Friday, February 22, 2019

Ultralight, Stable, Versatile - Sierra Designs High Side 1 Tent - Review

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Luke is ready to hand down his verdict on the Sierra Designs High Side 1 tent!  This is the full review;

pros, cons, and more!


Link :

Cost : $279.95 retail

Highlights :
Pre-bent pole sections create "high side" over door maximizing livable space while minimizing weight

Low profile design reduces weight, without feeling too cramped.

Compact storage size takes up minimal space in your pack

Secondary vestibule zipper creates "awning panel" that provides covered storage and improved ventilation

Materials :
Number of Poles: 2 poles
Pole Material: DAC Featherlite Aluminum
Fly Fabric: 20D Nylon Ripstop, Silicone/1200mm PeU, FR CPAI84
Floor Fabric: 30D Nylon Ripstop, Silicone/1200mm PeU, FR CPAI84
Body Fabric: 15D Nylon No-See-Um Mesh

Specs :
Minimum Weight: 1lb 15oz / 0.88kg
Packaged Weight:  2lbs 7oz / 1.11kg
Number of Doors: 1
Number of Vestibules: 1
Vestibule Area: 7.7 ft2 / 0.72 m2
Floor Area: 17.2 ft2 / 1.60 m2
Peak Height:  32" / 81cm

Dimensions (L x W): 88 x 34 (head) x 26" (foot) / 224 x 86 (head) x 66cm (foot)

Packed Size (L x W): 13.5" x 5.25" / 34.3 cm x 13.3 cm
Design Type: Semi Non-Freestanding
Number of Guylines: 6
Stake Quantity: 13

Testing :

I received this tent at the end of summer and have been using it since then.
Temp ranges from 60’s to the lower 30’s.
I’ve experienced strong winds, moderate rain for hours at a time and light ice

Pros :

Very good price considering how light this tent is.  Most tents in this weight range will run hundreds more.

Good size for those whom are 6’3” and under.  Taller than that and you will find this tent snug

Excellent 3 season tent

Ultra light weight

Very airy but condensation may be inevitable regardless of the shelter’s design.

Excellent design which features an awning.

Extremely small form factor – can fit horizontally in your pack – only 13” long – great option for bike campers

For such a small tent; 32-inch peak height. It has enough room to lie down or sit in a hunched position, and to keep your gear out of the rain, but nothing more.

You can use the inner on its own with the fly and if you want, you can even use it with a large tarp for a variety of setups.

Easy to pitch and break down; not the easiest but not complicated either.  A tight pitch can be achieve rather easily.

Good weather resistance

Excellent quality; no issues when I received the tent and none have presented themselves with the last 6 months of testing.

Cons :
Small tent without a ton of space.  Think of it as a step up from a bivy; not a full tent in terms of size.
Requires a lot of stakes to setup
Because of the need of stakes to setup properly, this isn’t the tent for all adventures

Summary :

With this tent, you need to ask yourself, what are you seeking?  What is that that you need and want?
Are willing to sacrifice livable space for weight-savings.
Seek a shelter with a small footprint and/or small packed size.
Want a dedicated pole set, because you don’t use or need trekking poles, or because you are willing to carry more weight in exchange for a less fussy pitch.

Camp in humid environments, and therefore benefit from a physical barrier between you and a possibly condensation-soaked fly.

Always use the fly and tent body together, for a full-sided and fully enclosed experience.

Have a limited budget, or don’t care to spend $300-$600 for a shelter that is marginally lighter and/or uses more premium fabrics like 7d nylon or Cuben Fiber.

There are lighter tent stakes on the market; ditch the included ones if you want to drop a few oz.

No tent is perfect as there is always some compromise between weight, price, durability and usability. However, Sierra Designs has done a nice job with this one and is worth putting high on your consideration list if you’re looking for a new three season solo shelter.

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