First Look: 2010 Grand Manan Tour

grand-manan-inside-heightOne of the best family camping tents of the year was the Grand Manan series, from Eureka!® camping tents. These tents have a simple two-pole design that is easy to erect and provides a lot of usable interior space, for a dome style tent, due to the unique shape of the poles. This year, Eureka is adding the Tour to their Grand Manan lineup and they gave CampingBlogger an early look at the new model.

Step inside the Grand Manan Tour and it’s immediately apparent that this is no ordinary dome tent. I’m 6’ 3” tall and I have no problem standing up in it. The sidewalls rise straight up from the floor a full 18-inches before they start sloping over, so all of the floor area is usable space.

grand-manan-no-fly

The Grand Manan Tour has a tremendous amount of ventilation, with large windows along each side, a mesh roof, a large mesh rear door and an even larger mesh vestibule area. It’s a real plus in hot weather to be able to have a vestibule area without having to use the rainfly. Rollup curtains on the windows and separately zippered solid door panels provide plenty of privacy.

grand-manan-rain-fly

The rainfly lets in a fair amount of light and the sides roll-up to allow cross ventilation through the windows. There is also a small vent on the back of the rainfly that mates-up to the mesh roof of the tent (see below). Nobody likes to camp in the rain, but the large vestibule will keep all of your gear dry and there should be enough ventilation to keep the Grand Manan Tour from getting too stuffy. We will be tempting fate on a Fall camping trip to Oregon, so we may put this to the test.

grand-manan-backdoor

The big rear door provides a lot of extra light and ventilation. The Grand Manan Tour is well thought out and provides a lot of great features that make it one of the best family tents I’ve used. The Grand Manan Tour will retail for $349.90.

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67 thoughts on “First Look: 2010 Grand Manan Tour

  1. Thanks for all your valuable hard work on this website. My mum takes pleasure in participating in investigation and it is easy to understand why. I learn all relating to the dynamic method you make simple guidelines by means of the web site and in addition boost participation from other ones about this article then our princess is actually being taught a lot. Have fun with the remaining portion of the year. You have been doing a splendid job.

  2. Nice sharing! This blog is very helpful for travelers; especially for those who love camping. Now days i am also looking for tour tent camp for my family and my family contains 4 members let me know which The Grand Manan Tour tent will be best for our family. I am interested to purchase this before my upcoming Hawaii tours and travel. So let me know about the complete procedure to buy this online.

  3. Hi Roy,
    Hows is your tent holding up? I did not know about people having problems with the poles with this tent. I found your web site after I ordered my tent. Now I’m hopping that we wont have any problems with the poles as it wont give me much time to get them fixed.
    I ordered a GM tour on Tuesday and it should be here the end of next week.
    We join the scouts 2 weeks ago and are going on our 1st camping trip on Oct 21-23. I need a family tent and this one looked like it would be great for our needs.
    After reading this bog, I hope i made the right decision.
    Norm

  4. Hi Roy, how are the fiberglass poles holding up into the third season with your Grand Maran Tour? If you were choosing a new tent to buy for your family, would you buy the GM Tour again or something else & why? I saw your blog post on the REI Basecamp 6. From the photos, I like the extra screened vestibule with the GM Tour over the Basecamp. I have been a fan of Eureka for over 20 years and now am looking to buy something in this size range with a full fly for my family of five, 3 kids 5 & under.

  5. I purchased the Grand Manan Tour last fall and have used it many times since. I hesitated on the purchase due to the issues with fiberglass poles, but I read that Eureka had addressed the issue. Our GM Tour has been through severe thunderstorms, some hot days and plenty of high winds. We have not had any issues with the poles at all. We have also never seen a drop of rain get in. The ventilation is better than any other tent we’ve owned. The vestibule is massive – plenty of room to store gear. We’re extremely happy with this tent. If you use cots – this tent really excels. With the walls rising straight up for the bottom 18 inches you can position three cots in it.

  6. The dealer I bought it from said she will contact the Chinook rep and she suspects I will get a new fly sent to me. (I sent her pictures of the discolouration) We shall see what their customer service is like.

