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).
In its slimmed down form, the High Route is much more competitive in its category. In comparison, it’s:
- 5 ounces lighter than the Tarptent Statosphire,
- 1 ounce lighter than a seam-sealed sil-nylon Mountain Laurel Designs SoloMid XL + InnerNet,
- 1 ounce lighter than Dan Durston’s new X-Mid, and
- 1 ounce heavier than the Yama Mountain Gear Swiftline, which is a single-wall design.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Tags: High Route Tent, Outdoor Retailer, Sierra Designs
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.
“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.
As someone who owns a HR, thanks for looking at those finer details.
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?
I see a need for both products. Couples or people over 6’ tall are a market for the ordinal tent. I am a large guy and I lust after the original tent version for comfort.
Hi Andrew, is there any reason for the positioning of the poles,Ridgeline between them, and the corners? I noticed in the plan form view they are not all aligned, which I would think lend itself to a stronger, tighter ridge,but maybe there was a specific reason they were not aligned? I am in the process of designing a MYOG 2P version of this tent. I love the increased volume and headroom for almost no canopy surface area increase over a Duplex, and a massive increase over a traditional mid. I am aiming for 2lb including the inner, bit would like to avoid the easy design mistakes you might have already made with your prototypes. Take care and thanks for the great design.
The offset poles have a number of advantages. First, you get more volume/living space from two poles because offsetting them puts them further apart which stretches the tall ridgeline over more of the inner. If you just have a ridgeline perpendicular to the sleeper like the Duplex, then you have a lot less headroom since it’s only tall in the center of the tent. Second, the offset poles work better with doors because you can have a larger door on the side, rather than either smaller doors (e.g. Duplex) or a pole in the way.
I must not have made my question clear. When I said Ridgeline, I specifically was talking about the offset pole design, not asking why it wasn’t like the Duplex. I am aware of the differences. If you look at a top view, the pole locations and the corners nearest the pole locations do not form a straight line. If you look at the x-mid design, the line is a little straighter, but not quite. They are both offset pole designs, I just wonder if there is a reason for not having them in line. I lined mine up in the CAD on my 2p design, and there is insane headroom compared to all trekking pole 2p tents in the size range, I am just wondering if there might have pitch/tightness/stability issues, or if it might have just been to ease manufacturing/efficient material usage.
Why would you expect them to? The poles provide tension to what you call the ridgeline. If the length of the seams is suitably chosen the poles and the stakes provide all the tension you need.
I don’t expect anything. I called it the ridgeline because it is the ridgeline, even though it is not straight. I am guessing you and Dan have not designed a tent of this type? I was asking about the prototyping phase of the design with the hopes to avoid any obvious mistakes in my own. “Choosing seams of suitable length” is kind of like telling me “make sure to choose something that works”. Thanks.
As Andrew mentioned, there are a lot of factors that goes into it because you are constrained by where the floor is, and need to consider wall slopes, stake loading etc. I agree with him that I don’t think it’s a big deal. If there was unequal loading that you were worried about, you could compensate for it with the guylines.
I think you’ll find that having the ridgeline form a straight line between the two opposite corners is easier to do on a 2P because they are wider. The closer the fly is to being square, the easier it is to do. Try shrinking your design so the floor and fly are appropriately sized for 1P and see if you can still do it. The X-Mid has a straighter line here than the HR because the fly is wider (67″ vs 42″) and the rotated inner allows for the poles to be placed closer to this theoretical straight line, but it’s still not totally straight because doing so would put the poles on top of the floor, unless I made the tent a lot wider. The 2P version of X-Mid is a lot wider, so it does have a straight line here.
I was going to ask you for additional context, because the question is a bit vague, but I think I got the information I needed from your exchange with Dan.
We chose the location of the poles to achieve the greatest benefit of the offset poles while still allowing for sufficient seam and stake tension. For example, if we moved the poles closer to the corners, there’d be too much vertical tension on the stakes. Whereas if we moved the poles closer to the center, we’d lose the benefit of the offset poles.
In my experience, the straightness of the ridgeline (when accounting for the guylines) has no bearing on the strength of the shelter. In fact, I actually recommend that you place the guylines perpendicular to the side wall for best results.
Thanks, Andrew. Is there any magic “not to exceed” angle to avoid approaching with regards to vertical tension? I hadn’t given that much thought; I’ve not had any stakes pull out on my recent tarp experiments, but I’ve been working with a relatively wide (enough) plan with sub-50″ peak height.
