I'm looking for some input to determine which type to camping tent I should purchase specifically for car camping. I really like canvas tents as many of their features are very appealing but I know they do have a number of drawbacks. Below is a summary of what I have found in my research.
I do not need this tent to be portable (i.e. carried long distances) as this is intended for week-long trips with the family when camping in a single location, most often (but not always) at developed campgrounds. My only constraint is with the packed size as I'm currently driving a small crossover SUV which doesn't quite have the carrying capacity of a pickup truck.
- Large - Lots of room internally with near vertical walls.
- Waterproof - Easily maintained waterproofing using a product such as Kiwi Camp Dry.
- Temperature - Cooler in summer and warmer in winter as compared to Nylon.
- Durable - If well maintained (not put away wet, will last decades).
- Repairable - Simple needle and tread can be used to make field repairs.
- Heavy - Thick (but durable) material and steel poles contribute significant weight.
- Bulky - For similar reasons to #1, they take up a lot of space when stored.
- Price - Substantially more expensive than Nylon counterparts.
- Stinky - Can develop an odor that's borderline impossible to remove, particularly if ever stored wet.
- Weight - Very light, small tents are event backpack-able.
- Price - Cheap enough to almost be disposable. Large tents are not dirt cheap but are still 1/2 the price of their canvas counterparts.
- Not as durable - Waterproofing breaks down over time and seam leaks are difficult to repair.
- Small - Large tents are almost (but not always) dome tents to take advantage of the small/lightweight curved fiberglass poles.
- Temperature - Hot in summer and cold in winter. Slightly invalidated for summer as only "hot" when the sun is shining and I'm not in the tent anyways.
My Use Case
I'm leaning towards a Kodiak Canvas 9x12 cabin tent with a ground cloth and the attached screen porch option. If anyone has any hands on experience with one of these tents specifically, I'm interested in how it stands up against the aforementioned points.
I elected for this specific model because the attached porch can optionally be setup or tied back to the main tent meaning that I could use it when no other screen rooms are available and we need a bug-free location for cooking and storing gear under a roof.
The Real Questions
- Can anyone offer some advice regarding their experience with the points in my comparison? I've never stayed in a canvas tent so I am likely missing some important details.
- Do you think that my decision to go with the large canvas tent is a wise one?