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Every time I use this tent, I marvel at how well it performs - it's that good.
Weight per square foot? Best in class.
Ease of setup? Also best.
Enormous vestibules that are designed so rain doesn't enter the tent even when they're open, with choice of zero, one, or two vestibules depending on type of trip? Check.
Completely weatherproof after weeks of use in all kinds of conditions? Absolutely.
This tent replaced my Sierra Designs Hercules AST, which was like a rock in all conditions. However, this tent is roomier, has larger vestibules, more headroom, and the non-removable fly makes it a breeze to set up. For a tent with two vestibules, a fly, a main pole and three cross poles, a pole per vestibule, and small cross poles on each awning, this thing sets up by one person in about ten minutes without even rushing.
Every other tent review I've written has pros and cons. Honestly, I can't come up with a con for this tent. Usually, expedition tents are either heavy (not this one), difficult to set up (nope), cramped (hardly), or leak water or snow in bad weather (no again).
As other testers have noted, the fixed fly does cause some wetting issues if the tent is packed wet. But I've never found that to be a problem - my previous tent would get wetter simply from entry and exit in the rain, which this one has no problem with. For such a light tent - it seems perfectly durable - I've had no problems (although I do use the footprint).
The bottom line is that this tent is roomy, bright, durable, light for its class, and easy to set up. Whoever designed it deserves a raise - every time I set it up, I think "that's clever." It completely enhances my experience on trips, which surely is point of good gear. If anyone has questions, you can always e-mail me at email@example.com. Happy camping! Daniel Barwick on Jan 14th 2017
I've only used it a couple of nights so far but have some initial info to report... Besides being truly large enough for 3 with a well thought out fly and vestibule configuration, the ventilation options are excellent and prevented all but a very minor frost on the inside while snow camping in the Sierra's with temps in the teens. The integrated fly makes it very easy to set up and it's very light for a 3 person, 4 season tent. The only downside I can see at this point might be that the weight saved is at the expense of pole diameter. This might be problematic in heavy winds or a snow load which are common in most areas in the winter. I didn't have any wind or falling snow on either of my nights out, so I can't say for sure. That said, there are what appear to be quality guy lines which may solve the wind issue. An all around great winter tent from what I can tell so far. Jeff H. on Dec 12th 2016
I took this tent to Iceland in late September of this year and all i can say is that i would not have wanted anything else. The convert 3 was more than enough room for two people for a long term trip (really, it was plenty of room for 3 if we had a third person). Inside it is roomy (full height for the full length of the tent and relatively steep sidewalls). It handled the constantly wet conditions with no issues and most importantly: everything stayed completely dry inside with only minimal sweating on the doors (which was alleviated by cracking the window under the awning just a bit.
This tent was set up in pouring rain, it was accidentally set up in a giant puddle to the end that you could feel the water moving around underneath the tent, and it went through some of the notoriously strong Icelandic winds, all without issue. Set up was quick once you get the hang of it and the tent was regularly up and ready long before others who arrived at the campsites at around the same time. The overhang in front of the door was extremely useful for getting in/out easily during the rain and while keeping wet boots and rain outside the tent. The stakes included for this tent are about the best i have ever used, they are strong and light and you can easily just jam it into the ground without worrying about bending. Plus the stake is low profile (doesn't have a huge hook like most cheaper stakes) with two notches to help secure the tent in place.
An added bonus for this tent: it is not as dark as most of the other 4-season tents i have seen, especially those that we saw in Iceland. Inside it has a light yellow (sunlight-esque) glow during the daytime hours which was pleasant.
After the trip, my partner and i were both thoroughly pleased with the tent and would not have wanted to take anything else with us for the trip. I look forward to using it more during all seasons while backpacking/backcountry skiing in the states!
One caveat: the tent is not extremely structurally sound unless properly staked out- if you are expecting heavy winds, set the tent up in line with the wind (vestibule pointing directly into the wind) this seemed to be the strongest axis for the tent. Unknown on Nov 5th 2016
We are back after our second trip of the year into northern Canada. On these two trips we spent about sixty nights in our Sierra Designs Convert 3.
I chose to buy this tent last winter as we were planning an expedition to the Back River in Nunavut. The Back is notorious for its reputation as having the worse weather of any of the Barren Lands rivers. I was worried that the tent we had been using might not be able to handle the Back’s winds. The Convert seemed to answer my needs for strength plus light weight.
I am pleased to report that it performed splendidly.
