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View Full Version : Canvas Wall tent vs Cabela's Ultimate Alaknak Tent



gwilliams
11-16-2011, 10:39 PM
Canvas Wall tent vs Cabela's Ultimate Alaknak™ Tent

Looking for a base camp tent that will hold 5 + stove to keep comfy. Old timers say to go with a canvas tent as they are proven but have been seeing some of the newer style tents out there. Would either bring it in on a pack string or set up by the truck and venture out from there, an always having the spike camp gear ready just in case I want to stay out a little longer.

chad
01-16-2012, 05:06 PM
I had the same decision to make three years ago. I decided to go with the canvas wall tent. My Grandpa talked me into it because he has been using the same tent for 20 years. I can't see the cabelas tent lasting that long(could be wrong). He started with a smaller tent and as his hunting party grew he had another 6ft section put in with out any problem. I also like the ability of being able to use trees for the the ridge pole. saves packing all the heavy poles if weight/space is an issue.

Ikeepitcold
01-16-2012, 05:21 PM
Go with the canvas! We bought a 10x20 from Montana Canvas and went for the lighter side walls, front and back, bad choice. The poles have started to wear through the material just after a couple years of use. The rest of the tent is great but I would have chose the canvas.

nvarcher
01-16-2012, 07:44 PM
Tha cabelas tent is great it is durable and you don't need to put a floor down to keep your stuff out of the dirt. The plus to the canvas is easier setup and take down

Bitterroot Bulls
01-16-2012, 08:19 PM
Canvas. No question.

Look at MT Canvas or Reliable Tents.

Drhorsepower
01-16-2012, 08:41 PM
+1 for montana canvas. I have their tipi model. It is my second one. The first one was their light weight material, I would still have it but it blew out of the back of my truck in northern california! I loved it so much I bought another one in canvas though! Dang,,, I miss that tent.....

Jerry
01-16-2012, 11:36 PM
I have a 15X21 canvas that we use for base camp. Have slept eight in it, cannot say enough good about it. I have also use several smaller canvas tents including a 12X12 tipi type tent and loved them all. I have also used several Cabellas tents Which all were more than serviceable. The Cabellas tents are easier to use if you are packing in long distances on horseback, just because of weight. If you can drive to your base camp canvas is with out a doubt my first choice.

wolftalonID
01-21-2012, 05:56 PM
See my post on the cabelas isq. Used it for a week long hunt and loved it! Plus there is more room with the cots in the pods rather than in the main tent.

gwilliams
03-17-2012, 01:42 PM
Thanks all. I finial went with a 14 X 17 canvas wall tent and also purchased a stove to drag along. Unfortunately my pack horse had to be put down and so now I am back to breaking in a new one. Have a few summer pack trips planned to test everything out. (not that a tent needs testing :) )

BKC
03-17-2012, 03:14 PM
gwilliams, I have 14 x 16 canvas ( relaible, in billings) that is a good size. If you make poles for it in the backcountry it will take a while the first time you set it up. Maybe if you can take a pack trip this summer to your hunting spot, make the poles and stash them so they are there for hunting season. I fold my tent into a 2' x 5'+/- rectangle and drape it over my saddle. It lays flat and keeps the weight low. Sorry to hear about your pack horse:( My quater horse is going to foal in June. A mule to add to the gang.

wileywapiti
03-26-2012, 09:25 PM
i have a question for the group that answered....have any of you HONESTLY been in the cabelas alaknak for any length of time in the backcountry? the reason i ask is because i have hunted in a canvas wall tent for over twenty years and about 5 years ago bought the alaknak 12x12. so i have been in both long enough to really get a good grip on things.

with all that said....both tents are absolute quality and if i have to pick one today to buy.....i would no question buy the alaknak. the ONLY thing I like better about the wall tent is that it seems to keep heat a little better from the stove and it does not hold the condensation as much. i believe that it does not hold the condensation because it is less air tight. the alaknak is a boatload lighter and easier to put up. it is waterproof no matter what and has a floor that is NOT zip in. you can attach a 10x10 vestibule to use as a gear garage or an area to cook in if needed.

the only reason why i even wrote a response is because i think most elk hunters use the wall tents and there is nothing wrong with them, if taken care of.....except weight, especially if you have to pack it out wet. people would be very surprised at the quality and over all room inside the alaknak. this tent has been at 10500' the last 5 years and has been under a ton of snow and abused by the wind over those five years. we added the vestibule to give us more gear storage and its like having a 10x10 muddroom. we put down a tarp on the inside of that vestibule and nothing gets wet and have actually cooked inside it on several occasions because of the snow and wind outside.

i know people will be people and rave about what they have, but im here to tell you that there are other great options out there....dont be afraid to try them. And NO i dont work for cabelas....ha ha ha.

