Sierra Designs has been making awesome outdoor gear for decades. I bought my first piece of their equipment 20 years ago. It was a Meteor Light tent that I still have and love today. Their new Sierra Designs Summer Moon tent is a similar dome style but made for those warmer trips spring – fall. It is an incredibly lightweight 3 lbs. 7 oz. considering it’s also very low price point of just $179. That’s a kickass lightweight two-person tent from a trusted brand for under $200! Despite the low weight and cost, it still comes with a rain fly and vestibule. These days both are a must have, but you’d think for the price and weight, there would be bigger trade-offs.
The Sierra Designs Summer Moon 2 (2-person) has 29.2 square feet of floor area with a peak height of 41 in. I’m a bit taller than the average at 6 ft. 2 in., but I fit in there fine. There are just two poles with an all clip configuration. This is so vastly better than mostly clips and a couple annoying sleeves. Who wants sleeves in a mostly mesh 3-season tent? No one. The poles insert into handy grommets instead of the short rods that are common on lesser tents. This means you never have to over bend the poles and strain to get another small post inside the poles. It also means closed pole ends. The rain fly is not 100% full coverage, as the back covers just past the mesh, but like I said, this is for those fairer weather trips and the tent walls are waterproof too.
Plenty of stakes and guy lines are provided to you, so you can get it good and guyed out to avoid and pesky water getting in. I don’t know what the official ratio is, but it feels like this thing is at least half mesh, which is perfect for star gazing and trying to sleep in after the sun comes up. Keep in mind though that the wonderful breeze goes both ways if the temperatures drop winter style.
Inside, the main door is a D-shape, which is ok but can sometimes require two hands if you have it staked out tight, as the tension pulls the fabric a bit off. It’s a very minor issue though and the more it breaks in, the more that will go away.
There are pockets for the little stuff and loops with line for the included night glow baggie. If you’re not familiar with that feature, it is a little hanging baggie that you can put your headlamp in to give a nice indirect glow throughout the tent. You’ve already got a headlamp, why bring an additional lantern? If you don’t need the light, you can use the same line and connection points for a gear loft or some kind of movie viewing rig. No shame in that. Sometimes it’s fun to have a little digital entertainment in the wilds. Let the purists whine while you enjoy.
Overall, the Sierra Designs Summer Moon is a fantastic, well-made, inexpensive, lightweight tent for two. We think it should earn a coveted spot in your gear closet.