Author Topic: Eskimo Outbreak 250XD preliminary review  (Read 3283 times)

Offline slipperybob

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Eskimo Outbreak 250XD preliminary review
« on: Nov 17, 2020, 03:21 PM »
Eskimo Outbreak 250XD

So I unpacked it and did a quick set up in the backyard.  The set up went smooth and the new pole hub design function very smoothly.  Not once did I thought the hubs would resist or felt like there was a need to be forced into deployment.

Well for the shelter material, I think they've finally got it right and there is no pinhole lights coming from the thermal welding/stitching of the material.  The exterior material does not have the thermal welding/stitching.  It is not like a Fatfish design so the walls are more on the normal straight up even though it is listed as wide bottom and flared some on the bottom.  The full door design is great and I see the benefit of it.  Being just about two feet should be wide enough for the sled to just slide in.  I however have the Jet Sled XL that comes in about 31" width and that's much wider.  the Door will have to be pushed a bit.  There are grommets on the skirt and on reinforce strap material. 

I will say that the pockets for the poles are probably sewn in short as since I have multiple poles on the bottom all bent out of shape.  The two stability poles for the door are also bowing at set up.  Of course I am hoping the material will stretch out in time to accommodate a better fit but still this could also go the wrong way and the the material may shrink some and that's going to be more counterproductive.  The skirt has a coating of sort on the underside.  May work out for the first season but I see potential wear.  Reminds me of my old Eastman Ice Cube shack and after years of use it has worn out with much material crack and pinholes since it was a polyurethane coating.  The bag has the same coating and that will be expected in the future as well.

The reflective material sewn onto the side of the windows looks stylish.  However are just going to be condensation or snow traps on the window.  I still like the idea that they put some gear net liners on the side but once again I still don't understand the big side opening on them.  I expect to not put much of anything in the gear net except for maybe my gloves.

The six ice screws that comes with the package are of lesser quality compared to previous Eskimo ice screws.  They are not as sharp.  There is two tie down straps.  I'm also seeing a lot of zipper teeth misalignment already. I didn't expect that on the straight alignment but it is there every few inches.  Hoping that this will not become a future issue.

Overall the design is well though out and the shelter material looks wonderful.  There is however a need for better quality control as since mass production does sometimes yield such results as I noticed with my shelter.  Now just waiting for conditions to give it a real field test.
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Offline TickleStick

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Re: Eskimo Outbreak 250XD preliminary review
« Reply #1 on: Nov 17, 2020, 03:36 PM »
Excellent, I've been looking at that shelter for a while now.

I did pick up a Quickfish 2 Insulated about a month ago, popped it up and could only see a few pin holes where the vents are sewn in.

Overall mine is perfect, that's going from a Clan thermal to Eskimo thermal.
WINTER IS COMING!

Offline slipperybob

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Re: Eskimo Outbreak 250XD preliminary review
« Reply #2 on: Nov 20, 2020, 07:38 AM »
At this point, I think I better plan on to remove and sew the pockets for the pole after the season.  Still will see how it will performs out in the field.  I'm more entrusting of the roof to hold up better with it's five pole system rather than just four on a standard cubical set up.  Not that I'm looking for a 50mph wind gust to find out with sustaining 20 mph winds or more on the lake to see if shelter will collapse.

The collapsed shelter being just under 60" will fit into the Jet Sled XL much better than the collapsed 949i in length of 67" on my older model cuz that in the duffle bag sticks out just one or two inches beyond the Jet Sled XL.  The Jet Sled XL is listed at 66" length but the front angle of the sled is what is preventing the 949i from positioning all within the sled.

I have also noticed that after I repackage the 250XD it takes up a little more volume in diameter than my 949i.  Definitely gonna have to get another compression strap aside from the almost useless velcro compression strap that comes with the package.  I already struggle with that on the 949i after use and it's gonna be more of a struggle on a little larger diameter shelter.

Possible improvements.  I will say that there should be a cross bar at the bottom of the door and perhaps at the top too.  If I ever decide to get innovative or rather tinker terry wannabe maybe something to do in the future.  I probably should also find a way to sew in some stability alignment straps to secure the hub poles to keep them aligned and straight.  Especially for the two bowing poles on the door.  It should be easy enough as since it's something that even my old Clam 1060 suitcase has those velcrow straps that holds the shelter to the pole frames.  I will follow that same concept and just sewn in some.
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Offline slipperybob

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Re: Eskimo Outbreak 250XD preliminary review
« Reply #3 on: Nov 20, 2020, 07:48 AM »


From Eskimo's own website.  I now know why part of the problem with my poles on the bottom side is bowing out of shape.  If looking at this picture of the hub position and look carefully at the sewing alignment, it's off.  That's how the hub placement on my shelter looks like.  There's not enough to say make the shelter function out of whack, but just for a discerning eye, it will look out of place.
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Offline Guttorstorm

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Re: Eskimo Outbreak 250XD preliminary review
« Reply #4 on: Dec 10, 2020, 02:01 PM »
Great post and review @SlipperyBob. I just purchased the Outbreak 250XD after reading this review - not many reviews yet as it is a newer product. I had it set up in my basement about 20 mins after delivery, am getting excited for ice fishing!

