Review: Sierra Designs Night Watch CD [ 2-man 3-4 Season Convertible Tent ]

Review: Sierra Designs Night Watch CD [ 2-man 3-4 Season Convertible Tent ]
Retail: $350, MBstores.com is offering this tent for only $229.95. (Limit time offer, expire soon.)

Product Description
Trail weight 6lbs. 14oz. Packed weight 7lbs. 10oz. Fastpack weight 4lbs. 9oz. Floor space 35 square feet Vestibule 5 + 5 square feet. Doors 2. Interior peak 49 inches. Packed size 6 1/2 in. x 24 in. Number of poles 3. Kind of poles Easton 7075 T9 Aluminum. Number of External Guy Outs 5. Stake Out Loops 8 Clip Locs 4. Inter-Locs 5. Fabrics. Floor: 70D 2.6oz. Polyurethane Coated Nylon Taffeta. Canopy: 70D 2oz. Ripstop Nylon. Mesh: 20D 1.6 oz. Woven Nylon. Fly: 70D 2oz. Polyurethane Coated Nylon Taffeta.

Retail: $319


Reviewed by: John, a Backpacker from Wilmington DE
Date Reviewed: 7/29/2002 11:43:26 PM
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
Recently took the night watch on its maiden voyage last june in the adirondacks.
Conditions and temperatures (rain and sun, w/temps ranging from the 20's to 70's) provided an ideal setting to test the tents "convertible" features.
Overall, was very impressed with the tents ability to adopt to the ever changing late spring adirondack weather.
On warm evenings, I opened up the night watch, allowing impressive cross- ventilation between the tents two main doors to occur. During cool/cold nights, the night watch ziped up tight, creating a warm and draft free environment.
The design of the night watch makes the tent seem roomier than its 35 sq ft of living space.
Quality and "bombproofness" appear to be top-notch, which is no surprise given Sierra Designs attention to detail and its use of superior materials.
The vestibules on the night watch, while certainly not large, provided enough space to store boots, backpack etc. without getting wet during heavy overnight rainstorm.
Overall, I was very pleased with the improvements Sierra Designs have made to this "classic tent".
I can't imagine a better tent for the serious year-round backpacker who demands performance, adequate living space, and unparalleled weather resistance from the four season tent that he or she owns.

Customer Service:
I have had no personal experience w/ the manufacturers customer service, although I hear from friends that its excellent

Similar Products Tried:
I own a 10 year old North Face Westwind.
While this tent has held up well to heavy usage and occasional severe winter weather, its design is now essentially obsolete.

