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Sierra Designs Vapor Light 2 XL

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Sierra Designs Vapor Light 2 XL three-season tent


Price MSRP: $329.95
Historic Range: $199.00-$334.95
Reviewers Paid: $198.00-$330.00
Trail Weight 3 lb 12 oz / 1.70 kg
Packed Weight 4 lb 1 oz / 1.84 kg
Interior Area 30.5 sq ft / 2.83 sq m
Vestibule Area 8 sq ft / .74 sq m
Peak Height 38 in / 97 cm
Packed Length 20 in
Packed Diameter 6 in
Capacity 2
Season 3
Number of doors 1
Number of poles 2 Hubbed
Pole Diameter 9.0 / 8.5 mm
Pole Type DAC NSL
Floor Material 40D Nylon, 3000 mm
Body Material 20D Nylon
Fly Material 40D Nylon, 1500 mm


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

Highly recommend for the ideal solo backpacker's tent. Also can sleep two with one or two backpacks also inside across head of tent (if a bit cramped). Just 4.6lbs with footprint and fits in small compression drysack, yet design looks and feels like structure would hold up in a 40mph windstorm (others' reviews confirmed this). Very small vestibule.


  • Weighs just 4.6 lbs (incl. footprint, 8 MSR needle stakes, and size S eVent compression dry sack)
  • Optimum design with ideal dimensions given tent weight
  • Stake sides of fly close to tent body and stayed really warm down to 30°, OR stake fly several inches from sides and good ventilation with little condensation


  • Small vestibule
  • Make sure don't stake entrance corners of tent too widely, or may be hard to zip entrance
  • Fly touches two sides of tent mesh unless two stakes hold out sides of fly

I take this for a solo tent on 5-6 day backpacking trips in the Rockies, and used it a total of perhaps 20 days in the wilderness so far the past three years and it still looks practically like new. Just camped with it up to 11,000 ft last week at Mirror Lake and Mummy Creek Pass in RMNP.

It's the ideal tent for the solo backpacker and I couldn't be much more pleased with it. I take 8 MSR (red) "needle" stakes and the tent weighs just 4.6lbs including footprint and size S eVent compression drysack, yet it's 7 and 3/4 ft long end to end, and 38in at one end is just tall enough I can do reverse crunches inside (I'm 5'11"). It would be a bit cramped but could sleep two in a pinch. It's wide enough for two 20in wide sleeping pads and long enough two people might still fit one or two backpacks across the entrance (a good thing, since the vestibule is pretty small). 

The tent body and fly fit in a size S eVent compression drysack (so in case tent must be packed up wet the rest of my pack stays dry), and I even crammed them into my size XS eVent drysack once by mistake (meant for my down sleeping bag). The great small packed size mattered to me even more than the weight, since I go for nearly a week with all food and gear in a 65-liter pack and don't like a lot of stuff hanging on the outside. The poles are pretty short and are the only part I strap to the outside of my pack. 

Sets up in no time and easy to figure out. The fly is reinforced heavily at a few key places where poles touch the fly and though I haven't been through a really terrible windstorm yet, I read several other reviews say it can stand up in storm winds better than most others in this weight class. I trust this tent in extreme wilderness conditions. While the tent has only one entrance, it's at the head so neither person has to climb over the other.

If I have one real gripe, it's that if I stake the four corners out too taut, the front door doesn't zip closed very easily. So at the door end, just learn not to put the corner stakes of the tent too far apart, either for the tent body or the fly. If I stake the sides of the fly close to the tent body I stayed really warm down to 30° but got some condensation, you have lots of flexibility here and can choose to stake the sides several inches away from tent body and then got very little condensation. Have also used when it was 80°s and humid with rainfly pulled to side, but ready to pull over tent quickly in case of a storm.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $198 + $26 for footprint

Great product, kept me dry for five plus years before it started leaking a bit from the fly.


  • Durability
  • Setup
  • Good for tall people


  • Weight

Great product. Kept me dry for five plus years before it inevitably started leaking a bit from the fly. (will be resealing the seams prior to my next trip).

Easy to set up solo, and the XL fits my 6'4" 215-lb frame with enough room for my girlfriend, but not much else, inside. Wouldn't quite call it light enough for a backpacking tent unless you're splitting weight.

I have used it for three season camping for over five years now and it has treated me good. Stays secured when guyed out in severe weather. It ventilates well. Sierra Design sold a tent roll called the Taquito that worked perfectly for this tent but I don't think it's still being sold.

Using MSR Groundhog stakes, also an exceptional product.

I highly recommend this tent for taller people.

Source: received it as a personal gift


Welcome to Trailspace, Phil.

4 years ago


  • Light
  • Packs small
  • Long
  • Sets up easily

I had this tent for the past three years and it's still goes strong. 

Pros: Light, Long! (hard to find) and in packs small. It sets up in 3 minutes.

Cons: I would love to have a longer rainfly.

Super easy to pitch up. Freestanding. The vestibule could be larger. 

Not sure how long others owned the tent to write their reviews, but I'd be curious to see what they have to say after getting several uses in.

I bought the XL version of this tent since I'm a tall guy and the specs on this tent are awesome.

Let me start by saying that I take very good care of my gear and especially my tents. Always use the footprint underneath and makes sure there is not grit or debris in/on the tent before repacking and hang to dry before storing.

I have about 20+ nights in on this tent and there are small holes forming in the floor. I have heard the ultralight tent materials are more delicate than non-ultralight types, however, I did not expect the floor to literally just start to disintegrate in some places.

It is a shame too, because the design and specs of this tent are awesome, if only it would hold up so that it could be used for its intended purpose.

Price Paid: $330

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