BKC
03-26-2012, 09:43 PM
WW, I agree. I have an original alaknak. I have probably had it 15 years, maybe more. It is 12 x 12 and originally had 3' sidewalls. I took it to a certified parachute repairman. He cut off the bottom, 1" up from the floor, and then added 1' to the side wall and I also had him add 4' to the fly, so it comes all the way to the ground. I like the fact now it has 4' sidewalls. I am 6'-3". It is also much warmer because of the fly coming all the way to the ground that keeps the wind out. It does condensate but a little heat dries it up in the morning. My little wood stove is way too much heat unless it is about 0 degrees. I did buy a bigger canvas wall tent so I have 2 options now. The alaknak with a kelty nylon fly is a great high country tent. only about 38#, My horses dont seem to mind.

Bitterroot Bulls
03-26-2012, 09:58 PM
Wileywapiti,

Everything has plusses and minuses.

You are right. I haven't spent any extended time in an Alaknak. However, I have been in them in the field.

You touched on the downsides: They hold condensation, and they don't hold the heat. Holding heat is one of the very best features of a quality wall tent, IMO.

You don't need to haul a frame with a quality wall tent, as you can use poles cut on site. Do you haul your Alaknak on horseback? It seems that would be kind of a pain. (EDIT- I see BKC's post on this now, looks like it works)

My favorite wall tent is my Reliable Teton (my hunting partner also has one), which is kind of a hybrid between a traditional wall tent and an Alaknak. Full floor, 12X12, pole frame. They are really nice, and combine good features from both designs.

wileywapiti
03-27-2012, 09:16 AM
bitterroot,

yes we do haul it with horses and it packs very nicely. we have built poles that stay in the mountains year round so we dont worry about those. now, when i say it does not hold the heat aswell....i dont mean that it wont get hot inside because it does. what i meant was that after you stoke the fire to go to bed, the alaknak will cool down a little faster. but it heats up really nicely and stays warm just like the canvas tents do as long as the fire is going. one of my hunting partners, i swear he is a lizard, has to have the damn thing at about 90 degrees inside the tent....this tent, with a stove, will do that nicely.

now the condensation part, they are bad.....but like bkc said, a little fire first thing in the morning (and who doesnt make a fire first thing in the morning) will dry all that up. we tried not making fires the first year on the mountain and we had some wet spots on the sleeping bags for sure, but learned very quickly that a small morning fire cures that problem.

not here to start a pissing match, they are BOTH great tents. just wanted those people that have only been in canvas tents to know that the alaknak is nothing to laugh at. its a real player in the game and if weight is an issue its a great option. like i said, i hunted out of a canvas tent for 20years, loved it. now that we go into horse country..... the alaknak was a great option for us and we bought it and have not regreted it for one day.

Bitterroot Bulls
03-27-2012, 09:44 AM
not here to start a pissing match,

I didn't know we were in one! I'll have to get some more coffee.

I wasn't trying to argue either, just pointing out that they both have their strengths. I prefer wall tents, especially the Teton. you might want to take a look at one when you are in the market again.

wileywapiti
03-27-2012, 10:21 AM
no, no bitterroot...i didnt mean it to sound like we were arguing either. i just didnt want to start one if anyone thought i was going down that road.

im here just to have a great time and pass on information that i have learned over the years....and some of that info is that the "old iron horse" (canvas wall tent) is still a great tent, but technology and modern thinking has built some excellent alternatives. i will definitely check out the teton....my wife wont like it, but i will be lookin at it. she already thinks i have way too much hunting stuff. im not in need of another tent, but you just never know when a person will need a new one. kinda like a new bow, dont really need one but..... ha ha

Bitterroot Bulls
03-27-2012, 10:59 AM
I am actually considering cutting out a portion of the teton floor, to make it easier to take off boots inside, and sweep out the floor. Total weight on that tent is under 50 pounds, frame included. Losing some floor would cut it down more.