I also own a sierra designs stretch dome w/expedition fly. That tent is excellent for severe winter conditions but is probably too much for average backpacking trips.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Todd, a Mountaineer from Seattle, WA
Date Reviewed: 6/14/2002 2:50:54 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I have a 2000 model. After carefully weighing the trade-offs--price, weight, durability, space--I chose the Nightwatch over more expensive Mtn. Hardwear and Marmot products. I have taken it on three trips this year so far and experienced varied conditions, including high winds and rain on Longs Pass. I definitely recommend the Nightwatch for general mountaineering and high-country backpacking. For two people it offers enough room for comfortable sleeping and a limited amount of gear. The double doors are very convenient and make the tent's fairly small floor plan seem less cramped (no crawling over your partner.) The vestibules are small and are not suitable for stacking a lot of gear immediately outside the door, which is probably the biggest drawback from a mountaineering standpoint. On the other hand, it is light, and I found that with only a single guy and proper orientation to the wind, it held up with no problems under a strong wind. Additionally, it ventilates well and makes for comfortable sleeping even on warmer nights, which distinguishes it from the Mtn. Hardwear Trango and Marmot Sanctum. (A note: I seam sealed the perimeter of the floor, but otherwise everything is factory direct.)
I have some experience around the country, not just in the Cascades, and I believe that "overtenting" is a common mistake. If it works on Rainier, and it has, it will work anywhere in the lower 48 unless you're deliberately setting out to do winter meteorological research on Mt. Washington. On the whole, I am very pleased with the purchase: the tent's value proposition for the cost-conscious adventurer is compelling. And it's a good tent for any two people looking for reliable high-country shelter no matter the budget.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Todd, a Mountaineer from Seattle, WA
Date Reviewed: 6/14/2002 1:14:02 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I have a 2000 model. After carefully weighing the trade-offs--price, weight, durability, space--I chose the Nightwatch over more expensive Mtn. Hardwear and Marmot products. I have taken it on three trips this year so far and experienced varied conditions, including high winds and rain on Longs Pass. I definitely recommend the Nightwatch for general mountaineering and high-country backpacking. For two people it offers enough room for comfortable sleeping and a limited amount of gear. The double doors are very convenient and make the tent's fairly small floor plan seem less cramped (no crawling over your partner.) The vestibules are small, and so are not suitable for stacking tons of gear immediately outside the door, which is probably the biggest drawback from a mountaineering standpoint. On the other hand, it is light, and I found that with only a single guy and proper orientation to the wind, it held up with no problems under a strong wind. Additionally, it ventilates well and makes for comfortable sleeping even on warmer nights. (A note: I seam sealed the perimeter of the floor, but otherwise everything is factory direct.) I have some experience around the country, not just in the Cascades, and I believe that "overtenting" is a common mistake. If it works on Rainier, and it has, it'll work anywhere in the lower 48 unless you're deliberately setting out for winter meteorological research on Mt. Washington. On the whole, I am very pleased with the purchase: the tent's value proposition for the cost-conscious adventurer is compelling. And it's a good tent for any two people looking for reliable high-country shelter no matter the budget.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Charlie, a Backpacker from San Jose, California
Date Reviewed: 2/11/2002 3:25:48 AM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
Have had for 4 years, and overall a very solid four-season for the money, but unless it's windy, with fly on it lacks adequate ventilation for two people, even with the roof vent unzipped. When it's really cold and still out the night becomes a repeating cycle for the doorman of exposing the door mesh, partially unzipping the vestibule, and freezing, and then sealing it all up and suffocating. Condensation is not a problem, just CO2 buildup.
 

 
  Reviewed by: John Everts, a Backpacker from Lebanon, NJ
Date Reviewed: 11/18/2001 2:01:56 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I've had mine since 93. I only use it a few times a year and am impressed every time I use it! I have sealed it a few times although it has never leaked. I've been in a few frightening/torential thunder storms and have stayed bone dry every time. An awsome tent...

john
 

 
  Reviewed by: John Everts, a Backpacker from Lebanon, NJ
Date Reviewed: 11/18/2001 2:00:04 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I've had mine since 93. I only use it a few times a year and am impressed every time I use it! I have sealed it a few times although it has never leaked. I've been in a few frightening/torential thunder storms and have stayed bone dry every time. An awsome tent...

john
 

 
  Reviewed by: John Everts, a Backpacker from Lebanon, NJ
Date Reviewed: 11/18/2001 1:59:37 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I've had mine since 93. I only use it a few times a year and am impressed every time I use it! I have sealed it a few times although it has never leaked. I've been in a few frightening/torential thunder storms and have stayed bone dry every time. An awsome tent...

john
 

 
  Reviewed by: Nik , a Backpacker from Somerville, MA
Date Reviewed: 9/27/2001 1:51:20 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I just got the '99 (or maybe it's the '00) model, and LOVE it. It comes with sealed seams, and the dual door/vestibule design can't be beat. It's perfect for 2... you don't have to wait out in the rain while one person is getting situated inside the tent. With dual vestibules, life is GOOD.
A little pricy, but well worth it. It's also nice if you get the matching footprint, because then you can use the footprint and fly in combination to set up a quick, easy shelter without having to set up the whole tent!!!!

Similar Products Tried:
mt. hardware & other seirra designs tents
 

 
  Reviewed by: Ryan, a Backpacker from Salem, Oregon
Date Reviewed: 5/6/2001 9:01:02 AM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I have loved my 1997 Night Watch CD since the day I bought it, and at $130 (on a SMOKIN' sale I found) it's the best value I've ever heard of. Nice and cool with the top zipped open in the summer and a stable performer in snow as well. Given the stability it affords, I have no complaint with its weight (which is practically nothing compared to pure 4-season tents). My only real complaint (no surprize here) is the wimpy vestibule. It's only decent use is as a "front porch" with its door tied out away from the tent. Once the vestibule is zipped shut its almost useless except for to cover boots, so I've leared to get cozy with my pack on the inside of the tent in wet weather. Still, the vestibule issue really a pretty minor concern in my book, and for the price who am I to complain? Overall a great tent at a great value.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Mike C., a Backpacker from Charleston, SC
Date Reviewed: 2/23/2001 12:52:09 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I've owned this tent for three years now and I must say that it is the perfect two man three season tent out there for the money. It's relatively light and a cinch to put up.
One complaint: The roof vent can only be opened from the outside: a real pain if it is raining.

