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Reviews > Shelters > Tents > Exxel Suisse Sport Mammoth Tent > Test Report by Lori Pontious

Suisse Sport Mammoth 6 Person Tent
Test Series by Lori Pontious

INITIAL REPORT - August 21, 2012
FIELD REPORT - October 30, 2012
LONG TERM REPORT - January 29, 2013

Tester Information

NAME: Lori Pontious
EMAIL: lori.pontious (at) gmail.com
AGE: 45
LOCATION: Fresno County, California, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5'7" (1.7 m)
WEIGHT: 165 lb (75 kg)

I've backpacked, camped and fished all over the lower 48 states with my family as a kid, and then life happened. I've restarted these activities about four years ago - I dayhike or backpack 2-6 times a month. I am between light and ultralight. I have a hammock system and own a Tarptent. My base weight depends upon season and where I go.


Product Information


Manufacturer: Exxel Outdoors
Manufacturer URL: www.exxel.com
Listed weight: 16 pounds (7 kilograms)
Actual weight: 17.8 pounds (8 kilograms)
Materials:
Fly: 68D 185T 600 mm polyurethane coated polyester taffeta
Wall Fabric: 68D 185T 600 mm polyurethane coated polyester taffeta
Floor: Coated PE
Mesh: 68D polyester mesh
Frame: 11 and 9.5 mm (.43 and .37 inch) fiberglass poles
MSRP: None listed


Warranty: For a period of two years from the date of purchase, this product will be free of defects in material and workmanship. At Exxel's option the tent will be repaired, replaced with a new tent, or portions/parts may be replaced. The warranty is not transferable and requires a receipt. It does not cover normal wear and tear or damage.

Initial Report

Product Description

The Suisse Sport Mammoth 6 person tent (hereafter "the tent") came to me neatly packaged in its carry bag. Once unrolled, the tent becomes a 12 x 10 foot (4 x 3.7 meter) shelter with two zippered doors and three windows. Each door or window has a mesh as well as a fabric panel so the tent can be fully ventilated. There is also a mesh square at the top of the tent, which is protected by the rainfly in the case of rain. The mesh gear loft hangs beneath the mesh panel, in the center of the tent.

IMAGE 1 IMAGE 1 IMAGE 1

The fly and the tent have two poles apiece. The poles are made of fiberglass and assemble easily. It is easiest to pull the sleeves on the tent over the poles rather than pushing the poles through the sleeves. Setting up the tent is straightforward enough; as the included instructions indicate, putting the poles in the sleeves then inserting the pins at each corner into the ends of the poles is easy enough to do after staking out the corners. There are 12 steel stakes to use for the corners, the loops in the center of each side of the tent, and the additional guy points on the fly. To put the fly on the tent, crossed poles are inserted into pockets on the outer hem of the fly, then plastic hooks on the end of loops of shock cord on each corner are stretched down to secure the fly to the corner rings on the tent body.

I found that the inside "wall" that splits the tent into two rooms is a thin curtain of nylon suspended by toggles that fit through loops on the tent walls. It would work okay for privacy. The tent is roomy enough to stand up in.

I am not certain about how waterproof the tent will be. On the tent bag, the material of which the fly and walls are made is described as "W/R F/R" which I interpret as water resistant and fire retardant. I would hope the fly would be water proof. I also noticed, after setting up the tent, that pine needles easily poked up through the floor. I will be adding plastic sheets to my list of provisions for my car camping adventures with this tent, just in case. The 600 mm rating does not inspire confidence that it will stand up to sustained rain. That is a fairly low rating for tent fabric. The rating refers to the method for testing water resistance. A tube 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) in diameter is placed vertically on the material, and then water is added to the tube until the material starts to leak; this is called static-column testing. Material is typically considered truly waterproof when the rating is 5,000 mm or above. Most tent flies are rated to 1500 mm or more, which while not completely waterproof, is more than twice the rating of the Mammoth.

I will be taking the tent with me to the coast and sharing it with others. I expect I will enjoy the room and the ventilation, but if it rains, I may find I need more than water resistance.


Field Report

Field Conditions

I took the tent with me for one night to a Search and Rescue event, using it at our base camp near Shaver Lake, in Sierra National Forest, California. Conditions were clear skies, no wind or other weather events. The night temperature didn't make it below 56 F (13 F).

