EXIO 8-Person Compact Backcountry Tent is a nicely built 3.5-season lightweight reliable tool for a full protection from elements, with a vestibule and footprint included, and with a great price tag.
Key features & benefits
- Great price.
- Great packed size.
- Top quality tent.
- Full protection for a 3-season use.
- Easy setup.
- Bonus footprint included.
- Fast fly variant.
- Vestibule available.
- Gear loft included.
- Many pockets along the walls.
What kind of tent is this
The EXIO 8 tent is a part of a completely new series of tents this new brand launched recently. These are tents built for a full protection in any weather situation which you can encounter in a 3-season use. So the EXIO 8 is the biggest of the three tents, and it comes with a full coverage fly. On the site of the brand, they also use the name Exio Gear Chamberlin 8-Person Backpacking Tent, just to know that this is the same tent.
This is only partly a freestanding tent, and the reason for the word ‘partly’ here is the extended section which you see in the picture – to have this part properly tensioned it should be staked. The structure is also a double-layer type, so you have an inner tent (shown below) plus the rain fly.
Note also that this is a single-room design, so you do not have any curtain or divider here. But you have 2 doors, the smaller one is visible in the picture above.
Who is it for
Sizewise, the declared capacity of this tent is 8 people. Based on the dimensions which you can see in the floor plan below, my own estimate of the floor area is 11.31 m² (121.7 ft²). These numbers are different from what they give in specifications, so my estimate shows that it is bigger than declared. This gives 1.41 square meters (15.2 ft²) per person. So they used the backpacking principle for the tent capacity, and this is appropriate because the tent is built to be carried on the trail.
Note that there is a vestibule here as well, and its area is 1.87 square meters (20.12 ft²); those are my own numbers based on the floor plan above (they give slightly different numbers, see in the specifications below). So this adds to the livability of the tent and the total protected area per person becomes 1.65 m² (17.8 ft²).
But if you are going to use this tent for a family camping, it is best to downgrade the capacity by half, so this is then good enough for parents with 2 kids.
Weightwise, the tent is 17.15 lb (7.78 kg) for the full package, with the possibility to reduce it, see in the specifications. In the comparison table below you will see that this is a really great number, and I would call it lightweight indeed. The tent’s elements can be carried separately by the users, you will see this in the video below.
Seasons-wise, they describe it as a 3.5 seasons tent and this is fully justified. You have a full coverage fly, and the waterproof rating (see below) is really good. The tent is very aerodynamic, and it comes with 23 stakes to secure it against winds, so I am sure it can take a lot of what Nature can throw at it.
Bear in mind the inner tent which has some mesh sections but not too many of them, so this will preserve the warmth at least partly, and the large full fly also helps in this respect. There are other winter tents with such a double layer structure, so this is a very good design.
Construction & materials
You have 20D ripstop FR nylon inner tent, and the PU and silicone coated rainfly with 2000 mm waterproof rating. The floor is 40D PU coated and with 3000 mm rating; here you have a bathtub style design and SmartSeal waterproofing at all seams. So these numbers are in the rank of many winter tents.
There are 5 poles here, and they are visible in the pictures above. They are in different colors for an easier setup, and their color corresponds to the tabs that you have near grommets on the floor perimeter, and you also have the appropriate colors at the entrances of the sleeves.
From the pictures above you realize that the poles make 5 intersections, and you also have sleeves in the upper sections of the inner tent. Such a design is what makes the structure very strong in the wind; in principle, the more intersections the more stable the tent is. You have such design in many winter tents designed for the harshest conditions. Some extremely durable tents can have more than 20 of such intersections. Also, the sleeves perform better than clips because the wind pressure is better distributed on a wider area.
The inner structure
The doors are on the opposite sides, and they are of the different size and equipped with mesh for ventilation. Among many great features here, you also have the gear loft included, and you can see it in the pictures above. You attach it to the highest section of the main dome.
Yet another very good feature is a series of large pockets on both sides. This is really useful for keeping you organized. They are also visible in the pictures above.
Fast fly variant
This tent comes with the bonus footprint in the package, shown in the picture. So this adds value and protection to the tent’s floor. But this also adds to the versatility of this already great tent.
The footprint is specially designed for this tent, with the appropriately positioned grommets in the corners. So you can use it in the fast fly variant with the rain fly and the poles only. This is a completely freestanding configuration due to the footprint and grommets.
In such a configuration you have again a full protection from the elements because of the full-coverage fly design which goes completely to the ground. So you use the fly as a tarp, with the footprint as the extra protection from the ground. The weight of these elements only is 10.7 lb (4.85 kg).
