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Reviews > Shelters > Tents > Exxel Suisse Sport Mammoth Tent > Test Report by alex legg

Suisse Sport Mammoth Tent
Test Series by Alex Legg
Initial Report August 15th, 2012
Field Report October, 24th, 2012
Long Term Report January 8th,2013


Tester Information:

Name:  Alex Legg
Age:  30
Gender:  Male
Height:  6'4" (1.9 m)
Weight:  195 lb (88 kg)
Email address:  alexlegg2 AT yahoo DOT com
City, State, Country:  Tucson, Arizona, USA

Backpacking Background: 

I grew up backpacking in the Rockies.   I hike ranges throughout Arizona and Colorado year round.  I carry a light pack, mostly water.  I prefer a tarp shelter to my heavier 2-person tent.  I do many day hikes and I also spend as many as 5 days out at a time.  Temperatures range from below freezing to above 100 F (38 C), and elevations from 2,000 ft to 14,000 ft ( 610 m to 4,300 m).  I bag a mountain almost every weekend, and I walk my dogs 4 miles daily through deep sand and overgrown mesquite trees in our local washes.

Product Information and Specifications:

Manufacturer: Exxel Outdoors
Manufacture Date:  December, 2011, Made in China
URL: http://www.exxel.com/
Listed Weight: 16 lbs (7 kg)
Measured Weight: 16 lbs (7kg)
Listed Pack Size: 27.2 in x 7.6 in x 7.6 in (69 cm x 19 cm x 19 cm)
Measured pack Size: 27.2 in x 7.6 in x 7.6 in (69 cm x 19 cm x 19 cm)
Fly Fabric: Coated polyester Taffeta
Wall Fabric: Coated polyester Taffeta
Floor Fabric: Coated PE
Mesh Fabric: 68D polyester Mesh
Color: Grey, White, Green
MSRP: Not listed

Initial Report:

Product Description and Initial Impressions:

The Suisse Sport Mammoth Tent is advertised as a 12 x 10 ft (4 x 3 m) two room tent that can sleep up to 6 people.  I doubt I will try and stuff 6 people into this tent, but for the two adults and two dogs and an almost two year old in my family, it should be quite roomy.

Right away I found difficulty in finding a flat spot that can house the aptly named Mammoth.  When I finally did find a suitable spot, I unrolled and unfolded the tent to find the rain fly, fiberglass poles, and steel pegs inside.  The tent went up fairly easily.  Two collapsible poles slide diagonally through sleeves and then it stands up.  I didn't find the sleeves to be especially easy to work with, but I was so excited to see how big this thing was inside that I didn't let it get me down.  The poles are held in place by metal pins at the corners of the tent.  I had to get another person to help me stand it up initially, but I think I could do it alone if I was forced to.  I found it necessary to stake down the tent in order to keep its full shape and to stop the light wind from getting under the floor.  The pictures in this report are from just before I realized I needed the stakes.

The rain fly also has two collapsible fiberglass poles that cross the tent diagonolly.  From the outside, the tent is white in the upper portion and green on the lower portion.  There is a black bathtub type floor that comes up off the ground a few inches.  On the lower left corner there is a red E Port pocket and on the lower right corner the Suisse Sport logo is also in red.  There are two large double 'D' doors on the front and three big windows, one in the back and one on each side.  There is also a mesh vent at the top of the tent that can be protected from moisture by the rain fly.

The left dual door had some zipper snags right away as I opened the outer layer exposing the mesh bug netting.  The mesh layer zipper worked without a hitch and as soon as the door opened one of my dogs jumped inside ready to play.  The Mammoth looks huge inside.  Plenty of room for the dogs, and I think my son felt like he was in a special house built just for him.  There is a lightweight sheet separating the two rooms in the tent.  It can easily be removed partially or completely for desired use.  I especially like that there is enough room at the bottom of the divider for my dogs to slide underneath.  They get upset if they can't be close to all their people.  I noticed a large mesh pocket  for storing gear on each side of the tent near the window.  There is also a mesh gear loft at the top of the tent that connects to four anchor points.  I was impressed to be able to stand somewhat comfortably inside the tent.  I think it may be a hair shy of 6 ft (1.8 m) tall, but it is still very easy for a tall person like myself to move around in.  The space inside the Mammoth makes it seem ideal for a long term base camp or car camping with friends and family.  I don't think getting stuck inside this tent during bad weather would be very uncomfortable based on the size.  I like that the three windows are large.  They opened easily without zipper issues and the mesh material over the openings is without noticeable defects.  The floor of the Mammoth is a bathtub style which I hope will protect from moisture.  I have to say that the floor material doesn't give me a confident feeling and I am not entirely impressed by its construction.  To be honest, all of the material of the Mammoth looks and feels to be of an economical approach, but for the purposes of a car camping type of tent, economical is the way to go in my opinion. 

