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

By Andrew Skurka / August 1, 2018 / 110 Comments

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…

Preview: Black Diamond Distant Tent || Got ventilation?

By Andrew Skurka / July 31, 2018 / 8 Comments

Nearly all backpacking shelters from cottage manufacturers use trekking poles for support, e.g. MLD SoloMid, TarpTent Notch, and ZPacks Duplex. The explanation is simple: This saves weight over geometries that require dedicated pole sets, e.g. Big Agnes Copper Spur, REI Quarter Dome. Some of the weight must be given back to achieve a minimum of…

Preview: Big Agnes Carbon Tents || Dyneema for the (rich) masses

By Andrew Skurka / July 30, 2018 / 52 Comments

Originally published July 30. Revised November 10. My coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2018 begins with Big Agnes, which revealed new editions of three existing tent geometries: Fly Creek 1 Carbon ($800, 1 lb) and Fly Creek 2 Carbon ($850, 1 lb 2 oz) Tiger Wall 2 Carbon ($1000, 1 lb 9 oz)and Tiger…

Review: Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 & UL3 || A “couples trip” tent

By Andrew Skurka / May 14, 2018 / 20 Comments

The Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL is new for spring 2018. REI has been the exclusive distributor so far, but more retailers will have it starting next month. It’s available in two sizes: Tiger Wall UL 2 ($400, 2 lbs 8 oz) Tiger Wall UL 3 ($450, 2 lbs 15 oz) With its semi-freestanding pitch, crossover roof pole,…

Reader Q: Recommended guyline lengths for backpacking shelters

By Andrew Skurka / May 3, 2018 / 20 Comments

A client on one of my 5-day guided trips in Colorado recently asked: In this case, the client has a 8′ x 8′ flat tarp. But I’m going to expand my answer to include all common backpacking shelters: tents, mids, A-frame tarps, flat tarps, and hammocks. These recommended lengths assume that you’re using my recommended guyline…

Preview: Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2 & 3 || Best of Fly Creek + Copper Spur

By Andrew Skurka / February 6, 2018 / 29 Comments

New from Big Agnes for Spring 2018 is the Tiger Wall UL tent. Through May 31 the Tiger Wall is available exclusively from REI, and is available in two sizes: Tiger Wall UL 2 ($400, 2 lbs 3 oz) Tiger Wall UL 3 ($450, 2 lbs 11 oz) The Tiger Wall UL sits between BA’s extraordinarily…

Review: Sierra Designs High Side Tent || Light & packable, but small

By Andrew Skurka / October 3, 2017 / 8 Comments

The most interesting new shelter from Sierra Designs in its spring 2018 lineup is the High Side. I previewed it in my summer Outdoor Retailer coverage, and recently used it on two 5-day/4-night backpacking trips in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park in the Sierra-Nevada. Testing conditions were varied. We camped in forest, at treeline, and in…

Reader Q || Do I need a footprint for the High Route Tent?

By Andrew Skurka / August 10, 2017 / 9 Comments

A question from reader Caspar R: I generally do not recommend using a footprint with the Sierra Designs High Route Tent 1Fl. A custom-sized footprint for it is intentionally not available, and there are no plans to offer one. The inner tent of the High Route features a waterproof floor made of medium-duty 30d nylon coated…

Preview: Sierra Designs 2018 tents || High Side, Studio, Sweet Suite & Meteor

By Andrew Skurka / July 27, 2017 / 18 Comments

My coverage of Outdoor Retailer starts at the Sierra Designs booth (naturally, since they’re paying for me to be here). For 2018 SD has largely revamped its shelter line-up. Only three current models are being carried forward — the Summer Moon, Clip Flashlight, and my High Route. The remainder will be discontinued and closed out.…

Shelter Comparison: Mids vs. the High Route Tent

By Andrew Skurka / March 10, 2017 / 15 Comments

This post was prompted by an email from reader Jim that started with, Jim was deliberating between the purchase of a High Route and a more traditional pyramid-shaped shelter (“mid”), and he hoped that I would shed insight on the differences. While I have discussed them in multiple places, I have not yet written a dedicated…