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Thread: Arctic oven with or without vestibule?

  1. #1

    Default Arctic oven with or without vestibule?

    Looking for experienced opinions. Planning to get an AO 12x12 but not sure if we need or would use the vestibule. It would be husband/wife and 3 kids in the tent. Primary use would be caribou/moose hunting trips and a couple of ice fishing trips. Any pros/cons or advice you guys might have?

  2. #2
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    The vestibule is a fantastic feature. A great place to store wet, nasty gear or keep wood dry for the stove!

    I can't imagine not getting it.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Assuming the extra cost and weight is a non-issue, my guess is you won't regret getting the vestibule, but you may regret not getting it.

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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    You will NEVER regret getting it. And never use the tent without it. Especially with 5 sets of dirty muddy boots.

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    I spent a weekend in an AO 12x12 with the vestibule. Get it.

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    Ours is just a 10' AO, but love the vestibule. Buddy has an older version from 90's I think, and it's the same awesome tent, but we simply have so much more room with the vestibule. Great place to sit back and take in a rainy evening in a camp chair while th kiddos settle into bed. The footprint is cool too as it covers the vestibule area as well.

    Not part of your question, but will throw it out there--don't try to put it all in one bag. Our 10-footer weighs an absolute ton once you add in AO's super-heavy-duty footprint and floor saver. The vestibule doesn't add much weight other than additional poles and fitting, but the floor/footprints are industrial and heavy. AO makes some huge duffles and I had the greatest idea of getting all of ours into one human-body sized bag. It worked, but extremely big and handles like a full body bag--not easy to put up on higher shelf in our garage. So ended up buying two smaller bags and so, so much better.

    Can imagine not getting their floor/footprint, but really does make it where breaking into two or three manageable storage bags is an almost must.

    They're great tents, you won't be disappointed.
    Since the World is 2/3 Water and Only 1/3 Land, Figures the Good Lord Intended I Fish More Than I Plow.

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    I finally took the plunge on an AO12 W/vestibule 2 years ago and now have the last tent (read that portable cabin) that both my adult son and grandsons will ever need! It's built that well. I love and and can't imagine trips without it...and I would NEVER give up my vestibule! You can out a ton of gear in it and still have unencumbered access to and from the tent interior! Also, make sure you get both the footprint underlayment AND floorsaver that clips inside the tent. Don't go cheap, you'll only buy that "one more LAST tent"!!

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    Member oakman's Avatar
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    I just bought an AO10 with vestibule. I've only set it up in the yard, taking it moose hunting in about a week. I'm glad I got the vestibule, nice bit of room as mentioned above.

    As to the storage issue, I stuffed everything but the footprint in the biggest action packer made (I'm pretty sure), it's huge. A little tough to move it around, but it's well protected. I'm going to be using this from the boat. If I was flying in somewhere, I'd probably find 2 bags to haul it in.

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    Like everyone else has said..get the vestibule!! My 10 is awesome but man not having a vestibule makes it dirtier and not near as roomy!!

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Yup, vestibule for sure.


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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    As mentioned... plan on transporting it in two or three bags. Even my Pipeline transports easier in two small bags than one big one- and it's a fraction of the size of an AO12.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  12. #12

    Default Arctic oven with or without vestibule?

    Quote Originally Posted by cory100 View Post
    Looking for experienced opinions. Planning to get an AO 12x12 but not sure if we need or would use the vestibule. It would be husband/wife and 3 kids in the tent. Primary use would be caribou/moose hunting trips and a couple of ice fishing trips. Any pros/cons or advice you guys might have?
    Absolutely get with vestibule. It is one of my favorite accessories. Can almost park my truck in it. We call it the garage. In fact I quartered my last caribou in the vestibule on a cold rainy evening, staying warm and dry the whole time in the field.


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    we started with our Arctica without a vestibule (because the new style was not out yet) and ultimately upgraded to the vestibule which meant a whole new fly as they cannot retrofit to an existing fly. Even though it was expensive to upgrade worth every dollar. Get it from the start

  14. #14
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    As everyone else says... vestibule for sure.

    My only other two cents would be to check on the packed size of the 12 vs the 10. The 12 is much much larger and heavier. Can cause transportation issues, take the the entirety of your ATV trailer, etc. Also make sure you can set it up with help from the shorter members of the family. The 12 is quite a bit taller and its really a two person job to put the poles together, put the fly on, etc. With three kids, it's likely your only option, but at least something to keep in mind.

    I've slept quite a few nights in the 10, 12, and Arctika, and my personal favorite is the 10x10 with vestibule for general use as a balance between ease of transportation and space. But I've got three kids too, and own the Arctika!

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    I was just looking over AO's website and some of the new stuff and looked at specifications. It says out AO10' with floor and footprint comes in at around 81lbs--feels every bit of it too. The AO12' comes in around 120lbs. Peak heights are 6'9" vs 7'2"--so full 6" taller. The AO12 is pretty darn impressive for a mobile cabin. We love our 10', but it's typically buddy and I with stove or wife and 4 y/o daughter, so 10' was perfect for us. If we had a growing family of 5, sounds like you are on the right track. Shoot, if size/weight wasn't much of an issue, and there were 5 of us, 3 of which jeep getting bigger, id likely try to talk the misses into the 12x18--that thing looks cool, but like 1363lbs.
    Since the World is 2/3 Water and Only 1/3 Land, Figures the Good Lord Intended I Fish More Than I Plow.

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    I've used both , but I bought the AO w/ vestibule. If you don't have the vestibule you will have to put up a tarp for covered area anyway so the extra weight is going to be carried vestibule or not.

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    I have a hard time with the wood stove. It's either 100f in the tent or freezin cold. I would recommend propane over wood. If your like me and carry wood in a propane tank is smaller and would last at least a week


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  18. #18

    Default Thanks for the thoughts

    Really appreciate your thoughts guys, its why I come here from time to time. We have decided on the vestibule. Found a nice set up on craigslist but given we will likely use this the next 15 + years were gonna just go new and get the color and options we want. We had already decided on going propane as well. I already cut/burn 6 cords a year and have come to dislike dealing with more wood than neccesary. We also hunt at times in non-woody area. Anyhow I'm off the next week and out to the field today with the fam. We will suffer in our large 3 season the rest of this year and move up to the big leagues next.

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    Good call, I like the propane stove. You can get a nuway online for a quite a bit cheaper.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Off the top of my head I can only think of one time/place a person wouldn't want/need extra space in a tent, and that would be in a spike camp on a sheep or goat hunt. Even at that a person still might "want" it but sure wouldn't "need" that extra weight.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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