Monday, 7 March 2011

One-Person Sierra Designs Lighting-XT

Another thing that gets asked a lot on the Lonely Planet forums is which one-man tent to get. This is something I am actually not very knowledgeable in, save that I own a very good one. It's the only one I've ever really used so I don't have great context with which to write this review, but I can still recommend the Sierra Designs Lightning XT as a brilliant tent.

Interior: well-placed pockets, loops, and those sorts of trimmings. Nice big doorway for easy exit (or escape). The rainfly lets in a lot of light, so you can read with it on in the evening. Also it creates a nice dry space outside your door to keep boots, and other things you don't want in the tent. It's vital when you're thinking about buying one of these that you get one with enough room to comfortably sleep both you and your enormous backpack. I'm not a big person, but I get along fine if I have my bag down next to my feet. Tall people with large packs will want to test this out before buying.

Exterior: looks quite nice, doncha think? I like the unobtrusive colors so you can be sneaky while camping on private property, or where there's a risk of some crazy wandering through the woods looking for expensive boots to steal (it's happened). The only flaw: its thin and wide dimensions are not good at handling strong winds when the rain cover is on. I learned this the first time I tried camping on a mountaintop in a rainstorm. That said, it isn't so hard to find shelter from the gales. Do make sure to pull the rainfly tight, or rain will pool up and begin to leak through (this is true of any tent).

Set-up: probably the best part about this tent. It's a bizarre design -- the three poles are all connected by little knobs, and swivel around. You've got to bend them every which way and make damn sure you've got it the right way 'round or you'll be starting all over. But once you get the hang of it, the whole tent goes up in 60 seconds or less. Fantastic if you're hit with a sudden shower.

Price: I think mine was around $220. I am bewilderingly cheap when it comes to buying camping equipment; I slowly back away when anybody tells me how much they've paid for a backpack or pair of binoculars. But it's worth dropping a little extra on; this kind of tent will literally last a lifetime, and won't quit on you in the middle of an adventure. Recommended.

16 comments:

  1. For a while I thought about getting one of these, but honestly, for me, I don't think that it is really necessary... thanks for the review though!

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  2. I've never met a tent, i didn't want to have sex in.

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  3. I have the same tent. I like it

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  4. I can honestly not recommend this tent for sex of any kind.

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  5. Sweet tent. I could live in something like that.

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  6. i was planning to bbuy a new one. i think i'll buy it!

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  7. Im not too much of an outdoor person, but must say this looks pretty neat.

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  8. I already have one for 4 people, but this would be a great deal if I'd camp alone.

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