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Eureka Suma 2 Review

This inexpensive tent is lightweight but doesn't have the performance to stand up to the rest
eureka suma 2 budget backpacking tent review
Credit: Eureka!
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Price:  $155 List | $152.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Lightweight, packs small, below average price
Cons:  Single side door, poles structure deforms under fly tension, limited headroom
Manufacturer:   Eureka
By Ben Applebaum-Bauch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 2, 2019
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60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 15
  • Comfort - 25% 4.0
  • Weight - 25% 9.0
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 4.0
  • Ease of Set-up - 10% 6.0
  • Durability - 10% 4.0
  • Packed Size - 10% 9.0

Our Verdict

The Eureka Suma 2 is an inexpensive lightweight tent. We think it could be fine for a camp out in the backyard. With a single side door, single vestibule configuration, it's not the most comfortable and we had some issues with pole structure integrity. It is light enough to take into the backcountry but we think there are a bunch of other models that we would consider as well. When split between two people, it's right around two pounds each. It is also nice for casual backyard camping for the kids.

Compare to Similar Products

 
eureka suma 2 budget backpacking tent review
This Product
Eureka Suma 2
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $155 List
$152.95 at Amazon
$159 List
Check Price at REI
$139 List
$96.93 at REI
$159 List$80 List
$68.99 at Amazon
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Pros Lightweight, packs small, below average priceTwo side doors, easy to pitch, large vestibulesGreat headroom, large vestibule, easy to pitchSetup with fly attached, flexible vestibule configuration, below average priceInexpensive, double doors, two vestibules
Cons Single side door, poles structure deforms under fly tension, limited headroomHeavy, not so stable in high windPoles pinch together under fly tensionSingle door, can't remove fly while keeping tent pitchedMinimal storage, delicate pole sleeves, cheap material
Bottom Line This inexpensive tent is lightweight but doesn't have the performance to stand up to the restA straightforward, easy to set up tent with good comfort featuresThis inexpensive budget tent is an excellent option for one personThe unique design and really reasonable price of this tent have us finding new ways to enjoy it again and againA low-priced tent that will work in a pinch for front country camping
Rating Categories Eureka Suma 2 REI Co-op Passage 2 REI Co-op Passage 1 Slumberjack Nightfa... BISINNA 2
Comfort (25%)
4.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Weight (25%)
9.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
8.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
4.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
5.0
Ease of Set-up (10%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
Durability (10%)
4.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
4.0
Packed Size (10%)
9.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
8.0
Specs Eureka Suma 2 REI Co-op Passage 2 REI Co-op Passage 1 Slumberjack Nightfa... BISINNA 2
Measured Packaged Weight 4.13 lbs 5.23 lbs 4.21 lbs 5.68 lbs 4.76 lbs
Floor Area 30.6 sq ft 31 sq ft 20 sq ft 31.4 sq ft 31.6 sq ft
Packed Size 5 x 17 in 8 x 18 in 7.5 x 17 in 6.5 x 21 in 5.9 x 16.9 in
Dimensions 88 x (55 x 45) x 42 in 88 x 52 x 40 in 88 x 36 x 40 in 85 x 52 x 39.5 in 82.7 x 55 x 47.2 in
Vestibule Area (Total) 11.3 sq ft 19 sq ft 9.5 sq ft 9.3 sq ft 13.6 sq ft
Peak Height 42 in 40 in 40 in 39.5 in 47.2 in
Number of Doors 1 2 1 1 2
Number of Poles 2 2 2 3 2
Pole Diameter 8.5 mm 8.5 mm 8.5 mm Not provided Not provided
Number of Pockets 3 2 1 2 2
Gear Loft Yes No No No No
Pole Material Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum 7001 aluminum Aluminum
Guy Points 4 4 4 4 2
Rain Fly Material 68D 185T polyester taffeta Polyester Polyester 68D polyester 190T Polyester Taffeta
Inner Tent Material 68D 185T polyester taffeta Polyester Polyester 40D Polyester No-See-Um Mesh 190T Polyester Taffeta+B3 No-see-um Mesh
Type Freestanding Freestanding Freestanding Freestanding Freestanding

Our Analysis and Test Results

We were excited about the weight and packability of this tent. However, if you need a tent for the long haul, this wouldn't be our top choice. It seems easy enough to set up at first, but then we found that tensioning the fly messes with the poles. It has some issues with ventilation, and we have some questions about its durability. It's light and packs small, but the Eureka Suma 2 score below average in other metrics and so finds itself towards the bottom of this review.

