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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.
gear guide 2010 eurkea forte 445x260Eureka! 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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