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REPOST: OWNER REVIEW: Eureka Zeus 2 Exo

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  • Bob Gardner
    Eureka Zeus 2 Exo Owner Review Biographical information Name: Bob Gardner Age: 41 Gender: Male Height: 6 4 (175 cm) Weight: 180 Pounds (82 Kg) Email address:
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 30, 2004
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      Eureka Zeus 2 Exo Owner Review

      Biographical information

      Name: Bob Gardner
      Age: 41
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6'4" (175 cm)
      Weight: 180 Pounds (82 Kg)
      Email address: wanderingbob@...
      City, state, and country: Houston, Texas, United States
      Date: January 30, 2004

      Backpacking background:

      My interest in backpacking began in 1998 with a spur-of-the-moment
      campout under the stars in Big Bend National Park. Since then, I've
      been on at least two week-long backpacking trips and a number of
      weekend trips every year, mostly to alpine areas (Colorado, Alaska,
      Montana) or to southwest desert areas (Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains,
      Grand Canyon). Currently, I'm planning a Memorial Day 2004 trip to
      Bryce Canyon, Utah. Areas in my future plans include Yellowstone,
      Yosemite, and Hawaii Volcanoes.

      Style:

      I would describe myself as a "lightweight" backpacker rather than
      an "ultralight" backpacker because I'm not willing to give up too
      much comfort or reliability for the absolute lightest gear.

      Product information

      Manufacturer: Eureka
      Year of manufacture: 2003
      Web site: http://www.eurekatent.com/
      Listed weight: 3 pounds 10 oz (1.65 Kg)
      Weight as delivered: 4 pounds 6 0z (1.99 Kg)
      Product description: Single-wall, three-season, two person
      backpacking tent
      MSRP: $150

      Field information

      I purchased this tent for a summer, 2003 backpacking trip to Glacier
      National Park, Montana. The backpack was a three day, three
      night circuit around Rising Wolf Mountain in the Two Medicine area -
      about 19 miles (27.69 KM). The route involved following the
      shoreline of a large glacier-carved lake (Two Medicine Lake),
      forested valleys, strenuous climbs up to and down from mountain
      saddles (Dawson and Pitamakan Passes), and a rather exposed, windy
      three mile trek along the Continental Divide. The route required
      about 2500 (690 M) feet of elevation change with a maximum elevation
      of 8000 feet (2208 M).

      Weather conditions during the trip were about average for Montana in
      August - highs in the low 80's F (27 C) and lows in the low 50's F
      (10 C). The first two days were very clear with a light rain on the
      evening of the second day. The third day was overcast and foggy with
      intermittent light drizzle.

      In late October 2003, I again used the Eureka Zeus 2 Exo on a two
      day, one night weekend backpacking trip to Lost Maples State Natural
      Area in the Texas hill country. The route was an easy 7.4 mile
      (10.78 KM) loop on the West Trail and West Loop Trail without
      significant elevation changes. Weather in this much more southerly
      latitude was similar to the Montana trip, with highs in the 80's (27
      C) and lows in the 50's (10 C), since this trip occurred in late fall.

      I purchased this tent with the goal of lightening my load as much as
      possible while still enjoying a sturdy, weatherproof shelter. I knew
      the Montana trip was going to be difficult for my female backpacking
      partner, so I wanted to lighten my load as much as possible so I
      could carry some of her equipment on the strenuous elevation gains.
      I also wanted my new tent to be quick and easy to set up, even in the
      dark or in the rain.

      The Zeus 2 Exo met my initial expectations for small packable size
      and light weight. In fact, it's smaller and lighter than my North
      Face Canyonlands one person tent. This allows me to pack the Zeus 2
      Exo INSIDE my internal frame pack, rather than strapping it to the
      top or on the back as I had to do with my much larger three-season, 2
      1/2 person REI Terra Dome. I should say, however, that as received
      the Zeus 2 Exo was heavier than it's manufacturer-specified minimum
      weight. I also replaced the aluminum tent stakes that were included
      with heavier steel stakes, adding a few more ounces to the package
      (see below).

