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Thursday, October 28, 2021
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Russian Bear UP-5 Tent Review

A couple of weekends ago, I finally got out to camp in my new Russian Bear UP-5 Tent. You might be wondering why I bothered picking up this tent given that I have a Torro Offroad Skylux Rooftop Tent on top of my Turtleback Expedition trailer. But sometimes you want to get out and get camping quickly, and by having a tent, I can do just that. I can throw my gear in my truck and be backing out of the driveway in a matter of minutes. It’s just that simple! I didn’t want any old tent, though. I wanted something that can accommodate my family and something that is large enough for me to stand up in. Additionally, I wanted a tent that I could use in the winter and still be warm and comfortable inside. 

Well, the UP-5 tent fits the bill for sure! As you can see in the video above, this tent proved to be a fantastic choice. Get  the details of my first weekend with this tent in the video. Below, let’s dive into a quick review so I can share my first impressions about this tent.

Russian Bear UP-5 Tent Specs

Russian Bear Tent Exterior This tent is…huge. There is no mistaking that. Just take a look at these specs:

  • 87-inches high
  • 178-inches wide
  • 8-person maximum capacity
  • 3-layer detachable, waterproof floor
  • Water-resistant outer layer
  • Double-wall construction
  • Removable mosquito nets on the windows and doors
  • All-metal umbrella frame for quick setup

As you can see, in addition to being a very large tent, Russian Bear added all sorts of features that make it a high-performance, user-friendly tent. It’s waterproof, breathable, easy to set up, and it gives you the option of having a couple of friends along with you (or quite a few if you like!). Let’s have a look at some of these specs in more detail.

UP-5 Tent Walls

The outermost layer of the dual-wall tent is made of Oxford 300 PU 4000 material. It is water-resistant, so you can expect to stay nice and dry, even in heavy rainfall. The inner wall is made of Oxford 210 PU 2000. It is coated with water-repellent to prevent moisture from building up. All the stitching is also glued to provide additional water protection. The dual-layer construction means that there’s an air void in between. This helps reduce condensation inside the tent by a wide margin. It also helps keep the interior of the tent much warmer. More on that in a bit.

Learn More:

Russian Bear UP-5 Tent Interior

Russian Bear Tent interior Inside the spacious dome tent are many amenities that make tent camping a real joy. For starters, there’s the 3-layer floor I spoke of earlier that offers insulation from the cold ground while also acting as a waterproof barrier. The floor is completely detachable if you want to use the tent more as a mess hall or gathering spot that doesn’t require a floor. The five-layer windows are great for ventilation and bringing fresh air into the tent. The windows have transparent coverings made of frost-resistant PVC that can be used at temperatures down to -58 degrees Fahrenheit. There are also mosquito nets on the windows to keep those annoying buggers out of the tent. The mosquito nets on the windows and doors are removable should you not need them. If you’re camping in cold weather situations, you’ll appreciate the wing door on this tent. In winter conditions, zippers can get frozen. But a wing door design not only eliminates that problem, but it also helps extend the life of the zipper. The UP-5 tent even comes equipped with multiple hinges inside the tent. These hinges are great for hanging wet clothes and other items up and out of the way. wood stove for Russian Bear Tent Of course, one of the best features of this tent is the option to include a wood stove, which is what I’ve done. The wall by the stove has a fire-resistant and waterproof silicone-coated mat that has a working temperature up to nearly 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit. A fire-resistant mat is placed beneath the stove as well. Additionally, the stove itself has adjustable metal plates that help prevent burns and protects the tent from catching fire. There is also a smoke pipe that exits the roof of the tent. The pipe hold is made of fire-resistant material and has a stainless steel ring to provide further protection. This tent has a ventilation flap near the floor that draws fresh air into the stove (and helps circulate fresh air throughout the tent as well). russian bear up-5 tent temperature As you can see in the photo above, the stove kept the tent very warm. Even though it was only 46-degrees outside, the tent was 88-degrees after I built what turned out to be a much larger fire than I needed. Russian Bear Tent interior temperature Later in the night, I began to figure out the fire maintenance needed to keep the tent a more comfortable temperature of 78-degrees.

Setting Up the UP-5 Tent

Russian Bear Tent schematic You might think that since this is a large tent that it takes forever to set up. But you’d be wrong… The ingenious umbrella-type frame is made of durable, high-strength aviation alloy. This means that it’s both lightweight and strong while being super easy to set up. Russian Bear says you can set this tent up in less than two minutes, and they aren’t kidding! It takes no time at all to have the tent up, which is a huge benefit if you’re winter camping or caught in a rainstorm. The umbrella-type frame holds its shape well, even under heavy snow loads. Remember, this thing was designed and tested in Russia, so if it can handle snowy Russian winters, it can handle just about anything you can throw at it. This includes high winds, which are no match for the all-metal support system that hold up the tent.

The Only Problem…

If you watch my video at the beginning of this article, you’ll see that this tent absolutely crushed it. It’s big, it’s comfortable and warm, it’s easy to set up, and you can tell that Russian Bear took its time in designing and constructing this tent.
 
The only problem, which has nothing to do with the tent, is that I had a tough time regulating the temperature inside with the wood stove.
 
I’m sure as I take more trips and use this tent more often that I’ll get into a better fire-making groove so I’m not sweating from the heat. But, if that’s literally the only issue I had with a brand-new tent, I think I can safely say that the mission was a success!
 
I’ll have much more on this tent in the coming months, so stay tuned for more adventures in my Russian Bear UP-5 tent!

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