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Reviews > Shelters > Tents > Exxel Suisse Sport Mammoth Tent > Test Report by Derek Hansen

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Photo courtesy exxel.com

Suisse Sport — Mammoth Tent

Test Series by Derek Hansen

TESTER INFORMATION

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NameDerek Hansen
Age36
GenderMale
Height5' 10" (1.78 m)
Weight175 lb (79 kg)
Email Address pix-obfuscated
City, State, CountryFlagstaff, Arizona, USA

BACKPACKING BACKGROUND

I am a lightweight backpacker with a typical overnight pack weight of 15 lb (7 kg) and a multi-day weight of 20 lb (9 kg), which includes food and water. Because I pack less than 20 lb (9 kg), I prefer lightweight trail-running shoes. I prefer backpacking with a hammock as part of my sleep system.


PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer Suisse Sport
Year of Manufacture 2011, made in China
Distributor’s Website exxel.com
MSRP N/A
Listed Features
  • Gear loft
  • 7 Accessory loops
  • Sleeps 6
  • 2 Doors, 3 Windows
  • 2 Rooms
  • 2 fiberglass pole dome tent
  • Electric outlet port
Manufacturer Recommendations Keep all heat and flame sources away from tent fabric
Measurements
Specifications What They Say What I Say
Weight 16 lbs (7.3 kg) 16 lbs (7.3 kg)
Dimensions 120 x 144 in (305 x 366 cm)
Center height: 72 in (183 cm)
120 x 142 in (305 x 361 cm)
Center height: 69 in (175 cm)
Colors White, grey, forest green
Sizes One size
Warranty None listed.
Materials Fiberglass poles; 68D polyester mesh; coated PE floor; water resistant, flame resistant 68D PU coated polyester taffeta walls/fly


INITIAL REPORT

11 Aug 2012

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The Suisse Sport Mammoth Tent is a large, family-sized dome tent. Weighing in at 16 lb (7.3 kg), this tent is designed for base camping. The tent has a thick, durable "bathtub" style floor that extends about 10 in (25 cm) up the side walls. The top of the tent has a small mesh roof. A small mesh gear loft clips to this mesh roof. The tent uses two collapsible fiberglass poles to create the dome shape. The tent uses sleeves to hold the poles securely. Two short tie-outs on the top of the tent tie together and around the poles where they cross.

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The rain fly is separate from the tent and also uses two collapsible fiberglass poles and clips to the four outer corners of the tent. Small loops of thick shock cord connect on the corners of the rain fly. Attached to the shock cord is a plastic hook that clips to rings on each corner of the tent.

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There are two doors, both on the same side, that allow entrance to the tent. The reason for the two openings is because the space between the doors is used to make the two "rooms" inside the tent.

The tent can be divided in half with a sheet of material that has been shaped to fit the interior of the tent. The divider connects to the interior of the tent with toggles.

There are two mesh pockets sewn on the inside of tent.

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There are three windows that can zip open revealing a bug screen opening. There are not ties to secure the window flaps when open. Instead, there is a pocket that the window material can pack into when open.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The monsoon season is just winding down here in Flagstaff, so upon receiving the tent, I immediately set it up in my backyard to take advantage of the daily rain storms. Setting up the tent isn't difficult -- it's a simple dome-shaped tent with two crossing poles. I'm not a huge fan of the pole sleeves: the poles inherently snag on the fabric, making the set-up process a little frustrating. On the four corners of the tent are metal rings and pins. The poles connect to the pins to secure them to the bottom of the tent.

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On the inside of the tent, I set up the mesh gear loft and the room divider. The divider is not permanent, which is a nice feature because I can remove it for a larger interior. The divider connects to the interior of the tent thanks to toggles.

One of the first things I thought of when I saw the tent, its two front doors and the divider was that this would make a great two-person base camp shelter with adequate room for a cot each and space for gear. The head room was less than the 6 ft (183 cm) advertised, but just enough for me to stand upright in the middle of the tent. The manufacturer claims the tent can sleep 6 people, but the illustration shows a very snug arrangement. The illustration is based on adults, so for a family with small children, this would be more than adequate for 6 people and even a "Pack 'N Play."

There are tie-outs that can tie back the doors and bug netting when unzipped. The windows do not have tie-outs and instead have a pocket where the opened material can be stuffed.

Over the past few days we've slept a few nights outdoors and the tent has seen three great monsoon storms. These storms typically form by the afternoon and downpour with heavy rains for about an hour or more. Some days saw drizzly rain for several hours with heavy downpours later. The sad news is that the tent leaks on the edges, down by the bathtub sideboards! The interior had pools of water along the edges, and when I pulled the side walls outward, I could see where the water was seeping through. Unfortunately, the tent was also full of blankets, sleeping pads, and sleeping bags, many of which were soaked.