Overall, it offers a lot of value and is a piece of gear that casn be counted on to perform even in the harshest conditions
 

 
  Reviewed by: John Nasset, a Backpacker from Missoula, Montana
Date Reviewed: 2/1/2001 12:20:37 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
This is a damn fine tent. It's very stable w/o guys and bombproof with them. You can get optional internal guys to really kick Ma Natures butt. The closeable fly vent is a god-send for muggy nights. It's roomy enough for 1 person w/gear or 2 w/o. The vestibule is small but can hold wet boots or clothes in a pinch. Mine (1998 model) wasn't seam sealed but came with seam grip and hasn't leaked. I really like the ease of set-up (1 person can do it in 5 minutes) and the Clip-locs and interlocks. They really make a difference in stability. It's a great all season tent, though a bit small for 2 in the winter. It's fairly lightweight. One gripe- it is hard to exit w/o getting moisture dripping in from the vestibule.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Jay Balmer, a Backpacker from Edwardsville, IL USA
Date Reviewed: 1/17/2001 8:30:50 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
Good tent. Great for one tall man and gear. Two people can be a bit confining (leave the gear outside). Vestibule is small, although it can be used for cooking and storing small gear. The tent leaked all night in its first rainstorm, but there hasn't been a problem after seamsealing. Very stable in windy situations even without guylines. Great for summer and winter (although, be sure to ventilate or condensation will build up while you sleep) camping. I have had this tent for 7 years, and I have no regrets.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Sam Eichelberger, a Climber from Kuna, Idaho, USA
Date Reviewed: 12/24/2000 10:51:21 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I've used this tent backpacking and snow camping. It definitely proved its worth when it came to rainy weather, provided since it had a great seam seal job on it by previous owner. Plus, with such a quick set up, when a rain storm comes, you can set up the tent and be in it in now time. For two people, it is a great tent for most things. For solo trips, I wished it was lighter and would have preferred a smaller lighter tent. Vestibule is just big enough to put what you need to keep dry under it. And yes, the view out the mesh roof can be great on clear nights.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Dave, a Backpacker from New York
Date Reviewed: 12/18/2000 8:04:43 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
Talk about tent for price.. got a 98 for under 200 on sale... this tent is amazingly quick to set up, full set-up from in pack to fly on is under 3 minutes alone, and breakdown takes half of that. Spacious and light.. one gripe.. couldnt the darn fly and floor edges have come sealed? All that Seam sealant killed my brain cells, ya know.

Similar Products Tried:
Various Eureka Tents, Jack Wolfskin Rock'n'roll 3
 

 
  Reviewed by: Magic Matt, a Backpacker from Boulder, CO
Date Reviewed: 9/20/2000
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
Would have to agree w/J. Newcom below about the sealing. But this is a great tent. Vestibule is small, and floor space is tight with two bigger people - definitely no packs inside unless you're alone. Ventilation is good if you can open the fly a bit, otherwise it can be stuffy on a rainy, warmer night.
 

