Preview: Sierra Designs High Route 2.0 || Smaller, but now just 27 oz for fly + inner

The updated Sierra Designs High Route 1 will be smaller and 10 oz lighter than the original.

The Sierra Designs High Route 1FL was launched in fall 2016, and a second-generation will arrive in spring 2019. Its name will not change (i.e. not High Route 2.0 or High Route II), and the existing design will be phased out. MSRP remains $300.

Most notably, the updated High Route is smaller than the original. Instead of being an oversized one-person tent that can fit two, it’s now a true solo shelter.

Along with a few other tweaks, this downsizing translated to significant weight savings. The second-generation specs at just 1 lb 11 oz (27 oz; 765 grams) for the fly and inner, versus 2 lbs 5 oz for the original, a 10-oz reduction. More specifically, the fly is 16 oz and the inner body is 11 oz. These weights include guylines and tensioners.

The High Route requires a minimum of six stakes, and two more are included so that its doors can be porched open (+3.5-ish oz total). Stuff sacks add another ounce. SD is reporting the packaged weight, which includes everything, as 1 lbs 15 oz (31 oz; 890 grams).

On its own, the fly weighs 16 oz and requires six stakes, although I recommend eight so that its doors can be porched out in calm conditions to improve airflow and increase protected space.

In its slimmed down form, the High Route is much more competitive in its category. In comparison, it’s:

Each of these shelters (plus others like them) has unique pros and cons, and I’d recommend full consideration of each to better understand their advantages and tradeoffs (e.g. size, ventilation, materials, ease of pitch, price, availability).


I designed the original High Route from start to finish, with critical technical assistance from Sierra Designs. Due to a combination of personal and brand-related factors, I chose not to renew my contract with SD last January, after three years with them. My last project for SD was developing a plan to overhaul the High Route. I saw the second-generation High Route for the first time last week at Outdoor Retailer, and have no stake in its success or failure.


The original High Route has one major flaw: it’s relatively heavy, at 2 lbs 5 oz for the fly and inner. Unfortunately, there are many one-person, double-wall, trekking pole-supported, $300-ish tents that weigh 8 to 16 ounces less, and I think the High Route was a non-starter for many, especially those who don’t understand or appreciate the sources of that weight. In particular, the High Route offered massive interior volume, double doors and double door awnings, #5 double zippers, durable 20d and 30d fabrics, taped seams, and line-locks and ample cordage.

Otherwise, I thought the original High Route was a really solid shelter. Its poles do not block the entryways or dissect the sleeping area. It ventilates extremely well, even when it’s raining or snowing. Its vertical and steeply sloping walls maximize interior volume for the size of its footprint. Its most vulnerable panels (the vertical doors) are reinforced by sturdy trekking poles. It’s well built and reasonably priced. The pitch is very simple, and can be adjusted for the conditions. And it’s comfortable in crappy weather, on gear-intensive outings, and for larger backpackers.

With its generous dimensions and storm-worthy design, the High Route performs superbly in crappy weather.

With two (or now 1.5) doors, ventilation is excellent in the High Route.

Second-generation: What’s the same? What’s different?

The primary goal in redesigning the High Route was to reduce its weight, but without great compromises to its functionality or service life.

The basic geometry has not changed. But it’s smaller:

  • The new fly is 42″ x 102″ (width x length) with 45-inch peaks, which is a reduction of 3 to 6 inches in each dimension versus the original;
  • The new inner is 27.5″ x 87″ (width x length) with 40-inch peaks, which is a reduction of 2 to 3 inches in each dimension.

The fly is still 20d sil/PU-coated nylon, rated to 1200mm hydrostatic head. But the floor is now, too (instead of 30d). The bug mesh remains 15d. The seams are taped.

The colors and patterning was updated, so that it’s consistent with other SD shelters.

One door remains as-is.

Full door side

But the other side is now more of a “gear closet.” On the fly, the zipper is half length; the panel can still be rolled up or porched out. On the inner, a D-shaped door provides access to this vestibule space.

Instead of two full doors, one door has been converted to a gear garage. The panel can still be rolled up or porched, to vent or to create additional protected space.

The D-shaped gear port on the inner. Notice how the half-door on the fly can be rolled up.

Hardware, trims, and accessories (e.g. side-release buckles, webbing, Velcro tabs along the door, NiteGlo) that were over-sized (for gloved hands) or that proved unnecessary were downsized or eliminated. But it still has ample cordage and either line tensioners or line cleats on the four fly corners, two fly apexes, two fly doors, and four inner body corners.


