The Sierra Designs Meteor Lite 3 is the lightest freestanding 3-person tent we’ve reviewed to date but what makes it worthy of our Gear of the Year Award is its roomy interior, ease of set-up and all-round good looks. This 3-season tent will take you far and wide in comfort, without weighing you down. Bravo Sierra Designs.
The Backcountry Skiing Canada Team.
The Meteor series makes up the largest and most livable tents in the Pack and Go collection from Sierra Design. These fully free-standing tents all offer 2 doors /2 vestibules designs with a roomy footprint in between, unlike Sierra Designs Sweet Suite 2 and Sweet Suite 3 Tents which are only semi-free standing tents. The Meteor comes in 2 and 3 person sizes and they are now available in a new lightweight version. Let's take a look at the Meteor Lite 3 Tent, shall we?
Lightweight, roomy yet compact when transporting it in your pack, the Sierra Designs Meteor Lite 3 Tent has it all.
The Meteor Lite 3 is an upgraded version of their existing Meteor 3 tent. This lite version has the same design and all the great features of the regular tent but is constructed with lighter materials in order to lessen the carried load. By going from heavier material in the original Meteor series to the lightweight materials used in the Lite series, the weight has been reduced by 550g (1 lb 4 oz) in the 3 person tent. The tent is bilaterally symmetrical and offers two large doors, each with its own vestibule.
The Meteor Lite 3 Tent uses DAC Featherlight NSL Aluminum poles that slide into each corner with custom eyelets. Colour-coded webbing and pole-ends ensure an intuitive set-up. A hubbed pole design combined with a floating ridge pole create vertical sidewalls in order to maximize interior volume. This creates more useable space at both the head and the foot.
The body of the tent is 15D No-See-Um nylon mesh to offer the best views when the fly comes off. This mesh body is pulled out to the pole structure by small hooks and the attachment point at the ridge pole is a specialized ball joint.
At the peak of the tent body, a small mesh pocket offers a place to put a headlamp to light up the space which is super convenient at night or if you are tent bound.
The tent floor is 30D Ripstop nylon and features taped seams and reinforced corners to ensure you stay dry no matter what the weather brings.
The full coverage fly is made from lightweight 20D Ripstop nylon and a velcro attachment points offer a way to secure the fly to the pole structure. A small vent can be propped open at the pinnacle of the fly to enhance ventilation and keep condensation build up to a minimum.
Small toggles and loops offer a variety of options for using the fly. The vestibule doors can be tucked up to the sides and the head or toe of the fly can be rolled up to optimize star gazing while still offering limited protection from the elements. In the photos below, the foot side of the fly has been rolled up, but the same effect is possible with the head end of the fly.
The fly features a number of guylines guy lines so you can batten down the hatches in anticipation of inclement weather.
Poles: DAC Featherlight NSL Aluminum
Fly: 20D Ripstop nylon
Body: 15D No-See-Um nylon mesh
Floor: 30D Ripstop nylon
The Meteor Lite 3 is a great 3 person backpacking tent that takes all the amazing features of the Meteor tent and shaves off some weight by using lighter materials; what could be better than that?
I think the coolest feature of the Meteor series is the Rollback Stargazer feature. All those times spent pondering whether or not to put up the fly can be left in the past because this feature allows you to literally roll back the fly for stargazing as it does on Sierra Designs Sweet Suite 2 and Sweet Suite 3 Tents. Either end of the fly can be rolled up and, in the event that perhaps having the fly on was the better idea after all, rolling the fly back down for full coverage is quick and easy.
The living space is definitely large and I like that the walls are all mesh. This makes for the best possible ventilation and uninterrupted views if going without the fly. I think the living area could benefit from having a couple more pockets, as there are only two medium-sized pockets on the walls and one pocket for a headlamp in the ceiling. The tent does offer interior loops along the ceiling so some storage can be made up for by setting up some cord inside for hanging and drying things.
While having two doors and vestibules is nothing new and exciting, it’s always a great addition. Easy entry and exit from a tent are not to be taken lightly, and having a dry space outside the main tent body is essential. I found that the vestibules are quite spacious for one person, but if you were to put two large backpacks in one vestibule it would become real tight real quick.
On the whole, this is an awesome tent. Quick, intuitive setup, large comfortable living space, and lightweight. Bravo Sierra Designs.
Price: $459.95CAN / US
Floor area: 3.79m² / 40.8ft²
Peak height: 106.68cm / 42 n
Dimensions (L x W): 213.36 x 177.8cm / 84 x 70in
Packed Size: (L x W x H): 45.72 x 15.2 x 15.2cm / 18 x 6 x 6in
Minimum weight: 1.79kg / 3lbs 15oz
Packaged weight: 1.89kg / 4lbs 2.75oz
Number of poles: 2
Number of doors: 2
Number of vestibules: 2
|Interior Space 2/2
Did we miss something? Are we totally out to lunch? Let us know what you think. People like/dislike gear for different reasons so chime in below and we'll get a well-rounded evaluation. You'll need to login or register before you can comment but it only takes a few seconds, then you're good to go.
We built this backcountry skiing community for you, the passionate skier, and hope you enjoy the hard work we put into all the reviews, routes, videos, and posts we create. It’s been free from day one but that doesn’t mean it’s not a valuable resource. If you enjoy this website and value the content we create for you, then please support Backcountry Skiing Canada by donating today or by clicking on those sponsor ads and 'Buy Now' links at the bottom of the reviews. Thank you!