Sierra Designs Omega CD
The Omega CD has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best 3-4 season convertible tents for 2024.
From all the things I had heard about the Omega CD, this was the tent to get if you wanted to go from camping in the rain forest in summer to high altitude winter camping.
I just tried it out for the first time in late February just below snow line.
First the problems!!!
I bought the '98 model and had the footprint on back order, decided that I didn't want to wait any longer so called the retailer and asked if the '99 footprint would fit. He said yes and sent it instead of the '98 footprint. Well they don't fit...They changed the configuration of the poles a little bit and made the tent a little larger so the footprint was effectively useless other than just tucking it under the tent.
The night started out about mid 30s, I climbed in with my girlfriend and there is just enough room for two close people. Two side by side camp pads take up the whole floor. This was not too much of an issue this time, however it could be if I went with a male friend.
The vestibule was sufficient for our boots and two packs, but it made for creative maneuvering when we needed to get out of the tent in the middle of the night.
The tent started out toasty warm compared to the outside temperature, so we were comfortable and went to bed.
Then the rain started...The seam around the floor (the one they told me I didn't have to seal) started to leak like a sieve. By the morning the camp pads and our sleeping bags were quite damp, thank god for synthetic bags!!!
I took it home and tried putting some water in the area where I thought that it leaked and the water just went right through. I am going to call Sierra Designs today and find out what they think I should do. I am glad that I tried the tent out on a one night adventure rather than taking it out for the weekend.
If anyone has any suggestions for what I might do next e-mail me!
Design: 3+ season (convertable)
Ease of Setup: Sets up in a snap--could probably do it blindfolded
Weight: 6lb 8oz
Price Paid: $199
First of all, I am happy with my tent. And it is my belief that you should ALWAYS seam seal your tent yourself before going out into the backcountry in October and assuming that the factory seal will be good enough. I wanted a tent I could take almost anywhere in any season, and still be lightweight. The Omega so far has fit in wherever I wanted it to.
I would say that the inside is fairly roomy, I have shared the space with a number of different people and didn't feel "too close". Also it fit comfortably a 6'6" friend. I have noticed a trend in tent design headed toward 2 doors rather than one, I think 2 doors would improve the omega although the new sierra designs 2 door tents are a bit funky looking. I would suggest something more along the line of how the 2 door marmot tents are. The one door isn't bad though, just makes it interesting to try to get out while climbing over all your stuff.
I especially like the clear window in the fly--easy to look out and decide if I should sleep in or not. The numerous guy line points are nice to keep the tent stable, it would be nice if there were additional points at the bottom of the fly to keep the fly from touching the tent body, although on the positive side the fly does fit very snugly and is very easy to adjust tension.
My last negative comment is that the center pole causes the floor of the tent to have a hump in it, although this goes away when you stake it down. I haven't tried the "super lightweight" configurations yet, I have been satisfied with the weight of everything all together and haven't needed to lose more. I would say that Sierra Designs tents in general are great, anyone would be happy with this or any other SD tent.
Design: 3-4 season
Ease of Setup: Easy, clips are nice for "challenging" weather conditions
Weight: 7ish lbs.
Price Paid: $250?
In most, if not all, gear reviews this tent was praised for its weather-proofness and versatility. It serves as a proven winter shelter; and considering its light weight, a very roomy tent. Just the fly, poles, and footprint provide a reliable shelter in 3 season conditions. Even when exposed to Olympic coast drizzle, the fly only set-up served us well (seam-sealing is a must!). I wouldn't suggest this setup in extreme wet conditions. However, if you needed to pack light, it might be worth the risk, assuming you know were to pitch your shelter. The following are deficiences in the '98 tent:
1. The Omega CD is free-standing, but the middle is elevated several inches, exposing some the tent body to rain when your not inside.
2. The rear end of the fly touches the body of the tent. This lack of seperation allowed the ends of our bags to moisten from rain or dew. When I returned this tent, I found that several store employees owned the same tent and experienced the same problems. Two employees had solved the problem by attaching nylon stitching and cord to the fly to pull it off the body. Nobody should have to personally alter the structure of a tent to ensure waterproofness.
3. If you purchase a footprint, make sure it matches the pole configurations. These configurations may change year to year.
Design: 4 Season/convertible
Ease of Setup: Fairly easy set-up
Weight: Cerca 7lbs packed wt.
