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How does Eureka's Alpenlite Xtreme compare to other others in its class?

Question:
How does Eureka's Alpenlite Xtreme compare to other others in its class?

Answer:
The Alpinelite XT compares well to other tents in its class. The trick is to define what that calls is, and make sure it matches you intended usage. The Alpinelite XT belongs to a "light" four-season usage class. Some manufacturers and reviewers (such as GearReview.com and Backpacker) have added a class called Mountaineering or Expedition to refer to more extreme cold weather usage. A light-four-season usage would refer to winter temperatures and some snow, but not extreme winds (> 50 mph) or heavy snows.

This is from a recent answer I posted on the Gear Forum: "An expedition tent is better for snow and high winds because their frames use more poles, at least 3 and usually 4 or 5, some even more. More poles spreads wind resistance and weight of snow reducing the strain on any single pole."

In contrast to three season tents, light four season and expedition tents also offer the ability to zip up fabric over mesh panels on the body of the tent, keeping more of the cold out and warmth in (and unfortunately more condensation in, too.)

So, the Alpinelite XT would not be suitable for expedition usage, as it has only two poles. For winter camping, i.e. colder temperatures and light winds, it should work fine.

Other factors to consider, such as vestibule size and peak height, are presented in the HTML table below. Again from the forum answer: "If you plan on spending much time inside the tent waiting out rain storms, make sure to get one with adequate peak height so you can sit up inside. For people up to 6' tall make sure to get over 40 inches of height. I prefer the ones with maximum height available, around 43 inches."

Weight and price are always key concerns. The Alpinelite does well in both categories. Ventilation is another advantage of the Alpinelite. The Walrus tents, for example, are similar to the Alpinelite, but lack the top vent which will help reduce condensation. Although you wouldn't want to use the Alpinelite (or any four-season tent for that matter) in hot summer temperatures because of less ventilation (no side mesh panels), you could use it as a general tent for Sping/Fall or summer mountain camping.

I have not field tested most of the tents in the table, including the Alpinelite XT. I have tested several Eureka tents in the past couple of years and have been impressed with them--you can read several reviews of Eureka tents on GearReview.com's Reviews page --so I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Eureka's products.

For comparison, you might want to check out the Walrus Windshear (or their Rapeed and Warp tents) at www.walrusgear.com or the L.L. Bean Enduro Dome at www.llbean.com. These tents appear most similar in price and features.

Steve Mann

Manf Tent Price Weight Vests V sq ft Sq ft floor Height
Eureka Alpinelite XT 250 6, 0 1 11 31 40
Dana Kaja 529 5,6 1 9 29.5 44
Climb High Wild Country Mistral 285 6,5 1 14 27 42
LL Bean Enduro Dome 225 6,7 1 18.2 36 43
Marmot Sanctum 379 7,14 2 8+3 40 44
Mountain Hardwear Skyview 1.5 310 6,15 1 3.5 32.5 39
Quest Viper 329 7,6 2 12+2.5 35 44
REI Convert Mountain 255 7,3 1 10 40 41
Sierra Designs Tiros Assault CD 375 6,13 1 8 34 39
North Face Assault 600 4,11 1 7 30 43
vauDe Galaxy 159 6,2 2 14+14 36 43
Walrus Windshear XV 239 6,5 1 11 34 40


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