Eureka! Timberline 2
This is an affordable, surprisingly good tent. Roomy,…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $120 in 2010, $90 in 1992
This is an affordable, surprisingly good tent. Roomy, easy to set up, and weatherproof, if heavy by modern standards.
- Amazingly storm proof, easily a 3.5-season tent.
- Simple to set up
- Well made of solid materials.
- Roomy. The floor is 63 inches wide by 86"
- Inexpensive as such things go.
- Solid fabric inner makes this a warm tent, impervious to spin drift and wind driven dust.
- Comes with rings for interior clothesline.
- Best ventilated rain fly I've seen.
- Heavy: 6-1/2 pounds for a two-man tent is a bit much.
- Separate rain fly means inner tent will get a little wet when setting up in a downpour.
Over twenty years ago I broke down and got my first ever tent. No more sleeping with the bugs on canoe trips, where yer always next to water and mosquitoes.
I went to a "mountain shop" and looked at all the colorful, complicated domes. Then I spied a neat little A frame that reminded me of the canvas tents I'd used as a Boy Scout in the 1970s. It was even green. It was also the cheapest tent there, so I bought it.
That tent was a Eureka Timberline 2.
The very next Friday after work I drove up to my favorite lake, put my canoe in and started paddling. Around midnight I landed somewhere, took the Timberline out of the stuff sack for the very first time and set it up. The dark of night after a very long day isn’t exactly the best of times to pitch a new tent for the first time, but I don't remember having any difficulty.
On solo canoe trips this tent was like having a portable cottage. Room inside to spread everything out, a clothesline overhead for wet stuff and my candle lantern, it even had a little overhang in front to cook under in foul weather. From the first I was happy with this tent.
Unroll the tent, assemble the rather stout shock corded aluminum frame (new style pole joiners shown), and stick the pins at the corners of the tent into the bottom of the poles.
There are two shock corded loops in the top corners of the tent body that get stretched over the apex of the poles, and four clips lower down that fasten the body to the frame. Kinda odd, but it works well and is fast. At this point the tent can be picked up and moved about, or held up and the dirt shaken out of it.
Then throw the fly over. It gets attached to the body with four clips, then stakes out. The Timberline comes with eight steel stakes. Eight stakes for a "freestanding" tent? Yeah, one goes in each corner to pull the tent out and nail it down good, the next four go two to a side to pull the fly ( and the tent side walls ) out. I have non-freestanding tents that use only four stakes, go figure...
The stakes are steel and at least an ounce each. Replacing them with inexpensive aluminum shepard hook stakes would reduce the weight by four ounces. An Easton aluminum frame would cut the weight of the poles in half, the poles with the tent are thick and very robust.
Once upon a time Eureka did make a lightweight version of this tent, and I wouldn't mind seeing them introduce it again. Would people buy the lighter and more expensive version? Maybe not, given the flood of lightweight tents on the market today and A frame tents are "old hat". But the design itself is very sound and every time I use this tent I can't help but wonder "what if..."
You can squeeze packs between the tent body and fly if you have to -
It was heavy at 6-1/2 pounds, but then all tents were back then (or so I thought) and it took up a lot of space in my backpack, so I still used tarps and ponchos backpacking...Until I met a girl!
Amazing how that can change yer priorities overnight, eh?
My wife quite liked camping in that tent, so I simply sucked it up and started carrying it backpacking. We evolved a system where she carried all our bedding, and I carried the Timberline, our stove, and the bulk of the food. She carried everything else, which made for a bulky but reasonably light load. We divide our loads the same way to this day.
It certainly is a bullet proof shelter. We slept soundly through some terrible storms and snow that flatten other tents. As the other reviews point out, the storm worthiness of this design is legendary. We never had any troubles with condensation. In nasty weather my wife would sit up inside in the back while I sat in the entrance and cooked hot meals over my stove. It was a great home away from home and that tent had a great many fond memories stored in it.
It was the only tent I owned and used fer close to twenty years. Can't say how many nights I slept in it but it was a heck of allot!
The only condensation I have ever experienced inside is a little frost on the inside of the door and back window when conditions are just right.
