Eureka! Grand Manan 7 Tent
Test Series by Suzi Gibson
Initial Report - 16 July 2009
Field Report - 15 September 2009
Long Term Report - 23 November 2009
Name: Suzi Gibson
Height: 5'6" (1.7 m)
Weight: 150 lb (68 kg)
Email address: suzi_q_jones at yahoo dot com
City, State, Country: Anderson, South Carolina, USA
I've gone on many family camping trips to various places in the eastern US since I was a child. Over the past several years, I've done several backpacking trips in the Southeastern US. With the arrival of my daughter in 2007, my husband and I have refocused on car camping and day hikes in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic US. She loves riding in our child carrier and assists in getting our base camp set up, or at least the best a 2 year old can do. As she gets older, we plan on introducing her to the joys of backpacking.
Model: Grand Manan 7 (3 person tent)
Listed Weight (minimum): 10 lbs. 14 oz (4.93 kg)
Weight as Delivered: 12 lbs. 5.5 oz. (5.6 kg; tent, fly, poles, stakes and stuff sacks)
Listed and Actual Packed Size: 8 x 22 in (20 x 56 cm); 8.5 x 21 in (22 x 53 cm)
Listed and Actual Dimensions: 7 ft 6 in x 6 ft 6 in (2.3 x 2 m); 7 ft 6 in x 6 ft 6 in (2.3 x 2
Listed Area for Tent and Vestibule: 48.75 sq. ft (4.53 sq m); 45.04 sq. ft. (4.18 sq m)
Listed and Actual Center Height: 4 ft 3 in (1.3 m); 4 ft 3 in (1.3 m)
Pole Sizes and Materials: 9.5 & 11 mm fiberglass
MSRP: $189.90 (US)
Product Description & Initial Impressions:
The Eureka Grand Manan 7 (hereafter called "the tent") is a dome shaped, three person,
family or "car camping" tent. The tent comes with a rain fly (hereafter called "the fly"), 14 stakes, three fiberglass poles (two for the tent, and one for the rain fly), instructions and stuff sacks. The tent itself has a dark brown bathtub floor with light brown sides. The two poles have angled ferrules that allow for the straight wall design from the bathtub floor up 12 in (30.48 cm) along the wall. There are two windows on either side of the tent, two D-shaped doors, two windows on the top along with two vents. The two side windows have a removable window flaps that allow for additional air movement. All window and door meshing is 40D no-see-um mesh. There are four, 11 x 7 in (28 x 18 cm) pockets mounted to the tent walls.
The fly is made from 75D StormShield® polyester, (1200 mm coated with taped seams) and is medium brown in color. There are two vestibules, each with a clear window panel that allows light into the vestibules as well as allowing the occupants to see out. The fly secures to the tent along each pole with Velcro tabs and plastic buckles at the base of the tent so the bottom of the fly can be rolled up without completely un-securing the fly. There are also two vents in the top of the fly. The fly has three listed configurations that allow for accessing the tent and air flow.
I pitched this tent by myself in under 20 minutes and I believe I could easily get it pitched in less than 10 minutes in the future. I did it alone to mimic what typically happens on our outings: one person has toddler duty and the other pitches the tent or, on some of our closer trips, I go with our toddler to set up camp and my husband rendezvous' with us after he gets off work. I followed the directions just in case there were any steps not common to usual tent pitching. The directions were clearly written and included a few pictures. Pitching the tent was made easy with the tent's continuous pole sleeves and metal grommets. The rain fly was equally simple to put on the tent and adjust.
This tent is very easy to assemble alone thanks to the continuous pole sleeves. The straight sidewalls really make the tent feel roomier than it is and I can't wait to see how our sleeping gear fits. The ventilation is excellent! The day I pitched it, the winds were calm and the air was getting stagnant while I was sitting in the tent writing down notes for my initial report. However, as I removed the window flaps, I could feel the air moving through the tent. The air movement improved even more when I rolled up the sides of the fly. This is something I personally like since most of our camping is in a hot, humid climate. All zippers work well. The stitching is of good quality and craftsmanship. The vestibules are fairly large and I like that they are on both doors. Overall, I am very impressed with this tent and can't wait to start field-testing.
- Great airflow
- Easy to pitch alone
- Full rain fly
- Two, large vestibules
- Full poles sleeves
Field Locations and Conditions:
Over the past 2 months, the Eureka Grand Manan 7 tent has housed us for a total of 4 nights, on two separate outings in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and Southern Maryland. Elevations traveled ranged from sea level to 2700 ft (823 m). Daytime high temperatures ranged from approximately 79 F (26 C), to 88 F (31 C) with lows ranging from approximately 64 F (18 C) to 72 F (22 C). Temperatures in both locations were milder, and wetter than expected. Nighttime showers and thunderstorms were encountered on both trips.
