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Clip Flashlight Tent Information?

Question:
I'm interested in buying a Clip Flashlight for a hike from Key West to Canada. Would you recommend this tent? It would be two people in it. Also what is the diff. between the 98 and 99 model? Would you recommend another tent over this one? Thanks for you help!

Jon

Answer:
Finally an answer to your question. Sierra Design has made a few changes to some of their tents for '99, but the Clip Flashlight CD remains unchanged. In the ultralight tent review I did last summer, I recommended the Flashlight as the best of the review. You can also look at the Quest Seescape, North Face Vapor, Walrus Arch Rival, and Kelty Windfoil Ultralight.

There are a couple of things I didn't like about the Flashlight tent (see the article), but overall it is a good solid lighweight two person tent. The principle disadvantage was the rainfly's design which allows water to drip onto the mesh doorway, and potentially into the tent itself, when you zip open the vestibule door. If water drips onto you clothing or sleeping bag that's a distinct bummer. With care you can usualy avoid the drips, but I felt that the design was a poor one. Sierra Designs countered by stating that they intentionally designed the doorway that way for wind dispersion. The sloping long rainfly splits the wind around the tent body when set up with the vestibule facing into the wind.

The tent's pluses were lightweight, good peak height (headroom), adequate vestibule space, ventilation thru side mesh panels, easy setup, and roominess for two. For your trip length, the lightweight would be a strong advantage. I'd advise against any tent over 4 lbs--no sense carrying the extra weight when good lighter weight alternatives are available.

Bottom line: I'd recommend the Flashlight CD for your trip. In my opinion its the best all-around ultralight three-season two-person tent, especially when weight is a (the?) primary concern.

Steve Mann



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