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Sierra Designs Sweet Suite 2 Tent Review

Sierra Designs Sweet Suite 2 Tent Review

The Sierra Designs Sweet Suite 2 is a two-person, double-wall tent weighing 3 lbs 3 oz ounces. It’s easy to set up and has two doors and two vestibules, a must-have for couples camping. Near vertical side-walls and an open airy inner tent provide excellent ventilation and moonlight illumination when the rain fly is not needed.

Specs at a Glance

  • Type: Semi-freestanding
  • People: 2
  • Trail Weight (total, minus stakes and bags) – 3 lbs 3 oz (actual 3 lbs 5 oz)
    • Rain Fly – 20.9 oz
    • Inner Tent – 18.7 oz
    • Poles 14.2 oz
  • Dimensions
    • Height: 40″
    • Length: 84″
    • Width:
      • Head end – 51″
      • Foot end – 47″
  • Materials
    • Number of Poles: 2 poles – (3 poles hubbed together + 1 ridge pole)
    • Pole Material: DAC Featherlite Aluminum
    • Fly Fabric: 20D Nylon Ripstop, Silicone/1200mm PeU
    • Floor Fabric: 30D Nylon Ripstop, Silicone/1200mm PeU
    • Body Fabric: 15D Nylon No-See-Um Mesh
  • Min Number of Stakes to Pitch – 6

Inner Tent

The Sweet Suite 2 has a 2-door inner tent, which is a must-have for 2-people,  so you can each get out without having to climb over and wake up your partner at night. Both side doors have a “D” shape that makes entry and exit easy, even if you have a backpack stored under the side vestibule. The zippers are bi-directional, making the doors extra easy to open and close.

The pole architecture creates a strong structure while creating vertical walls at the head end and sides of the tent
The pole architecture creates a strong structure while creating vertical walls at the head end and sides of the tent.

The tent poles are aluminum, which is good for long-lasting durability, provided you avoid snapping the ends together when you put them together or pull them apart. There are two tent poles, a multi-segmented 3 pole affair with a center hub and a horizontal cross pole that helps create the near vertical sidewalls. The front pole is pre-bent and nearly vertical providing excellent headroom, while the rear of the tent slopes down toward the feet. Pockets sewn into the sidewalls provide plenty of storage for valuables and essentials, while the high bathtub floor prevents rain from flooding you out.

The inner tent quickly clips to the hub and poles, but 4 tent stakes are still required in the corners to stretch out the corners. The floor fabric is a 30D Nylon Ripstop, fully seam-taped of course, but burly and durable enough that you can use the Sweet Suite without a footprint and not have to worry about surface abrasion.

The interior width and length of the Sweet Suite 2 can fit two tapered 25″ inch wide sleeping pads with ease. The 84″ length of the inner tent also makes this a nice tent for taller folks. I always measure the interior dimensions of the tents I test and review, since manufacturers usually publish the dimensions of the rain fly not the actual space available to lay out sleeping pads. The near vertical front wall and ample 40″ peak height make it possible to sit up inside the inner tent if you’ve brought along a chair kit for that purpose.

The large rain fly provides ample coverage for the two side vestibules
The large rain fly provides ample coverage for the two side vestibules

Rain Fly

The rain fly clips to the corners of the inner tent, making set up fast and painless. An additional two stakes are required to secure the vestibules to the ground, bringing the total required to pitch the tent to 6. Ventilation is good, even when the fly is completely closed, because the side walls are cut high to improve air flow and cross ventilation. The two side vestibules are also large enough that you can fit a backpack under them and still get in and out of the tent easily.

Sierra Designs touts the ability to roll back the rain fly on this tent (see top photo) for star-gazing, but provides no way to secure the fly when it is open to prevent it from unraveling or flapping in the breeze. I was disappointed by this, since you can roll back the fly this way on other dome-shaped, double-wall tents, just as easily. I would have been a lot more impressed if there were a way to pull up the rain fly, like an awning, from inside the tent, or to drop and secure it in place without having to leave the inner tent or vestibule.

