Sierra Designs Sweet Suite Tents come in a 2 and 3 person version and having just awarded the Sweet Suite 2 Tent our Gear fo the Year Award I thought we should take a closer look at the three-person version to see how it stacks up. Using the same design and layout as the Sweet Suite 2 Tent, the three-person version is obviously larger and still provides two doors and two vestibules and strikes the right balance between lightweight and livable interior space.
Get a detailed view of the Sweet Suite 2 Tent in this video, the 3-person version has all the same features but is a little larger in size.
At just 1.93kg or 4lbs 4oz, the Sweet Suite 3 Tent packs down to an impressive 3.2 x 17.2cm or 17 x 6.75" in its burrito storage bag. This side loading bag takes its inspiration from a climbing rope bag design and allows for quick and easy storage, especially when compared with traditional top-loading bags which you literally have to fight with in order to stuff the tent back inside. The burrito storage bag has two compression straps to enable you to further synch down the size of the Sweet Suite 3 Tent into a surprisingly small package.
With 3.75 square metres or 40.4 square feet, the Sweet Suite 3 Tent is plenty roomy inside for three people, there’s also not one, but two vestibules which provide an additional 0.83 square metres or 8.9 square feet of storage space each. The tent has two doors which provide easy entry and exit should you need to keep your gear dry in the vestibule during a rainstorm.
The tripod pole configuration that Sierra Design used for the Suite Sweet 3 saves on weight but it does mean that you'll have to peg out the two front corners of the tent.
On clear summer nights, you can fasten back the Sweet Suite 3’s fly to maximize ventilation and get a good view of the stars above thanks to the No-See-Um full mesh body. The fly will fasten out of the way to either the front or back of the tent based on your preferences, or remove it altogether when you are confident the weather is not a factor.
The DAC poles are light and strong and the hub-to-tripod tent geometry means setup is quick and simple and once complete you simply toss the rain fly over the top for all-weather protection.
The prebend in the main pole is obvious and greatly affords a more vertical front wall for maximum interior space. The addition of a top cross bar pole keeps the sides of the tent vertical and further enhance inside volume.
Colour coded fasteners make it logical to affix the fly to the tent and similarly with the poles as you can see below.
Pole Material: DAC Featherlite Aluminum
Fly Fabric: 20D Nylon Ripstop, Silicone/1200mm PeU, FR CPAI84
Floor Fabric: 30D Nylon Ripstop, Silicone/1200mm PeU, FR CPAI84
Body Fabric: 15D Nylon No-See-Um Mesh
Sierra Designs has won more Gear of the Year Awards from Backcountry Skiing Canada than any other tent brand. First, it was for their Lightning 2 UL Tent then the Flash 3FL Tent and just recently for the Sweet Suite 2 Tent. The Sweet Suite 2 Tent is the little brother to the Sweet Suite 3 (obviously), it shares similar architecture and is a more conservative design than their Lightening and Flash series from a few years ago. Those tents were much more innovative and functional but they proved not to be big sellers with the general camping public, it seems that only guides and gear reviewers got where Sierra Designs going with them. The Sweet Suite tents are a more traditional two door, two vestibule design which it seems is what people want. What Sierra Designs did to make the Sweet Suite’s innovative and superior to their competitors was to reduce the number of poles and thus the weight and pack down size without compromising on interior space. The tripod geometry uses a prebend in three of the four poles to maximize interior volume and peak height.
The Sweet Suite 3 is plenty roomy inside for three or luxuriously spacious for two plus gear or dog. It weighs an impressive 1930 grams which is one of the lightest 3-person tents we’ve ever reviewed but considering it is not a truly free-standing tent (meaning that it needs to be pegged out in order to maximize its interior volume) it’s therefore not as light as the truly freestanding Sierra Designs Flash 3FL Tent which to this day is still one of my faves.
Testing the Sweet Suite 3 took place mainly in the backcountry where it’s most at home, while you can car camp with this tent, its compact size and lightweight design mean it’s ideally made for backpacking trips.
The burrito bag is also one of my favourite things about the Sweet Suite series of tents. There is no more struggling to stuff your tent into what seems like an undersized stuff bag. Like that of a rope bag, you simply splay the burrito bag open and set the tent inside then synch it up. Quick and easy.
If you are looking for a lightweight yet spacious three person tent for backcountry camping then the Sweet Suite 3 is worth checking out and if you want to go lighter and there are only two of you then perhaps check out the Sweet Suite 2 Tent instead.
Price: $669.95CAN / $459.95US
Minimum Weight: 1.68kg / 3lbs 1oz 1
Packaged Weight: 1.86kg / 4lbs 2oz
Number of Doors: 2
Number of Vestibules: 2
Vestibule Area: 0.83sq m each / 8.9sq ft each
Floor Area: 3.75 m2 / 40.4ft2
Peak Height: 109.2cm / 43"
Dimensions (L x W @ head x foot): 85 x 70 x 67" / 216 x 178 x 170cm
Packed Size: 43.2 x 17.2cm / 17 x 6.75"
Number of Poles: 2 poles - (3 poles hubbed together + 1 ridge pole)
|Interior Space 2/2
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