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Old 10-01-2022, 03:42 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Default Eskimo FatFish 9416i vs Otter Pro Vortex Monster Lodge vs Eskimo Outbreak 850XD

Whelp, I can't find a new Otter Pro Vortex Resort to confirm Otter buggered up my beloved hex-hub Resort when they added a door. But I did come across a single new Vortex Pro Monster Lodge at Cabela's and a leftover Eskimo Outbreak 850XD at TFH yesterday. So I figured what the heck, bought them, and brought them home to compare with the 9416i I ran a couple of years ago. I set them all up side by side today and poked around them for a bit deciding which one to keep. I figured I'd share it with everyone else, as a person never gets to see these things side by side. Some of the features are specific to these tents and some are just a general comparison of Otter vs. Eskimo. FWIW, I think they are pretty comparable. You just have to pick which one has the features most important to you. Give me a bit and I should have everything posted up.



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Old 10-01-2022, 04:33 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Notes:

1) The Otter Pro Vortex Monster Lodge has an odd shape and is not rectangular like the Eskimos.





2) When I first saw that the Monster Lodge was almost 20 sqft bigger than the 850XD, I thought it must be incorrect. It wasn’t until I set them up that I found it to be correct and understood why. Otter put their door in by simply opening a corner of the Monster Lodge and inserting a big door, making the end with the door much wider than the end without. To put their door in, Eskimo made the adjacent end panel narrower so that the door and the end panel together are the same width as the other end, keeping the hub rectangular. The end of the 850XD with the door looks sorta goofy to be honest. The pictures in order are the 9416i, Monster Lodge, and 850XD.









3) The door in the Monster Lodge is significantly taller and wider than the one in the 850XD. With conventional D-Doors, the inconvenience comes from having to duck to clear the top of the door while simultaneously stepping over the bottom of the door. The door on the 850XD is 5’4”. At 6’0” myself, I still have to duck considerably to get through it. I also have to rotate a bit to get my shoulders through. While it is much easier than climbing in and out of the 9416i, it almost feels like an afterthought. The door on the Monster Lodge feels much more like a door than the 850XD. Another funky trait of the 850XD is that the end panel connected to the door is shorter on the side opposite the door (where it connects to the long wall opposite the door). This makes for a very odd geometric profile that makes it look like something is wrong with the tent (yes, I did check it several times). The pictures in order are the 9416i, Monster Lodge, and 850XD.









4) Tie downs are the straps that run from the ice anchors you screw into the ice up to the eyebolt on the hub. These are what keep the hub walls from collapsing in. Each panel on every hub has an eyebolt and a pouch below it to hold the tie downs, so there are six potential anchor points on each hub. Otter provides a tiedown for each wall…six in total. With both of the Eskimo hubs, only three tie downs are provided. That’s fine to anchor the sides facing into the wind for a day of fishing. The problem comes when you are overnighting and the wind changes direction in the middle of the night (I’ve had the wind do a 720* in one night while on the ice). Now you’re getting woken up at 2 or 3am with your side walls blowing in and a big mess in your shelter. I think it’s poor judgement on Eskimo’s part to only provide three tie downs. Their cost for three more to match Otter is probably $5 tops.

The same principle applies to the ice anchors. The apron on the 9416i provides six anchor points, while the other two models with full doors have seven (one on each side of the door). So that means to fully anchor down these hubs (and you want them full anchored for overnighting) you need 12 or 13 ice anchors. Otter provides those anchors, while Eskimo only provides nine. Fully anchoring the 850XD at the bottom on the apron will only leave you two ice anchors for the walls...

Finally, Otter has their exclusive Ice-Lock anchor system at the skirt and the grommet is separate from the skirt to help keep the skirt "stretched out". Eskimo places their grommets in the middle of the skirt. You have to be more careful banking snow around the Eskimo so that you don't get it under the skirt. You might also have to dig a bit to find the anchor to get it out when you're leaving. The pictures in order are the 9416i, Monster Lodge, and 850XD.









5) Eskimo puts their vents on the end walls, whereas Otter puts them on diagonally opposed side walls. Since you want to face an end wall into the wind as often as possible to avoid catching a crosswind on the longer side walls, that leaves one of Eskimo’s side vents facing directly into the wind. Even with the Velcro inner door closed, I’ve noticed quite a bit of cold air coming through these closed vents when they are facing into a strong wind. It’s not a deal breaker. But these are the things that start to annoy you when you’re out ice camping.

