Modifying a Sirius 3 rain fly

1:01 p.m. on March 3, 2010 (EST)
8 reviewer rep
2 forum posts

Hello to all, I have been lurking around the forum for a while, and first of all thanks to some of you for the great information you have shared. The wealth of knowledge and experience and willingness to spread this information is amazing.

Anyway, to the topic at hand. I bought Sierra Designs Sirius 3 tent for my first "real" tent. It is amazingly light for its floor space, as far as I know anyway (41 sqft. and 4lb 12 oz. + stakes and lines). It also only cost me $120 on Steep and Cheap, which I thought was a pretty amazing deal. It has treated me well so far, but it has one downside: the fly. Rather than explain, here is a picture:

As you can see, when it is raining hard, it is easy (and likely) for water to come into the tent. I saw a modification on a review on and would like some input in how to best put it into practice. I plan on doing this before a spring break trip to the Gila Wilderness in NM. Here is the only picture of the mod that I could find:

So, any advice on how to implement this? Perhaps improvements on this design? For reference, here is what the reviewer said about his fly design:

The way I will (haven't yet) actually carry the Sirius 3, the weight is about 5lb 10oz or about 4oz less than even my 2 man North Face tent! That includes a 3.9oz 0.1 mill "painters plastic" ground cloth (light weight & cheap) and a 2.3oz 5' x 5' 0.1 mill rain fly extension to improve wet weather use. See photo. I folded and taped one 5' edge to make a pocket to slide over the pole and under 3 clips by one door. I poked a small hole thru it for the fly clip. 2 more points near the other corners connect to the rain fly buckle and stake out with trees or trekking poles. When I finish testing the design, I may make one with rain fly fabric.

A couple other questions. When I bought the tent, the footprint came with it for free, but I am getting the impression I could save a substantial amount of carrying weight if I skip the footprint and make/bring my own. Anyone have experience with this? What is the best way to go about it? staking it or maybe just putting it under the tent and leaving it?

Also, I would like to get an attic, but at the going rate of $20 I feel that it's well within reason to make one of those as well. Perhaps someone has done this too?

Thanks for taking a look!


1:51 a.m. on March 4, 2010 (EST)
3 reviewer rep
101 forum posts

Here's a post from Rick-Pittsburgh about making a footprint:

It might be easier to pitch a light weight tarp or single piece of plastic over the entire end of the tent rather than build two vestibule extensions. The tarp/plastic would certainly be more versatile, giving you the ability to use it for some other purpose should the need arise.

Gila seems like a great place to explore. I've driven to the cliff dwellings and would love to go back when I can spend some time roaming the countryside.

3:30 p.m. on March 4, 2010 (EST)
22 reviewer rep
210 forum posts

I think that if I were going to do something like you are talking about I would try it a little differently. Maybe a piece of fly materiel with the pole pocket as described(except sewn) then attach some velcro to the actual fly and the home made flap to semi-seal the center. It would be easier to enter /exit and might help keep the flap off of the tent body itself.

12:25 p.m. on March 5, 2010 (EST)
8 reviewer rep
2 forum posts

Ah, I suppose I should have searched for the footprint, thank you for the link though. I wonder, would a homemade footprint be lighter than the 13 oz. footprint that came with my tent? Depends on material I suppose.

I considered bringing a tarp along and using that, but I think it would probably weigh more than necessary. I figure this modification could be made as light as 5 or 6 oz, while a tarp would probably be a bit more than that. My biggest concern with a separate tarp is pitching it. I'm not sure how I would go about doing that without some extra poles or relying on trees being directly around the tent.

I am very excited for this trip, as I have had almost no experience with the SW, especially in the backcountry.

Gary - I'm not entirely certain about what you mean. Are you saying you would have the fly go all the way to the ground with the new addition velcroed to the fly as if it were a tradition full-fly? I'm having a hard time visualizing your idea.

Thanks to you both!

5:40 p.m. on March 5, 2010 (EST)
22 reviewer rep
210 forum posts

2 more points near the other corners connect to the rain fly buckle and stake out with trees or trekking poles.

Looking at the picture with things done this way looks more open to rain than the original tent configuration.

All that I'm saying is to shorten the flap and make it more like you said, a traditional full fly(from the front anyway) openning down the center via some velcro. I almost bought one of these tents from S&C when they were running them but held out and bought the lightning model when they sold them at about the same price.

May 27, 2018
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