    Mike

  7. Bought the Chinook Tradewind Guide 6 posted above with the aluminum poles. Finally found the time to put it up in the backyard.
    Two people needed to put up, my 6 year old son and I managed to do the tent. Had my wife help me put the fly on since the tent is 6’2″ in the middle. Large, heavy fly due to the built in vestibule.
    I expect to be able to put the whole tent up in 30 minutes or less now that I have done it once.
    The most difficult part is sliding the vestibule pole through the sleeve of the fly.
    Tent itself, the poles slid through the sleeves extremely easy, and had 4 clips at lower poles to make the wall fairly straight.
    We have had 3 straight days of rain, some high gusty winds(is that you Hurricane Earl, tossing your anger this far west?)
    The tent has held up extremely well. Plenty of guy out points, shock corded stake loops for the fly! I am impressed with this quality tent.
    Through 3 days of rain and wind I found the vestibule leaks at the two D style doors. Comes through the stitching holding the zippers on. Nothing serious, be sure to keep your shoes away from those spots. ;-) Not sure how to get around that. Maybe try seam sealer on those seams. They are not taped for whatever reason.
    Unfortunately I have found 1 leak in the tent. Again nothing serious. Three days of rain and it has not saturated a bath towel. It appears that drops of water is making it through the rain fly where they sewed the velcro tabs to connect the fly to the poles. Also the ties that hold the fly back when the weather is good and you want airflow into your tent through the doors of the fly. These get saturated and drop water on the thin tent body. The water drops saturate the thin nylon and eventually soak into the stitching where the bathtub floor meets the wall(a good foot above ground mind you) but these seams are not taped as I wouldn’t expect them to be. So the water reaches this seam just where a little gear pocket is stitched in as well and the water finds its way into the gear bag and then drops on the floor. A towel in the tent for 3 days with constant rain and I cannot wring out the water so it certainly wasn’t bad but I was disappointed to see it. ;-)
    I think a tube of seam sealer on all the seams where they sewed the velcro tabs and fly ties would likely fix this.
    I can say that this appears to be a very good tent for wet, windy weather if ever encountered.
    Plenty big enough for the four of us.
    Looking forward to take it out for real but happy to have put it up in the backyard and submit it to the days of rain and wind.

    One other thing I should mention, the fly has some strange marks on it. The colour is just off in a few spots, not sure what that means. Too much coating? Not enough coating in those spots? The fly is silver and these spots seem to be dark gray. I have emailed the supplier with pictures of the marks in numerous places. It did not appear to cause any issue in how it protected the tent from the rain but when I pay for a new tent I am a bit of a stickler to get it looking perfect. ;-) Maybe I expect too much with the way things are made these days. ;-P

    Enjoy the site!

    Mike

    • That is a great review, Mike! It seems pretty common, nowadays, that the manufacturers do not get the seems sealed on the secondary operations (velcro and even sometimes the zippers). You can fix those up with a good seam sealer – just be sure to allow enough time for it to cure. I am kind of stumped on the color variation on your rain fly – maybe an inconsistent coating of water repellent? You could try a DWR Restoration product, but I am not sure that is the issue.

  8. Think I found my tent. Check this one out. See what you think.

    http://www.greatadventure.ca/00cart/Candypress/Scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=1169

    Anyone familiar with Chinook tents? Appears all their models come with either FB or AL poles. The AL poles are an $80 premium but the tent is still $400 CAN. That is the price I wanted to pay for a large tent. 112sq feet in the tent and the screened vestibule is another 80sq feet! Maybe this is too large a beast!

  9. My mistake, appears its more like 11×8.5 feet to get 93.5sq feet?
    Figured I would correct myself here before someone else did.

  10. I think I have it narrowed down to the two.

    Eureka Grand Manan Tour or the Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6.
    That vestibule on the front of the darn Eureka just keeps talking to me. ;-) The nice 8.5 feet x 8.5 feet square and 6.6 foot peak looks very nice too.
    Another thing I am having issues with is everyone wants $100 more up here in Canada for that one vs what it can be bought in the US. However the Flying Diamond appears to be $500 both sides of the border.

