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Reviews > Shelters > Tents > Eureka Wabakimi Tent > Test Report by Ryan Lane Christensen

Eureka! Wabakimi 2 Tent

Wabakimi

image courtesy of the Eureka! website

Test Series by Ryan Christensen
Last Update -- September 28, 2007

ACCESS THE MAIN REPORT SECTIONS VIA THE LINKS BELOW:

INITIAL REPORT
May 23, 2007
FIELD REPORT
July 17, 2007
LONG-TERM REPORT
September 28, 2007

INITIAL REPORT
May 23, 2007

Reviewer Information:

Backpacking Background:

Name: Ryan L. Christensen

Age:  42

Gender:  Male

Height:  6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)

Weight:  235 lb (102 kg)

Email address:  bigdawgryan(at)yahoo(dot)com

City, State, Country:  Idaho Falls, ID, U.S.A

I began hiking, camping, backpacking at twelve, and continued until 25.  After a long hiatus due in part to a bad back, I resumed hiking and camping four years ago.  I share my love for these sports with my teen-age boys.  The past several years, we have hiked or camped nearly every month, year-round.  We vary our experience: desert, forest, meadow, and mountain; spring, summer, fall, and winter; sunshine, rain, wind, or snow.  We began backpacking together last summer.  I am a lightweight backpacker, but carry a full array of necessary gear.

Product Information:

The information below comes from the Eureka! website and product documentation.

Eureka! Wabakimi 2-Person Tent

Manufacturer:

Eureka!
(one of the Johnson Outdoors brands)

Manufacturer website:

http://www.eurekatent.com/

Place of Manufacture:

China

Year Manufactured:

2007

Type:

3-season, two-pole modified rectangular dome

Capacity:

2 people

Pack Size:

7 x 20 in (18 x 51 cm)

Minimum Weight:

5 lb 14 oz (2.7 kg)

Floor Size:

7 ft 6 in x 5 ft, or 37.5 ft2
(2.3 m x 1.5 m, or 3.5 m2)

Interior Height (center):

3 ft 6 in (1.1 m)

Number of Vestibules:

2

Vestibule Area:

12 ft2 (1.1 m2)

Number of Doors:

2

Number of Windows:

2

Number of Vents:

4 (one in each door, one in each end)

Number of Poles:

2 (shockcorded)

Number of Stakes:

10

Material (wall fabric):

750 190T polyester taffeta and mesh

Material (floor fabric):

750 190T polyester taffeta, 2000 mm

Material (fly fabric):

75D StormSheild® polyester, 1500 mm

Material (mesh fabric):

400 nylon no-see-um

Material (tent poles):

8.5 mm 7001 series aluminum

Setup:

post and grommet

Warranty:

Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Guaranteed against defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the tent to the original purchaser.

Eureka! shall not be responsible for the natural breakdown of materials that occurs inevitably with extended use (e.g. UV light damage, exhausted zippers), or defects caused by accident, abuse, alteration, animal attack, storm damage, misuse, or improper care.

MSRP

$219.99 USD

 

Tester's Actual Measurements

Weight (complete):
(out of box - everything inside stuff sack)

6 lb 14.5 oz (3.1 kg)

Tent Weight:

2 lb 11.9 oz (1.24 kg)

Fly Weight:

2 lb 4.2 oz (1.03 kg)

Pole Weight:

1 lb 4.1 oz (570 g) [for two poles]

Stake Weight:

6.1 oz (173 g) [for ten stakes]

Large Stuff Sack Weight:

1.4 oz (37 g)

Pole Stuff Sack Weight:

0.8 oz (23 g)

Stake Stuff Sack Weight:

0.4 oz (11 g)

Minimum Weight (tent, fly, poles):

6 lb 4.2 oz (2.84 kg)

Inside Length:

7 ft 6 in (2.3 m)

Inside Width:

5 ft (1.5 m)

Inside Height (center):

3 ft 6 in (1.1 m)

Pack Size:

7 x 20 in (18 x 51 cm)

