Sierra Designs Meteor 3000 Tent | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Sierra Designs Meteor 3000 Tent | Review

A tent that won’t cost the earth – in more ways than one

Why We Chose It: Good value and sustainably made
Price: £290
Weight: 2126

For Spring 2020, Sierra Designs launched this new version of their hugely popular Meteor two-person tent, one with a bunch of new tweaks that have all been made in the name of sustainability. I’ve been out in the Preseli Hills of Pembrokeshire with it recently and I’ve been really impressed. It’s a tent with bucket loads of space but it’s still reasonably light, and it’s got some pretty nifty little design features to make life on the trail that bit easier. They’ve also swapped in some excellent low-impact materials to lower the Meteor’s footprint on the environment. 

What’s The Meteor 3000 Best Suited To?

I’ve found this to make for an excellent option for two-person backpacking. I can also see it as a being suited to bikepacking and just weekend wild camps. Available for under the £300, it just about squeezes into that entry-level price bracket for the first time wild campers out there. 

An inner-pitched-first design. Photo: Chris Johnson

It’s three-season rated and I’d say it’s very well-suited to warm weather camping. Given certain aspects of its design, I’d say it’ll be a little stretched on any wilder nights of early spring and late autumn.  

The Eco Credentials

As I’ve already mentioned, the main discernible changes between this new model of the Sierra Designs Meteor and the last one is in regards to the choice of materials. According to the brand, there were only a few small elements that held them back from offering the kind of sustainable products that they wanted to and they say they’ve now managed to get past those stumbling blocks.

So, along with all of the other products in Sierra Designs’ European collection, this tent is completely free from any eco hazardous PFCs and instead features specifically developed DWRs that are much kinder to the earth. All the fabrics used across the Meteor 3000 now come from recycled sources as well. 

The American brand have also decided to make this new version of the Meteor much tougher, and, consequently, longer lasting and more suitable for use in areas like Scotland and Scandinavia. The name Meteor 3000 is actually in reference to the fact that the flysheet is a 3000mm PU, whereas the fly on the Meteor 2 is just 1800mm. 

Construction

The design is very similar to Big Agnes’s Copper Spur 2 UL: a freestanding, inner pitched and semi-geodesic design with one short pole across the roof. There are two very spacious vestibules and then a large mesh inner with steep walls and plenty of room to sit up in. 

I found the Meteor pretty easy to put up, though I did need to have one quick glance at the instructions. It took me roughly six minutes at the first attempt. Inner pitch first tents obviously aren’t ideal in wet climates and this is no exception. The fly is at least quick and easy to fix on though, so you won’t ever have to leave the inner exposed for too long. 

The materials are all clearly of a decent quality. You have DAC aluminium poles, a 68D Poly Taffeta fly and floor fabric, 15D mesh inner and then what appear to be lightweight aluminium stakes pegs (x10). There are tabs to hold back the flysheet doors and the doors to the inner as well. You also get a number of useful mesh pockets for kit organisation. I really like the fact that the storage sacks for the pegs and the poles are both linked – it basically means one less thing to lose (or perhaps two things to lose at once!)

Packing away is easy thanks to the ‘burrito’ stuff sack. This basically involves a wide lengthways mouth with a drawcord and then two buckled straps. 

Performance

This is one of the roomier two-person tents I’ve come across. There’s plenty of space for two people to live comfortably alongside each other – and with loads of space to keep kit out of the way as well. That space doesn’t really come at a cost weight-wise either, with the overall packed weight coming in at a very respectable 2126g. 

I really like that there’s the option to really open up the tent when the weather permits it. Not only you can you roll back both the doors but you can even roll back half of the flysheet if you want to stargaze at night or enjoy the sunrise in the morning. Fortunately, you can get it back to normal quickly and easily if rain happens to suddenly arrive. 

As tends to be the case with American tents, the base of the fly sheet is quite high up off the ground, leaving big wide gaps for ventilation. On warm days that has its obvious benefits, though it’s basically what makes this tent unsuited to the edges of shoulder seasons. It’s the same with the Big Agnes Copper Spur, the Nemo Hornet and MSR Hubba Hubba NX. 

I haven’t had an opportunity to test this out in nastily strong winds yet, but it’s served me well during a number of camps in the Welsh hills through September and October. The structure is naturally sturdy and there are plenty of guying points though in strong winds I can see the tall walls bending in a bit. I’ll have to come back and update this article after I’ve had a stormy night in it 

Verdict

Considering the performance, the space and the good quality eco-friendly materials here, this tent really is good value for money. Yes, there are a number of tents from Vango that are cheaper, but they don’t match up to this in terms of design quality or sustainability. 

Credit to Sierra Designs for making something deliberately aimed at northern European campers as well. 

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Chosen For Our Green Gear Guide 2021

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