Gear Review: Eureka Timberline Kananaskis Outfitter 4XT

Gear Review: Eureka Timberline Kananaskis Outfitter 4XT
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The nice thing about well made camping gear is not only will it serve you well for many years, but you can pass it along to the next generation. This was the case with my parent's Eureka Timberline tent, which is now over 20 years old, and I still use it on all my camping trips. I have many fond memories of camping in Algonquin Park with my parents in this tent and it has never let us down.

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Eureka has been making tents for over 100 years, and the Timberline itself turned 40 this year. When it first came out in the 1970's, the Timberline was the first free-standing lightweight backpacking tent in the industry. I did a double-take when I was looking through the antiques, and odds & ends at the Brent access for Algonquin Park, when I noticed that suspended from the ceiling was a mini Timberline tent. This tent has a lot of history.

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I've been trying out the new Eureka Timberline Kananaskis Outfitter 4XT and found it a worthy upgrade from the original Timberline series. The benefit of this spacious tent is that there is room for you, your friends and your gear and you won't feel cramped if you're stuck inside during a rain storm.

The packed weight of the tent is 5.4 kg/12 pounds.

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Setting up the tent can be done solo (although it takes a bit of juggling), but it is easiest with two people. Some things never change and if you have ever owned a Timberline, then erecting the Timberline Kananaskis Outfitter 4XT will be just like old times. The aluminum tent poles connect together pretty much on their own, and plug into the moulded bracket which gives the tent its A-frame shape (which is about 147 cm tall). The original bracket was easy to reverse and you would find that you had it facing the wrong direction, especially setting the tent up in the dark. This generation has it labeled so that even if your camping partner has never set up a tent before, they could do it with ease.

 Both vestibules have great vents, which are also handy to see the approaching weather

Both vestibules have great vents, which are also handy to see the approaching weather

The Kananaskis Outfitter 4XT comes with two built-in vestibules, where as the original separate add-ons. Because they are part of the tent, setting them up is obviously quicker and provides shelter at both ends of the tent to store gear.

 Lots of room to store gear

Lots of room to store gear

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All zippers (Size #10) have bright orange pull tabs which are easy to see and they are on both the inside and outside of the tent, which make opening everything a breeze. Since your tent will be protected by the fly and vestibules, Eureka has removed the flashing from the outside of the zippers. This is singlehandly my favourite thing that has changed over the years, as you wouldn't believe how many times the zipper would bind on the old tent. The odds of it binding would also increase depending on the severity that you wanted out. Need to go empty your bladder at 3 a.m.? Good luck getting out of the tent! The zippers on the new Timberline are also quieter than before as well and won't disturb sleeping guests.

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Inside the tent, two more of my biggest complaints have not only been solved, but made better. The original tent had a single line that you could run inside the roof of the tent to dangle a light or to dry wet clothing. The new version has a mesh gear pocket that runs the entire length of the tent and offers plenty of space to air out clothing for the next day's adventures.

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Inside the original Timberline, there was a single gear pocket. When the tent has so much room for campers, a single pocket wasn't enough room to store sunglasses, prescription glasses and your phone/alarm to wake you in the morning. Not ideal for a four person tent. Eureka has now added four gear pockets so that everyone has a chance to stash away something small. The four pockets are also easily reachable if you're just poking your head inside the tent to grab your shades for the sunny hike that day. 

 Eureka Timberline New and Old

Eureka Timberline New and Old

The Eureka Timberline Kananaskis Outfitter 4XT is a four-person tent and is available as a three season or a four season tent. The fly is made from 75D Ripstop polyester 1500mm, and the floor (Width: 218cm - Length: 267cm) is made from 150D Armatech 1500mm. I'm looking forward to getting many years use out of the new tent as well.

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