Sierra Designs Meteor Light 3
This has been my "Go-To" tent for almost 20 years.
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $250-ish
This has been my "Go-To" tent for almost 20 years. Reasonably lightweight, roomy, dry, and a great design.
I have used a lot of tents from a variety of manufacturers over the 20 years I have guided for various organizations. This tent is the one I chose for my personal tent. The 3-person size is great for 2 people, though I have used it many times for just myself, or me and my 4 kids. Plenty of room to sit up (not stand).
Setup is easy with 3 identical poles. No need to try to figure out which one goes where in the dark. Two poles slide through sleeves and a third one clips over the top. No extra pole for the rain fly. Pitch is taut with fast clip buckles at the corners.
The vestibule stakes out and on the other three sides the rainfly stakes out to funnel water away from the tent and increase circulation. The corners can also be staked and guyed out for an extremely stable tent. (I've never had to stake out the corners, though I've heard they tested this tent up on Mt. Washington in some of the strongest winds on the planet.)
This tent is stable — having endured strong winds and rain on many occasions I have never had an issue with water or sides collapsing. Bathtub style floor has get out moisture for the 18 years I have used this tent. (I have also almost always used the footprint underneath it) I have never had a problem with moisture forming on the inside, though I have used this tent in the winter many times and I have noticed moisture freezing on the mesh. It is a 3-season tent that does well in the winter, not a 4-season tent.
Large doorway opens on one side. (Only one door) Plenty of mesh for circulation.
Vestibule is plenty big for two packs, boots ,etc. it can also be clipped halfway open for some protection but added ventilation. This is especially helpful when cooking in the vestibule. The rain fly door can also be staked out with trekking poles to create a large covered area over the door.
This tent weighs just under 8 lbs so it is not the lightest tent to pack, but it is still light enough that I have used it for a solo tent on occasion. It all fits into an oversized stuff sack which makes it easy to pack up.
I picked up the gear loft for inside which gives some extra space to organize stuff, dry things out, or hang my glasses at night. The tent also has a pocket inside on each end.
I have used this tent in summer and winter, spring and fall. During rainstorms, in the desert, in snowstorms and damp, humid weather. It has served me well, and still looks almost brand new. I would buy this tent again, thought for solo stuff I would go a bit smaller and lighter, as nowadays one can get into a tent that half the weight.
Overall I have been very impressed with this tent!