User Review: Eureka! K2 XT
Design: Four Season Freestanding Dome
Ease of Setup: Moderate because of pole tension
Weight: ~10 lbs
Price Paid: $279
I have had my K2-XT for almost three years at this point, but haven't posted a review because I haven't felt that I had challenged its capabilities yet.
The first time I used it was in a summer thunderstorm and I had no leaks, no problems with water penetrating the fly, and it was steady in the accompanying wind, but it was new, and I was very careful about setting it up.
I have used it sparingly (I have two other Eurekas, a Solitaire, and a Timberline Outfitter 6) but I have tried to get it out into some real weather and just hadn't been able to be out in the kind of storm I've been looking for.......until this past February. I was able to camp in some light snow and reasonably cold weather last winter while skiing, but this year I heard about a storm moving into our area, and headed straight for the mountains. I got the tent up, dinner finished, and everything ready before the wind kicked up and my two dogs and I packed in for the night. For the next 3 to 4 hours the wind blew so hard I thought it might knock down some nearby trees that were still full of snow from the last storm. It felt like the tent, the dogs, and I were going to become an airborne tent saucer...but she held firm. This was followed by rain that quickly turned to snow and piled up over 12 inches by morning. It piled up on the K2, then mostly slid down the sides and piled up around the edges of the fly. The tent was warm with very little condensation (I expected quite a bit with two large dogs and I in the tent), roomy for getting in and out of layered clothing, and the window was very nice for watching the snow accumulate on my exposed ridge.
All in all it performed quite well. I don't know how cold it was because my camp thermometer blew away in the wind and was buried under the snow and I lost it, but it froze my 6 gallon water container solid in just a few hours. This is not really a summer tent, but I now feel confident that it can take about anything I might run into in the winter.
There is one small annoyance, this being the trade-off between tent tension and ease of set up. I have had trouble with this every single time I set up this tent; the poles that run from the sides of the front door to the sides of the back door are VERY challenging to get into the grommets on the stake out points, even the outer ones. I always prevail, but it isn't easy.
The good points, and there are many, include the fact that the four poles that make up the tent frame are all the same length. This really helps at night or in adverse conditions. The set up instructions are right on the inside of the stow bag, but you only need them once. Two doors are handy - not necessary, but handy. Plenty of mesh gear pockets. Plenty of tie down points on the fly. The plastic snap buckles on the fly are handy and effective. Excellent materials and workmanship. Weight of the tent splits up nicely for packing by either two or three hikers -there are three parts, poles (2.0 lb), tent (5.0 .lb), and fly (3.0 lb).
I suspect I will have this tent for many years.