Sierra Designs Flash 4 Review
Whether your camping with 4 adults, 2 adults and 2 large dogs, 2 adults and 2 kids, 3 adults and 1 dog, etc., the design of a 4 person tent can make your camping trip that much more enjoyable. In my early days, 2-person tents were the only way to go as I typically only had to worry about myself and one other person. As the years started to add on, I have had to expand the room in my tent to accommodate 2 large dogs and a wife. In the past, we have also used a 3 person tent when car camping and backpacking as that size seemed perfect. When I was talking to the folks at Sierra Designs and they said they only had a 4 person tent to test in the flash series, I said why not, I’ll give it a try. Little did I know how much a 4 person tent would change my camping life. The Sierra Designs Flash 4 is one of my all time favorite tents ever! The tent is extremely easy to setup, it offers plenty of room for 4 people, and all features have been well thought out.
Setup of the Sierra Designs Flash 4
The setup of the Sierra Designs Flash 4 tent is by far the easiest tent I have ever setup. For starters, Sierra Designs uses DAC poles which are super easy to use and they use an internal bungie system that pulls each piece of the pole together. There are 6 total pole connections used while setting this tent up. There are the 4 corners of the tent the poles go into and there is one pole that connects on each end with the top of the tent. From there, all you need to do is connect the hooks on the tent to the poles and you are all set. Unlike most other tents, the poles on the Sierra Designs Flash 4 are located on the outside of the rain fly on the tent. Up until now, I haven’t seen any downside to this. The rain fly in the Flash 4 is interconnected to the body of the tent, so when setting up the tent, you don’t have to set up the body and then put the fly on over it. This is different than most of the tents on the market, typically a tent comes in two parts, the body and the rain fly. While this is a nice feature for 95% of the people out there, some might like sleeping without the rain fly on.
One of the features that I like most on tents are pockets to store your stuff in. Whether you need to store a headlamp, cell phone, knife, glasses, etc., it’s nice to be able to put them in a pocket and know where to find them in the morning. The Sierra Designs Flash 4 tent has a total of 4 pockets. This tent has 2 vestibules which make it easy to get in and out of for the people and animals in your tent. The vestibules are very easy to get in and out of, which is not a guarantee on all tents. To allow for air ventilation and to let a little light in, there are two flaps on the inside of the tent that can be left open or closed. The flaps aren’t big by any means, but they are big enough to provide ample air flow while being able to keep out the rain in case you get caught in sideways rain.
The structure of the Sierra Designs Flash 4 is solid. The tent is not extremely tall, so when the winds blows, the Flash 4 is completely stable and comfortable. While testing out the tent is some windy conditions, we noticed a neighboring tent was swaying a lot and almost falling apart in the wind. It was a little comical as the owners of the tent were panicking and trying to hold up the tent while we looked at the Flash 4 standing steady as a rock.
Often times when you’re going backpacking, you’re typically not using a 4 person tent, but in the case that you are, it’s good to know your tent packs well. Since the tent body and rain fly are connected, the total bulk of the Flash 4 is less than a separate body and rain fly, but you can’t separate it. This means you can’t have one person carry the rain fly and one person carry the body of the tent, but if you’re camping with a group, you should be able to find a way to divvy the parts up. The tent weight is 6 lbs 6 oz. with a trail weight of 5 lbs 12 oz.
- Capacity: 4
- Season: 3
- Trail Weight: 5 lbs 12 oz / 2.61 kg
- Packed Weight: 6 lbs 6 oz / 2.89 kg
- Interior Area: 55.50 ft2 / 5.16 m2
- Vestibule Area: 8.5 + 8.5 ft2 / .79 + .79 m2
- Peak Height: 46 in. / 117 cm
- Length: 84 in. / 213 cm
- Width: 95 in. / 241 cm
- Packed Length: 22 in. / 56 cm
- Packed Diameter: 6 in. / 15 cm
Final Thoughts on the Sierra Designs Flash 4 Tent
The Sierra Designs Flash 4 tent is a very well designed 4 person tent that will make any 4 person/animal combo happy. And while this tent is a little spendy at $449 compared to the typical family 4 person camping tent, I am a huge fan of Sierra Designs tents because they last forever and are incredibly well designed. For more information, please visit SierraDesigns.com