Product Description:

Wabakimi w/out Fly

The Wabakimi is a double-wall, two-pole, freestanding, dome tent that sleeps two. This 3-season tent is one of seven tents that make up Eureka!'s Performance Series. Eureka! advertises its Performance Series as "ideal for frequent backpacking or wilderness camping." In fact, on its website, Eureka! makes the following statement regarding its Performance Series, "To meet the challenges of wilderness backpackers during spring, summer, or fall, our Performance Series tents are made to be rugged, lightweight, and durable..." The tents in the Performance series include such "sophisticated design features as built-in vestibules, bottom venting flies, patented High/Low ™ venting doors, and compact 7000 series aluminum frames." Furthermore, this is a Zone 3 tent, which Eureka! advertises as "Designed to withstand the rigorous conditions of northern climates." The Wabakimi therefore includes a full-coverage fly to provide greater protection from water and wind; large doors for fast and easy entry and exit; and extra long floor size for added space for comfort and storage.

The dome tents that I am familiar with are nearly square and have a curved dome top. However, due to its rectangular shape and designed pole routing, with its fly on, the Wabakimi has a flatter roof than a typical dome tent. Hence, Eureka! described the Wabakimi as a "modified rectangular dome" tent. I am interested in seeing how well the flat top will shed moisture in a storm.

The Wabakimi has two large, D-shaped doors: one on each of its long sides. The top, right-hand photo below shows these D-shaped doors. The doors include zippered windows, made of no-see-um mesh, to allow one to look outside the tent, without allowing the bugs inside. The windows also include zippered window covers, made from the same material as the tent walls, to keep weather outside.

The tent body is black and white in color. The white tent walls are made of a breathable 75D 190T polyester taffeta material. The black material in the bathtub-style floor is 75D 190T polyester taffeta with a 2000 mm waterproof coating. The bathtub floor wraps up the sides of the tent approximately 8 in (20 cm). The fly is a grayish-blue, with dark orange accents. In addition, there is a blue Eureka! Zone 3 logo on the exterior of each short end. The fly material is 75D StormSheild® polyester with a 1500 mm waterproof coating. All major seams are factory taped.

Wabakimi Post and Grommet Wabakimi Door
Wabakimi Guyout Point w/out Guyline Wabakimi Vent

The shockcorded 7001 series aluminum tent poles fit into one of two grommets in the 7 in (18 cm) long webbing that extends from each corner. In addition to the grommets, there is a loop at the end in which to place a stake, and the female-end of a snap buckle for securing the fly to each corner. Attached to webbing in each corner of the fly is the male-end of the snap buckle. With the webbing, it is possible to adjust the fit of the fly. The top, left-hand photo above shows the webbing, grommets, and the female-end of the snap buckle.

On each of the short sides of the rain fly, near the top, there is a loop made of webbing. This is the attachment point for each guyline. The bottom, left-hand photo above shows the attachment point.

Also on each short side of the tent is a triangular-shaped vent made of the same no-see-um mesh that is in the door. The fly includes a cover for each of these vents. This cover is below the attachment point for the guylines. The cool thing is that it is possible to secure each cover shut with a hook-and-loop closure, or prop it open with an attached stay. The bottom, right-hand photo above shows the fly vent cover in its propped open position. There are additional hook-and-loop attachment points on the top of the tent body for securing the fly, and closures along the vestibule door zipper covers in the fly.

Initial Impression:

My first impression, as I pulled the tent from the box, was that this tent is on the heavier side. However, my tested minimum weight of 6 lb 4.2 oz (2.84 kg) is approximately 5 oz (142 g) heavier than Eureka!'s advertised minimum weight. This is well within the Eureka!'s manufacturing tolerances, from its website, that state weight and dimensions may vary from 5 – 10%.

Moreover, as is the case with many other tents, I was not impressed with the stakes included. Previous experience with very similar stakes leads me to believe that these stakes will bend easily when driven into hard or rocky ground. Only through testing in field conditions will I learn whether these stakes are different from those I have used in the past. If they do bend with use, will I be able to bend them back into reasonable shape in the field?

