Gear Review: Sierra Designs Nightwatch 2 FL
The following product was donated for the purpose of review.
Weight: 4lbs 9oz/ 79oz
3 doors, 2 gear closets
I took this tent on an expedition in Southern Utah in the middle of the Summer, wary that I might melt to death inside of it. After cautious experimentation, I was finally convinced that the ventilation of this product is second to none. Not only was temperature easily regulated in this tent, but condensation was not an issue even with two people trapped inside it’s walls. The retractable rain fly played a significant part in this.
In addition to it’s sleek design, the Nightwatch is spacious. The length of this tent makes for the perfect Long Person Haven. Goliath was impressed with the tent’s ability to house him comfortably, with an inch or two to spare at either end of him. The spine of the tent is tall, allowing my 6’3 partner to sit comfortably inside.
Considerations: Something to note is the placement of your tent: It is important to set it up with the storm entrance into the wind. Rain, debris, or dust could fly in the small end if placed facing the elements. You could feasibly wake up in a pile of sand at your feet. The rainfly doesn’t quite reach the ground on that end, leaving you slightly exposed.
The storm entrance would likely hold up through a moderate storm but I suspect you would feel moisture seeping through the zipper under a torrential downpour if the rain patterns were slanted enough. And although there are extra guy points that should muffle this issue, the storm entrance has quite a large piece of material to have to face directly into the wind.
It would be wonderful to see two additional stake out points on the body of the tent in future models. While the current setup is great, I suspect this would give us a couple more inches of width without adding any additional fabric. The tent slightly sags without those areas of support.
Although my side door offers a nice alternative to crawling over Goliath, it is quite small for the average tall person.
Pros: If you have to set up in pouring rain, you can easily pitch it without getting the inside wet. This is a huge perk. If staked out in the right direction, this tent could fend off some intense storms.
The vestibules are a great addition for gear. They allow you to keep your stinky pack under cover without having to sleep with it.
This tent has the perfect setup for stargazing.
The setup is incredibly simple. Once comfortable with the process, you could probably pitch the Nightwatch in fewer than 5 minutes.
At 79 oz, if split between two people, the weight is completely reasonable. It is competitive in the backpacking market but costs less than the average tent. The weight to space ratio is impressive in the realm of 2 person tents.
Other 2 person backpacking tents:
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Tent 2lb 5 oz. $297
REI Half Dome 2 Plus Tent (not as much space) $219, 5lbs 1 oz
MSR Elixir 2 Person Tent $249, 4lbs 10oz
The space, comfort, durability and weight of the Nightwatch make for a highly competitive tent. I was generally impressed with this product, and suspect that the limits of this tent will not disappoint. The design gives me reason to believe that it will take above average conditions to begin to affect it’s residents. I wouldn’t hesitate to take this tent out into a storm.
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