BKC
03-27-2012, 03:33 PM
I am actually considering cutting out a portion of the teton floor, to make it easier to take off boots inside, and sweep out the floor. Total weight on that tent is under 50 pounds, frame included. Losing some floor would cut it down more.

BB, My Alaknak has the floor in it and the first 16", on the door side, is all a heavy duty mesh. You set your boots on it and the snow melts off thru the mesh. I sweep my tent out through the zippered floor opening for the stove. Maybe whatever you cut out you could replace with a velcro mesh patch so you coud sweep it out and still have your boots sit on top of mesh?

Montana
03-30-2013, 04:35 PM
I know this is a super old post but I am pulling the trigger in the Alaknak 12x12 unless someone can stop me.. I weighed out the pros and cons mentioned above, and it comes down to weight. I think the only thing I am not 100% certain on is the 12x20. But the 12x12 with vestibule seems to be the perfect combo.

Thanks for the input guys.

BKC
03-30-2013, 08:29 PM
Montana, You will like the alaknak. I do not have a vestible, as they were not available when I bought mine years ago. My tent does not stay tight if the door and fly are not zipped close. I don't know how that would work with a vestible but it is something to think about. I have stood in a 12 x 20 and that is a big tent, way too big for me. Good luck on your choice.

ivorytip
03-31-2013, 07:36 AM
i love canvas, prob plays into allways having one in hunting camp while growing up. just something about seeing smoke rising in the air from an old well used canvas tent while walking down a rimountain after a long days hunt. last summer i was cleaning out my inlaws shed and i heard a bunch of poles clanging against eachother, i turned to see my mother n law throwing a 10x12 canvas tent with poles and all into the dumpster!!!!! ha i asked what the hell she was doing and she said they had it for 15 years and only used it once. that puppy found its way into the back of my truck. saved me a thousand backs on not needing to buy one:) i do have a smaller teepe style cabelas tent that ive used a few years and ive enjoyed it but just doesnt have the memories i guess.

Montana
03-31-2013, 08:30 AM
Thanks BKC... I agree it just huge and offset the advantage of the lightweight. Thanks for the tip on the vestibule I'll research that before making the purchase.

Ivory... You are correct, the hunting tradition and wall tents are hand in hand. Even without the tradition personally, there is just something special when you are in elk camp with a true wall tent. Can't deny that.

buckbull
03-31-2013, 11:25 AM
I have the small alaknak. I think its fantastic and can set it up by myself no problem. I recommend buying the vestibule, it really keeps the main tent clutter free. I also purchased the floor liner, makes cleaning the floor super easy, just undo, roll up and then shake out. I still set the tent up on a blue tarp just trying to keep the floor from wearing out. Roof stove protector is a good choice too. Sometimes Cabelas has a sale on them, I got mine $100 off the normal price; just have to keep an eye out.

Montana
03-31-2013, 04:20 PM
I have the small alaknak. I think its fantastic and can set it up by myself no problem. I recommend buying the vestibule, it really keeps the main tent clutter free. I also purchased the floor liner, makes cleaning the floor super easy, just undo, roll up and then shake out. I still set the tent up on a blue tarp just trying to keep the floor from wearing out. Roof stove protector is a good choice too. Sometimes Cabelas has a sale on them, I got mine $100 off the normal price; just have to keep an eye out.

Do you have the 12x12? How many cots can you get in there?

tdub24
04-02-2013, 04:06 PM
Do you have the 12x12? How many cots can you get in there?

He might be talking about the 9.5' x 9.5'. I own this one and it is good for 2 during the winter with stove in, and 3 during the warmer months.

Anybody know where I could pick up a vestibule for the 9.5??? I have looked all over the net and Cabela's only sells the newer ones 12' or bigger. Thanks in advance.

wolftalonID
04-04-2013, 11:04 PM
Not sure on an OEM vestibule but a tarp a-framed over the opening works well. Two extendable poles and a $5 tarp work wonders!