Regarding the ridgeline, you mention seam tension – the basis of my design principle assumes that tension in line with the seam is to be optimized over tension across the seam, as I want to ensure my fabric is not being unnecessarily stress when the seam with all its reinforcements can do a much better job, does that seem like a valid assumption? I was mostly concerned with the ridgeline as it will be a continuous seam on my assembly, so a straight ridgeline will be a little easier for me to sew. It ticks my OCD box as an added benefit.
Thanks for the reply, Dan. My fly footprint is 70×90 for a 2P size (80×50 nest footprint, tapering up). I should be ok. The angles on mine are less aggressive than both the x-mid and HR, so I should be ok with the various concerns you’ve touched on, thanks for the help.
The offset poles are a really important part of the design. They make the interior much more roomy, three adults could sit upright inside this tent (w/o nest) in a thunderstorm and be fully protected. I also makes the tent much better in the wind, but you have to point the head/foot end into the wind. It’s hard to describe the shape but it is sort like two pyramids offset.
It is still the most spacious 1p tent I have used. I generally don’t use the nest tie in a floor. In this configuration you can easily fit two head to foot and stay off the walls. It is not much heavier than my old bivy without the nest and works well in the snow. I bought mine on sale for $180 and use it like a tarp only bringing the nest when I know bugs will be an issue, but it actually seals up pretty good with the ground cover in a pinch. I am considering customizing it with a skirt of netting so it can vent better and keep out critters.
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.
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.
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.
It seems a quite similar design as Dan Durston’s X-Mid (or perhaps Dan’s design is similar to SD). I do like the fact that the trekking poles are offset from the entrances.
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.
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.
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.
Sad to hear you’ve left SD. Is there other brand collaboration in your future?
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.
Keep us updated, I really like my Skurka Series products and would love to add more!
Thanks for always keeping us updated! I’m a big fan of your style and I’ve learned so much from following your work!
Let me pile on – totally would love to see a “Skurka-Brand”.
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.
Are you at liberty to discuss why you did not renew your contract? Just curious.
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).
Out of curosity, what would you do if you were in charge of SD?
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.
Yes, updates to the Flex are among the projects that were stalled. It won’t happen until spring 2020 at least.
Hi Andrew, this question is coming from Australia. Firstly, SDs is a preferred brand bc I see them as a little innovative and unpretentious. I liked it when you were part of their team. Secondly, I have had my eye on the Flex for some time.. I don’t desperately need to purchase it yet. I’m just wondering if you think the updated version is worth holding out another 9-12 months for? Regards
For 2020 they changed the exterior fabric to something that shouldn’t tear as easily in one of the directions. But so long as you don’t use the volume adjustment straps for compression, that’s not a big issue. (Use the compression straps, BTW.) They also added another should pocket.
The bigger thing for 2020 is that they added a big boy and a junior: a 25-40L version and a 55-80L version.
Thanks for the prompt response!
I think the expandable from 25-40 litres is a great idea. Pretty much what I’m wishing for right now as a handy travel size (about to head to Japan to predominantly tour cities but also climb Fuji).
Am I right in saying these 2 new sizes are in addition to the current 40-60L? I don’t think there is any real need for me to hold off for the new 40-60L size as one of my shoulder straps will have camera attached anyway.
Hope to see you on one of your tours one day! I’m off to Canada later this year with a 2-year work visa, so a good chance I’ll have some time in the US!
These two new volumes will make it a 3-pack family.
“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” 🙂
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.
Not disagreeing. The blue is a classic SD color, goes back decades according to the old-timers.
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.
Is the HR still your go to shelter for 3-season mountain west backpacking? What do you think of the X-Mid?
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!
I bought mine for the same reason, as well as his book.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)?
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.
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.
DCF was never part of the conversation. Takes too much manufacturing expertise and is beyond SD’s brand image.
I see. Well, with BA’s new tents may it become more mainstream.
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.
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).”
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.
Any thoughts about making a true two person High Route? Seems like it would complete the line. If not, what are the limitations?
No, no plans for that.
Hi Andrew – you mentioned the floor is now 20D, does it still hold the 3000mm hydrostatic head rating or is it 1200 as well?
It’s the same fabric as the fly, so it shares that spec. 1200mm HH.
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?
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.
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.
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.)