Setting up this tent has been very easy to do single-handedly, even at night! Having two people setting up the tent makes it even faster. The fiberglass poles are holding up very well with no signs of stress. Both outings have been froth with rain and thunderstorms, so I haven't been able to use the tent without the rainfly. With that being said, I really do like the full-length rainfly on the Grand Manan 7. It has kept me and my family dry from both rain as well as ground splatter. Rolling up the sides of the rainfly (after the storms had passed) really allowed for excellent air movement through the tent. This has been a huge benefit while camping in a muggy climate. The only downfall to rolling up the sides is you have to be sure to unroll them prior to a storm coming through which, can be a little arduous at 3 a.m. The rainfly dries out within a few hours in the absence of daytime rain. The dual doors on both the tent and rain fly have been an excellent feature as it has allowed for easy exit and re-entry into the tent without disturbing the other occupants, notably my sleeping toddler. All the zippers have been working very well with no snags. The 40D mesh has also kept out all unwanted bugs. The vertical sidewalls really do make the tent feel more spacious. It also seems to fit our sleeping gear very well. I've used two different sleeping arrangements on our outings: one queen-sized air mattress for my toddler and myself; or two sleeping bags and mats, and one extra large camping cot. Both setups have allowed for ample room for all occupants. Given both trips have seen lots of rain, I chose to bring the tent home and hang it to dry for a few hours prior to packing it back into the bag. Packing it up has been relatively easy, even with a 'helpful' toddler at my side trying to unpack the tent so we can pitch it again.
I'm very pleased with the tent's performance. It has kept me and my family dry during some pretty severe weather as well as staying well anchored to the ground. The full-length rainfly is a feature that is not seen enough in family/car camping tents in my opinion, and has done a fantastic job keeping us dry during the rains. It also has provided fantastic ventilation. Given that I have a toddler constantly at my side, I really appreciate how easy and quick it is to pitch and take down. I also really like the double doors and how easy it is to exit and enter the tent without disturbing others. The majority of my outings will happen over the next two months and I'm really looking forward to putting the tent through its paces during our remaining trips.
- Rain resistant/weatherproof!
- Double Doors
Long Term Report
Field Locations and Conditions:
I tested the Eureka Grand Manan 7 tent an additional 5 nights at the same locations in Maryland and South Carolina that I used during the initial test phase. Elevations were 100 ft (30.5 m) and 680 ft (207 m), respectively. Weather conditions ranged from partly sunny to light rain, and calm winds to >10 mph (>16 kph) sustained winds with gusts to ~20 mph (32 kph). Daytime highs ranged from 48 F (9 C), to 77 F (25 C) while overnights lows ranged from 41 F (5 C) to 68 F (20 C).
Performance and Durability:
The tent has performed well over the course of the test in a variety of weather conditions. All seams are still in good working order with no signs of stress. The continuous pole sleeves are in great shape with no signs of fraying or tears. The Velcro tabs on the inside of the rainfly (used to secure the fly to the tent) are in excellent shape and have not caused any damage or fraying on the tent. The tent poles have started to set a little, however it has not affected their usability. The metal grommets and their respective straps are still seated very well. The floor has held up well especially since my dog's nails were somewhat sharp on a couple trips, not to mention the toys and children's books that were thrown down on it.
I did notice that the removable window flaps did allow for a bit more air movement during the colder, windier, trips than I would have liked. Perhaps if they were zippered instead of the button closure, that would allow for two things: First, it would allow for greater air restriction when needed and second, it would allow for securing the flaps during foul weather so the occupant doesn't have to go outside in the rain to pull the sides of the rain fly down so the tent doesn't get wet. I got fairly wet one night when I went outside in an unexpected rain to pull the sides of the rain fly down so we wouldn't get wet.
I had intended to leave the rainfly off on a couple trips, however the low overnight temperatures combined with an acorn and twig aerial assault prompted me to abandon that idea. The rainfly withstood the acorns and twigs with no damage and also retained some heat in the tent. On one occasion, I recorded the temperature inside the tent to be 55 F (13 C) while outside it was 45 F (7 C).
The Eureka Grand Manan 7 tent has been a nice car camping tent to test due to its ease of setup as well as takedown, efficient footprint and ventilation options. The straight walls have made it easy to fit my queen-sized air mattress and a medium sized dog bed into the tent. The multitude of ventilation options allowed for a higher comfort level inside the tent in both hot, humid conditions as well as cold and rainy conditions. The full-length rain fly has kept us dry and has kept unwanted cold breezes out. Overall, I think this tent performed very well and look forward to using it on our future trips.
This concludes my report for the Eureka Grand Manan 7. Thanks again to Eureka and BackPackGearTest.org for granting me the opportunity to test the Eureka Grand Manan 7.
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