    At least I am not in a rush for one. Going to a cottage next week. ;-)

    Thx for the replies.
    Happy camping!

  11. I’m the same Jeff from a couple of posts, above. I replaced the GM9 with an REI BaseCamp4. We spent 12 days camping/driving between Detroit, MI, Coeur D’Alene, ID, and back. We were in Rapid City, SD when they had their baseball-sized hail. The BaseCamp4 held up remarkably. Still pitched with a tarp underneath. We stayed dry, comfortable, and dry. Aluminum poles, thick stakes that held the tent down in ridiculous wind, and a full-coverage fly.

  12. @Mike Steel – I had a tough time choosing between tents as well. The Eureka had everything I wanted EXCEPT the aluminum poles. I was torn between the GM Tour, The Big Agnes 6 and the REI Hobitat 6. Ultimately I went with the Tour despite the fiberglass poles. So far I haven’t had any problems with them and I’ve taken the tent up and down at least 5 times. I’m always careful with them and carry duct tape just in case. But I am VERY happy with the tour in every aspect. I definitely made the correct choice for our family. Good Luck!

  13. Tent short list.
    Eureka Gran Manan Tour $450 CAN
    North Face Mountain Manor 6 $630
    Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6 Tent $500

    Any experience with with either North Face or the Big Agnes tent?

    I see they both use aluminum poles rather than fibreglass however the Eureka has a very cool screened vestibule.
    Darn decisions.

    One thing I know for sure is I need a good tent. We got rain this past weekend when there was none in the forecast (as I knew our small tent was not waterproof)when I took my kids camping for the very first time. It will be remembered, as it was also my daughters 5th birthday. ;-)
    Rained for 40 minutes or more while we sat in a very small tent that water seeped thru the seems in the floor. To be expected. Towels fixed that.
    Got out, put up the dining tent just in time for more rain. Stayed in there and decided it was not good enough, no flaps = cool and wet. That lasted for another 40+ minutes and then sun for the rest of weekend! So that went back to the store! Now to find a good dining tent with flaps to keep dry.
    Turns out the tent handled a fast, hard down pour with no rain in. There was no time for the water to seep thru the seems. That happened in the middle of the night and I had no idea, I was sleeping but my wife and all the neighbours commented on it.
    I will get the hang of this camping thing again. Your site i sure to help! Now to decide on a tent! The best thing, the whole family loved camping. We were at a very clean tent/trailer park in Niagra Falls. Not a bad place to get our feet ‘wet’ again camping.

    Anyone have

  14. I recently setup my GM Tour and camped for 4 weeks in it. During that time, there were two heavy duty storms (one had winds in excess of 60 mph). Several days we had steady drizzle in the mornings. We did not have a single problem with the fly or with any water getting into the tent. It stayed dry as a bone and the heavy winds didn’t budge the tent. I didn’t notice that the fly touched the tent at all, so I’m not sure if we have different versions of the tent (Jeff mentioned his was the GM9 which is not the same tent that I have) or it had something to do with the method used to set it up.

    Knock wood, I haven’t had any problems with the poles yet. So far, I am COMPLETELY happy with this tent and feel like it was the right decision for our family.

  15. I got a GM9 and spent a week camping in it. I can back up the fly touching the tent issue. We had a little bit of water in our tent (few drops here and there) every morning because of the morning dew.
    Tent held up VERY well in two pretty severe downpours. We did have an 8×10 tarp on the bottom. NO water even though my wonderful girlfriend pitched the tent in a low spot. Tent sat in water all night. Bleh!
    After a week of camping, I found that 4 pole sections had started to split. Unfortunately, as much as I liked this tent, I’ll be sending it back. I’m done with fiberglass.

  16. I got new poles under warranty.
    all seems good so far with them.
    We have yet to camp in the rain so no comment on the fly issue.
    It does seem very well made and is HUGE.

  17. Was just about to purchase this tent until I read about the pole issue and the fly issue in rain. Has anyone managed to remedy the Fly issue? Looks like the pole issue is being taken care of by Eureka.

