The Meteor Light CD has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best three-season tents for 2020.
Historic Range: $209.97
Reviewers Paid: $170.00-$290.00
Will withstand heavy storms.
Nice size vestibule.
Plenty of room for 2 people.
Seams are not sealed well from the factory. (make sure you put sealer on before using)
Fly tends to expand and contract easily. (tighten at night and loosen in daytime)
Hard to get back in the bag it comes in. (just buy a bigger one)
I have rode out several severe thunderstorms in this tent. Didn't budge in the wind. Didn't leak. Once I forgot my ground cloth. In a very heavy rain I watched the water run under the tent and never got a drop of water inside. The other guys were in their tent holding up their bags and pads to keep them dry.
As you can see by my standars the -'s are minimal. It is worth every penny I paid for it. Would replace it with another one if it ever wore out.
Design: Three season\free standing.
Ease of Setup: Very easy
Weight: About 6 pounds
Price Paid: $225
I bought mine in 2000 and have been using it for ten years. Great tent, but it is NOT AN ULTRALIGHT SOLO BACKPACKING TENT. In my book, it is too big and heavy for extended solo expeditions. It is more appropriate when you are trekking with a partner and the other person can carry the rainfly while you carry the inner tent.
I do not recommend such a heavy and pack-greedy tent if you are going alone. Given that this is a two-person tent, it is unlikely that an ultralight solo fast-packer would be interested in it, anyway. But again, it is great for two people who can divvy the load. And it is fabulous for car camping!
Never had a problem with moisture or ventilation and I never did any extra seam-sealing. And yes, I have been in some torrential rain with it. Excellent headroom and loads of space for two adults and a kid or dog. If you have both a kid and a dog, the vestibule is big enough for the dog and two backpacks. The option to set this up with just the rainfly and the (optional) groundsheet is excellent during warm, dry weather. Set up is very, very easy.
Forget what Guy Harris wrote about the wind blowing his tent over. Anybody with a lick of sense knows that you need to stake your tent down. Any tent would have blown over in a gust of decent wind and wound up with broken poles, even a so-called "free-standing" tent.
I also experience what Warren wrote about the storm flap over the zipper getting caught all the time. It is a small annoyance, though, and not enough for me to complain about. As far as the stretch involved in reaching the vestibule zipper, well I suppose that is the trade-off for a spacious vestibule, so again, no complaints.
I am 5'8", use a 4300cu inch/70-liter Gregory Reality (medium) pack, and like to go on remote multi-day trips in moderately challenging terrain, especially in Western North Carolina and northern Sweden (above the Arctic Circle).
Design: three-season freestanding dome
Ease of Setup: Extremely easy - 3 minutes including rainfly and stakes. Add 3 more minutes for guying it out with rope.
Weight: not sure
Price Paid: $200
I got the 08 model on sale. It is a roomy, well designed tent. It really is two person tent- size wise. At 7 pounds 6 ounces it is also heavy.
Sturdy, well built, dry as bone in all kinds of rain. Handles condensation very well. Snow can pile on the little flat areas on top so you gotta shake it now and again. The awning of the big vestibule is like a built in tarp that works wonderfully for packing, cooking, or just staying dry and out of the tent. Great place for a dog also.
I got into some brutal winds at Ivestor Gap one night and the tent got layed out almost flat - it popped back up time and again, survived the night, and still works as good as ever.
I was unsure of the color at first, but it really is a good color on dreary days and the light that comes through the blue fabric is not blue - it's just light. The window functions very well.
Front and rear vestibules are great. Front vestibule is huge. Easy to ventilate. Can leave the big vestibule in 1/2 open position in all but the roughest weather. It's easy to pitch. Freestanding. Guys out tight as a drum.
I love this tent so much I bought another before they were all gone.
Design: Three season
Ease of Setup: Extremely easy for one person
Weight: 7 pound 6 ounces
Price Paid: $170 onsale
I am constantly cursed with rain when I hike, but this tent has kept me bone dry. It's a great tent for dry nights as the mesh roof allows great views and allows for great ventilation. I know it's a 3 season tent, but I've used it in the AT when there was a lot of snow and the temps got well below 20 and everything was just fine.
Setup is a snap, but for the life of me, I can't seem to get the tent floor to pitch flat. The floor just won't stake down flat because the fabric is stretched so tightly by the poles. But that's a minor point since there's so much space anyway. Huge vestibule can store just about everything. Two giant doors are great for not bothering your tent matee during a late night bathroom trip. A little on the heavy side, but for the space and ease of use, I'm not complaining.
Construction seems outstanding and there have been no issues about wear and tear. Overall, I highly recommend this tent if you don't mind a little extra weight.
