User Review: Eureka! Alpine Meadows
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.
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