Vestibule volume and door access are great even with a backpack stored inside
Vestibule volume and door access are great even with a backpack stored inside

The pole structure and the shape of the rain fly, make the Sweet Suite 2 quite a strong tent for windy conditions and bad weather. Additional guy-out points are also available on the exterior of the fly, so you can further anchor it in poor weather.

Compare the Sweet Suite 2 against these other 2-person backpacking tents.

Make and ModelFloor AreaVestibule AreaPeak HeightMinimum WeightPrice
Sierra Designs Sweet Suite 229.2 sq ft17.8 sq ft41"3 lbs 3 oz$369.95
MSR Hubba Hubba NX29 sq ft17.5 sq ft39"3 lbs 7 oz$399.95
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL229 sq ft18.0 sq ft40"2 lbs 12 oz$449.95
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL228 sq ft16.0 sq ft39"2 lbs 3 oz$399.95
NEMO Hornet 227.4 sq ft12.4 sq ft40.2"2 lbs 0 oz$369.95
REI Quarter Dome 228.7 sq ft21.0 sq ft42"3 lbs 5 oz$349.00

Recommendation

The Sierra Designs Sweet Suite 2 is a comfortable, lightweight tent that’s super easy to set up. While it’s not the lightest weight two person tent you can buy, it provides a nice balance between features and cost. My favorite feature is the internal height and width of the inner tent, which makes it quite livable and good for hanging out in. It’s also a strong, solid tent that sheds wind and rain well and provides excellent ventilation and views when the vestibules are open. The use of durable fabrics means that this a tent that will stand up to the elements and lots of use, without breaking the bank.

Sierra Designs provided a tent for this review.

Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored gear reviews, articles, and hiking guides.

Published 2018.

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12 comments

  1. Why must every Sierra Designs tent look like it escaped from the circus?

  2. I have one and like it. As for no way to secure the rolled up fly, mine has a toggle and loop on the fly that lines up with the cross pole that lets you secure it.

    And why does trail weight not count needed stakes; that’s dumb.

    • Perfectly good tent and quite spacious, but I still can’t find the cross-pole loop you mention.

      Because the stakes that most manufacturers ship with their tents absolutely suck, which is why most people just throw them out for stronger and lighter weight ones that won’t cut up your hands or crumple when you bash them with a rock.

      • The photo in your article looks like there is a loop on the outside of the fly, up on the top, about the middle of the cross pole. That’s the loop. The toggle is on the underside of the fly.

      • I’ve looked twice at the fly and can’t find a toggle other than the ones intended to ties the doors back for ventilation. I also found the pitching instructions that came with the tent which are very detailed but make no reference to any tie-back mechanism for star-gazing…The only thing I see in the photo are the clips attaching the inner tent to the exoskeleton. Sorry.

  3. I’ve been tempted by many tents over the years and I still think my Tarptent Double Rainbow ranks right up there with the others. Of course, being broke helps keep a person happy with what he’s got!

    • Plus tarptent is one of the few companies that ships decent tent stakes. MSR does too.

      • Henry’s also a really nice guy to deal with. A friend broke one of the Easton Aluminum poles on my Double Rainbow (the friend is stronger than the average ox and generally exceeds one in intelligence… although at that moment the question could have been debated) and Henry sent another free of charge. He said it wasn’t worth the trouble to set up the billing for that. At the same time, he also sent me a custom made interior hang loop setup for another tent so that I could hang a light in the tent to calm a grandkid who was afraid of the dark–also free of charge.

      • Yeah, I broke one of the clips at the bottom of the fly closure on my Notch. Email support on a Sunday morning to see if I could buy one, since they aren’t listed on the site. Henry emailed right back, asking if I still lived at the address he had shipped the tent to a couple years back. He sent me two clips, got them two days later. Service doesn’t get any better than that.

  4. Enjoy the ease of setting up a freestanding tent but really love the weight of my 3f lanshan 2p.

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