It was ten degrees on a late October elk hunt as I rolled out of my sleeping bag onto the ground. Already shivering I pulled on mostly frozen boots, crawled out of my backpacking tent, walked by my vehicle, and took off down the ridge hoping to be warmed up by the time I hit a glassing point. After three or so days of this, I found my ambition to get out of the warm sleeping bag and crawl around in a cold small tent was becoming pretty low.
I knew there had to be a better way! After some thought, I started leaning towards wall tents with a wood stove for vehicle camping hunts. I had heard of Davis Tents from some friends that lived near them in Colorado. After browsing their products, I was intrigued by the customizability and the bang for the buck they offered. After a chat with them about my needs I soon had a whole setup on the way.
The Antelope Package
I really like that Davis offers a whole list of “packages” available making it easier to choose tent & stove combinations. The Antelope package aligned perfectly with my needs. I wanted a tent to sleep two people comfortably with their gear and a stove.
The package includes a 12’x14’ canvas tent, internal frame kit, the Summit Valley wood burning stove, 3/4 detached vinyl floor, stove jack, zippered door, stakes, and storage bags for everything. You are given the option to add some upgrades to the package, which I did.
My Upgrade Options
- First is the option of your frame; it originally comes in a nine-piece set or you can upgrade to a twelve-piece kit for $50. I upgraded because I wanted to have shorter storage capabilities.
- Second, you can upgrade the floor to a full-sized floor with a zip-out area for the stove, which I also went with.
- Third, you can customize your windows and doors; I went with a Colorado door, then added a screened door and a screened window.
The Summit Valley stove is included with the package, or you can upgrade to either of two larger models.
The Tent Body
After having been around a couple of other wall tents with internal frames, I was a little worried about how my sanity would fare when setting it up. Luckily the layout is pretty self-explanatory and a lot of the pieces are the same length, so they can be intermixed. An issue I’d seen before with frames is every piece was specific to one place, so setting up in the dark or with any urgency was a major pain.
I would say with two people it took about a half-hour to set up the first time. After that, we could cut it down to about 20 minutes. You do have another frame option which Davis calls their traditional pole system. They claim this is easier for one person to set up and consists of a ridge pole, uprights on each end, and wall poles which can all be packed on horseback. This system is used on the Go Tent which I also have and that review will be out shortly.
The 12’x14’ layout is plenty for two people on cots with a table along one wall and the stove in the corner. The full-floor with the zip-out portion for the stove is awesome, although you’ll want a broom to sweep the front portion of snow and mud out. If I were to do it again, I would opt for the 3/4 floor and have a small tarp on the ground to stick boots on by the stove.
Davis uses 100% cotton for their tent material and this often raises questions. Typically all we hear about cotton is bad. Here’s what Davis says about the-why behind cotton:
“Breathability! The reason breathability is so important is to minimize and eliminate condensation. Just four people in a tent produce two liters of condensation from their breath in one night! Add to that the other elements that put moisture into the air – boiling water, heating with propane, drying your clothing, etc. – and you create a wet interior. Properly treated cotton allows this moisture to escape through the tent, keeping you warm and dry.”
They do add a treatment to the fabric called Sunforger. It resists UV light rays, repels water, retards fire, and overall increases the longevity of the tent.
Davis Summit Stove
I had really underestimated what the Summit Stove would be before it arrived. I had glanced through it on the website and thought it looked great. But once I opened the box I was blown away by the thought put into it. The Summit model is 24” long, 14” wide, and 11” high and to me, looks like your standard-sized wall tent stove. This is the smallest and lightest stove in the line at 76 pounds.
Each stove package includes the stove, pipe, warming tray, water heater, damper, spark arrestor, and coal grate with a bag to put it all in. The absolute coolest thing about their stoves is that everything listed, including the stove pipe, fits inside of the stove body which fits inside of a big carry bag.
After using the 12’x14’, I think it’s the perfect size for two to three people who want to pack minimal but have some extra room and comfort. For earlier season hunts you could keep four people pretty comfortable without a stove. It’s obviously larger than one person would need, but the extra room is always added comfort.
Something I would add to your cart with any tent would be a poly rain fly. This helps tremendously with shedding weather. And if you get an oversized one it can also serve as an awning out front. That’s great for increasing your usable square footage.
You can get into an Antelope package for under $2,000. With the tent, stove and everything mentioned above, that’s a tremendous value for a great product. If you want to go even bigger, check out the Elk, Grizzly, and Bison packages. Plus all of the accessories, different tents, and stove styles from Davis Tent. Available here
Comment on this review, ask Jordan questions, or talk to Taylor from Davis tent here.