Aside from these two items, I was initially quite pleased with the materials and design of the Wabakimi.

As far as features are concerned, I really like the two, large, D-shaped doors with mesh windows. I hope to do some stargazing through these windows. I also really like the poke-out vent covers. The four gear pockets (one in each corner) are also very nice. In addition, the vestibules are a great feature; enabling the users to store their gear in a weather-protected area without compromising sleeping space and comfort.

Initial Testing:

My initial testing included removing the tent, fly, poles, stakes, and guylines from their respective stuff sacks and inspecting them. I found everything to be in order. There were no loose or substantially uneven seams, and the zippers all worked fine. The Wabakimi appeared to be of high quality materials and sound workmanship.

Next, I proceeded to setup the tent. Following the same setup sequence as I use when setting up other tents, I first threaded the poles through the sleeves. Next, I inserted each of the four pole ends into the inner grommet. Once the dome was standing, I staked the four corners of the tent. I then placed the fly on top of the tent body, and fastened each of the buckles. Finally, I staked the vestibule covers, guylines, and each elastic strap on the two short-sides of the fly. Setup was now complete.

This initial setup took a little longer than what I anticipate subsequent setups to take. This was because I needed to attach the guylines to the fly. With the exception of the hook-and-loop attachments atop the tent body catching the fly before I was ready, there was nothing unusual or tricky about this setup. Set up was therefore quick and easy. I will time several setups to see how quickly I can setup the Wabakimi in different field conditions.

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FIELD REPORT
July 17, 2007

Wabakimi-Partial Setup Wabakimi-Big Elk Creek

Field Conditions:

My first outing with the Wabakimi was an overnighter on Lookout Mountain, in the Kelly Canyon area, which is approximately 36 mi (58 km) east of Idaho Falls, ID. The elevation was approximately 6,600 ft (2,012 m). This site provided a scenic view of the South Fork of the Snake River below. I slept in the tent, on a grassy area. The temperature dropped to the mid-30's F (1 - 2 C) overnight.

The next trip out with the Wabakimi was an overnight backpacking trip into Big Elk Creek, located approximately 56 mi (90 km) southeast of Idaho Falls, ID and nearly 11 mi (18 km) east of Palisades, ID. The trailhead begins at 5,700 ft (1,737 m) at the mouth of Big Elk Canyon. This trail goes for miles deep into the heart of the Snake River mountain range. I slept in the tent, on an uneven, semi-grassy/rocky area. The overnight temperatures dropped into the low-30's F (0 - 1 C).

Next was an overnight bicycle camping trip. A friend and I rode approximately 28 mi (45 km) one-way to the Heise, which is east of Idaho Falls, ID at an elevation of approximately 4,998 ft (1,523 m). I carried my gear in panniers on my bike, with my tent, sleeping bag, and the mattress strapped on top of the pannier support rack. They fit nicely, remaining secure the entire trip. At our destination, we slept in tents on a grassy area slightly more than 1 mi (1.6 km) east of Heise. The low temperature during the night was in the mid-30's F (1 - 2 C).

Just this past weekend, I spent two nights car camping in the Alpine Campground on the Idaho / Wyoming border. This campground is near the Palisades Reservoir at approximately 5,640 ft (1,719 m). Both the day and night temperatures were very warm. My guess is the overnight low temperature was in the 60s F (16 - 20 C). I slept in the Wabakimi on a gravel and hard packed dirt campsite.

Observations:

On all my outings, I have slept solo in the Wabakimi. I have not used a ground cloth or tarp either inside or underneath it. Consequently, when taking down the tent, there has been some moisture and occasionally some light mud on the underside of the floor. However, this has not been a major concern because I aired-out the tent upon arriving home.

On my trips to Lookout Mountain and Big Elk Creek, there was substantial condensation on the underside of the fly (see upper photo below). I expected there to be some condensation as there was little to no wind and the overnight temperatures were on the cooler side on both of these outings. Due to either the tent's design, or good fortune, the condensation did not drip into the tent or onto my sleeping bag.

