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Sierra Designs Lightning HT 2

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Sierra Designs Lightning HT 2 three-season tent

Great tent if bought on discount. Very utilitarian design and serves its purpose well. Initially tested in mild conditions during the spring in the San Gabriel Mountains. Also used during a slight rain shower in the Eastern Sierras. Easy setup. Roomy feel for one.

Weight is definitely a concern.. but if you have the money, this tent would probably not be an option as you would be going towards much lighter options.


  • Price
  • Easy setup
  • Double-walled
  • Large vestibules
  • Two doors
  • Near vertical walls and ample headroom for a roomy feel.


  • Weight
  • Thin-feeling bathtub floors
  • Mismatched stuff sack (WAY too big)
  • Incorrectly provided instructions
  • Did I mention weight? =)

Bought this on steep and cheap for about $150. I was debating between this and more expensive options (Tarptent Double Rainbow, Golite Imogene, Montbell Crescent). True, it's much heavier than the other options, but for the money, this tent served its purpose.  

I recently tested it out on the Big Santa Anita Canyon Loop in the San Gabriel mountains (May 16-17). Setup was easy, although I noticed that the instructions provided were for the wrong tent. I experienced some fog/mist/moisture in the morning, and my dog and I were nice and dry inside the tent.

EDIT (7/14/13): Since May, I have also used this tent with a buddy of similar height/build in Mt. San Jacinto, as well as a solo trip to Weaver Lake.  The tent was a little tight, but manageable for two people, but VERY roomy for one plus the occasional dog!

EDIT (7/22/13): On a recent trip to Cottonwood Lakes, we experienced light showers in the Sierras.  We were bone dry inside the tent.

The tent walls are near vertical with ample head room (I'm 6 feet 150 lbs) providing a roomy feel. The floor of the tent does feel quite thin and I am slightly concerned with the durability of the bathtub floor. There are two tent doors and two large vestibules which are definitely a plus. The stuff sack provided for the tent is WAY too big and the tent can be condensed much more with a separate stuff sack.  

EDIT (7/14/13): I have since used a Granite Gear Air Bag 7L which fit the tent and fly quite nicely.

Weight is somewhat of an issue (as aforementioned), as there are definitely more lightweight double-wall/hybrid tents out there. At nearly 4 pounds, for around a hundred bucks more, you can go with the Golite Imogene or Montbell Crescent that would be almost a pound to a pound and a half lighter.

However, for the closeout price (just sign up for a steep and cheap alert), the price cannot be beat for you bargain shoppers out there not just quite willing to spend $250 or more on a tent.

EDIT (7/14/13): Here is a pic of the tent with the fly attached in Weaver Lake in the Jennie Lakes Wilderness:


No Fly Attached with NeoAir Trekker inside:


No Fly Attached with Sierra Designs Ridge Runner 30 and NeoAir Trekker inside:


EDIT 7/22/13: Tent with Fly Attached at Cottonwood Lakes:


EDIT (9/3/13): Sawyer Lake, WI

EDIT (6/7/2014): Crane Flat, Yosemite


EDIT (7/6/2014): Columbine Lake, Mineral King


Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $150 from SAC

Good all-rounder: durable, quality materials, good construction, weatherproof, quite spacious for two for a lightweight backpacking tent.


  • Spacious for a lightweight backpacking tent for two
  • Headroom—feels airy with vertical walls, can stretch out sitting up
  • Durable (by lightweight backpacking standards)
  • Setup is easy once you've done it a couple times
  • Holds up in rain, wind, and snow
  • Quality materials
  • Adjustability for weather
  • Two vestibules and doors


  • Shallow vestibules—very common for UL tents
  • A tad short—the same as most other backpacking two-person tents.

Lightweight (if not quite ultralight by today's standards) tent. Good all-rounder, backpacking oriented, durable, spacious for two. Most comparable to the MSR Hubba Hubba, I consider this tent better because it's a tad lighter, considerably more spacious, better colours, and just different/unique.

Frame design makes it wider at the top in the middle than at the floor, making an airy feeling tent (for a two-person tent). After five years of use (and a couple times of storing it not-quite-properly) the seam-tape is cracking and will need to reapply. Otherwise very reassuringly waterproof (I live in the NW, so...rain).

A bit short I guess—again, tent was designed for light weight and the length is the same as most other backpacking two-person tents, but I do find my feet touching the end sometimes when I wake up (I'm 5'10"). Also, it has a large stuff-sack, which I appreciate when you're tired and just want to cram everything in it. I hate a too-small stuff-sack.


Backpacking, cycle touring, sea kayaking, winter camping, motorcycle camping, car camping.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $350

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Price MSRP: $279.95
Historic Range: $175.73-$299.95
Reviewers Paid: $150.00-$350.00
Trail Weight 3 lb 14 oz / 1.76 kg
Packed Weight 4 lb 4 oz / 1.93 kg
Interior Area 28.50 sq ft / 2.65 sq m
Vestibule Area 6.75 + 6.5 sq ft / .63 + .60 sq m
Peak Height 40 in / 102 cm
Packed Length 18 in
Packed Diameter 5.5 in
Capacity 2
Season 3
Number of Doors 2
Number of Poles 2 Hubbed
Pole Diameter 9.6/9.0 mm
Pole Type DAC NSL
Floor Material 70D Nylon, 3000 mm
Body Material 20D Nylon
Fly Material 40D Nylon, 1500 mm
Product Details from Sierra Designs »

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