Sierra Designs Meteor Light 2 Tent

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Manufacturer Description

The Meteor Light series of tents combines innovative pole geometry with functional detailing. The multiple entry points allow for easier access and ventilation options. The eye-pole design helps create steep vertical walls to increase headroom and interior space. Integrated hanging pockets give you ample storage to help keep your tent tidy. Traditional tent-and-fly design thwarts condensation. Designed to offer outstanding comfort, convenience and performance, the Meteor Light tents will not let you down.

Features

  • Floor material – 70D Nylon, 3000mm waterproof
  • Body material – 68D polyester, dye free
  • Fly material – 75D polyester, 1500mm waterproof
  • Pole type – DAC NSL Aluminum (9.6mm/9.0mm)
  • Fully seam taped floor and fly, PVC-free
  • Continuous pole sleeves
  • Eye Pole configuration
  • Reflective door trim and guy outs
  • Internal hanging pockets
  • Patented stash door
  • Sew-free window
  • DAC Twist Clip pole clips
  • Locking pole tips
  • Grommet pole attachment
  • Capacity – 2
  • Interior area – 3.3 m2 (35.5 ft2)
  • Vestibule area – 1.7 m2 + 0.8 m2 (18 ft2 + 9 ft2)
  • Peak height – 109 cm (43 in)
  • Packed length – 53.3 cm (21 in)
  • Packed diameter – 15.2 in (6 in)
  • 2 doors
  • 3 poles
  • Measured weights
    • Tent Body – 1,126 g (2 lb 3.7 oz)
    • Fly – 1,021 g (2 lb)
    • Poles – 585 g (1 lb 4.6 oz)
    • Stuff sacks – 65 g & 37 g (2.3 oz & 1.3 oz ) tent & poles
    • Stakes – 165 g (5.8 oz) for 12
    • Trail Weight (all above) – 2,999 g (6 lb 9.8 oz)
  • Retail – $300

YMMV Review

I have been familiar with Sierra Designs from back to my days as a mountain guide.  Our tents were all Sierra Designs, and boy did they get put through a beating each summer. Nonetheless, they always came back for more.  Sierra Designs started back in 1965 and has been making innovative products since.  They make tents, sleeping bags, backpacks and clothing. Recently, I reached out to Sierra Designs as I was interested in reviewing one of their tents.  After talking with them, we settled on the Meteor Light 2 tent.

Fully Set Up

Testing

To test the Meteor Light 2 tent I took it into the backcountry on a couple of trips.  Mostly, overnighters based on how much time I had available and Melissa joined me as well to see how well it would fit two people.

Design ★★★½☆

Appearance (5%) ★★★★☆

Construction (20%) ★★★½☆

Features (20%) ★★★★☆

Materials (10%) ★★★½☆

Packability (10%) ★★★☆☆

Sustainability (10%) ★★★★☆

Weight (25%) ★★½☆☆

The Sierra Designs Meteor Light 2 Tent is a two person, 3-season, backpacking tent.

Set Up without Fly

I would not call it lightweight, but then again, it is not chunky either.  The Meteor Light uses an innovative pole geometry in order to save weight but retain the needed support.  There are three poles that combine to give the tent more vertical walls and a good amount of space on the inside.  The poles are made of DAC NSL aluminum.  DAC NSL poles use a green anodizing of these poles.  This process eliminates nitric acid and phosphoric acid from the anodizing process.  This tent uses traditional tent and fly design to keep condensation to a minimum.  The inner tent is a mix of solid polyester and mesh for strength, privacy, and breathability.  The inner body material is dye-free for a greener product.  The floor of the tent is a 70D nylon with a 3000mm waterproof rating.  It is a bathtub floor which pulls the seams up higher off the ground for better weather protection.  The outer fly of the tent is a 75D polyester with a 1500mm waterproof rating.  The fly does not have as robust of a waterproof rating as it does not have the same pressures from people laying and sitting on it. Both the floor and the fly are completely seam taped with a PVC-free tape.  The tent floor is cut with a catenary cut to make the tent tighter and prevent flapping in the wind.

Internal Hanging Pockets

For easier setup the tent has continuous pole sleeves and DAC Twist Clips.  There are M-Hubs where the poles join and grommet pole attachments at the ground level.  All the guys out points and door trim have reflective accents, which is really appreciated at night.  The tent has Sierra designs patented Stash Door.   On the inside there are hanging pockets for both users.  Smaller ones behind the head and larger ones on the sides.  They are on opposite sides of the tent as the Meteor Light 2 is set up for the inhabitants to sleep head to foot.  The fly has a really sharp grey and blue color scheme.  It has two sew-free windows so you can check the elements before venturing out into them.  It also has two vents that can be propped open to increase ventilation.  On the inside of the vents there is an extra Velcro for storage.

