The Sierra Designs High Route 1P Tent is a spacious three-season tent designed for withstanding variable conditions while remaining (sort of) light. The High Route is versatile in relation to weather, usability, and functionality. It was designed to the specifications of Andrew Skurka, long-distance backpacker and a National Geographic “Adventurer of the Year” recipient.
Features and Specifications
- Three season tent with some usability in mild winter conditions
- Pyramid-inspired design
- Pole-reinforced vertical doors
- Steep walls (added space)
- Both side doors are able to be guyed out for ventilation
- 5-inch awning vents
- The bug nest and tarp can set up separately
- Pole placement is offset
- The stuff sack is oversized to make re-packing easier
- Large enough to accommodate two people in a pinch
- Minimum weight: 2 lbs 5 oz (1.05 kg)
- Packaged weight: 2 lbs 12 oz (1.25 kg)
- Number of doors: 2
- Gear storage area (tarp area + nest area): 17.3 ft2 (1.61 m2)
- Interior area (tarp): 36 ft2 (3.34 m2)
- Interior area (bug nest and floor): 18.8 ft2 (1.75 m2)
- Internal peak height (tarp): 48 in (122 cm)
- Internal peak height (nest): 43 in (109 cm)
- Awning height: 38.5 in (98 cm)
- Length (tarp): 108 in (274 cm)
- Length (nest): 90 in (229 cm)
- Width (tarp): 48 in (122 cm)
- Width (nest): 30 in (76 cm)
Description of Field Testing
The field testing consisted of a multiple-day trip in the Belt range of Montana during the last week of September. We set up our camp at six thousand feet and day hiked from there. The weather was typical for the area and season: nights in the twenties and a few snow flurries. We were camped down in a sheltered ravine and so did not encounter a large amount of wind.
My performance assessment of the Sierra Designs High Route One Person Tent will consist of the following items:
The Sierra Designs High Route sets up with trekking poles. The side doors can stake out into spacious porches, making entering and exiting the tent easy and also allowing for a good amount of ventilation on a humid night. The steep walls add considerably more space compared to many other one-person shelters. The five-inch awning vents help keep condensation to a minimum—I woke up dry every morning.
The tarp and the bug nest can be set up separately. Although this is technically a one-person shelter, using the tarp by itself could accommodate two sleepers and would lighten the weight of the shelter system. Even with the interior bug nest set up inside the tarp, the tent is large enough to accommodate two people in a pinch.
The pole placement is offset so as to not block entrances or encroach on the sleeping area.
The Night Glow feature is a small translucent compartment that dangles from the top of the tent interior. Placing your headlamp inside this compartment turns the harsh LED beam into a diffused glow. It only weighs .7 oz (20 g) but is easy to remove should you choose not to carry it.
The High Route’s design is simple. It is roughly pyramidal in shape, adding stability in wind and inclement weather. The design requires that the corners of the tent be staked out at ninety-degree angles (perfectly square) with forty-five-degree pull angles on the stakes in order to achieve a good pitch.
The tent is set up by staking out the corners and inserting the trekking poles tip down into a grommet at the bottom of the lower zipper. You can then raise the tent by popping the trekking poles up from the inside, keeping the interior of the tent dry during bad weather. Velcro cuffs on the inside of the side door material keep the trekking poles in a supportive position even in high winds.
The porch-able side doors create extra living space and ventilation when needed. A side release buckle halfway down the side doors lets you porch the doors mid-way without creating tension on the zipper. Similar side release buckles at the bottom of the doors make zipping hassle free.
The Fly Fabric consists of Silicone coated 20D Ripstop Nylon and the floor consists of 30D Ripstop Nylon, so both elements should hold up to use and abrasion.
This is a heavy one-person tent. That being said, it is sturdy, spacious, and easy to use. Set up is simple after a little practice. The expansive headroom in conjunction with the steep walls simplifies changing clothes and other inside-the-tent chores. The extra space is especially nice when hanging out in the tent after dark but before bed. This roomy design requires a larger amount of fabric, hence the added weight.
The interior bug net and floor set up with a five-point clip system that allows for a large degree of flexibility. One upshot is it gives you the option to create one large vestibule or two smaller vestibules on each side. This was a benefit to us during testing as our camping spot was extremely unlevel.
I love the stability and versatility of this tent. It is roomy and has well-designed extra features like the zipper buckles and the “Night Glow”. However, the Sierra Designs High Route is a little heavy compared to other ultralight one-person shelters.
Editor’s Note: According to his blog, Andrew Skurka chose not to renew his contract with Sierra Designs in January of 2018. Before parting ways with the company, he developed a plan to overhaul this tent. The new version will arrive in the spring of 2019, its name will not change, and this current design will be phased out. According to Skurka it will be ten ounces lighter than the current version and considerably less roomy. The price will remain the same.
Where to Buy
- The Tarptent Notch Li is another roomy tent that sets up with two trekking poles.
- Here is an interesting BPL community discussion on tent design for 4-seasons / bad weather.
Product Review Disclosure
Updated September 15, 2018
- How we acquired these products: Product(s) discussed in this review were either acquired by the author from a retailer or otherwise provided by the manufacturer at a discount/donation with no obligation to provide media coverage or a product review to the manufacturer(s).
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