User Review: Sierra Designs Sirius 3
Design: 3-Season Freestanding
Ease of Setup: Extremely Easy
Weight: 5lbs, 8 ozs
Price Paid: Appx $130 (with the footprint)
I purchased this tent as 2007 closeout model special (from Sierra Trading Post).
(1) Extremely light-weight
(2) Easy to pitch by yourself, and especially fast pitching it with a partner.
(3) Great ventilation
(4) Double entry doors
(5) The Quick Pitch Swivel pole system seem to make it more sturdy during strong wind gusts.
(5) Plenty of length. I'm 6'1'' and no problems.
(6) Awesome price-to-weight ratio!
(Note: I hate to call them 'cons' because that would make it sound like there's something defective with the design)
(1) Be aware of small vestibule (only 4 sq. ft. on each side) that doesn't over 360-degree coverage
(2) No fly coverage over the doors.
(3) No end door exit for the middle guy (if you plan on using it as a truly 3-man tent)
I imagine there are better 3-man tents out there on the market by some of the 'big guys' (Marmot, Big Agnes, TNF, Dana Design, Mtn Hrdwear, Bibler, etc.)...but none would come with this kind of lightweight design for under $200 list. So it is great value for what you are getting.
My wife and I don't intend to do a lot of heavy back-country camping, and we wanted something that would give us a little extra space in the tent. So far under Bay Area wind and light rain, no water issues at all. And the single wall side of the tent definitely cuts down a little on the packing bulk.
Of course, with those trimmings comes limitations. If you plan on spending a lot of time in rainy weather and need a functional and versatile vestibule, you may find it difficult. The side doors are actually double walled...and not covered fully by the vestibule. So while light rain proved no problem, getting in and out of your tent a lot during a bad rain could prove difficult.
We had no problem staying dry once inside the tent on the double-wall side. But it would be difficult to use your vestibule while positioned in the tent, if the rain starts to come down hard.
So although you're NEVER suppose to fire up your burner under a vestibule, let's face it -- in bad weather, sometimes you have to, if you want to eat! In either Sirius, you don't really have that option....because the door doesn't open right into the vestibule. (Go to the Sierra Designs website, click on the picture, and you'll see what I mean!)
Also, because it's a hybrid (half) fly, there's no option to fast pack with just the fly, poles, and foot print. Fortunately, we have a floorless Black Diamond when we need that option.
I can't comment on how three adults might do in it. Three average girls, no problem. Three larger guys, I'm thinking maybe some problems. (Of course, that could be said about 95% of the 3-man tents out there!)
We got this for spacious 2-man use, and it certainly yields no problem there. If you are looking for a true-three man solution, I pity the guy has to pee at 3am and yet finds himself stuck in the middle...because someone will need to be hurdled in the process of exiting. I wonder if it would be better to have a head or foot door, if you really want something for 3 people.
All in all, it's a great tent for my needs. It provides spacious-yet-light accommodations for this couple, and I never thought it possible to get this good of a tent for this price. I might consider another 3-man, if it were seriously discounted to below $200...but until then, you can't do any better than the Sirius 2.
2 big thumbs up!