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Sierra Designs Divine Light 1P Tent Review

The Divine Light 1 FL is a spacious solo shelter with excellent ventilation options
The Divine Light 1 FL is a spacious solo shelter with excellent ventilation options

Sierra Designs Divine Light Tent

Comfort
Ease of Setup
Weather Resistance
Durabilty
Weight
Packed Size

Very Good

The Divine Light is a well ventilated, spacious and easy to set up backpacking tent that can be pitched with trekking poles to save weight, although a set of tent poles is provided.

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The Sierra Designs Divine Light 1 FL Tent is a trekking pole tent that weighs just 2 pounds and 7 ounces. It takes the best features of Sierra Designs’ groundbreaking Flashlight UL 1, Clip Flashlight and Tensegrity tents and combines them in a new solo shelter that’s roomy,  easy to set up and has great ventilation.

Specs at a Glance

  • Minimum Weight: 2 lbs 7 oz / 1.11 kg (Does not include 6 oz. vertical poles)
  • Type: Single wall
  • Number of Doors: 2 (side and front)
  • Poles: Minimum of one required, at foot end
  • Peak Height: 44″
  • Dimensions (L x W): 87″ x 30″ (Head) / 26″ (Foot)
  • Minimum Stakes Required: 9 (11 provided)
  • Fly Fabric: 20D Nylon Ripstop, Silicone/1500mm PE, FR CPAI84
  • Floor Fabric: 30D Nylon Ripstop, WR/3000mm PE, FR CPAI84
  • Body Fabric: 15D Nylon No-See-Um Mesh
  • For complete specifications visit Sierra Designs

Design

The Divine Light 1 is lightweight, single wall tent with a tunnel-like design, but with hard angles instead of curves. While the interior has excellent headroom and near-vertical sidewalls, the one-person version of the tent is laid out primarily for sleeping, with a large front vestibule that can be propped open like a porch for additional ventilation or kept zipped up in storm mode.

The Front Vestibule can be propped open like a porch
The Front Vestibule can be propped open like a porch

While the Divine Light is a trekking pole tent (two optional side poles are included anyway), it still requires a third curved pole to set up, at the foot end of the tent. This curved pole creates more space for your feet and provides a small vent to help eliminate condensation at the foot of your sleeping bag or quilt.

A minimum of one pole is required to set up the Divine Light 1, shown here at the foot end of the tent
A minimum of one pole is required to set up the Divine Light 1, shown here at the foot end of the tent

While there are two collapsible poles included with the tent, you can discard them and use trekking poles that can be adjusted to 46″ in length instead. The pole tips fit into the grommets that normally secure the bottom of the tent poles, while the handle fits into a reinforced areas in the ceiling corners of the tent.

If you use trekking poles, you can save 6 ounces by using them to pitch the side walls of the Divine Light 1 instead
If you use trekking poles, you can save 6 ounces by using them to pitch the side walls of the Divine Light 1 instead.

When zippered shut, the front vestibule provides plenty of gear storage for your backpack and loose gear. It’s accessible through a screened door to keep the bugs and creepy crawlers out of the sleeping area. The vestibule door can also be opened from outside the tent, so you can stash sopping wet gear in the vestibule without having to drag it through the dry sleeping area.

The front vestibule is accessible from inside the tent through an interior screen door
The front vestibule is accessible from inside the tent through an interior screen door.

If you want a maximum amount of ventilation you can also roll up the front door completely. While the vestibule’s angled side walls help block side breezes and add some privacy, they provide much-needed structural support to keep the front of the tent secure. This is a big improvement over the SD Tensegrity Tent design, which was less stable and much more difficult to set up.

The angled sidewalls of front vestibule provided added structural support when the vestibule door is rolled up
The angled sidewalls of front vestibule provided added structural support when the vestibule door is rolled up.

While the Divine Light has three screened windows, only two of them open and can be used as doors: the window inside the front vestibule and the window to its right, in the photo above. Both of the side mesh windows also have solid fabric panels that you can zip up behind the bug mesh to prevent blowing rain and cold breezes from entering the tent or to enhance privacy. While the awnings above the side windows do help block light rain, you still need to be careful not to brush up against the awning when entering or existing the tent to avoid getting drenched. The side guyline that provide lateral stability over the side door also gets in the way of the side entrance, although it can be angled for increased clearance.

The Divine Light is pretty good at shedding light winds, but it’s vertical side walls and large sloped roof compromise its wind-worthiness in stormy conditions and shifting wind directions. While there are several spots on the tent where you can secure extra guylines for additional stability, I’d recommend you use the tent in more protected campsites.

Interior ventilation and airflow through the Divine Light is exceptional when it's fully vented
Interior ventilation and airflow through the Divine Light is exceptional when it’s fully vented.

