Springbar Classic Jack Canvas Tent Review (Hot Tent Ready)

Springbar Classic Jack hot tent

Once you have honed in on the benefits of a canvas tent, you start to look at different designs. Cabin tents, wall tents, bell tents, and bivys all have their appeal, but the Springbar design can accommodate a lot of people without being cumbersome to transport and set up.

Springbar has been making canvas tents in Salt Lake City, Utah since the 1960s. They originally came up with the simple design that inspired the brand’s name.

Springbar tents use only two vertical poles, a crossbar along the roof, and four flexible steel rods that tension the tall, flat-arched roof, making it weather-resistant with standing room inside.

Once Springbar’s patent expired in the early 2000s, a handful of other companies started making similar-style tents overseas. But Springbar carried on making its iconic shelters in the USA.

That is until the Classic Jack came along to offer a more affordable alternative for budget-minded campers.

I have spent the night in a lot of different tents and the Springbar Classic Jack 140 just might be my favorite. Read on to find out why.

Rather watch than read? Check out our video review on YouTube!

Hands-on Springbar Classic Jack 140 Canvas Tent Review

Springbar classic jack tent with gear in front

The Springbar Classic Jack 140 is based on the original Springbar design, but is cut and sewn in China. It is the most comfortable four-season tent you’ll sleep in thanks to its breathable canvas material, storm-worthy construction, and hot tent capability to keep warm even in winter.

Springbar Classic Jack Canvas Tent
  • Original design, excellent customer service, lots of light inside, smart window and door configuration, wood stove compatible, winter-worthy
  • Not freestanding, more expensive than the competition, shows dirt, takes extra space in the car
View Classic Jack 100 on Amazon View Classic Jack 140 at Springbar
02/20/2024 06:40 pm GMT

Workmanship & Durability 5 | Ease of Use 4 | Comfort 5 | Features 5 | Versatility 4 | Value 5

We look at six main criteria when evaluating tents: workmanship and durability, ease of use and setup, overall comfort, features, versatility, and value. Each tent is given a score between 1 and 5 (worst to best) per criterion. The overall Outdoor Empire Score is the average of those scores.

Disclosure: This post is not sponsored, but the tent was donated to us by Springbar in order for us to complete this review. The opinions expressed are my own, however, and we don’t earn any money if you buy a Springbar. Links to Springpar.com in this article are NOT affiliate links, but others may be. We wrote this article because we genuinely think this is a good product.

Excellent Workmanship and Durability

Springbar logo on classic jack 140 tent

The 8.5 oz Cotton Duck Canvas walls and the 10 oz canvas roof feel soft and smooth to the touch and all the stitching was top-notch. I loved how much light the bright off-white color let in during the day, but especially in the evening and early morning. There is something magical about waking up naturally as ambient light fills the tent from the rising sun.

The floor is made of a light green polyvinyl material. With the help of the kids, this started to show dirt on our first trip with it. Due to its light color the canvas tends to show dirt pretty easily as well. But both the floor and canvas clean off fairly easily. Just take a broom to sweep it off when it’s dry.

Close up of canvas wall and pvc floor
Double-stitched seams, reinforced corners, quality canvas walls, and a waterproof PVC floor make this a quality-built tent.

The floor held up well even on really rocky ground without a groundsheet for a couple of nights. I’m not concerned about durability over time.

I even sent off an email to their customer service asking if I could repair the canvas myself should it tear. They quickly replied that they sell patch kits or can assist with repairs as needed. The fact that you can maintain them is a bonus over a classic nylon tent.

One Person Carry and Setup

Man setting up springbar tent
Two bars meet on top and when you press down on the joint it tensions the roof. The design is simple and brilliant.

It is true that the Classic Jack packs up bulkier and is heavier than a cheaper nylon family tent. However, one person can still set it up just fine. My kids never stick around for the setup when we get to a campsite so it’s always a solo job.

I really like the army-style bag they put the tent in. It has handles all around and is easy to chuck in and out of the car. The separate pole bag helps divide the 90 pounds of total weight into two manageable loads.

Tent stake in ground
The 12 in long stainless steel stakes and rings pull the tent wall out to better shed water.

Once you stake it out, the poles go together quickly and the tent is raised in no time. Well, more like 15 minutes or so for one person.

Despite what some say, I think this is just as easy to set up as any dome tent, with the caveat that stakes are not optional and there are a lot of them. So it does take a bit more consideration as to where you stake it down.

As Big as My Living Room

There are five people in my family plus the dog and the Classic Jack 140 feels luxuriously roomy with all of us in there, plus gear. We even have bare floor aisles to walk around on.

No joke, this 10 ft x 14 ft tent is as big as my living room at home. And when you put the stove in there with a camp chair, it feels pretty close to it too. Minus Netflix.

Beds arranged in springbar tent
Five sleepers (two on cots), a dog, and all our gear fit inside the 10 x 14 ft tent with lots of room to spare.

The 140 square feet can accommodate up to eight sleepers. While that would be a bit snug and not allow for much gear, it is doable. If a lot of those bodies are kids, you can do definitely it.

Otherwise, six people with gear is comfortable and anything less is spacious. However, if the stove is in there, then it gets a bit tight with five or six people.

Additional smaller sizes are available from Springbar in their plethora of other tent models made both in the USA and overseas.

The Springbar Classic Jack 100 is a bit smaller at 10 x 10 ft. It’s still the square shape and will hold up to six people very tightly, so long as at least a couple of them are shorter than five feet tall. My family has managed just fine in a 10 x 10 tent with five plus a dog.