      The Zeus 2 Exo can be set up very quickly, even in failing light or
      darkness, because of the grommets in the tent body that match collars
      on the two poles and the gated carabiner system that fastens the tent
      body to the aluminum poles. The aluminum stakes that were included
      tend to bend too easily in rocky ground, so I replaced them with
      heavier steel stakes, which increases the weight of the package by a
      few ounces. Once staked, the Zeus 2 Exo seems stable in considerable
      winds - structure flexing and fabric flapping are minimal. I haven't
      experienced a hard rain in the Zeus 2 Exo, but the tent was admirably
      waterproof in the lights rains I did see. I never experienced any
      noticeable condensation, but I never experienced freezing or sub-
      freezing temperatures either.

      At 6' 4" (175 cm), I can lie stretched out in the Zeus 2 Exo with my
      head and feet just touching the ends of the tent. This is quite
      comfortable, but in grizzly county I would prefer that no part of my
      body touched any of the tent walls. However, I'm willing to make
      this concession for the small size and light weight. The Zeus 2 Exo
      offers adequate room for two persons in their sleeping bags and some
      small miscellaneous items (leave the packs and other large gear
      outside). Two mesh pockets, a flashlight loop, and clothesline loops
      store pocket items and offer a way to hang a light.

      While using the Zeus 2 Exo, I didn't experience any structural
      failures or excessive wear.

      Summary

      I would recommend this tent to anyone searching for an affordable,
      small, lightweight two person tent for three-season use. While even
      lighter tents are no doubt available, I like the quality construction
      and the solid feel of the Zeus 2 Exo. It's quick and easy to set up,
      even in the dark or in the rain. It's large enough for two persons
      in sleeping bags and sufficiently weatherproof, stable and quiet for
      three-season conditions.

      I haven't used the Zeus 2 Exo in a torrential downpour or in
      extremely cold weather, so I can't comment on those situations.

      The stakes that were included are a bit flimsy for rocky ground, so I
      would like to see Eureka include beefier stakes, at least as an
      option.
    • Andrew Priest
      Hi Bob Comments on your review follow. My comments may sound harsh, but they are not intended to be. You have chosen an interesting but complicated product to
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 30, 2004
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Bob

        Comments on your review follow. My comments may sound harsh, but they are
        not intended to be. You have chosen an interesting but complicated product
        to write a review on first-up (?). That said, it is also a product which
        provides you with a lot of scope. From what I have read so far, you seem to
        have a handle on the writing process and therefore I suspect will not find
        my comments to arduous. I do strongly encourage you to hang-in, work this
        review up and to repost. I feel that you have the potential to make a great
        contribution to BackpackGearTest.org and to yourself as a gear tester.

        When you are ready please resubmit with REPOST in the subject line.

        Regards
        Andrew Priest
        Senior Edit Moderator


        At 03:36 AM 31/01/2004, you wrote:
        >Eureka Zeus 2 Exo Owner Review
        >
        >
        >Field information
        >
        >The backpack was a three day, three night circuit around Rising Wolf
        >Mountain in the Two Medicine area -
        >about 19 miles (27.69 KM).

        EDIT:> Where your imperial measure (or vice versa) is whole numbers your
        equivalent should the be same. In this case 19 miles = 28 kilometres. Also
        the abbreviation for kilometres is lowercase "km." One further comment, it
        is good practice to be consistent with abbreviations. If you spell out the
        abbreviation for one measure, do the same with the equivalent. A style
        thing I guess.

        >The route required about 2500 (690 M) feet of elevation change with a
        >maximum elevation
        >of 8000 feet (2208 M).

        EDIT:> The metric abbreviation for metres is lower case m. Uppercase is
        only used, as I understand it, where the measure is a person's name.

        >The route was an easy 7.4 mile (10.78 KM) loop on the West Trail and West
        >Loop Trail without
        >significant elevation changes.

