Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Founder
Joined
·
16,867 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After about 15 years of use, I decided it was time to retire my Wenzel Starlight tent. The replacement had to be light-weight, fit into an medium alice pack, easy to strap to the top or bottom of a pack, easy to setup, easy to take down, good for hot weather camping, bug proof,,,,,, just the typical stuff.

eureka-solitaire-IMG_1280.JPG

The first tent I bought was the No Limits Sunlight Peak One Man Tent. But after one of the tent poles split after the first camping trip, it was returned to the store. With the store credit from the No Limits Sunlight Peak tent, I bought the eureka solitaire.

Before the solitaire was taken out on its first trip, it was setup in the yard - this was to make sure that all of the parts were there and to test how water proof the tent is. Some thunderstorms were rolling through the area, so why not test how water proof the tent.

The Eureka solitaire sets up like any other 1 person tent - 1 pole in the rear and 1 in the front. The 2 poles are different lengths, because the pole in the front is longer so you have more head room - as compared to the height of the tent in the rear. The 2 tent poles being different lengths allows the tent to have a slope, so rain water runs off towards the rear of the tent.

To enter the tent, just crawl in from the front. The mosquito netting has a zipper on the top of it, but you have to have the rain fly off to access it, and unzipped, it does not provide very much access to the tent. Unless your kinda skinny, do not plan on entering the tent from the top.

There is no vestibule, and the tent is too small to have your pack with you - unless you hiking ultra-light and your pack is only about 2,500 cubic inches or less. So bring a spare rain poncho, and strap to hang your pack from a tree.

This is not a free standing tent, so your going to have to stake it out. If your hiking / camping in a place with a lot of rocks, be sure to take that into consideration.



One of the things that I noticed, was that the floor seemed a little thin. So before the solitaire was taken out on its first real camping trip, I got a 8 foot by 6 foot tarp for a ground cloth. Folded in half - it worked perfectly.

eureka-solitaire-review-2-7-3-2010.jpg

On June 18th, 2010 my son, my nephew and I went camping on the Angelina River - which is close to Jasper, Texas. The Army Corp. of Engineers has some primitive camping spots on the river that are only accessible by a boat. So we loaded up the boat and headed out.

Once we arrived at the camping spot, setting up the tent was a cinch. A nice flat spot was picked out, sticks and gum balls were removed, the 6 foot by 8 foot tarp was folded in half, and the eureka solitaire was setup. Total assembly time was around 5,,, maybe a couple of minutes more.

The 6 wide tarp - folded in half - fit under the tent perfectly. There was very little hang over, it was like the 2 pieces went together like peas and carrots.

The sleeping pad that I used was a Magellan, which fit well into the tent.

During the middle of the night, I was able to unzip the mosquito netting in the front of the tent, unzip the front rain fly, and fold it back to allow some air into the tent. The camping spot was in the bend of the river. The Eureka solitaire was setup with the front pointing towards a stretch of the river - that way a breeze can come off the river and right into the tent. When its 80 - 90 degrees at night, any breeze is a good breeze.



One of the benefits of having a tarp - you can string it between a couple of trees and use it as a detached rain fly. And then roll the rain fly back on your tent to allow a cross breeze.

One of the things that I did not like about the tent - the stuff sack does not have anything on the draw cords to keep the sack closed. Its no big deal, because the cords have enough slack to tie a knot. So I guess it depends on how you look at things. Do you "really" need a built in way to keep the stuff sack closed, because you can just tie a knot.

The stuff sack also has plenty of extra room, so your not having to cram the tent into it.. This is really nice so you can include a few extra tent stakes, or some 550 cord for guidewires.

One thing about camping on the river - when the bugs come out, they come out in force. Its like those mosquitoes are playing Ride of the Valkyries from little loud speakers. Regardless of how much mosquito repellent you have on, they will land just long enough for you to feel it. In situations like this, a bug proof tent is an absolute must. If there is the slightest hole in the netting, its going to be found, exploited, and you can expect to spend a miserable night "trying" to sleep.

When the tent was taken down, the tent poles retained a little curve to them. I guess its good that the poles are thin enough so they bend easily, but hopefully their strong enough not to break after a few uses.

Lets Review:

Pros:
Does not cost a lot of money - for less then $100, it seems to be a good quality product.
Bug proof
Easy to setup
Easy to take down
Rain fly can be rolled back for a cross wind in hot weather.

Cons:
Not free standing
Tent poles seem a little thin
Floor seems a little thin
Stakes are cheap - might want to place them or carry spares

There are some things that might be considered a con - its a little cramped, there is not a lot of room for your gear, the entrance is a little small,,, but that is just the nature of a one man tent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
I have one myself but have not used it yet. Your info is good to know I made a wise investment. I am looking to get a sleeping mat myself, so I will keep yours in mind.
 

·
Member
Joined
·
231 Posts
Great review. Just picked one up today and I noticed all of the characteristics that you pointed out, especially the flimsy feeling floor material. It felt like I was going to push a hole though it with my fingers when I got inside of it. Don't get inside this thing with your shoes on, it will surely rip. I will definitely have to pack a tarp to go camping with this.
 

·
Earthwalker.
Joined
·
10,288 Posts
Those two loops which you say are slack,they should be elasticated,you peg these separately,they pull the tent from the sides and take out the folds which where in the top of the tent.

Im not to keen on how you get in the tent from the end,I should imagine this makes getting into you sleeping bag rather difficult,id rather a side entrance like the one on this tent below.

 

·
Founder
Joined
·
16,867 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Im not to keen on how you get in the tent from the end,I should imagine this makes getting into you sleeping bag rather difficult,id rather a side entrance like the one on this tent below.

Would you mind telling me what tent that is in the picture?

I might want to check that out.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,000 Posts
i have the solitair and have used it on solo camps and scout camps. i like the design and its a decent tent. i like how light it is and the fact that its a nice cover in good weather to use just as a bug bag. not too bad in the rain. however, it can be kinda tight quarters in bad weather. --- Eric
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top