Price Paid: $190
This tent is great, I have put it through quite a bit of foul weather and it has come through without any problems. It does get hot with the fly on when it's hot out, but any tent will do that. The fly zippers get hung up on the rain flaps over them, but those flaps keep the water out, so i'll take that over leaks. The only place the tent leaked was on the little velcro tabs on the inside of the fly to attach it to the poles. I am sure that a little seam seal will fix it right up. Make sure you set it up right, guy it out, especially at the bottom of the fly and you will have a great night sleep in any three season application, haven't used it for winter camping yet. A great tent, worth every penny, and also worth the extra weight. I have plenty of room for two even if you are tentbound for a couple of days.
Design: "three-season freestanding dome"
Ease of Setup: very simple for one person
Weight: a little heavy, about 7 lbs
Price Paid: $220
Really, really pleased w/this tent. We spent a weekend out in it a few weeks ago in a monsoon and stayed completely dry. Plenty of ventilation. I agree with an earlier assessment that somtimes the zippers snag but that seems to be happening less the more we use it.
Design: 3 season
Ease of Setup: easy easy easy
Weight: 6lbs 12 oz. packed
Price Paid: $279
I have used the tent twice and while I like its room and ease of set up I have had some problems. Because the vestibule is so large you really have to stretch out to reach the zipper from inside the tent when the fly is closed. The second problem is that the storm flap over the zipper continues to get hung up in the zipper. I used the tent last weekend and was trapped because both zippers hung up. I finally wormed my way out under the fly. While I was trying to free the zipper I ripped a large hole in the fly where it had caught in the zipper. I took the fly back to REI who will send it to Sierra Designs. We will see what they do with it.
Anti-snag seam tape, like that used on sleeping bags next to the zipper, would reduce the snagging problem.
Design: 3 season
Ease of Setup: Tent is easy to set up.
Weight: 7 lbs
Price Paid: $260
I gave a review earlier and just wanted to add to it since i've had more use. This tent has done great in a trip to Big Bend, the Guadalupes in Texas, and south eastern New Mexico. Someone earlier commented on the tent blowing over in wind. At the Guads we had constant gusts around 40 mph and even higher!!! (i believe the ranger said the high that night was in the low 60 mph) the guads are VERY WINDY. We used guy lines and extra rope to tie the tent to large rocks etc. our tent did NOT blow over and we were right in the thick of it. If you set this tent up well it should endure just about anything.
Others have talked about getting wet in this tent: same principle goes here... set it up well and you should stay dry. i've never had a water problem and have logged many night in water including solid 7 days or drizzle, and nights of storms.
Design: 3 season backpacking
Ease of Setup: easy
Price Paid: not sure
Very spacious, livable tent. Heavier than advertised. Fly didn't fit well at all. First decent wind gust blew the tent over and bent two of the three poles. Took it back to REI after only two uses -- hours spent seam-sealing wasted.
I, for one, am very un-impressed. Going back to TNF.
Design: 3 season
Ease of Setup: Very easy
Weight: 7lbs 3oz. packed
Price Paid: about $290
I finally decided on this tent over the North Face Nimbus. I am extremely happy with the Sierra Designs. If I had gone with the North Face, I would have given up 2 square feet, 3 inches of headroom, but at the same time I would have paid thirty bucks more and been carrying another pound! As I mentioned above, the Meteor Light is very easy to set up because all three poles are the same length. Also, the poles are stronger AND lighter than the poles that come with the Nimbus. The mesh roof gives this tent excellent ventilation and star-gazing opportunities. The door is HUGE, and has both a screen and a solid door. Unfortunately, there is still a seam running down the middle of the floor (you think they would have changed the design!?!), but the lady at Sierra Designs ASSURED me that the seam would not leak or bust. After looking over the floor, I feel confident that the seam will hold up. Overall, I feel that it would be hard to find a better 3 season, 2 person tent with all these features for this price.
Design: 3 season modified dome
Ease of Setup: EXTREMELY easy to set up (3 minutes max)
Weight: 6 lbs. 14 ozs w/rainfly
Price Paid: $230--deal from a friend
I am VERY pleased with this tent. It is a great three season tent with excellent ventilation due to the mesh top, but good coverage thanks to a good design/rain fly. My girlfriend and I carried this tent all around Western and Eastern Europe, in hot weather and in constant rain. I've also camped with this tent in freezing rain at 20 `F.
This tent makes excellent use of space with its almost rectangular floor pattern, and the poles pull the side out for lots of headroom. The vestibule is one of the largest and efficient ones I've seen in a tent of this type. You can store anything under that vestibule... I would also recommend getting the gear loft. However, don't waste any money on the footprint ground cloth, just buy a 6 by 7, or so, blue plastic tarp at Wal-mart or Menards for $3. It's the perfect size!
Design: 3 Season dome
Ease of Setup: very easy, but not a pleasure in high winds (is any tent?)
Weight: ~6 lbs
Price Paid: ? not sure