The Meteor Light 2 tent has an interior area of 3.3 m2 (35.5 ft2).  There are two doors on the tent, and each of them has a vestibule.  One is larger than the other at 1.7 m2 (18 ft2) while the smaller one is 0.8 m2 (9 ft2).

Buckle & Tensioner

Packed away in the included stuff sacks the tent packs down to cm (21 in) long and cm (6 in) in diameter.  On the inside the tent is (55 in) wide and (93 in) long.  The interior peak height is (43 in). I measured the weight to be a little more than the published weight, but this was not a deal breaker for me. One the inside there are loops around the ceiling for an optional gear loft.

The Meteor Light 2 Tent feels very well made.  There are many details, which are top notch while not adding much weight.  The tent is even made using many green practices and with regards to the result  of its impact.  Sierra Designs has their Green Effect program, which has a mission to practice and promote a harmonious relationship between our business world and the outdoor world.  The following five steps represent the blueprint for the Green Effect program for Sierra Designs:

  • Build environmentally friendly products whenever possible
  • Support environmental programs and organizations
  • Grow programs that promote sustainable outdoor recreation
  • Reduce costs and waste
  • Enhance community involvement through its employees, reps, retailers and consumers

    Vent with Velcro for Easy Storage

To do this Sierra Designs has taken steps not only in their products but in their offices to be greener.  100% of their office and warehouse power is from wind energy certificates.  They use recycled paper for all their print and try to reduce packaging.  They recycle glass, paper, plastic, and magazines.  Even 70% of their tradeshow booth was built with green materials.  I can attest that the booth still looked good too!  Overall, I am impressed with this program Sierra Designs has put in place.

Performance ★★★☆☆

Durability (15%) ★★★☆☆

Ease of Set Up (25%) ★★★½☆

Strength (20%) ★★★☆☆

Use of Space (20%) ★★★☆☆

Venting (20%) ★★★½☆

I really liked this tent.  I have set up a fair amount of tents in my day, so I decided to “wing it” on my first trip with Melissa.

Twist Clip System

Not always a good decision, especially in bad weather, but we lucked out and the weather was nice and the tent was pretty easy to figure out.  It might have only taken me an extra minute or two with the poles, and then I was good to go.  Once you have set this tent up once or twice it really is easy to do.  Since the poles need to lock into the M-hub, that is the only tricky part.  The tent is really easy to guy out and make tight.  It has locking clips on each of the guylines that allow you just to pull them tight.  No need to tie any fancy hitches or knots.  The tent comes with 12 stakes to help secure it to the ground.  These were completely ample for the condition we were in.  The fly attaches to the tent body by Velcro partway up the poles and by clips at the ground level.  On the outside of the fly, there is an additional four guy out points for windier conditions.  Each of these guy lines also have a locking adjuster making them really easy to use.

All the door trim and guy lines have reflective accents to make it easy to be seen at night.  It is no fun to be tripping on things when you have to go out and use the restroom at night.  Speaking of that, the two doors are also appreciated so each person has their own exit and storage space.  Melissa and I were able to easily fit our packs in the vestibules at night and still had room to get in and out. The first night we stayed in the tent the beginning of the night was super calm, and the tent had a bit of condensation build up but as soon the air started to move it dried up.  Later that night it actually got quite windy and since the underside of the fly was unused, it caused the fly and poles to “squeak” as they moved.  It was quite annoying but after the fly was used once it has not happened again.  Just needed a little dirt.  The other thing I was not a fan of is the inner pockets are oriented in a way that they expect the sleepers to sleep with their heads on the opposite side of the tent.  The inside of the tent has enough room to sleep with your heads on the same side of each other making one set of pockets useless in these situations.  I wish the pockets were a bit more centered just in case people want to sleep this way.  This is not a major issue, just something I noticed.

M-Hub Pole System

The tent seems really well-made and should last a long time with proper care.  I have witnessed Sierra Design Tents and their excellent durability. Using this tent has not led me to believe this one will not last either.  I have not had any issues in my testing, but if I do down the road I will update this review.  This tent is not going to blow you away with crazy looking features, but it is solid and carefully thought out.

