Sierra Designs Night Watch CD

Reviews

3

My favorite 4-season tent. At 7 lbs, it's several…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $25

Summary

My favorite 4-season tent. At 7 lbs, it's several pounds lighter than my Trango 2. It keeps me dry and comfortable in sub zero. The tent is comfortable in seasons other than winter because of its clever venting.

Pros

  • Dark interior
  • Fairly lightweight for a 4-season
  • Good size vestibule
  • Vents well

Cons

  • Single door

DSCN1905.jpg

DSCN1906.jpg

DSCN1908.jpg

DSCN1904.jpg

DSCN1909.jpg

DSCN1910.jpg

DSCN1912.jpg

DSCN1907.jpg

DSCN1902.jpg

DSCN1696.jpg

: Easy 3 pole setup. 

Stability: Tent is very taut when guyed out. Camped in -20°F with 20-30 mph winds. I tied the fly to some logs and shrubs and staked it out best I could in frozen ground. No flapping. No problems.
DSCN1911.jpg


Weather Resistance: I've always stayed dry and the tent is 14 years old. Some seam tape on the floor is finally blistering. 

Ventilation: This tent vents very well. This is due to the large fly vent and the fact that the center pole elevates the center of the fly significantly higher than the rest of the tent. 

Room and Storage: Standard 2 pockets.

Packability: Packs down well. (7 x 20") 

Ease of use: All works well. One of the Easton Aluminum pole inserts came loose and was floating in the pole. I tried to crimp the pole to tighten it to the insert (bad idea); the pole cracked. I wrote to SD and let them know what happened. They replaced the pole (no charge). 

Features: Center pole elevates the roof of the fly giving it a great capability to shed snow. 

Construction and Durability: The tent is very durable. Stitching is reinforced where needed. I guess CD means computer designed. Does this mean that there's some sort of computer algorithm that optimizes the ergonomics? It's still going strong after 14 years. 

Conditions: Bought it used 2 years ago and have used it in weather from 70°F to -35°F. It is a very versatile tent. I usually reserve it for cold weather due to weight. 

G00SE MODERATOR

Nice review. Thanks for sharing it!


1 year ago
Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Nice review, Jesse. Thanks for the note about the tent image too. I replaced it with one of yours to ensure it's accurate.


1 year ago
Go Time! (Jesse Maloney)

(I then wonder what the other image is?


1 year ago
Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

It could have been a different model year. Nearly all of our images come from our retailers. But since I couldn't confirm the older one I replaced it with yours to be sure it was correct.


1 year ago
KiwiKlimber

What a great second hand purchase. Nice review.


1 year ago
Euphorbia

Interesting, and well written... I have the Nightwatch 2 cd, and it has significant differences... 2 doors, a window that opens in the roof (hence the Nightwatch name)... I guess I had best get off the schnide and write a review


1 year ago
1

Genius tent for the adventurer — the original Nightwatch…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: don't remember; around $300?

Summary

Genius tent for the adventurer — the original Nightwatch (one door, blue/white).

Pros

  • Durability
  • Compact footprint
  • All-weather, nearly all-conditions

Cons

  • Low ceiling
  • Small vestibule

Loved this tent from around '94 until it was stolen in the post (!!) in 2013.  I am a former national park ranger and have spent A LOT of time in backcountry. This tent served me extremely well in sustained wind storms of 70mph+; snow camping in the Cascades of WA state, hot dusty Black Rock Desert in Nevada (you can keep most of the dust outside), heavy rainstorms in WA State. 

The ONLY thing this tent doesn't do well is allow you to sleep in it on incredibly hot and sunny days, which has never been an issue for me anyhow (isn't that what the hammock is for?). And yes, this is a roomy 1-person tent or a compact 2-person tent where the big packs then need to live under a tree somewhere. That sounds like a drawback, until you need to set up your tent in a REALLY tight location where there is crazy terrain in all directions and you are glad that you found the ONE spot on the hillside that is relatively flat. Big tents with big vestibules are awesome until you find yourself in that situation, which I have many times (big adventures don't always go exactly as planned :). 

Even though there was only one door, it was at one end of the tent rather than the middle. That's usually where we would put our feet so then you would just be climbing over someone's feet (not so difficult). That said, I'm interested to get my hands on a 2-door version just to explore that variation.

The ceiling is not high compared to newer tents. I think that this is a real advantage when you are trying to conserve heat (as with winter camping) or in high winds (lower profile). Otherwise, a slightly higher ceiling would be nice so that one doesn't bonk one's head on the candle lantern while moving about. 