I believe it is so dry because the fly is held well away from the tent over its entire surface and is open front, back and sides for maximum airflow under the fly.
Most tents these days have rain flies that look like upside down bowls placed over the tent. Ya know what happens inside a bowl placed upside down on damp ground at night? The inside surface will be slick with condensation by morning.
Ventilation between fly and tent -
The fly extends below the high bathtub sides of the inner tent and there is a generous overhang in back and front, plus the door and back window have waterproof doors to block anything that might blow past.
I always leave the top of the door and back window open a bit, at least a few inches. Guess what? Hot moist air from the bodies within rises, is concentrated by the slopping walls and vents very well out the top of these vents. A frame tents work.
The inner body is solid breathable fabric, not mesh. This makes it a warmer tent than most, and windblown dust or spindrift never gets inside.
In 2010 I set off on a cycle tour of Iceland. The guide book said: "You should be prepared for some harsh conditions along the way. Gale force winds, driving rains, sandstorms, sleet and sudden flurries of snow are all possible at any time of the year." So guess which tent I took?
On the tundra in Iceland - A modern low lying dome and the Timberline 2. Care to guess which tent had more room and was easier to set up? And the Timberline was probably less than 1/2 the cost of the dome.
Another camp in Iceland. The sandy soil didn't bother the essentially freestanding Timberline, 8 stakes or not -
It was on that trip that the seam tape peeled off the inside of my trusty 'ol Timberline. I never got wet but it was getting time to retire it from active duty. When I got back I cast around for a replacement. I needed one fast because my wife was due to set off on a week long car camping trip with some of our nieces and nephews. So I simply bought another! The price had gone up about 30 dollars in twenty years!
Old and new -
I heavily seam sealed the 'ol tent and both went with my wife on that trip -
The new tent is marked -
Introduced in 1973? This design is 41 years old now! The Timberline is probably the oldest tent in continuous production. Despite the weight, I can see why. It simply works.
Love it. Not for the ounce counter. It is my oldest…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $200
Love it. Not for the ounce counter. It is my oldest price of gear but I can't get rid of it—great shelter.
Most secure tent. I have used it in the dead of winter with no issues even though it's a 3-season. Indestructible. Love it.
I have been in Boy Scouts my whole life, got my Eagle,…
I have been in Boy Scouts my whole life, got my Eagle, and now I am a leader with my troop. Since I joined, my troop has always used the 2-man and 4-man Timberlines. I have used them any where from torrential rainstorms, to snowstorms where we have gotten 6 inches of snow overnight. I find that they vent very well in the summer, and retain heat well in the winter.
They also have a very long life, I know that after VERY hard use some of our tents are still trucking at over ten years. They are heavy though so the Scouts must divide the tent parts in two to share the weight while camping. And you MUST stake out the fly and use the guidelines, if you want to stay dry. I wouldn't want to trust our scouts' wellbeing to any other tent.
Heavier than others by a pound or two BUT, if there…
Design: 2 person A-frame
Ease of Setup: easier than domes by long shot
Weight: 6lbs 8ozs
Price Paid: $119.95
Heavier than others by a pound or two BUT, if there are two of you going split the weight. You won't be sorry you've got a Timberline when the weather gets bad!
Since 1975 I've weathered pounding, unrelenting, torrential rain, driving snow, wet snow, light snow and temps to the single digits in mine and other people's and they are, without a doubt, the most weather proof tent you can backpack that I've ever seen PERIOD
They are easy to set, can be set in the rain without getting the interior wet, are easy to tear down and pack. Yeah, you can get a lighter one but, I'll bet it's a lot smaller, not nearly as durable and you'll probably wake up wet more than once. I've actually woken up with the tent in two to three inches of rainwater runoff and not one drop came into the tent. You could poke the floor with you finger and it resembled a water bed.
It is easy to ventilate, has good breathability but, manages to hold heat in the cold. A candle lantern makes a noticeable difference in interior temperature. I don't know how to rate it any higher. The only way I think the tent could be designed any better (other than with an automatic setup and tear down feature and built-in wetbar) would be to keep the exact same size and weatherproof qualities and make in two pounds lighter. It's simply the best I've experienced for two people.