Definitely no 2p in the works at SD.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Call SD. Maybe they have some sitting around and would be willing to sell you one.
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!
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.
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? ???
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.
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.
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.
my biggest complaint was how much room it took in backpack (volume). That is a spec that never manages to make it to print.
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?
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.
Thanks for the reply. To clarify, I was talking about the c-shaped zipper configuration on the inner.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Sierra Designs High Route 2.0
Q: can this tent use as four season tent? or will you use it for snow camping?
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, https://andrewskurka.com/2017/shelter-comparison-mids-high-route-tent/
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.
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.
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.
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.
clown colors or party tent? not stealth dirt color and not rescue me yellow.
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.
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.
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?
Yep, it did. You can see a teaser on SD’s YouTube channel.
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.
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.
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…
Got the new one the other day and weighed it up. The whole package came in around 32oz. This includes Stuff Sack, Fly, Inner, Stakes, Stake sack. The Fly alone came in around 18.25 oz, not sure if it’s heavier than your spec due to included guylines or not. Overall looks like a sweet little tent that I can’t wait to take out for a spin.
Hmm, 18.25 oz. Officially it’s supposed to be 17 oz, which is more of a difference than I’d like to see. The version I had was a media sample, and there are always a few changes between those and production, and sometimes samples don’t use official fabrics or trims either.
I’m going to check in with SD to see their weights during QC.
From the developer at SD:
My scale in the ADC is showing 17oz but teeters on edge of 18oz and 17oz.
Pack weight is still at 1lbs 15oz (31oz) on the production product.
Interesting. I would assume that their QC lab has a nice scale. If it’s teetering between 17 and 18 seems like it’s 18oz. But I can see why SD might weigh it at 17.95 oz and say it’s 17 oz for marketing purposes.
Is the scale at SD inaccurate or something?
My kitchen scale shows at least one, if not two digits past the decimal point. Weird.
My luggage scale is different. It’s a “T” shaped handle with a hook on it. But since it measures up to 50 lb, I don’t expect it to have accuracy that a scale for smaller items would have.
I agree, kind of an odd response. But I’ll try to speculate. SD rounds to the closest ounce with their specs. Some are probably weighing at 17.4X and others at 17.5X, so he’s taking the lighter ones and rounding down to 17 oz.
Having been in that office, I know that scales are around that weigh to 0.1 oz at least.
Is there a way to use the HR or HR2.0 without poles?
I looking at the next couple of years, and I’ll be doing hiking, bike packing, emergency shelter when doing some long train runs in remote areas. I don’t really want to have to buy a HR1/2, a BA Copper Spur or similar and then a tarp too.
If two trees can be found in the right spot, could paracord be used to hold the tent?
I’d discourage that. First, two trees never seem to be located in the optimal spots — one is common, but that only gets you halfway there. Second, the door zipper would not work well — it’d probably be hard to get enough tension on the floor perimeter.
1. If you’re seriously into multiple activities, you might have to just get multiple items in the same category. Yes, you could make one shelter work for all of those activities, but I can’t think of a shelter that wouldn’t have shortcomings for every purpose. You might start with one shelter until you figure out what you need, but then invest in gear that will work.
2. Not sure where you are doing your long runs, but an emergency shelter sounds like packing your fears to me. Bring a lighter, emergency blanket, maybe a satellite messenger, and appropriate clothing of course, but the entire point of a run is to be un-weighted from overnight gear.
I was curious so I took it to the backyard…
I set it up with poles 1st, then took 1 pole outside, extended it to max, and jacked it up with scrap lumber, to simulate hanging that side from a tree branch;
It became obvious that in order to get the necessarily steep angle, the tree would have to be very close or there would have to be an overhanging branch, otherwise you would be climbing or throwing a line.
Possibly a hammock-tarp-style ridgeline could work but you would have to really have to put some muscle into getting it tight, trucker’s hitch, figure-9’s, or maybe some Dutchware, and use some non-stretch cord (Dyneema, Spectra, UHMWPE, NOT standard-issue nylon paracord). The ridgeline would still have to be fairly high with prusik loops or similiar to pull the tieouts upward at approximately 20 degrees from vertical.
The tie-out is oriented out rather than up. This may place excessive stress on the tie-out from an unintended direction. Also the pocket for the pole handle is a tad floppy, maybe more of an aesthetic thing.
