Saturday, November 23, 2013

Eureka Solitaire Tent : Review -

We're reviewing the Eureka Solitaire Tent!


Eureka! Solitaire - Tent (sleeps 1)
-          $69 on amazon
-          Two-hoop bivy-style tent for one sleeper (21.33 square foot area)
-          Ventilated with a large mesh roof; attached full coverage fly
-          Zipper in roof cloth for easy entry/exit
-          Includes two storage pockets and one flashlight loop
-          Center height of 28 inches; weighs 2 pounds, 9 ounces
Perfect for singular trekking and walkabouts, the Eureka Solitaire is lightest, most compact three-season solo tent made by Eureka. It's also extremely well ventilated with a large mesh roof--great for stargazing during summer trips--and the zippered roof provides an extra exit in nice weather. This two-hoop bivy design offers an efficient tunnel design, with a durable 6.3 mm fiberglass frame is shockcorded for fast set up. The full coverage fly is attached, so it can be rolled back or put in place very quickly. Other features include nylon pole sleeves for easy setup, three storm guyouts on the fly, two storage pockets, and one flashlight loop.
  • Area: 21.33 square feet
  • Floor size: 2 feet, 8 inches by 8 feet
  • Center height: 2 feet, 4 inches
  • Wall fabrics: 40D no-see-um mesh
  • Floor fabrics: 70D nylon taffeta
  • Fly fabrics: 70D nylon taffeta
  • Pack size: 4 by 17.5 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds, 9 ounces
  • 2 hoop bivy-style tent
  • Durable 6.3 mm fiberglass frame is shockcorded for fast set up
  • Pole pockets on one end; ring and pin on the other speed set up
  • Nylon pole sleeves aid in set up and stability
  • 3 storm guyouts on fly
  • Includes 2 storage pockets and 1 flashlight loop
  • Zipper in roof cloth for easy entry/exit

I’ve had this tent for many years (2007, 2008) and it has always worked well for me.  It is more of a bivy than a tent in my eyes but it is a very cheap and economical shelter from the elements.  It does a great job of keeping rain out.  Used it many times in some heavy downpours and had no leaks.
Easy to set up, easy to break down.  While I wouldn’t recommend it for winter use, I have used it in a snow storm and I was fine.  This tent will not handle snowloading and for that I would say 3 seasons only.
·         Wall
40D no-see-um mesh
·         Fly
70D nylon taffeta, 1200mm
·         Floor
70D nylon taffeta, 1200mm
·         Mesh
40D No-see-um

: My Review :
For a beginning to backpacking this is a great option.  It’s inexpensive, offers just enough space, protection from the elements too.  The entire package weights about 3lbs which isn’t bad, especially for the price. 

Condensation is an issue with this tent but with some practice and experience you will learn how to set it up to minimize this as much as possible.  Set up is fast; roughly 2 minutes. 

Stake it down, 1st pole in.  2nd pole in.  4 stakes and you’re good to go.
Easier than many tents to set up in the dark as well. 

If you live in a dry climate you can keep the fly off and enjoy the night sky. 
Personally I like this tent but I would go with the Snugpack Ionosphere just because of the space factor.  Yes it’s a bit heavier about a pound more but that added space is so nice.  It’s also most expensive at $170 on amazon.

It is NOT freestanding so you will have to stake it out.  Think of that before you make a purchase.
Eurake makes in general budget friendly gear and that is what this is.  It’s a good shelter but not the strongest.  Be careful with the fiberglass poles as they do have a tendency to break. 

Overall it’s a good tent.  Not a great tent in my mind.  For a bit more money you can get something that is a bit more substantial such as the Euraka Spitfire. The Spitfire is more of a tent and the Solitaire is more of a bivy.  The spitfire runs around $110.

n  If you are on a tight budget or testing the waters for backbacking, this is a good economical options.

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