All in all, this is a true workhorse of a tent. It's…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $80 CAD (used)


All in all, this is a true workhorse of a tent. It's suitable for all weather conditions, it's spacious, durable, and lightweight. A few personal preferences that they could have done differently, but overall I give it a 9/10...because nobody's perfect. Haha!


  • Lightweight and compact
  • Spacious
  • Full coverage fly
  • Wind resistant
  • Convertible


  • Slightly more "unzippable" ventilation would be nice
  • Smallish vestibule

Setup 9/10: Without instructions, it took a couple tries to figure out the poles the first time. Otherwise, setup was a breeze. The poles attach to the tent exclusively with grommets and clips, so there aren't any annoying sleeves to deal with. The fly attaches to the pole ends with grommets, and all the peg loops are large and easy to use. Guy-lines are entirely optional, but the connection loops for them are also large and easy to attach to.

Stability 10/10: Very taut, Wind-resistant (when fly installed). I always use pegs, but I feel you could do without them if you wanted to, because the tent supports itself well enough. For extreme wind, guy-lines are included, and tie-off loops are large and robust.

Weather Resistance 10/10: As with everything, you have to take care of your gear for it to last. The full-coverage fly ensures that water stays out. If you treat the seams, it will serve you well.

Ventilation 7/10: It's not horrible, but it could be better. Ultimately, I can understand that it is a 3/4 season tent. The solid fabric sides add to the warmth, but on a hot summer night I'd prefer slightly more air movement. Later versions changed to a full-screen door (instead of the small corner of screen at the top of a door). I would prefer that option on mine.

Room & Storage 9/10: Headroom is great, I can sit up comfortably. Length is excellent, I'm 6'1"(185cm) and I have excess room at both ends. Width, I'd call it a 2.5-man tent. I'm a firm believer in downgrading the manufacturer's listed occupancy by 1, as I'm obviously larger than their average body... but compared to other lightweight 3-man tents, the space is quite acceptable (no spooning required... LOL).

Packability 9/10: The light fabric allows it to stuff and compact easily. The poles and pegs are lightweight and small. I'll probably go the extra step and stuff it in a compression sack to make it even smaller if pack space is limited.

Features 9/10: One feature I wish was incorporated into MY version of this tent is the full-screen door, and the awning-style fly, both of which you can see on the newer model. I'm also a fan of larger vestibules, but this one is large enough for shoes and a small pack (good enough).

Construction & Durability 10/10: Especially considering I bought this tent used, and it's probably about 20 years old: All the zippers are smooth and solid, the poles are all perfect, the grommets and loops are in great condition, and the fabric is without blemish.

Disclaimer: I stole these photos from an Asian review site I found using Google:



Welcome to Trailspace, DECKEL! Thanks for the very helpful review of your Lookout. If you're able to share some pictures of your own tent in your review that would be great.

26 days ago

Great first review. Thanks for posting.

26 days ago

Had my Lookout since 1996. Lots of use for backcountry…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new


Had my Lookout since 1996. Lots of use for backcountry paddling and backpacking.


  • Has been very resilient in bad weather
  • Fits a double sized air mattress perfectly


  • Needs a second door (older model)

The Lookout has served me well in the 22 seasons I have owned it. A slightly crooked pole hasn't stopped this tent from performing. I gave it a bath a couple seasons ago and it was DIRTY!! but still holding strong from weather of all kinds.

I have actually used this as a 4-season tent. From deep snow and cold to hot and humid. You don't want to stay in too long in the sun as it heats up quite quickly with the fly on. Take good care of your stuff and it will last! A well made tent, only a small rip on my screen that was easily remedied with some duct tape.

I'm on the "Lookout" for a new tent to accommodate my young son and dog. Highly recommend a Sierra Designs product. 


Welcome to Trailspace, Mel! Thanks for the review of your Lookout. It sounds like it has served you well so far. I'd love to see some pictures of it in your review, if you're willing to add some.

