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Sierra Designs Clip 3

rated 4.5 of 5 stars

The Clip 3 has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best three-season tents for 2021.

photo: Sierra Designs Clip 3 three-season tent


Price Historic Range: $189.93
Reviewers Paid: $110.00-$250.00


9 reviews
5-star:   5
4-star:   4
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

This is a great tent and there are a lot of good reviews for it. I bought it for the price which was to die for ($130 on clearance from REI). I am a big guy (6'2", 250lbs.) and wanted a tent that was long enough that I wouldn't touch the sides and lite enough to Solo with and bring all of my gear inside. It had to serve the double purpose of fitting myself and my wife or myself and 2 of the kids. This tent has worked out exceptionally well.

The only issues I have had with it is when you pitch it very tight the fly doesn't cover the 4 main corners well, especially the foot area. The first time I used it I had issues with the foot of my bag getting wet. The vestibule is big enough to leave the shoes outside and open when getting dressed in the morning. With more than 2 of us we have to keep almost all of the gear outside the tent. I have seen a total (not all at once) of about 20 days of solid rain and in this tent I stayed dry.

After learning to pitch the tent a little looser moisture problems disappeared.

Design: three-season (not freestanding)
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: 5-8 minutes
Price Paid: $130

Overall this is a good tent. Naturally, there is no way you're going to fit three adults with gear in this tent. I took this tent to the Rawah wilderness on a eighteen-mile, three-day hike. It rained the entire time we were out there. The first night there was some very slight leaking around my feet but discovered the next morning (tent was put up at night) that there was a small tree leaning against the back section. So I can't really blame the tent on that one.

Forget about finding a footprint for this tent. I found one and I was very lucky. According to Sierra Designs, they stopped making this tent a while ago so the only place you're going to get a footprint is through a distributor and not the company. It took me about a month and a half to find one.

Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Very easy after the first time

My wife and I get this tent for backpacking in Yosemite, mostly based on its weight. I really couldn't tell the difference of the tent's weight. What is an extra 5 lbs when you're carrying a 55lbs pack? When set up tight and correctly this tent is completely waterproof. I don't know about high wind but I have never had a problem staying dry and comfortable in this tent.

However, I would have to disagree that this a three-person tent. It is a two-person tent with a little room for stuff. Overall this is a great backpacking tent and a good all around general tent.
About setting up the Clip 3, yes it is SUPER easy to set up. I have done it in under four minutes in the dark and I am pretty sure I could do it blindfolded. There is no easy tent to set up that I have seen.

Design: Non-freestanding
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: With pratice this tent can be set up in under 5 min; blind folded and in the dark. Easiest setup I have ever.
Weight: light under 7lbs
Price Paid: ~$200

I used this tent on a spike camp hunting trip. I found the weight for its size great. The rain fly was a godsend! We were spiked camped at 1200 feet, it rained and snowed lightly for three days on and off. The vestibale is a bit small if you're trying to keep all your gear out of the rain.

Sleeps: 2
Price Paid: $125

I used this tent in the Adirondacks. During a 5-day trip to climb three mountains, Santanoni, Couchsacharaga, and Panther, it poured for three straight days. My brother and I spent those days inside this tent. This tent got wet on the corners and a droplet or two sneaked through the unseamed sealed stitches in the fly. Still,we stayed dry. I was pleased. But the real test was still to come.

Later this summer, I took my fiancee hiking along Long Lake and Cold River. Again, steady all-night rain struck. Once again the corners got wet due to inadequate fly coverage, and mud from the pounding rain splattered on the rear tent wall underneath the fly. Despite all this, we stayed bone dry. She was pleased.

Although I have yet to test this tent in high winds, the only negative about this tent I have to report is the fly. The coverage it gives is a hair too short (I think it should cover the back corners completely) and the vestibule is a bit small. Nevertheless, I am happy with my purchase. It kept me dry. I would buy Sierra Designs again.

{I recommend sealing the seams}

Design: 3 season
Sleeps: 2 adults and one child/dog
Ease of Setup: Piece of Cake
Weight: 4 pounds
Price Paid: $200

I bought this tent last summer and have used it extensively since then. It has performed great. It has stood up to several Alaskan windstorms, one of which was pretty major. It did flap all night though -- a fair amount of unsupported fabric. I'm not sure I'd trust it for snow, but for the warmer months, it is the perfect tent for me -- lots of room for the weight, simple and watertight. I can't imagine three people, it would be way too tight. The vestibule is a bit small, but overall I'd buy it again.

Design: 3 season, not free standing
Sleeps: 2-3
Ease of Setup: very easy - just a couple minutes
Weight: ~5 lbs.
Price Paid: ~$200/250

This tent is the least of comfort that you need. It allows my 6'00'' frame to sit up straight. It allows me to sleep fully streched out and will allow my wife and canine plenty of room. I bought last year's model from REI when the clip3 cd was on sale for more than twice and the new model doesn't even have the moonlight window or foot window; this is one tent they should have never changed. The vestibule could be bigger, it should cover the backpacks during rain, but is a little small. All in all the best two-man tent on the market for backpacking.

Design: 3 season backpacking tent
Sleeps: 2+
Ease of Setup: can be set up in the dark with a high wind.... super easy
Weight: 4lbs 8 oz
Price Paid: $110 REI

I bought this tent for my two sons to take on Boy Scout trips. So far it's been great. 12-year-old has taken it on several trips by himself and can carry and pitch it by himself. We've taken it on family camping trips and it's been great. We only put two people in it though. I think three would be a tight fit.

Design: 3 season
Sleeps: 3
Ease of Setup: Easy set up
Weight: about 5 lbs
Price Paid: about $250

This is a three-person version of the SD Clip Flashlight. It is a non-freestanding tent. I have used this tent from the Pacific Northwest to Italy and have loved it. It is exceptionally weather proof, sturdy and easy/quick to set up. The only drawback that I have found is that the vestibule is way too small.

I also use a smaller Walrus tent for one person (and dog) trips, but find it more difficult to set up and I seem to have a lot of problems with the zippers catching on the little flaps that Walrus uses to help seal them. The Walrus has kept me dry in some pretty good rain, but I have to say I really prefer the SD and would recommend it w/o hesitation.

Design: 3 season, not freestanding
Sleeps: 3
Ease of Setup: it doesn't get much easier
Weight: 4lbs 8 oz.
Price Paid: $235 REI

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