A couple of years ago, Sierra Designs flipped their entire line of products on its head. They were in a bit of a rut – heavy packs with no innovative features, boring tents (ed.: Except the Tengu! We love you, Tengu!), uninspired sleeping bags and outerwear. Within the past two years, they’ve introduced industry-leading lightweight tents and innovative sleeping bags like their Backcountry Bed. The Sierra Designs Convert 2 and Convert 3 4-season tents look to be the pinnacle of that shakeup.

splitboard camping

If you are looking for a good 4 season tent that you can actually use in all 4 seasons, then the Sierra Designs Convert 2 and 3 should be on your radar. For one, they are lighter than most 4 season tents (4lb 9oz for Convert 2 and 5lbs 13oz for Convert 3). Secondly, they set up from the outside – The poles clip on the outside of the fly instead of between the fly and tent body. This allows you to keep the tent dry as you pitch it, as well as keeps the tent structure strong. I personally love this feature.

 

The design is really great as well. Sierra Designs incorporates 40D Nylon ripstop for most of the body. The floor is 30D Nylon ripstop with a 3000mm waterproofing (I set it up on wet grass and snow with no issues). The Convert’s fly 20D Polyester ripstop fabric with 1800,, waterproofing. Why polyester for the fly? Because polyester doesn’t stretch when it gets wet. No need to get up in the middle of the night to re-tension the fly.

 

The tent is unique in that the inner tent is suspended from the outer tent. You never get condensation and only have to pitch one tent (no need to pitch the inner tent and attach the rain fly). Both tents come with one vestibule that zips off when you don’t want to use it. I actually found this very handy. For most of our summer and fall trips I left the vestibule behind and saved 11oz.

Both tents have fabric backed doors so you can zip them completely shut in storms, or zip them open for warm weather. Sierra Designs also made the tents with a really cool feature that most of their tents share this year – an awning. The idea is that the awning goes out far enough to protect the inner part of the tent from rain and snow, even if you leave the vestibule at home. Does it work? In our experience it did! This is a refreshing change of pace from having to have a vestibule attached at all times. You can peep out the mesh window without having to unzip another layer of the tent to see the outside world. If it gets nasty outside, just zip up the inner fabric for the door and you won’t get spayed with moisture or debris.

 

Size-wise, the Covert 2 was sufficient for two 25” wide (XL) mattress AND a 50lb dog to sleep in, it was cozy, but I don’t mind my sleeping partners. When its just a solo mission with or without the dog, the tent is a perfect size. I am 6’1” and had absolutely no problems touching either end of the tent. That is always a concern of ours as some tents are feeling shorter than they list on their spec sheets. If I planned on doing more intensive winter camping with a buddy and did not want to sleep right up on him (and I don’t want to do that), I would opt for the Convert 3. It’s barely that much heavier, offers 2 complete doors (you can buy an additional vestibule for other door), has more headroom and is 13-20” wider. Pretty significant improvement in all areas for not a huge weight penalty.

We have used this tent is humid, wet, hot summer conditions, dry and windy sandstorms, high up the mountains below freezing and everything in between. We have not had a chance to test it much snow yet, but once we do, we will report back our findings. We are truly impressed with this tent and would recommend it to anyone looking for a lightweight, versatile, sturdy, packable, dependable, easy to set up tent.

Sold. Go get one.  Check out the video for more visuals and explanations.

Convert 2 specs:

TECH SPECS

Capacity: 2
Freestanding? Yes
Minimum Weight: 4 lbs 9 oz. / 2.07 kg (Tent & poles only, no vestibule)
Vestibule Weight: 10.9 oz. / .31 kg
Packaged Weight: 5 lbs 2 oz. / 2.32 kg
Number of Doors: 1
Number of Vestibules: 1
Vestibule Area: 12.4 ft2 / 1.15 m 2
Interior Area: 31.7 ft2 / 2.95 m2
Internal Peak Height: 39 in. / 99 cm
Awning Height:37 in. / 94 cm
Awning Overhang:15 in. / 38 cm
Length: 87 in. / 221 cm
Width: 56 in (Door) / 49 in (Foot) // 142 cm (Door) / 124.5 cm (Foot)
Footprint: Sold Separately
Number of Guylines:6
Stake Quantity: 15
Tent Storage Bag:Length: 15 in. / 38.1 cm
Diameter: 5.5 in. / 14 cm
Pole Storage Bag:Length: 19 in. / 48.3 cm
Diameter: 5 in. / 12.7 cm
Tent Stake Storage Bag:Length: 8 in. / 29.9 cm
Diameter: 5 in. / 12.7 cm
MATERIALS

Number of Poles: 4 (3 poles hubbed together + 1 hoop)
Pole Type: DAC NSL
Pole Diameter: 9.6/9/8.5 mm
Pole Set Weight:23.3 oz / .66 kg
Fly Fabric: 20D Polyester Ripstop, Silicone/1200mm PE, FR
Floor Fabric: 30D Nylon Ripstop, WR/3000mm PE, FR
Body Fabric: 40D Nylon Ripstop, Breathable

Convert 3 specs:

TECH SPECS

Capacity: 3
Freestanding? Yes
Minimum Weight: 5 lbs 13 oz. / 2.64 kg (Tent & poles only, no vestibule)
Vestibule Weight: 12.3 oz. / .35 kg
Packaged Weight: 6 lbs 6 oz. / 2.89 kg
Number of Doors: 2
Number of Vestibules: 1 (2nd accessory vestibule sold separately)
Vestibule Area: 17.1 ft2 / 1.59 m2
Interior Area: 41.7 ft2 / 3.88 m2
Internal Peak Height: 43 in. / 109 cm
Awning Height: 37 in. / 94 cm
Awning Overhang:15 in. / 38 cm
Length: 87 in. / 221 cm
Width: 69 in. / 175 cm
Footprint: Sold Separately
Number of Guylines: 6
Stake Quantity: 15
Tent Storage Bag:Length: 17 in. / 43 cm Diameter: 6 in. / 15 cm
Pole Storage Bag: Length: 19 in. / 48.3 cm Diameter: 5 in. / 12.7 cm
Tent Stake Storage Bag:Length: 8 in. / 29.9 cm Diameter: 5 in. / 12.7 cm
MATERIALS

Number of Poles: 4 (3 poles hubbed together + 1 hoop)
Pole Type: DAC NSL
Pole Diameter: 9.6 / 9.0 / 8.5 mm
Pole Set Weight:27.7 oz / .79 kg
Fly Fabric:20D Polyester Ripstop, Silicone/1200mm PE, FR
Floor Fabric: 30D Nylon Ripstop, WR/3000mm PE, FR
Body Fabric: 40D Nylon Ripstop, Breathable

 

About The Author

Hey, I am Sean - the co-founder of Engearment. We focus on mountain based gear - camping, skiing, splitboarding, snowboarding, hiking, etc. and a strong connection to the community. I am also a fitness professional - having created the Mountain Fitness School and building several fitness facilities around Denver. My heart is always in the mountains and I will do everything I can to help you get the right gear, train well and enjoy being outside. https://mountainfitnessschool.com/p/mountain-fitness-training-get-in-peak-backcountry-condition-using-kettlebells-and-trx

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