If you’ve ever tried to camp in the cold weather it can be downright miserable. That is unless you have the right setup like the a Springbar Classic Jack 140 hot tent paired with the Winnerwell Woodlander Double View stove. This combination proves to be more than just manageable, but extremely comfortable keeping you toasty warm on cold winter days. During the freezing winter months when most folks huddle in their homes, there are adventures to be had winter camping. All it takes is a canvas hot tent like this, and you can enjoy camping all year long.
The Testing: Springbar Classic Jack 140 Review
We were excited to have the opportunity to do some winter camping in this Springbar tent and take it out in the dead of winter. We used this tent throughout the winter on family camping trips, quick weekend getaways, and some early spring shed hunting while checking on some wintering elk.
Temperatures ranged from the upper 30s down to the single digits, but unfortunately, none of our trips for this Springbar tent review generated any heavy snowfall to test its snow load capability. As we continue to use this tent, we’ll update this review with that information. Throughout our testing, we got some fantastic insight into the strengths and weaknesses of this tent, as well as a number of general winter camping tips and tricks that we’ll share a bit later.
unique Features: Springbar Tent – Classic Jack 140
At first glance, Springbar tents might look a little “old fashioned” in their design. At least, that’s what I thought when I first looked over the Springbar Classic Jack 140 hot tent offering. However, after you set up the tent for the first time that notion will quickly be dispelled. Notice that the Springbar Classic Jack 140 hot tent sets up with zero guy out points, making this one of the easiest canvas hot tents out there to set up.
The Springbar Classic Jack 140 is also wood stove compatible, which is an absolute game changer and a must- have for winter camping. The zip out stove jack is very innovative and turns the tent into a 4-season shelter that allows you to enjoy camping year around, no matter the conditions or temperatures outside.
HYBRID DESIGN – NO GUY OUTS
The Springbar Classic Jack 140 is a hybrid design that combines an easy setup similar to a bell tent, and the more vertical walls that you get in a wall tent. Most notable is that it requires zero guy outs to set it up. More on why that matters later, but as you probably know, most tents (especially canvas tents) require a lot of guy outs and/or a heavy frame to keep the tent standing. The Springbar Classic Jack 140 doesn’t require either.
This Springbar tent design makes setting up the tent a breeze. For a tent this size, it’s one of the easiest tents to set up, particularly for a canvas tent. Most other canvas tents have many, many stakes that hold the tent up, but the Springbar Classic Jack 140 has precisely zero guy outs (except for the two that hold up the awning if you choose to put it up).
With the Classic Jack 140 you have just 16 stakes around the base of the tent, and 2 stakes for the awning. Other canvas tents similar to this one require 26-28 stakes to set up, so setting this tent up is much easier and faster. This is a huge benefit if want to be more mobile, are going out on a quick trip, or simply don’t want to hassle with a longer setup time.
REMOVABLE STOVE JACK
Another very unique feature of the Springbar Classic Jack 140 is the removable stove jack. During the summer months, you simply zip out the stove jack and replace it with the standard zip in panel, giving you another window. This feature makes this a true 4-season tent that quickly and easily converts from your summer camping tent to a great winter hot tent.
Springbar tents like this Classic Jack 140 come with a built-in awning, giving you a nice covering to keep your gear and whatever you don’t want in your tent, nice and dry. It also makes a great area to set up a chair or cook station while keeping you out of the sun during the summer months.
What Size Hot Tent Do I need?
Selecting the size hot tent you need is very different than selecting a tent for summer camping. The addition of a wood stove, wood for burning, and the extra items needed for winter camping take up a lot of space. Since weight isn’t a concern like it would be if you were backpacking, I tend to go bigger rather than smaller when winter hot tent camping. For example, those very nice Cabelas Alaskan Cots we use are great to have, but they take up a substantial amount of space. While they are super comfortable, you’ll need a bigger tent since they take up so much room.
We were able to very comfortably fit two of us, the wood stove, wood, and our gear in the Springbar Classic Jack 140 when we used these XL size cots. However, if we were to use typical foam pads, we could have easily fit four of us in there. Generally speaking, the Springbar Classic Jack is a palace for 2, comfortable with 3, and doable with 4 (all with the wood stove installed). If you are using this tent for summer camping and don’t need the wood stove, you could get 6 in there, but it would be on the tight side.