This is a cozy tent for two people who are cozy with each other. I have many many excellent memories in this tent. I guess that I can confidently say that this is an adventurer's tent.

I hope that the outdoor industry gets wise at some point and goes back to the basics. I still patch and use REI raingear that they don't make anymore and an REI exterior frame pack that was once my mother's. Sometimes the old equipment can't be beat.

Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Welcome to Trailspace, Segue! How disappointing to have your favorite tent stolen. What did you replace it with?


2 months ago
Roger Williamson RETAILER

The mesh Roof panel was always a nice touch. In later models it could be opened completely and you could stand up in the tent and poke your head through the roof. Provided great ventilation and stargazing opportunities.


2 months ago
Segue Fischlin III

Alicia, I looked for 2 years for a replacement. I wanted another 2 person 3.5 season tent. So, not the incredible $650 mountaineering North Face masterpiece; something lighterweight and quick to set up but not toooo lightweight; I still wanted a versatile and sturdy tent. After spending at least 40 hours of online research and several visits to REI spanning two years and 8 seasons, discouraged, I started looking at vintage tents. Yes, I ended up with TWO used NightWatch tents, one is a later one-door version of the one I had, and the other one is an even later iteration with the 2 doors. Total for both shipped: $232--well within my budget for a new tent. They were both in nearly new condition even though both are at least 15yrs old. (They are literally en route to me now as I type this.) I'm looking forward to trying them out, alone and with company. For me, hauling an 2-4 extra pounds for a shelter that can handle most of what Nature can throw at it is worth every pound. A quality shelter is essential to both survival and enjoyment. I'm sad that modern tents are so focused on lightweight at the expense of versatility and resilience. 1-3 season tents are a dime-a-dozen; finding one these days that is really going to keep you happy in a diversity of environments (forest, prairie, oceanside, desert, mountains) and weather surprises across four seasons is not easy. My original NightWatch (blue and white with gold poles 1dr) did all that. While i see some flaws in the later NightWatch designs that I purchased, I also see some improvements. I look forwarding to experiencing the tradeoffs and seeing where that takes me….


2 months ago
Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for the info, Segue. (FYI, I moved your comment down to the comments for you). I'm impressed that you still use your mom's exterior frame pack.


2 months ago
1

Great bomber tent. I have three versions of this model,…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $100

Summary

Great bomber tent.

Pros

  • Bomber can take winter and be cool in the summer
  • Go-to tent

Cons

  • Small vestibules size
  • Not made anymore!!


RES14.jpg

Mcp5.jpg

TL32.jpg

TL38.jpg

TL36.jpg

I have three versions of this model, two are the first blue fly half D door no fly vent also called the Lookout First photo Oliver Lee State park Alamogordo, NM (Like Jesse's tent above review but with half D door un-vented blue fly, the one I sold was like Jesse's wish I didn't the twin fly zipper was great use as a canopy) and the last of this model the orange blue with the stand up body and fly vents and silly narrow foot end, but does have two doors and larger two sided vestibules (posted photos at McClure Pass FREE campground off 133 south of Carbondale, CO and the other photos at Twin lakes, CO).

I tend to like the older versions, much less hassle to pitch and has more room at each end. I have had this in windy rain and in hot desert night conditions. It is to me the perfect convertible design I have used. Looks small outside, but inside for one person it's a house.

I had the CD Night Watch and sold it. I wish I didn't as it was best of the two combined with a two zipper fly door you could set up like an awning with trek poles, came in handy in The Tetons for cooking and sun shade.

The older models have two minor to me issues. One, small vestibule The other is the body angle when you get in or out in the rain you can get water in the tent.

the late model has twin vestibules two doors and covers the storage issue you can open the roof and fly completely and stand up in it but it is by no means built for two people with the stupid narrow end.

I have three types of tents for motorcycle camping. One is the Night Watch another is the Quest Starlight for hot weather camping and a Eureka ICS2000 one-man combat tent for smaller night to night location to location hop scotch camping quick easy set up.

Most of the time I am going for the Night Watch for the sprawling room if I am caught in days of rain and it's convertible if things get nasty.

This Design has had many names over it's period of time, Lookout, Night Watch, Night Watch CD and Nightwatch CD 2.0.

The new 2015 Nightwatch doesn't come close to looking like a convertible Nightwatch..

G00SE MODERATOR

I'd love to see a picture of your tent, Ramseybella. Why do you have 2 models?