I have yet to experience any rain while in the Wabakimi. However, last weekend while camping in the Alpine campground near the Idaho/Wyoming border while threatening rain, there were strong winds. Even without the guylines secured, the Wabakimi remained securely in place -- like a rock. This was quite pleasing. Nevertheless, I do wish it had rained for two reasons; first, it was extremely hot and a good rain would have cooled things down and secondly, because I would like to have seen how the Wabakimi repels water. Maybe I will still get a chance to test this in the backcountry, if not; I may try it out in my backyard with the sprinkler system running.

The Wabakimi's modified dome design, with its two shock-corded poles, makes for easy setup. I set up and secure the tent and fly in about five minutes by myself. I have not had to put this tent up by myself in a storm so I as of yet, I am unable to report on that.

Although generally pleased with the design and tent materials, I am dissatisfied with the stakes that come with the Wabakimi. They are the common, inexpensive metal stakes found in most tents these days. On my first outing with this tent on Lookout Mountain, I bent several of the stakes while inserting them into the soft, grassy, yet somewhat rocky ground with only my hands (see bottom photo below). I straightened them only to bend them again when setting up the tent on the hard packed dirt and gravel in the Alpine campground.

The tent has adequate room widthwise for two full-sized adults. There is ample room lengthwise for me [6 ft 2 in (1.9 m)] to sleep without brushing either my head or feet against the tent walls. The Wabakimi offers plenty of room for my gear and me when soloing it. The headroom is very nice and allows me to kneel up while pulling on my shorts, etc. The gear pockets are the perfect size for headlamps, sunglasses, MP3 player, wallet, watch, etc.

Wabakimi-Condensation Wabakimi-Bent Stakes

Likes:

As a double wall, the Wabakimi is somewhat heavier than many single wall tents. However, it is not overly heavy and fits nicely on my pack. I really like how easily I can set this tent up by myself. I also like its size and stability. The large screened doors on both long sides and the vents on the short sides are also very nice and provide great ventilation. The gear pockets are great too. I feel this tent is a great value for the money.

Dislikes:

To date, the only complaint I have is the flimsy stakes that Eureka! supplies with the Wabakimi. There are stronger and lighter weight stakes available that would be a real enhancement to this tent.

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LONG-TERM REPORT
September 28, 2007

Field Locations and Conditions:

During the long-term phase of this test, I was able to get in two trips. The first was a weeklong backpacking trip in the Wind River Range, which is in the Bridger Wilderness of west-central Wyoming. We began this trip at 9,100 ft (2,774 km) from the Elkhart Park trailhead located slightly more than 16 mi (26 km) north of Pinedale, Wyoming. Over the course of the week, we covered 50 mi (80 km), with trail elevations between 10,000 ft (3,048 m) and 11,000 ft (3,353 km) above sea level. Temperatures ranged from highs in the low 80's F (27 - 29 C) to lows in the upper 40's F (4 - 7 C). Skies were partly cloudy to cloudy and we had rain four of our six days in the Winds. I carried a 50 lb (23 kg) pack.

My second trip during this phase was a mid-August overnight backpack trip to Baptie Lake in the Copper Basin located in central Idaho. With the weather forecast calling for thunderstorms, we debated whether to make this trip. Ultimately, we decided to go and the weather cooperated on our way in. We had partly cloudy skies and the temperature was in the upper 80's F (29+ C). On the way in, we hiked approximately 4 mi (6.4 km) and gained approximately 4,000 ft (1,219 m) to our campsite. We then hiked another 0.5 mi (0.8 km) and gained another 150+ ft (46 m) as we hiked to Baptie Lake where we fished a couple of hours. When the weather became ominous, we headed back to camp. The next morning, we were wakened around 6:00 a.m. by thunder, lighting, hail and rain at 10,000 ft (3,048 m). Because this area has numerous severe lightning storms, we quickly packed our gear and made our way down the mountain. I carried a 35 lb (16 kg) pack.

