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Thread: My 1979 Montgomery Ward 3 person TENT still going strong in 2019 - Happy 40th!

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    My 1979 Montgomery Ward 3 person TENT still going strong in 2019 - Happy 40th!

    Yes, I bought this brand new in 1979. I would wager that over the years, I have camped in this tent upwards of 300 nights.

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    It's a Montgomery Ward Western Field model from '78 I believe. I was smart enough to order (special order only) the matching rain fly as you see in the recent picture.
    It's manufactured very well and still looks fairly new after 40 years of use. The only disadvantage is that it does not have a bathtub floor. The floor is the same thin material as the walls and roof, but with a ground mat that has not really been too much of an issue. You just have to remember that the floor is not waterproof, just water resistant and plan accordingly. Make sure any runoff of rain does not pool near the floor areas. The advantage is that this packs ultra-small. Truly. I can get it down to about 8" x 12". The two simple aluminum tent poles (one on each end) collapse to about 12". Plenty of room for two with moderate gear, or one with tons of gear. I think I paid $29 on sale in 1979, plus $20 for the rainfly. If you project that amount to 2019, that's roughly $180.00, so it was really not "cheap" when I bought it. It is obviously Pre-Chinese manufacture. I would not be surprised if Eureka or a similar tent company made it for Wards.

    Anyway, just celebrating its 40th anniversary.
    Moto Tent Camping since 1995 via a 1995 Triumph Trophy 1200 and my 1982 Honda GL500 Interstate Silverwing

    "He Who Would Travel Happily Must Travel Light" - Antoine De St. Exupery

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    Re: My 1979 Montgomery Ward 3 person TENT still going strong in 2019 - Happy 40th!

    Nice! I have a Eureka Timberline 4 tent I bought in 1985 or 86 still going strong, just spray some camp dry on it every 3-5 years.
    2010 GL1800 Endeavor Reverse Trike, Leesure Lite Excel camper.

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    Re: My 1979 Montgomery Ward 3 person TENT still going strong in 2019 - Happy 40th!

    That’s awesome, I still have an old tent I got by saving “Marlboro Miles” almost 20 years ago. A great tent other than a buddy stepped on one of the fiberglass poles and cracked it. Still works great, I think it’s made by Coleman as it uses the same tarp type material for the floor.
    Steve

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    Re: My 1979 Montgomery Ward 3 person TENT still going strong in 2019 - Happy 40th!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pooch2 View Post
    Nice! I have a Eureka Timberline 4 tent I bought in 1985 or 86 still going strong, just spray some camp dry on it every 3-5 years.
    I have a lot of respect for Eureka. I grew up near their original facility in Upstate NY and almost worked for them in the late 70s. I doubt my Montgomery Ward is actually a Eureka, but the quality of the construction reminds me of Eureka quality, especially during the 60s and 70s and early 80s.

    You are so correct. A spray of Camp Dry every 3-5 years is all you need. What I like the most about this tent is how ultra small it packs down. NOTHING this roomy packs this small in tents these days. At least none I have found.

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    Re: My 1979 Montgomery Ward 3 person TENT still going strong in 2019 - Happy 40th!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironheadziggy76 View Post
    That’s awesome, I still have an old tent I got by saving “Marlboro Miles” almost 20 years ago. A great tent other than a buddy stepped on one of the fiberglass poles and cracked it. Still works great, I think it’s made by Coleman as it uses the same tarp type material for the floor.
    Awesome. My Wards tent is probably a Coleman. My fantasy of it being Eureka is doubtful. I didn't know you could get tents with Marlboro Miles, but why not? The fact that it's still with you 20 years later is fantastic.

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    Re: My 1979 Montgomery Ward 3 person TENT still going strong in 2019 - Happy 40th!

    Amazing 40 years and going strong. Add in that it has not been a closest queen and it shows just how well made it was.
    Deb

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    Re: My 1979 Montgomery Ward 3 person TENT still going strong in 2019 - Happy 40th!

    Quote Originally Posted by 3SportBiker View Post
    Awesome. My Wards tent is probably a Coleman. My fantasy of it being Eureka is doubtful. I didn't know you could get tents with Marlboro Miles, but why not? The fact that it's still with you 20 years later is fantastic.
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    Re: My 1979 Montgomery Ward 3 person TENT still going strong in 2019 - Happy 40th!

    Quote Originally Posted by dkurfiss View Post
    Amazing 40 years and going strong. Add in that it has not been a closest queen and it shows just how well made it was.
    Agreed. Yes, it's a simple a-frame wall tent, but it works and packs (as I posted) ultra small. I have come full circle on the lack of bathtub flooring. For years I wished it had a bathtub floor, then realized that would add weight and bulk. It packs ultra small (even with the rainfly) because of the lack of bathtub flooring. And in my experience, a bathtub floor can crack and leak over years of use, whereas the tent material that the floor is made of in this classic will probably last forever with care and the use of a groundcloth.

    All of the seams are still 100 percent in tact and not running nor loose. The same holds true for the walls, floor, or roof. Can't complain for 40 years.

    I still remember buying it when I was either 19 or 20 years old. I was taking a Scuba diving course and we were going 100 miles to an open dive site for our open water certification. It was a camping only venue and I had no tent. I just stopped into Montgomery Ward, saw this 3 person on sale, and bought it. Took it to the campsite that evening, set it up and the rest is history. 300 plus camp nights and 40 years later, it's still going strong.

  9. #9

    Re: My 1979 Montgomery Ward 3 person TENT still going strong in 2019 - Happy 40th!

    The life of a tent depends a lot on how it is both stored and used. One shouldn't store a tent in the stuff sack but in a storage sack. If one camps out in a field without much shade, the UV radiation from the sun will cause the fabric to break down rather quickly. Since I camp in open fields for various festivals, the tent fabric doesn't seem to last very long for me. I can't imagine a tent lasting 40 years for me. Hell, the roof on my house won't even last that long.
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    Re: My 1979 Montgomery Ward 3 person TENT still going strong in 2019 - Happy 40th!

    Quote Originally Posted by lqqk_out View Post
    The life of a tent depends a lot on how it is both stored and used. One shouldn't store a tent in the stuff sack but in a storage sack. If one camps out in a field without much shade, the UV radiation from the sun will cause the fabric to break down rather quickly. Since I camp in open fields for various festivals, the tent fabric doesn't seem to last very long for me. I can't imagine a tent lasting 40 years for me. Hell, the roof on my house won't even last that long.
    lqqk_out you are exactly right! I probably should have added that while the tent is old, it hasn’t been used a lot. It probably has about 50 nights in it as it has been used primarily for cool to cold weather. It only has a small amount of mesh in the top of the tent body so it’s pretty hot in the summer even with the rain fly left off. I store my tents in old military style laundry bags so they aren’t crammed in the stuff sack until I’m ready to use them. I’ve had great service out of Nikwax products for keeping them waterproof.

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