Tension wise I was able to get a tight pitch pretty close to the standard set-up, a Shepherd’s hook stake in the eyelet of the strap used for the trekking pole tip would have made the pitch pretty much identical.
I did not set-up the floor, but I didn’t see any obvious complications to doing so.
It can be done but if I didn’t use trekking poles I would pick up a pair of Ruta Locura CF poles. If I broke a trekking pole I might try hanging the one side, but I would try to find a tree branch substitute first.
Today I was packing the X-mid in its (undersized 🙂 stuff sack and had it side by side with the original HR mk1. With both tents fully packed and side by side I did not notice any meaningful difference in weight, so I pulled out the scale and lo and behold
X-Mid: 1lb 14 oz, aka 30 oz
HR mk1 2lb 1 oz, aka 33 oz
Both are for fly + inner only, no stakes (the X-mid cheats in that department a bit since it comes with flimsy shepard hook stakes. Neither tent has been modified other than to make equivalent guyline replacements according to Andrew’s system: 8ft at the apex, 4ft at the perimeter, 6ft for the auxillary lines.
If anyone tells me that 3oz is a meaningful difference to them I want to have some of whatever it is that they are smoking.
Note that this is not to bash the X-mid. I actually like certain aspects of the design better than the HR1, but intend to keep both and alternate between them for some time to properly put their respective strengths and weaknesses in context.
So in the head to head battle the diffe
Thanks for the great comparison of the two versions of the tent. I was really excited to see you had designed a 1(.5) p tent. As a backcountry mountain hunter the original version seems to be what I have been asking for for quite some time – a big 1 person tent. I just found one and bought it. The 10oz will be well worth it. Wild sheep hunting requires lots of gear that the regular backpacker doesn’t need -rifle or bow, spotting scope, binoculars, tripod, game bags, ammo… And the weather is really crappy. Ultralight for us on a 10 day or two week hunt is under 60lbs. Having the bigger tent will eliminate a tarp to cover the gear. Probably a wash on weight. Mountain hunters might be the niche the original tent is perfect for. If the manufactures would have marketed it to mountain hunters they might have sold enough to keep both versions. I think I’m going to love the original version. I’ll be road testing it this August in Alaska on a Dall sheep hunt.
You might want to reconsider not bringing a tarp for the gear till after you have run some dry tests, especially if you plan on using the inner. The tent arrives with 12 inch cordage that attaches the inner to the corners. There is zero slack in those lines which only allows for a centered inner and only a foot of “vestibule” space on each side. Andrew had indicated that this was not his design intent, but that is waht the production tent is. On mine I have replaced these with much longer lines and typically install the inner almost flush against on door which provides reasonable vestibule space on the other side. In the near future I will add some shock cord to reduce the stress on the corners of the inner.
Thank you for the tip! I’ll be sure to perform the cord upgrade. This tent is so much bigger than my hilleberg solo tent I think I’ll have room for my gear plus me.
I replaced the cordage on my nest with extended lines too. Allows you to move and lock the inner exactly where you want it. Easier access to entrance on one side, larger storage space on the other.
I am able to fit all my gear inside the nest… put my head and feet in the taller parts sleeping at an angle. This gives me storage space in the other two corners, with the majority of my gear by my feet. If you shift the nest all the way up against the wall on one side, you run the risk of brushing up against it with your body or gear and wetting them from condensation on the inner walls (at least this is the case during cold/wet trips)
Agree about the risk of brushing against condensation, which is why I do “almost flush” – enough to meaningfully increase the size of one vestibule but still plenty of space on the other side to eliminate contact with condensation. I think that a while back Andrew indicated that his design called for 20 inch lines, which is the exact length required to jam the inner against any of the sides. I am surprised at the absence of shock cimord strain relief on the inner though, but that is easy enough to add.
On an unrelated note, I used the Dan Durston xmid for the first time in the field this past weekend and I must say that silpoly is a sweet material – very little sag when temps drop below the dew point. From a functional standpoint it is very close to the HR, pitch in windy weather is easier because it is what I would call semi self supporting – the trekking poles are held in place by the natural tension along the ridgelines. I am not 100 percent convinced about wind worthiness yet though. Yes, the walls are more sloped but there are still large expanses of unsupported fabric that seemed to bow in to a good degree during a moderate wind. The vertical poles on the HR would absorb that, while the xmid provides a boatload of optional guy out points along the base to handle that. I am kind of torn between the two – if I could have the HR1 in silpoly…
6’4” 210 lbs. The Original has served me well and continues to do so. I switch back and forth between my MLD Grace tarp and my solo High Route original, wx forecast dependent. No zipper malfunctions, frayed fabrics, pretty durable… I’ve gotten my $ worth. Mateo
Have you had your original in high winds plus rain? I have the original too and have only used it once. It was in a brisk wind and it seemed like it was ready to fail. I couldn’t help but worry what one of those high mountain winds where you can barely hear yourself would do to it.
