If you’re an experienced extreme weather tourist, you are probably familiar with such brand as Alaska Tent and Tarp. Let’s find out why it is so popular, what kind of products they offer to the customers, and whether you should buy one for your next adventure or if it is better to look for an alternative option. We will guide you through their best-sellers and help to choose the best solution for your budget.
A brief history
Today Alaska Tent and Tarp is a part of Airframes Alaska – a combination of several small local companies. It was acquired by another brand very recently, in 2018. For many years Alaska Tent and Tarp used to be a family-owned company that produced camping gear for extreme weather. The company was created by Vern Johnson in the late 1940s and initially, it was focused on canvas supply and commercial sewing.
Johnson repaired zippers and adapted clothes for the military to better withstand the frigid arctic temperatures and canvas tents and tarps. He spent thirty years running his business before selling it to Bill McIntyre who expanded the line of products. The brand is used to make fabric and environmental protection for oil and pipeline service companies. In 1987 the company created its most iconic product which made the brand popular among individual tourists – The Arctic Oven tent which is still on the market today. In 1995 the company was sold to Jim and Sandy Haselberger who guided it to new levels and brought a further understanding of Alaska outdoors and local communities to the business.
What’s so unique about it?
Being an Alaska-based brand, the company had a great advantage in understanding and handling extreme weather and harsh winter camping. Out-of-state competitors were losing their knowledge on how to make tarp and fabric products that would withstand Arctic conditions. Another great advantage was in their handmade workflow and custom-oriented traditions. Starting as a small business in Alaska, it was developed with proper attention to detail and improvement. Each product was made by locals and manufacturers knew what they were doing right and wrong as they were guided by understanding what an Arctic winter feels like.
Here, at RBM Outdoors we also have this advantage and can prove our knowledge of living in extreme weather with our products carefully designed for cold areas. Our creators and engineers are familiar with harsh winter camping. They know how to bring a tourist’s routine to the next level of comfort and could even be guides for such outdoor adventures. Winter camping is a life-threatening experience without proper equipment. If you’re looking for your next hot tent, we advise you to choose wisely and buy from a company that has people experienced enough to create a high-quality winter shelter.
A short guide to the product range
Let’s take a look at what this Alaska-originated company offers right now. The Arctic Oven tent is probably the most popular one. It’s represented in different models – there are tipis, rigid pole, and flexible pole hot tents in stock.
They also sell framed and unframed wall shelters, glamping models for warm-season adventures, portable stoves, and other camping essentials you might need on the road, like a camp chair or heavy-duty straps.
While being products of good quality these have one serious con to consider: the products are very pricey. If you’re going to pay a couple of thousand dollars for such a camping haven you should at least check all the product’s characteristics and contemplate buying alternative options.
We will be focusing on rigid pole models as there are ten different options for those. Some of them are almost identical aside from the included vestibule part.
Quality of materials
The Arctic Oven models use Vapex™ as the main material. It is a hydrophilic polypropylene composite material that is highly water-repellant while being breathable. It also provides high heat reflectivity and low heat absorption. This helps to retain the heat of the stove in extreme weather and deflect the heat of the sun in the summer. Vapex™ is also known to eliminate condensation inside the shelter. Such material turns Arctic Oven into a proper four-season shelter.
Since we’re talking about alternatives, all of the RBM Outdoors products are also made for universal camping so we’re not going to guide you through specific models. There are plenty of choices but each features the best, sturdy, innovative, and water-resistant material, Oxford 300 PU 4,000 mm which will keep your temporary home dry even on rainy days. The inner layer is manufactured from Oxford 210 PU 2,000 mm and coated with a special water-repellent. All stitchesare glued to provide the ultimate protection from any liquids. Just like the products made in Alaska, RBM Outdoors products can withstand the storm due to the high-quality rainfly and dense fabric which won’t break under a heavy load of snow.
According to the manufacturer's description, Alaska Tent & Tarp constructions are supported with frames made of aviation aluminum and completed with steel fittings.
That is a common choice for extreme weather shelters: aluminum is a more expensive but more durable material than steel. It’s also more lightweight which is important for an item that you’re going to bring far away from your home and even carry on your back.
The RBM Outdoors products’ durability is also provided by all-metal bars made of aluminum alloy B95T1. That is a high-strength metal that restores its initial shape after bearing a heavy weight. It is characterized by increased endurance, and elasticity and is used in aircraft building. Such construction can withstand extreme weather conditions: strong wind and falling snow.