Observations:

Thus far, I have spent eleven nights in the Wabakimi 2. Six of the eleven nights were double-occupancy, and on five nights, I was the sole occupant. One of the six double-occupancy nights was with my eleven-year-old son. We had plenty of room inside the tent. The other five double-occupancy nights I spent with a full-size hiking buddy. We too had enough room to sleep comfortably without encroaching on one another's space. The inside of the tent was large enough for our sleeping pads, sleeping bags (mine being a long), pillows, clothes, and miscellaneous gear. Using the interior gear pockets, we were easily able to stow our headlamps, cameras, watches, etc. At 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m), I was able to both sit and kneel comfortably inside the Wabakimi with its 42 in (107 cm) center height. Outside, the vestibules provided more than enough room for our packs, hiking poles, and boots. Even with our gear inside the vestibule, there was room to comfortably enter and exit the tent through the large doors on either side.

Wabakimi-Rain

On my previous trips, I experienced good weather. However, on the two trips of this phase, I experienced inclement weather. First, was my early-August trip into the Wind River Range. Four of the six days in the Winds were stormy. Several storms produced thunder, lightning, rain, and some wind. At times, the rain was quite heavy, and two nights it rained most of the night. However, Eureka!'s Stormshield® design and construction performed as advertised. When inside the tent, the full-coverage fly, factory-taped seams, and bathtub floor kept my hiking buddy and me dry, along with our gear. The full-coverage fly, which creates the vestibules, kept the gear we placed in the vestibules dry as well. Initially, I was concerned that the Wabakimi's flat roof might not shed water as well as other designs. However, this proved not to be the case, the flat roof sheds rain quite well. Using the vents and large screened windows in the doors allowed good airflow and consequently, condensation was minimal. About the third day of rain, I noticed some minor leakage through the fly's zipper. I am not positive, but I believe this occurred because I did not have the hook and loop closures that hold the weather flap, which covers the zipper, completely secured. Although I have not tested this theory since returning, I intend to do so. I did not guyout the tent on either trip. However, it withstood the heavy rains and winds very well. There was not a time when I felt the need to secure the guylines--this tent is very stable. On the second trip of this phase, into Idaho's Copper Basin, I also experienced stormy weather. In addition to thunder, lightning, rain, and wind, it also hailed. Although it only hailed a few minutes, it was between the size of a green pea and a dime. Again, the Wabakimi performed well, keeping my gear and me dry.

Summary:

The Wabakimi 2 is one of Eureka!'s Zone 3 tents which are "Designed to withstand the rigorous conditions of northern climates." Indeed, the full-coverage fly, large doors, and extra-long floor are well suited for the type of weather we experience in this area. I am pleased to report that this roomy two-person tent performed exceptionally well throughout the four-month test period. Aside from the bent stakes early in the test, everything remains in great working order. The seams are still tight, the zippers still work smoothly, the poles are straight, and there are no punctures or tears in the fly or tent. The absence of punctures and tears is noteworthy because on my Wind River trip, to reduce pack weight, I did not carry the tent in its stuff sack. Strapped to the right side of my pack, the tent and fly brushed against tree branches, bushes, etc. several times without sustaining damage. To me, this clearly demonstrates the materials and methods used in its Stormshield® design and construction perform as Eureka! intended.

Although the test period does not extend into the winter months, I am interested in testing this tent in the snow. Based on my experience during the long-term test phase, I believe the Wabakimi 2 will perform well in light to moderate snowstorms. However, only by testing the Wabakimi in winter conditions can I be certain.

Likes:

  • extra-long floor

  • interior height

  • large, screened doors

  • 7001 series aluminum shock-corded poles

  • small pack size

  • easy set up

  • weather resistance

  • stability

Dislikes:

  • flimsy stakes

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This concludes my test series. Thanks to Eureka! and BackpackGearTest for allowing me to test the Wabakimi 2 tent.




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