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Eureka! Alpine Meadows

rated 4.5 of 5 stars

The Alpine Meadows has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best three-season tents for 2021.

photo: Eureka! Alpine Meadows three-season tent


Price Reviewers Paid: $50.00-$225.00


18 reviews
5-star:   9
4-star:   8
3-star:   1
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

30+ years and going strong.


  • Durable
  • Spacious


  • Heavy
  • Bulky

My father bought me this tent as a teenager over 30 years ago. The two of us spent countless nights on the Appalachian Trail, Foothills Trail, and various other trails across the Southeast over the following 10 years. It's a bulky tent, and on the heavy side for backpacking, so we eventually upgraded to a smaller, lighter tent. 

This tent sat in storage for probably 10 years, but last weekend, my girlfriend and I went camping and since we were't hiking in, I opted for the more spacious Alpine Meadows over smaller lighter tents and it worked like a champ. The shock-cord on the fly and tent itself had lost its elasticity, but that's easily replaceable. The shock-cord in the poles, however, worked like new. I was worried the fiberglass center pole might splinter, but have had zero issues with it.

My dad made an excellent choice when getting me this tent all those years ago!


Source: received it as a personal gift


Sounds like your dad made a great choice, Bryan! Thanks for taking the time to share a review of your 30-year-old Eureka.

2 years ago

I've owned this tent for 30 years and just realized it this summer. I have never even thought about getting a different one. I've used it for backpacking, canoeing, hunting, and scouting trips over those 30 years and it has never let me down. Except I would like to get a new bag for it, the old one is sticky from the waterproofing.

It's held up in all four seasons and is always reliable in the wind and rain. I've only sealed the seams once that I can recall. I don't know why it was discontinued, but I would buy two more for my sons if I could.

The only con I have for it is the length. I've gotten a little older now and decided to start sleeping on a cot. The cot is about 4 inches too long for the tent. I am able to close the ends but it puts some stress on the zippers and seams at the ends.


Welcome to Trailspace, Chris! Thirty years (and counting) sounds like a good run for your tent. Got any pictures of it you could show us in your review?

3 years ago

Best small tent ever...


  • exceptionally roomy due to the middle hoop
  • very good design for all weather camping
  • light enough to backpack with


  • not available anymore

Most amazing small tent ever.

My fly is finally dying due to sun exposure as it is now fragile and get rips easily. I desperately search for a new one on eBay only to be disappointed day after day, but I will keep trying because this is probably the best tent ever made

Countless Boy Scout hikes and then I used it for sca 30+ events a year until I got my yurt, five two-week pennsics in August and Pennsylvania have finally taken their toll on the fly.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $90

I bought this tent in the late '80s and just returned from a trip to far Eastern Maine where we had a night of heavy rain and thunderstorms with heavy downpours on 2 nights. We stayed dry despite the water running under the floor of the tent.

I used it extensively for canoe tripping for 10+ years and it is a great tent for that purpose. The center hoop gives the tent great headspace and makes it much more comfortable to hang out in when the weather is bad. The fly overhang allows for some window ventilation even in the rain. These days I am car camping with kayaks and an air mattress, and will probably hand this tent on to my stepson.

It has withstood heavy use and I once even put it through a washing machine after an incident with a dog. (No more dog camping ever!) Two years ago while car camping a pole was bent by a car driving over it -- I'm still using that pole.

After many memorable trips, the fly has stretched and the waterproof coating has begun to stick to itself, so I'm shopping for another tent, but I would strongly consider purchasing this tent again. I love the blue floor with gray fly -- no orange tents for me. A great tent.

Design: freestanding modified A-frame
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: fairly easy
Weight: 8+ lbs.
Price Paid: can't remember

This tent has seen significant use in the 15 years I've owned it. Though rated for three seasons, most of my trips have been in windy, wintery conditions and the Alpine Meadows has surely been put to the test. It has never let me down.

As one reviewer implied, attaching the optional vestibules (two work better than one) makes the tent very wind/rain-friendly, as does staking carefully to keep the structure taut. The unusual middle "hoop" pole is a successful design that seems to have actually made the tent sturdier by tightening the wall fabric, despite placing the walls at a steeper angle to the ground.

The tent — which truly sleeps four comfortably — survived a recent weekend of constant deluge and heavy wind, and kept all four of us dry. However, the taping on the floor has loosened and the stitching has begun to disintegrate. This is not a practical repair for a tent of its age. Its replacement will be the Alpine Meadows Outfitter 4, which is of the same design, but is built with heavier fabrics. It has recently become available, as the Alpine Meadows had been discontinued.

Similar to the well-known Timberline, The Alpine Meadows differs not only in the hoop pole design, but in the fact that it has doors with full windows on both ends. This makes it very convenient and well-ventilated, particulary when using two vestibules.

My gripes have been minor — the zippers could be beefier and designed to catch less fabric (supposedly addressed in the Outfitter model) and bottom-only cross-ventilation could have been made possible.

