High Route Tent


I’m biased about the Sierra Designs High Route Tent 1FL: I drew its first sketches, field-tested extensively each prototype, and assured that the final version achieved my original objectives, which was to create a one-shelter quiver for all of my solo backpacking trips. In these pages, I’ve tried to create and compile information to help you determine if it’s truly the best shelter for you.

The double-wall HR1 excels in challenging 3-season conditions — when it’s stormy, hot and humid, and/or buggy — as well as moderate winter weather. But at 2 lbs 4 ounces (1.02 kg) for the fly and inner tent, it’s acceptably light for milder trips. Its components can be used interchangeably; for example, use only the fly with a groundsheet before or after the bug season; or use only the inner tent on dry and and warm summer nights.

The interior is palatial, with a footprint that is comparable to many ultralight 2-person tents. It measures 4′ x 9′ x 4′ (width x length x maximum peak height). In fact, it can reasonably sleep two when only the fly is used. Its ventilation is superb: it features two 6-inch peak awning vents and two porch-able side doors to increase airflow through the shelter.

It’s one true drawback is its weight: it’s a few ounces heavier than “ultralight” 1-person tents, and about twice as heavy as a tarp/bivy system or a single-wall shelter made of Dyneema Composite Fabric. But are those shelters worth the tradeoffs (e.g. less living space, less storm-resistance, less ventilation, less durability, or higher cost)? That’s for you to decide.

If you have questions about the HR1, leave a comment in the appropriate post, or contact me.

Teaser: Sierra Designs High Route 1 FL Tent

By Andrew Skurka / May 10, 2016 /

In August 2014 I drew the first sketches of the Sierra Designs High Route 1 FL Tent. In the ensuing 18 months, we made up four prototypes, and I tested the design extensively in southern Utah and the Rockies. In designing the High Route Tent, I wanted a single shelter that I could use on all of my solo…

Biggest Loser: Putting the High Route Tent on a diet

By Andrew Skurka / June 19, 2016 /

The Sierra Designs High Route Tent 1FL is not a featherweight. That’s the cost of a full-sided, extremely liveable double-wall tent that is made of 20d and 30d coated nylons, not a Dyneema Composite Fabric (aka Cuben) at twice the price, or 7d and 15d nylons at a fraction of the durability and waterproofness. The specs on our…

Pitching instructions & tips: Sierra Designs High Route Tent 1FL

By Andrew Skurka / June 20, 2016 /

The Sierra Designs High Route Tent 1FL has a unique but straightforward pitch. After one or two backyard practice rounds, you probably will be comfortable with the basic configuration, especially if you have previously pitched an A-frame tent or tarp, or a pyramid tarp with a square- or rectangular footprint, or both. Of course, practice makes perfect.…

Imperfections: A self-critique of the Sierra Designs High Route Tent

By Andrew Skurka / June 22, 2016 /

It’s not perfect, and — depending on your trip conditions, personal preferences, and recreation budget — it may not be the most appropriate shelter for you. In a perhaps refreshing change of tone, I’d like to discuss real and perceived flaws of the Sierra Designs High Route Tent 1FL, and in some cases explain why they…

Reviews & commentary: Sierra Designs High Route Tent 1FL

By Andrew Skurka / August 1, 2016 /

I’m biased about the Sierra Designs High Route Tent 1FL, since I sketched its original design and then field-tested extensively each prototype. Do others think I have a future as a tent designer? I’ll be updating this page as we find out. Customer reviews at SierraDesigns.com For reviews by “regular” users, go here. Highlights: Once I…

Performance assessment: High Route Tent 1FL meets Glacier National Park

By Andrew Skurka / August 1, 2016 /

Last month Dave Chenault and I used the Sierra Designs High Route Tent 1FL* while attempting the Glacier Divide Route, a rugged 125-mile traverse of Glacier National Park that is largely off-trail and above treeline. We experienced some of the exact conditions for which the HR1 was designed: on the first night we had marble-sized…

Wind advisory: Tips for using the High Route Tent in high winds

By Andrew Skurka / August 25, 2016 /

How can you maximize the performance of your Sierra Designs High Route Tent 1FL in high winds? 1. Find a good campsite. I will intentionally select an unprotected campsite in only a few situations. If: The conditions are warm and calm; A breeze will keep grounded a hungry hatch of bugs; and/or, I’m willing to compromise sleep quality for campsite aesthetics. Otherwise, whenever…

A deal at $240: High Route Tent, 20% off through Labor Day

By Andrew Skurka / August 26, 2016 /

Sierra Designs is having a 20% sitewide sale through Labor Day. And orders of $49+ qualify for free shipping. Valid only at www.SierraDesigns.com Use coupon NOFOMO at checkout Most notably, the High Route Tent 1FL is now $240. For what you get, I thought its $300 MSRP was competitive. It’s a lot of tent at $240, and…

Two snug: Can the High Route Tent 1FL be used as a 2-person shelter?

By Andrew Skurka / September 5, 2016 /

For a one-person backpacking shelter, the Sierra Designs High Route Tent 1FL is palatial. Its footprint is 36 square feet and its minimum peak height is 48 inches. In comparison, the two-person Big Agnes Copper Spur 2UL has a 38-square-foot footprint, with a maximum interior height of 42 inches. And the two-person MSR Carbon Reflex…

Gear List || One-shelter quiver: Modular double-wall backpacking tent

By Andrew Skurka / November 15, 2016 /

What is a backpacking tent? I’ll define it as a full-sided, fixed-shaped, and holistically designed portable shelter that protects its occupants from precipitation, wind, groundwater, and insects. A few models do not fulfill this entire description, but it generally works. Tents grossly outsell tarps, hammocks, and bivy sacks. This is partly due to deeply embedded mindsets (“I…