Last edited by AlbertanGP; 10-01-2022 at 04:48 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-01-2022, 04:39 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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6) The Eskimos have two more windows than the Otter, and windows are a nice option to have. The only drawback with the Eskimos is that both of their doors fold open to cover one of those windows. But Eskimo still scores a decisive victory over Otter with the placement of their windows. All of Eskimo’s windows are at eye level when you’re sitting down in the hub, making it easy to keep an eye on tip ups or anything else going on outside. With Otter, tip ups can only be monitored while sitting from two windows at opposite corners of the hub. Sure you can stand up and look out Otter’s windows to check outside…but with Eskimo you don’t have to. Eskimo’s window placement is brilliant while Otter’s seems like an afterthought. Eskimo also has window flap retaining strips that hold the window covers against the side of the tent when open. It's a smart feature, since Otter's are notorious for hanging out in the way due to their placement. The pictures in order are the 9416i, Monster Lodge, and 850XD.















7) Gear nets are a mixed bag as both manufacturers approach them differently. Eskimo gives you four on the side walls. Otter gives you two on the roof. Eskimo’s hold a limited amount since they are loaded from the sides, and they aren’t as good for drying items since they are lower in the tent. Still they are out of the way and stay out of the way. Otter’s start to sag quickly when loaded and take away head room...or outright collapse the roof hub in on itself. Being placed in the roof, Otter’s make a good spot for drying stuff overnight. Unfortunately, that also means whatever is underneath will be getting wet. I’ve woken up in a wet sleeping bag after putting my bibs in the overhead net above my cot in my Otter Resort…not impressive at all. The pictures are the Monster Lodge and the 850XD. The 9416i is the same as the 850XD, but it's harder to see the black nets against the black walls.











8. Otter has twice as many mesh panels as Eskimo and runs them on the side walls compared to Eskimo on the end walls. Otters panels are also pleated, enabling them to hold more than Eskimo’s. Finally, Otter places a rod holder on either side of each panel. These are almost completely useless as rod holders but work great to hold pliers or other small objects. The pictures in order are the 9416i, Monster Lodge, and 850XD.





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  #4  
Old 10-01-2022, 05:08 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Random Thoughts
  • All are listed with 600 Denier fabric, although the 9416i does seem to be a little heavier (lower denier) than the other two. Also, 9416i IQ Fabric doesn’t have quite the "loft" that 850XD StormShield and Monster Lodge ThermalTec have. I suspect the 850XD and Monster Lodge are a touch warmer than the 9416i, but the 9416i may be more durable and the quilting pattern on it makes it the best looking of the three IMO.

  • Through-seaming (pinholes) appears to be very good on all three. I’d give the edge to Eskimo over Otter since the Eskimos appear to have better quality stitching on their seams. The pictures in order are the 9416i, Monster Lodge, and 850XD.







  • Aside from the fact that the Monster Lodge full door is considerably larger than the one on the 850XD, I’d say the design differences are a wash. Eskimo uses two vertical poles which are the same 11mm diameter poles as the other poles in the hub. Otter uses three poles (including a top pole to get a few more inches of height). They are orange in color which is nice. But they are also much smaller in diameter than the Eskimo poles, and may not prove as durable over time.





  • Much has been made of Eskimo using YKK zippers. Otter uses SBS which is #2 in the world and used by The North Face, Adidas, Puma and many others. I don’t see a difference in the zippers on these hubs

  • The hose port is a nice feature on the Otters and easier than trying to fish a hose under the apron after the fact
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  #5  
Old 10-01-2022, 05:22 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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The Perfect Double Hub
  • Looks like an Eskimo 9416i on the outside. The 9416i is the sharpest of the three. The IQ fabric feels more durable than the other two, the reflective pieces are in all the right spots, and the layout on the side walls fits with everything else on this list.
  • Dimensions/footprint of the Otter Vortex Pro Monster Lodge. For a few extra pounds (they're all crazy heavy), the Monster Lodge offers way more space than the Eskimos...especially where you're likely to be set up fishing.
  • Definitely the Otter door over the Eskimo. Not even close.
  • I'd personally go grey on the inside over black. But I know lots of people that prefer black over grey, so that's personal choice.
  • Otter's Ice Lock system, with all the ice anchors and tie downs needed to secure everything.
  • Eskimo's window and gear net placement.
  • Reluctantly, Eskimo's vent placement on the end panels to accommodate the gear nets on the side panels.
  • Otter's mesh panels on the side panels.
  • Otter's hose ports
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  #6  
Old 10-02-2022, 07:28 AM
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58thecat 58thecat is offline
 
