Wednesday, April 3, 2013

External Pitch: Sierra Designs Gets it Right

The innovative external pitch tent design of Sierra Designs' Flash 2 Tent won accolades from reviewers at Backpacker Magazine like it's older sister the Mojo 2 tent (pictured above on a tent platform in Vermont's Camel's Hump State Park).  Like the Mojo, the Sierra Designs Flash 2 tent combines single and double wall features to shave weight and provide ventilation while also being a cinch to set up.  Unlike the Mojo, the Flash 2 brought home a 2013 Backpacker Editor's Choice Award

Why?  About the Flash 2 on  the Backpacker editors' explain "Score a tent that has it all:  low weight and impressive durability plus ample living space and solid storm protection."(p. 26)  While the Mojo 2 tent is a practical minimalist machine, the Flash 2 tent (and the Flash 3) offer the most of the same benefits AND enough room for two (or three) people to who are out to have fun on a backpacking trip.  At least that's my sense of the bent of the average Backpacker reader who is unlike the lightweight minimalist seeking physical and emotional challenge on some existential quest. Think drinking and playing cards at night versus passing out from exhaustion. 

If you ever get the chance to set up an external pitch tent you see just how much easier it is to set up as there is no separate fly to deal with.  And this means that if you have to set up in the rain, the inside of your tent is not getting wet!  With 39 inches of headroom at its peak and near vertical walls this is a tent built for romance...or getting some distance from the stench of your backpacking buddy. 

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