10 months ago
G00SE MODERATOR

Thanks for the pics. They definitely help with the review!


6 months ago
0

Nice little snuggle tent for two. Very durable and…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $35

Summary

Nice little snuggle tent for two. Very durable and stable

Pros

  • very sturdy
  • great ventilation
  • durable
  • compact
  • light
  • stays warm in winter
  • aluminum poles

Cons

  • a little heavy for a backpack tent
  • its a snuggle tent for two

Ahhh....the "Snuggle tent"! I picked this up a while back and it was few years old with light use. This tent has been great. Its compact and back packs well even though its a little heavier than today's lightweight back packers. It is very durable and stable and I have put it through its paces over the years. It is time for a re-application of waterproofing of the fly as it is a little seepy under rain, but after countless uses and a few or more years under its belt, that is expected. The tent vents fairly well in the summer due to the enclosed type of rain fly but is just right for the other 3 seasons. This is my go to winter camping tent. Its compact internal area helps hold heat while the mesh roof opening can be adjusted to control heat loss and humidity build up. Two closed cell foam sleeping mats fit perfectly side by side and fill the entire floor during the winter. I have camped in single digit weather and the inside has always stayed above freezing. There is a small vestibule area good for your footwear or a small pack. Setup is fast and easy. Space is limited as you would expect in a 2P backpacking tent but has proven adequate for comfortable sleeping. 

0

Best tent ever!!!!! I have had this tent for several…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $300

Summary

Best tent ever!!!!!

Pros

  • Light
  • Strong
  • Fast easy setup
  • Very stable

Cons

  • None

I have had this tent for several years. It is a great lightweight tent. It is very very sturdy. We have camped in this tent at Copper Breaks State Park in Texas when a tornado missed us by only about a mile.

My son and I were the only ones of the group of three tents that had a usable tent in the morning!!!!

I will buy this tent again, "IF" I ever have to replace it!!!!  

Get the footprint groundcloth, you won't regret it.

Ready to leave? Pick it up and shake it out, roll it up and go.

I'm sure the 2.0 version is even better!!

0

Great tent for me. Strong design holds snow well.

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: 4 season Convertible, Dome
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Fast, simle, easy!
Weight: ~5.5 pounds
Price Paid: $300

Great tent for me. Strong design holds snow well. Low down shape sheds wind. Keeps you dry and happy in the worst of conditions. Despite how small it looks there is actually plenty of room for two people. I don't have a problem fiting two packs in the vestibule and extra gear inside, at one end of the tent. Plenty long (I am 6'1"). Light, compact.

Bottom line: A tent of this Caliber can't be beat for the weight. If you are a serious backpacker that encounters nasty weather (to both extremes). This tent is for you. Buy it now!

Problems: None, except that you can't really cook in the vestibule. But I never do anyway, for various reasons (it's not a smart practice).

0

Solid tent at a reasonable weight. Very sturdy in…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: 4 season convertible
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Lots of things to clip and buckle which takes time, but increases strength
Weight: 6 1/2 lbs
Price Paid: $269

Solid tent at a reasonable weight. Very sturdy in a storm, and has plenty of room inside for me, my gear, and my 85 lb German Shepherd. This is my third Sierra Designs tent, and I have always been pleased with them.

0

This is a storm-worthy tent and good price. Unique…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Design: Convertable 3-pole
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Very easy, all clips, free standing
Weight: 5lbs 6oz
Price Paid: $299

This is a storm-worthy tent and good price. Unique 3-pole design has space for 2 comfortably. The vestibule is sort of small though, but still enough for 2 packs. The zip open storm flaps on the door and skylight are very nice. The fly has a vent, but can't be opened from inside. I have been on two 2-week trips in Colorado where it has rained every day. It sort of leaked but not bad. I called Sierra Designs and they say it is a defect and are sending me a new fly! Very light for how quality it is. Easy to set up and very well placed guylines. I definitely recommend.

0

This tent has been a real luxury for me. It has allowed…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: Convertible
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: What set up?
Weight: 5lbs, 6oz
Price Paid: $300

This tent has been a real luxury for me. It has allowed me to sleep through some of the most wicked storms you've ever seen. I think the roof vent is a nice feature, and the double sliders on the vestibule are nice for venting, too.

Sierra Designs Night Watch CD

Discontinued

The Night Watch CD has been discontinued.

reviewers paid:
$25.00 - $300.00

The Sierra Designs Night Watch CD is not available from the stores we monitor.

If you're looking for a new four-season tent, check out the best reviewed current models.