What Size Stove Do I need?: Springbar Classic Jack 140 Tent
Selecting the correct size wood stove for your Springbar Classic Jack 140 tent can make a huge difference in just how comfortable the inside of your new canvas tent will be. When we started testing for this Springbar tent review, we were advised to go with the large size stove from Winnerwell, so the Winnerwell Woodlander Double View wood stove was our selection. This stove has a firebox volume of 1500ci, which proved to be more than enough to keep us extremely comfortable in a tent this size.
We love the “double view” glass, which makes for a fantastic glow when burning and makes it super easy to tell when you need to add more wood. Additionally, if you opt to keep the stove going throughout the night, the double view allows you to check the stove without getting up out of your sleeping bag. Just roll over and look to see if you need to get up and add more wood or not. With the Winnerwell Woodlander Double View stove, this was a surprise bonus!
In all reality, we would have likely been just fine with the medium size stove for the Classic Jack 140, but the Winnerwell Woodlander stove allows you to regulate the air flow and temperature so well, it was very easy to keep the tent at our desired temperature.
Options & Accessories: Springbar Tents
Springbar tents have a number of excellent accessories you can add on to make your Springbar Classic Jack 140 (or any other model) exactly what you want. Some of the extras you can add on include their Awning panels, one of their Storm fly options, a Ground tarp to protect the floor, a Hanging organizer to keep things organized inside the tent, a handy Door mat to keep the dirt and mud out of your tent, and of course, a Zip-in stove jack if you plan to use a stove.
If you are expecting severe weather I’d recommend the storm fly, and the hanging organizer is a really nice add-on as well. If you find yourself setting up the tent in particularly rocky terrain, or you simply want to protect the floor of your tent, the ground tarp is a good idea to have to prolong the life of the tent. I also like to take a door mat to knock off the dirt from your boots and/or have a place to set my shoes before entering the tent. I’ve always just brought a piece of carpet, but Springbar makes one that nicely attaches to their Springbar tents as well.
Stove Conversion: Springbar Tents
If you plan to winter camp, you’ll need to pick up the zip in stove jack to convert the tent to a hot tent, or just purchase the Springbar Classic Jack 140 with the zip in stove jack (one of the purchase options). If you do that, you’ll also need to pick up the items needed to fully convert the tent to a hot tent. This took me a little bit of researching to figure out everything I’d need, but here is the full list of every piece I found to make the perfect conversion:
- Winnerwell Flashing Kit – this is needed to add additional protection to the walls of your tent and add addition support for the stove pipe.
- Winnerwell Triple Wall Pipe – the Triple Wall Pipe keeps a majority of the heat away from the stove jack, and fits perfectly with the Flashing kit.
- 2x 45 degree angle pipes – Depending on the stove and tent you select, you may need to have one or two 45° pipe sections. This setup with the Classic Jack 140 requires two of them.
- Chimney support cable – The chimney cable supports the stove pipe in the event of high winds, and keeps the stove pipe from crashing down on your tent.
- Zip in stove jack – Of course, this whole system starts with the zip in stove jack. Without it, you won’t get far converting this tent to a hot tent.
That list assumes that you elect to go with one of the Winnerwell wood stoves, which is recommended with these tents. I really like the Winnerwell Woodlander Double View that we tested with this tent, but I’ve also heard great things about the Winnerwell Nomad, which has a different shape and 4 legs rather than the three legs that the Woodlander has.
Another couple accessories I’d recommend picking up is the Winnerwell water tank and the Winnerwell Fast Fold Oven for some baking in the tent. Admittedly, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever use the oven, but I gave it a try and it works very well to bake some cookies, cobbler, or whatever else you want to enjoy in your tent. It folds up quickly and easily as well, which makes the decision easy to bring it. The hot water tank is a no-brainer if you enjoy coffee, tea, or anything hot to drink.
Now, I do wish that the water tank spigot was longer as you have to get your mug and hand awfully close to the fire box when grabbing some hot water. We found that this had a tendency to heat up the outside of your mug rather quickly, and if it was a stainless steel mug, you’d burn your hand on the mug itself from it getting super hot. If you put a plastic mug that close to the stove, it would likely melt a little. If the spigot were another 2 inches in length that would solve this issue.