Performance Comparison


eureka suma 2 budget backpacking tent review - this tent is lightweight and packable, but we wouldn't want to take...
This tent is lightweight and packable, but we wouldn't want to take it out for too long.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Comfort


The floor dimensions of this model are standard and spacious enough. The peak height of 42" leaves plenty of headroom down the center of the tent, but there isn't a ton of space that takes advantage of that peak height. The single side door is large, which is nice, but the placement is a little awkward. One person has to climb entirely over the other person closer to the door if they want to get out.

eureka suma 2 budget backpacking tent review - this tent has nice dimensions but the single door isn't ideal for...
This tent has nice dimensions but the single door isn't ideal for two people.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

It feels like the green privacy panels taper so hard from one side to the other that they feel like they are there as much for 'style' as they are for practicality. This tent comes with a really large gear loft basket, which is ideal for storing items that you'll need for later or want to dry out. With items in it, it does hang down and cut into the peak height. The single vestibule is large enough for a pack and footwear, but not two sets.

eureka suma 2 budget backpacking tent review - the gear loft is a nice addition but can cut into the peak height if...
The gear loft is a nice addition but can cut into the peak height if it sags.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Ease of Set-Up


This tent seems about as easy as it can get to set up. It comes with two long poles that cross at the top and insert into grommets at the tent corners. It loses some points here because we found that putting the fly on and tensioning it deforms the pole structure, squeezing the sides together and causing the tent mesh canopy to sag considerably. It was annoying to have to undo everything to correct the issue.

eureka suma 2 budget backpacking tent review - the initial setup is very straightforward; two long poles and clips...
The initial setup is very straightforward; two long poles and clips on the tent to hold it up.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Weather Resistance


The weather resistance of the Suma 2 is adequate but not stellar. The vestibule is long and gently sloping, which makes it susceptible to sagging. It also requires a huge reach to open from inside the tent, so if there is condensation on the underside of the fly, you are liable to stick your head in it.

eureka suma 2 budget backpacking tent review - the long vestibule makes it tricky to get in and out easily. also...
The long vestibule makes it tricky to get in and out easily. Also visible is the bend in the pole closest to the vestibule. This happens when the fly is tensioned and it "pinches" the tent inside.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

The fly doesn't run quite as close to the ground or offer quite the same separation from the tent body as other models in this review. There is also a single small vent at the top. We never had any severe leaks, but our testing left us a little less comfortable than we would prefer.

Durability


We have some questions about the long term durability of this model. The first time we took it down, we inadvertently tore the stitching on the vent kickstand, which left it a little more susceptible to rain seepage. The 68D polyester fly and floor do as good a job as any of the other similar models, but the design just doesn't seem quite up there in the top tier.

eureka suma 2 budget backpacking tent review - it didn't take long to rip the stitching.
It didn't take long to rip the stitching.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Weight & Packed Size


This tent is pleasantly light. At 4 pounds, 2 ounces, it is one of the lighter models in this budget tent review. It packs down small as well. Based on those factors, it would be a fine choice to take into the backcountry.

eureka suma 2 budget backpacking tent review - the eureka suma (right) compared to other compact contenders the...
The Eureka Suma (right) compared to other compact contenders the Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight 2 and the Big Agnes C Bar.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Value


This tent may have a below-average price, but we don't think it is an exceptional value. We would much rather for something with greater durability and structural integrity, even if it means spending a few dollars more.

Conclusion


The Eureka Suma 2 is a lightweight, relatively packable tent. It doesn't cost a whole lot, but we think there are some better options out there. It is comfortable, but it takes some finagling to get the fly and the poles in harmony. It has some nice storage pockets and a gear loft, though the vestibule isn't large enough for two packs and sets of shoes. Ultimately, it has fair performance but isn't our top choice.

Ben Applebaum-Bauch
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