Editors' Choice 2013: Sierra Designs Flash 2 Review | Tent Review - Backpacker

Editors' Choice 2013: Sierra Designs Flash 2 Tent

Score a tent that has it all: low weight and impressive durability, plus ample living space and solid storm protection.
Flash 2 Tent
Price $340.00


Ease of Setup 1 / 5
Weatherproofing 1 / 5
Ventilation 1 / 5
Living Space 1 / 5
Capacity 1
Number of Poles 0
Diameter of Poles (mm) 1


Floor Space (sq ft) 0.5
Length (inches) 0.5
Width (inches) 0.5
Interior Height (inches) 0.5
Vestibule Front Area (sq ft) 0.5
Vestibule Back Area (sq ft) 0.5
Weight 19 lbs, 11 oz

Tent designers have long used single-wall designs to cut weight, but the tradeoff has often been steam-room-style condensation. The Flash 2 solves the problem with a hybrid single/double-wall construction that maximizes ventilation and provides surprisingly livable features for a sub-four-pound tent. Since there’s no separate fly to attach, setup is particularly fast, using one hubbed pole that clips to the outside. “I had to pitch it in a hurry during a thunderstorm in Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness, and the integrated fly kept the interior dry,” says one tester, noting that it proved stable in sustained 30-mph wind. “It’s very airy and well-ventilated for warm nights, too,” reports another. Even dripping-damp conditions in Mt. Rainier National Park failed to create condensation (mesh side doors and covered vents on the ends allow cross breezes).

An 8-inch gap between the fly and ground enhances ventilation as well, and it only allowed some minor mist to penetrate during Superstorm Sandy, when AT-hiking testers were camped near Manchester, Vermont. At 85 inches long, it’s not for the tallest hikers (our 6’6” tester’s head and feet touched the ends), but the 30-square-foot floor is reasonable for two adults, who can sit up without smooching mesh thanks to steep walls and a 39-inch peak height. The two 8-square-foot vestibules offer lavish space for gear storage and cooking. And compared to the expensive, 10-denier materials used by many of the lightest double-wall models, the Flash uses 20- and 40-denier nylon, which increases durability and keeps the price reasonable. $340; 3 lbs. 15 oz.; sierradesigns.com