Tent Wars: Eureka Spitfire 1 Vs Eureka Solitaire 1

In an effort to get a better idea of what tents out there are the best, sometimes simply giving the stats isn’t enough. Sometimes, the best way to find out what is the best is head to head competition. This article will be the first in a series of comparisons between tents to really compare the differences and declare what tent is better than the other one. So, here we go.

This episode of Tent Wars features a battle of the feather weights. High adventure, multi-week backpacking requires light backpacking tents to the extreme. We will be looking at the Eureka Spitfire 1 and the Eureka Solitaire 1. Both very popular, highly rated backpacking tents. Let’s take a look at the basic specs for both tents.

Eureka Spitfire 1

The Eureka Spitfire 1 features a roomy approach to light backing. The high profile makes it a comfortable, sit-up-able backpack tent with an open mesh top for star gazing, attachable fly for inclement weather, bath tub floor, and a two-stake quick pitch system for quick camp setup. At only 2 lbs 12 ounces, this nylon taffeta-made tent is truly a backpacker’s dream.

Eureka Solitaire 1

In the yellow corner, the Eureka Solitaire 1 is the flagship Eureka high adventure backpack tent. This tent features a low profile which makes for a warm sleep in windy conditions with a sturdy fiberglass frame. The 2 pound 9 ounce carry weight and small pack size at only 17 in. by 4 in. makes it a superior backpack tent rivaled by very few.

With so many good aspects to both tents, it makes a hard comparison. Here is my comparison of the two.

– Packability: The Spitfire 1 packs currently at 22 in. by 5 inches and weighs 2 lbs. 12 ounces. The Solitaire 1 packs at 12 in. by 4 in. and weighs only 2 lbs. 9 ounces. At these ridiculously low weights and sizes, you would hardly notice the difference, but for the sake of sportsmanship, numbers don’t lie.

Winner: Eureka Solitaire 1

– Livability: Comparing livability and comfort for these two tents is like trying to ask whether it is easier to sleep in the drivers seat of a sports car or a tractor. It’s going to be a tight squeeze either way. You might say that the Spitfire is a better choice as it has a higher profile allowing for sitting, but this may be the Achilles heel of this tent in windy weather when one wishes they could only disappear from the cold lashes of the mountain wind. Still being able to sit up at night does psychological wonders for any long term backpacker.

Winner: Eureka Spitfire 1

– Durability: The Eureka Spitfire features a nylon taffeta build rated at 1200mm. The Eureka Solitaire also features a nylon taffeta build rated at 1200mm. Ironicallly, the Eureka Spitfire frame is structured with aluminum poles, but is heavier. This means that there is more to the build of the actual fabric in the Spitfire than the Solitaire. This may mean the actual fabric is more durable in the spitfire than in the solitaire, but the fiberglass frame of the Solitaire does mean that the frame will hold over longer periods of time than the Spitfire.

Winner: Draw

– Ease of Setup: The smaller the tent, the easier to setup. Both of these tents are about as small as it gets. The Solitaire 1 features a 2 hoop bivy style frame, while the Spitfire 1 has a more vaulted roof design. The simpler design of the Solitaire 1 makes it simpler, but the Spitfire 1 needs only 2 stakes to be secure. Still with the 2 hoop bivy style frame, the Solitaire 1 is going to be much easier to setup.

Winner: Eureka Solitaire 1

– Features and Style: The low profile and almost cocoon shape of the Solitaire 1 does seem a little bit goofy looking. The Spitifire 1, with it’s spite top and aggressive roof design, makes it a bit more trendy. Consider the fact that the Spitfire 1 has more room for a gear pocket, not to mention the included vestibule. Besides, yellow is so 1990s.

Winner: Eureka Spitfire 1

-Overall: Both tents are lightweight, durable, and well designed for the long distance single sleeping hiker. In the end, weight usually wins out when it comes to the long distance hike. If we go solely off that premise, the winner wins by a mere 3 ounces.

Overall Winner: Eureka Solitaire 1

Ultimately, the choice is yours, and you won’t really know until you try both. Neither are very expensive, and both are good enough that you will want to use both of them over and over. The Eureka! Brand is a very trusted brand. Give both a try. If you have a preference, give me a holler. I’ll probably be just on the other side of the ravine.



Source by Lance D Dobson

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