If you are a diehard, purist who cuts the handle off their toothbrush and drills holes in whats left to save weight you probably won't like it. If it never rains, snows or sleets when you camp then, you don't need it. If you camp where I do, you'll never do without one.
They were $126 in 1975. Now, Campmoor has them for $119! I just ordered a new one because my youngest daughter wants me to take her and some of her college buddies backpacking, we'll need the space and I don't want to throw my money away on junk.
Perhaps the most recognized tent in the US for a reason.
Price Paid: $80
Perhaps the most recognized tent in the US for a reason. I bought an extra fly with vestibule at both end to use when the weather forecast looks like rain.
I have owned mine for about 15 years with no breakdowns. I am rather anal about using a groundcloth both inside and out as well as seam sealing. As a result the only rain to ever get in was when I went for a short hike and left the screen open and the rain blew in.
I just wish that it were about 2 pounds lighter, but I suppose that weatherproofing comes at a cost in ounces.
Bought a used timberline 2 about fifteen years ago…
Price Paid: 7 dollars
Bought a used timberline 2 about fifteen years ago at a garage sale for $7. it makes a great winter tent if you set up in the woods, wind and rain can cause problems.
i sewed a couple of loops on the fly and use it alone in the summer.
all and all a real classic and the best 7 dollar deal ever!
A solid cabin in the woods. I have owned my Timberline…
Design: three+ season free standing external frame wedge
Ease of Setup: easy, but there are tricks
Weight: 7.5 lbs
Price Paid: about $75
A solid cabin in the woods. I have owned my Timberline for more than 25 years, buying it after a budget tent blew down in a storm. I have used it for backpacking, canoeing, biking, and skiing. It sets up easily in less then 10 min, once you figure it out. (Set up the frame first, attach the bottom of the frame to the tent pins, loop the peak elastics around the top, then add on the fly and frame end pieces). It has shrugged off storms, wind and snow. Although at 7+ lbs it is a little heavy, I am pretty big, and I soloed in it until I got married. Then I added the vestibule for our packs and my wife and I used it. Now my son has gotten into Scouting and I am an ASM. Guess what is the most common tent at Scout outings?
This tent has been very reliable for me. It flexes some in the wind, but I usually am in the woods and have not had any problems. I waterprrof and seam seal it about once a year, and am careful about drying it after each trip.
I recently added the annex, but my old tent is missing a hook that is on the newer ones, so I may have to get out the needle and thread. At the same time, I am getting older and less flexible. Maybe it is time for something a little bigger... If so, it will probably be a Timberline 4XT.
This tent is THE Gold Standard for A-frame shaped…
Design: A-frame freestanding Gold Standard tent
Ease of Setup: Super Easy!
Weight: 7 lbs
Price Paid: $100
This tent is THE Gold Standard for A-frame shaped tents.
During my college days I spent two months with thirty others on a geology-focused camping trip through Alaska. We had about ten different types of tents, including several sizes of the Eureka Timberline. Everyone had a chance to set up and sleep in the various tent brands. The college kids did a lot of "sleeping around" AND tent testing on that co-ed trip!
CONCLUSION OF ALL THIRTY PEOPLE: Timberline is best tent by an order-of-magnitude. It vastly outperformed every other tent we had on that trip. I'll always remember that experience. When you spend 60-days straight sleeping in a tent through wind and rain, you LEARN it really makes a difference to have a quality tent!
I bought this tent to help my son (10 yrs) with a…
Design: 3 season, "A"-frame with exterior supports.
Ease of Setup: Very easy.
Price Paid: ~$100
I bought this tent to help my son (10 yrs) with a Cub Scout requirement of setting up a tent by himself. My son quickly understood how to setup the tent and can do it by himself. He can set it up within 15 minutes. Broken down the tent is slightly bulky.
We bought the pad that was designed for the tent, which fits perfectly under the tent.
I have not had the opportunity to use the tent in adverse weather, so I can't comment on that.
