I want to start off by saying that Springbar has the best customer service I’ve experienced in outdoors goods to date. I had a competitor’s tent on back-order and placed an order for a Springbar Compact to hold me over until my hot tent would arrive. After contrasting the level of service offered between the two companies, and being impressed with the little interim Compact, I canceled the competitor’s order and ordered a Skyliner instead. Hats off to the Customer Service team for that.
The volume inside the tent is impressive. Once it’s up, it feels like you’re in a cabin. The tent survived a 14 hour windy desert rainstorm on its maiden journey without even being able to “season” it first.
But, instead of just repeating the positives everyone else has already commented on, I’ll share some minor issues. None of these things are problems with the tent, per se, but just some first hand advice I’d pass along to someone considering buying one of these.
I bought the Bison color, as I’m using this for a hunting base camp and will be winter camping for 90% of the time. While the color is gorgeous, if you plan on camping in warmer weather, go with one of the other colors, as the bison fabric holds heat in the daytime.
The awning poles can be attached directly to the long walls of the tent to stabilize things when the awnings aren’t in use. The thing is, they do a better job of stabilizing the walls than the awnings do. The best solution would be to use the poles in both positions, which is possible to do, you just have to buy 3 more small aluminum poles. This isn’t necessary, but I’ll probably spring for the extra poles.
The floor is a nice material, but doesn’t hold up to sharp desert grasses well. I’d consider the ground tarp a necessary piece of equipment. (Springbar’s ground tarps are very good.)
I use a Winnerwell Large Woodlander in this tent. If I did it again, I’d go with the Nomad model. The Woodlander puts the chimney through the very top of the tent’s chimney bulkhead, and it gets close to the canvas flap on the outside. It hasn’t caused any problems, I just think the lower standing Large Nomad would be the ideal fit.
The Winnerwell 45 degree pipes don’t exactly match the angle of the tent, so it pulls on the fabric a little. Not a big deal, unless you’re neurotic like me.
The 3.5” triple-wall stove pipe section has cooling holes that seem to create a leak path when placed at 45 degrees. It hasn’t been a problem for me since I haven’t had the wood stove connected in the rain, but I could see it being an issue.
I also had a problem with the chimney wanting to swivel at the outer 45 degree connection and fall to the ground. The solution to this is easy- just order two chimney support cables instead of the recommended 1, and connect one of them from the spark arrestor to the tension bar. It’s an easy fix, just one you want to be prepared for before heading out.
Ideally, Winnerwell would offer a triple wall pipe section with permanently connected elbows at a less severe angle for Springbar tents, with cooling holes positioned to avoid rain intrusion. The companies partner, so I don’t think that’s too crazy an idea, and I’d buy that pipe section even though my current setup is functional.
None of these things are big deals to me. I’m glad I made the decision to buy this tent, and if I could go back, I’d buy it again, 100%, which is why I’m keeping the 5 stars. But- there’s only a limited amount of information on the web right now, and I haven’t seen any of these quirks mentioned, so I wanted to bring them up.
Springbar is awesome and you really can’t go wrong with one. A couple adjustments and it’d be perfect.