Moonrise over Upper Boy Scout Lake, 11,300'. Mt. Whitney.

Moonrise over Upper Boy Scout Lake, 11,300'. Mt. Whitney.

The Eureka Alpenlite XT is a bombproof, two-person, four season tent designed to handle extreme weather conditions. Like all of Eureka’s tents, the Alpenlite XT is of great quality and offers a lot of value with its competitive price.

I’ve been using the Alpenlite XT for snow camping throughout this winter season, with trips on Southern California’s San Gorgonio, throughout Yosemite, and on Mt. Whitney. 

Dig a snow pit, before the winds come.

Dig a snow pit, before the winds come.

Set up of the tent is relatively straightforward. There are two pairs of aluminum poles for the front and rear, a pole to span between the front and the rear, and a longer pole with a bend in the center to provide support for the tent’s center. The rain fly clips into the tent body at the corners, and has additional anchor points for the middle, front, and rear.

The tent’s interior is cozy, but not cramped when used by two people. There is plenty of room for not only two lofty, zero-degree sleeping bags, but for additional gear as well. There are six interior mesh pockets: one rectangular pocket hanging on each side, and two triangular-shaped pockets on each side as well. The pockets are small, but numerous, and well-placed for storing night-time essentials.

Lofty, 0-degree bags, check!

Lofty, 0-degree bags, check!

The vestibule is large enough for storing two pairs of mountaineering boots. There is room for a bag as well, but the space would be completely full in that case.

Nearly every surface of the Alpenlite XT can be vented, including the ceiling, front door, rear panel, and lower panels on each side. There is also a scoop vent in the vestibule. Using these vents to their fullest potential is necessary when sleeping in below-freezing conditions, otherwise condensation from breathing will collect on the interior sides and ceiling of the tent, freeze, and fall down onto your sleeping bag and gear. That being said, when I used all of the vents, I did not have any issues with condensation.

If planning to do any snow camping with the Alpenlite, I would upgrade the included stakes to snow stakes in order to get maximum staying power. 

The sun is setting over camp at Upper Boy Scout Lake.

The sun is setting over camp at Upper Boy Scout Lake.

A true test of the Alpenlite’s strength came during a windstorm on Mt. Whitney, while camped at Upper Boy Scout lake – at about 11,300’. Forecasted gusts of 30+mph winds were actually 60+ mph gusts. These gusts were strong enough to knock our mountain guide off his feet! The Alpenlite held up wonderfully, staked in with snow stakes. The rest of our team was not so lucky with their tents. 

Excited after summiting Whitney and returning to camp!

Excited after summiting Whitney and returning to camp!

At just under 8.5 pounds including snow-stakes, the Alpenlite isn’t quite as light as the comparable Mountain Hardware EV2, but at half the price, it offers similar performance for a much better value. The added weight can be negated by splitting the load if travelling with a tent mate. Once I figured out the ventilation system, I was very impressed with the Alpenlite, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a four season shelter.

Eureka! Alpenlite XT - $350

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