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Springbar Vagabond Tent

SpringBar Vagabond Bison Colorway paired with Snow Peak Recta L (330cm pole height)

We get a lot of questions about the Springbar Vagabond and to be honest, I had many of these same questions myself prior to purchasing it. We’ll address all the questions and concerns later in this article but to start off I just want to stress how incredible the build quality is on Springbar Tents. From the fabric to the poles, everything about the tent is heavy duty and beautifully constructed. My Springbar Vagabond was handmade in Utah; however, they offer a few other lines as well at a slightly lower price point. The ‘Highline’ and ‘Classic Jack’ series are more “mass produced” but from what I hear, still great quality. I went with one of the made in USA options primarily for the color. There are many color options to choose, but you may have to be patient if you're set on one specific color. Anyways, let's get into why I wanted a Springbar in the first place and what I've learned after using it. 

The first time I ever heard of Springbar was after a subscriber commented asking my opinion on the brand. I looked into their website and all the different models and was really intrigued. I could tell they were quality and continued to learn more about the company. I called them the next day and sure enough someone answered the phone right away and addressed all my questions. Their customer service is top notch as I have contacted them a couple extra times since. Something else I learned about the company and their tents is that they plan on you using this tent for a lifetime and they will repair it if things happen to go wrong. 

Some of my questions I had prior to owning were do you have to use all the stakes? How do you know which pole height to select when setting it up? What's it like in the rain? So it turns out, you should try to use all the stakes but it's not necessary required. The four corners are a must and as many in between as you can get, the better. So the pole height can depend on the ground, but essentially for my model they recommended a couple notches from the base. Don't forget all this info happens to be in the owners manual as well for each specific tent. Now to address the rain; I've heard many stories and what it comes down to is how long it's out in prolonged rain. While it won't ever leak, the fabric may become wet and not shed the water off like a synthetic rain fly. Now imagine carrying back a soaking extremely heavy sobbing wet tent back home...yeah sounds terrible. This is why during the rainy season I will always keep it dry under a tarp, and only in situations where there is a 0 percent chance of rain will I take the risk of it out in the open. 

One of my favorite features is just how simple this tent is to setup. Aside from how heavy it is, setting up is a breeze as there are no tie downs, rainfly, or excess amount of poles. To setup a Springbar, you begin by laying the tent out as square as possible, stake in the four corners and then the rest of the stakes, insert the top tension rod into the side flex poles and lift up one side at a time. This can easily be done by one person, but does require a bit of strength and proper posture as you are hoisting a very heavy tent up at a slightly awkward angle. Once up, click the pole into the proper height section for your tent, for mine it's typically the second notch, and then place the pole on top of the metal stake loop. This whole process takes a few minutes and the amount of setup time really just depends how tough the ground is for staking. 

The interior of this tent is spacious and perfect for families. The walls are near vertical and the tent is silent in windy conditions. The floor is a heavy duty seamless vinyl and the zippers have to be the heaviest grade of YKK zippers available. I recommend throwing a warm wool blanket on the floor as it makes the interior living space much more pleasant. You also have plenty of loops up top to hang lights and gear. Overall, aside from the few concerns regarding the fabric getting soaked in prolonged heavy rain, I think these tents are fantastic and built to last a life time of camping!

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