I’m planning to take the tent to Alaska in a few weeks and worry if the tent will stand up to a strong wind.
The High Route (v1 or v2) wouldn’t be my first pick for high winds. A more traditional mid would perform better. It’s fine in snow without high winds.
Alaska can have nasty weather, but the summer’s are pretty nice, no worse than most of the Mountain West (except the Sierra, which is generally benign). In June I was in the Brooks Range for 2.5 weeks, and saw rain only one day.
Thank you for the insight.
Highest winds for me using V1 was possibly 25-30 during a T storm night at Lake Italy in a very exposed spot by the lake. I lowered the profile some but all stakes were attached / secured by copious numbers of heavy rocks which most likely was the key due to the profile. So unless I would have had line or fabric failure, I was ok. This is just my experience though.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.
Can you cook inside the High Route vestibule of the new High Route. Important that burn my coffee first in the morning before I get up when backpacking.
It’s not as easy to cook inside it as it was with the original High Route, but it’s still possible, especially if you have the doors porched in order to give yourself more living area and ventilation.
Just got the new High Route FL 1 and love the tent. However, I have just one issue with it. Both my head and feet press into the mesh. I have is raised as far as dare. This is without my quilt. I am only 5’10” and use Thermarest Uber light. I have a decision to make. Move up to the older heavier version (if I can find one), or deal with the mesh. Extra weight or mosquitoes nailing me in the forehead. 🙂
Being against the mesh is not a problem, so long as the mesh is not touching your skin. I usually wear a hooded insulated jacket at night, and this does a good job in keeping the mesh off the face, even when using a quilt. If you use a mummy bag, the hood of the mummy will serve the same purpose.
Are you planning on using it without an inner? I have an original one and it’s very roomy! I am also 5.10, and have zero issues with it. It is heavier but I truly believe it worth it!
Andrew, I am interested in trimming up a piece of MLD Polycro as a footprint for the updated (v2) High Route. I’m wondering what your recommendations are on the dimensions of a footprint for this version (use: full set up with fly and inner net).
I can’t remember offhand with the dimensions are. I would wait until you have it in hand, and then cut the ground sheet just a few inches short on all sides.
I just picked up this tent and agree with others about the weight. I have it at 18.2 oz for the tarp and 12.2 oz for the inner (versus 22.0 and 14.2 on the Original). I was hoping the tarp would be truer to what was advertised, not a difference of just under 4 oz.
The tarp/inner combo in the stuff sack is the 31 oz they tout, but once you add in the weight of 8 stakes the total difference between the two shelters is 6.9 oz (40.5 vs 33.6), not 10 oz. I feel fortunate to have the Original so I can use if tougher conditions warrant it, or if I just want more room.
The 2.0 tarp alone should work really well as it still feels spacious compared to the Original, and I can climb into it on the 1/2 door side so “losing” a door not a huge deal. The inner nest did feel much smaller, as did the tinier buckles. At the end of the day though, it still shares many of the features of the Original that make it a great and versatile tarp option.
I know that this thread (and this tent) is a couple of years old, but I found this interesting.
There is now a 2021 European version of the High Route called the High Route 1 3000. It appears that it has the same dimensions as the High Route 2.0, but with 3 main changes: green in color, 30D floor material, and the 20D on the sides of the inner nest comes up higher before meeting the mesh.
Weight? Hard to tell because the various Euro sites seem to have the specs all mixed up between the NA vs Euro versions. From what I can surmise it’s 3 oz heavier than the V2.
Yes that is interesting. Envious of the color. Good looking scheme.
Yeah, nice color. I’ve got the V1 and recently picked up a V2, but it would have been nice to have had the green color option. Here’s a link from a British retailer with a good photo series for the 3000:
I recently bought the High Route 3000 and camped in it last week to try it out. Since their are still few reviews of this version of the tent, and because of the comments above I thought I write something about my first impressions of it.
