This Sierra Designs Lightning 2 FL review is about a freestanding 3-season ultralight tent for 2 people.
This is an improved version of the Lighting 2 UL series, with the weight reduced by 10 oz (283 gr).
Lightning 2 FL is one of the most functional tents in its weight class.
Best place to buy
- The best place regarding the price and shipping conditions is usually Amazon.com.
This is a freestanding tent which means it can be pitched anywhere regardless of the surface. This makes it quite different from some other models of the same producer, like Sierra Designs Tensegrity, and Sierra Designs Flashlight series. This is one of the important reasons I give a higher rate to Lightning 2 FL tent.
This is a 2-person tent, and yet it has a single wide door on the front. With this, some weight is saved. An interesting feature of this tent is a 15 inches integrated awning that comes with internal poles, you can see it in the pictures above and below.
Lightning 2 FL tent is a hybrid double/single wall. This means that a part of the tent, closer to the entrance has an internal mesh, while the foot area is without it.
This is done in order to reduce the weight and to provide a quick, dry set-up. In the same time, the foot area has a big vent which creates a circulation tunnel between the foot area and the rest of the tent. This all provides great ventilation and reduces the problem of condensation.
This tent comes without the usual vestibule in front of the entrance, so this is one of the features of its radical design.
In fact, gear storage area is moved on the two sides, and it can be accessed both from outside and through 2 zippered openings from inside the tent. You can see this feature in the picture on the right, and you will see it also in the video.
Lightning 2 FL is coated with waterproof polyurethane, and all its seams are tape-sealed, so the tent interior is completely protected from the elements.
- Capacity: 2 people.
- Free standing.
- Minimum weight: 2 lbs 13 oz (1.28 kg). Tent and poles only.
- Packaged weight: 3 lbs 4 oz (1.47 kg).
- Length: 86 in (218 cm).
- Width: front 56 in (132.1 cm), rear 46 in (116.8 cm).
- Height: 42.5 in (108 cm).
- Interior surface: 30.5 sq ft (2.83 sq m).
- 2 gear storage areas; 5.4 + 5.4 sq ft (0.38 + 0.38 sq m).
- 1 door.
- Awning: height 36 in (91 cm), overhang 15 in (38 cm).
- 4 guylines.
- 10 stakes.
- Tent bag: 15 x 4 in (38.1 x 10 cm).
- Poles: 3, DAC NFL, 9.3 mm, joined together by 2 swivel hubs to create a single frame.
- Pole set weight: 14 oz (0.40 kg).
- Material: fly 20D polyester ripstop, silicone/1200mm PE, FR; floor 30D nylon ripstop, WR/3000mm PE, FR; body 15D nylon no-see-um ultralight mesh.
Comparison with competitors
I have made for you a comparison table, which includes Sierra Designs Lightning 2 FL and some other tents presented in the site. This might help you in deciding what suits you bets. These are all freestanding tents for 2 people. Have a look:
|Sierra Designs Lightning 2||Big Agnes
Copper Spur UL2
|Surface sq m||2.83||2.7||2.8|
As you can see, Lightning 2 FL is a bit heavy, but the surface, price, and some other features are such that I think it deserves the best rate among the given models.
I hope this Sierra Designs Lightning 2 FL review is useful to you. This is a great hybrid-type tent, partly single-wall and partly double-wall, and there are several good reasons why it is one of my best ranking tents. As for the cons, well, it is indeed a bit heavy, but hey this is a 2-person tent after all, and see the price.
In case you want to read more about 2-person tents, 14 of them are described in my another review.
Thank you for reading. I shall be happy to have your comments in the box below.