Sierra Designs Reverse Combi
I write this review after having spent approximately…
Ease of Setup: fast and simple
Weight: 5 pounds 13 oz (trail weight)
Price Paid: $300 (CDN)
I write this review after having spent approximately 80 nights in this tent:
I was very careful when I chose this tent. I considered several other similar tents, including Sierra Designs' Electron and The North Face's Road Runner 22. In the end I chose the Reverse Combi because (a) I was very happy with the other SD tent I own, the Bedouin 4, (b) it seemed more durable than the Electron, (c) it had a huge vestibule for a tent in its class, and (d) it won several 'gear-of-the-year' type awards from magazine testers.
The Reverse Combi is a relatively expensive tent--which is why I expected a lot from it.
There are some good things about this tent. The vestibules are nice and large--each is capable of storing muddy boots, wet clothes, etc. Typical of SD tents, the canopy is white, creating a brighter feel inside. The buckles, poles, material, and pegs are of good quality. Set up is easy. The reverse combi pole bending design makes the tent spacious.
First off, everything I read called this tent a very "livable" two man tent. The SD website refers to it as the "...most comfortable, livable two man tent on the market today." But there are so many simple, easy, cheap things SD could have done to increase the livability!
For one thing, there are next to no pockets in the tent. One pocket to stash each door into, one tiny pocket at the head and foot of the tent--that's it! There is plenty of wallspace for more pockets, but no. The coffee sling and the attic SD threw in with the tent are both garbage. They looked good on the internet, and I tried to like them, but they both just cluttered the tent.
The vestibule was great, in theory--it is spacious. However, in reality, there are several problems with it. You need to stake out the vestibule very tight to prevent it from sagging down onto the door when it gets damp (even then it sometimes sags). However, this much tension makes the vestibule zippers sometimes catch on the fabric zipper covers. This is very annoying--especially when there are bugs out, or it is raining hard.
Also concerning the vestibule: no matter how well I staked out the rainfly, the inside of it was soaked with condensation in the morning. This caused the rainfly walls to sag, no matter how much tension you staked them out with. With the wet, sagging vesibule walls hanging down you have to pull near super-human feats to exit the tent in the morning to avoid getting soaking wet. The inside of the tent stayed dry, but I was usually damp by the time I got out.
Overall a decent tent, but not worth the fat price tag. Also, what were those 'gear-of-the-year' people thinking? Don't listen to the hype.
I wanted a two-person, two door, two pole, two vestibule…
Ease of Setup: Fast and very easy
Weight: 5 lbs
Price Paid: $428 CAD
I wanted a two-person, two door, two pole, two vestibule tent -- this seemed like the one because it is light, compact, and very quick set up. I've used this for kayaking and hiking trips. Great in dry weather -- we made an awning by staking the fly out with hiking poles, which allowed for air flow while preventing dew on everything.
My biggest complaint is the vestibule... the fly is flat over the door making the vestibules very cramped and awkward to get in and out of. When it rains, the fly tends to lay right on the doors -- hard to get in and out without getting rain in tent. I like the window but could use a vent in the fly for air circulation. I like the round door and being able to stash it out of the way is a good idea, but why only on one side of the door?
Some features seem like gimmicks. For example the coffee sling -- useless for cups with handles... a bit dangerous as we found out spilling tea everywhere. The portable attic has unnecessary dangly pockets but otherwise was great for drying clothes. I realize, too late, that I prefer the North Face Road Runner, but didn't get it because I like clips instead of sleeves. Oh well.
Awesome one-person tent, two can be a bit tight depending…
Awesome one-person tent, two can be a bit tight depending on your size. Overall the tent is great. I took it out to Colorado (flat tops wilderness area) for a week and then to Utah (Moab) for a week. Encountered all elements and temperature ranges with it and it stood the test.
Here's what other sites are saying:
Winner of Outside Magazine's prestigious Gear of the Year award in 2005, the Sierra Designs Reverse Combi combines innovative design and numerous features in an affordable 3-season, 2-person tent.