US tent and camping equipment brand from over there is now over here...
We don't know much about Eureka! - we've probably walked past their stand at numerous outdoor trade shows and never really clocked them - but apparently they're fairly new to the UK and have been making tents since 1895 and are, it says here, 'the sole supplier of tents to the US military', so we guess they must be doing something right.
A bit of sleuthing reveals that they're a US brand which specialises in tents and camping equipment and they've supplied tents to the likes of Sir Edmund Hillary and various US Himalayan expeditions. They also make various military tents including he U.S. Army 3-man Lightweight Extreme Weather Shelter (LEWS), the 2-man Marine Combat Tent and the 4-man Extreme Cold Weather Tent (ECWT).
And now they're over here with what looks like a pretty substantial range of tents - more than 100 of them apparently - plus a selection of backpacks, sleeping bags, air mats, camping accessories and furniture, erm, camping furniture that is, not IKEA-style stuff.
What more can we tell you? Well, their PR agency are bigging up the Elite range - their top-end stuff - which includes a tent called the Spitfire Solo SUL, a 1000g, single-pole solo tent that's designed to have enough head-room to sit up inside - unusual for a one-person tent - and uses top notch DAC tubing, a two-layer construction and a siliconised Nylon fly-sheet.
It's clearly not the lightest solo tent out there, but it's not bad and looks to major on offering a bit more comfort than usual thanks to the additional head-room and a bath-tub ground sheet plus the added breathability of two-skin tents relative to single-layer ones. The suggested price is £259.99. There's also a standard Spitfire Solo tent which weighs around 600g more, but sells for just £114.95
Loads of other tents of pretty much any shape or size your care to choose - tunnels, geodesics, family tents and even the Chrysalis, a covered hammock design, kind of a tent that you can hang from two trees. And just to confuse us Brits, there's a roomy looking backpacking tent called a Quazar...
Another interesting-looking design in the range is the El Cap SUL, a new for 2012, free-standing backpacking tent based on a proven Eureka! design, but lightened up. DAC poles again with press-fit connectors - we've seen these on Nemo tents and they're ace - more siliconised fabrics and weights of around 1600g for the two person version and 2450g for the four-man model.
There's a bewildering range to be honest. And alongside the tents there are sleeping bags, self-inflating air mats, packs, tarps and more.
Looking at the site, they strike us as being a sort of US version of Vango, which isn't such a bad thing, sitting between the premium, high-end brands at one end and the cheap, heavy, budget kit at the other. In other words, reasonable weight and build quality at a decent price, but that's just an intial impression and we could be totally deluded...
You can see the full range at www.eurekaeurope.com.