Because of the fast fly variant, it is justified to give various weights for this tent. So in the specifications, I give them three. In any case, this is a very lightweight design. You have several stuff sacks for the elements of the tent, so the users can divide them and share the weight.
The inner tent is a breathable material, and you also have mesh sections at several places. On the fly itself, you have series of vents, 3 on each side. Observe also that you have two doors, on the opposite sides of the tent, and they are with mesh windows. So the tent has a good cross flow and vertical flow, and the condensation should be minimal in such a design.
But did you know that you exhale around 400 ml of water per day? So for a night take at least 1/3 of this, and now assume 8 people in such a tent and you get over one liter of water which is in the shape of vapor of course. So remember that condensation is natural and it cannot be avoided. But it can be reduced by such a good design which allows for the air to circulate.
This is why it is good to have such an inner tent. The warm air from your lungs does not go directly to the cold outer shell where it would condense instantly. But even when some part is condensed on the shell, the water drops will not fall directly back on the users, they will at least partly be kept by the inner tent layer above you.
They use really quality stakes with this tent, you see one from my own tent here in the picture. They are Y-beam shaped and this type is known to perform great in a variety of the types of the ground. They do not bend easily and also do not rotate easily, so they will remain firm when you force them into the ground.
It is best that you see this video by the manufacturers, this person has chosen a great place for this demonstration:
Good and less good features
Here is my short summary:
- Complete protection.
- Lightweight design.
- Great packed size.
- Ease to use.
- Fast fly pitch.
- Small inner area for the declared capacity.
- No separate rooms.
The price & rating
The price of this tent at the moment of writing this text is $240. Now, think about all its feature and the quality, plus the bonus footprint and the gear loft. I am sure you will agree that this is more than a fair price, affordable in any case. See below how I rate this tent:
- Type: 3.5 season tent.
- Packed weight: 17.15 lb (7.78 kg).
- Minimum trail weight (tent, poles, rain fly): 15.9 lb (7.2 kg).
- Fast fly variant (footprint, poles, rain fly): 10.7 lb (4.85 kg).
- Dimensions: 214 x 115 in (544 x 292 cm) – note this is only the ground area needed for the tent.
- Declared floor area: 111.1 ft² (10.3 m²). My own estimate: 121.7 ft² (11.3 m²).
- Area per person (my own estimate): 15.2 ft² (1.41 m²).
- Declared vestibule area: 20.7 ft² (1.92 m²). My own numbers are: 20.12 ft² (1.87 m²).
- Peak height: 74 in (188 cm).
- Packed size: 22 x 11 in (56 x 28 cm).
- Warranty: 3-year limited repair or replace warranty.
How EXIO 8-Person Tent stands against competitors
By comparing tents built in the similar design and with the same declared capacity, you can best understand their features and make an educated choice. This is why I always give comparison tables with a few of them. So here you have the EXIO 8 and two tents from some other brands. As you realize, the EXIO 8 is better in several parameters.
See also the prices, as of the moment of writing this text, these tents are available on Amazon with the following price tags, respectively, $240, 650, 112. Clearly, the Coleman tent is far more affordable than the other two tents, but this tent is also far below the level of the other two tents.
COMPARE PACKAGE FEATURES
Weight, lb (kg)
Floor size, sq ft (sq m)
Peak height, in (cm)
Packed size, in (cm)
Payable Every Month
22 x 11
(56 x 28)
Payable Every Year
33 x 16.5
(84 x 42)
Payable Every Year
25.6 x 11 x 10.2
(65 x 28 x 26)
It turns out that this tent becomes one of the highest rated tents here in the site, it shares the first place with the 6-person tent from the same Exio brand. But I am not biased here, this all follows from multiple criteria I use for the rating.
In the summary of this EXIO 8-Person Compact Backcountry Tent review, I am again impressed with the quality of the tent from this brand, the same way as I was impressed with their 6-person tent which is also presented here in the site.
This tent has all features needed for a 3.5 seasons use, and there is no doubt it will provide you a full protection. I would not use it for 8 people for sure, otherwise it is hard to find any true objection to this great item. This is a quality tent and I can fully recommend it.
Thank you for reading. If you still need something different, just look around, this whole site is about family camping tents and you will find something for you. Check this Eurohike Buckingham 8 Classic Family Tent which offers 21 square meters of the floor area. But if you need a simple dome type tent, check this Timber Ridge 8 with 2 rooms.
Please use the comment box below if you have any question or comment. Have a nice day.