Summary:

The Mammoth is a big tent that allows a more glamorous approach to camping than I am accustomed to.  I have my doubts about the durability of the material used to construct it, but I will reserve my opinions until the testing process can show me what the truth is.  I can't wait to get out there with the family and test this product!

Things I like:

1.  Huge interior
2.  Room divider
3.  Large windows

Concerns:

1.  Material potentially weak.



Field Report:


Field Conditions:

I have been on three separate car camping adventures during this testing period.

I camped on Mt. Lemmon in Coronado National Forest for two nights.  The temperature got down around 40 F (10 C) and the elevation was just over 8,000 ft (2438 m).

I did an overnight in Coconino National Forest near Greer, Arizona.  The temperature got as low as 28 F (-2 C) in the early morning and the elevation was near 8,500 ft (2,591 m).

Finally,  I went on a trip to the Madera Canyon Recreation Area south of Tucson for a weekend.  The elevation was around 5,000 ft (1,524 m) and the temperature got down to 45 F (7 C) overnight.

I did not encounter rain or adverse weather on any of these trips.

Performance in the Field:

So far the Mammoth tent has served its purpose well.  It is set up easily with two people and is very spacious inside.  It is such a large tent that finding a suitable flat spot can be tough depending on the location that I am camping.  When setting the tent up alone I have found myself struggling to get it standing.  I am usually left with a strong desire for a beer.  Once up, I can easily fit two adults, two large dogs, and a two year old inside.  There is still more than enough room for all the gear I can think of.  I may have lived in apartments in my early twenties that were not much larger than this tent.

The Mammoth is easy to take down, but I don't have the best luck getting it back into the carry bag.  It often comes out just a little too large and won't fit.  I was pressed for time while packing up on my second trip, so I just strapped a couple of bungee cords around the rolled up tent and called it good.  This method was so easy that I decided to do the same thing at the end of my third trip as well.  The tent has a nice clean and dry spot to live at home, so I am not concerned about causing damage due to not using the carry bag.
 
The tent has held the cool air at bay and kept the inside toasty.  I have not had any leaking issues as of yet, but I have not experienced any rain to speak of while inside the Mammoth.  It doesn't look like the rain fly can really cover enough of the tent to ensure dryness through a storm.  I also have my doubts about the bathtub floor due to the large amount of daylight that I can see through it. So far, I have been keeping the fly off at night as I have noticed the inside temperature stays a little cooler without it up.  I have noticed some condensation building along the inside of the tent a few times.  I imagine it has something to do with panting dogs, and it is pretty easily remedied by keeping a window open and keeping the dogs in their own corner.

The large windows of the Mammoth make catching a breeze easy.  I have been nice and comfortable reading books inside when temperatures were around 75 F during the day.  There have also been some chilly nights down to 28F (-2 C) and the tent remained noticeably warmer than the outside temperature. 

My only real complaint about the Mammoth is that the zippers seem to catch, a lot.  It doesn't matter whether I am opening a window, or a door, or just the mosquito netting over the doors.  I always need to use two hands, one to work the zipper and the other to keep the fabric steady.  I even find the zipper catches up on its own teeth, causing me to back track again and again.  Some windows are worse than others and the left side double door is worse than the right. 

Summary:

Overall I like the Mammoth.  Aside from the possibility of serving as a studio apartment/prime office location, it makes a great car camping companion for me and the family.  If the tent holds up and doesn't wear out too soon, I see it getting a good amount of use year round in Arizona and Colorado.  I am not as serious a car camper as I am a backpacker, so I doubt that I would ever buy a high end tent this size, therefore the Mammoth seems to be ideal thus far.   I look forward to reporting back in another two months and hopefully I get to talk about some rain!

