User Review: Eureka! Solitaire
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $60
Advertized as a "tent", fits like a large, overweight bivy.
- No space for gear unless you're tiny
- Poor ventilation if it rains
- Mesh hangs down, hard to get rain fly tight.
- Fiberglass poles
I used this tent only a couple of times and put it away until I sold it. It's not a bad tent, and is lightweight, but it has quite a few downfalls that I couldn't get past.
It requires a minimum of 12 stakes to be tight enough to shed water without it making the top of the tent sag and collect water, IF you can even get it tight enough.
It's a pain to get in and out of without crawling across the ground and either getting wet or covered in dirt before you get into your bag. And unless you're 3 feet tall, forget doing any sort of changing inside this thing.
There is no place to put gear, so you'll need a rain cover. I'm 6-2 and although I fit, my boots were either forced into the foot of the tent pushing against the tent wall, or hitting me in the face or top of the head.
It is a nice design if you want to lay back on a clear night and enjoy the stars with the tent body rolled back and only the mesh over you, but there are better and more lightweight options for that sort of shelter.
The major drawback with this tent is the fiberglass poles. You will find that a large percentage of reviews on this tent mention the fiberglass poles snapping because of the stress they experience in the tight arch that forms the tent body.
The tent I bought was a factory second that was repaired by Eureka, and with the repair they extended the nylon webbing that the pole ends are inserted into away from the tent, reducing the stress on the poles by making it a more moderate bend. However, I think this resulted in the difficulties I faced in getting the top of the tent body adequately tight enough to shed water and not sag in on me.
Overall it's a nice, semi-compact and lightweight backpacking tent that will serve someone well as an entry level "tent" (large bivy), but understand that there are much more lightweight options to be had on sites like Sierra Trading Post or SAC for very reasonable prices that will leave you much happier in the long run.