All of these awesome accessories fit nicely in the Winnerwell Stove Bag, which has exterior pockets large enough to fit the extra angle pipe, water tank, and fire starter you’ll want to take so everything is nicely contained in one carry bag.
The Specs: Springbar Classic Jack 140 Tent
If you are into specs, here are the details on the Springbar Classic Jack 140 tent:
Additional Features: Springbar Classic Jack 140 Tent
In addition to the unique features we mentioned above, there are a number of other features that you get with the Springbar Classic Jack 140 you should take note of.
The Springbar Classic Jack 140 comes with 2 hanging organizers that are sewn in and ready for use. They are located in a well thought out location to give you a place at the head of the tent to store your headlamps, power banks, gloves, etc. with easy access.
STEEL STAKE LOOPS
One of the trademark features of a genuine Springbar tent is their steel wire stake loops with perimeter rope reinforcement. They are incredibly strong and make pulling out the stakes fast and easy. You also don’t have to worry that you’ll tear your stake loop, which is a plus.
HIGH QUALITY VINYL FLOOR
We love the high quality, sewn-in vinyl floor that comes with Springbar tents. This nice vinyl floor is durable, has no seams, and is made of a super thick, heavy-duty 12 ounce vinyl that will last. While adding a ground sheet is still a good idea for extra protection, you aren’t worried that a small rock will puncture this floor. Obviously, a really sharp rock could still tear the tent floor, so take your precautions and clear your tent space, however, this floor gives you confidence in its durability.
ALL STAKES AND POLES INCLUDED
I love that everything you need is included with your Springbar tent. Sure you can add on accessories if you want, but it’s not necessary. Now, with that being said, I wish there was a “stove package” that automatically included everything you need to convert the Springbar Classic Jack 140 into a hot tent. As it is, you have to piece it together on your own which can be a bit of a chore if you aren’t familiar with what is needed as far as stove parts and pieces.
5 SCREENED WINDOWS
The Springbar Classic Jack 140 gives you fantastic ventilation with its five windows, two of which are MASSIVE! Because of these awesome windows, you can easily use this tent in just about any temperature and get good airflow when needed. All the windows are screened as well to keep bugs out.
ZIP IN STOVE JACK
When you purchase your Springbar Classic Jack 140, you have the option to include the zip-in stove jack. If you have any thought whatsoever of doing some winter camping, this is a must-have option. The nice thing about the zip-in stove jack is just how fast and easy it installs. It also gives you extra protection all the way down to the floor of the tent (on the interior), which is excellent when using a wood stove.
One of the best things about these Springbar tents is how fast and easy they are to set up. They are truly easier to set up than a lot of typical car camping tents, so this is a tent you can easily take with you on any camping trip; winter, spring, summer or fall. I hate spending a ton of time setting up a tent, so this is a huge win in my book. Add on the fact that you don’t have any guy out points to trip on, and you have yourself an exceptionally easy tent to set up and tear down.
Springbar tents are made with 100% cotton, double-fill, boat-shrunk army duck canvas that is finished with HardyDuck to make it water repellent and anti-mold. The walls are made of 8.5 ounce canvas, while the roof is made with 10.1 ounce canvas for extra durability and load handling for rain and snow.
Hot Tent Camping Tips & Must Have Items
If you are new to hot tent camping, or even if you aren’t, venturing out to camp in the dead of winter can be down right miserable without the right equipment. Experience is a great teacher, so here are a few things that we found to be must-have items to make sure your experience is not just tolerable, but enjoyable.
WOOD STOVE / HEAT SOURCE
It goes without saying, but having a way to heat your tent is an absolute must when camping in cold winter temperatures. I know some folks have done that with a Propane Buddy Heater, but you have to be careful to properly vent your tent as they are not recommended for inside use.
While propane heaters are faster to deploy and cleaner and easier to use than a wood burning stove, they don’t put off nearly the heat. In addition to that, if you’ve ever used a wood burning stove to heat with, you know it’s just a more desirable heating source all the way around. I know people who heat their tent with a propane style stove, but it’s not something we’d recommend as it’s just not safe.
Instead, something like the Winnerwell Woodlander Double View stove shown above is a far superior way to safely keep your tent toasty warm. With a wood stove, you get much more heat output along with that welcoming “wood stove heat” feel. There is just something different about heating with wood, and that is never more apparent than when winter camping.
