Sierra Designs Sphinx 3



I love my tent. I've had it for 11 years and I've…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: Three-season, freestanding
Sleeps: 3
Ease of Setup: Easy ...
Weight: Don't remember...
Price Paid: $320???

I love my tent. I've had it for 11 years and I've slept in it in at least 12 states, Mexico, and Canada ranging from a few feet above sea level to 15,500 ft while climbing El Pico de Orizaba in Mexico. I've only had problems with leaking once in those 11 years and reapplying seam sealer fixed the problem. I just got off the phone with Sierra Designs about having a few pole sections replaced because of splitting near the ends. If you can still find one of these tents, I highly recommend it.


Like its namesake, the tent is higher at the front,…

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars
Sleeps: 3
Ease of Setup: quick, interlocking clips
Weight: 4 kg
Price Paid: paid $400 Can new

Like its namesake, the tent is higher at the front, and tapers low down at the back. This feature reduces weight and dead air space, and minimizes buffeting in the wind. One door, generous vestibule. Perfect for two tall people with gear. Four poles, but the quick clip system makes setup time short.

After seven years, I've noticed a few design problems, all with the fly. The Sphinx is from the era of nylon flies, so sagging when wet and shrinking when dry is a nuisance. Get a tent with polyester fly. There is poor ventilation after days of rain. You must improvise guy points and haul out the fly to increase venting. Also, Sierra Designs must be skimping on material, because their flies are usually SHORT. The 2001 models still have this flaw. We've had several leaking problems because of this, despite treatments with tent waterproofing and seam sealers. Guying out the fly helps but does not cure this problem.

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