Eureka Zeus Exo I

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Posted by The Lone Hiker on April 18, 2005:

Tent Type: 3-Season
Make and Model: Eureka Zeus Exo I
Sleeping Capacity: 2
Review: Bottom Line: Great price, light weight, average performance.

Trail weight: 3 lbs 12oz. including stuff sack, and personally added 12 feet of guy lines (thin, light nylon rope from Walmart)

I also carry a Sierra Designs footprint (that fits this tent pefrectly) which adds 10 oz.

I bought this tent back in 2002 for the retail price of $100. It is cheap for a tent this light... 5 lbs trail weight (including stakes and stuff sack).

A major reason for the light weight is the single-walll design. This means there is no rain fly, which means there are no windows. No windows means 2 things... no view, and most likely bad ventilation.

No view was not a major concern because if weather is good, I'm sleeping either tent-less lay with my head outside the tent or right by the door... which is better than viewing the sky through a mesh anyway.

But ventilation also suffers from a window-less tent. There are length-wise vents along the bottom a few inches above the floor seam. These have storm-flaps and I make sure I guy them out (tie them to tree/bushes with a thin nylon line) so they don't block ventilation. There is also a small roof vent also with storm flap.

Ventilation provided by this combination is adequate in breezy campsites, and good if you orient the side vents facing the wind. In calm and cold weather, you will get conensation inside the walls. I've often woke up early morning to find the inside of walls soaked with condensation. Tents with fly usually get condensation on the fly itself because the fly walls are colder than the tent walls. Not singl-wall tents have to deal with condensation inside for the light-weight advantage. I have not been in other single wall tents, but I think that if a single wall tent is to have enough ventilation to not have condensation problems, it would compromise the rain protection or add more weight for all the storm flaps over many extra windows.

Rain-shedding ability is pretty good. I did get a little inside spray in hard wind-driven downpour, but only when the gusts are strong. But the spray is very fine mist and not a real problem. Seams are not factory sealed so if you camp in wet climates, you should seal them.

Inside has 2 gear pockets big enough for 32oz bottles, cameras and more. One single loop under the dome is good for hainging a candle or flashlight. Watch your head when moving around in the tent. I've knocked the candle lanter around many times with my head.. getting wax sticking on the glass. Four more loops avaialbe inside, one at each corner for a gear loft... not included but can be made easily with bandana and nylon lines. With the 2 big pockets, I never found the necessity for a gear loft.

The vestibule size is good for one person and barely adequate for 2. You can stuff 2 large packs under it, but they will be touching the walls and the bottoms may get sprayed in the rain.

For those in the southwest and other warm and dry states, this is a great tent. I'm still fairly satisfied with this tent given the price and the weight... which are the two biggest factors for me.

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