What I like:
1.  Roomy
2.  Well ventilated
Concerns:
1.  Zippers not great.




Long Term Report:


Field Conditions:

My family and friends and I used the Mammoth a few times during this testing period.  The locations are written below.

I slept in the Mammoth with three friends on an overnight trip to the Santa Rita Mountains in Coronado National Forest for New Years Eve.  The tent was set up at 4,500 ft (1,370 m).  The temperature ranged from 15 F to 45 F (-9 C to 7 C).

I also used the Mammoth tent on an overnight trip to Happy Valley in the Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park.  Two adults and two dogs were comfortable inside as the temperature ranged from 25 F to 50 F (-4 to 10 C) at about 4,500 ft (1,370 m).

We took the Mammoth up Mt Lemmon in Coronado National Forest for a two night weekend car camping trip with some friend, kids, and dogs.  The elevation was about 8,000 ft (2,438 m) and the temperature ranged from 30 F to 50 F (-1 to 10 C).

Performance in the Field:

I keep coming back to discussing the size of this tent.  I have never owned such a large tent before and the Mammoth is just a really big tent in my opinion.  I can fit a lot of people standing up inside with a good amount of head room and arm space to spare.  It is a fun car camping and group camping tent.  I think it would be great for a music festival but I haven't gotten the chance to take it to one yet.  I am hoping to get the chance this summer. 

I have slept four adults in the tent and could easily fit another one or two.  Maybe even a few dogs after that.  I can't really say how many people I have had sitting in it, but it is quite a lot more.  My dogs tend to roam around in the space like it's their very own second house, laying on everyone's stuff and requiring a lot of persuasion to move.  I took the divider piece out during my Field Report mainly for the dogs, and I haven't decided to put it up again since.  It really just seemed more like a distraction than a useful addition to the tent.  I don't think there is much privacy to be found while camping with others anyhow, so why try and pretend.

I haven't experienced any leaking at all, but I have had a lot of condensation in the early morning.  A couple mornings there was a light layer of frost along the inside of the tent that melted into the fabric creating a well saturated tent that took the better part of a day to dry in 65 F (18 C) temperature back at my house.  I can't say the tent does much for keeping me warm when it gets wet or in any weather near or below freezing.  Again I think I will have better luck in the summertime with the tent at a music festival or on a large group trip. 

The rainfly seems a bit small at times over the side windows.  A few times I had to shake or wipe off the accumulation of snow that was settling near the bottom of the side windows.  I think it could have created a mess inside if any of it managed to melt and drip through.  It wasn't a huge amount of snow, but I thought it was enough to warrant a shaking. 

When I take the Mammoth down I run into the same problem every time.  In fact I ran into it so often during my Field Report that I just brought along a couple of long bungee cords to solve the problem.  The problem is that I have never been able to fit the tent back into the original bag despite my efforts of opening doors and windows to allow for air to escape and countless re-folding attempts to get it right.  It may be that my inexperience with tents of this size has caused this problem, but frankly I don't care.  I just roll it up and wrap my bungee cords around it and call it good.  I throw it up on my shoulder and carry it like a timber on a job site.  It seems to work fine for me.

Summary:

In my opinion the Mammoth tent is really all about its size.  If I was alone in there I could probably hear an echo.  The tent is easy to set up and take down with two people and not so easy for me to get back into the bag.  It makes a great group tent, party tent, and playhouse for kids and dogs.  Some of the material seems more on the economical side, but has not failed me terribly as of yet.  I will continue to use the Mammoth tent on my car camping trips as long as the tent will last.

Things I like:

1.  More than enough room to enjoy
2.  Easy to set up with two people

Things I don't like:

1.  Fabric absorbes water and tent becomes cold.
2.  Divider..  Why even bother?
3.  I have never been able to get this tent back into the bag.




I would like to thank Exxel Outdoors and BackpackGearTest.org for the chance to test this tent!




Read more reviews of Exxel Outdoors gear
Read more gear reviews by alex legg

Reviews > Shelters > Tents > Exxel Suisse Sport Mammoth Tent > Test Report by alex legg



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