In conclusion, the EXO is exactly what I was looking for: an ultralightweight self-supporting three-season tent that's adequately roomy and quick to set up and tear down. It was really cheap, too. It's not the last word in comfort. For car camping I'll bring my heavy two-man tent with lots of headroom. And I still have "winter tent" on my wish list. But for backpacking, I'm sticking with the EXO.
I put a lot of time into choosing a backpacking tent. I wanted an affordable, light 3 person tent. I have six people in my family so I thought if I could find a three person tent that was light enough that when my younger ones get old enough I could purchase another one and have everyone covered.
I decided on the 3 person Zeus Exo and it has been great. I have used it for solo trips as well as trips with three backpackers. The vestibule has been large enough to cover three packs and other various gear (came in handy on Mnt Massive trip).
It sets up faster than any tent I have ever used. I have had to set it up alone in some pretty high winds (the first time I used it) and it went very smooth.
One compromise you have to be willing to put up with in order to have a light 3 person tent is the absence of a complete double wall. They must have put some thought into this when they designed the tent because they do have double walls on the lower portion on both sides that are created by the pull out hoods. The hoods also act as rain shields for the side vents.
Pros: incredibly light, breathes well
Cons: small vestibule
I have owned this tent for almost 10 years and have used it exclusively on summer backpacking trips on the AT in Maryland and Virginia. I own the 1 person version of this tent. This tent was my first backpacking tent.
The tent is very easy and fast to set up, and because of the single wall design the inside has always stayed dry when I have pitched it in the rain. I am 5'11'' and 200 lbs and I have enough room inside that my bag is not touching the sides or ends of the tent, but there is really only enough extra room for a flashlight and the stuff sacks for the tent and sleeping bag. headroom in the center is adequate for getting dressed, but not so much that waiting out rain days is something i look forward to. the vestibule has enough room for my pack and boots, but if entering/exiting in the rain stuff will get wet. It is very humid in the summer in MD, but I have never felt there were any condensation issues or lack of ventilation with this tent. if you pack the poles elsewhere in your pack, this tent will fit in a 11L stuff sack and compress the whole way.
The bottom line: No I would not buy this tent again, for the negligible difference in weight and price I would buy the 2 person version instead. I would not recommend it to a friend for these same reasons. But for what it is and my experiences with it, I give it 4 stars.