User Review: Eureka! Alpenlite XT
Price Paid: $187
I received this tent on the third Friday in March. I immediately pitched it in the backyard for a little pre-backpacking weekend test run (my three and four year old boys love this!) Please note, the included instructions were very confusing. I ended up crumpling them and winging it. Without the instructions, the setup is a snap. All poles and parts are intuitively shaped and appear to be of very high quality. Start to finish in five minutes. Even quicker once you get the hang of it (staking one corner makes things much easier in the wind!)
Living in the mountains of Western North Carolina, we still see chilly overnight temperatures this time of year. Friday night was no exception. The temp hovered around freezing from midnight till dawn. With the two top vents and the front and back vents cracked, the boys and I were very cozy in our three-season sleeping bags.
Halfway through the night, my older son had a fit of gas. The linger effect was very prolonged with the upper vents in the "cracked" position. Opening every vent as wide as possible and making howling eww! noises immediately remedied the situation. I suppose this is a testament to the legendary ventilation properties of this tent...Coziness was re-achieved approximately ten minutes after returning the vents to the dangerous "cracked" position.
I have ordered a ground pad to place underneath the tent. I will list two reasons for my decision.
First, the floor of the tent seems very thin. I worry that it could become damaged by rocks or sticks on the ground.
The second reason for getting the ground pad is because I noticed some condensation beneath my sleeping bag when I awoke in the morning. It would be best described as a dampness. I guess it's possible that I had an accident while sleeping. It's been known to happen. But i don't think so because my sleeping bag was otherwise dry. Eureka recommends applying a seam sealing compound to the floor and rain fly. I have purchased a tube and will be doing so shortly.
Overall, I am very pleased with this tent. It easily fits two adults and one small child or one adult and two small children. Gear is safely stored outside the front and back of the tent beneath the rain fly. I would highly recommend this product to anyone without flatulence-prone youngsters.