FIRE STARTER / LIGHTER
Assuming you go with a wood stove option (hopefully you do), you’ll want to make sure to have a quick and easy way to get your fire started. For that, we highly recommend Bigfoot Bushcraft Fire Plugs (Use this link for 10% OFF your next purchase). I’ve been using these for years for an emergency pack item, campfire starter, and for my go-to fire starter on backpack hunts where we are taking an ultralight hot tent. I absolutely love them, and they work amazingly well. They are super easy to light, and they burn for over 5 minutes each which is plenty of time to get some good kindling started.
I threw in a 2.5 lb sledge hammer with my tent kit to make getting those large tent stakes in the ground at bit faster and easier. This is key, particularly in rocky ground. In order to get the large stakes in the ground, you need a robust hammer to handle ground that is difficult to get stakes in, especially in colder weather when the ground might be frozen.
DRILL / DRILL BITS – SELF TAPPING TENT SCREWS / PROPANE TORCH
One thing we learned the hard way is just how difficult it can be to get tent stakes in and out of the ground during winter conditions. If you can’t get your tent stakes in the ground, you can’t get your shelter set up, which can be a major issue, particularly in winter weather. You’ll want to be prepared for this, which can be done a number of ways:
- Bring some self-tapping tent stakes.
- By far the most effective way we found to battle the frozen ground (or breaking through layers of ice) is to utilize some screw-in tent stakes. They are on the expensive side, but the headache they will save you when setting up and taking down your tent is worth the extra money. If you go this route, bring an impact drill, and your life will be much easier. In fact, after using these and seeing how effortlessly they make staking out a tent, I might just use them all the time, no matter the season.
- Pre-drill your tent stake holes.
- Another option you can go with is to pick up some long masonry drill bits and pre-drill your tent stake holes to aid in getting your tent staked out. If you go this route, we found that drilling a hole slightly bigger in diameter than the stakes works best. This prevents the tent stakes from freezing in the ground as badly, which makes taking them out when you’re tearing down the tent, an absolute nightmare. Of course, you’ll need to bring a battery powered drill like this Dewalt to get the job done.
- Bring a small propane blow torch.
- When it comes times to pack up camp, if you don’t have the self-tapping tent stake screws mentioned above, a small propane blow torch can aid in getting your stakes out of the ground. Your stakes will likely freeze into the ground once you get them set so having a way to break them loose of the ice is key. On one of our trips we had a very difficult time removing the stakes from the ground, and wished we had used either the self-tapping screws with an impact gun, or brought a blow torch to heat up the stakes enough to break them free from the ice in the ground.
- Soak the Stakes with Water
- Another option that helps in getting the stakes out of frozen ground is to dump some water at the base of the stake, let it sit for 30 seconds to a minute (don’t let it freeze), and then work the stake out of the ground. This is the cheapest method but takes a little time and doesn’t help with getting your stakes in the ground.
While this certainly isn’t a “must-have” item, a power bank is certainly a very nice thing to have especially when winter camping. During winter months, it gets dark early and you can find yourself going through a lot of batteries in lanterns, headlamps, etc. (unless you use a gas powered lantern). You can even use a power station like this Biolite Base Charge to recharge you power drill, phone, or run any other electronic device you might want to use while out winter camping.
I would also highly recommend picking up on (or more) of the Biolite SolarPanel 100’s to keep your Base Charge going strong, or, better yet, you can get hem as a Solar Generator Kit that’ll include all you need to have power for a long time.
If you accidentally leave home with a partially charged drill battery only to find out half way through setting up the tent, when using one of the methods mentioned above, that your drill battery is dead, a power bank is a life saver.
Having a power source like that Biolite Basecharge 600 can save you a trip, and you can use it to power devices or recharge whatever you need while enjoying life at base camp. If you want to bring some of your luxury items from home, you can even bring a coffee pot or other appliances to really bring some luxury.
Cots are something that can take your comfort in the backwoods to the next level. While they take up a lot of room in the tent compared to sleeping on the ground, they are a lot more comfortable and allow you to store things under your “bed.” There are a lot of great cots on the market, but the ones we use are the Cabela’s Alaskan Guide Cots, and they work really well. Don’t forget to snag a cot pad as well. The cot pad is what really makes these things comfortable!
