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Reviews & commentary: Sierra Designs High Route Tent 1FL

The Sierra Designs High Route Tent 1FL perched at 7,500 feet on the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park (undesignated camping). It was designed for such conditions, but it's acceptably light for milder trips, too.

The Sierra Designs High Route Tent 1FL perched at 7,500 feet on the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park (undesignated camping). It was designed for such conditions, but it’s acceptably light for milder trips, too.

I’m biased about the Sierra Designs High Route Tent 1FL, since I sketched its original design and then field-tested extensively each prototype. Do others think I have a future as a tent designer? I’ll be updating this page as we find out.


Customer reviews at SierraDesigns.com

For reviews by “regular” users, go here. Highlights:

  • Once I climbed in, I realized how much room there was above me as well as beside. Also plenty of storage area outside the mesh but safely under the canopy. Big storm my first night out, but the tent was like a rock.
  • After using the HR 1 FL tent ON the Wind River High Route early this month I am definitely adjusting that selection to include the HR 1 FL (in place of the mid).
  • Easy to set up on 2 trekking poles provides light but strong structure

Adventure Alan (Alan Dixon)

Sierra Designs High Route 1 FL Tent Review

When used without the inner-nest, the Sierra Designs High Route 1 FL Tent is worth a serious look. It is an innovative pyramid shelter that would likely work for two people. The High Route has one of the best implementations of using trekking poles to support a pyramid shelter. I really like that the poles are snug against the outside walls. This keeps them entirely out of the living area and door area. In addition it adds to the structural integrity of the vertical walls.

Bedrock & Paradox: Dave Chenault

Managing condensation: a shelter case study

“The new High Route tent, which designer Andrew Skurka brought on our recent trip, is somewhere between the BT2 and Tensegrity. It has a rectangular footprint which is a bit smaller than the Tensegrity 2, and vertical walls which along with two offset trekking pole supports maximizes headroom and interior air space. Like the Tensegrity, the interior room is hard to believe until you’re inside, and impossible to capture in a photograph. Andrew and I are both on the tall side of normal, and had generous room for us and our gear. Thanks to this, and the large vents, we had minimal condensation at the camp pictured above, even though it rained hard for most of the night. On the other hand, the vertical side walls do catch the wind, as we found out at 4am on our first night out. 40 mph wind and grape size hail had it bowing in plenty, but with good stakes in solid tundra we didn’t seem in imminent danger of reverse defenestration.

“Realistically, condensation is a far more frequent and pressing problem for most backpackers than wind resistance. Insofar as this is the case, designs like the Tensegrity and High Route have a lot to recommend them. It is easy get preoccupied by worst-case planning, rather than more practical matters. Sierra Designs have set themselves something of an uphill battle here, which is another reason to recommend them, in addition to build quality which exceeds the competition (Big Agnes, Tarptent) by a considerable margin. Mids will always have appeal, and are still the ideal quiver of one, but sometimes they are not the best choice.”

Gear Junkie

First Look: Sierra Designs ‘High Route’ Modular Shelter

Weather protection comes from the exterior shell that’s propped up by hiking poles and staked to the ground on four corners. The shell is giant for one person, and at 36-square-feet with steep walls, it is large enough for two campers and gear.

The enclosed mesh net and floor hang easily inside the outer shell. With two doors and the ability to be used as a stand-alone bug shelter with trekking poles, the nest is a great option on hot summer nights when skies are fair but bugs are thick.

Thanks to the large space between the outer shell and interior nest, the High Route vents like a dream. We had some rain during the night out, and everything stayed bone dry inside the tent. Condensation wasn’t an issue.

Ultimately, this is a versatile shelter for a range of conditions. For anyone looking to move fast and light, but still in need of significant shelter from weather and insects, the High Route is a solid pick.

Paul Magnanti (PMags.com)

An overlook: Sierra Designs High Route 1FL

So who will use this shelter?

A person who wants something fairly light, durable, versatile and that is also not terribly expensive. I picture a more experienced backpacker who tends to be out in many different conditions, wants to limit their quiver a bit and does not want to put to big hole in their wallet.

Personally? I was very impressed with this shelter. And it is something I can picture using myself.

Philip Werner (SectionHiker.com)

Sierra Designs High Route I FL Tent Review

The Sierra Designs High Route (MSRP $299) is a one person, double-walled tent that’s well suited for three season camping and backpacking. Weighing just 2 pounds 5 ounces (minus stakes), it is a very comfortable and easy to set up tent, ideal for protected campsites in wooden terrain or below treeline. Pitched with trekking poles (accessory poles are available as well), it has numerous ventilation options making it a good tent for wet climates as well as dry, with an inner tent that can be pitched after the outer fly has been set up, to prevent it from getting wet when you pitch your tent in the rain. While not as lightweight as some ultralight tents, it’s a very capable offering available at a reasonable price and optimized for serious adventure.

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