Owner Review of Eureka Gossamer solo tent
This is my second owner review and I've chosen to
review my trusty Eureka Gossamer backpaking tent.
Owner Review: Eureka Gossamer Solo Tent.
Personal biographical information
Name: Sandra Greive
Height: 160 cm (5 feet 3
Weight : 66 kg (145 lb)
Email address: srna89@...
City: Eugene, Oregon, USA.
Date: 7 July, 2005
I discovered backpacking (around Sydney and Newcastle,
Australia) when I was 14 and went regularly until I
was 21 when I developed arthritis. Since arriving in
Oregon 4 years ago, I have started backpacking again
with my usual trip length being 2-4 days (8-16 km or
5-10 miles /day), once or twice a month between May
and October (late spring-early fall here in the US).
To reduce the stress on my creaky joints, I am trying
to find a balance between carrying lightweight gear
while maintaining comfort. I am in the process of
replacing my heavy or old gear with lighter equipment,
where possible, given my requirement that comfort be
maintained. So far my pack weight is down to ~9 kg (20
lb) or so, including water.
Year of manufacture: 2003
Listed weight: 2 lb 14 oz
Weight as delivered: Unknown
Weight as used: 2 lb 2 oz
Dimensions: 2 ft 8 in wide, 8 ft long, 2
ft 5 in
Cost: $89.95 USD
Modifications: sealed the seam over the main pole and
zipper in the fly.
replaced the steel stakes with
replaced guy lines with Kelty Triptease cord.
This is a two-hoop (aluminum), non-free standing bivy
tent, with the main pole at the entrance or head end
of the tent and smaller pole over the foot. The tent
body is no-see-um mesh while the fly and floor of the
tent are constructed of coated nylon. The fly can be
arranged in a number of configurations: staked out at
both ends with the door open or closed; or rolled back
and secured to the main pole from each end of the
This tent can be a little fiddly to pitch, but goes up
easily with practice. The body sometimes sags and it
is difficult to get the mesh to stay taut, as it
stretches during the time it is pitched. I overcame
this problem by guying out the main pole from the
webbing loop provided by the manufacturer, and the
foot pole by running some Kelty Triptease cord from
the webbing loop at the foot end of the fly out to a
stake, back up underneath the fly around the highest
point of the foot pole and then back out to the stake.
This seemed to keep the whole tent and fly, taut and
stable, even in high wind. The tent is quite small,
as I am short and can barely sit up (hunched over) in
it. When I lie down in my bag, there is only a little
room to move between the walls of the tent. I dont
use the entire length of the tent, and can store my
pack and some gear at the bottom if I need to.
I used this tent during the spring and summer of 2004
and 2005 on numerous trips along alpine (Timberline
trail, Mt Hood; Three Sisters wilderness) and river
trails (Rogue River and Bull of the Woods wilderness).
The weather was generally mild during the day, but was
sometimes very cold and windy at night. Im not sure
what the temperature was, but one night all the snow
banks and little creeks froze and a heavy frost was
evident the next morning. On one occasion it was not
only very cold and windy, but rained heavily and
consistently during the night. The other trips were
not nearly so cold and some nights were quite warm as
my -10°C (14 °F) sleeping bag made me too hot. I have
pitched this tent on a variety of ground conditions,
such as rocky river banks, sandy soil, wet heavy soil,
and hard-packed dirt.
This tent is a great little tent for my purposes, it
is light, I have ample room to sleep in and store most
of my gear, and it didnt leak at all when it rained
really hard one night, even though it was very windy.
The integrated fly is a really useful design feature
when pitching the tent in the rain. I always extend
the fly out over the tent when I pack it away and when
pitching it in the rain, the fly covers the tent at
all times. On warm nights, I was able to sleep with
the top part of the fly folded back, and even on
cooler nights I slept with the door open. The mesh
walls of the tent make it a cold tent to sleep in when
it is cold and windy, even with the sides staked close
to the tent and the ground. However, a good warm
sleeping bag (I have a 10°C or 14°F down bag) and
clothing (I use thermals and an insulated vest on cold
nights) can compensate for this. On the night where
everything froze, I was aware that it was cold, but
didnt feel cold and slept pretty well most of the
One disadvantage with this tent is condensation
accumulation on the inside of the fly on still and
humid nights where it is too cool or rainy to have the
door open. This hasnt been a problem for me as my
sleeping bag was never wet as a result, and the
condensation can be shaken off really easily in the
morning. So far there is no damage or failure in
either seams or fabric on the tent, although I do use
a REI roadster footprint to protect the floor. The
disadvantage of a non-free standing tent is that when
camping in places where stakes are difficult to use
(e.g a rocky beach) the tent is hard to pitch. I
overcame this problem by placing a big rock in each
corner of the tent body and tying the guy lines to
large rocks to make the tent relatively stable.
Value for money
Rainproof if the main pole seam is sealed
Small (this is not a problem for me, but probably
would be for taller or larger people)
Difficult to get a taut pitch
Cold when it is windy
This tent works well for me at the moment. It was
excellent value, is light, rainproof and I have
figured out how to use it well. At some point in the
future, I would like to replace it with a lightweight
freestanding tent, but since these are relatively
expensive, that will have to wait until the Gossamer
Start your day with Yahoo! - make it your home page
- Nice to see a couple of OR's on this cool little tent.
On 7/12/05, Sandra Greive <srna89@...> wrote:
> This is my second owner review and I've chosen to
> review my trusty Eureka Gossamer backpaking tent.
- PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!
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