As mentioned above, you’ll want to make sure you have a way to light your tent if you are camping during the short, winter days. Taking along a couple of these battery powered lanterns are a great way to go. These 1800 lumen lanterns last a long time, but you may need to recharge them after a few days of use. If you brought one of the Biolite Basecharge units with you to recharge it, you’ll be set!
Another thing we’ve found to be helpful if you are going to be out for more than a weekend and potentially burning a lot of wood, is to bring a wire brush to make sure the spark arrestor doesn’t get plugged and reduce/clog the airflow of the stove. If this happens you’ll find that your stove won’t burn very well, and may even smoke you out of the tent. This really only comes into play if you are staying out for longer periods of time, or burning wood that produces a lot of ash.
Finally, if you might encounter snow when out on your winter camping trip, you’d be wise to throw in a snow shovel to assist in clearing out your camp spot. This will make getting camp set up a whole lot faster. It might seem obvious, but it’s an easy thing to forget. I keep a lightweight, foldable shovel like the Rhino Survival shovel in my pickup for instances like these.
CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR
If you are going to be using a propane or other gas powered heater inside your tent, it’s a good idea to have a carbon monoxide detector to make sure the CO levels don’t elevate to an unhealthy level. It’s a small and inexpensive thing to throw in that could save your life. If you are using a quality wood burning stove, it’s not nearly as critical, but still not a bad idea. It’s just another item to throw in your stove kit to keep you extra safe.
This might sound a bit odd, but when winter camping, it’s a good idea to bring some good rubber soled slippers like the Atakama slippers. Your tent floor will stay cold no matter how good your stove is, and a cold floor will keep your feet from warming up. Sure, you can just wear your shoes or boots, but it sure is nice to be able to take off your shoes and relax in a pair of slippers inside your nice warm tent that won’t get your tent floor all dirty. The Atakama slippers are ideal because they have a rubber sole so if you need to go outside real quick, you can.
Stove Tips: Springbar Tents – Hot Tenting
Get the Correct Size Stove
As mentioned above, selecting the right size stove for whatever tent you select will greatly increase your enjoyment. Pick a stove that is too small and it’ll have a difficult time keeping up when the temperatures really drop. Pick a size that is too big and you’ll find yourself needing to open the doors of the tent because it’s just too hot inside. Don’t get caught up in the “let’s just buy the biggest stove we can” trap and regret it later.
Bring the Right Sleep System
Even if you are heating your canvas tent with a wood stove, you will still need to bring a sleep system that will keep you warm for the temperatures you’ll be out in. Unless you plan to keep the wood stove burning all night long, bring a sleeping bag that will keep you warm throughout the coldest part of the night assuming you won’t be using a wood stove.
Bring Your Wood Cut and Chopped
I found it much easier to bring the wood I’m going to burn to base camp where it’s already cut and chopped into half or quarter rounds. Sure, you can do it when you get there, but you already have a lot to do to get set up, and having your wood already taken care of is a welcomed luxury.
Clean the Fire Box and Spark Arrestor
During this Springbar Classic Jack 140 tent review, we found that if you are going to be out for more than a weekend, you’ll want to be conscious of how full the fire box is getting and empty it every few days if you burn a lot. It’s also a good idea to bring a wire brush and make sure your spark arrestor stays nice and clean to ensure proper air flow of the stove.
What We liked: Springbar Classic Jack 140 tent Review
After testing out this Springbar tent, we came away with a lot of things we absolutely love about this tent. It is the fastest and easiest canvas tent we’ve tested, comes with a high-quality, vinyl sewn-in floor (unlike many canvas tents), has a built-in awning, many windows, and is easily compatible with a wood stove.
FAST, EASY SETUP
When it comes to setup, this is by far the fastest and easiest canvas tent we’ve ever used. The simplicity makes it an easy tent to grab, knowing that you won’t spend hours getting camp set up. In all reality, that is one of the big selling points and biggest advantages of this Springbar Classic Jack 140 over standard wall tents. To make things even better, no guy outs are needed to set up the tent. As far as setup goes, this is as easy as it gets.