The original High Route was generously sized and featured. But the market failed to appreciate it, because the market either doesn’t care enough or because we did a poor job in telling the story, or both.

The updated High Route is more consistent with market norms. It’s a true one-person shelter, not a 1+ or 2-person; it now has “just” 1.5 doors, rather than two; and its hardware is perfectly functional, but now less glove-friendly. With the resulting weight-savings, I suspect that more backpackers will give it serious consideration.

Questions or thoughts about the updated High Route? Leave a comment.

Disclosure. This website is supported by affiliate marketing, whereby for referral traffic I receive a small commission from select vendors, at no cost to the reader. This post contains affiliate links. I have no other financial interests in any brands or products.

, ,

84 Responses to Preview: Sierra Designs High Route 2.0 || Smaller, but now just 27 oz for fly + inner

  1. john smith August 1, 2018 at 12:08 pm #

    It’s a shame that they’ve whittled away at the product’s primary selling point (spaciousness) to lose a trivial amount of weight.

    Real one-person tents make for nice photographs and fantasies, but they always involve a degree of suffering and discomfort.

    Perhaps it’s the “beginning of the end” for an interesting product.

    • Andrew Skurka August 1, 2018 at 12:20 pm #

      “Trivial amount of weight”? It’s 10 oz, or a 27 percent reduction from the original. That seems pretty significant to me.

      Also, not sure that SD should get all the blame for this. Despite its spaciousness, people were not buying it. If left in its current configuration, it probably would have been dropped, because the units wouldn’t justify the basic admin time of keeping in stock.

      Most consumers don’t appreciate the subtleties of shelter design. They look at basic specs (price, weight, person capacity) and buy something. It takes another level of education to understand interior volume, fabric performance, ventilation, pitching configurations, etc. There’s really no other way to explain the success of products like the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL, which is coffin-sized, made of delicate fabrics, and spec’d with non-adjustable 1.5-mm guylines with fixed knots.

      • Mike August 1, 2018 at 12:37 pm #

        As someone who owns a HR, thanks for looking at those finer details.

      • Langleybackcountry August 1, 2018 at 1:44 pm #

        I think the FL1 had an identity problem in that I am not sure who it was for. Not light enough to be considered a “light” shelter, more complicated than a tent.

        I fully agree with this about the delicate fabrics. At some point the fragility is a diminishing return. That’s something that sets Tarptent apart from a lot of makers since they now use 30d, 3k hydrostatic materials (except for their 1 dyneema model). And their tents with pole structures and less complicated set-ups are in the same weight range as the FL1.

        Not crazy about the “gear door”. Seems like it’s just making it less useful while not saving much weight because of the zipper. For the same length zipper why not put in a low door that could at least still be used?

  2. CJ August 1, 2018 at 12:10 pm #

    As someone who dislikes silnylon (stretch and water absorbancy) I’d really like to see more lightweight tents made or offered in silpoly. Currently only two companies have made the jump to silpoly tents…Yama MG and SMD. I wish more companies would go that route, especially with good designs like this one.

    • Andrew Skurka August 1, 2018 at 12:13 pm #

      I looked into this, and we couldn’t find a poly that was acceptably strong. That may be changing, or have already changed, but I’m less in the know now.

      • CJ August 4, 2018 at 1:39 pm #

        With Yama Mtn Gear and Six Moon Designs, plus the X-Mid going the silpoly direction I think the stronger fabrics are now out there.

    • Dan Durston August 1, 2018 at 9:12 pm #

      There’s more poly tents on the way. Black Diamond chose poly for their new trekking pole shelter, my X-Mid is poly, several other companies have unannounced products in the works that are poly. I think the market will be 50/50 poly/nylon is 2-3 years.

  3. Mike August 1, 2018 at 12:24 pm #

    I hate it when companies don’t update a name with a product update. It makes searching google and talking online about the products difficult. I am interested to see if the new high route II sells, but I’m doing just fine with my high route.

    Andrew, thoughts on the gear storage portion? It seems like it will create a bit of hassle in regards to making sure the tent body is on correctly, while losing some of the adapability that 2 doors gave it.

    • Andrew Skurka August 1, 2018 at 12:40 pm #

      I think the changes are substantial enough to warrant a 2.0 or II, as well. I really appreciate when brands delineate the iterations this way, e.g. Lone Peak 3.0. But, I don’t have much sway there anymore…

      The fly + inner are now direction-specific, e.g. the full door on the inner must be on the same side as the full door on the fly. They color-coded one of the corners (red guyline, instead of yellow) to make it easier. Accessing stuff through the door garage is definitely not as convenient as a full door. I think you’ll want to use that side for anything you will NOT need at night, and for adjusting the half-door on the fly. You’ll want to cook and leave most of your things on the full door side.

