Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Tents

What We’re Testing Now: Snooze Better in the Frontcountry With This Light-Blocking Tent

The Sierra Designs Alpenglow is made to help you get a good night’s sleep.

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All Access
Fall Sale
$1.52 / week*

  • A $500 value with everything in the Print + Digital Plan plus 25+ benefits including:
  • Member-only content from every title in the Outside network like Outside, SKI, Climbing, and more
  • Annual gear guides for backpacking, camping, skiing , climbing, and more
  • Gaia GPS Premium with hundreds of maps and global trail recommendations, a $39.99 value
  • Premium access to Outside TV and 1,000+ hours of exclusive shows
  • Exclusive discounts on gear, travel, and race-entry fees
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+
Backpacker

Print + Digital
Special Price
$0.50 / week*

  • Annual subscription to Backpacker magazine
  • Access to all member-exclusive content and gear reviews on Backpacker.com
  • Ad-free access to Backpacker.com
Join Backpacker

*Outside memberships are billed annually. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Want to stay up to date on the gear Backpacker is currently testing? Outside+ members have access to each review we write, along with everything else we publish.

If you love camping but find yourself waking up with the first rays of the sun, you’ll be happy to know that’s something tent makers are starting to take more seriously.  The biggest trend in this regard: using light-blocking materials. 

The latest example is Sierra Designs’ new-for-2022, four-person Alpenglow tent, which I’ve been spending some time in as part of our summer testing cycle. It’s the first tent in Sierra Designs’ line to use black-out material on the fly, which is made from 70-denier light-blocking polyester/taffeta.

On a car camping trip to Island Lake on Colorado’s Grand Mesa, the Alpenglow stayed reasonably dark, even with the front door open, thanks to the big, awning-like front vestibule. Sitting inside, it feels like you’re under the shade of a porch. With the vestibule tied open, the cool mountain air poured in through the half-mesh tent body and the large, all-mesh front door. The black-out material of the fly blocked the sun’s hot rays, and I fell asleep gazing at the lake from my cave. 

Size-wise, the Alpenglow is a nap-worthy tent if I’ve ever seen one. It has 63 square feet of interior space, a bit larger than average for its class, and a 19.5 square-foot front vestibule (it does only have one door, though). While it’s too heavy to backpack with, weighing almost 13 pounds, this shelter is a spacious, livable car camping option for groups or families. 

Setting up the Alpenglow takes a little longer than average because the vestibule requires a support pole at its door, but it’s worth the few extra minutes to construct what is essentially a full mudroom. Then all you have to do is lay down, relax, and let the z’s start flowing. I’m looking forward to maximizing my shuteye in this shelter for the rest of testing season.