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I was looking to buy my first backpacking tent in 2015 and found Sierra Designs on an online review article. I believe it was an OutdoorGearLab review. After researching the other tents from makers like Tarptent, REI, Big Agnes, Nemo, Kelty, etc, I decided on the Flashlight 1. On paper it seemed to provide the best value in regards to design, weight, ease of setup, price, and materials. Well after two backpacking trips I'm glad I went with the Sierra Designs Flashlight 1.
I swapped out the 8 aluminum tent stakes and replaced them with titanium ones (saving 2.5 oz), and i also left one of the vertical poles behind using a trekking pole in its place (saving 3 oz). The total weight of the tent in the stuff sack along with the rear pole and vertical poles shows 2 lbs 11 oz on my scale. This is in line with their claim of a 2 lb 9 oz. minimum weight.
The tent packs down very small. Smaller than my Down 41 degree sleeping bag.
The tent setup is very simple and only takes a few minutes. I did have trouble each time (twice on trips and twice setting up in the backyard) with attaching the clips on the foot end of the tent to the lower pole. It always get there but it is VERY tight. Tight enough that I'm worried one of these times the seam may tear. The other issue I have is with the guylines and the included tighteners. Maybe I'm not experienced enough but some more instructions on how these different types of cord locks work would be helpful.
The inside of the tent provides more than ample space for 1 person and your pack if you don't want to put it outside in the nifty vestibule. It is actually quite long. The zippers are smooth and getting in and out and is easy. I do wish you had the option to completely close off the mesh as some of it remains open on each side as well as the top part that looks into the vestibule area.
The only other issue i encountered was some condensation above my head which forced me to move down further to avoid getting a little wet. This is a problem that always occurs but the tent is long enough that it isn't a big deal at all.
I love this tent enough that I just purchased the Flashlight 2 as I'm trying to get my wife to go on future backpacking trips.
packs down small and is lightweight
made from good material
great bang for your buck
long enough to put your pack at your feet
nice vestibule area
enough guy outs for ventilation and to make it sturdy
can't completely close mesh areas
got some condensation above my head
lower pole connection is very tight
needs better instructions on the guy lines
I have a picture of my Flashlight 1 setup on my Instagram @MACDEEZY
Thanks Sierra Designs! Dan Mac on Jan 8th 2017