I bought the tent because it seems to have the right balance in weight – footprint – spaciousness – durability -weatherproofness – ease of setup and packability for long-distance hikes in NW Europe that go both below and above the treeline. Certainly for the price.
In the nest their is just enough room for my 25″ / 64 cm wide TMR Uberlite RW and all the other stuff I want to have inside it. If you pull the nest more to one side and slant the poles a bit to the outside their is just enough room in the vestibule for an empty backpack (or 4 bicycle panniers), shoes and cooking stuff. The poles are just far enough away from the inner, so I can hang my wet rain gear on the hiking pole on the front and my foodbag on the pole at the back.
In windy and rainy weather when you have to keep the doors closed, you have to remove the nest at least partly to be able to cook inside.
The inner isn’t very roomy and it takes some practice to adjust it in such a way that you have some headroom (my height is 176 cm, with a long back length). Also when laying down my head is very close to the nylon (I’m a belly sleeper), but as far as I know this is the same or worse for all the NW European weather proof tents that weigh around 1 kg or less, except for the TT Notch (the headroom is much better than in my Terra Nova Competition 1).
I was a bit worried about the visibility of the white panels in the fly for stealth camping, but it seams not to be a big problem if you select a good covert camp spot.
If I have to the smaller outer and inner garage door are just large enough for me to enter and exit the tent (but I’m still quite agile and flexible).
On one morning the nylon fly was very wet but seemed to stretch less than what I’m used to with my other tents.
Mine came with 10 aluminum Y stakes. Not the most durable but light (8-9 grams, with loop). And 4 guy-lines installed.
There is room for improvement. The stitching’s on some places are not very good. Mostly it’s ok, but the stitching of the hook and loop strap that hold the poles is a single stitch and one already broke on mine. And the tip corners of the fly seem to be very sensitive to the pole height and grip form of your hiking poles. The fly tends to be pulled of the polegrips by the guy-lines. I think I’m going to try to hand-sew the hook and loop straps closer to the tips of the fly, since one already let loose.
You might notice that ‘just enough’ comes up a number of times in my review, and I think that’s a good thing. The tent seems just spacious, durable and weatherproof enough for months of use in the varying (weather) conditions of NW Europe (like Scotland, Scandinavia). With a weight of just over 1 kg, and such a small pack-size and footprint for such a price, I think that’s actually quite an achievement.
Weights on my scale:
Fly: 553 g (with 4 guy-lines)
Nest/Body: 374 g
8 stakes + bag: 71g
Bag: 20 g
Total: 1018 g
According to the leaflet attached to the tent:
Body material: 30D Nylon Ripstop Silicon 3000mm WR PU
Fly material: 20 D Nylon Ripstop Silicon 3000mm WR PU
If one were to try to put this tarp on a diet, would it not be worth it to ditch the buckles? Is there something with the vertical wall design that makes zippers more vulnerable than other tents w/ buckles or is it just a decision to make the shelter more durable and storm-worthy?
I can see some getting rid of some of the extra length on the grommet webbing and even some of the material in the grey pockets at the apex of the ridgelines (for trekking pole tip?). I’m planning to use exclusively as a tarp so I could take off the inner nest connectors (two up top and the four corners), but other than all of that I can’t think of anything else.
You mean the buckles at the bottom of the doors, and also at the mid-points?
* The bottom buckles are critical, as they prevent the zipper from “walking” upwards in windy conditions and they take lateral tension off the zipper (which would shorten their lifespan).
* The mid-point buckles are a nice to have, because they allow the door to be “porched,” again without putting tension on the zipper.
I am a little puzzled by the logic of buying a tent with the intent of leaving half of it behind and eliminating the versatility you are paying for in order squeeze 3 or 4 ounces out of the part you are keeping instead of getting a tarp shelter truly designed to be a tarp shelter, not a convertible shelter. It sounds like you really want something else.
I mean, hike your own hike and all of that, but I am curious about the reasoning.
You’re not wrong! I have the original and was slightly disappointed with the weight savings on 2.0. So was thinking if it’s known/likely crap weather or bug season then I’ll just go with the original since it’s only like 6 oz more. But if it’s looking like good weather and I would be mostly using a bivy, then I wanted to use that tarp but trim it down in weight some if possible. I’m selling the inner if you’re interested! 🙂
Yes those, thanks for the explanation! I had actually wondered about the possibility of zipper going back up, but haven’t been in that windy of conditions yet.