  4. Rex August 1, 2018 at 3:06 pm #

    Sad to hear you’ve left SD. Is there other brand collaboration in your future?

    • Andrew Skurka August 1, 2018 at 3:25 pm #

      Not on the immediate horizon. Any relationship would need to be a perfect scenario, because I don’t “need” to work with a brand — I have plenty of options to make my threshold of income. What’s a perfect scenario? Fun team, fun projects, alignment of goals and stories, and fair compensation.

      As I see it right now, it’s probably more likely that I will strike out on my own than work with another brand.

      • Ying-Ju August 1, 2018 at 6:24 pm #

        Keep us updated, I really like my Skurka Series products and would love to add more!

      • Nathan August 2, 2018 at 8:03 am #

        Thanks for always keeping us updated! I’m a big fan of your style and I’ve learned so much from following your work!

      • DonH November 12, 2018 at 1:54 pm #

        Let me pile on – totally would love to see a “Skurka-Brand”.

  5. Bryan August 1, 2018 at 3:39 pm #

    The original High Route is a generously sized and featured shelter that I appreciate Andrew! Especially being a taller hiker. Thankful I own your first vision and not what’s to come.

  6. Tilo August 1, 2018 at 3:42 pm #

    Hi Andrew

    Are you at liberty to discuss why you did not renew your contract? Just curious.


    • Andrew Skurka August 1, 2018 at 3:57 pm #

      Yes, I am. I left on amicable terms, wish SD the best, and would probably receive a warm welcome if I swung by the office tomorrow unannounced.

      On my end, I wanted to free up some time so that I could invest it elsewhere, specifically my guided trip program, which is 2.6 times bigger than it was in 2017 and which may have bigger ambitions. It was part of a broader simplification effort, to focus on where my bread is really buttered.

      I was also frustrated with things that were happening with the brand. During my three years there, I worked with five brand managers (including one interim). A few months before I left, the entire Boulder team (Stephen, Casey, Candyce) scattered, to Kelty (also an Exxel brand) and Big Agnes. A brand story is ultimately told by real people, so there was a lot of uncertainty about what SD was (or would become). Also, progress on my pet projects stalled entirely, and I just wasn’t willing to be patient for another 6 or 12 months before the brand regained momentum (which appears to be happening under the guidance of the new BM, George).

      • Mike August 1, 2018 at 9:03 pm #

        Out of curosity, what would you do if you were in charge of SD?

      • Randy August 2, 2018 at 8:38 am #

        Do the stalled projects include the Flex Capacitor update tentatively scheduled for spring 2019? And even if it drops then, did you still have any new input? I guess you’d review it either way. I was waiting to see the changes before purchasing a new pack.

        • Andrew Skurka August 2, 2018 at 10:55 am #

          Yes, updates to the Flex are among the projects that were stalled. It won’t happen until spring 2020 at least.

      • RichardE September 5, 2018 at 11:17 pm #

        “A brand story is ultimately told by real people…”

        Andrew, this observation is totally on the money. Over 30+ years I’ve had the good fortune to work with truly excellent marketers and product designers. Those with real insight who understand in detail the nuance and subtleties of the market, the competitor products, and why customers do what they do. It’s a pity when great teams get broken up but never mind “play on, says the ref” 🙂

  7. Jack Brauer August 1, 2018 at 4:52 pm #

    Just wondering, am I the only person who considers a blue tent a non-starter? Neutral color tents (like light gray) are so pleasant when you have to spend time inside during the day, and your eyes don’t go bonkers with color adjusting when you step outside again. Also you can still have a sense of what the sky is doing outside (like if it’s dark and stormy, or getting sunsety, etc.). If you must have a colored tent, at least a warm color like yellow or orange is preferred, I would think. But blue is just weird inside, as are dark colors like olive and such.

    • Andrew Skurka August 1, 2018 at 4:56 pm #

      Not disagreeing. The blue is a classic SD color, goes back decades according to the old-timers.

      • Brett Lewis September 18, 2018 at 4:05 pm #

        I bought a Sierra Designs Meteor Light in blue, about 25 years ago. I think it was a “CD” model – Computer Designed – lol. I had spent a few month’s worth of nights in that tent. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago, that I fully retired it from backcountry use.