3 months ago

I've had this tent for almost 10 years. It has never…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: Convertible tent
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: EAsy to set up
Weight: About 8 and a half pounds

I've had this tent for almost 10 years. It has never let me down. I been dry in severe thunderstorms and comfortable in sub-zero weather with high winds. In fact, I own 3 Sierra Design tents and they are are great tents.

This tent is well constructed and durable. The Sierra Design footprint is a must. Set up is a breeze and the poles are well made.

Air flow has always been good, regardless of the season. I particularly like the zipper vent in the fly combined with the zip panels in the tent roof. The vestibule is a good size but a bit of a reach to zip down all the way. But nothing is perfect.

At 8+ pounds it's heavy to backpack but I've done it. I expect several more years of happy camping from this tent.


My brother has had one of these tents for about seven…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: 3-4 season freestanding
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: extremly easy once you are used to it the first few times it can be kind of confusing
Weight: around 7-8 pounds
Price Paid: gift

My brother has had one of these tents for about seven years now and has had no major complaints. We have taken it on a ten day trip where it rained every day, we stayed dry. It has also made it up onto a col with 60 mile an hour wind gusts. I won't say it was warm and cosy inside, but all things considered it did great, it stayed dry and stayed rigid. There have been countless other trips where the tent has been pushed to the limit and we always stayed comfortable and dry. My only complaint is that in the summer months it lacks proper ventilation and can get rather hot. Overall I would say that this is a great tent and is well worth it.


I have thoroughly enjoyed using this tent. Granted,…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Sleeps: 3
Ease of Setup: easy
Weight: 8 lbs? - a little heavy

I have thoroughly enjoyed using this tent. Granted, my previous tents, various Eureka models, were lower on the totem pole of cost/durability... so my expectations were set low.

The Lookout has two features that I just love: the overhead window and the two side doors rather than end doors. For sleeping two, each person in tent has their own door (three people in this tent would be tight--but two people and all of their gear is a breeze).

The Lookout is easy to set up, and fully staked out with guylines makes a rugged winter shelter. In the summer I have found the tent to stay well ventilated by leaving the nylon panels at the tent doors and upper vent open, putting on the fly and opening the window in the fly. If it cools off and starts to rain, just wake up and close the fly window and all is good.

Buy the footprint for the tent, because you can then set up just the footprint and fly as a shell, and hang a mosquito net inside for a nice light-weight setup.


I have owned it for 11 years and just now replaced…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: convert 3 season
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: piece of cake.
Weight: that I have seen some where around 7 lbs
Price Paid: $350

I have owned it for 11 years and just now replaced it, not that it was a bad tent. I replaced it due to the fact that it was no longer waterproof, fly or floor, even after a retreatment. Hell after 9 1/2 years who could complain(?). I replaced it with a Ziod 2, bought on sale. I live in the Southeast, but we still get below zero temps in the high country.


This tent is a breeze to setup and carries very light,…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Design: 3/4 Season convertible
Sleeps: 3
Ease of Setup: very easy
Weight: 6 lbs 8 oz
Price Paid: $350 (US)

This tent is a breeze to setup and carries very light, especially for a 4-season tent. Drawback for summer use is ventilation. With the rain fly on, this tent does not breathe well. For winter camping, the major drawback was that condensation from the inside of the rain fly would drip into the tent at the corners of the convertible roof where the zippers stopped. They need to stop the zipper at the top of the roof like on the Marmot citadel. If ventilation with the rain fly on or winter camping are not an issue, then this is a good tent.


Really wind and waterproof even after five years of…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: 3 or 4 season (convertible) modified dome
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: fast and easy
Weight: 6 lbs 8 ounces
Price Paid: $450 (can)

Really wind and waterproof even after five years of use. Lot of space for two people and winter gear. Good ventilation with the removable mesh panel on the roof. But one problem: the crescent shaped mesh window on the door is really too small. So, my brother-in-law sewed a full door mesh window and the tent is now perfect, summer as winter.

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Sierra Designs Lookout


The Lookout has been discontinued.

previously retailed for:

The Sierra Designs Lookout is not available from the stores we monitor. It was last seen sometime before 2006 at Sierra Trading Post.

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