There are a few loose threads in the tent.

Packing the tent is straightforward: collapse and fold the poles; fold the tent in thirds and then in half; roll the tent and then pack it. I packed the rainfly separately and stuffed it into the supplied storage container.

INITIAL SUMMARY

For a family-sized tent, I think the tent will adequately support my family, but I am concerned about the water leakage! The tent feels ordinary in all respects, although the room divider is a nice touch.

PRO—Large, family-sized tent. Room divider creates two living spaces.

CON—mass-market materials. Only water resistant; leaks. Pole sleeves snag on the poles.

FIELD REPORT

23 Oct 2012

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I've taken the tent on four overnight camping trips in the last few months. I've also used the tent on a few backyard sleepovers.

Aug 9-10, 17-18: Coconino National forest, near Flagstaff, Arizona. These were both family camping trips with minimal hiking. Elevation was 7,000 ft (2,100 m).

Aug 24-25: Sycamore Canyon, near Williams, Arizona. The elevation was 6,500 ft (2,000 m). During the night, the temperature dropped into the mid-50s °F (10 °C).

Sep 28-29: Coconino National Forest, Flagstaff, Arizona. I went on an overnight camping trip with my Boy Scout troop. The overnight low was in the upper 30s °F (3 °C) and around 70 °F (21 °C) in the day. The elevation was 7,000 ft (2,100 m).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

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For car camping, this tent has been a great and easy addition. The included carry bag makes it easy to carry and lift into the back of my van. Set-up is easily done with the two crossing poles and I've been able to erect the tent by myself with a little difficulty. The trouble is mostly in the weight of the poles and tent that makes it hard for one person to lift and steady the tent. My kids usually help me erect the tent.

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When I've taken the tent, the room divider usually gets torn down within a few minutes as the kids like running around in the tent and the divider is more of a barrier. When we all slept in the tent, they all wanted to bunch together, which was another reason for taking down the wall so we could all huddle together.

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On my trip to Sycamore Canyon, I brought the tent and let my scout patrol use it while I slept in a hammock nearby. Again, the room divider was taken down so the boys could more easily see and chat with each other. On this trip, the ground cover was wet and so the tent collected a small portion of mud, leaves, and detritus. On getting home I sprayed down the tent, dried it, and repacked it.

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The only "frustration" with this tent has been the rain fly. It seems like each time I set up the tent I get the fly turned the wrong direction, which means unhooking each side and rotating the fly. I just have to remember: white = windows; green = door.

On one trip with my kids we brought along some entertainment in the form of an iPad. The mesh interior pockets were the perfect size for the iPad and so we all huddled into one corner to watch a movie.

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FIELD USE SUMMARY

The tent is putting up with a bit of abuse. So far, everything is working fine. I haven't had to use the tent in any more rain storms, but I'm also hesitant to do so based on earlier experiences.


LONG TERM REPORT

8 Jan 2013

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I was able to get one more overnight use with the Mammoth tent, but it was a solo trip as the cooling weather and activities have made it difficult to get my kids to go out with me. The overnight low was 20°F (-7°C) with clear skies. A layer of snow was on the ground.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Setting up the Mammoth with just one person is possible, if not a little difficult. I first sheath the poles in the tent and proceed to set up the poles one a time. I usually have my kids help me by standing inside the tent and pushing upwards to give structure and support to the poles. Setting up solo meant that I had to put stress on the poles to pry them upward, but it worked okay and the tent was erect.

I'll admit that I am a little lazy when it comes to perimeter stakes with tents. Since most dome-style tents are self-standing, the stakes are really only necessary to keep the tent from flying away during windy conditions. So when wind is low and my sleeping system and gear is enough to hold down the tent, I usually skip the stakes. With the Mammoth, however, I've had the tent fall over in light breezes (<15 MPH/24 KPH), so I've made a note that this tent needs perimeter stakes a little more than other tents.

One thing I like about the Mammoth is the "sky light" bug netting on the ceiling. On a clear night, I left the tarp fly off and enjoyed watching the stars.

I find that the fabric that separates the tent in to two rooms is more hassle than anything. My kids tend to tear it down and don't like being separate anyway.

FINAL SUMMARY

As a fair-weather, family tent, the Mammoth hits a niche. It's "compact" enough for a family-sized tent to pack easily in a car trunk without being too long or wide, and it has plenty of room for several people, pets, and gear.

PRO—Plenty of room. Possible to pitch with one person.

CON—Nothing additional.

I would like to thank Exxel Outdoors and BackpackGearTest.org for providing me with the opportunity to test this product.



Read more reviews of Exxel Outdoors gear
Read more gear reviews by Derek Hansen

Reviews > Shelters > Tents > Exxel Suisse Sport Mammoth Tent > Test Report by Derek Hansen



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