While neither the lightest nor the most modern tent out there, the Alpine Meadows has proven itself as a reliable, durable, welcome shelter. I'd rate it 4.5 stars, and I'd recommend it to all.

Design: 3-Season A-Frame
Sleeps: 4
Ease of Setup: Very easy setup
Weight: Approx. 9lbs.
Price Paid: $200

Decades of camping and still going strong.


  • Durability
  • Size


  • Weight

It feels a bit ridiculous to be writing a review for a tent this old and discontinued, but I just got back from a fall canoeing trip and realized that this tent is at least 25 years old if not 30. I can't remember because my parents bought it for me when I was just a kid (I'm sure they were sick of sharing a tent with me at that point).

Since then it has provided shelter on the trail, on the water, at festivals, and in backyards. The only time I got wet was during a week-long downpour tree planting in northern Alberta, and that was only because the soil was so saturated by day 5 that the whole field had effectively become a swamp. It has survived 8 trips to Burning Man—the one year I brought a different tent it was destroyed by dust storms within a few days. The Alpine Meadows survived all of it with nothing but a busted zipper. I even used it for winter camping in northern Pennsylvania with no problem.

Of course it shows its age. The elastic in the poles has snapped on most of them and some of the poles have bent. The rain fly has some small tears I've had to patch, but that's no surprise after the equivalent of two months of high altitude desert exposure. I had to replace one zipper. Pretty good for nearly three decades of service.

I would love to see Eureka revive and modernize the design. Modern materials with the same basic design would undoubtedly be lighter and even more durable. Until then, I'll happily keep it going.


Frequent camper, this is the only tent I've ever needed.

Source: received it as a personal gift


Welcome to Trailspace, Nathan! It sounds like your tent has been an excellent companion to you.

4 months ago

Best camping tent I have seen or used over 30 years in 4-season use: monsoon downpours, snow, high wind, both 2-man and a 4-man. Never had the problems others had with their wide variety of tents. I pine for its discontinued presence.


  • Roomy
  • Weather proof
  • Straightforward setup
  • Good for 4 seasons


  • After 20 years, zipper issues

With some of the improvements made for tents today, they could be applied to the Alpine Meadows design: snaps instead of hooks, faultless zippers, maybe in the polyester fiber makeup. If I had known this tent was to be discontinued, I'd have bought six more to pass along to my other children and grandchildren.

My son and I in wilderness canoe camping for six years used these tents with take down and setup everyday for 10 days each outing. Then there was the year long use in four-season weekend outings. With other camping companions we were considered to be living in luxury with our tent. We occasionally had to setup in downpours so heavy that it was almost impossible to raise the tent and fly from the beating, but ours was always the first up and frequently the only dry tent. Sometimes we had boarders in those events.

Snow always slid off, and high wind would waffle the fly to the extreme, but always held. When we had several days of rain and had to pack a wet fly and tent, we were never wet inside the tent. This was possible as we followed the advice that you sleep in a dry bath tub liner inside the tent. Tent mfg's. say nay to this as it may degrade the floor coating. Never happened over 30 years of use.

We protected the outside of the tent with a tough under pad and lined the inside with a lightweight PVC tarp which was oversized so that it could be raised at the tent edges had held in place by our equipment. Today you need to get 1-2 PVC clear tablecloth covers which can be seamed with a small swipe of PVC pipe cleaner primer.  PVC is better than polyethylene as it is flexible, not slippery, and mold resistant.

Sometimes in the summer heat the tent needed to be oriented to catch the breeze front to back.

The one replacement I had to make was for the fly hoop, which was aluminum tubing originally. When I kinked it, @#$%^, the replacement Eureka sent was fiberglass, better I think.

Source: bought it new


Welcome to Trailspace, Harv. Do you have any pics you could share with us?

5 years ago

Welcome to Trailspace, Harv! Do you still have your Alpine Meadows tent and use it? It sounds like it has served you well.

5 years ago

Bought this tent back in 1988 and have used it steadily ever since. Still get wistful looks from others when I set up at Boy Scout events. Wish it was still made. Center hoop best idea ever.


  • Spacious
  • Works well for East Texas weird seasons.


  • No longer available
  • Original bag was flimsy as taffeta

Would love to get another one for each of my Scouts. Sturdy and ease of setup make it a winner.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $87 on closeout sale


Welcome to Trailspace, Tim. I'd love to see some pictures of your Alpine Meadows in your review, if you're willing to share them.

6 years ago

I've had my Alpine Meadows 4 for 28 years! It's been a great tent and I have used it for three-season camping regularly. Unfortunately, the kids have put a tear in the tent floor and this past summer I was forced to buy a new tent.


  • Great design
  • Durable
  • Roomy
  • Just the perfect tent!


  • No longer available

Almost 30 years old...still love it! A little heavy for backpacking, but if you split up the poles from the tent two people can pack it in easily. Easy to set up. Roomy. Truly fits four with gear. Three-season. Tolerates wind well.

Can't brag enough about it.

