In search of: The Best Ground Tents

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Normal Thomas

Rank I

Contributor I

128
Utah, USA
Check out Spring Bar Tents. 4 season tents, very roomy, very comfortable. They are not my style but my hunting friends love them. Pretty fast setup too.
Kodiak is the other tent they like, They look the same.
I live in SLC and have looked at both of these tents and really like them. Plenty of storage, temp control is much better than most tents, can stand up to change clothes and the price is pretty good. The Kodiak has the option of side windows which I really like and I can get one (10'x14') for $550 local. Only thing setting me back is if I really need the 10x14 or if I should stick with a 10x10. Decisions decisions
 

Snowburb

Rank II
Member

Contributor I

301
Utah County, UT, USA
Member #

4519

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K7DMT
I live in Utah and am familiar with both Springbar and Kodiak. Here's the deal. Kodiak is the same design as the Springbar, with minor improvements, but with slightly lower quality canvas and zippers. From what I was told by a Kirkham's (the maker of the Springbar product) employee who has been there for a couple of decades, Kirkham's inadvertently let the patent on its Springbar design lapse, which was noticed by an enterprising employee who made a few improvements on the basic design, such as ventilation windows, etc. and found a factory in China to manufacture the improved design but using slightly less robust canvas and zippers to cut costs. It is still a great tent but will last several decades? Time will tell. I own both Kodiak and Springbar tents and like them both. One of my Springbars I have been using since the mid-70s and it is still in excellent shape, after repairing a few issues. Both tents far superior to most tents that you can buy at say Walmart. Personally, I prefer Springbar because they are still made by hand in Salt Lake City by people who have been making them for decades and are familiar with every aspect of them, can answer questions, make repairs and are even open to modifications. In my experience, Kodiak's customer service policy is different and more in line with distributors of other products mass-manufactured in China and imported by a distributor. If there is an issue they just encourage you to buy another Kodiak tent, considering the original purchase as a disposable item. The Springbar tent is more of an investment that you can pass down to your grandkids.
 
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Normal Thomas

Rank I

Contributor I

128
Utah, USA
I live in Utah and am familiar with both Springbar and Kodiak. Here's the deal. Kodiak is essentially the same design as the Springbar with minor improvements but with slightly lower quality canvas because they are manufactured en masse in China. From what I was told, Springbar's patent on its design lapsed, and before they could renew it, an entrepreneurial Springbar employee who took the design and found a factory in China to basically reverse engineer them with minor changes, such as better ventilation, which are definitely improvements. I have both Kodiak and Springbar tents and like them both. I prefer Springbar because they are still made by hand in SLC Utah. As such they are priced slightly higher than Kodiak but if you ever need repairs or modifications the factory in Utah will gladly do it for a very reasonable price. Not the same with Kodiak in my experience. They just encourage you to buy another Kodiak tent that was shipped here from China.
I wish the Springbar had the larger windows on the side. They also moved from state st. not long ago, sad to see that store close down.
 

Snowburb

Rank II
Member

Contributor I

301
Utah County, UT, USA
Member #

4519

Ham Callsign
K7DMT
I wish the Springbar had the larger windows on the side. They also moved from state st. not long ago, sad to see that store close down.
Yeah, I really liked their state street location and am sorry to see it go, but I'm curious about their new location. It is still only about 10 blocks further south and it is actually a little closer to me, but the location is not really such a big deal. I'm just glad to see that they are still focused on what they call their "cut and sew" operation which means continuing to make their legendary tents by hand and standing behind them, offering mods/repairs etc.
 
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