Eureka! Alpine Meadows
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $90
Best small tent ever...
- exceptionally roomy due to the middle hoop
- very good design for all weather camping
- light enough to backpack with
- not available anymore
My fly is finally dying due to sun exposure as it is now fragile and get rips easily. I desperately search for a new one on eBay only to be disappointed day after day, but I will keep trying because this is probably the best tent ever made
Countless Boy Scout hikes and then I used it for sca 30+ events a year until I got my yurt, five two-week pennsics in August and Pennsylvania have finally taken their toll on the fly.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $100
After 26 years, it's still a terrific tent!
- Easy to set up
- Great climber's tent
- Unavailable now
I bought mine in 1987 and it is still going strong. I bought an after-market Easton aluminum center hoop, and that brought the weight to just under 5 lbs.
I am a serious climber and have used it extensively in the Tetons, Sierras, Rockies, and New England winters. It has easily handled heavy snow (3+ ft) and wind (50 mph). I used it again last summer on the Lower Saddle in the Tetons and had the usual reaction from other climbers: "What a cool tent!" "Where can I get one?" "It's how old?"
We had a good night while the notorious Lower Saddle winds were demolishing a number of other climbers' tents. I wish Eureka would produce it again.
Design: 3-Season A-Frame
Ease of Setup: Very easy setup
Weight: Approx. 9lbs.
Price Paid: $200
This tent has seen significant use in the 15 years I've owned it. Though rated for three seasons, most of my trips have been in windy, wintery conditions and the Alpine Meadows has surely been put to the test. It has never let me down.
As one reviewer implied, attaching the optional vestibules (two work better than one) makes the tent very wind/rain-friendly, as does staking carefully to keep the structure taut. The unusual middle "hoop" pole is a successful design that seems to have actually made the tent sturdier by tightening the wall fabric, despite placing the walls at a steeper angle to the ground.
The tent — which truly sleeps four comfortably — survived a recent weekend of constant deluge and heavy wind, and kept all four of us dry. However, the taping on the floor has loosened and the stitching has begun to disintegrate. This is not a practical repair for a tent of its age. Its replacement will be the Alpine Meadows Outfitter 4, which is of the same design, but is built with heavier fabrics. It has recently become available, as the Alpine Meadows had been discontinued.
Similar to the well-known Timberline, The Alpine Meadows differs not only in the hoop pole design, but in the fact that it has doors with full windows on both ends. This makes it very convenient and well-ventilated, particulary when using two vestibules.
My gripes have been minor — the zippers could be beefier and designed to catch less fabric (supposedly addressed in the Outfitter model) and bottom-only cross-ventilation could have been made possible.
While neither the lightest nor the most modern tent out there, the Alpine Meadows has proven itself as a reliable, durable, welcome shelter. I'd rate it 4.5 stars, and I'd recommend it to all.
Design: Modified A-frame, 3.5 seasons
Ease of Setup: Easy for one person
Weight: About 7 pounds
Price Paid: $50 (used)
First off, I must have a different model than one reviewer with prebent hoop poles. Mine uses plain straight, shock corded fiberglass sections that assume the curved shape when inserted into the sleeves. So, it rolls up and packs into a carry bag the same as a Timberline 4.
I have owned and liked a Timberline 4. This Alpine Meadows 4 is identical except for the extra body and fly fabric fitting around the bulge created by the hoop in the middle. It creates truly appreciated head and shoulder room and makes it possible to have a chair inside because the walls are more dome-like.
This is definitely an improved version of the Timberline 4, in my opinion. I count myself very lucky to have just found one in such pristine condition It is a pity that Eureka! ceased making it.
Design: freestanding modified A-frame
Ease of Setup: fairly easy
Weight: 8+ lbs.
Price Paid: can't remember
I bought this tent in the late '80s and just returned from a trip to far Eastern Maine where we had a night of heavy rain and thunderstorms with heavy downpours on 2 nights. We stayed dry despite the water running under the floor of the tent.
I used it extensively for canoe tripping for 10+ years and it is a great tent for that purpose. The center hoop gives the tent great headspace and makes it much more comfortable to hang out in when the weather is bad. The fly overhang allows for some window ventilation even in the rain. These days I am car camping with kayaks and an air mattress, and will probably hand this tent on to my stepson.
It has withstood heavy use and I once even put it through a washing machine after an incident with a dog. (No more dog camping ever!) Two years ago while car camping a pole was bent by a car driving over it -- I'm still using that pole.
After many memorable trips, the fly has stretched and the waterproof coating has begun to stick to itself, so I'm shopping for another tent, but I would strongly consider purchasing this tent again. I love the blue floor with gray fly -- no orange tents for me. A great tent.
Design: 3 seasons of good weather
Ease of Setup: Easy...5 minutes
Price Paid: $159
Definitely for fair weather...Lots of room and easy to set up, but it's a skyscraper of a tent and catches even the slightest breeze. Will NOT withstand even a moderate blow.
The smallest profile set into the wind exposes the area of the tent not protected by the fly to the rain. Maybe the optional vestibule would help this.
This tent was completely destroyed during a windstorm in northern Scotland, of course in the middle of the night. I will never use another tent that does not have a fly which completely protects the entire tent.
Design: Modified A 3 Season
Ease of Setup: An easy 5 minute without wind add 10 additional with adverse conditions.
Weight: 6.7 LBS
Price Paid: $165
This tent has been in my possession for 9 years and has been pampered and refitted several times with new pole segments.
The Eureka Alpine Meadows tent has a special center hoop which can be hard to transport because of its pre-bent shock-corded segments. I have used it in moderate snow but don't think it would survive a heavy blizzard. I have allways had room for myself and my better half plus gear.
The rain fly could be larger with pre-attached vestibule so it would resist the wind better.
All in All it was and still is a Great Buy.
A F Wiggs, Knightdale, N.C. 27545
Price Paid: $120
I purchased this 2 man tent in 1991. It has been used for motorcycle camping trips. In my opinion it is perfect for this use. With the vestibule attached it is fine for two persons. Love the center hoop. Makes the tent bigger inside as compared to the Timberline.
After many trips it is showing signs of wear. Would love to buy another one but Eureka stopped making them for some reason.
Design: 4 Season A-Frame with Center Hoop
Ease of Setup: Relatively easy (3-5 minutes)
Weight: Approx. 6 lbs
Price Paid: $180
I've never been a fan of dome tents (hexagonal floor space is inefficient), and A-Frame tents have poor headroom (those steeply slanted walls). This tent is an excellent compromise. It is essentially a Timberline with an added center hoop that pulls out the walls of the tent, dramatically increasing interior space. A good tent for the money.
Design: a-frame with middle hoop
Ease of Setup: Easy
Weight: 12 lb
Price Paid: $180
It's easy to set up. The fly stays away from the sides except in a monsoon, and the vestibule makes even the rainiest weekends wonderful.
It's not a backpacking tent as the poles are long and plentiful, but it's a great "car camping" tent with plenty of room for four if necessary.
Design: 3 season +
Ease of Setup: easy set up, free standing.
Weight: 6 lbs
very roomy. easily setup in any conditions. the vestabule (seperate) is very large and holds the men's gear. it is very easy to put on. i would also like to comment on the extra pole in the center of the tent that makes use of the extra tent fabric.
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