  18. Just had a horrible camping trip with our new Grand Mann Tour.

    It rained lightly the whole weekend, nothing particularly heavy. The only way to setup such that the fly did not touch the tent was to put no tension at all on the fly peg loops. We even double checked that the poles were not backwards, but the setup was correct. With the fly not tensioned it touches the tent with the weight of a little rain/wind, so that isn’t an option. The poles have a (by design) bent connector between the last pole on either end to give more room and straighter sides. The guy out points on the fly are at the same level as this bend. The net result is that any tension you put on the fly tends to pull the upper section against the tent!

    Fly touching tent in light rain meant that the inside of the tent material was wet and kept dripping.

    Will be trying to send this back under warranty. It certainly fell well short of the Eureka description “Strong enough to handle rain in spring, summer, or fall”.

  19. Thought I would chime in here…
    I have had a few eureka tents and never had a bit of trouble with them.
    So I just bought a grand manan tour, the over quality looks very nice.
    But….
    both the main poles broke in multiple places on the first day. Maybe there was a defective batch of poles?
    I have returned them to eureka under warranty. Ill let you know what happens.

    • Interesting, Brooks – thanks for the heads-up. I agree, particularly if the poles broke in multiple locations, something is definitely wrong with the fiberglass or the curing process.

  20. All,

    I am very sorry to say this will be the last Eureka item I will purchase (it is not the products fault). Eureka received the broken poles on Monday June 3rd and I am still without the new ones (they declared them defective and would replace with new ones…the first time). Waited until they had them for a week and 2 day’s before calling to check status. Talked with many people and always assured of a phone call back but not once received one. Today I was told defective poles were fixed (?) and they will call me back as to when they will get to shipping them.

    I truly hope none of you go through the same experience because the tent is exactly what we were looking for…they just forgot the service!

    • Dawn,

      Last night would have been our first night in it and it would have been the perfect night to try it out…started raining quite hard early this morning. I agree with Roy, I see no reason it would not perform very well. I hope to find out soon and will update.

  21. Roy,

    It broke right at the connection, clean off…thoughts? I’m optimistic about the response given others comments.

    • Richard, I would contact Eureka customer service at 800-572-8822 and describe what happened. It sounds like the tent was new, so I think you have a pretty good claim that there was probably a defect in that particular pole section. Let us know how it goes.

  22. Dawn,
    I am sorry to say they are fiberglass and last night one of them broke on ours. We set the tent up a few day’s ago and had planned an evening in the back yard to test it out. I noticed however a bulge in the roof and was quite disappointed (the other one is nearly broke in the same spot). We were very careful as we assembled but had the issue nonetheless. I am hopeful that Eureka will replace and give me some additional insight. We really do like the tent. Roy, have you had much exposure to their customer service?

    • Richard – sorry to hear about that. We have not had any issues with them and they seem really beefy, compared to other fiberglass poles I’ve seen. I’m curious where the poles are breaking – is it where the sections connect, or is it in the middle of a section? Let us know what kind of response you get from Eureka, too.

  23. Hi Roy! The Eureka GM Tour is on my short list for my next tent. Can you verify whether the tent actually has aluminum poles? On the Eureka site, it indicates that they are fiberglass which is something I was hoping to avoid. Also, what has your experience been with downpours?

    • Hi Dawn – yes, like Richard says, they are fiberglass. The Mountain Hardwear Casa and Big Agnes Big House both have aluminum poles and are in the $370 range (you pay a premium for aluminum poles and the clip-style design). Knock on wood, but I have not gotten caught in the rain with our Grand Manan Tour, yet :) I am confident that there will be no issues, though (same with the other two I mentioned) – the rain fly provides full coverage and has extra guyout points for wind.

  24. Just bought the Tour from Eureka’s outlet store $232.00. It’s a class A which I am told is a “demo” unit that may or may not have been set up for display. Set it up last night in the basement…very pleased with it. Room for our family of four and the screened vestibule is really as nice as advertised. The quality of the material and zippers appear top notch. Have not put up rain fly but from the pictures you have it appears there is a vestibule on the other end of the tent as well…is that correct? I did not receive any assembly instructions and have not been able to find any on line, any thoughts?