        Now I either use a hammock or the High Route FL1, and I do love the High route. With practice it sets up quickly and instinctively, and after a few set-ups it seems to require much less adjusting after pitching to keep it tight, a couple of times recently I didn’t re-adjust at all. The amount of room is perfect for me at 5’7″ inside the nest, my pack and dry clean gear go in the head end, hiking clothes at the foot and sides, shoes in the vestibule, and then I wonder where my trekking poles are for a second and then realize…

        But I digress, I have lots of great memories and experiences around that old blue tent, that only needed a seam sealing and waterproofing to get it performing good as new. And although I never pay retail if I can help it, I’m happy I spent the $300 on the original High Route.

  8. asolthane August 1, 2018 at 5:21 pm #

    Is the HR still your go to shelter for 3-season mountain west backpacking? What do you think of the X-Mid?

  9. Dennis Blackerby August 1, 2018 at 7:55 pm #

    Really didn’t buy my tent because SD sold it, I bought mine because I relied on your expertise to guide me in the weird lite world of gear. Keep us updated on your involvement with other projects. I will always support a hustler who gives it his all. Thanks for what you do!

    • Brett Lewis September 18, 2018 at 4:07 pm #

      I bought mine for the same reason, as well as his book.

  10. Dan Durston August 1, 2018 at 9:15 pm #

    Nice to see the update Andrew. The much more competitive weight is great. That’s the single biggest thing the HR needed IMO. I hope it is well received.

  11. Dan Durston August 1, 2018 at 10:12 pm #

    FYI, the Yama Swiftline isn’t 1oz lighter than your revised High Route as your article states. Their headline spec is 25.9oz but that’s if you strip off all the guylines (which are needed to pitch it), clip the LineLoc’s, clips etc. The actual weight of the tent is 28.3oz – 1oz heavier than the HR.

  12. Pete Frederich August 1, 2018 at 11:31 pm #

    Well, I loved the first iteration of the High Route. Pretty darn light, super spacious, and has not let me down in some very wet conditions. And vents well too. Keep the current and call it a 2 person tent.

  13. Roman Sokolov August 2, 2018 at 7:02 am #

    This update looks nice they reduced original weight but it looks like thet have created a new problem. Now I can’t imagine where I should stuff all my gear inside such a small tent. Many pyramids have some sorf of island where you can put you gear and a vestibule but hear it looks like you MUST stake out one dore or there will be no space at all. I hope to be wrong because I like original tent very much.

    • Andrew Skurka August 2, 2018 at 7:19 am #

      The updated version is “smaller” but not “small.” If you have a lot of gear, if you’re a bigger person, if you sleep on an extra wide pad, or if you’re willing to carry an extra 10 ounces for 50 percent more space, the original version will be preferred — get it now before it’s gone. Otherwise:

      Square footage under the tarp is 30 square feet, assuming it’s all zippered up; if you have a door porched, you get more space. The inner is 16.5 square feet. The difference between the tarp and inner is 13.5 square feet, which essentially is your vestibule space.

      For comparison to “gold standard” 1-person tents:
      * BA Fly Creek: 20 square feet interior, 5 square feet vestibule = 25
      * Nemo Hornet 1: 21 square feet interior, 7 square feet vestibule = 28
      * MSR Carbon Reflex: 17 square feet interior, 7 square feet verstibule = 24

      Comparing tent sizes is always tough, because the sense of liveability is a combination of floor area and interior volume. Floor area is easy to measure. Volume, not so much. In general though, the steeper the walls and the wider the peak area(s), the better.

  14. Greg August 2, 2018 at 10:04 am #

    How significant is the drop from 30d to 20d with the floor? I know “significant” is a bit vague but it’s really tough to get a sense for where the line is between *too* delicate and durable enough without being a fabrics expert. Maybe one way to put this is to ask: at what denier point should one be brining a ground tarp or footprint (assuming good site selection, etc)?

    • Andrew Skurka August 2, 2018 at 10:54 am #

      A 20d floor will last a while (i.e. several years for someone who only gets out a week or two per year) before it needs to be supplemented with a groundsheet. Polycryo works great — UL, very waterproof for its weight, cheap/easy to replace, and shockingly durable.

      Thinner floors with minimum hydrostatic head ratings will need a groundsheet after less use.

  15. natasha August 2, 2018 at 3:38 pm #

    How I wish they went the other direction and made it in DCF. The first version is an awesome design, but yes, weight.

