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Gear Review: Sierra Designs Convert 3 Tent

A four-season tent that can truly handle the elements.
FGG 2010 SD Convert 3 445x260Sierra Designs Convert 3 (Courtesy Photo)

[single-wall]
“A smart pick for expeditioners who want an easy-to-pitch, rock-solid shelter with a great space-to-weight ratio,” says one tester who used it in temps that ranged from 18 to 40°F at 14,000 feet on Mt. Kenya. This four-season tent is made with a seam-taped, waterproof/breathable single-wall fabric (SD’s proprietary Drizone), which rebuffed all types of frozen precipitation, from powdery, wind-blown snow to fat, slushy flakes. After a few trial runs, setup is a cinch: The poles feed through partial sleeves on the corners, which lead to the interior chamber, where they Velcro in place.

“I do wish the Velcro tabs were longer so I could fasten them without taking my gloves off,” says our tester. The floor plan is wide and long enough (46.5 square feet total) to easily fit three tall people, and in lieu of a classic vestibule, there are triangular extensions at the head and foot for ample gear storage. Two hooded doors angle off the ends of the tent, but (oddly) the front door lacked a tieback, which impeded our ability to vent the tent. This minimal airflow—there are two vents on the ceiling—contributed to the moderate condensation problem (an issue that plagues most single-wall designs).

Our Kenya tester says, “It wasn’t a deal killer, and it’s pretty typical when you’re camped that close to the equator.” Our Norway tester reported no condensation in the cold, dry northern air. All praised the unique zippered floor opening: It’s a great pee-port on frigid nights. $550; 6 lbs. 8 oz.; sierradesigns.com

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