User Review: Eureka! Solitaire
Design: Ultralight Tube
Ease of Setup: Easy with practice
Price Paid: $75
I have had my Solitaire for four years, and used it in just about all possible conditions including heavy summer rains in Arizona, freezing rain on an Idaho rafting trip, high altitude fall/winter packing with snow, and an assortment of other more pleasant conditions. Two years ago I upgraded the poles to the aluminum ones that come with the Gossamer (same tent, aluminum poles instead of fiberglass) just to be safe.
The bottom line is that, as long as you don't pretend this tent is something it is not, it is a wonderful trail companion - easy to put up, easy to carry, steady in high winds, warm in the winter, cool on a clear summer night. What it is not, is a roomy, deep snow, wait out the long storm shelter (I have a K2-XT for that). What it is, is just about the lightest tent you will find short of a Stephensons Warmlite, that fits neatly in my pack, holds my full size Thermarest and bag easily, provides just enough room for an average size guy to catch a little reading at night with a headlamp, doesn't require much of a footprint, and hugs the ground in a stiff wind.
C1. Not free standing and you need fairly good, soft ground to stake it down properly in a wind.
C2. The stakes are light and bend easily (I use a good set of lightweight aluminum stakes I bought for all three tents I routinely use).
C3. Zippers start at the bottom, handy to reach and work, but I learned the hard way that this can make exiting or entering the tent problematic in even fairly light snow covering.
C4. I don't care how friendly you are, this NOT a two person tent!....and your pack ain't coming in either - I always bring a large garbage bag along to cover my pack when I am using my Solitaire.
C5. You can't sit up - getting dressed in cold weather can be very interesting - but I have done it a lot and have managed.
P1. The lightest tent I have ever carried - that's why I got it!
P2. Workmanship is excellent. I have put this tent through some use, and...no rips, no tears, no seam problems, no line problems, etc.
P3. This is not an expensive tent. I caught mine on sale for $50 a few years ago.
P4. The roll back rain fly feature is terrific for summer nights when it's clear - takes about 5 minutes or less to roll it back out and get covered up if the weather surprises you.
P5. I believe the small interior space increases warmth. I have never been cold in this tent, even in some pretty nasy weather.