Sunriver 2 Tent by Eureka - Review - Check out the story, photos and see the video. Sunriver 2 Tent by Eureka - Review - Check out the story, photos and see the video.

Eureka Sunriver 2 – Tent Review

Eureka Sunriver 2 Tent Box Front Panel
I recent bought a Eureka Sunriver 2 backcountry tent.  I’ve been using an old REI Trail Dome tent for many years.  It still works just fine, but I started backpacking.  I have been using the Trail Dome, but it weighs around seven pounds and that’s a bit heavy for a two-person backpacking tent. I checked around to see how much backpacking tents weigh these days. I found a range from around three to five pounds.  Prices vary much more widely than that.

Spending several hundred dollars on a state-of-the-art backpacking tent seemed a bit much.  The Sunriver 2 reviews seemed good.  Among other things, the tent is reported to stay dry over several days in a downpour. It is advertised as weighing 4 pounds 3 ounces.  When I saw it on sale for $90,  I got one.  Suggested retail is $160.  Well, suggested retail was $160, but since I can’t find the tent on Eureka’s website,  it appears to be out of production.  I did find some refurbished returns listed at Eureka’s outlet store for less than $60.  The current tent that looks closest to the Sunriver 2 seems to be the Midori 2.  It has a suggested retail price of $160 but can be purchased for less.

Eureka Sunriver 2 Tent Details

Here are the ‘official’ specs:

  • Tent Size: 7 ft 4 in x 4 ft 7 in x 3 ft 9 in
  • Tent Height: 3 ft 7 in
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum Weight: 4 lb 3 oz
  • Pack Size: 5 x 18 in
  • Tent Area: 32.6 sq ft
  • Vestibule Area: 9.7 sq ft
  • 3 Seasons
  • 1 Door
  • 1 Vestibule
  • 1 Vent in the Fly
  • 1 Gear Loft
  • 2 Storage Pockets
  • Wall fabric: 40D polyester no-see-um mesh
  • Fly fabric: 75D 190T polyester taffeta w/1800 mm coating
  • Floor fabric: 75D 190T polyester taffeta w/1800 mm coating
  • Pole type: Aluminum
  • Frame: 9.5 aluminum, shock-corded post & grommet

As the specs suggest,  the tent itself is basically a waterproof bathtub with mesh up the sides and over the top.  The fly provides protection from rain and wind.  The following are the weights of the various components as I measured them:

  • Rain Fly:  1 pound 8.5 ounces (1.53 pounds or o.69 kilograms)
  • Tent: 1 pound 12 ounces (1.75 pounds or 0.79 kilograms”
  • Poles (in bag): 1 pound 0 ounces (1 pound or 0.45 kilograms)
  • Stakes and Cord (in bag): 0 pounds 9 ounces (0.56 pounds or 0.25 kilograms)

For a total carry weight of 4 pounds 13.5 ounces (4.84 pounds or 2.20 kilograms)

Review

I recently used this tent for three nights (including one in the rain) on a 30 mile trek around Oregon’s Wild Rogue Wilderness. It worked perfectly.  The tent stayed dry using only the fly tie-down cords at the base of the tent.  Other cords are attached midway up the fly to insure that the fly remains well separated from the tent even in high winds.  This keeps air circulating between the mesh of the tent and the fly.  It worked well for me with no condensation or leakage into the tent.

With just two poles,  the tent is very easy and quick to set up.  You can watch the demonstration in the video.  The REI Trail Dome has sleeves into which the poles are inserted.  The  Sunriver 2 has no sleeves.  Instead the tent is equipped with hooks that snap onto the frame.  The elimination of sleeves make the tent lighter and saves the hassle associated with getting the poles in and out of the sleeves.

It’s a free-standing tent, so that you can crawl in and test it out then move the whole tent if you happen to be on a tree root or a rock.  Once you ave the tent positioned where you want it, you should stake it down.  The aluminum hook stakes work ok except in particularly hard ground.  If you happen to be hammering a stake into the ground and you hit a rock,  the stake will bend.  If you want to avoid that,  heavier stakes are available.

Helpful Hints

It also pays to read the instructions.  Here are some hints that will help setup go better:

  • When setting up the tent,  install the poles, bring them together above the tent, then hook the very top of the tent to the crossover point on the poles with the hook and stick arrangement that is attached to the tent.  This makes it easier to clip the tent to the poles and have everything work properly.
  • Always stake the tent to the ground.  Without those stakes an unanticipated gust of wind can blow your tent over, even with gear inside it.
  • Match the orange strap on the fly to the orange strap on the tent to be sure it is oriented properly.
  • Before attaching the fly to the tent,  find the little velcro fasteners under the fly along the seams that follow the tent poles and attach the fly to the poles.  This keeps the fly from slipping around while you buckle it into place and also during high winds.
  • There are short and long cords that come with the tent.  The short cords are attached to loops in the fly near the ground.  The longer cords are attached to loops midway up the tent.  Be sure to use the short cords and stake out the bottom of the fly.  This separates the fly from the mesh of the tent and avoids leakage from condensation or rain.  I didn’t use the longer cords,  but they are recommended if you anticipate high winds or heavy rain.  Staking down the fly also helps hold the tent in position, so even if its stakes pull loose it won’t blow away.
  • There is a single vent on top of the tarp.  Be sure to use the little velcro-tipped stick to open that vent.  That helps air circulate between the tent and the fly.

Conclusion

Overall,  I found the Sunriver 2 to be a reasonably priced tent that is perfect for my style of backpacking.

You can find a larger version of the video on YouTube.

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