I took the tent to Montana de Oro State Park, near Los Osos, California, for a weekend of fun on the coast. I shared the tent with two other people and some gear for two nights. We had a heavy dew, some mist, and a light breeze each afternoon. Lows were in the 50 - 55 F (10 - 13 C) range.

I spent two nights in the tent at Sunset State Beach near Watsonville, California. Skies were clear and we again had a lot of dew. It was colder than the other trips, about 45 F (7 C) at night.

Observations

I have found the tent to be roomy as expected, and I've enjoyed the ability to stand up and move around while changing, organizing gear for the day, or packing up for the trip home. Having two other people and their gear, in addition to me and my gear, was not enough to fill the space.

The tent has held up well to even unintentional mishaps such as orienting the poles incorrectly in the fly. Setting up after dark, after a long drive to camp, I managed to get the long pole where the shorter one should be. After a good night's sleep I looked at the fly and wondered how I managed to do that! The fly definitely wasn't sitting correctly on the tent. I was able to rotate the poles without even removing the fly and got them in correctly. The fly showed no signs of the traumatic experience. The tent as a whole has held up well, with no obvious wear and tear.

IMAGE 1

I've had no difficulties with the setup or the use of the tent, however, when it's time to pack, that's another story. I fold the tent in fourths, first each end toward the center, then once more over itself. Then I try to roll it up small enough to fit back into the original zippered bag it came in. Then I give up and stuff everything in the trunk of the car. Air trapped inside the tent is the problem, I suspect, and I have not the patience to carefully squeeze all of it out. It's not really an impediment as I can put the tent in a trash bag if it's wet or muddy.

I haven't used the small electrical cord access, since I won't use electrical devices in a tent. I have put my smart phone in the gear loft with the flashlight app turned on (forgot a lamp or headlight on one trip) to illuminate the tent and used it to dry a shirt. I think I would like the loft to be bigger, so I could dry a shirt plus socks or another shirt, but I suppose that would decrease head room in the tent.

I haven't experienced rain or strong wind with the tent, so I can't comment on how the tent would fare in inclement weather. The dew we experienced on the coast was no problem until I pulled the fly off the tent, at which point condensation on the underside of the fly came down through the mesh ceiling and spattered everything inside. As I was packing to go home, this wasn't a serious issue.

Long Term Report

Field Conditions

I took the Mammoth on one camping trip (unfortunately two others I had scheduled were canceled) to Mercey Hot Springs Resort near Panoche Hills in Merced County, California. I spent two nights at the Resort in the campground. Our first night was foggy and damp, the temperature hovering at about 59 F (15 C), and the second night clear and colder at 54 F (12 C).

Observations

For my final two nights with the Mammoth I loaded into the tent a lot of gear and another person. At the hot spring I ended up with wet towels and wet clothes to string up on lines. I didn't want to leave them outside since it became misty and foggy, and as the night progressed the condensation in the tamarisk trees overhead dripped down on the fly of the tent. I'm happy to report that the light misting and humidity didn't result in any condensation inside the tent, in spite of my increasing humidity inside with all the wet fabric hanging around. With a couple of windows slightly unzipped, there seemed to be enough air flow through the top part of the tent while blocking the slight breeze enough for me, sleeping on the floor.

I was also looking at the forecast with the thought that if it did actually rain, I could invite my party of nine inside with chairs or boxes to sit on - however, that didn't happen. But I could have easily hosted a card game. The floor space in the tent is more than adequate.

Some of the tent stakes have bent a little. I can still use them, though. At the resort the wind picked up in the afternoon and pushed the tent a few feet, before I remembered I hadn't staked it down. Fortunately I remembered and took a break from soaking in the springs to add the stakes before the tent was pushed out into the field adjacent to our campsite. The gusty wind continued for about four hours that night. Though the walls shook and flexed in the gusts, I didn't have a problem with damage to the tent. I'm not sure how strong the wind was, but it sure made the trees creak!

The only real con to the Mammoth is storage - I still have not gotten it to roll up small enough to fit in the original bag!

All in all, it's been nice having a tent the size of a small house on my camping trips - being able to accommodate a couple of last minute campers and having lots of space to spread out is a luxury. I've had a good time with this tent and look forward to more campouts with it.

Thanks to Exxel Outdoors and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the Suisse Sport Mammoth 12' x 10' Tent. This concludes my review.



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Reviews > Shelters > Tents > Exxel Suisse Sport Mammoth Tent > Test Report by Lori Pontious



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