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After the St Bernard took out the rainfly, and me managing to break one of the fiberglass poles last year, it's time to replace my old tent. The one I had was a 20 year old Outbound, that had seen me through many hunting and fishing trips, as well as many family camping vacations. It has served me extremely well. The only time it ever got water inside was when it wasn't set up right and a severe storm pounded us all night. And that was just one corner that got wet. The rainfly is shot though. Two years ago the dog tried to squeeze between the tent and a tree and put a large tear in it, but some fancy duct taping fixed that. Last year I noticed it was starting to show some dry rotting and the fabric getting brittle, then one of the boys landed a soccer ball on it right above the tent door, putting a multi direction tear in it.
The tent itself is still in excellent shape, and goes up as tight as it did 20 years ago. So I'm going to order new poles for it and see if I can get a new rainfly made. And keep it as a secondary.

Last week I was getting all the measurements for the poles when I decided to buy a new tent. The five of us fit in the old one, but could definitely use more space. I have a Kodiak Canvas truck tent that I use for overnight hunting here, but obviously too small for the family. That tent is super quality and strong, so I first looked at the Kodiak cabin styles. They have a line called Flex Bow, and I really liked them (always been a canvas tent fan). The weight doesn't concern me since I don't see myself ever packing an 8 person tent on my back. I found a dealer with a good price on them and that would ship one to my APO address (Amazon wouldn't) so I got it all set to order. Just had to get the wife to bless off on it first (I pick the style and quality, she looks at the niceties like color...). She didn't like the off-white/tan canvas, but was willing to go along with it, but she wants the new tent to have a dividing wall. The Kodiak doesn't have one.
So I started looking again. On one of the outdoor gear review sites they do a nice side by side comparison for tents of similar uses. One of them was a tent called Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8. It's a nylon type material dome-like style, but with an extra room. Looks to be plenty spacious for us and every review and write up I saw on it says it is exceptional quality and withstands extreme weather superbly. I thought about it for a few days, and looked at several other tents, then made the decision today to buy it. Even got free shipping through Amazon. Should be here by end of March, and will get it's first test run in early May in the Alps.

Will update after that first trip on whether or not I chose wisely.

Stock pics.




 

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Thanks for the reasurrance.

I haven't kept up much on gear over the past few years, and wasn't familiar with Big Agnes. When putting out that much money I like to feel confident. Every review site I found spoke highly of their quality, but the input from you guys makes me feel much better.
 

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Good luck with your tent. I went with the kodiak deluxe and camp year round in it every other weekend. No complaints other than its heavy, especially when wet.
 

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Thanks.
I have the Kodiak truck tent, and am very impressed with the quality. I've used that in all kinds of weather and haven't had any problems. That's why I initially started looking at their ground tents.
If it was just me doing the selecting it would have been the Kodiak Flex-Bow Deluxe 10-14, based on already knowing their tents and the fact that I prefer canvas over nylon for a large tent. But the wife gets her input too. From my research and what the others said, I think we'll be happy with the Big Agnes too.
 

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Finally got a chance to set her up on a practice run. Wanted to have the wife and kids there so everyone knows what to do. Nothing worse than being the only one setting up the tent while the rest sit in the truck because it's raining a little, and use the excuse "we don't know what to do".


Laid out the custom cut ground tarp first, and that was the first realization as to how big this thing actually is. All 6 of us will fit very comfortably in there, and space for them to hang out if the weather gets bad. Which is what the wife wanted.

For the size of it, it went up extremely easy. Definitely need to do the poles in the order the instructions say. We took our time, followed the instructions, and start to finish was less than 1/2 an hour. That included inspecting the seams, grommets, clips etc. And I didn't raise my voice once.

Pretty sure we'll be able to have it all set up in 15-20 minutes from now on. And if need be I'm certain I could do it myself.

Here she is all complete, except I didn't put out the guy ropes. I did pull on them to see how well they tighten the rainfly though.


Without the rainfly


Looking through from the main entrance to the rear. There's a divider wall that I have pulled back. The rear section is big enough for two plus gear.


And all packed up. I took it down myself, in about 10 minutes. Amazes me that everything is in this bag!


Looking forward to trying it out. We'll give it a trial run in mid May.

Most importantly, the wife says she likes it......
 

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Nice tent. One thing I found with any tent Iv'e ever gotten is to seal the fly seams with seam sealer. Heavy rain will always eventually leak thru the stitching needle holes,and there's a million of them. Happy camping
 

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Nice tent. I'm amazed you got it back into the bag. I always struggle getting tents back into its bag. Good luck with it.
 

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I know I'm digging up an old thread here, but it's new tent time for the family and I. Just wondering if you had any updates or experiences from using it over the summer?

Thanks!

Micah
 

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very nice tent!
..but I see it only comes with a right flipflop...
 
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just an fyi, I put a Cabela's Alaskan Guide 6 person Geodesic tent in the classifieds. Never used, set up, anything.
 

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I know I'm digging up an old thread here, but it's new tent time for the family and I. Just wondering if you had any updates or experiences from using it over the summer?

Thanks!

Micah
Sorry, just saw this. I've had the tent up just a few times since last year. Wife was seriously injured in a bicycle accident in May and spent most of Summer in the hospital.
But, we did get out once before her accident and once after she finished rehab. On both occasions we had some pretty strong wind and rain storms, and there wasn't a drop of water anywhere inside that tent. There's six of us, and we have plenty of room in there, even with two cots and one playpen for the little guy.
I'm very happy with the Big Agnes. Goes up and comes down pretty easily. I've even done it myself a few times. And yes, it goes back into its bag each time. :)




P.S. One of my sons is named Micah. We use the common pronunciation here in Germany of Mee-Kaw. But everyone in the US calls him My-kaw (as you probably pronounce your name).
 
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