A family tent with room to spare
Jun 10, 2010 (Updated Jun 24, 2010)
Review by tigerlily2010
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Luxurious space and head room, lots of ventilation from windows
Cons:Really, none that I can think of. Suits us just great!
The Bottom Line: The Eureka Sunrise 11 is a high quality, dependable, well-made LARGE tent with a great guarantee from the Eureka Company.
I've been a Eureka customer for over 25 years, starting in 1983 with their 2-person Timberline backpacking tent. Then along came the kids and with them the usefulness of car camping for four people and a dog.
Recommend this product?
When I first went shopping for family tents I looked at everything, including the brands that were much "cooler" and in vogue than the Eureka. I just couldn't get the features I wanted at the price I could afford, and along with my good experiences with Eureka decided on the Eureka Sunrise. I believe our first Sunrise was the Sunrise 8, then we went to the Sunrise 11 in order to get extra room for gear.
I am thrilled with the Eureka Sunrise, and this Sunrise 11 is the best one we've ever had when it comes to family tents. The 11 x 11' space is unbeatable for sleeping in comfort and roomy family gatherings (reading, puzzles, games). It is a monster though--at 24 pounds it is definitely not the tent for anything BUT car camping.
Some facts, from the Eureka website:
--"2 pole square dome tent
--Durable fiberglass frame, clips, and ring and pin/rod pocket assembly
--High/Low door vents top and bottom to aid air circulation
--2 mesh roof vents provide excellent ventilation
--Fly is hooded on all four sides to maximize air flow for all-weather venting
--4 large zippered windows allow the option of excellent visibility and air flow or privacy
--Includes hanging tiered storage shelf, 2 built in water bottle holders, corner floor organizer, and wall organizer with mirror
--Heavy duty 210D poly oxford floor"
I really appreciate all the extras, such as the bottle holders, floor organizer and storage shelf. It's these types of things that make me think "Oh, GOOD decision!" when I look for a place to put something that needs to not get squished.
The first thing you'll notice with this tent (in addition to the weight) is the massize amount of indoor space you'll have. With a center height of 7' you'll never change your jeans laying down again. Even though the Sunrise 11 is marketed as a 5-6 person tent, we find that with the four of us, plus a big dog and gear, we are happy, happy, happy with just us. However, for something like a high school campout, one could fit six inside and have some room for gear; it just wouldn't be as spacious as I'd like.
The Eureka Sunrise still hasn't moved to a two-door (front and rear) model, and still has only one door which some people don't like. This has never bothered me. What I adore is all the window ventilation. There are four BIG windows in the Sunrise 11, and we find that the circulation is excellent. When the windows are shut (when it's cold, let's say) the ventilation is still fine; we do leave the windows open a crack to encourage more venting.
As far as the rain fly, it is very easy to put together and flip over the tent. If there is any chance of rain, it's worth putting on the fly--especially since it's so easy. Otherwise we thoroughly enjoy the see-through netting at night, and get a better outdoor experience--stars and all.
I find the tent itself easy to put up. Like I said, it is BIG and so you need 1) a big tent site, which is sometimes hard to come by at state parks with smaller tent pads, and 2) a lot of room to lay out the tent while you're putting it up. While I usually enlist the help of at least one of my children, I have had to put the entire thing up myself in the rain. (Necessity is the mother of invention. . . ) It wasn't ideal, but certainly do-able.
We've gotten a few rips in the tent, who knows how they got there. They are easy to repair with some tent nylon/poly-oxford fabric and some tent tape (available in sporting goods stores). Once the stetchy elastic string inside one of the poles broke, and it was easy to fix once we got some new stretchy string from the Eureka company (they sent it to us for free).
We have been in the rain and even a small hail storm, and never have had problems with leaks with this tent. I wouldn't prefer to be in it during a snowstorm or heavy torrential rains, but I also would rather be in this tent than other family tents I've seen. The poles and fabric really can take a lot of beating, even though this is a three-season tent.
After spending my 20s and 30s in small backpacking tents, the Eureka Sunrise 11 is pure luxury! I appreciate the high quality worksmanship, the Eureka standards and guarantee, and the low probability that I'll be caught in a lurch with broken equipment during horrible conditions. I imagine I'll be purchasing Eureka the next time I should need a family tent, which will be several years in the future thanks to the longetivity of this tent.
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