In any case, I recommend cots so you can stow gear under them. Combine that with a thick pad for Mom and Dad and everyone will sleep like babies. That’s how it works out for us anyway.

Hot Tent Ready Isn’t the Only Cool Feature

Stove jack on springbar tent
The stove jack and all other components are sold as a complete kit.

While being woodstove-compatible is not the only feature of the Classic Jack 140, it is the coolest.

NOTE: The Springbar Classic Jack 100 is not hot tent ready like the 140.

I have the medium-size Winnerwell Woodlander stove along with the complete Springbar Hot Tent System they provide. The kit was complete with everything you need and I was surprised by how easy it was to set up. There are some great video tutorials from Springbar on how to get it ready. You do have to cut out the hole in the fire-resistant panel for the chimney, but they give you a template and it wasn’t hard.

Once you get it set up the first time, it is quick and easy after that. The stove components don’t take up a ton of space in the SUV and I can have it installed in the tent in less than 10 minutes. You just unzip the triangle window panel closest to the tent door, then zip in the stove jack panel and set the stove up. When not using the stove, you just replace the stove jack with the window again.

Organizer pockets in springbar classic jack
The organizer pockets are well-placed in the Classic Jack.

It gets cold at night in the Idaho Mountains starting in late summer. I fired up the Winnerwell Woodlander stove early one morning when temperatures dropped below freezing. The rest of my crew had kicked off their sleeping bags by the time they woke up. It gets toasty!

Thoughtfully Designed

Springbar classic jack front door and window
The door is optimally sized and the two panel design is super convenient.

I thought the door and windows were laid out in a smart way. Unlike similar tents that have a door on either side, the Classic Jack has one. And that’s all I need. Plus it has separate zippers for the solid canvas door and the screen door, rather than the window zipping out of the door. This is much easier to manipulate than the alternative.

Then it has a huge window on the rear that allows for beautiful views and ample ventilation on a hot day. Plus, you don’t have to think as hard about how you arrange your beds and gear without blocking a door.

Windows and loft in classic jack tent
The big window on the back and triangle windows on the dies allow for a lot of airflow without compromising the usefulness of the interior space. The included loft is handy too, just don’t put anything heavy on it.

The triangle windows on either short end of the tent make for even more ventilation and they look good too.

The awning is functional and I like that the poles are height-adjustable, as are the side poles that hold up the roof.

The stake hooks are metal and attach to the tent walls in a way that sheds water away from the walls and keeps them taut.

Most Capable Car Camping Family Tent

In many ways, the Springbar Classic Jack 140 is the most versatile tent I’ve ever owned. That’s mainly because it is a confident four-season tent. The structure of these tents holds up heartily to wind, rain, and snow.

With that stove inside and a humble amount of firewood, I will not hesitate to take my family winter camping this year.

Wood stove in canvas tent
This lightweight hot tent makes cold mornings cozy.

However, the Classic Jack is not the best tent for you if you have a small car. Though one person can pack it around, it could easily monopolize the space in your trunk when you still have other gear to pack as well. We drive a mid-size Honda SUV and we can get it in the cargo area with all our other gear without issue. Truck and trailer people need not worry one bit.

While it can be a great glamping tent where you’ll set it up for an extended period of time, if you live in an extremely humid or rainy area you’ll need to keep an eye out for mold or mildew. And if it is exposed to full sun all the time, you might think about finding a shadier spot or adding a fly over the top. Sun can degrade the fibers of the canvas after a while. It won’t last a lifetime on a beach in Florida.

Obviously, this is not a backpacking tent.  

Bottom Line on the Springbar Classic Jack 140

Springbar classic jack tent from side

In order to be more competitive on price compared to some of their competitors like the Kodiak Canvas Flex-bow or White Duck Outdoors Prota, Springbar decided to produce this Classic Jack 140 overseas.

At the same time, they made it stand out from the others with what I believe is a more functional overall design. And the hot tent capability seals the deal on making this one of the most versatile tents available.

Springbar Classic Jack Canvas Tent
  • Original design, excellent customer service, lots of light inside, smart window and door configuration, wood stove compatible, winter-worthy
  • Not freestanding, more expensive than the competition, shows dirt, takes extra space in the car
View Classic Jack 100 on Amazon View Classic Jack 140 at Springbar
02/20/2024 06:40 pm GMT

Another testament to the longevity of these tents is Springbar’s Lifetime Guarantee. This certainly gives some reassurance when buying a more expensive piece of gear.

As a bonus, their customer service is most excellent. When I made a test inquiry they responded within 10 minutes. Bravo!

Springbar does offer a few more affordable models that are similar, but with fewer features (no stove jack), including the smaller Classic Jack 100 or Highline 6, or the similarly sized Highline 8. Then, of course, there are Springbar’s USA-made alternatives like the Skyliner.

We did a full comparison of the Skyliner vs the Classic Jack 140 that you’ll want to read!

While the Classic Jack does cost a bit more than its closest alternatives, it has a bit more to offer. I think it’s well worth the price.

Tent bag and poles

If you do a lot of car camping, backcountry camping on pack animals, or extended hunting trips, the Classic Jack is an awesome option. But if you have a small car or only camp a couple of times a year in fair weather, you might be better off with a less expensive, more compact nylon family tent.

If you’re already thinking about the Springbar Classic Jack 140, I highly doubt you’ll ever regret getting one.

We compared the Springbar Classic Jack to similar canvas tents firsthand. Check out our conclusions here!