I’ve had my eye on the Sierra Design tents ever since they rebranded and made critical design changes to their line up of tents. The biggest aspect of design change that caught my eye the most was the removal of the traditional vestibule and the addition of functional gear closets. Although released in 2014, I finally got my hands on the Flashlight 1 tent just a few days ago, in March 2016.
I am the type of person that spends hours and hours researching and comparing outdoor products. I look at all my options within my budget and decide what will be best for me and the application of the product to the type of outdoorsman that I am.
Ultimately I decided on the Sierra Designs Flashlight 1 tent for my solo backpacking trips, in the scenario where a tarp or bivy are not the most practical. Sometimes having a dry place to take cover and stay away from the bugs is necessary.
Here are my first impressions of the Flashlight 1 tent as i’ve set it up before I take it out on the trail in a couple weeks and prepare for a full review of the tent.
Sierra Designs has obviously put a lot of attention to build quality in their tents. After setting the tent up for the first time, it was one of the first things I noticed. Reinforced seams, taped seams, stitching in obvious areas that may receive most wear and tear.
As mentioned before, they have removed the traditional vestibule from the tent and created an awning over the door that allows for better ventilation and breathability in the tent. The tent features one door, but two large windows that allows you to escape the elements in inclimate weather but still allow you to feel like you are outside and not stuck in a nylon dome. I’ve not tested this awning yet, but I am still excited about the single wall/double wall design that will allow for ample ventilation but keep me dry at the same time.
Let’s talk about the gear closet. What a genius idea for making a place for gear to be kept and protected from rain after you remove a vestibule. This truly is genius. I never liked how a vestibule is awkward and makes storing your gear even harder. Argue with me if you will, but I think Sierra Designs has hit a massive home run here. The gear closet on the Flashlight 1 is just large enough to stand about a 65 liter backpack up that holds the gear not being stored in your tent. For me this is adequate.
Check out the video below to get a full glimpse into my impressions of this tent.