Overall I was super impressed with the shelter. This is my first hub shelter, but have fished out of QuickFish 2 before. I purchased directly from Eskimo, two day free delivery was impressive. I also spoke with Eskimo on the phone and was very impressed with their customer service.

Initial thoughts are really positive. I fish mainly two guys or me and my 4yo son, so the 250XD will have plenty of room and I am glad I went with this size. The fabric is heavy duty and poles seem sturdy. I thought the same thing as Bob posted above about the pockets for the poles along the door.

I don't have much additional to add above and beyond Bob's well written review. I did want to leave readers with a nugget that I found after I ordered the 250XD: Cabelas does make a hub shelter with door. Below is the link - one big improvement seems to be the bag having a zipper rather than draw string at the end. This is a common complaint with the Fastfish also - same issue on Outbreaks. I would have seriously considered the Cabelas version just for the bag. But overall I am happy with the Eskimo and customer service from them.

https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/cabelas-5-sided-pop-up-thermal-ice-shelter

Best of luck to everyone this season - I hope to be out on the ice within a couple weeks.

Offline Fishermen1137

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Re: Eskimo Outbreak 250XD preliminary review
« Reply #5 on: Dec 14, 2020, 12:20 AM »
Thanks for the review. GF ordered me the 450i for Christmas. Hoping no problems with it, really liked the one I checked out at sheels. Sold my otter lodge the other day, good shelter. Tight zippers on door and loose sewn window. Oh well, kept me warm, but the outbreak door is something else.

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Re: Eskimo Outbreak 250XD preliminary review
« Reply #6 on: Dec 15, 2020, 06:30 PM »
Thanks for the review.  I just picked up an Eskimo 450i for my Son for Christmas.  The 450i is the same as the 450xd except it is last years model.  The thing I like about the i vs the xd is the color of the inside.  It is black instead of grey, helping to keep it dark to see down the hole easier.  I can't wait for him to open it up so we can check it out.  I'm sure he will be very surprised.  He is 22 and I'm sure him and his buddies will have plenty of fun fishing together.  I'm pretty sure I'll get some time out on the ice with him, as well!

Offline buckhorn123

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Re: Eskimo Outbreak 250XD preliminary review
« Reply #7 on: Dec 17, 2020, 09:24 AM »
anyone check to see if a standard cot will fit? was thinking of a 949i, but i like the full door on this one.  might upsize to the 450xd if a cot (or 2) wont fit.

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Re: Eskimo Outbreak 250XD preliminary review
« Reply #8 on: Dec 17, 2020, 10:50 AM »
I don't think your going to get a couple of cots in a 250xd.  You might get one it it though.  I know you can get 2 cots in a 450.  The 450 would make a nice rig for camping on the ice for 2 guys!  I'm not sure but I think you should have enough room to keep the cots up all day and still have room to fish.  Especially if you use the cots to store your other gear on, during the day.  That's for 2 guys, anything over that is going to be tight.

Offline buckhorn123

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Re: Eskimo Outbreak 250XD preliminary review
« Reply #9 on: Dec 17, 2020, 06:02 PM »
Thanks for the input. Missed out on a sale on a 949i, and i think the 450xd is a bit bigger? Hard to tell with the measurements given for a 5 sided shelter. Any thoughts on how the 450xd would match up size wise with the otter vortex Lodge?

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Re: Eskimo Outbreak 250XD preliminary review
« Reply #10 on: Dec 17, 2020, 06:17 PM »
The lodge is smaller then the 450.  The lodge is 96x96, 64sqft and 42 lbs.  The 450 is 139x138, 75sqft and 48lbs.  Like I said, if a couple guys want to spend a night out on the lake, the 450 is plenty big!  You could probably sleep 4 guys in the 650xd.  It is 94sqft.

Offline slipperybob

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Re: Eskimo Outbreak 250XD preliminary review
« Reply #11 on: Jan 06, 2021, 07:53 PM »
Day 1 of first field test. 

I will say again that the hub deployment is much easier on the new style hub with ball and socket.  The best deal about the XD is that Stormshield fabric with no condensation forming on the welded stitching.  They've done it right with this insulated material.  My temps ranged today was 20F to 29F and there was a slight breeze.  Shelter stayed completely dry, except for the windows when I turn the heater on and they fogged up.

