Eureka Copper Canyon LX 4 Review
Cons: Old school design with heavy poles, limited fly coverage, wonky window closures
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Copper Canyon LX is a rather minimalist tent that feels both old school and innovative. With heavy steel poles and a tall, boxy form, you might at first think you picked up a tent from the 1950s. But then you realize it's a somewhat calculated design that, while borrowing from the past, marries affordability with simplicity and function to create an easy, breezy (literally), nicely priced offering that should appeal to a range of simple-is-best campers.
Space and Comfort
The most notable thing about this tent is its interior height. With 7 feet of headspace, no one is going to be doing the duck walk inside. This makes the 8 ft x 8 ft floor space seem a lot bigger than it actually is, especially as there is not the vestige of a vestibule to store even your flip flops. Ultimately, however, a family with kids will have adequate space. Alternatively, three grown-ups with not too much gear could get into their favorite sleeping positions without too much bumping.
With a mesh roof and large windows, there's plenty of ventilation, light, and views, which also add to the roomy, comfortable feeling. You can easily plug in extra comfort items through the Power Port built into the wall (a small opening through which to run a power/extension cord).
The Copper Canyon also includes neat stash pockets for the fly's guy lines and bungee cords instead of webbing or buckles that attach the fly to the tent — both of these things are unique to this tent and not seen on any other model in our review. The bungees make it rather foolproof and fool-around proof when trying to cinch the fly tight because you simply don't have to — it's already pre-fitted.
While it holds up under light rains and rather mild conditions, the extremely minimal fly of the Copper Canyon — which barely covers the ceiling — along with the dubious window flap coverings, make this a mild-weather tent for sure.
This tent is fine for summer camping and great as a sunshade with the above-mentioned height and large swathes of mesh to catch the breeze. But when the window flaps get wet, they stick to the window mesh, potentially making it a bit clammy inside. And if the Copper Canyon isn't staked down really well (with thin stakes only at the four corner points on the main body), this isn't the most stable tent.
Ease of Set-Up
The second time you set this up should be a breeze. The first time, however, it will only be easy if you really read the instructions about the sequence of getting the poles together. The pole design will be a little foreign for modern campers used to simply slipping single (very long) poles through a sleeve to create a dome-like structure. Instead, this multi-pole design in which the thick steel vertical poles interface with the fiberglass roof poles at four fixed joints takes a second to get used to. The trick is putting the roof together first, then hoisting it skyward with the steel poles; a bit of a task for one person as it requires getting all the pole ends into the corner joint, which is a heavy piece of plastic with a fixed angle. Ultimately this design makes the tent feel like an elevator — in a good way! — with tons of headroom and vertical walls.
The lightweight fly goes on super quickly (unless it's breezy and you're doing it solo) and easily attaches via bungee cords to the four corner O-rings. Taking it down, you pretty much have to reverse the steps in order, but ultimately it's a fast set-up that won't keep you from the swimming hole for long.
This might not be the first tent you've bought, and it almost certainly won't be the last unless you're the only-a-couple-of-weekends-a-year camper. This isn't to say the Copper Canyon is flimsy by any means. It's simply that the body is fairly lightweight, and if you want anything that will get you beyond a spot at the beach or in ideal weather, you'll probably upgrade to something with a fly that is more than the equivalent of a bikini top and windows that zip closed.
The mix of heavy steel poles (which you'll never break even if you run them over) and flexy fiberglass ones (most likely the opposite) will more than adequately hold up the Copper Canyon, though we can't help but think Eureka could have just used thicker fiberglass or aluminum poles all around to save weight.
A compact, rectangular, dual-zippered carry case makes this very easy to transport around and pack into your vehicle. You'll have to do a little compressing to get the tent down to a size that fits back in at the end of your trip, but you won't have to break a sweat.
The poles fold up to a manageable size, and the fly is shove-able into the case if you handle the tent well enough. Overall, with an adjustable shoulder strap and handles, not even the young ones should complain (too much) about carrying this to your campsite.
Eureka makes solid products for where they slot into the affordability matrix of camping tents — they're definitely not cheap-o knockoffs nor are they frilly glamping oases. That said, the Copper Canyon LX performs very well relative to its particular price. If you just want an easy-to-set-up, compact-to-pack, mild-weathered, light-filled, breeze-catching tent that fits very tall people and won't break the bank — this one fits the bill. It's a relatively unique option compared with most other tents in this review, thanks to this combination.
More than just the Best Value for Tall Foks, the Copper Canyon is great if you're a fan of "the simple life" camping experience. A world where you don't have to worry about your kids poking holes in your overly expensive tent (this one won't break the bank), or whether the fly is on backwards (it can be here, but it doesn't matter!,) or whether you can afford the extra steaks for Saturday night's feast (you can). For mild weather camping with lots of luxurious air flow, this tent is a solid choice.
— Rick Baraff