I fashioned four additional guy lines that could be hitched to the three pole hubs on the center line of the tent. I don’t think that they were really needed but we did use them and at least they gave me a little extra peace of mind. I also put shock cord on the six regular guy lines. We had two storms which pinned us down for a total of four days with howling winds. The tent was a “howling” success.
Our second trip was shorter, only twelve days on the South Nahanni in the Northwest Territories. But it was in September which can be a little questionable in the Territories. We had no significant wind but there was rain on seven of our twelve days. The one problem we have had with the tent involves the attached fly design. If the fly is wet when you pack it, there may be some water inside the tent when you next set it up.
There was not enough rain on the Back for this to be a problem. If we had a little water in the tent we just mopped it up with a rag we brought for that purpose. On the Nahanni that would not have been adequate. Instead we had a sheet of “tyvex” (sp?), that waterproof fabric builders use on the outsides of houses that are under construction. We used this inside the tent rather than as a footprint. It was cut a little larger than the floor of the tent and always kept us dry.
The attached fly design does make for dry set-ups in the rain.
My wife and I prefer three person tents for extended outings and we found this tent to provide plenty of room for us. The bug netting being on the inside of the doors is very handy in the Barrens in July. Set-up is simple and we had no problems with durability.
Congratulations to Sierra Designs on a well thought out and executed very light expedition tent.
Tom Kimbrough on Sep 21st 2016
VERY HAPPY with this tent! We slept in below freezing in the snow, 3 + our dog & had room left over! Tent performed above and beyond! Would definitely recommend! Bill on Feb 23rd 2016
I thought I'd add to my review after a weekend in it cold weather camping. I think this is my favorite tent. It is my go-to tent for sure. I camped in fairly cold weather, down to 12 degrees overnight, and woke up surprised that there was no hoar frost on the walls of the tent. I don't know if that was because I was alone in the tent or if the canopy fabric breathes that well. But, I expected frost inside the tent and there was none. I was also once again surprised by the light transmission of the tent fabrics. I camp a lot. This tent is just brighter. It's completely private from the outside, but bright on the inside. It's a beautiful tent, outside and in... Terrific tent. Nowhere is Sierra Designs outside the box, functional design philosophy more apparent than in this tent. It's a true double wall four season tent that sets up like you're just setting up the tent body. No hassles with a huge rainfly in the wind, as it's integrated into the tent. It's lightweight, the poles and stakes are packaged separately from the tent body and attached together so it's easy to separate components for backpacking. The vestibule is large and it's a large tent overall. With two vestibules it would be huge. I am a bit surprised by how roomy it is as I usually think of a three person tent as a two person tent. This one really could hold three average sized people, especially with the second vestibule when hauling big packs. It sets up easily, and the setup is well thought out and intuitive. I set it up twice in strong winds and had it up both times in maybe five to ten minutes. It's also quite bright inside the tent, as the fabrics transmit light well. I didn't need artificial light to find things during the night. The fabrics are great. The floor fabric seems very durable and better that similar floors in other tents I own. I bought the foot print but haven't used it yet because I haven't thought I needed it. For me this tent fills a need for a year around Colorado tent. The problem with typical three season tents is that if you hike and camp in places like the Rocky Mountains, you can see snow almost any time of year. I camped over Memorial Day in a three season tent and had snow blowing inside of my tent. So, I bought this as my go-to backpacking tent for two people. A little over three pounds each, for an extremely stable, well ventilated and versatile tent. Gregory on Nov 16th 2015
Pro's: Upgraded our 20 year old Stretch Dome with the Convert 3. I Love how light this tent is, almost half the weight of the Stretch Dome. The awning over the door does keep rain and snow out while the door is down which is sweet for viewing in bad weather which I couldn't do in the S.D.. My wife loves hanging out in this tent in bad weather as she can see outside during storms. The vestibule is huge - not in a bad way. Lots of storage to keep gear organized and you are still able to get in and out with ease. Our dog goes backpacking with us and she loves the shade the awning provides. Cons: Set up is a bit awkward with the pole config. The H clips? I think there called are also a bit tough getting used to. The pole clips also are a little tough to engage and disengage, especially for my wife who's wrists aren't as strong as mine. I'm sure we will get used to the set up and tear down the more we use it. Still haven't figured out the guy lines - I guess I'll have to read the instructions. The two fiberglass poles which support the awning I highly recommend removing if you like to stuff your tent that way you can compress the tent a bit smaller for fitting inside a backpack, which I couldn't do with them in place. Overall, I really like this tent and would recommend it. Paul on May 7th 2015