    Being an average-sized woman, I nonetheless can’t sleep in true one-person tents that feel like a coffin. My favorite tent is Stratospire but precisely for weight reasons I swapped it for a Zpacks Duplex.

    • Andrew Skurka August 2, 2018 at 5:28 pm #

      DCF was never part of the conversation. Takes too much manufacturing expertise and is beyond SD’s brand image.

      • natasha August 2, 2018 at 8:15 pm #

        I see. Well, with BA’s new tents may it become more mainstream.

  16. richard August 3, 2018 at 9:24 am #

    I like this tent compared to my SMD luna. I’d gladly give up the 4oz for the space… but I’m still a tarp and bivy user.

  17. Bill August 4, 2018 at 7:10 am #

    890kg seems a little heavy to me. I try to keep my shelters system below 800kg.

    “Stuff sacks add another ounce. SD is reporting the packaged weight, which includes everything, as 1 lbs 15 oz (31 oz; 890 kg).”

    • Brian August 15, 2018 at 5:54 pm #

      Airstream 16 foot trailer comes in at just 790kg, so a touch lighter than this tent. I took mine on my last high country traverse and it was quite comfy for the three of us, but the bears couldn’t show me where to plug in the wide screen HDTV so we had to settle for regular teevee.

  18. Jeff August 4, 2018 at 6:08 pm #

    Any thoughts about making a true two person High Route? Seems like it would complete the line. If not, what are the limitations?

    • Andrew Skurka August 6, 2018 at 7:51 am #

      No, no plans for that.

  19. Jim August 5, 2018 at 8:21 pm #

    Hi Andrew – you mentioned the floor is now 20D, does it still hold the 3000mm hydrostatic head rating or is it 1200 as well?

    • Andrew Skurka August 6, 2018 at 7:47 am #

      It’s the same fabric as the fly, so it shares that spec. 1200mm HH.

  20. Patrick Ploenzke August 22, 2018 at 9:57 pm #

    I have been looking at the High Route since it was released. It’s been on my dream gear list since. But out of my price range. Any chance they will severely mark down and clear out the rest of the stock of the original?

  21. Dan August 28, 2018 at 12:43 pm #

    Personally, I really dig the new color scheme, but the OG version is 25% off right now at Backcountry Edge so I just picked one up.

  22. RON PETITT August 29, 2018 at 9:09 pm #

    This is interesting stuff. I really like my HR1. I’m not an ounce counter so as long as my shelter is 3lbs or less I’m good. The HR 1 is one of the best sub 3lb shelters I have owned. I mostly use it without the inner.

  23. Niclas September 2, 2018 at 2:42 am #

    Now that the tent got smaller, it would make sense to offer bigger two person version I think. Do you know it that is planned?

    (PS: Thanks for the great fact based and concise article. I like your website a lot for that style.)

    • Andrew Skurka September 2, 2018 at 6:58 am #

      Definitely no 2p in the works at SD.

  24. Rodney September 4, 2018 at 1:14 pm #

    Today I ordered my High Route FL1. This of course is the older version. Then I read this post and all the comments. Thank goodness I ordered the original version before it vanished. I am a big guy and I always bring along my 85 lb. yellow lab. We will covet the roominess of the original.

    Thanks Andrew for your contributions to Sierra Designs and this product. Without you and the other people you mentioned who have left, I am not sure Sierra Designs will be around in another decade. It is too bad since I have been purchasing many of their great products over the last 20 years.

  25. Boyan September 12, 2018 at 3:33 am #

    Wow, just saw this, right after I pressed “submit” on a purchase of the HR1 for the second time. Returned my original one a year ago because it was less bomber than the Stratospire, but ultimately the SS proved to be a PITA to set up ***for me***, never got the hang of it even after dozens of pitches and it always seemed to take 15+ minutes. The reasons for buying the HR1 again are exactly what you list.

    As a tall-ish not entirely flexible middle-aged dude, I needed something with tall entrances so I can get in/out without having to do the crab move (ass first on the way out). While the BA Copper Spur UL1 is acceptably tall once inside, getting in/out was always unpleasant. As someone with a well documented lack of patience, I wanted something roomier for the days I get stuck inside. The CS UL1, which is roomy by mainstream standards, is just too small. Finally, I wanted something that did not feel like it will rip apart at the first windstorm. The BA CS UL1 is fine and dandy in reasonable weather, but it feels impossibly thin. I would not want to put it through a 30mph+ stress test. It may do fine, but who knows for how long. Finally, my use of the tent is more along the lines of 6-10 mile hike to base camp, then a day or two of photography there, then another few miles to the next location. Sure, 10oz makes a difference, but not as much when you are hauling around 15 lbs of photography gear and a few gallons of water through the desert.

