Hands-on Gear Review

Sierra Designs Convert 2 Review

The easiest single-wall tent to pitch, this model is a top performer.
By: Chris McNamara and Max Neale  ⋅  Aug 12, 2013
Price:  $600 List  |  $499.95 at MooseJaw - 17% Off
Pros:  Super strong and tough, easiest single wall tent to pitch, removable vestibule and interior corner supports, good value.
Cons:  Nemo Tenshi ventilation is better, vestibule tieouts are not as good as Tenshi, nearly twice as heavy as Mountain Hardwear Direkt 2.
Manufacturer:   Sierra Designs

Our Verdict

The Sierra Designs Convert is an innovative and top performing single wall tent for alpine climbing. It has a removable vestibule for extra space and removable poles that can add extra support to the four corners. This tent is highly versatile and rock solid in high winds. It competes most directly with the Nemo Tenshi, which scores slightly higher in our ratings because it has better ventilation and slightly better features. Even so, the Convert places among the top of the pack of the 23 tents we compare. It is our second highest rated single wall tent. Bonus: it can often be found for significantly less cost than the Nemo Tenshi.

Currently the Convert is a bit hard to find from online retailers. You may want to also consider the Mountain Hardwear EV2 which scored slightly higher than the Covert and is available at many online retailers.


Our Analysis and Test Results

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Performance Comparison


Livability


This is an average size single wall tent. It's larger than the ultralight bivy tents (Mountain Hardwear Direkt 2, Black Diamond Firstlight) but not quite as large as the Mountain Hardwear EV 2. It's a great size.

Weather Resistance


The super solid pole design makes this tent rock solid. The two awning style vents catch more wind that tents without them, but they are arguably a worthwhile feature.

The Jake's Corner corner reinforcements increase strength considerably. These are removable short sections of pole that clip into the inside of the tent. See the video at the bottom of this page for more info.

The Convert's main drawback, when it comes to strength, is its vestibule. This pitches easily from the outside with pole clips but its tie-out mechanism is not as strong as the Nemo Tenshi's removable vestibule. We prefer the Tenshi's vestibule because it the added strength and also because it has two vents on each side that make cooking easier and probably safer.

Durability


Our testing shows that three-layer waterproof breathable fabrics are generally more durable than two-layer PU coated fabrics, such as is found on the Convert.

Ease of Setup


We LOVE LOVE LOVE how the Convert pitches!

Seriously, this tent is the only single wall model we've tested that pitches from the outside. Just insert the poles through ports on the front and cinch them down tight. This gives the tent the same drum tight pitch as other single wall models with the poles entirely in the tent, just a lot fast and easier. We wish all single wall tents had a setup like this.

The vestibule goes on reasonably quickly with a few snaps and the pull of a zipper.

Weight/Packed Size


The tent weighs 5 lb. 5 oz. without the vestibule and 6 lb. 12 oz. with the vestibule (and vestibule pole). The amounts are nearly identical to the weight of the Nemo Tenshi. The Convert is definitely not ultralight. Rather, it is an expedition style single wall tent.

Adaptability


We give the Convert a score of 3 in this category because its removable corner poles and vestibule greatly increase versatility. This is the maximum score possible in this category. The increased adaptability makes the tent more versatile and a better value.

Features


The tent has good features, but not fantastic features. We much prefer the pocket design on the Nemo Tenshi because it is more supportive and can hold more. We also prefer the Tenshi's ventilation system and anchor clip in system. But on the other hand, the Convert's external entry pole design is marvelous. Ditto with the Jake's Corners. The Convert gets an 8 out of 10 here.

Best Application


High altitude alpine climbing and mountaineering.

Value


The Convert is a great tent and it can often be found for prices much lower than the Nemo Tenshi. Great value.

Chris McNamara and Max Neale

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Most recent review: August 12, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
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Rating Distribution
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4 star: 100%  (1)
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