Sierra Designs Alpha Convertible
Had this tent for about 8 years now, and it is still…
Ease of Setup: 1 handed in the dark - no problem. ez setup
Had this tent for about 8 years now, and it is still my go-to tent no matter what the conditions.
I've used it on the beach, desert, mountains and in the snow in the middle of winter. Performs great and has stood up very well to the many trips its been on.
Would definitely recommend.
I have owned two of these tents for about seven years.
Design: four season convertible freestanding except for the vestibule
Ease of Setup: easy to set up by one person. Especially if you have the footprint.
Weight: seems about 6-8 lbs.
I have owned two of these tents for about seven years. Extremely sturdy in windy conditions, I have only had to put out the additional guy lines once or twice in extremely exposed locations.
The zip-out door is a nice feature, as it gets the door out from under your knees when entering the tent and gets less wear and tear.
A big vestibule, but you can't use it for much more than boots and a pack because of the low overhead. When there is condensation on the fly, it is hard to reach the zipper at the foot of the vestibule without getting your head or back wet from the inside of the vestibule. With the vestibule door open the rain can come straight down into the tent body door.
The rain flap over the zipper rear door is not particularly storm proof. You learn to set up to protect the flap from being in the wind. On one tent I have actually glued the flap down, sealing in the zipper to create a more stormproof fly. I only seam to use the front door anyway, and the only time the back door gets opened is for ventilation.
On the first tent we had issues soon after buying with water coming through the floor, even with a ground cloth. Sierra Designs inspected the tent, and found nothing wrong, but I convinced them to give me a new one. The second tent still has this problem, but to a lesser degree. The water comes through in hard rains where heavy equipment (your pack or you) are resting on the floor. You also need to seam seal the floor/sidewall seam.
Rain coverage and ventilation can be improved if you change the stakeout method. Instead of fastening the fly straps to the underside of the pole grommets, put your tent stake through the fly strap, then through the tent stake strap and into the ground.
The convertible option for the tent is convenient and useful.
Wish it came in a less jarringly visible color, although it is always bright and cheerful inside even on overcast days.
I bought this tent as being the best of the ones available at the time. I'm not sure I would buy it again.