Brand: Sierra Designs
Model: High Route 1FL
Our take The High Route bucks the ultralight solo-shelter trend in favor of maximizing living space. A roomy, 18.8-square-foot floor provides ample room to sprawl inside this trekking-pole tent (it’ll fit two people in a pinch). Near-vertical walls up the livability by adding volume around the head and shoulders—where hikers tend to need it most—and a 43-inch peak height means our taller testers (6 feet plus) could sit up straight. The fly protects two 8.6-square-foot vestibules, and the two-door design allowed our tester to exit without climbing over his gear or negotiating his way around a trekking pole that blocks the door (a common nuisance in this type of shelter). Reality check: Even pitched with trekking poles (tent poles are sold separately), the tent isn’t for gram counters.
The details The extra ounces aren’t just about space; the 30-denier nylon floor offers bang-around durability you don’t find in ultralights. Despite its upright stance, the angular shape cuts through wind: The High Route merely fluttered during three days of 35-mph gusts in the western Sierras. The fly-first pitch requires some practice, but it also allows for a floorless fastpack without the tent body (saving 14 ounces). When weather permits, pitch the tent body alone for an easy-up bug shelter.
Trail cred “With solo tents, you usually have to climb over your gear and your cooking area to get out. The High Route requires no such gymnastics,” said a tester after a 17-night tour of California’s Sierra.