Eureka! Apex 2
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $79
This tent is a snap to set up, light enough to pack on the portage, and offers plenty of room for excess gear when used solo. There's a problem with the wind but it's not designed to be wind-proof or air tight. I like this tent for those late summer trips into the Boundary Waters when it can get hot.
- Setup/tear down
- Not 100% water or wind proof
The Apex 2 was exactly what I was looking for in a tent that was easy to portage, a snap to set up, and had plenty of room inside to store my gear.
I took it into the BWCA last September during the Pagami Creek fire episode and when we had to scramble out of Lake Insula to Snowbank Lake, it was really tested. The first few days were in the 80s and the tent's ventilation was sublime. However, by the end of our trip we were pelted with wind, rain and hail, the limitations of that third season rating was exposed.
This tent won't provide the dry comfort when challenged by the elements, but come morning it will still be standing.
Design: 3 season dome with 1/2 fly
Ease of Setup: usually 4 minutes, 10 in pitch dark
Price Paid: $80
I've had this tent for 5 years now and though I don't use it every weekend, it's seen a lot of ups and downs with plenty of rain and wind. I'm not writing this after owning it for 3 days and sleeping in it one night.
Overall: light, roomy, best ventilation, easy to set up, 2 doors= ++, water tight*, thin floor, nearly useless 1/2 vestibules, wind susceptible at times.
The tent is very light without sacrificing space. I'm not ultralight, so it fits my weekend trips, car camping trips and backyard setups just fine but is light enough to take on an extended trip without later wishing you bought something a lot lighter.
The ventilation is incredible, with >1/2 the roof being mesh when the fly is off and the fly can be placed and ready to pop on with only 2 clicks of the quick connect buckles. When you open the water proof door flaps as well, the tent becomes almost all mesh, so getting dressed around neighbors can be awkward.
The two huge doors open up the majority of each side and let me tell you this is a huge benefit in the night when someone has to pee every 8 minutes. I've slept with my head at the foot a bunch just to make getting in and out easier (because the door opens towards the foot instead of the middle (if you care) and this just makes it easier to use the doors. And with the angle of the tent, you can usually stand upright in the doorway with your top half outside the tent while your feet are still on the tent floor.
The pretend vestibules aren't worth much until you need them and in actuality are plenty of cover for boots, water bottles, daypack or whatever you want to leave outside the tent. They definitely don't help much if there is a wind blowing rain around. I haven't had water problems but I've always been careful to aim the tent into the wind, which is easy if everything is flat, but harder when it may mean you're sleeping downhill.
Now, 5 years on, I've found that it's time to reseal the floor and walls. I sure hope the waterproofing works because I love my little tent and want it to stay dry for another 5 years. I didn't take a star off for not being waterproof 5 years on, but more so for it having only a 1/2 fly which means the huge doors have to take primary water duty, this means there is always full on drenching whenever the door is opened because all of the water on the door falls into the tent along with the rain.
+ stars: ease of use, light, ventilation, 2 doors, roomy, water proof mostly.
- stars: strange vestibules, zipper drips from doors taking water,
Design: Apex 2, three season, freestanding dome, two doors, 3ft 7.5in high, 7'2" by 4'11" floor space, fiberglass poles,
Ease of Setup: excellent. sets up in three minutes or less.
Weight: 4lb 8oz
Price Paid: 99.00
I usually hike/camp using a hammock and picked up this tent as a change as I was heading down to Damascus, Va. for the hiker festival "Traildays".
The tent sets up very easy (even without directions if you have ever used shockcord poles before). The large doors on each side are a big plus as I love to lay in the tent and gaze about in the outdoors. The large netting over the doors are likewise nice. Without the rainfly the tent is perfect relaxing in good weather. Some may scoff at the bright yellow color of the tent but I found as plus especially if you forgot where your tent was..haha.
It did rain (and I mean thunderstorm city) for a full day. Here is why I don't give it a full five stars. I double checked the zippers after I zipped the tent door as it started to thunderstorm and pour. Not long after I noticed (on both doors) that water was very slowly seeping in where they two zippers met after zipping fully closed. I checked they were tight again.
To make a long story short...one door seemed to stop the seep and the other kept seeping. I found a half cup of water inside the tent when the storm stopped. I was raised on a cot but if I was on the floor in my sleeping bag it would have got wet. This I cannot accept. I will take a look at the tent this weekend and see if it was somehow my error but I think not.
I will make some kind of makeshift velcrow cover for where the zipper meets on the doors. I believe the whole cause of this is the way the half vestible (rainfly construction) is done. A full vestible would have prevented this or at least a vestible that covers more of the top of the tent door.
Overall, I like the tent. It's priced appropriate. In all fairness the rest of the tent held up like a champ in the torrential downpour. It has more features than most tents in its price range. Free standing, double walled on some sides, tent vent, light poles, and a nice light 2 person tent for its price.
In regular rain I'm sure it would be fine. In nice to ok weather its a good deal. I'm keeping it! I think this tent is best for perhaps weekend or week long trips but more than that I would invest in something a bit more four season. Happy Hiking / Camping
Bearwalker - 2008 southbound A.T. thru-hiker
Ease of Setup: easy--only 2 poles
Price Paid: $65
Setup was fast and easy. packs light. Lots of screen makes it very nice in warm weather.
Only downside is the partial fly cover is insufficient for keeping out all rain. During a moderate rain storm last weekend, the tent leaked thru the zipper area of the door (which is not covered by the fly cover).
Get the Apex 2 XT model instead.