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Backpacker Magazine – 2010 Editors' Choice/Gear Guide

Gear Review: Eureka! Forte SQ 2XT Tent

With moderate weight and ample interior space for two, this freestanding double-wall hits a value sweet spot.

by: Kelly Bastone

Eureka! Forte SQ 2XT (Brooks Freehill)
Eureka! Forte SQ 2XT (Brooks Freehill)

Bargain
Rather count savings than ounces? With moderate weight and ample interior space for two, this freestanding double-wall hits a value sweet spot. The key ingredient: 75-denier polyester taffeta (used in the fly, floor, and canopy). It’s less expensive than the ultralight nylons used in many tents today; polyester also resists UV degradation better and absorbs less water than nylon, so it doesn’t slacken in the rain.

To keep weight down despite the heavier fabric, Eureka! designers consulted with DAC’s pole guru Jake Lah, who helped engineer a weight-saving hubbed-pole geometry that trims overall weight yet pitches quickly and maintains good interior headroom, with a 38-inch peak height and 32 square feet of floor space. “I almost always want more space in a tent, but this seemed generous,” declares our 6’1”, 200-pound tester, who shared it with a similar-sized companion. At 11,000 feet in Colorado’s Weminuche Wilderness, our tester stayed dry and cozy through high winds and rain. “It didn’t flap at all,” he reports.

In those conditions, slight condensation collected on the walls, but didn’t drip. One giant 12-square-foot vestibule converts to a porch-style awning supported by trekking poles, while a smaller vestibule in the back (accessed by a pass-through zipper) stores cooking gear or other small items. And the high-denier fabrics should last for years without TLC.

Bummer: There’s just one door, on the side, so you have to climb over your partner to get out. $150; 5 lbs. 3 oz.

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READERS COMMENTS

camper
Aug 09, 2010

i love this tent it is perfect for boyscouts

McNabb
May 19, 2010

This is the next tent I am going to buy. Two other thing that this review failed to mentioned is the polyester taffeta is flame resistant, which is better than flammable nylon when camp fire embers float your way. The other is the poles are 12mm vs the usual 8 or 9mm. Its based on the old Timberidge A frame design used by boyscouts and outfitter for years but redesigned so you have more headroom.

The weight does stout, but your talking about a bombproof tent, that was built to last and sturdy enough to almost be considered a 4 season tent, but for a 3 season tent price tag.

I also love the eureka picked a color scheme that blends into natural surroundings. I don't know why some tent manufactures choose bright and bold colors that ruins the visual experience of the great outdoors for others. My only concern is that the green coloring on the tent and the fly is very dark which will absorb heat if your camped out in the open on a sunny summer day.

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