Gear Review: Sierra Designs Zeta 4

This top performer is light, roomy, stable—and affordable.

This top performer is light, roomy, stable—and affordable. “During a sleet storm with sustained winds from 25 to 40 mph, the Zeta 4 was a solid refuge,” says a tester who took it to Utah’s Dinosaur National Monument. Setup is fast and easy—even for one person pitching it alone—because the poles are permanently connected to each other via swivel hubs.

The asymmetrical dome has a smaller back door and a larger main entrance, and vestibule dimensions are similarly skewed, with eight square feet in the rear (perfect for stashing boots) and an enormous 21 square feet of porch space up front (which easily accommodates four packs). Thanks to a nearly all-mesh tent body and two fly vents, ventilation is outstanding—interior walls stayed dry despite humid, 35°F conditions. And tough, 68- to 75-denier polyester fabrics stand up to rowdy kids and dogs. The nearly square sleeping space (92” x 95”) fits campers up to 6’3”, and near-vertical walls climb to a 50-inch ceiling offering plenty of headroom.

Bummer: The dark-blue rainfly gives the interior a cavelike feel, and testers wished for more interior storage pockets. There are four small hanging pockets near the floor and two pouches sewn into the mesh walls.

> Floor 58 square feet

> Weight 8 lbs.

> Price $400

> Info