Sierra Designs High Route 3,000 Tent | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Sierra Designs High Route 3,000 Tent | Review

This unusual-looking trekking pole tent has an innovative offset design to improve internal volume and overall liveability, without affecting weight or pack size

Why We Chose The Sierra Designs High Route 3,000 Tent: Versatile, lightweight, packable.

The search for the ultimate solo shelter is a quest that has consumed many an ultralight backpacker. Obviously, something always has to give – because the smaller and lighter a tent is when packed, the smaller and more cramped it tends to be when pitched. There are some exceptions, which use ultralight fabrics and innovative designs to cut weight without sacrificing space, but inevitably they also send the price sky-rocketing.

With the High Route 3,000 however, US brand Sierra Designs think they’ve nailed it – even for UK and European backpackers. They call this solo tent “an incredibly versatile year-round hiking shelter… with a laundry list of features for its weight and size”. Sounds good to us.

Who Is The Sierra Designs High Route 3,000 Tent For?

This is a tent designed for experienced backpackers looking for a reasonably roomy yet light and packable solo shelter. Why experienced? Well, it’s a trekking pole tent, which means it requires trekking poles to create the structure. It’s also an unusual offset design, which – while being undoubtedly ingenious – is also a little bit tricky to pitch consistently. That’s why we perhaps wouldn’t recommend it for novices or first-time backpackers (or at least, practice setting it up in the garden a few times before you tackle the trail…)


The High Route 3,000 is an evolution of the original Sierra Designs High Route, with slightly heavier but also more weatherproof fabrics, featuring an upgraded waterproof rating of 3,000mm Hydrostatic Head – hence the name. Gear nerds, if you want the specifics, the fly and floor fabric is a 20D nylon ripstop silicon, while the inner is made from a combination of the same ripstop nylon and 15D nylon mesh.

Photos: Mike Drummond

One point worth noting is that the flysheet is mostly dark green rather than the original bright blue and yellow colourway, which makes it a far better choice for stealthy wild camps. There’s also more fabric and less mesh in the inner, to add warmth and reduce draughts. All of these changes are sensibly designed to appeal to the UK and Northern European markets.


The tent pitches using a pair of trekking poles, placed at opposite corners, to form the structure. This offset configuration looks a bit ungainly at first, but it makes sense once you duck your head inside, since you get increased headroom over most trekking pole tents. The concept was developed by Sierra Designs in collaboration with renowned backpacker Andrew Skurka, who was also responsible for the design of their best-selling Flex Capacitor rucksacks.

It’s a double-skinned design, which can be pitched outer first, all-in-one or inner only if you just want a bug shelter. This gives you plenty of options, so overall it’s a practical and versatile tent. As mentioned up top, it’s well worth practicing setting it up before you head for the hills though. Secure peg placements are also vital to ensure a taut pitch, so look for solid ground when selecting a campsite. When properly anchored it is a very stable design though.

Inside, there is room to stretch out and sit upright, though the inner isn’t the widest. You get two useful porch areas and an unusual ‘1.5’ door configuration. There’s a main doorway with a full-length zip, plus a rear door with a half zip that is a bit too small to use as an entrance but still gives access to a secondary vestibule area. Sierra Designs calls this a ‘gear garage’, intended for stashing rucksacks, cooking gear or muddy boots.

“It’s an attractive option for solo multi-day backpackers.”

The inner has a small mesh storage pocket, plus hanging tabs for a gear line or tent lantern. We liked the strutted vent at the top of the main door, which noticeably improves airflow and reduces condensation build-up, aided by the large gap between the flysheet and inner.


The High Route is compact and lightweight, so it’s an attractive option for solo multi-day backpackers – provided you’re also taking trekking poles with you. It’s also very liveable, by which we mean it feels airy, spacious and practical when you’re in it. That’s directly attributable to its unusual offset design, the only downside of which is that it is a little trickier to pitch than some rivals. But like all things, practice makes perfect, so with a little perseverance, we think this is a tent that many users will grow to love.

Tester’s Verdict

Grant Hyatt, North Wales based landscape photographer

“It was great to finally see this trekking pole tent up close, as I’ve been hovering over the buy now button for quite a few months. But from looking at the images on the website, the porch areas looked a little too small for my needs. Thankfully, after bringing it home and setting it up, I think the website images just hadn’t done it justice. Both the entrance vestibule and the “gear garage” offer plenty of room for storing boots/kit and for cooking up a meal. 

“This is the 3rd trekking pole specific tent I’ve had and the second that is propped up by two poles. I think it’s fair to say that from the outside, this feels like a pretty unique design. A friend had commented on the various angles of it and it is strange to look at, when you’re used to the symmetry of more traditional layouts. But once inside, all the pieces begin to fit together. There is ample headroom at one end, whilst the foot of the interior has a shallower angle. I found the floorspace just wide enough for my exped downmat, and a few precious items stored to the side of me. The interior pocket is conveniently positioned in line with your torso when lying down, which makes grabbing any items straightforward. 

“I can see myself using this a lot through the different seasons.”

“The night in this was in forecasted 30mph gusts and I had no problem sleeping through the night, despite some expected mild flapping. It did seem to shed the wind pretty easily and would’ve been confident taking it out in slightly stronger winds. 

“Both pack size and weight are comparable to the other trekking pole tents I’ve owned and so was the ease of set up. If you’re on the fence with this one, I’d definitely recommend taking the plunge. I can see myself using this a lot through the different seasons.”

Sierra Designs High Route 3,000 Tent

Selected for the Outdoor 100 2022/23
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