Overall ★★★½☆

Overall, I was very happy with the Meteor Light 2 Tent.  Generally, when I hike with Melissa, I like to have a comfortable 2-person tent and this fit the bill nicely.  I do not want a tent that is so cramped that she does not enjoy the experience and not want to go next time.  This tent, while still remaining fairly light, had plenty of room for the two of us.  It had no issues with high winds and vented really well unless  the air was stagnant.  All tents will struggle in those conditions.  My favorite part of the tent was all the little details that were used in the construction.  From the locking clips on the guy lines to the easy to use door stash, this tent packs in a lot of features.  I would not call this a glorified 1-person shelter as some 2-person tents feel like.  It truly is a 2-person tent.  At its weight, I would suggest it for someone looking for a solid 2-person tent that can stand up to all but the harshest conditions.  Sierra Designs makes some better options for the fast and light crowd but as a good all-around backpacking tent this one is great.  It should last a long time and provide happy hiking for some time.  Even though it had been a decade since I last used a Sierra Designs tent, I must say they still offer a no-nonsense design and solid product.  The Meteor Light 2 Tent retails for $300 which I believe is a fair price.  As always, your mileage may vary.

Sierra Designs Product Video

Pros [field name=iFrame]

  • Looks cool
  • Truly fits 2 people
  • Many added enhancements
  • Vents well
  • Made using green principles
  • Two doors and vestibules

Cons

  • Pockets assume sleepers will sleep with heads on opposite sides
  • “Squeaky” the first night in the wind as the inner fly was still squeaky clean (needed to break-in)

Adventures

About the Author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

3 Responses to “Sierra Designs Meteor Light 2 Tent”

  1. I found your site while hunting information on the Brooks Range Alpini jacket. I enjoyed that review and poked around a bit.

    I have a Meteor Light tent I bought in 1996. It wasn’t much cheaper than the current version. My tent has less mesh and no vents or etc. It is a warm tent, though, I think. I typically go out in cooler weather and so warm isn’t a negative.

    One thing I like / don’t like very much is the large vestibule. I think mine is supposed to be 14 feet2. It is a good size, but, if there is condensation on the inside of the fly, I get wet reaching out to open the zipper. This version you reviewed has a smaller vestibule in addition to the larger so there should be no troubles; exit where you like.

    It is hard for me to judge wind speed, but I have had the tent be stable in winds where it felt like someone had grabbed the fly and tugged. This was at a Death Valley campground after the sun went down and the ground cooled. I have three full length poles rather than your 2+1 (or whatever the configuration may be called), but the overall shape of the tent is similar.

    My tent also has loops at the top for a gear loft. I eyeballed the loft Sierra Designs offered and sewed something similar. It is nice to have to keep a hat or socks or whatever handy. My tent has only rudimentary pockets. One large pocket divided in two is on each short side and in the middle. I should call them vestigial. Pocket technology was in its infancy..

    It is a luxurious size. Mine was called 40 feet2 but it is likely more the rated size of your tent; the sides of the floor curve up a lot so the 40 ft2 of my tent is really available only when the pitch is slack. Even so, room for a couple guys with packs at the foot.. One fellow your size and the other shorter and stouter. The large vestibule should have enough room to carefully use a little butane canister stove… mmm, not supposed to do that, though..

    I used to carry it backpacking. I liked the extra room even though I usually always walk alone. I did this for a while and got old and tired (a younger person might say lazy). I still like room and now have one of those two person tents that is really a glorified one person tent. It is not as warm as my SD tent. Split between two people, the weight of the SD Meteor Light isn’t bad. It is still my tent of choice if I am car camping.

    I hope the long comment was not tiresome. It is my attempt to add some information even though I have a much older (original?) version.

    • Thanks for the comment and visiting the site. Hope you enjoyed it. The Sierra Designs Meteor Light has been around a long time. When I guided we used them and I bet it was very similar to your tent. Solid tents, they lasted years with nearly constant use throughout the summer. Thanks for the addition insight. It all helps!

      JJ

  2. Paul Whitcomb

    Any idea why there are two different M hub design/materials? One is the black, plastic one like you have pictured. The other is a bare (silver) aluminum ring. Also, why did they discontinue the Meteor Light after 2 years of this design? It seems something went very wrong, because their eye pole was “patent pending” and the Meteor Light had a great and long history before they changed it to this design.
    I misplaced my poles soon after purchasing this tent in 2010, and Sierra Designs told me they had no Eye poles. Their outfitter for parts, American Recreational, told me the same thing. When I contacted the manufacturer, DAC, they told me Sierra Designs had never ordered any replacement poles.
    Now, Sierra Designs pretends there is no such thing as a Meteor Light. It sounds like they really goofed somewhere along the line. none of their tents use the M hub or eye pole system now.

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