REMOVABLE IN STOVE JACK
We love the removable stove jack and the way it provides complete protection all the way to the floor. It is high quality and is really designed to accept the Winnerwell stove system. It is a bit of a chore to get the stove pipe hole measured and cut to just the right specifications and install the flashing kit, but it’s absolutely worth the time to get an air tight seal and keep out drafts, rain, and snow.
VINYL SEWN-IN FLOOR
The vinyl sewn-in floor of Springbar tents is top-notch, and the lighter color helps reflect light, making the interior brighter and larger feeling. It also provides plenty of protection from the frozen ground when you end up setting the tent on snow or ice.
LARGE SIDE POCKETS
The two sewn-in side pockets that come with Springsbar tents are excellent and well placed. They are large enough to hold a lot of items. One of them is off the ground at the head of the tent, perfectly placed for your headlamp, gloves, etc. Because of their large size, they are extremely useful.
ELECTRICAL OUTLET PORT
Springbar tents also come with a sewn-in electrical port, which is perfect for feeding your solar charge station (like the BioLite Solar Generator we use) for anything you might need to charge, plug in, or use while camping. A lot of folks won’t use this feature, but if you have need for it, it’s there.
The built-in awning that comes with the Springbar Classic Jack 140 tent is fantastic to keep the sun, rain, or snow off the entry of your tent. It is also easily rolled up if you opt not to deploy it.
Finally, the overall value of these Springbar tents is extremely high. They give you a ton of value along with a lot of high quality materials. You will likely spend a lot more money for a similarly sized canvas tent in some of the other options out there.
Here is a quick rundown of the things we came to love after doing this Springbar Classic Jack 140 review:
- Fast, easy, and simple setup
- Removable stove jack
- Sewn-in vinyl floor included
- Nice carry case for tent and stakes
- Sewn-in awning included
- Well-placed side pockets (2)
- Electrical outlet included (for solar power, generator, etc.)
- Good value
What We didn’t like: Springbar Classic Jack 140 Tent Review
After testing gear and equipment, there are always things we find that can be improved upon. While there aren’t a lot of things we don’t love about this Springbar tent, there are a few things that could be better.
- Slanted walls – less interior space
- No complete hot tent kit available to purchase
- Water tank spigot length
One of the things we noticed while testing this Springbar Classic Jack 140 tent is that it doesn’t feel as big as the specs say it is. This is due, at least in part, by the fact that the walls are slanted inward, making valuable square footage less usable. This is even more of a problem when you use cots as the cots have to be further away from the edges to gain clearance from the side wall. Now, this is nothing like the slant you get with a tipi style tent, but this 10×14 tent didn’t feel like a 10×14 tent. If the walls were at more of a 90° angle, you’d get more usable square footage.
These inward slanted walls are the product of the design that makes this canvas tent the easiest one we’ve ever used. As per usual, there is a sacrifice for that ease of use, and that comes in sacrificing usable square footage. That may or may not be a big deal to you, but if you are trying to stretch the occupancy of this tent, you’ll quickly wish you’d gone with a tent with walls that are more 90°.
NO STOVE KIT BUNDLE AVAILABLE
Even though the Springbar Classic Jack 140 tent is fully hot-tent compatible, there isn’t a simple stove bundle available for purchase. It took a little digging to figure out all the various components needed to fully convert the Classic Jack 140 to a hot tent.
WATER TANK SPIGOT LENGTH
As mentioned above, we found that the spigot on the water tank accessory isn’t quite long enough. In order to fill up a mug with hot water you have to get way too close to the fire box, scorching your hand and making the cup super hot as well. Adding another couple inches to the length of the spigot would make this much more pleasant to operate.
Conclusion: springbar Classic Jack 140 Review
Springbar tents make some great, easy-to-set-up canvas tents that simplify the chore of getting camp set up. With their built-in quality vinyl floor and the fact that they include everything you need to hit the trail (minus a stove if you are winter camping), you don’t have to piece together various features of your tent. Take a look at Springbar tents, and if you want a quality canvas tent that is easy to set up and can effortlessly convert to a hot tent, one of these tents might just be the ticket. They are well-made, reasonably affordable, canvas tents that’ll help you enjoy camping all year long!
Subscribe to Backwoods Pursuit to get Your FREE Backcountry Gear Worksheet!!!
Dial in your gear list, calculate your pack weight, and lighten up your pack with this handy tool!