Every camper knows that there are many things to consider when purchasing gear, including—first and foremost—their own needs. After all, if everybody needed the same things, there wouldn’t be nearly so many options to choose from. The right tent to bring out into the Catskill Mountains during early spring may have no real resemblance to one suitable for backpacking in Arizona summers, and that’s even before you factor in the size of your group & the amount of gear you’ll need, how long you intend to stay out, and countless other variables.This may not be the shelter every adventurer needs, but there’s certainly plenty it gets right.
Spacious in all three dimensions— a pleasant change of pace for taller trekkers, to be sure—the Yosemite is marketed for up to five people, which is uncommonly large for a dome-style model. Of course, five is a lot for any abode, even one measuring 10x8x6 (LxWxH) and offering 80 square feet of floor space, and the divider that runs down the middle somewhat suggests two pairs of occupants. That said, four should find it downright roomy, including some area left over for gear.
That divider—a great way to get a bit of privacy, which can be rare and precious on wilderness excursions—is often touted as one a luxury most appreciated by Yosemite owners. More over, Suisse Sport committed to its design even harder by offering a kind of “double-d” modification on the standard d-shaped zipper doors that offers a separate doorway to each half. Even without the divider, this little bit of convenience can make getting in and out without disturbing fellow occupants much easier.
Of course, there are many things to consider when trying to keep 4-5 people cohabitating together happily in a confined space, so it also offers great ventilation through three large mesh windows and its mesh ceiling. The rain fly is designed to extend over the windows without smothering them, meaning that even with its additional protection you’ll still enjoy a good amount of ventilation. That breathability means you won’t have to trade keeping rain out for letting condensation in.For the amount of space and privacy, along with crucial weatherproofing items like a tough, tub-style floor to keep seams off of wet ground, quick-and-easy setup, and helpful features like a power access port to run cable into the shelter.
It’s important to mention before I continue with this section: the bad experiences mentioned are culled from around the internet. The vast majority of reviews are strongly positive, and every product is going to have a few defective models and receive some bad reviews. However, this model does seem to have a larger number of detractors than most, and as such it seems necessary to take their complaints seriously. Remember, however, that these problems were experienced by a small minority relative to many who genuinely enjoyed their product.
Common complaints include
- A limited number of extra features like extra storage
- Sparse, inadequate directions for setup, especially for attaching the rain fly
- Flimsy poles, and a design that can leave the structure susceptible to high winds, overstressing the poles
- Use of sleeves rather than clips to attach the poles
- A rash of general manufacturing errors, leading to problems like leaky seams, tears by the corner of panels where the poles attach, and others
Remember, it’s always a good idea to set up your shelter in your backyard for a “trial run” before you bring it on your trip. After all, a defect could pop up in any shelter, and if so, you’ll want to know before you bring it out on your adventure. Many also encourage doubling down on existing weatherproofing by making after-market additions like seam tape and others.Additionally, and this may bother some campers more than others, Suisse Sport’s web presence is limited, bundled in with owner Exxel Outdoor’s website and offering little in the way of documentation or interactivity for prospective buyers to learn more.
Neither the most rugged nor the most full-featured available, the Suisse Sport Yosemite could still occupy a vital niche for more casual individuals or groups, who anticipate neither extreme weather nor prolonged time outdoors. It’s certainly sold at a price point attractive to those who don’t expect to spend a great deal of time in the wild, but more serious campers may be advised to look into more robust offerings.