 
  Reviewed by: J. Newcom, a Backpacker from Sacramento, CA USA
Date Reviewed: 4/8/2000
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I think this is NOW a storm-worthy tent, but initially it was not. A primary problem was that the fly did not come seam sealed (I've read on the '99 it does). Multiple coats of of the good stuff, Seam Grip or something like that. Still, in your first 24 hour downpour in this tent -- as with any tents I've seam sealed in the past -- you will realize the spots you missed. Secondly, and more painstakingly, is sealing the edges of the floor. The lap-felled seams make it hard to really get anything gooey like Seam Grip(?) in to where the stitches are (can you tell I'm used to bathtub floors?). My advice is go for something a little more runny, like a water-based fly and floor recoat. AquaSeal makes a pretty nice one, so does Kenyon. USE IT ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE TENT! Use the whole damn bottle if need be and cover everything in copious quantities. Pay special attention to the corners (where the fly doesn't fully cover) and to where the pole and stake gromets attach to the tent. The same goes for the fly. Watch the guy out loops. There's extra stitching in all these areas and they need to be completely soaked. After about a dozen uses, here observations: Vestibule is too small for serious gear, but you can cook under it, put your rain gear, boots, etc. under there and keep them pretty dry. Packs are relegated to outside with a rain cover or tarp. On the whole, the tent is sturdy as all get out (haven't even used the internal guy system and I've been through 65 mph recorded winds) but make sure that if you are going to encounter serious weather you guy it out in all the extra points around the edge of the fly(will require about 6 extra stakes)and stake this mother down! After all that, it'll boogey through a hurricane. Inside is pretty roomy, a gear loft might make a nice addition. My girlfriend, our 45 lb pit bull and I all sleep cozzily inside. There is not much room for extraneous gear. Backpacks are out of the question. Easy set-up, break-down and it's pretty light for a 4-season (prolly on accounty of the puny vestibule). For $230 on sale, it was the best deal on the market, hands down.

Customer Service:
Nothing negative to report.

Similar Products Tried:
Eureka! for the past 20 years.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Andrew, a Backpacker from Michigan
Date Reviewed: 4/3/2000
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
Good tent. Really nice for those cool spring/fall nights that arn't really cold or hot. Works well in snow too. Did have a problem with a tunderstorm though; after a couple of hours of rain a few of the sems started to leak.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Shawn Waggener, a Backpacker from Bloomington, IN 47401
Date Reviewed: 3/28/2000
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
Summer cool, yet winter warmth. Able to see the night sky with ""convertible"" top down. Plenty of head room to sit up - claustrophobia factor is low. As a minimalist, I find this tent a little large and heavy. I would much rather be in a bivy sac, but when you've got a canine and a female companion tagging along, this tent is almost perfect. I am disappointed that this tent is made in 3rd world countries like China. Those who do all the factory work usually get paid very little and tend to have poor working conditions. Occasionally, taken-for-granted human rights are also violated in such environments (Nike). If Sierra Designs is saving so much money by going overseas, one might wonder why their gear costs so much!
 

 
  Reviewed by: mike, a Backpacker from annapolis md, usa
Date Reviewed: 3/23/2000
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
My Sierra tent saved me from a sneaky storm at 10,000' at Grand Teton. 50mph winds with rain and thunder and lightning...scary. The tent ruled. I only worried about the lightning making me and my buddy a human burrito. The wind and rain were no worries. It's a killer tent because you can use it year round for ANY temperature. Convertable is the way to go. Thanks Sierra D.
 

 
  Reviewed by: John, a Climber from Salt Lake City
Date Reviewed: 3/3/2000
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
This tent is quite storm worthy for its price and weight. Roomy enough for extended storms - particularly if each person has their head at an opposite end. I have always loved the clip system as opposed to pole sleeves, especially when setting the tent up in high winds. The vestibule is rather small and I still covered my boots with a plastic bag because it doesn't quite come down to ground enough to provide adequate coverage. The convertable top is a great place to put socks and glove liners for drying.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Collin, a Backpacker from Liverpool, NY
Date Reviewed: 1/21/2000
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
This is a great ""convertable"" tent. Its strong and fairly lightweight. You can quickly set it up night or day. The roof vent and fly vent are great features that really works. It has stood up to and stayed dry in some very strong rain storms. It has great Easton C9 poles (best made). The vestibule is just the right size for your boots, but it would be nice f it was bigger. It has lots of headroom, and it has a bigger-than-it-really is feeling on the inside. I have yet to try the tent in winter weather, and I am looking foward to it. Great tent, great value!!!!

Similar Products Tried:
Eureka Timberline (Boy Scout Troop uses them and they REALLY SUCK!!!!), Kelty Vortex (Great tent)


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Retail: $350, MBstores.com is offering this tent for only $229.95. (Limit time offer, expire soon.)



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