    For anyone wanting to purchase the tent, about the only place that has it is Backcountry Edge, with a very nice 25% discount.

    Andrew, I am considering the purchase of a Cloud 20 sleeping bag, but what is giving me pause was precisely the fact that it is a first year product, very likely to go through a redesign for the next year. Do you know whether that is in the works? Or maybe you cannot say.

  26. Boyan September 12, 2018 at 3:55 am #

    Just looked at the X-mid. Perhaps not it is your turn to claim that someone borrowed your design (like you were accused of borrowing the Stratospire design). Overall I see the X-mid combining the pitfalls of the Stratospire (rotated inner that makes it somewhat tricky to pitch in tight spaces on less than perfect terrain) with those of the HR (larg-ish unsupported stretches of fabric that make the design less storm-proof than the Stratospire). I don’t see much innovation in the design.

    • Andrew Skurka September 12, 2018 at 11:15 am #

      I was most definitely accused to “stealing” the SS design, but I wouldn’t dare levy that charge against someone else. There are only so many configurations available if you use two poles, and every shelter we use nowadays was directly inspired by an earlier design. The X-Mid is different from anything else out there, and I think it gives consumers more options, which is a good thing.

  27. Sean P September 15, 2018 at 2:32 pm #

    Hi, Andrew!

    I’m sure the answer will be a “no,” but I figure I’ll ask anyway. There isn’t a way to just by the fly for the first version, is there? It’d be perfectly workable for the times I have a friend along on a trip.

    Thanks for everything. Your site’s been a huge help to me over the years.

    • Andrew Skurka September 17, 2018 at 1:08 pm #

      Call SD. Maybe they have some sitting around and would be willing to sell you one.

      • Sean P September 18, 2018 at 9:55 pm #

        Appreciate the tip. I did call, but they said they don’t have any for sale separately. They also didn’t have any returns sitting around either, which might say a lot about your design. People seem to be holding onto ’em. Thanks again!

  28. Boyan September 18, 2018 at 11:45 pm #

    I received my HR mk1 today and was disappointed to find it still shipping with 12-inch lines for the inner (despite Andrew indicating that the design calls for 21 inch lines to allow the inner to be placed asymmetrically under the fly and allow one of the vestibules to be enlarged). Not a big deal, it takes just a few minutes to replace with longer lines but this assumes that the customer has 2.5-3mm lines lying around.

    Which brings me to the second question/comment – why are these 3mm lines with Lineloc 3’s, instead of 1.5 lines with Tensionlock Lite? The guylines, which are supposed to take real tension, are 1.5mm, but the inner is supported by 3mm lines which serve a mostly cosmetic function? Weird… Would replace them with Tensionlock myself too, but the way the webbing is sewn into the upper makes it a royal PITA. If I decide to keep the tent this time around I will likely remove the hardware and just replace these with 1.5mm line and tautline hitches instead of lineloc’s.

    Which leads to the third question – why the heavy stitching in the corners of the inner? Double box stitches? Seems like an overkill.

    Guess all this is academic now, with the redesign about to go live in a couple of months. It is a take it or leave it proposition.

  29. Scott McDonald September 19, 2018 at 6:23 pm #

    Just saw this review of the original High Route FL. Ken mentions that he thinks there is a different version for Europe that uses silnylon? ???

    • Andrew Skurka September 19, 2018 at 7:54 pm #

      I don’t know anything about European fire-resistance standards for tents, but I’m doubtful that SD would make the shelter from two different fabrics (one for US, one for Europe) given the small quantities involved. Plus, I don’t remember hearing anything like that, and I think it would have been discussed.

  30. John September 24, 2018 at 8:09 am #

    This updated version looks more competitive, but I don’t understand the zipper design choices. It seems like a lot of lost utility for maybe 1 oz weight savings.

    One of the primary benefits of the original design was that in rainy weather, you could open the “vestibule” door, climb in, and then easily set up the inner. How are you supposed to do that with the updated design? Is the inner centered under the tarp or set further back towards the gear garage/half door?

    Also, I think this new design will give it the smallest footprint of any fully-enclosed trekking pole supported shelter. A big plus when many designs require a large amount of space to set up.

