Recently I have been in the hunt for a new sleep system. I was in between either a Bivy Sack or a 1 Man tent. You can read some discussion comparing tents and Bivys here on Back Country Post. I currently have an older 2 man tent, the Tad Pole from North Face:
The tent has worked great for years, and the only issue I have had with it was that the rain fly began peeling on the underneath and, it just literally flakes everywhere. The last trip I took with my North Face Tad Pole was my 1 week traverse of the Grand Canyon.
My other sleep system I use a lot more, is my ENO Hammock:
Hammock camping is one of my absolute favorites! I have the ENO double, I never really share it though, I just like the wider version because you can kind of cocoon yourself in it when the sun comes out.
The ENO hammock is great, it doesn’t take a lot of space in your pack and is super light. On the East coast, hammocks were great because there are trees everywhere, so I always have some place to hang it. West Coast desert camping is a little more difficult with a lack of trees.
Another downside to hammocks, is that they are not the best choice for colder climates. The air flowing under you drops your temperature quicker, even if you have a sleeping pad in the hammock with you.
But honestly nothing is as comfy as sleeping suspended in the air!
For my next backpacking adventure that I am planning, I wanted something lighter than my 6 pound 2 person North Face tent, and something that was as quick and easy to set up and tear down as my hammock.
Some people don’t like bivys because they are described as sleeping in a coffin. I actually have nothing against bivys and use them all the time for work. One of the best parts of a bivy is the quick roll it out set up and be done. But I wanted a little bit of room to sit up if I I got caught in a long storm which is one of the main reasons why I went for the tent over the bivy.
I did a ton of research before finally choosing the EOS 1P from Marmot. One of the main things I personally look for in a tent is free standing. The reason why I prefer free standing tent is, I don’t backpack with Trekking Poles and a lot of non free standing tents rely on a trekking pole to stand up. The other reason why I like free standing tents over non free standing tents is that non free standing usually need to be staked in to stand up. Free standing tents do not rely as heavily on stakes and this opens up more possibilities for camp site locations. For example on a rock face, its a little bit harder to set up a tent that needs stakes to stand up. There are ways, but it just inconvenient.
Lets take a look at the EOS 1P and I will go more into why I chose it along the way!
The first thing I noticed was, how lite this tent is, at 2 pounds 7oz, I was blown away. This is my first 1 person tent and it is obviously a lot lighter than my old 2 person tent and this was great!
I ordered my tent from REI, and got a great deal. I bought it at REI, because I had just received my yearly dividend from them and it was a whopping $78!!! Basically I shop there too much and living down the street from one is very dangerous to my bank account. In addition REI was have a 20% members discount sale, going on. So I was able to buy the Marmot EOS 1P which usually retails for $249.00 for only $136 after my discount and REI dividend applied! I was pumped! Also my tent arrived the day I was going out Jeep Camping with my friends so I would be able to test it right away.
I still couldn’t wait to get to the desert to set it up, so I immediately threw it up in my apartment.
Emptying the bag and opening it up, you have a couple of things inside:
- Main tent
- Rain Fly
- Small Bag with tent stakes
- Bigger bag with single pole
As discussed earlier, I wanted a tent that was simple and quick to set up. The Marmot EOS 1P comes with just a single tent pole, which is awesome. Simple and less things to break, this is one of my favorite features of this tent, and not many free standing tents have a one pole design.
The pole has a unique design, where is has two Y’s on either end, which help it be a free standing tent. When I took the tent pole out of the bag it pretty much came together itself, and took two seconds to get ready.
I know I said the tent has a single tent pole, and looking at the picture above, you may think what the heck am I talking about. It is one pole though, all the pieces are connected with bungee cords down the center, so its one piece even when its collapsed down.
The pole has one smaller Y and one bigger Y at either end, which easily to match up with the thin end and the wider end of the tent. Like I said, no complicated set up, this thing is super simple. At the four corners, you easily snap the four points of the tent pole in then attach the couple of hooks and viola, the tent is up!
As you can see a free standing tent can be set up anywhere, even in my apartment where I cant have tent stakes going through my carpet floor! Overall I was very pleased with the easy and quick set up.
I am 5′ 7″ and 147 pounds. I fit in this tent perfectly, but if you’re pushing 6 feet, it might be a little tight. Here is a view of me laying inside:
After trying the tent out real quick, I quickly tore it down and threw it in my Jeep to go spend a night under the stars in the California desert with my buddies. The ten set up just as quick in the desert, and I even through the rain fly on to see out it went up.
The rain fly is just as easy to set up as the rest of the tent. It has plastic hooks at each corner of the rain fly and it clips to little loops on the tent. It went up in a jiff!
In the Anza Borreg desert, it was pretty warm so I dint leave the rain fly on, and I had a great nights sleep with some beautiful views! I cant wait to test this tent out some more on the trails, and I will have a more in depth review in the future.