Shape and size options
Size is one of the most important features to focus on. Depending on how many people you need to accommodate andwhether you need additional space for the furniture and personal items you should choose a bigger or a smaller construction.
Arctic Oven with rigid poles offers a lot of different sizes in stock but the shapes are pretty similar. The shelters are shaped in a form of a trapezoidal prism, or close to dome-shaped. The models differ in the capacity of accommodation and almost each of them has a 'twin' option with the vestibule included.
Here, at RBM Outdoors, we can offer a bigger range of shapes for you to choose from. For example, there are cube-shaped, dome-shaped, or even hexagon-shaped constructions for bigger companies. You can also upgrade them by adding an attachable vestibule in case you need extra space for your equipment or portable furniture.
Sleeping capacity comparison
|Arctic Oven models||Capacity||RBM Outdoors Alternative|
|8 Extreme||2-3 people||UP-2 or Cuboid 2.20|
|10 Extreme||3-5 people||Cuboid 4.40 or Pentagon|
|12 Extreme||5-7 people||UP-5|
|Arktika Extreme||4-8 people||Hexagon|
It would be fair to mention a unique model which is Arctic Oven 12X24 with built-in vestibules. With 304 square feet of livable space, this product can be a comfortable temporary home for 10 people.
Stove and ventilation
According to the seller, The Arctic Oven is designed to run a portable stove and is compatible with several different heating device types. Normally, the products come with a built-in stove jack. There are also high and low tubular air vents for increased air circulation and stove performance. That system is considered to be one of the best features of the shelter.
The stove jack is built with silica glass that can withstand temperatures of 700°F and a silicone ring that provides an added layer of protection from the hot stovepipe and helps prevent water from entering the stove jack.
To compare, the RBM Outdoors items also take advantage of built-in stoves and heat-resistant smoke pipes. Being able to keep a comfortable temperature inside your shelter all night or cook a hot meal in the middle of the winter forest brings your camping experience to another level.
The RBM Outdoors stove comes with protective metal shields so you don’t need to worry about burns or risk of fire – it’s all about safety. The wall near the stove has a detachable, fire-resistant, and waterproof silicone-coated mat with a working temperature of up to 2192°. The wood stove maintains a pleasant interior temperature even if it is extremely cold outside: our team recorded 82°+ F inside when it was 22°- F outside. As it was created by experienced campers, there is a throughout ventilation system which prevents condensation indoors. Each tent has a ventilation valve and windows covered by a mosquito net to channel fresh air into the stove.
According to their website’s guide, Arctic Oven offers different camping essentials and accessories, such as vent tube bug screens or attachable attics for storing gear and equipment. But these are placed as individual products and it’s not clear whether they are also included in the package when you’re buying a tent.
One of the clever features of the Artic Oven that we saw in one of the video reviews is the heavy-duty flooring that can be placed in the vestibule of the shelter to prevent snow and moisture from getting indoors.
For comparison, RMB Outdoors items come with lots of additional equipment included for the lower price: mesh pockets for your storage, mosquito nets for windows and doors, detachable waterproof floors for winter fishing, etc.
Our models have camouflage-colored fabric that is a great option if you want to fade into the wilderness. Arctic Oven items are mostly brightly-colored in yellow which makes them recognizable and some models are presented in khaki. Which one is the best option? You decide.
Alaska Tent and Tarp – do you need one?
This Alaska-based company has made its name for knowing its tarp and creating good quality products. It’s fair to say they used to guide the market in the older days. But modern companies are coming through with the same level of quality and better prices. The RBM Outdoors products cost almost two times less at the times of seasonal sales, while being the same quality and offering more additional perks that can bring your camping to the next level, so consider different options before spending a fortune.
🏕 What is Alaska Tent?
You probably mean the camping products created by Alaska Tent and Tarp team. This is a US-based company that was originally founded in 1940s and recently acquired by bigger brand. They sell different types of equipment for outdoors enthusiasts.
📦 Who makes the Arctic Oven model?
It’s currently being sold under the brand of Alaska Airframes. Arctic Oven is the company’s iconic product which is a hot shelter for extreme weather camping. It’s made for north regions and winter outdoor adventures.
💡 What is the price of Arctic Oven?
That model’s price is above average and it costs more than $2000 if we’re talking about rigid pole constructions. If you’re looking for a better option with the same level of quality, check out the RBM Outdoors hot tents guide on the company’s website.