EUREKA TUNDRALINE

from Johnson Outdoors                                                             MSRP $299.90

product review by Rich Klasen
The Tundraline is a tent from Eureka’s Expedition & Outfitter series that is advertised by Eureka as “the ultimate canoe camping tent”
The Tundraline combines both “A” frame and tension suspension for strength and severe weather capability.  Like the rest of the Outfitter series, Tundraline is designed for four season usage.  Doublewall construction with 75D Stormshield polyester ripstop outer fly, with an inner wall 68D polyester taffeta (see figure F) combine for a one piece tent set up eliminating the need for an additional rain fly.

Inside Tent (figure F)

Inside Tent (figure F)

Large vented vestibules protect each of the Tundralines two doors and offer additional dry storage of gear while maximizing circulation.  The vestibules 44 square ft are great for drying PFD’s and making

Vestibule (Figure A)

Open Vestibule (Figure A)

coffee during that morning rain shower (see figure A).  The Tundraline sleeps three, or two well fed canoeist comfortably, with a floor size of 6′-7″ x 7′-10″ and ceiling height of 48″.  The Tundraline also is equipped with eight internal storage pockets for even more gear storage.  Available options for Tundraline include a gear loft $15.00 and a protective ground cloth for $18.00.  Interior comfort in Tundraline like other doublewall tents is superb because of heat dispersion and warmth retention with adequate circulation of air between layers or walls.

Eureka claims that Tundraline offers “ease of setup”, with pre-bent A frame poles and post and grommet corner attachments.  I have setup many tents and outdoor shelters and know first hand, that the first time setup requires more time, thought, and yes even directions.  Tundraline proved that theory to be true with my initial setup.  Tundraline has two pre-bent poles that have to be “fished” through external sleeves at both ends of the tent; (see figure d).  Even after four setups, the bent poles did not “glide easy” through the sleeves.  On occasion in the wild, camp must be made alone after

Poles (figure D)

Poles (figure D)

dark, working pre-bent poles through a straight sleeve could be a daunting task.  Familiarity with the setup of Tundraline is an absolute “must” prior to any expedition.

The 14.5mm aluminum tethered and butted tubes of the poles are constructed stronger and heavier than a tent this size would normally warrant (see figure d), witch also holds true with the beefy guy lines, zippers, and tie downs.  Sixteen 1/4″ round stakes provided in Tundraline’s stake bag were the only exception to the overly built theme.  In fact, twenty-four stakes are needed to properly close and secure tent and vestibule areas.  Frequently when canoe camping, conditions like hard, rocky, sandy or even mossy ground require flat beefier stakes.  With the purchase of new stakes, Tundraline is without doubt, the toughest and foul weather ready tent, I have ever slept in
The Tundraline could be used for various camping situations, limited only by it’s 12 pound weight, and bulk (see figure b).  To this point, my experience with Tundraline has been limited to the back yard.  A proper followup will be added when Tundraline is properly field tested.
Looking out at the vestibule

Looking out at the vestibule

diameter packed

Packed Tent

Length of tent packed

Length of tent packed

Update: 4/20/2010

Field Notes

A month after ice out, and several backyard tests, I packed up the Tundraline with my canoeing gear and headed for the River far a weekend canoe camping trip.  Day one was uneventful weather-wise, and the setup of the Tundraline went smoothly.  The pre-bent poles offered less resistance and fished through the sleeves much more easily than my earlier attempts.  I was even getting accustomed to the proper tension of the guy lines.  With newly purchased stakes, the Tundraline was anchored securly in the rocky, sandy riverbank.

Camping with the Tundraline, I appreciated the extra gear storage of the two large vestibules.  The comfort and air circulation that the double-wall construction provided is really noticeable in comparison to many other tents of similar style.   I camped solo and found the tent to be extremely roomy.  During the first night, a cold front passed through the area, bringing high wind gusts and rain.  Woken by the weather around me, I was impressed by how little movement the Tundraline had in the high wind.  The inside of the tent remained dry despite the battering of the sideways rain.

I set up the Tundraline riverside the second night under much calmer conditions.  I afforded myself the luxury of a campfire and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.  The tent might require more effort to set up than some other tents, but there may not have been a second evening if I had been using another tent after the front came through the first night.

Check back in another month as my outdoor time increases and I get to put more time into camping with the Tundraline!

Update July 2010

After a few more canoe camping trips, I found another great use for the Tundraline.  House guests!  During a high school reunion, a few of the guys needed a place to stay, and we all

Eureka Tundraline

Guest Housing in a pinch!

wanted to be able to spend time together.  Since it was going to be over a long weekend, and leaving the tents up was preferable to setting them up every night, we opted to try the Tundraline.  I was hoping that it would be able to handle any weather that we might end up with.  In Ohio in June, you never know what you will get.  The lucky guest who picked the Tundraline helped put it up, and had no problems.  He’s an experienced camper and looked at the picture and put it right together.  He did find the poles were a bit tough to maneuver through the sleeves, but didn’t find it too difficult.   At almost 6 foot, he found the tent roomy enough, and he was able to change clothes without any problems.  It was very hot and humid over the weekend, but very little condensation built up inside.  The ventilation was good, considering it didn’t feel like there was any air outside.  The first morning, the tent guest said “I thought someone turned on the light, that tent glows” (said with a southern accent, lol)

The tent stayed up for 4 nights, and provided a good, stable sleeping space.  The rain at the end of the weekend didn’t bother it in the least.  The inside stayed dry and comfortable.  I’ve enjoyed using the tent, and will continue to take it on all my canoe camping trips.  It will most likely get used the next time I have a bunch of company.

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