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Sierra Designs Light Year CD

rated 4.5 of 5 stars

The Light Year CD has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best three-season tents for 2024.

photo: Sierra Designs Light Year CD three-season tent

Used the tent on a 7-day Grand Canyon trek. I actually only erected it three times (should have four times due to unanticipated November storm on the Tonto...oh well) as I sleep out unless raining. I already owned a Clip Flashlight CD (3 lbs. 15 oz.), but didn't want to carry such a "heavy" tent along with seven days' rations and usually large amts. of water.

Design is quite long for a solo tent and can comfortably sleep someone well over 6 ft tall. General impression of "roominess" is not much less than the "two-man" Clip Flashlight (maybe a little snugger headroom). Dealt with weather encountered quite well (rain and wind).

Currently (Nov. 2004) on sale via many merchants in low 100 range. Tent provides a lot of room and protection for the weight. Vestibule is small, but large enough for boots and pack (you'll have to maneuver around them for entrance and exit though). Door is on the head end and a trifle small. Minor contortionist effort required for a large individual to get in and out (just crawl in on your knees). Tent is sturdy.

Design: solo double-wall non-freestanding
Sleeps: 1
Ease of Setup: easy
Weight: 2 lbs 15 oz
Price Paid: $150

I got this tent for a month long backpacking trip (Long Trail). My group only lasted for 12 days, and I went home with the last of them, as I will not hike alone. This tent was great. I am 6'1" and I fit just fine. The head space is narrow, but that is where I put my gear. The vestibule is small, but big enough to keep my boots dry, and some gear. Set up is simple. YOU CAN'T BEAT the light weight. I paid more for the lighter design and poles. The only downside if any is that you have to be sure that it is pitched on a flat area, otherwise the fly rides up and does not keep the wind and water off of the inner tent as well. I would highly recommend this item.

Sleeps: 1
Ease of Setup: easy
Weight: 3 pounds
Price Paid: forgot

I like this tent very much, but I believe the design was not correct by Sierra Designs. I have read several reviews that mentioned the poles breaking. I have a lot of experience with many different tents over the years....I believe the poles are both a little long, and the prebent sections are not bent quite enough.

Even when setup properly, I believe there is to much tension on the poles and the clip loops. Unless done just right, it is no wonder poles snap. I have Easton aluminum poles...I believe they are stronger. Just some tips with setup...stake out the front and rear tie out points first, but leave enough slack to lift the front of the tent about a foot off the ground.

Assemble the poles, inserting one end in the grommet, and grabbing the other end (not the middle of the pole section) and carefully insert the other end in the grommet. With the main pole, start with the clips on the bottom first, alternating higher and higher until all are on. Stake out the pole ends if possible.

Happy hiking!

Price Paid: $1.99

Great tent! Well made and sure to last...


  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Quality in craftsmanship


  • Not free-standing

Great tent for the money! Have used it in all kinds of weather and terrain—ranging from local overnighters to 4-5 day stints on the Appalachian Trail.

The Light Year is well-made and has maintained its water-proofing much better than other tents I have owned.  The poles are made of high quality aluminum ensuring durability and also saving weight. The clip feature to secure the poles is nice and allows for easy setup.

My only complaint is that it is not a free-standing tent, but keep in mind that if it were, the poles would have to be bigger and would add to the overall weight.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $170

I am 6'3" and this tent still has a enough room for me. I love the natural colors of the tent and that I can easily fit my footprint in with my tent. Even though I've only used it on one hike it keeps me dry with its smooth, tight design. This tent also has sweet DAC featherlite poles and virtually unbendable stakes, and for how light it weighs, the price can't be beat.

Design: three season
Sleeps: 1
Ease of Setup: average
Weight: 2 lbs 15 oz (not including footprint)
Price Paid: $120

Very similar floorplan to a Kelty Clark, but easier to set up and a bit lighter. I bought the version with the Easton poles because the carbon fiber version was just too expensive. Plenty of room for one person, even a tall one. Vestibule is large enough to hold an upright pack and a pair of boots. Construction is good, and the tent pitches well and when staked out does well in bad weather.

Design: 1 person lightweight
Sleeps: 1
Ease of Setup: Easy to set up using Sierra Designs "Clip" technology
Weight: 2 lbs 15 oz.
Price Paid: $150

I find the tent to be good with weight and with weather. As soon as I got I took it out and I was hit with a rainstorm during the night and it kept me well dry. I've used it a lot, had good times with it. I've heard wolves, dear run by my tent. It's a good tent.

Design: light year
Sleeps: 1
Ease of Setup: fast set up
Weight: 2 Ibs 11 oz
Price Paid: 1.75 $

I just got the tent for Christmas. I'm a Boy Scout and I use it on our backpacking trips. It's a great weight.

Design: two hoop bivy tent
Sleeps: 1
Ease of Setup: i dident need the derections to set it up
Weight: 2lb
Price Paid: $119

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Price Historic Range: $97.95-$149.00
Reviewers Paid: $119.00-$170.00

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