        EDIT:> See previous comments on abbreviations ... again being consistent
        10.78 km should be 10.8 kilometres or kilometers.

        EDIT/COMMENT: At this point I know nothing about your tent. A description
        of it would be useful along with some measurements. Maybe comparing your
        measurements against the manufacturers. For example, tell us a bit about
        the design, number of poles (different lengths?), number and type of pegs
        etc. Actually including your measurements and weights of the components in
        the product section would be useful information.

        >The Zeus 2 Exo met my initial expectations for small packable size
        >and light weight. In fact, it's smaller and lighter than my North
        >Face Canyonlands one person tent.

        EDIT:> That is nice, but doesn't mean much to me. Please do not assume that
        the reader knows the other products. In fact try to avoid comparisons. It
        would be more useful to (a) provide some packed down size measurements.
        Also does the tent come with a stuff sack or sacks? If so, are these
        appropriate for the tent? That is can you stuff the tent in easily?

        >This allows me to pack the Zeus 2
        >Exo INSIDE my internal frame pack, rather than strapping it to the
        >top or on the back as I had to do with my much larger three-season, 2
        >1/2 person REI Terra Dome.

        EDIT:> I am now going to counter my previous comment to some extent. Can
        you give us a frame of reference, i.e., what is the pack you are referring
        to? Also its size in cu in and litres would be useful. Again, not keen on
        the reference to the REI Terra Dome.

        COMMENT:> Poles? Pegs? Where do these go?

        >I should say, however, that as received
        >the Zeus 2 Exo was heavier than it's manufacturer-specified minimum
        >weight. I also replaced the aluminum tent stakes that were included
        >with heavier steel stakes, adding a few more ounces to the package
        >(see below).

        EDIT:> Why? BTW something I forgot. In your product information section,
        can you show what your weight is made up of, e.g., fly, inner, pegs, poles,
        stuff sack etc. Better still break these weights down.


        >The Zeus 2 Exo can be set up very quickly, even in failing light or
        >darkness, because of the grommets in the tent body that match collars
        >on the two poles and the gated carabiner system that fastens the tent
        >body to the aluminum poles.

        EDIT:> Can you tell us a bit more about the step-up process. Are the poles
        the same length? On the website, the manufacturer refers to "Locking post
        and grommet set up." Can you tell us what this and your experience with
        same. Also refer to the additional features section for further items to
        comment on in this part.

        >The aluminum stakes that were included
        >tend to bend too easily in rocky ground, so I replaced them with
        >heavier steel stakes, which increases the weight of the package by a
        >few ounces.

        EDIT:> Can you be more specific? Is the weight you give in the product
        section with your steel stakes? If so, please clarify as you are NOT
        comparing apples to apples.
        COMMENT:> Have you used the supplied stakes in other conditions? If so, how
        did they fare?

        >Once staked, the Zeus 2 Exo seems stable in considerable
        >winds - structure flexing and fabric flapping are minimal.

        EDIT:> Can you provide more detail on your experience in wind? Did you have
        one or two people in the tent? Gear in the tent? Staked out? And so on.

        >The Zeus 2 Exo offers adequate room for two persons in their sleeping bags
        >and some
        >small miscellaneous items (leave the packs and other large gear
        >outside).

        EDIT:> Borderline projecting. Can you personalise this statement. Have you
        shared the tent? If so, how tall and heavy is the second person.

        >Two mesh pockets, a flashlight loop, and clothesline loops
        >store pocket items and offer a way to hang a light.

        EDIT:> Functionality?


        >Summary
        >
        >I would recommend this tent to anyone searching for an affordable,
        >small, lightweight two person tent for three-season use.

        EDIT:> Please try to avoid recommendations. Just write your Owner Review
        based on your experience and let the reader determine if the product is
        suitable for them.

