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Love this tent already, the adjustable rain fly for night sky viewing is great. The window port is wonderful. Sierra Designs has put a lot of deep thought into designing a lightweight new tent. It did take a bit to setup as the design is different from most tents but worth the learning curve! Johnny on Nov 10th 2016
I've set up this tent about seven times, and used it under a variety of conditions from 45 degrees to 75 degrees. I hesitated to write this review because it seems to me that the definitive test for a tent of this design would be blowing rain (to test the awning), and haven't got do that yet. But otherwise I thought I would contribute a few impressions.
Overall, this tent is excellent, and is a good example of the level of quality of design and construction you get from Sierra Designs. If this tent blew away tomorrow, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again.
1. The three-position fly is incredibly versatile and incredibly easy to use - adjusting it takes a moment. I loved it.
2. The gear closets cannot accommodate a truly large pack, but other than that they are very handy. The tent entry door stays completely clear instead off the usual mess, and two gear closets adds up to a lot of space per person.
3. The awning is just a lovely feature - it opens up the whole front of the tent visually, creating a large sense of space.
4. I could be wrong about this, but the floor coating seemed much more robust than the coating on other brands of the same fabric weight.
1. I have no idea how to fix this (or even if it should be fixed), but when the instructions say "there will be a lot of tension" when installing the main hoop, it's an understatement. This is the first tent I've ever set up that literally requires considerable strength to do so. Don't buy this tent unless you are capable of entering a lot of pressure with your arms. Otherwise, setup is a piece of cake.
2. I don't believe that it's truthful for Sierra Designs to describe this as a "freestanding" tent. This tent is described as having all of the features of the Lightning 2, and the Lightning 2 is described as freestanding. I don't know if there is a standard definition of freestanding, but without stakes, this tent is less usable than any other freestanding tent I've ever used. I don't see how it could be used freestanding except in an emergency - the stakes are required to give shape to the tent in a number of important ways. I have heard it described elsewhere as "semi-freestanding." Since that phrase seems meaningless, I would just be honest and say the tent needs to be staked out.
3. I believe that the stated length of 86 inches (over seven feet) is a measurement of the total length of the tent, not just the floor, or some kind of measurement of the floor stretched to its maximum length. Anyone who is using this measurement to check whether it will accommodate their height will be disappointed - I think the usable floor length is actually about 82 inches.
4. Don't know how to fix this, but it's difficult to enter the tent wearing a hoodie with the hood hanging down your back - the awning pole, which comes to a point, catches your hood every time. It was mostly just a source of amusement!
Virtually all of the reviews of this tent and the variants on the awning design mention condensation. There was some condensation, especially at low temperatures, but it did not appear to be a result of any design flaw. Rather, it seemed to be an inherent limitation of the use of single-wall material near the tent foot to save weight. The condensation was no more or less than any other tent I've used with these materials.
There's no perfect tent, but I was impressed with the thoughtful design of this one, and have enjoyed using it. Look forward to watching this design continue to evolve.
Dan Barwick on Oct 22nd 2016
I went on a journey to fine the best tent for 1 person I tried 3 from Big Agnes and just could not deal with crawling in and out the vestibule. The green version of the Nightwatch 2 is not the lightest weight and does not really pack that small. its made it through very heavy rain set up in a low spot that collected water without leaking. Sure I had a little condensation on the top of the foot area where it is single wall but no big deal. great Basecamp tent for camping close to the Climbing area. plus saved over 300$ getting a 1.5 pound heaver tent. thanks Arkansas Wes on Oct 20th 2016
I used this tent for 2 nights in Florida and on a separate trip for 4 nights in Arizona. Loved the tent. It is easy to setup, did it the first time in the dark no problem. It is just snug enough for 2 people. I am 6'7" 230 lb and I was able to fit just fine. My feet touched a bit at the base of the tent but it was not an issue. We used inflatable sleeping pads that measure 25" X 78" with a tapered bottom. The pads fit perfectly with very little room to spare. The two nights in Florida we took a lot of rain, the tent staid perfectly dry the entire time. In Arizona we slept with the tent open for the most part of the night. It is not the smallest and lightest tent to backpack with but it is definitely worth it. Leo on Aug 31st 2016
Super easy to set up, pretty light, great features. The best thing about this tent for me is the ventilation. There was great airflow with the rain fly on and I usually feel stuffy in tents. Jayson on May 22nd 2016