The Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight 2 Tent (MSRP $199) is a relaunch of old customer favorite with an updated design, fabrics and hardware. It’s a double-walled, two-person tent, lightweight enough for backpacking if the weight is shared (3.5 pounds), but also well-suited for car camping when you want a shelter that’s roomy for two and super easy to set up.
The tent is called the “Clip ” Flashlight 2 because the inner tent clips to two collapsible tent poles, ensuring good ventilation between the bug netting of the inner tent and exterior fly, and keeping internal condensation away from occupants. High sidewalls on the bathtub floor prevent rain water from entering the inner tent if you have to set up on “dished out” campsites that pool water in the rain.
The interior space of the Clip 2 Flashlight is quite comfortable, with lots of headroom, provided you sleep with your head at the front end of the tent. Large side pockets sewn into the inner tent hold a ton of personal effects and there’s extra space at the head and foot end and along the sides for your pillow, shoes, and other gear storage. The headroom at the front end of the tent is also excellent for sitting up, changing your clothes, and packing your gear the next morning.
Access in and out of the tent is good for two people, even though the tent has just one front door. This is because the front door has two side zippers and can be rolled up and away, eliminating the need to climb over and wake up your partner when you want to get out for a midnight stroll. Side wings along the front of the tent, help protect the front door from wind and blowing rain, while providing an unfettered view outside and excellent ventilation. This is my favorite feature of the tent.
While the clip and curve pole architecture makes the Clip Flashlight 2 look like a freestanding tent, it isn’t. The inner tent requires a minimum of four corner stakes.
Unfortunately the stakes provided with the Clip Flashlight 2 Tent are terrible and bend easily if you pound them in with a rock or a wooden mallet. You’ll want to replace them with something much more durable like an MSR Groundhog stake. This is disappointing because the hardware included with other Sierra Designs tents I’ve reviewed recently (Lightning FL 2 and the High Route FL 2) has been so much better than what many other manufacturers normally include with their tents.
The fly attaches to the rear stakes using jakes foot snap connectors, saving two stakes, but you’ll need an additional stake for the rear vent and two more for the wings of the front door. For maximum airflow between the inner and outer tent, I also suggest you stake out the two optional side stabilizer guylines which are attached to outside of the fly on the front pole. This helps stretch the fly as tight as it will go and maximizes the air gap between the inner tent and the rain fly. It’s hard to get a super tight pitch on the rain fly with this tent, but the side guylines do help.
When the front door is closed, it creates a large vestibule for gear storage…although storing gear there blocks entry and exit to the tent. The door closes with two side zippers, but it also has side velcro patches along the zipper tracks to “pat” it closed if you want to avoid making noise. However, the door is suboptimal if it’s been raining, the door is closed, and you want to get out of the tent. You’re going to get wet when you open one side of the door to exit and it brushes against your clothes. That’s true of just about any vestibule though.
While the Clip Flashlight 2 is made with 70 denier polyester and nylon, which is pretty heavy duty compared to a lot of recent lightweight double-walled tents made with much thinner materials, it’s still relatively lightweight at three and a half pounds. All in, it’s not a bad value when you factor in its interior roominess, ease of setup, and price. You can pay a lot more for a tent and get a lot less.
- Easy to set up
- Roomy interior
- Great airflow between inner and outer tent
- Lightweight enough for backpacking, if split two ways
- Low quality tent stakes, easily deformed
- Heavy material:
- Inner tent: 68D 190T Poly Taffeta WR/PU 1500 mm
- Rain fly: 70D Nylon Tafetta, WR/PU3000 mm
The Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight 2 Tent (MSRP $199) isn’t the lightest weight double-walled tent that you can buy, but it’s easy to set up with a roomy interior that’s still lightweight enough for backpacking if you split the load 2 ways. Featuring a unique roll-up front door and side wings, the Clip Flashlight 2 has excellent ventilation when the door is open or closed, while giving you the ability to see the stars or nature from the comfort of your sleeping bag. It’s also a solid performer in wet weather, made with durable waterproof materials that will keep you high and dry in camp and on the trail.
Specs (measured by SectionHiker)
- Minimum weight: 55.7 ounces (3 pounds 7.7 ounces)
- Total weight: 62.7 ounces (3 pounds 14.7 ounces)
- Inner tent: 20.3 ounces
- Rain fly: 24.8 ounces
- Poles (2): 10.6 ounces
- Stakes (9) w/extra cords: 5.0
- Stuff sack: 1.3 ounces
- Pole/stake sack: 0.7 ounces
- Inner Tent Height:
- Head: 38″ (sides), 42″ (peak)
- Midpoint: 29″
- Foot: 23″
- Inner Tent Width:
- Head: 52″
- Midpoint: 50″
- Foot: 44″
- Inner Tent Length: 86″
Sierra Designs provided Philip Werner with a sample Clip 2 Flashlight tent for this review.
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