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Gear Review

4 5

Sierra Designs HT 4 vs. Big Agnes SL 4

I wasn't sure which to get... the Sierra Designs HT 4 or the Big Agnes SL 4, so I checked them both out and the decision was easy. I went with the Sierra Designs even though it is heavier. The extra weight did not concern me that much, as I will be dividing the weight between the group. So what made me go for the Sierra Designs? Mostly layout. I fit more comfortably full length in the Sierra Designs, with extra room at my head and feet for gear. Couldn't do that in the Big Agnes. Having said that, if you arranged yourself parallel to the doors in the Big Agnes you would have plenty of room above or below your feet. I like having the door at my head/ feet, though, so that didn't work for me. Also, the floor on the Big Agnes was quit slick. I believe this is due to the impregnated fabric. I have definitely been in places where the ground was not level and I am fairly certain you would be sliding into your neighbor all night long. As far as setup... both were easy. The Sierra has more poles, but set up was a snap. The only thing, other than the weight, that made me hesitate were the doors. The Big Agnes has larger doors. I have not used the Sierra Designs in the field yet, so I don't know if the smaller doors will be an issue, but I don't think so unless you are trying to fit 2 people through the door at once. Although, you have to hold the side wall as you open the tent, I noticed no chance of snagging on either tent. One last thing, I really like how much of the Sierra Designs tent is mesh. I hope that helps someone out there debating on the two tents. I gave it a 4 star due to the door size and weight. I look forward to years of use.