Eureka Solitaire Tent
Name: Irena Gershkovich
Height: 5 4
Weight: 118 lbs.
Email address: igershko@...
City, State, Country: Champaign, IL, USA
Backpacking Background: I started backpacking four
years ago with a 10-day university guided backpacking
trip to the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina.
I learned a lot from the guides, and since then have
done several of my own backpacking and hiking trips in
Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Illinois, and Hawaii.
Most of the trips Ive planned have been long weekend
trips, but I hope to do more weeklong backpacking and
canoeing trips. I consider myself a three-season,
lightweight backpacker. I also mountain bike, ski,
and go on winter day-hikes.
Year of manufacture: 2001
URL : http://www.eurekacamping.com/
Listed weight: 2lb 9oz
Weight as delivered: 3lb 1oz
The Eureka! Solitaire comes in a black stuff sack with
a Eureka! Solitaire logo in yellow. It sleeps one
person comfortably. The stuff sack is about the size
of a large loaf of bread. Included in the package are
instruction sheets, 2 fiber-glass poles w/ a sack, 13
stakes w/ a sack, the tent with an attached fly cover,
short nylon cords, a long chord, a 2 oz bottle of seam
sealer and the tent stuff sack. The tent struck me as
being quite small and light considering the price.
When pitched, the tent looks like an oversized bivy
sack. It is supported by two arched fiber-glass poles
at both ends. The pole at the rear of the tent
(towards the foot area) is smaller than the entrance
area pole. The design requires the tent to be staked
out--- it is not free-standing. The tent fly is
attached to the larger arch (near the entrance) and
can be rolled up for sleeping under the stars and
I was able to pitch the tent just by glancing at the
instruction diagrams--- the setup is pretty intuitive.
I found the inside to be roomier than I expected from
looking at the outside. There is enough space for
someone bigger than me to sleep comfortably, but not
much room to sit up. Also, entry into the tent can be
kind of awkward. The recommended setup steps are to:
- assemble the poles and insert them into the
pole sleeves, larger pole first
- place pins at the edges of the floor into pole
- stake down the fly near the entrance
- stake down the fly at the rear end
- attach s-hooks on the flys shock cords to
rings at back of the tent
- stake down sides of the fly
From my experiences, it is important to insert the
poles before doing any staking. Besides that, the
variations on the recommended setup produce good
results. The tent and its components fit easily into
the stuff sack. I find this very convenient, though
some may wish to pack it more compactly. On
backpacking trips, I do not take the stuff sack, but
rather spread the parts of the tent in convenient
locations throughout my pack.
I have used this tent extensively over the past four
years. It has been on countless car camping trips,
and four backpacking trips. I have set it up and
spent the night in it about 60 times. Ive heard some
complaints about the poles being flimsy and breaking,
but I have not had any problems with mine. The ends
of the fiberglass are getting a little splintered and
rounded, but they are still functional.
The first time I used the tent was on a long weekend
car camping trip near Mt. Hood, OR. It rained, mostly
drizzle and moderate, throughout the trip. I noticed
no discomfort from the rain. There was some slight
moisture at the sides of the tent, but my sleeping bag
and I remained dry. The only discomfort I felt was in
getting used to the small size of the tent. This was
mainly because I had never slept in a solo tent.
Since then the tent has been exposed to humid and hot
Midwestern nights, cooler autumn nights, slight rains,
as well as thunder storms. The tent has been pitched
on soft and packed ground, as well as coral and rocks.
It has held up well! However, I needed to use
heavier duty stakes than were provided when I pitched
it on coral in Key Largo. I usually pitch it on top
of a clear plastic tarp.
I find it nice to be able to roll up the fly for
ventilation on hot nights. However, it was kind of
difficult for me to get out of the tent and secure the
fly properly when it would begin to rain. The tent
has proven to be very rain proof. The sides can
sometimes get a bit wet, but it was easy for me to
avoid leaning against them.
Things I Like
- Light for the price paid
- Packs compactly
- Roll-up fly
- Keeps me dry
Things I Dont Like
- Not enough room do much but sleep
- Not free-standing
Overall, the Eureka! Solitaire is a great solo tent
for those who are not claustrophobic. It is
relatively light for a tent within its price range,
rain-proof, and versatile in different weather
conditions. It was my first tent and I would
recommend it to anyone who wants a good light
traditional tent for solo backpacking and camping.
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