Gadling gear review: Eureka Apex 2XT tent

The summer camping trip has become a tradition for many outdoor enthusiasts, who use the long days and warm nights as an excuse to escape the stressful trappings of modern life, even if just for a little while. As is typical with most outdoor pursuits, the gear that is used can mean the difference between a great experience and a horrible one. This is especially true when it comes to camping, where something as simple as a tent can make or break the experience.

Whether you’re heading out on a weeks long expedition in the Himalaya or an overnight in a local campground, your tent is one of the most important pieces of gear that you can take with you. It is your mobile cabin, the headquarters for your expedition, and shelter from inclement weather. This is just as true in the summer, when the warm weather can be just as uncomfortable as an arctic snowstorm.

Fortunately, there are some excellent tents designed specifically for summer outings. Take for example the Eureka Apex 2XT, which seems to have been designed from the ground up for warm weather adventures. The tent, which sleeps two very comfortably, features two side openings to allow easy access to the interior. Those same side openings are covered in mesh panels, which allow fresh air in and provide plenty of ventilation, while keeping insects out – two very important factors for staying comfortable on any summer camp out. You’ll appreciate how cool this tent stays on all but the warmest of nights.The Apex is an excellent tent for beginner and experienced campers alike. It is incredibly easy to set-up, even the first time you attempt it, and it takes just minutes to have your shelter in place. It is a free standing tent, meaning it doesn’t need to be staked down, and it uses a frame consisting of just two fiberglass poles. The included rain fly adds extra protection from wet weather and provides a sheltered entry point that allows campers to keep their boots, and other gear dry, when entering the main chamber of the tent itself. The simplicity of the tent’s construction is much appreciated after a long day of hiking or when you’re rushing to build it ahead of an incoming storm.

Inside, the tent is spacious and comfortable. As mentioned, it can easily sleep two adults, and possibly a small child as well. There is plenty of room for gear, and there are even built in gear lofts and side pockets for storing items that you want to keep close at hand. The floor incorporates a “bathtub” design, which is add protection against heavy rains or standing water on the ground as well, which is an added benefit for sudden summer storms. The end result is a shelter that will make you feel safe, comfortable, and secure at your campsite, whether its located in your back yard or in your favorite national park.

All in all, the Apex 2XT is a great choice for campers, although buyers will want to keep a couple of caveats in mind. First, weighing in at 6 pounds, 5 ounces it is a bit on the heavy side, making it a less than perfect choice for backpacking. The tent is better suited for car camping or those who will be hiking to their camp site and staying in one place for awhile. If you’re going to be hiking the Appalachian Trail however, you’ll want to look for something that takes up less room in your pack and won’t weight you down nearly as much. You’ll find similar tents that weigh less, but generally cost more, from other manufacturers.

The other thing to consider with this tent is that because it’s designed for warm weather activities, it can become quite cool on nights when the temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The features that make the Apex such a good option for warmer weather can be a detriment when it starts to get cool. A warmer sleeping bag can extend the usefulness of the tent, but it is best suited for camping between late-spring and early-fall.

Those factors aside however, the Apex 2XT is a well built, durable option for summer camping. It is the perfect example of Eureka knowing its market well and providing a tent that fits some very specific needs. If you’re looking for an affordable, versatile option for your warm weather adventures, this tent will definitely serve you well. With an MSRP of $130, you can grab one now and get plenty of use out of it this summer and for many summers to come.