Why we chose it: Good value, roomy enough for two, easy to pitch, great porch/awning design
We’ve tested tents from all over the world here at Outdoors Magic, including plenty of products from US-based gear manufacturers. And while many of these are fantastic tents in their own right, some are not always so well suited to UK use. That’s because a lot of American tent designs are optimised for warmer climates, focusing primarily on providing good airflow and condensation control. After all, it’s not unusual to camp without a flysheet in many parts of the US, making your tent essentially little more than a bug net or privacy shelter. In contrast, that’s pretty rare here in the UK. Instead, due to our wet and wild maritime climate, we tend to prefer tents that offer full flysheet coverage and plenty of protection, even in lashing wind and rain.
Recognising this essential difference, US brand Sierra Designs have cleverly come up with the ‘3,000’ series. These are basically adapted versions of their existing tent designs but with upgraded waterproofing (of 3,000mm Hydrostatic Head, hence the name), plus inners that feature less mesh and more fabric, ensuring they are less draughty. They also have muted dark green flysheets instead of the bright blue and yellow brand colours. This not only appeals to British ‘no nonsense’ sensibilities but also makes them a better option for stealthy wild camps. The concept is a winner and we’ve already been impressed with the Sierra Designs Meteor 3,000 and the High Route 3,000 tents. Now, Sierra Designs has produced a 3,000 edition of the Clip Flashlight, which is their classic two-person lightweight backpacking tent.
What Is The Clip Flashlight 2P 3,000 Best Suited To?
Weighing in at under 2kg and with a pretty reasonable price tag, this tent is ideal for outdoorsy types who are getting into lightweight backpacking (or equally, experienced backpackers who just aren’t prepared to spend silly money on a tent, which is fair enough).
The Clip Flashlight is a proven design that has been around for a long time – about 25 years in fact, though it’s far better known in the States than it is here in the UK. And though it has been tweaked over time, the essential design remains virtually unchanged. It’s favoured for its good peak height, which means you get plenty of headroom at the entrance. It’s also a very liveable tent, with lots of usable interior space and decent gear storage too. It’s a non-freestanding design with just the one door and single porch area, but thanks to a dual zipper, the fly can be propped up with trekking poles to create a useful awning.
Just like other tents in the Sierra Designs 3,000 series, the Clip Flashlight is all made from recycled polyester taffeta fabrics. What’s more, they’re also finished with an eco-friendly Durable Water Repellent treatment that is free from PFCs, the harmful chemical compounds that have been shown to be environmentally damaging.
The pole set uses DAC Pressfit Aluminium poles. DAC is a company that has done more than most in its sector to promote sustainability. It spent eight years developing its proprietary Green Anodization process, eliminating excess phosphoric, nitric, and sulfuric acid from the production line. Green Anodization also eliminates fuel and energy consumption to transport the chemicals needed for conventional anodization. In addition, all DAC Aluminium poles are fully recyclable, and the company recycles all aluminium scraps into new consumer goods.
Construction and Performance
The design of the front half of the tent is particularly versatile, since it has decent head height along with a good-sized doorway, plus a large vestibule for storing kit and cooking in poor weather. The fact that you can also prop up the flysheet door to create an awning is also a useful additional feature. Inside, the interior dimensions aren’t exactly cavernous yet still roomy enough for two, and the inner tent is fitted with two gear pockets and hanging tabs for a gear line or tent lantern.