        COMMENT: I would like to see some further comment in addition to the above on:

        (a) The vestibule. How functional is it? How have you used it and found it?
        (b) In your product description, tell us about the floor. How high does it
        come up the side?
        (c) What is your experience with the 1/2 breathable, 1/2 net with High/Low
        vents door describe as a feature?
        (d) Describe and tell us about the zipper covers on the doors? Can you
        "darken" the tent or is it only see thru mesh and so.
        (e) Eureka list a number of features on the website (pop-up window).
        Discussion of these features and your experience should be incorporated as
        appropriate into your review.
        (f) Are you able to sit-up in the tent? Easy to get into and out of? ...
        One door?
        (g) Try to think about what you would like to know about the tent.



        --
        http://BackpackGearTest.org : The most comprehensive interactive gear
        reviews and tests on the planet


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Andrew Priest
        Hi Bob Comments on your review follow. My comments may sound harsh, but they are not intended to be. You have chosen an interesting but complicated product to
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 31, 2004
        • 0 Attachment
          Hi Bob

          Comments on your review follow. My comments may sound harsh, but they
          are not intended to be. You have chosen an interesting but complicated
          product to write a review on first-up (?). That said, it is also a
          product which provides you with a lot of scope. From what I have read
          so far, you seem to have a handle on the writing process and therefore
          I suspect will not find my comments to arduous. I do strongly
          encourage you to hang-in, work this review up and to repost. I feel
          that you have the potential to make a great contribution to
          BackpackGearTest.org and to yourself as a gear tester.

          When you are ready please resubmit with REPOST in the subject line.

          Regards
          Andrew Priest
          Senior Edit Moderator


          At 03:36 AM 31/01/2004, you wrote:
          Eureka Zeus 2 Exo Owner Review


          Field information

          The backpack was a three day, three night circuit around Rising Wolf
          Mountain in the Two Medicine area -
          about 19 miles (27.69 KM).

          EDIT:> Where your imperial measure (or vice versa) is whole numbers
          your equivalent should the be same. In this case 19 miles = 28
          kilometres. Also the abbreviation for kilometres is lowercase "km."
          One further comment, it is good practice to be consistent with
          abbreviations. If you spell out the abbreviation for one measure, do
          the same with the equivalent. A style thing I guess.

          The route required about 2500 (690 M) feet of elevation change with a
          maximum elevation
          of 8000 feet (2208 M).

          EDIT:> The metric abbreviation for metres is lower case m. Uppercase
          is only used, as I understand it, where the measure is a person's
          name.

          The route was an easy 7.4 mile (10.78 KM) loop on the West Trail and
          West Loop Trail without
          significant elevation changes.

          EDIT:> See previous comments on abbreviations ... again being
          consistent 10.78 km should be 10.8 kilometres or kilometers.

          EDIT/COMMENT: At this point I know nothing about your tent. A
          description of it would be useful along with some measurements. Maybe
          comparing your measurements against the manufacturers. For example,
          tell us a bit about the design, number of poles (different lengths?),
          number and type of pegs etc. Actually including your measurements and
          weights of the components in the product section would be useful
          information.

          The Zeus 2 Exo met my initial expectations for small packable size
          and light weight. In fact, it's smaller and lighter than my North
          Face Canyonlands one person tent.

          EDIT:> That is nice, but doesn't mean much to me. Please do not assume
          that the reader knows the other products. In fact try to avoid
          comparisons. It would be more useful to (a) provide some packed down
          size measurements. Also does the tent come with a stuff sack or sacks?
          If so, are these appropriate for the tent? That is can you stuff the
          tent in easily?

          This allows me to pack the Zeus 2
          Exo INSIDE my internal frame pack, rather than strapping it to the
          top or on the back as I had to do with my much larger three-season, 2
          1/2 person REI Terra Dome.

          EDIT:> I am now going to counter my previous comment to some extent.
          Can you give us a frame of reference, i.e., what is the pack you are
          referring to? Also its size in cu in and litres would be useful.
          Again, not keen on the reference to the REI Terra Dome.

