View Full Version : A look at the Sierra Designs Flashlight 1

04-25-2014, 15:13
So I recently pulled the trigger on a Flashlight 1 with some hesitation due to its brand new status and the resulting lack of reviews. I hope I can provide some useful info for anyone else who may be contemplating picking one of these up. What I have to offer right now isn't a whole lot better than a backyard review since the weather overnight was nice, but I'll share my first impressions and hope to update this as soon as the mud season high alititude ban is lifted and I can subject the tent to more challenging conditions. anyways...

They make two models, the regular (2 lbs. 9 oz.) and ultralight (2 lbs 4 oz.) those weights assume pitching it with trekking poles and leaving the 6oz. vertical poles behind. The weight difference is all in the fabric, they are the same dimensions. The UL has a 30D nylon fly and 40d nylon floor vs. a 75D polyester fly and 70D nylon floor on the regular. The UL will also lighten your wallet $80 more. I went with the regular for more durable fabric and having read lots of feedback about thin floors on other tents leaking in sustained heavy rain, though it is worth noting that both models carry the same 3000mm waterproof rating on the floor and 1500mm on the fly.

Here it is packed, pretty manageable size. The pole and stake bag attaches to the side of the stuff sack which is a neat idea though I didn't find it practical for my method of packing the stuff sack on its side in my backpack. The poles are too long to fit this way and thus rode seperately in the side pocket of my backpack. It comes with some fairly thick hexagonal aluminum stakes that seem more resistant to bending than some standard offerings I've seen.
https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7062/14006603412_5f24e0b346_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/nkHvdh)IMG_0102 (https://flic.kr/p/nkHvdh) by mattjv89 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42829700@N08/), on Flickr

The back side after pitching. It seems a little saggy but that may be due to my lack of experience pitching it so I'll reserve judgement till I get some more practice. I've read similar complaints about a few Tarp Tent models from those new to pitching them. Night was falling as I set up camp so I didn't have too long to fine-tune everything. The stakeouts all have about a foot of cord which is very nice, they accounted for the non-freestanding design by making them long enough that you aren't S.O.L. if you hit a rock in a particular spot. The guyout on the front panel is optional but seemed well attached and pulled the whole face pretty taut, I'd feel confident subjecting it to some high wind.
https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5146/14006635911_8f7e760cfe_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/nkHESB)IMG_0099 (https://flic.kr/p/nkHESB) by mattjv89 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42829700@N08/), on Flickr

Here's the entry side (2 person model is dual entry) and the gear closet. The gear closet is set to its widest here and accomodated a 77L pack and boots with no room to spare. It can toggle down to half this size, or fold out of the way completely when not in use. There is a couple inch gap between the ground and the bottom of the gear closet so this definitely would not keep things bone dry in a downpour, though I've seen that happen on traditional vestibule tents too.
https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5278/14006629711_a8269e7a4d_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/nkHD2H)IMG_0100 (https://flic.kr/p/nkHD2H) by mattjv89 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42829700@N08/), on Flickr

Generous ventilation on the inside, Sierra Designs calls this a "hybrid" single/double wall design. The idea is that the 6" awning protects the mesh from rain while allowing lots of ventilation. This strip of mesh runs around three of the four walls. I'll hold final judement till I set it up in more damp conditions but it seems made to address condensation very well.
https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2938/14006607622_88d887380b_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/nkHwsS)IMG_0101 (https://flic.kr/p/nkHwsS) by mattjv89 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42829700@N08/), on Flickr

There is ample room in the tent, here is my 6'6" Marmot Lithium clearing the back wall by a few inches. The front and back walls are pretty close to vertical so nearly all of the 90" floor is usable space. There is also plenty of headroom, I am 6'2" and can sit right up with plenty of room to spare.
https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5499/14006639341_c772d9782b_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/nkHFTK)IMG_0098 (https://flic.kr/p/nkHFTK) by mattjv89 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42829700@N08/), on Flickr

Well that's all for now, I'll update this as soon as I can get out in some real weather.

04-25-2014, 19:07
Nice review and photos, thanks!

04-25-2014, 19:32
A couple of suggestions.
Set the poles a bit higher than that (about 2")
Install the apex guylines so that you can pull the apex line taut with them.

04-25-2014, 23:57
A couple of suggestions.
Set the poles a bit higher than that (about 2")
Install the apex guylines so that you can pull the apex line taut with them.

2" higher would be longer than the supplied poles, as pictured here they are basically as long as they will go. I mean I'm straining to hold the pole extended until it's locked. The fabric is tight as a drum against the poles but loose in other spots. Can you clarify what you mean by installing the apex guy lines?

04-26-2014, 02:46
looks to me that there is a fabric loop on the fly over the area where your pole handle/top rests .My guess is that it is a guyout point. If it isn't it should be...
You get a lot more leverage from there than from pulling at the bottom of the fly.
Mind you, my comments are about what I would do ,not that they are right or that you should do it.