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Your foray to backpacking should be gradual for two reasons – there is a ton to learn and it can be expensive. Renting and borrowing gear is an option to make sure you will stick with it for some time.
Soon you will want to take the plunge and buy the essentials. Impulsively purchasing the best gear will leave you broke. Purchasing a few pieces that are the lightest and best combined with moderately priced essentials will stretch your dollar the most.
Eureka! Is best known for family camping tents. The company also offers a line of backpacking tents that are priced right for a backcountry newbie. I had a chance to try the Eureka Apex 2XT tent and was impressed with its performance.
The Apex 2XT is designed with 75D 190T polyester taffeta and is 800 mm coated. Both sides doors have 40D no-see-um mesh panels, and the tent's frame is two fiberglass poles that fit into grommets. A zippered rain fly protects from inclement weather.
The Apex 2XT's interior provides 36.86 sq ft of floor space. When I tested it, it gives ample space for two normal-sized people to sleep and each person to keep a modestly sized pack in it. Eureka! Includes a gear hammock to affix to the tent's frame at the tent's apex and a few side pockets for gear.
The first day that I set-up the Apex 2XT, we were hit with a long lasting rainstorm through the night. Luckily, the rain fly was on. The rain seemed like it wouldn't stop and it was pretty heavy at times and the tent kept out the wetness.
The Apex 2XT won't be mistaken for an ultralight 2-person tent. The packed weight of the tent is around 6-1/2 pounds. Eureka includes a stuff sack, but you want to get a compressions sack for it or it seems massive in your backpack.
Outside of the bulkier size which is expected for a beginner's backpacking tent, the Eureka! Apex 2XT delivers plenty of features for the price. (MSRP $149.99)
Jason Elliot is the Editor and Publisher of OutdoorInformer.com. Elliot has established a respected following with the top industry professionals and gearheads for his nonbiased reviews of outdoor gear and apparel. Elliot is a regular contributor to Examiner.com, Trails.com and other publications on top of his editorial and writing role with OutdoorInformer.com.
Elliot left a successful fifteen-plus year management career that he worked at Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies to pursue his passion for writing about the outdoors. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from La Roche College.
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