User Review: Eureka! Backcountry 1
Design: Three-season freestanding dome
Ease of Setup: very easy
Weight: under 4lbs
Price Paid: $89.99
The Eureka Backcountry 1 is a great solo freestanding tent. Just received mine from Dom's Outdoor Outfitters for $89.99 shipped.
These are initial review, after setup. Haven't taken in on the trail yet.
While there are lighter solo tents, they aren't many freestanding. You have to stake them down and or have to deal with guide wires. My son is in Scouts, and often backpacking, space is a premium, the ground is rock hard, and people trip over the guide wires. This tent is spacious at 8x3 with plenty of headroom. There isn't a vestibule, but there is plenty of room in side. Most reviewers complain about vestibules anyway. It's hard to get in and out, or/and often it dumps water on you. This is essentially a quarter dome tent, and weighs under 4 lbs. The fly gives plenty of coverage.
The tent goes up easy. It has small guides to slide the poles through, then in the holes at the corners, then a couple of clips. A note on guides, I don't like them, the pole gets hung going in and snags coming out, but these are only about a foot long. Be wary of tents with guides the entire length of the tent. Small guides or no guides allow the tent to put up quickly and with ease. I just returned a tent with full-length guides.
The fly goes on next, and it has one minor issue. Either the pole is too long or the material has shrunk, which isn't uncommon. It can be difficult to get the pole in the holders. Well, there is nothing you can do about the material, but you can cut the pole down. I cut about 3/8 inch off my pole, then sanded down the edges to make it easier. Warning, do this at your own risk as it could violate the warranty. I really like the tent and plan on keeping it. In the immortal words of Jean-Luke Picard, "Make it so!".
The tent has a huge door, easy to get in and out, and also has a window. Search for pics and you will see. It is very roomy; you can sit up with no problems. There is a pocket for small items at the head and side of the tent. The top of the tent is mainly mesh, so ventilation should be good. Would be good for stargazing with the fly off.
It comes with standard stakes and some tie downs, but don't expect to use those unless the conditions are very windy. Just turn the head of the tent into the wind.