************And here are some cons, (depending on your needs and perspective):-- this is probably the heaviest piece of camping gear which you will own. There are only five poles in total (one ridge pole, two upright poles, and two awning poles), and yet the bag with the poles weighs 24 pounds! Granted, each pole is multi-sectional (three sections for the ridge, two sections on the side poles, and two for the awning poles). But even still, the poles alone weight as much as some lesser quality tents weigh in total.-- likewise, the tent (without poles and stakes) weighs in around 50 pounds from what I recall. This could be a problem for some individuals to handle alone. Fortunately, the tent bag is separate from the pole and stake bags.-- it takes some strength the raise the tent (and even more to get the upright poles to slip over the little metal pins that attach the poles to the side wall d-rings on the ground). This should improve with repeated uses, as the canvas relaxes some. However, the tent will stand up just fine without slipping the upright poles onto the aforementioned pins. So you could stand the tent up, let the fabric relax a little, and then later slip the upright poles over the pins.-- to make it easier when raising the upright poles, be certain that you leave the roof vents open, and the windows somewhat opened, when putting the tent away.-- you have to stand on the roof of the tent when doing the final assembly on the ridge pole. While pushing the last two sections together (you push down on them) this causes the flex-bow rods to be put under great tension, and can be unnerving the first time that you do it (as you think that you may damage something). Read the instructions carefully; they are well written and will help you to understand the procedure. There are also some good instructional videos on the Kodiak Canvas web site, and on YouTube in general, demonstrating this process. After youve done it once, it will be a piece of cake the next time. Just be certain that you push the flex rods completely into the t-bar connections. There are slots cut in the t-bar connections, so that you can be certain that the rods are inserted completely.-- due to needing to stand on the tent (or a least kneel on it) when setting the ridge pole, you may want to slip off your shoes. Or you could have footprints on the top of your tent!*********************All in all, I consider this product a lifetime investment. It does come with a lifetime warranty from Kodiak (on materials and workmanship, but not normal wear and tear). And due to the nature of its construction, Im certain that I could take it to a local awning company if repairs are ever needed on the canvas due to usage damage, etc.
Reviewed by: Frank from Kentucky.