          COMMENT:> Poles? Pegs? Where do these go?

          I should say, however, that as received
          the Zeus 2 Exo was heavier than it's manufacturer-specified minimum
          weight. I also replaced the aluminum tent stakes that were included
          with heavier steel stakes, adding a few more ounces to the package
          (see below).

          EDIT:> Why? BTW something I forgot. In your product information
          section, can you show what your weight is made up of, e.g., fly,
          inner, pegs, poles, stuff sack etc. Better still break these weights
          down.


          The Zeus 2 Exo can be set up very quickly, even in failing light or
          darkness, because of the grommets in the tent body that match collars
          on the two poles and the gated carabiner system that fastens the tent
          body to the aluminum poles.

          EDIT:> Can you tell us a bit more about the step-up process. Are the
          poles the same length? On the website, the manufacturer refers to
          "Locking post and grommet set up." Can you tell us what this and your
          experience with same. Also refer to the additional features section
          for further items to comment on in this part.

          The aluminum stakes that were included
          tend to bend too easily in rocky ground, so I replaced them with
          heavier steel stakes, which increases the weight of the package by a
          few ounces.

          EDIT:> Can you be more specific? Is the weight you give in the product
          section with your steel stakes? If so, please clarify as you are NOT
          comparing apples to apples.
          COMMENT:> Have you used the supplied stakes in other conditions? If
          so, how did they fare?

          Once staked, the Zeus 2 Exo seems stable in considerable
          winds - structure flexing and fabric flapping are minimal.

          EDIT:> Can you provide more detail on your experience in wind? Did you
          have one or two people in the tent? Gear in the tent? Staked out? And
          so on.

          The Zeus 2 Exo offers adequate room for two persons in their sleeping
          bags and some
          small miscellaneous items (leave the packs and other large gear
          outside).

          EDIT:> Borderline projecting. Can you personalise this statement. Have
          you shared the tent? If so, how tall and heavy is the second person.

          Two mesh pockets, a flashlight loop, and clothesline loops
          store pocket items and offer a way to hang a light.

          EDIT:> Functionality?


          Summary

          I would recommend this tent to anyone searching for an affordable,
          small, lightweight two person tent for three-season use.

          EDIT:> Please try to avoid recommendations. Just write your Owner
          Review based on your experience and let the reader determine if the
          product is suitable for them.

          COMMENT: I would like to see some further comment in addition to the
          above on:

          (a) The vestibule. How functional is it? How have you used it and
          found it?
          (b) In your product description, tell us about the floor. How high
          does it come up the side?
          (c) What is your experience with the 1/2 breathable, 1/2 net with
          High/Low vents door describe as a feature?
          (d) Describe and tell us about the zipper covers on the doors? Can
          you "darken" the tent or is it only see thru mesh and so.
          (e) Eureka list a number of features on the website (pop-up window).
          Discussion of these features and your experience should be
          incorporated as appropriate into your review.
          (f) Are you able to sit-up in the tent? Easy to get into and out of? .
          .. One door?
          (g) Try to think about what you would like to know about the tent.
        • colonelcorn76
          Hey Bob, I ve got one too & used it this weekend while testing some other gear. I use MH Y-Pegs for mine. They re strong & light. I encountered some nice
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 1, 2004
          • 0 Attachment
            Hey Bob,
            I've got one too & used it this weekend while testing some other
            gear. I use MH Y-Pegs for mine. They're strong & light.

            I encountered some nice little 35mph winds last night (more than
            some...about 6 hours worth). The tent didn't budge & I didn't get
            much in the way of fabric snapping, etc. I was wondering if it would
            brush off tree limbs though 'cause I would have sworn one was going
            to come down.

            BTW, the Eureka factory store has these on sale for about $100
            fairly frequently. They've got an 800 # on the Eureka website.

            Jim

            --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Bob Gardner"
            <wanderingbob@y...> wrote:
            > Eureka Zeus 2 Exo Owner Review
            >
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