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Awesome write up!
Makes it easier for a fella in the market to narrow it down.
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Old 10-02-2022, 08:47 AM
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Great post. I'm sure it will help out lots of people that are in the market for a pop-up, myself included. Thanks!
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Old 10-02-2022, 07:35 PM
RACKER RACKER is offline
 
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great post.If only all gear was compared like this.I like how you gave your opinion on all aspects of every tent.Im in the market for a new tent and i want to compare the Otter pro lodge to the eskimo 650xd.Eskimos are alot more expensive as well.Cant wait to hear how each one performs best for ya.The one you like the least you can give it to me.Lol
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Old 10-03-2022, 08:26 AM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RACKER View Post
great post.If only all gear was compared like this.I like how you gave your opinion on all aspects of every tent.Im in the market for a new tent and i want to compare the Otter pro lodge to the eskimo 650xd.Eskimos are alot more expensive as well.Cant wait to hear how each one performs best for ya.The one you like the least you can give it to me.Lol
I'm only keeping the Monster Lodge. There are things I don't like about it, but it's hard to argue with the size advantage it has over the two Eskimos. And aside from the door, I like the 9416i better than the 850XD. So if the door is your biggest reason for getting an Eskimo Outbreak, you should *really* be looking at the Otter Pro Vortex since the door is so much bigger/better. The 850XD will be returned to TFH, and my 9416i will be going up for sale in the Buy & Sell forum shortly. I have five hub tents alone at the moment...way too many.
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Old 10-07-2022, 12:09 AM
FishingNewb FishingNewb is offline
 
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I just ordered the otter. I am wondering if it can fit 2 outfitter xl cots and still be comfortable fishing in lawn chairs?
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Old 10-09-2022, 09:40 AM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Cabela's has the Monster Lodge on sale right now. Very odd for this time of year. Hopefully this is a sign availability of ice fishing gear will be better this season.
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Old 10-09-2022, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbertanGP View Post
Cabela's has the Monster Lodge on sale right now. Very odd for this time of year. Hopefully this is a sign availability of ice fishing gear will be better this season.
I'll picking one up next weekend. Also going to try the Strikemaster 24V auger this year
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Old 10-11-2022, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sureshot View Post
I'll picking one up next weekend. Also going to try the Strikemaster 24V auger this year
get the 40 volt you will happyer longer
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Old 10-14-2022, 11:32 AM
gdbugs gdbugs is offline
 
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Great comparison. Otter is known to have quality control issues. There longevity is terrible, they just don't last. Pay a little more for Eskimo or Clam and save yourself major headaches and constant repairs.
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Old 10-14-2022, 05:57 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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I don't feel like Otter is known for quality control issues...that's the problem. All the companies have their products manufactured in China now, so it makes sense that they would. I don't really think Clam or Eskimo are any better. Clam's poor build quality was well known 5-10 years ago, but seems to be better now. Eskimo is generally considered to be a step below the other two. But really I feel like they are all similar in quality, and all a bit hit or miss.

Anyways, here's my Otter Vortex Lodge hub I picked up I think the season before last. They missed stitching a strap along the seam for the overhead netting, so it hangs down all the time until I get around to fixing it. Otter's answer was for me the ship it back to them and wait for a new one...hardly worth the hassle. They also stitched the pockets on the outside for the free beacon it comes with so tight that I had to take the rubber grommet off to get it in the pocket. And of course you can see the stitching on the new Vortex Pro Monster Lodge I just bought in the pictures above.

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Old 10-20-2022, 01:10 PM
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Thanks so much for this. My wife wants to start winter camping this year to take advantage of the overnight bite. I'd been leaning towards the Otter because it seems like there'll be more room for the cots and table and such, and your write up basically seals it for me. Thank you!!!
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Old 10-20-2022, 02:29 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Glad you found it helpful. There is definitely more room in the Otter. I'm going to do one on building the ideal (for me at least) one person flip shelter as well soon.
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Old 10-20-2022, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbertanGP View Post
Glad you found it helpful. There is definitely more room in the Otter. I'm going to do one on building the ideal (for me at least) one person flip shelter as well soon.
looking forward to the one man review
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Old 10-23-2022, 11:37 AM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Whelp, I saw the new Otter Vortex Pro Resort hub set up at Cabela's this weekend and can confirm they borked it for overnighting. The six side walls are now decreased in size from 75" to 69.5"...good luck getting any normal sized cot anywhere close to 5'9" walls. Unless your setup involves setting up your cots in the middle of the hub (ewww...), this hub won't work. I guess I'm keeping my Vortex Resort for now. The new Resort with the door also weights 20% more than the old one without (new Vortex Pro Resort...64lbs; old Vortex Resort...53lbs). Boo Otter...