The interior space is tight and doesn't have much room for additional items. So, if you get this tent, you will have to plan on leaving some items outside of the tent.
Pros: Price, ease of setup
Cons: Limited interior space, broken down the tent is slightly bulky
Bomb-proof! It is not light, but it is tough. I have…
Design: 3.5 season free-standing
Ease of Setup: It is probably a 5 minute job, but it will take 20-30 mile an hour winds without guyouts
Weight: 7.5 pounds
Price Paid: $100
Bomb-proof! It is not light, but it is tough. I have slept 3 in a pinch. With the vestibule, I feel like I have a fabric house. My husband has one from the 70's from his scouting days our kids still use! Just this year, we discovered a hole in a corner that is fully repairable.
This tent kept me out for extra days in rotten rain this summer. The only real wet came when I did not set up the ground cloth right, and I was able to take care of the water easily. While I am looking for a lighter "fair-weather" tent, one cannot beat this tent for great features at reasonable split weight.
I've owned a 2 man Timberline for over 8 years and…
Design: 3 Season (but used year round)
Ease of Setup: 2 minutes max
Weight: 6-8 lbs
Price Paid: cheap!
I've owned a 2 man Timberline for over 8 years and simply love it. It's not the fanciest, not the lightest and definetly not the latest high-tech whizbang tent, but it's tough, durable and keeps me dry constantly.
My Boy Scout troop uses Timberline 4 man tents and they seriously go thru hell on a regular basis. Boys are rough and careless.
The current tents are around 5 years old, and other than bent poles and broken shock cords due to carelessness, we've had no problems at all with them at all.
Two thumbs up!
This tent is simply awesome. My dad and I bought this…
Ease of Setup: Super Easy!
This tent is simply awesome. My dad and I bought this tent almost 10 years ago to backpack into high lakes and meadows in late September during elk season.
We rarely camp below 7000' with this tent. Setup is quick and easy. We can set it up in 10 minutes in the dark. Keeps the rain and snow out. Warms up nicely for an afternoon nap. Quick takedown and easy to take care of.
I'd buy another without thinking about it.
Actually this is a question. We've owned our Timberline…
Design: 4 season A frame
Ease of Setup: easy
Price Paid: $100
Actually this is a question. We've owned our Timberline for six years and we are very pleased with it. We are about to embark on a month-long backpacking excursion and are wondering if we should reinforce its waterproofing with a 13% silicon heavy duty water repellent. The tent has never leaked but with its age and the duration of our trip we were trying to figure out if it would be a good idea. If you can give any input on this it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
This is possibly the most popular backpacking tent…
Design: 3 season modified A-frame
Ease of Setup: Very easy
Weight: 6 lb-15 oz
Price Paid: $99.99 (Campmor)
This is possibly the most popular backpacking tent ever, and for good reason. It is free-standing, easy to set up, has good ventilation, and gives good weather protection. As with all A-frames, the steep sidewalls mean you must sit-up in the center. Also it is a little heavier than dome tents or hoop tents with equivalent floor area. With the optional vestibule it can be an adequate winter tent. In my opinion it is the best backpacking tent for the money.
Although not a "light" tent for backpacking, I'm impressed…
Design: 3 season
Ease of Setup: Moderate - 10 minutes
Weight: 6 lbs, 6 oz.
Price Paid: $100 US
Although not a "light" tent for backpacking, I'm impressed with the quality of the tent (I've used mine for 15 years). It sleeps 2 adults OK, but need additional room for packs. I've been in 60 MPH winds in this tent and it held up very well. Stakes required on sidewalls to maximize interior space. Makes a great one person tent - just wish it was a little lighter.
Have had this tent since 1977. Been through torrential…
Design: 3 season
Ease of Setup: 10 minutes
Weight: around 6 pounds
Price Paid: $150
Have had this tent since 1977. Been through torrential rain, snow, heat (have thrown the worst at it). Never any problems whatsoever. Sleeps two fine, but cramped with gear. Excellent heat retension in winter, never froze even at 12k+ feet in the eastern sierras. Lightweight and easy to arrange on the backpack. Highly recommended.