I totally forgot to take pictures of the horrible poles bowing and contorted.  As I was thinking that the poles were so bent out of shape that if the shelter material didn't stretch out some, the pole would still be bowed and contorted.  Well after turning the heater on and warming up some, the shelter did give some and most of the poles got close to straightening out.  I think a few more uses and the break-in period will get the shelter material to stretch out properly.

As for the big door, that's still small but really great access.  I am beginning to see how easy it would take to kick slush and water onto that zipper to cause it to freeze up in cold temperatures.  Since I didn't even bother to bank any snow, which I almost never bank snow on my hub shelters anyway, I didn't see any excessive air gap from the skirt of the shelter.  Perhaps it because there is enough quality snow on the lake I was at.  The Outbreak XD series are definitely on the recommend to buy from me.  Now it's just more field testing.
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Offline slipperybob

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Re: Eskimo Outbreak 250XD preliminary review
« Reply #12 on: Jan 11, 2021, 06:08 AM »
In the back of my mind, I'm thinking of improvements for this shelter.  Some are just stuff I can do to add onto.  Some are changes that the manufacture would have to totally change the shelter.  Here's a list of possible extra's that will probably offer better conveniences.

The no trip door access. 
- It would benefit to be even bigger, maybe three feet wide. 
- Well there should be a double zipper.  A secondary one to allow a convenience access from the top side.  For sure this allows one to access and arrange the exterior skirt on the door without the need to go outside the other door.  Say if one wanted to ensure a fully sealed door skirt by placing like some material onto it. 
- Now what if the door skirt actually had a weighted skirt, like some sort of heavy rubber/silicone weighted material. 
- What if it had a secondary skirt for on the inside of the the shelter for the convenience of creating a good seal from within.
- An overhead cross frame bar. The current door is small enough that it doesn't have a need for.  It's almost much the same as the side frame poles.  The door would probably work without them in a stable environment.  However when wind kicks up and the whole shelter is moving and shaking under wind.  The added strength of the poles would benefit.

Window covers.
- More velcrow points/positions.  They're designed to be open or closed, however what if one only wants to partially open them.  The simple additional placements of at least another velcrow position at least at the middle of each of the longer sides of the window would be beneficial.  As also that would also create a better fully closed window seal.

Overhead utility loops.  There's an opportunity for a convenience of sewing in a few little loops along the seem of the walls.  That would create some very convenient hook hanger points/positions. 

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Offline slipperybob

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Re: Eskimo Outbreak 250XD preliminary review
« Reply #13 on: Jan 16, 2021, 07:42 AM »
I purposely went out to ice fish in the rainy wet snow and suffered quite a drag of sled dragging in semi slush wet snow.  Since I was using my Fringe Sled Harness and Hillsound Trail Crampons it helped a lot. 

So the Stormsheild fabric did a pretty good job.  The water beaded off the outer shell pretty good.  The window design with that lip around the frame really does collect water and it just drips to the inside of the shelter through the velcrow.  Yeah so happens that there's just equipment right under there that got constant water dripping onto.  At first I thought that the hubs were letting water inside as since that was the connection point to the exterior.  Was not the case as was probably just from the initial set up where it made contact on the slush beforehand.  The moisture was just dripping from that only.  Aside from that the interior did no show any sign of moisture seeping through.

The carry bag however easily soaked up moisture.  That was obvious during my outbound sled drag.  When I went to take the shelter out, I was dealing with a damp bag.  There was some wind too and judging from it, I was expecting like performance similar to the 949i.  Actually the 250XD performed much better.  On the initial deployment it held it's position well and wasn't being carried or felt like parachuting.  Perhaps it's a combination from previous windy set experience and also a slightly smaller shelter to catch less wind compared to the 949i dimensions.  Not once was I feeling any shelter shake, once all four hub anchor points were installed.  And yes, I did buy an extra two straps and anchor kit just for this.

Take down wasn't bad either.  I'm getting more use to it and the rolling up of the shelter was much easier this time.    Currently the shelter is set out to ensure proper water evaporation.
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Offline slipperybob

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Re: Eskimo Outbreak 250XD preliminary review
« Reply #14 on: Feb 24, 2021, 09:23 PM »
Again back to back, day to day fishing from one storm front onto the next.  It wasn't a big storm this time around but still had some moisture accumulation.  Mostly it was wet snow that froze onto the shelter.   I began to see wet damp spots where the seams and sewing threads are at.  This was also one of the first time where the whole shelter would shake during the wind gusts.  The set up during the snowfall went well and the slight windy conditions did not provide any challenges. 
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