    • Andrew Skurka September 28, 2018 at 10:19 pm #

      With G2, you’ll have to connect the SR buckles between the fly and inner from the “door” side. You can tension the corners of the “vestibule” side from outside the shelter, by reaching under the tarp and grabbing the guylines.

  31. ALAN KEEFE September 25, 2018 at 4:26 pm #

    my biggest complaint was how much room it took in backpack (volume). That is a spec that never manages to make it to print.

  32. Brad R October 9, 2018 at 9:10 am #

    I notice there isn’t a vent on the peak over the “gear garage”. It seems like that could have a significant negative effect on ventilation. The zipper configuration on the gear garage also seems strange, since it appears to be just as long as the zipper for the door on the other side. For virtually the same weight, I would think the “door” configuration would be more useful. Andrew, do you know if the design shown is the final configuration?

    • Andrew Skurka October 9, 2018 at 9:22 am #

      The final configuration only has one peak vent, on the “door” side. The “garage” side does not have one. I think this is the right call — an additional peak event would have very little effect on ventilation, especially given the other ventilating features, e.g. porch-able side panels, bottom perimeter, double zippers.

      I don’t remember how much an extra 6 or 12 inches of zipper weighs, but it adds up, and we were trying hard to pull weight off it. I used this updated version last month in the High Sierra, and never felt like I missed the second door.

      • Brad R October 9, 2018 at 12:20 pm #

        Thanks for the reply. To clarify, I was talking about the c-shaped zipper configuration on the inner.

        • Andrew Skurka October 9, 2018 at 4:19 pm #

          I can’t recall off-hand the lengths of the zippers on the garage door versus the full door, on the inner. I know the photos make them look comparable, but I bet the garage door zipper is about half the length. Whether SD should have put a full door there for another 1 oz is up for debate, but it’s a slippy slope: 1 oz here, 1 oz for the second peak vent, 1 oz for a full second door, and suddenly you’re back over that 2-lb threshold and no longer looking as good in the spec list.

  33. Warren October 10, 2018 at 3:08 am #

    So Andrew, having never used either one, if say, we assume the original was available for purchase at the same time as the new one, price not an issue, which would YOU buy? I am the same size as you, btw.

    • Andrew Skurka October 10, 2018 at 7:53 am #

      I can tell you what I would buy, but an overarching theme of my gear recommendations is that YOU must buy the items that make sense for your trip objectives and conditions (and your budget).

      If your weather is generally benign, the 2.0 will probably be the better pick. I’m thinking of summertime in the Mountain West, where the weather is usually good, until it’s really not. The 2.0 was ideal for my Sierra trips last month, when we only had one night of rain out of 13.

      If you regularly encounter challenging conditions, particularly precip, the extra weight of the original HR may pay for itself. You get notably more interior volume, two huge venting doors, etc. The 1.0 is what I will be using next month while elk hunting in the Colorado Rockies.

  34. Warren October 10, 2018 at 12:16 pm #

    Thanks, that’s exactly what I was wondering. By knowing how YOU would use it, it helps me know which would be better for my conditions. Sounds like the original would be better suited to Swedish climate. Looking forward to seeing what great things you do in the future!

  35. shuping October 12, 2018 at 6:47 pm #

    Sierra Designs High Route 2.0
    Q: can this tent use as four season tent? or will you use it for snow camping?

    • Andrew Skurka October 13, 2018 at 8:20 am #

      It’s not technically a 4-season tent, but I have used it in the late-fall and winter in Colorado, seeing up to a few inches of snowfall overnight. It sheds snow well, because of its steep wall angles and vertical walls; but it’s less wind-resistant than a true 4-season shelter needs to be.

      Some related reading,

  36. Roman Sokolov November 1, 2018 at 12:38 pm #

    Finally got my SD High route 1 and I’d like to say, that it impressed. Weight penalty seems insignificant comparing High route’s roominess with pyramid type of shelters. Thank you for your job and comments, I am grateful that I have listened to you.

    • Rodney November 1, 2018 at 12:56 pm #

      I agree Roman. I was impressed with the roominess as well. In my experience, pyramids and hexagon Tee-Pee style shelters is the perimeter space is really limited in height. In a 8′ X 8′ pyramid the perimeter 2 feet is only good for storage of small gear. The shelter is just inches off the ground.

      In the SD High route the problem is essentially mitigated entirely. Almost all space is very usable. I made the right choice in buying this shelter. BTW, I do not use the inner.