    • There is a small area, Richard – here is a shot of the back: http://www.flickr.com/photos/73025701@N00/4466662295/

      I did not receive any assembly instructions either, since mine was a pre-production model that Eureka sent me before the Tour was released. It actually took me two attempts to get everything right, but I’ve got a handle on it now. It does not seem to matter whether you put the silver part of the main poles in front or in back, but I’ve settled on putting them both in the front. As for the rain fly, you just have to make sure it is not inside-out (ask me how I know!) and that the vent is in the back.

      The best thing about the fly is that you can roll-up the sides and open up the front and back, so even in hot weather you can get plenty of ventilation and still protect the tent from UV damage.

  25. Any update on the how the tent held up on your recent trips? I live here in Colorado and we loved our Eureka Dome tent..but it finally gave out – s we are in need of a new tent and this one looks like the ticket…

    Thanks

    • No issues, Scott – it is doing well. I protect the floor with a tarp underneath the tent, but that’s about it. I’ll do a follow-up article soon – we were going to take it out this weekend, but a kid’s sleepover scrapped those plans :)

  26. We are interested in a follow up of your camping trip with the Eureka Manan Tour Tent. Did it perform as well as expected? We are considering this model tent as an upgrade for our smaller, current tent. Now that we are a Girl/Cub Scout family, we are tent camping again and loving it. But we need more room.
    Thank you.

  27. Hello I just ran across your blog when doing a search on the reviews of Grand Manan Tour tent. I am thinking about purchasing a new tent this year for camping with my family. I have been looking at a lot of tents and their reviews trying to make an informed decision on what to buy. I have been looking at 5-6 man tents mostly. There is 3 in my family and we always have 2-3 more that joins us. These are kids not adults. I like the looks of the Grand Manan Tour with the vestibule area to use as staging area for shoes and equipment. This tent also has other features I like such as being able to add the lighting system that Eureka has to offer. This is not a deal breaker though you can do this with just about any tent. I am more concerned with the quality of the tent and longevity than price. 2 other tents that I have considered are the Eureka Headquarters and the Marmot Halo 6P. All these are close in size for the tent area but all have something little different than each other. I am not sure which one is the better because I have read good things and bad about all of them. In your opinion what would you recommend . Thanks Sherrill

    • Thanks Sherrill, I’m glad you ran across CampingBlogger! It’s such a tough call on the tents – the Headquarters is very good and probably easier to setup than the Tour (it’s a clip-style, so you don’t have to thread the poles through sleeves in the material). Of course the Marmot is a top-notch tent, too. I’d add that both the Eureka and Marmot use metal poles instead of fiberglass, which is a real plus – of course you will pay a bit more for those features.

      Good luck!

  28. Jenn – the clip-style frame tents are definitely great for easy setup. I can’t say I’ve seen one that specs out similar to this one, as far as interior space.

  29. This summer I purchased (and took back) a smaller version tent in the Grand Manan line. I liked what I saw of the tent on line and like the idea of the 18″ of straight side at the bottom to have more usable floor space. However, I have found that I am more a fan of the clip style tent then the pole/channel tent. I put the tent up in my living room and realized it wasn’t going to be an easy-up tent. Then I got out the fly and began to unfold it and there were bells and whistles all over it and I didn’t even bother trying to get it on the tent. The fly would have been ok if the tent itself had not been so much work.

    The point I want to make is that it was an excellent, quality tent and would probably serve any camper well. I was heading off for a week camping trip right after I took the Grand Manan back to the store. I took a bigger tent with me that is a clip style dome tent. At the campsite I started to set up my tent and realized I had left the poles at home. I drove back 30 miles to a camping supply store and bought a tent similar to the Grand Manan with the pole/channel setup, which turned out to be a great tent, but a friend is going to buy it from me, because in the end I will steer away from the pole/channel tent.

    But I want to say, from an up close and personal experience, the Grand Manan line is a quality tent.

  30. Russ – I don’t think it’s brand-specific; just focus on the material, the zippers and the support structure. One of the big complaints about “cheap” tents is snapping the poles when trying to bend them into shape. These two-pole tents that have big, gentle, arches going from front to back are a lot easier on the poles than the designs that have tight arches going from side to side.

