For more than 50 years Sierra Designs has been creating fun, well built, and innovative products for use in the outdoors. In fact, their tents, sleeping bags, and apparel have been favorites with both casual and hardcore outdoor enthusiasts for decades, in no small part because they offer high quality gear at affordable prices. But a few years back the company made the decision to review its entire catalog, and focus on creating products that are more refined and innovative. The results have been some of the best gear that Sierra Designs has ever made, including a full revamp of all of their popular tents.
In the Spring of 2016 the company will release an entirely new tent called the Nightwatch 2. This free standing shelter will be a three-season, two-person affair with a minimum weight of 4 pounds, 7 ounces. That means it won’t exactly be the lightest backpacking shelter on the market, but the tent does have a few nice tricks up its sleeve for those who don’t mind carrying a little extra weight if it delivers increased comfort and convenience.
The Nightwatch will come with a fully integrated rainfly that can be deployed in three different configurations. The standard configuration provides full protection from precipitation, keeping the rain at bay just as a rainfly would on any other tent. The second configuration offers partial cover with the added benefit of improved ventilation, while the third has the fly fully retracted, presenting a full view of the night sky overhead. This gives campers an opporunity to enjoy a bit of stargazing through the tent’s mesh ceiling without ever having to leave the comfort of their sleeping bags. If an unexpected rain shower should occur however, the fly can be quickly slid back into to place.
This tent also features two large gear ports that also serve as oversized doors while the rainfly is rolled back. As with other tents in the Sierra Designs line-up, the Nightwatch also has a large awning that replaces the vestibule found on most backpacking shelters, and conveniently placed gear closets that don’t clutter the doorways, but are still easily accessible from both inside and outside the tent. It’s hybrid wall construction also helps to reduce the overall weight, while providing better interior ventilation too.
And if all of those design elements aren’t already enough, the Nightwatch is also compatible with Sierra Designs’ new Night Glow accessory. This small, lightweight product retails separately for $14.95 and is made of highly reflective Polyester Taffeta. It has the ability to be hung from a ceiling loop, and can turn any ordinary headlamp into a lantern capable of completely illuminating the interior of the tent. It is a simple, but highly effective, solution for how to provide interior light.
As already noted, the Nightwatch 2 will go on sale in the spring of 2016 at a $239.95 price point. It should be a favorite amongst casual campers and backpackers who enjoy sleeping under the stars without compromising their comfort.