On the bright side, I'm cleaning up the shop getting ready for hardwater and the new Vortex Pro Monster Lodge and old Vortex Resort don't seem to weigh that much different (and the new Resort is 11lbs heavier). Which is to say they are both obscenely heavy. But still, if they pack the same and weigh similar just get the Monster Lodge and be done with it. I think Otter just made the Resort obsolete.

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Old 10-24-2022, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbertanGP View Post
Whelp, I saw the new Otter Vortex Pro Resort hub set up at Cabela's this weekend and can confirm they borked it for overnighting. The six side walls are now decreased in size from 75" to 69.5"...good luck getting any normal sized cot anywhere close to 5'9" walls. Unless your setup involves setting up your cots in the middle of the hub (ewww...), this hub won't work. I guess I'm keeping my Vortex Resort for now.
Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...........
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Old 10-24-2022, 08:27 PM
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So for those that do overnight fishing, is there an opinion on what the best tent for overnighting would be? Should I be looking at the 850XD instead of the bit Otter?? I don't wanna drop 1k and then have it suck for the sole reason we're buying it.......
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Old 10-25-2022, 10:42 AM
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Okay, I think I got to the bottom of this. The unit I'm looking at for overnighting is the Otter Vortex Pro Monster Lodge. At 132sq ft, should be PLENTY big enough (with proper length walls) for the wife and I to overnight in.

I got confused and thought the OP was complaining that the Monster Lodge is the one they changed and made incompatible with overnighting.

I'm back in business... $1k is a pretty penny to pay, but I think it's going to be worth it for the overnight bite on our favourite walleye lakes.
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Old 11-04-2023, 07:40 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Just a quick bump in case anyone is looking for one of the large double hub shelters for this season. Also, I'm going to do a similar Eskimo Outbreak 450XD/Clam X-400 Thermal Ice Team/Otter Vortex Pro Lodge/Otter Vortex Pro Cabin comparison right away if anyone is looking for info on a smaller hub. I'm just waiting on the Clam to show up. Apparently, only two were brought in to all of Western Canada for the season.



I'll start a new thread like on Friday for the smaller hubs. Cheers.
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Old 11-08-2023, 05:12 PM
stubblejumper01 stubblejumper01 is offline
 
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Thanks for the in depth comparison. This is great info for anyone looking for a new tent. So many of the reviews you see are done by people who are sponsored by the manufacturer so you never get such an honest opinion
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Old 11-09-2023, 09:18 AM
-JR- -JR- is offline
 
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You did a great job indeed for the big tents for sleeping in....Thanks
I wonder how many people use them for a fall hunting camp .
Maybe one day they will sell them with a chimney hole .
I look forward to your smaller tents reviews.
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Old 11-09-2023, 10:20 AM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -JR- View Post
Maybe one day they will sell them with a chimney hole .
They already do.

You can also buy the port separately and retrofit it to any other tent.
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Old 12-14-2023, 10:12 AM
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summit151 summit151 is offline
 
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Cabelas has the 850xd on sale. Wondering if it is worth waiting for the monster lodge to
Go on sale?


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Old 12-14-2023, 04:19 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summit151 View Post
Cabelas has the 850xd on sale. Wondering if it is worth waiting for the monster lodge to
Go on sale?


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IMO, if you're getting a double hub, you're primary concern is space. The Monster Lodge is 16% bigger than the 850XD, so...

Otters are typically cheaper than Eskimos nowadays as well. Although $300 off the 850XD is no joke.
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Old 12-14-2023, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbertanGP View Post
IMO, if you're getting a double hub, you're primary concern is space. The Monster Lodge is 16% bigger than the 850XD, so...

Otters are typically cheaper than Eskimos nowadays as well. Although $300 off the 850XD is no joke.

That’s my dilemma… and from my research the Eskimo and otter are the same build
Quality


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Old 12-14-2023, 07:52 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summit151 View Post
That’s my dilemma… and from my research the Eskimo and otter are the same build
Quality


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Their flip shelters are similarly high build quality. Their hubs shelters are a different story. Eskimo is much, much better build quality than Otter in hub shelters.
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