Sierra Designs Nightwatch

Affordable Castle

Brand: Sierra Designs

Model: Nightwatch

Why we like it: A big door and plenty of gear storage space offer great livability for two.

Livability: Our 6-foot-plus testers loved the 43.5-inch peak height and uncommonly wide front door (44.5 inches). “I didn’t have to do yoga to get in and out, and I loved leaving the front door wide open on beautiful days,” says our tester. Once inside, the 30.5-square-foot area offers above-average elbowroom for a two-person shelter. (Tradeoff: It’s a bit heavy for its class.) The front awning has a 15-inch overhang to keep the entrance dry, and two 7-square-foot “gear closets” provide easy access to stuff without requiring you to crawl over your pack.

Setup: The integrated fly makes for an easy setup in weather. “I pitched this tent in the rain without getting the inside wet,” said one tester after a weekend in Colorado’s San Juans. Ding: It takes some effort to get the ends of the front hoop pole into the stake-out loops.

Versatility: The fly deploys in three different configurations: completely pulled down for bad weather, halfway retracted for fresh air, or entirely rolled back (pictured) for stargazing.

Lighting: The Nightwatch comes with Night Glow, a polyester taffeta pouch that hangs from ceiling hooks. Stick any headlamp in the pocket and the fabric diffuses the light softly throughout the tent, perfect for nighttime reading or games.

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