User Review: Sierra Designs Light Year 1
Design: three-season small tent
Ease of Setup: annoying since it's not freestanding
Weight: nice and light
Price Paid: $140
I bought this tent because of its light weight and reasonable price. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone though. It's kind of the worst of both worlds as a tent and a bivy.
For a tent it's barely more than a bivy. I'm 6'0" and I don't enjoy changing in it (stripping down outside in the cold and then jumping inside to the sleeping bag is quicker). In the morning, putting clothes on outside in the cold is preferrable to the yoga poses required to do it inside this tiny tent.
For a bivy, it's bulkier/heavier than the tripod/hoop bivies and doesn't offer much more space. I don't know how that 6'4" guy in the other review makes it work. Maybe he's skinnier and more flexible than I am...
It's not a freestanding tent. This makes setting up more of a pain in most places, and near impossible when the ground is hard to stake. It is pretty solid once all the stakes are in though.
It's not all bad (hence 3, not 2 stars). Ventilation is good, and I haven't had any condensation issues when it's below freezing outside. I think it would hold up well in a windy rainstorm, but luckily I can't say first hand. It is lightweight and well constructed.
After the pad and sleeping bag go in, there isn't a lot of space left over, but you can fit a good size pack in there if you're willing to snuggle with it. So it is slightly more roomy than a bivy. This could be better if the tent was symmetrical (like the rainfly). The part that is reserved for the vestibule would have been better used as additional tent in my opinion.
I guess it's just not the tent for me. I'll probably get a real bivy and a real tent to replace it. A tripod bivy for when weight/space matters, and a light 2-person tent for other times. That will cost more than twice as much, but I guess you get what you pay for.