I have the High Route 3000 and I had a few questions for you so hopefully you are still around to answer. I love the tent and it’s small footprint which was a big plus for me verses the x mid which takes up a lot of space. I also like the fact the tent is nylon which is stronger than poly and that it’s green which is good for wild camping. This is why I went for your tent design over Dans.
I recently used the tent in high winds in the lakes and had issues with the poles shaking and one trekking pole handle moving inwards (away from the reinforced cup) over time. Do you have any thoughts how to stop this happening? My red guy line lok also kept slipping so I’m going to put a loop of fixed dyneema cord on this corner.
I also noticed there seem to be holes for the tips of the poles to sit in. Can you confirm if this was the intention as in bad weather I think the tent would be much more stable with the poles the other way round with the tips up?
Also can I ask why the footprint for the tent is significantly smaller than the base of the tent and also tapers. This makes it a non starter. I use a piece of tyvek as we like our footprints in the uk.
Need to say up front: I’ve not been involved with Sierra Designs for about four years. I hadn’t even heard of the High Route 3000, so I actually had to look it up. It doesn’t look any different from the US version though, so I’m not sure why it’s named differently.
1. To prevent the poles from sliding inwards, the Velcro holster must be really snug. But that still may not be enough, especially if you’re using the inner, which puts continuous inward tension on the poles.
2. If you were to put the pole tips up, there probably would be less slippage but you’d have no way to keeping the door taught, since that grommet at the base of the zipper is designed for the pole tip.
3. The footprint of the inner is smaller than than the footprint of the fly in order to save weight. It’s for sleeping in, not living in.
4. I generally wouldn’t recommend the High Route for windy conditions. Those vertical sides just catch too much wind, and I don’t think its asymmetry is helpful. The X-Mid does not perform well in high winds either, based on what I’ve seen. The best I’ve seen in this category is the MLD SoloMid.
Hi Andrew, thanks for coming back to me and the responses. I appreciate you have not worked for Sierra for quite a while now. I would have preferred the footprint to cover the entire floor for the few grams extra but it is what it is. I think in the uk we tent to favour durability over weight.
The high route 3000 is the European version of the tent. It has a hydrostatic head on the fly of 3000mm instead of the standard 1200mm. The inner is also half solid to suit European tastes and conditions and finally its green as blue does not work in the UK as it really has to be stealth as wild camping is technically illegal here apart from Scotland and Dartmoor.
To create a larger vestibule on both sides a lot of people (including me) don’t use the grommet to sit the pole in. Instead they pull the fly out to create a larger vestibule as a hack and stab the pole tips into the ground. This also slightly improves the aerodynamics of the tent. it’s interesting how design decisions sometimes turn out in a different way as intended 🙂
On my tent there looks to be a hard wearing material sockets for the poles to sit tips up (I wasn’t very clear in the original post sorry). I’ll try it anyway next time as I think this will hold the poles in position better for when the winds pick up.
Anyway congrats on the design of the tent. Glad you made it as the footprint for a 1P makes it ideal.
FWIW, I have both U.S. versions and I put V1 through some seriously cracking winds in the Crazy Mountains last summer. Lots of flapping but it held tough. I had the ridge lines secured to trees and big rocks so they weren’t about to release or go slack.
I know there are other options out there, but I have a love affair with the HR. Before that it was the Tensegrity FL1. So I guess it’s really a Sierra Designs affinity — probably going all the way back to my SD Glacier with the always-fun-to-crawl-through snow tunnel. I loved that thing!
Andrew, thanks for this article. I recently did a thru hike of the PCT (2022) using the former model (along with a 500 mile prep on the At). The spaciousness of the former was a true selling point for me. At several times on such a long hike long camps happen and the extra room is well appreciated. The various pitching options of this tent are also a huge benefit due to the many conditions encountered. Yes the old was heaver but really didn’t mind it. This new design is intriguing and will give it a serious look. One wearing point of this tent is the center seam on the fly. After about 70ish nights it started to leak water in a rainstorm. Not bad after so many nights. A good seam seal after did the trick. What may cause this to wear more quickly is the tension this seam handles when pitched causing the stitching and tape to separate and the seam to form micro tears or fabric stretch. Thanks for the review and coming up with this design. I find it to be innovative.
Hi David thanks for the info. I’ll seam seal my stitching now as a precaution.