Sierra Designs Lightning 2 Tent Review


Steve runs, lifts, bikes, hikes, and swims, but never at the same time. He's currently based in central Oregon, where he lives with his wife and dog.

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7 Responses

  1. Jim says:

    Great reviews! Given the choice do you prefer the northface tadpole or the sierra designs lightning tent for backpacking?

  2. Steve says:

    Hi Jim,
    Thanks for your comment. Both are great tents, and either one would be a solid choice for backpacking. They both weigh in around 4 pounds on the trail, have similar dimensions, and feature high-quality materials. I doubt either would let you down. My selection would depend upon what I’m looking for in my backpacking trip. The Sierra Designs tent awning means there are opportunities for taking in the outdoors even when you’re sheltered by the tent. The more traditional vestibule design of the North Face doesn’t allow those same vistas, but the vestibule can add to a sense of privacy. Also, if you’re going to be out for a couple of days and have to set up/take down the tent repeatedly, the speed and ease of assembly are things to consider. Both tents are made for easy set up, but my personal feeling is that Sierra Designs has the edge there. Hope this helps!

  3. Jim says:

    Thanks for the information. I forgot to ask about durability. I realize both are three season tents and have limitations but out of the two which would you prefer to have in rain/wind/light snow?

  4. Steve says:

    No worries. Regarding durability and performance in wind, I think you’ll find both tents very good. However, I would prefer the Sierra Designs in rainy or light-snow conditions for a couple of key reasons. First is the awning design, which keeps precipitation out but still allows the tent to be open. It’s in light precipitation where I think the awning really shines both for views and ventilation. Second is the better water-resistance rating for the Sierra Designs floor fabric. The 3000mm water column height resistance is significantly better than that of the North Face. The higher rating provides some nice peace of mind.

  5. Jim says:

    Thank you very much for all your help

  6. Doug Montgomery says:

    Can you verify what type and length the stakes are. SD’d website says 10 HEX stakes (no length). However, the picture in your review shows what appears to be “cheaper” PEG style.

  7. Steve says:

    Hi Doug. The stakes are 7 inches in length, hex style.

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