Recommendation

The Sierra Designs Divine Light 1 FL (Feather Light) is a lightweight tent that provides superior ventilation and excellent comfort for backpacking and camping. Weighing just 2 pounds and 7 ounces when set up using your trekking poles, it has a large front gear vestibule that can be rolled back for stargazing or set up in a porch configuration for a bit of shade. The interior is also quite roomy, with 44″ of headroom at the tent’s highpoint, more than enough space to hold a wide 25″ sleeping pad with room to spare. Convenient guy line adjusters, optional tent poles, and the included tent stakes make the Divine Light 1 FL an easy tent to set up and tailor for a wide variety of uses and preferences.

Disclosure: Sierra Designs loaned the author a tent for this review. 

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29 comments

  1. Looks pretty nice, actually.

    HJ

  2. This tent is highly overpriced . I say that because I bought many,tried many ,and have 55 yrs exp.

    • This one of the best deals going for a tent right now with the memorial day sales. Not on sale, it’s pricey, but not out of whack with what the market charges these days.

  3. There you go talking bad about my Tensegrity again! Ha! Anyway, my truly biggest complaint about it is that it (2 person version) weighs almost as much as my four-season free-standing Big Sky tent. Set up on the Big Sky is so easy I’m about to give up on the Tensegrity and forswear the Divine Light.

  4. Is that a toilet in the background?

  5. I was curious to know if you think anything of substance would change in your reviews for the Divine Light or the Tensegrity going from 1P to 2P. I’m in the market for a 3 season tent utilizing trekking poles for two humans plus dog, and these two tents have the vestibule that seems like it could be potentially good for a pooch. (We are out in CO, so we don’t have the same bug problems as out east.) For example Dave Chenault didn’t seem to have an issue with the Tensegrity 2P being wobbly (perhaps the wider footprint helped that?) which was one of your biggest gripes.

    • I haven’t used either in the 2-P configuration. If you’re in Colorado, I’d worry a lot more about the wind worthiness of these two tents (since you can’t bolt them to the floor like they did for the Tensegrity wind tunnel tent). Maybe you’d just need to bring very long stakes to get good anchors. For what it’s worth, I think the 1P is a great solution for hiking with a dog and imagine that that would translate to the 2P as well. PS. I almost left a reply on your comment an Andrew’s blog about SD’s 2018+ product focus, suggesting that you look at the Divine Light, but it sounded like you were looking more for a 2 wall tent…so I held off.

      • Thanks for the input. Most generally I’d like to switch from the Hubba Hubba NX (great tent to be fair) to a tent where I don’t need to carry excess poles (improves weight and pack-ability while giving an increase in fiddle factor when setting up). I’d prefer a 2 wall solution because I strongly prefer to see the stars when I roll over at night (weather permitting) with the constraint that my wife will not go for any setup without a fully enclosed bugnet/tent. But I’m intrigued by the Tensegrity/Divine light especially given the Tensegrity 2 FL is $175 on steep and cheap right now… A large part of my dilemma is that I am unsure exactly what trade offs the pooch will require since we’ve not yet taken him on an overnight. I know what I want in a tent, and what my wife requires, but am unsure about the pooch (i.e. will he have to be in a bugnet, or will he be totally happy in a vestibule? The latter being obviously preferable.) But while I struggle with that question I am trying to assess the available options that are trekking pole pitched with room for 2P+pooch. Thanks again.

      • If I were a dog owner, I’d be most interested in keeping control over my dog at night with the wild animals around. That would make me prefer the Divine Light over the Tensegrity, since I’d have the option to give the pooch vestibule sidewalls. It’s also just more stable and easier to pitch. Take a look at the new Tarptent side car. I forget which tent it’s paired with, but that’s another doggy option.

      • I believe the sidecar pairs with the stratospire tents at the expense of a side door being useful. In the end I am guessing these (TT Saddle, TT Stratospire, SD Tensegrity, SD Divine Light) would all work for my intended purpose. Thanks for helping to highlight some of the tradeoffs. Now I just need to decide where I want to place my cash.

        Cheers.

  6. We used our Tensegrity 2 for the first time this weekend and took our 70lb dog along. She mostly likes to sleep outside “on guard”so I use a long leash at night. I put the loop end around my shoulder or an ankle. I am a light enough sleeper to feel is she is walking away. She mostly slept under the awning on this trip, happy she could see out both sides and also see that we were both there as well. In the morning I unzipped the front door and she rolled over to stick her head through the door and say hello.

    If you had your dog in a traditional vestibule they could easily slide under the fly and out if not leashed. The other option is inside the tent, great when it is cold but not so good with a warm wet dog on a hot summer night.

    • Nothing spells “good night’s sleep” like a large, tent bound, warm wet dog on a hot summer night!

    • My first tent was a Sierra Designs, and I still like their products. And this is an innovative design. But… when camping with my dog, my Zpacks Duplex with double the space (45″ x 7.5 ft) and at half the weight (only 21oz!) is perfection :) My 80-lb husky has plenty of room and so do I. I can put my pack in the tent too.

  7. Hi Phillip, thanks for the review. Could you set it up with the Pacerpole poles?

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