Price Paid: $280
I bought our Omega CD at an REI scratch and dent sale in almost perfect condition. After the purchase of a few new stakes, it was good as new. Overall, this tent would be great for most any conditions. The setup is very easy, ventilation is outstanding for a convertible tent, the area inside is above average for most 2-person tents, and the vestibule is big enough for two backpacks.
My wife and I used the tent for a total of about a month in Europe this summer in cold and hot weather conditions, as well as long periods (a week straight) of rain. Our only complaints have been that the vestibule door is quite a pain to open (especially when it's raining or the when the fly is wet because your arm and everything else under the vestibule will get wet) and water tended to come through the very top section of the fly and/or wick down the pole clips and drip into the tent after a couple days of rain (problem solved by closing the large vent in the top of the tent, but there went any hope of ventilation). Overall, a good tent.
Ease of Setup: very easy
Price Paid: $175
Purchased in June of 2001. First outing a very hot July weekend in north Georgia. Did not use the fly on this trip. Enjoyed the mesh vent that allowed some stargazing and ventilation. Second outing was an extremely wet and hot August weekend in the north Georgia Mountains. Rained continuously all three days, but aside from a touch of interior condensation on the fly, no other moisture entered the tent. Really don't think we were vented right to begin with. Third trip was a cold weekend on a mountainside with wind gusts to 40+. Stayed warm and the tent never so much as shook.
We are very happy with this purchase. Set up is a breeze with the clip system, and the ability to move it around before you stake it down is also a plus. There is plenty of room for the two of us, and the SD Attic that we purchased also helps. The one small negative I put forward is the vestibule configuration is a bit small and reaching the fly zipper poses an issue at times. However, I do highly recommend this tent.
Ease of Setup: Very Easy
Price Paid: $289
A mansion of a tent under 7 lbs with the convertible feature! Love this thing. Tons of vertical space, could accomodate three sleepers in a pinch. In warm, predictable conditions, leave the fly and extra pole at home. No fears in winter though: the mesh windows zip shut to keep heat in, and the rain fly is ready for the worst storm on Denali! SD built the perfect tent, with great attnetion to detail (there's even a strip of webbing and hooks inside to hang-dry wet clothes!). Oh, and the single-door/vestibule thing doesn't bother me. I like that the door is in front since it makes entry/exit easy.
Design: Convertible freestanding dome
Ease of Setup: easy
Weight: 6 lbs 2 oz
Price Paid: $180
This tent is a great tent for any kind of weather. Very cool how you can leave behind poles. OK vestuble size. Good ventalation. Keeps you comfortable in humid 90 degree weather. My words of advice are to seam seal this good. I made the mistake of seam sealing and folding it before it was dry so now I have a few small leaks. Also in humid weather, don't let your sleeping bag touch the floor since it will get very damp from condensation. Overall it is a very good tent and I would very much encourage anyone to buy it.
Design: 3-4 Season Convertible
Ease of Setup: a breeze
Weight: about 7 lb I think
Price Paid: $280
Just returned from snow camping at 10,000 ft on Mt Shasta. In 40 - 50 mph winds I had six sections of Easton poles bend into recycle quality trash and the top cross pole snap.
This happened with all points of rainfly attachments firmly tied off to snow stakes. I did stay dry but this was very expensive two nites. I could not help but notice that a Bibler up the ridge was not affected, but a four season Mountain Hardware was flapping in a broken type state.
Design: 3-4 season convertible
Ease of Setup: EASY WITHOUT WIND, WAY BAD IN 20+ MPH WINDS
Price Paid: $259
This tent has kept me bone dry in howling wind and rain. Then again, I used a plastic ground cloth and seam sealed the heck out of the floor and fly. Roomy enough inside, although the vestibule was just big enough for packs and boots and required some gymnastics getting out in the middle of the night. Overall, a good compromise of weight, size, and durability. I'd recommend this tent if you're looking for one tent to do it all.
Design: 3-4 Season Convertable
Ease of Setup: Very easy to set up
Weight: 6 pounds
Price Paid: $239 on sale
Awesome tent all around. This tent gives you the ability to leave poles behind to cut the wieght in the summer and leave them to add stability and strength in the winter.
Design: 3 1/2 season frog faced
Sleeps: 2 with gear
Ease of Setup: very easy, uses clips not sleeves for easy one man set up
Weight: 6lbs. 6oz.
Price Paid: $280
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Reviewers Paid: $175.00-$289.00