Q:

Is a sturdy canvas tent sufficient housing for an arctic winter?

I live above the Arctic Circle, and a friend wants to come up this winter to help out with the dogs. He wants to stay in a tent on our property. I'm leaning toward a Cabela’s Outfitter canvas wall tent or ISQ tent with two pods. What’s your opinion of these tents? Jeff bler, Alaska

Aug 2, 2007
Outside
Outside Magazine
Cabela’s Outfitter Canvas Wall Tent

Outfitter Canvas Wall Tent

A:

That’s great! And it sounds like a blast. But does this friend really know what he’s getting into? I assume you have a nice, snug cabin of some sort. Warmer than a tent, certainly.

Be that as it may, I’d certainly take a close look at one of Cabela’s fine Outfitter tents. The 1o-foot by 12-foot canvas wall tent ($630; cabelas.com) would be just the ticket for your purposes. It’s a ruggedly made tent with weather-impervious canvas over a sturdy aluminum frame. You’ll surely want to add the Outfitter Tent Stove Kit ($150), as the tent is designed with a stove in mind. It’s really a pretty safe setup.

Cabela’s ISQ tent is a little different creature. The ISQ stands for “Individual Sleeping Quarters," and this tent has two little interior “pods" that are sized to fit a cot. You can add additional pods. The tent itself has a tough polyester shell and steel frame. And you can add a stove kit. It’s a more expensive tent that the Outfitters—$999 for the basic tent with two pods.

I kind of think the canvas wall-style tents are a better choice because they’d be warmer. On the ISQ tent, the pods stick out from the main tent body. That puts the occupant closer to cold air. In the canvas Outfitter tent, the sleeper shares the main space with the stove, which may be useful. And there’s more room to, what, let the sled dogs come in and sleep, too? Why not?

You’ve seen our picks for 2007 Gear of the Year, and now the entire Outside Summer Buyer’s Guide is online. Check out this year’s more than 400 must-have gear items, including tents.

Filed To: Tents, Snow Sports

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