Note: I would like to help out other Alpine 4 owners keep their tents in use. I am selling the poles, fly, and vestibule, together or individually, to anyone in need.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: i don't remember


Welcome to Trailspace, Alisa. Tears in tent floors can be mended with a product called Gear Aid (the tape, not the seal sealer). I've done that with a family tent we own.

6 years ago

Hi Alisa. I recommend posting your sales offer in our Classifieds forum:

6 years ago

I have proudly owned this tent for thirty years. Got it when I was 17. It will have to be pried from my hands when I am gone!


  • Lightweight
  • Roomy
  • Great vestibule
  • Excellent ventilation


  • Spine poles too long

I have used it for 30 years. All you need is a decent ground sheet, 6 tent pegs, and a pillow.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $225

After 26 years, it's still a terrific tent!


  • Light
  • Strong
  • Easy to set up
  • Roomy
  • Great climber's tent


  • Unavailable now

I bought mine in 1987 and it is still going strong. I bought an after-market Easton aluminum center hoop, and that brought the weight to just under 5 lbs.

I am a serious climber and have used it extensively in the Tetons, Sierras, Rockies, and New England winters. It has easily handled heavy snow (3+ ft) and wind (50 mph). I used it again last summer on the Lower Saddle in the Tetons and had the usual reaction from other climbers: "What a cool tent!"  "Where can I get one?"  "It's how old?" 

We had a good night while the notorious Lower Saddle winds were demolishing a number of other climbers' tents.  I wish Eureka would produce it again.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $100

First off, I must have a different model than one reviewer with prebent hoop poles. Mine uses plain straight, shock corded fiberglass sections that assume the curved shape when inserted into the sleeves. So, it rolls up and packs into a carry bag the same as a Timberline 4.

I have owned and liked a Timberline 4. This Alpine Meadows 4 is identical except for the extra body and fly fabric fitting around the bulge created by the hoop in the middle. It creates truly appreciated head and shoulder room and makes it possible to have a chair inside because the walls are more dome-like.

This is definitely an improved version of the Timberline 4, in my opinion. I count myself very lucky to have just found one in such pristine condition It is a pity that Eureka! ceased making it.

Design: Modified A-frame, 3.5 seasons
Sleeps: 4
Ease of Setup: Easy for one person
Weight: About 7 pounds
Price Paid: $50 (used)

I purchased this 2 man tent in 1991. It has been used for motorcycle camping trips. In my opinion it is perfect for this use. With the vestibule attached it is fine for two persons. Love the center hoop. Makes the tent bigger inside as compared to the Timberline.

After many trips it is showing signs of wear. Would love to buy another one but Eureka stopped making them for some reason.

Sleeps: 2
Price Paid: $120

It's easy to set up. The fly stays away from the sides except in a monsoon, and the vestibule makes even the rainiest weekends wonderful.

It's not a backpacking tent as the poles are long and plentiful, but it's a great "car camping" tent with plenty of room for four if necessary.

Design: a-frame with middle hoop
Sleeps: 4
Ease of Setup: Easy
Weight: 12 lb
Price Paid: $180

This tent has been in my possession for 9 years and has been pampered and refitted several times with new pole segments.

The Eureka Alpine Meadows tent has a special center hoop which can be hard to transport because of its pre-bent shock-corded segments. I have used it in moderate snow but don't think it would survive a heavy blizzard. I have allways had room for myself and my better half plus gear.

The rain fly could be larger with pre-attached vestibule so it would resist the wind better.

All in All it was and still is a Great Buy.

A F Wiggs, Knightdale, N.C. 27545

Design: Modified A 3 Season
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: An easy 5 minute without wind add 10 additional with adverse conditions.
Weight: 6.7 LBS
Price Paid: $165

Definitely for fair weather...Lots of room and easy to set up, but it's a skyscraper of a tent and catches even the slightest breeze. Will NOT withstand even a moderate blow.

The smallest profile set into the wind exposes the area of the tent not protected by the fly to the rain. Maybe the optional vestibule would help this.

This tent was completely destroyed during a windstorm in northern Scotland, of course in the middle of the night. I will never use another tent that does not have a fly which completely protects the entire tent.

Design: 3 seasons of good weather
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Easy...5 minutes
Weight: 6lbs
Price Paid: $159

very roomy. easily setup in any conditions. the vestabule (seperate) is very large and holds the men's gear. it is very easy to put on. i would also like to comment on the extra pole in the center of the tent that makes use of the extra tent fabric.

Design: 3 season +
Sleeps: 4
Ease of Setup: easy set up, free standing.
Weight: 6 lbs

I've never been a fan of dome tents (hexagonal floor space is inefficient), and A-Frame tents have poor headroom (those steeply slanted walls). This tent is an excellent compromise. It is essentially a Timberline with an added center hoop that pulls out the walls of the tent, dramatically increasing interior space. A good tent for the money.

Design: 4 Season A-Frame with Center Hoop
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Relatively easy (3-5 minutes)
Weight: Approx. 6 lbs
Price Paid: $180

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