View Full Version : eureka solitaire or spitfire?

07-24-2015, 22:49
I have the option of buying either the solitaire or the spitfire for great prices and was wondering which I should go with? I'm 50/50 on each so I was hoping for some insight from other users. I'm notoriously bad at making up my mind and am one of those people who needs to know the goods and the bads from people who have actually used either. Which one would you go with and why?
A little insight, I'm 5'4, my first 'test' trip is only going to be 10 days... thoughts?

07-24-2015, 23:06
If it were myself I would choose the Spitfire over the Solitaire. With the Solitaire it seems to have an issue with its fiberglass poles splintering and breaking easily.

07-24-2015, 23:24
The weight difference is pretty small... and after seeing the number of complaints at backcountry.com regarding the fiberglass poles I would agree with Tuckahoe.

It might not be important to you but one reviewer pointed out you can't sit up in the solitaire, whereas the spitfire looks to have just enough room to sit up some what when changing cloths.

07-25-2015, 00:22
One of our tents is a solitaire, it's great for what it is, but I wouldn't buy another, as noted, poles are easy to break I hear (not that I ever broke one) and you can't sit up, this I can speak to...In hind sight I'd go with the spitfire were I to do it over.

07-25-2015, 01:44
The Solitaire is often described as a "bivvy tent" because it is pretty much a large bivvy.
That is not a bad thing if you like that style of shelter.
As for sitting up room, it is very simple to test that at home.
It is 28" across the top , so sit on your mat, against a wall , put a mark on the wall where your head is and see if that mark is lower than 28" or not.

07-25-2015, 07:50
It's a shame they stopped making the Gossamer. Basically the exact same tent but with aluminum poles.

07-25-2015, 08:06
Thanks guys.. two hikers Sprinkles and NoKey RAVED about the solitaire. So I was really leaning towards that. I appreciate all the input

07-25-2015, 08:35
If you are able to buy the Solitaire from Canada it will come with AL poles.

Also the lack of being able to sit up is a downer, it's nice to be able to, especially if you are rain in.

07-25-2015, 09:15
I have a Spitfire 1 and really like it.

Pros - It is reasonably light, easy to set up, packs small, cheap ($75.00 on sale), has aluminum poles, is a true double wall tent (vs. the bivy style of the solitaire) so you can set up the mesh tent body only, has a full fly for rain for winter, can be set with a min. of 4 stakes, does not really weigh all that much more than the solitaire, seems pretty well made

Cons - definitely not for taller hikers, only 1 vestibule/door (functionally a non-concern for me)

Zach ADK
07-25-2015, 09:16
I am just over 7' tall and have had a Spitfire for several years. I can sit up and lie down in it, and for a more conventionally sized person I think it would be quite roomy. It seems to be quite durable. It is a little long which can make finding a spot to set it up a little more challenging, but on the other hand it is quite skinny which can make it easier. I have not had many tents so I can't make a useful comparison but the spitfire has certainly been very good for me.

07-25-2015, 09:33
I would go for the Spitfire. Being able to sit up inside is important to me.

07-25-2015, 10:14
I did 1/2 of my thru using the Solitatire. It is a very good , low cost tent. MY indifference with it was a couple of things. The first was in order to enter the tent you have to sit on the ground and then slide your feet in. To overcome this inconvience I carried a small piece of tyvack that I would put on the ground to sit on. I was unable to get my pacl into the tent. Other than the fact that you can't sit up in it, it served my well for over 1000miles of hiking. It was very dry in heavy rain and I had no failures with any of the parts.

07-25-2015, 10:45
I've read that the spitfire doesn't have a true bath tub floor.. is that true, or are people just setting it up wrong?

Zach ADK
07-25-2015, 12:01
I am not sure if it is a "true" bathtub but it looks pretty bathtubby to me and I have never had it leak, even in heavy rain. The sides come up maybe 4" or so from the bottom before the mesh part begins.

07-26-2015, 12:40
The Spitfire solo has a bathtub floor. Owned one for many years in the past. Great bang for the buck. :)

Last Call
07-26-2015, 16:00
I still have my old Solitaire, it's a nice, weatherproof little shelter for what it is. Both of the poles broke after about the tenth trip with it, and never could find replacements for them. Also, it's not freestanding it must be staked out.

07-28-2015, 11:59
I would go with the spitfire. Friend has a Solitaire and the fiber glass pole on the rear broke fairly quickly. Being able to sit up is also a plus for me, and like stated early the solitaire reminds me more of a bivvy than a tent.

09-02-2015, 00:05
I have a Solitaire and I like it for what it is. I read about problems with the fiberglass pole breaking before I bought it. I don't have pictures, but the pole ends insert into grommets affixed to a tab sticking out either side of the tent. The tabs are long enough that I was able to add another grommet about 1-2 inches further out from the existing one. The poles insert just as well, and with a lot less stress put on them, so hopefully they'll last!

I tend to see the Solitaire as more of a luxury bivvy, and the spitfire is like a minimal tent. I haven't had the chance to play with the spitfire, but being able to sit up is a big plus.

09-02-2015, 00:19
I have an ancient Solitaire that was retired in 2005 or so. I got 15 years of excellent service out of it. I can't speak for the new design though.

09-02-2015, 08:37
Northface Stormbreak 1

Tennessee Viking
09-02-2015, 10:01
I have a Solitare. My only complaint it is a bit small. With no room to really sit up. And it gets a bit stuffy inside with the rain fly.

Its a basic tent reliable tent.

I am looking to upgrade probably to the Spitfire or something similiar, use the Solitare for small trips.

09-07-2015, 15:27
I have a Spitfire UL, which is similar, and I like it ok. I can sit up in it, which is a big plus for me. I have a little trouble getting the rain fly as taught as I'd like in the foot area, but I suspect this is particular to the UL version (or maybe user error).

09-07-2015, 16:11
I went to Eureka's site to check both of these tents out. I have a Eureka Backcountry 1. A bit heavier but free standing. It must be either discontinued or a derivative model as it does not appear on their site.

09-08-2015, 13:30
Spitfire 1.