Eureka Pinnacle Pass 3XTA Tent
BY BRIAN HARTMAN
September 25, 2008
5' 9" (1.75 m)
145 lb (65.80 kg)
I have always been active outdoors but just started backpacking last year when my son joined scouting. So far, I have been backpacking throughout the Midwest as well as Glacier National Park and Yellowstone. I especially enjoy winter backpacking and the serenity of the wilderness under the cover of snow. My backpack and gear are older and weigh 40+ lbs (18 kg). This has limited the distances I have been able to cover and my enjoyment while hiking. My goal over the next several years is to replace my existing clothing and gear with more suitable and lighter weight alternatives.
Year Manufactured: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.eurekatent.com
MSRP: $199 US
Listed Weight: 5 lb 15 oz (2.70 kg)
Measured Weight: 6lb (2.72 g)
Floor Size: 90 in x 78 in (228.6 cm x 198 cm)
Packed Size: 6.75 in x 20.5 in (17 cm x 52 cm)
Tent Area: 48.75 sq. ft. (4.5 sq m)
Vestibule Area: 13.4 sq. ft. (1.24 sq m)
Center Height: 50 in (127 cm)
Frame: 9.5 mm 7000 series aluminum
Number of Doors: 2
Wall Fabric: 70D nylon taffeta, 800mm, coated/uncoated
Fly Material: 75D StormShield polyester, 800mm
Floor Material: 70D nylon taffeta, 800mm
Mesh: 40D No-see-um
Number of poles: 2
The Eureka Pinnacle Pass 3XTA tent (hereafter called the Pinnacle Pass or tent) is a 3 person, 3 season backcountry camping tent.
The body is constructed of 70D nylon taffeta coated fabric on the areas exposed to the elements. The side opening door panels are constructed entirely of 40D no-see-um mesh to maximize air flow inside the tent. The floor is made of 70-denier nylon taffeta, with a 800 mm polyurethane (PU) coating. The fly consists of 75D StormShield polyester, 800mm. There is also a poke-out vent in the side wall which allows the option of additional ventilation when needed.
The tent has a bathtub floor for increased waterproofness. It has two doors, two vestibules and a lightweight aluminum frame which is constructed of two 9.5 mm shockcorded 7000 series aluminum poles. A storage sack is provided for the two poles. The two poles slide into pockets on one side of the tent and attach to pins on the other side for easy assembly. Here is a photo of the tent with the rain cover off to show the pole pockets.
Six metal stakes are provided with the tent. This is probably the minimum necessary to secure the tent in gusty weather. I intend to add more stakes to utilize the guy-lines which are not provided, but would be necessary in harsh conditions. The tent came with instructions for attaching the guy-lines, which were well written and easy to follow.
There are 2 interior storage pockets to keep essential items handy. Options include a gear loft and floor saver.
I've used this tent several dozen times in conditions ranging from 10 degrees F (-12 C) to 88 degrees F (31 C ) including rainstorms, sleet and snow. It has enough room for two adults plus gear and / or 3 kids. This is my only tent for backpacking and it serves this function well. It is lightweight and easy to set up. I have yet to experience condensation build-up inside this tent. Here is a picture of the tent one morning during a solo backpacking trip:
During this snowstorm, the vestibule was large enough to keep my backpack and even my dog dry. The aluminum poles were more than strong enough to hold the snow which accumulated on the roof of my tent overnight.
I am impressed with this tent. It is lightweight and very easy to set up. I can set it up in under 5 minutes by myself. Two people can take it down to a few minutes.
The two doors and vestibules are great additions to this tent. It is roomy for two adults but starts to get tight when adding a third person (adult or child). It works well as a solo shelter for backpacking, providing me with plenty of headroom for moving around the tent and spreading out, but at almost 6 lb (2.7 kg) there are other lighter choices for solo backpacking tents.
The venting in this tent works great thanks to all of the mesh on the walls and doors. However, with the rainfly in place, the vestibules must be opened slightly to encourage a breeze on hot summer nights. Regardless, I have yet to see condensation on my sleeping bag or the walls of the tent. One negative side effect of the excellent ventilation is that it is exactly as cold inside as it is outside. Since the air moves freely in and out of the tent, it simply won't hold any heat that my body generates. When using it during the winter season, I always bring my warmest sleeping bag.
One thing that concerns me is that the floor of this tent is made of the same thin material used on the sidewalls. While this is done to conserve weight while backpacking, I noticed on several occasions that the bottom of the floor showed signs of wetting-out after wet weather. I must say that I have not noticed water transferred through to the inside of the floor. I now always use a ground cloth under the tent.
In my opinion, the stakes, although lightweight, are not strong enough to anchor the tent in strong winds. I bent three stakes last month trying to push them into hard ground. The stakes are also not long enough for anchoring in deep snow. I have now replaced the original stakes with heavier duty, longer metal stakes.
After many overnight trips, the zippers still slide easily in both directions and the stitching has not pulled away in any spots. In addition, the rainfly continues to repel water and the poles remain solid.
This tent is well-made. It packs up small and is great for two, with plenty of gear storage. The vestibules on both sides create double the storage for wet boots etc. The amount of mesh is great, as there is plenty of circulation and no condensation in the mornings.
It is a long reach to open and close the vestibules but this is tolerable. The tent can be setup quickly thanks to the tent clips and pole sleeves at the ends of the tent. This tent is fairly lightweight for a 3-person tent which makes it good for backpacking. It rolls up quite small and easily fits into my pack. The floor fabric could be thicker, but I now carry a ground cloth as further prevention against tears and/or water penetration.
THINGS I LIKE
Easy set up
I stayed dry in a downpour
Vestibules keep boots and dog dry
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
A ground cloth is recommended in wet conditions or when on rough ground
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
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