  31. Eureka tents can sometimes be very expensive. What other brands are recommended that still contain quality but will not break the bank?

  32. VE – so you finally admit to being a closet Harry Potter fan? :)

    Jason – thanks for the kind words, I sure remember those diaper days out in the backcountry! I’ve still got a weather radio on my shopping list – I really need to get that taken care of.

  33. Nice looking tent, count me as a fan of the Eureka products. I camped as a kid and am now getting my family into it. I was lucky to find a Eureka N!ergy 1210 at the LL Bean outlet near my office, cost me $60 when all said in done. Really put it to the test this past Friday. Right around dinner time we got hit with a major thunder storm that included tornado warnings (not common in Maine but one actually touched down about 10 miles from where we were). The forecast for the rest of the night wasn’t much better so we made the decision to pack up and head out, we didn’t want to be caught off guard during the night with a 3 & 5 year old. Despite the major wind and downpours, everything inside the tent was perfectly dry. It’s not the first time the tent has been in the rain, just the most extreme. Despite the bad luck, we were online this morning planning the next trip.

    Thanks for the site, it’s one of my new favorites.

    • Yeh!!!! We were in our N!energy last weekend during a major storm in Maine. We stayed dry until it was justtime to make a run for it and go home. Still, that tent broke down and set up within 10 minutes. Love the clip tents !

      Still want me pop-up though …

  34. Mes – funny how those tent people count poles, they only count the structural poles. The 3rd pole in front isn’t holding the tent up, it’s just providing structure to the vestibule area. We all fit in it just fine, so a family of 5 or 6 would be no problem. I think they will spec it at 6, but that would be crowded for adults.

    Suzanne – thanks! We have some friends that love their pop-up. Hopefully we’ll get together on a camping trip with them, because I’d like to get some pictures and write about it.

    • Been scouring the Massachusetts area for my pop-up and found a beauty down the road in Tolland CT. Wish me luck. I really had my heart set on a particular model located about a 6 hour drive away. Before I made the trip I asked one very important question: Did you have any wet dogs in it? Did anyone smoke in it ? Does it smell like beer? Turns out to have been a crucial question!!! Saved myself a long roadtrip! Stay tuned!

    • Been scouring the Massachusetts area for my pop-up and found a beauty down the road in Tolland CT. Wish me luck. I really had my heart set on a particular model located about a 6 hour drive away. Before I made the trip I asked one very important question: Did you have any wet dogs in it? Did anyone smoke in it ? Does it smell like beer? Turns out to have been a crucial question!!! Saved myself a long roadtrip! Stay tuned!

  35. First off, let me say I’m really enjoying your site. Through my childhood and younger days camping helped me learn useful organizational skills, and more than a few useful life skills. So happy to be back at it … but boy would l like pop-up!

    Our first tents were Eurekas that saw such use they were finally put to rest. When we decided to re-camp, I bought two tents at the local super-athletic store and put them up in the yard: “See Anatomy of a Bad Tent!!!” That was us. I knew we needed another Eureka. We’ve purchased two: An 12′ E! for my husband & I, and a smaller Tetragon for the boys. The quality is, as expected great, I can put them up myself without stress or extra hands. Standing up in the big one makes me so happy!

    Still want that pop-up though …

  36. Wow, looks pretty good.
    I count 3 poles, is it really that easy to put up?
    Love the vestibule!
    How many does it sleep Scrib’?

    • Not happy with this tent. Opened from factory the tent had a cut in it. Upon closer inspection so did the storage bag- both likely the result of a knife cutting it when removed from shipping boxes. Returned it to the place that we bought it and the manufacturer didn’t want to replace it- said they would repair it- a brand new tent that hadn’t been used. We pushed and they eventually replaced it. That said we bought it for the all reasons that have been mentioned. However, we don’t like the poles as they do not hold together very well when sliding them through the fabric tubes on the roof of the tent. After about 12 set up and take downs one of the bungee cords inside the poles that keeps the poles connected broke. The tent also has a tear in it near the ceiling wall interface on one end of the tent. All this with very limited use to date.

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