- Sleeping Bags
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