      • Roman Sokolov November 1, 2018 at 1:18 pm #

        High route 1 reminded me MSR Elixir 2 because of it’s roominess and versatility. And it is on a heavy side as well)))
        But as I said, It is a great, especially with 25% discount.

    • Bryan November 5, 2018 at 8:22 am #

      Agree, used my first gen HR1 again this weekend, first 8 hours of the trip was a downpour including setup. Great feature is you can quickly pitch the fly and get yourself/gear under cover. I carry a polycro sheet I deploy inside to keep me and everything else dry and clean while I setup, so much space to move around. Reverse order in the morning means everything inside stays dry. This is my favorite shelter when hammocking is not an option or I just want to change it up.

  37. Sean November 19, 2018 at 7:50 pm #

    clown colors or party tent? not stealth dirt color and not rescue me yellow.

  38. Zach November 21, 2018 at 1:30 pm #

    Damn. I love my HR1. This is the tent that finally sold me on trekking pole shelters over freestanding ones.

    I ditched the inner and just made a “bathtub” floor out of silnylon. It’s a bomber two person shelter in this configuration, and I’ve fit a dog in there too with two people and gear. Held up remarkably well in the PNW downpour this spring / fall. Have not used it in the snow but would trust it, probably; though i might make a second floor with heavier-gauge material in this case.

    Have pitched it solidly in a surprising number of ways / places, including on solid stone high up in the Cascades where staking was not possible. Extended the guylines with my own and just tied these off around some big heavy rocks. Really easy. Plus the rectangle footprint makes it a breeze to find a good spot.

    Would buy again, for sure.

  39. Brett November 21, 2018 at 4:28 pm #

    As my first trekking pole tent, my HR1 was a gateway to a Duplex, which I knew how to set up before I bought it, because it’s the same set up not counting 2 pull-out stakes. I still intend to use the HR1 though.

  40. Jeff McWilliams January 23, 2019 at 2:18 pm #

    I just got an email to view SD’s new products for 2019.
    Conspicuously absent from the list of new tents was the High Route 2.0

    Did it not make the cut?

    • Roman Sokolov January 23, 2019 at 8:57 pm #

      Yep, it did. You can see a teaser on SD’s YouTube channel.

  41. Allen Lance January 25, 2019 at 5:24 pm #

    I’m getting back into backpacking in my 40’s.

    I’m not a starving college kid anymore but I like a good deal. Found the HR 1.0 on sale and it is now my first backpacking tent.

    I spent about a month reading up on current tent designs, materials, weights, and even read Andrew’s gear book (great read by the way). Looking at the HR1.0 thru Andrew’s eyes (courtesy of his book), comparing it with all the big brands, and applying some common sense I saw the many qualities of this tent (or tarptent if you want).

    I’m in Arizona and this tent will pretty much suit me for year around camping needs. It’s versatile, roomy and fairly durable without extraneous weight (there’s a difference in my opinion – a gram-weany I am not). HR 1.0 gives me one tent for all my needs and it didn’t hurt that it was only $200.

    Thanks for designing an awesome system Andrew.

  42. Boyan January 25, 2019 at 9:48 pm #

    At $200 this tent is a good deal. I bought it for the hight of both the main compartment and the doors. At my height 2-3 inches make a difference. I am also fidgety and the extra space will make a difference when I get stuck inside for a day. The only surprise was high significantly it sagged during the recent cold spell in AZ of alll places. It was a hasty pitch late at night in what I thought would be extremely forgiving weather, so perhaps this exolinas it. I also bought Dan Durston’s xMid. The price is hard to beat, and I was curious about poly vs nikon and the wet sag factor. Not crazy about the slightly rotated interior, I still have bad memories from the along with the complex Stratospire setup, and the tent has a giant footprint, but not much is on the line.

  43. Kevin February 5, 2019 at 11:22 am #

    I have been using only SD tents for over 20 years now. I have to say I am one backpacker who bought the original HR when it was first released and I have yet to see another one on the trail… I never know why because as far as I’m concerned, this tent is pretty close to perfect. The red has even grown on me. I’ve used it for years now in all kinds of crappy, windy, rainy conditions and and It has never failed me. I always thought 2.5lbs was a fair compromise for such a well designed shelter. I did cut off the vent poles, and i usually just use a twig. I have all the room I need for me and my pack inside. Sleep at an angle, pack by my feet. Wet weather means nothing to me while I watch all my friends wake up complaining of condensation saturation… I tell everyone I see how much I love this tent and SD as a brand. I’m tempted to try the new HR, but Im sad to see the original go away…

Leave a Reply