Ask Me: Which Tent is Better, Sierra Designs Flash 2 or Exped Mira II?

Hey Michael,

I saw that you subsequently reviewed the Sierra Designs Flash 2. Which of these tents are you packing now? For the Flash 2, with the side vestibules not touching the ground in areas, don’t you have trouble with sand and/or rain blowing in?

I have both tents sitting in my living room while I try to decide which to take on the Wonderland trail in a month.


(submitted as a comment at

Hi Cheryl,

Good question, there are many similarities between these two tents, including weight and sturdiness. I didn’t have trouble with rain blowing in on the Flash 2, and I don’t think blowing sand would be a greater problem in it than the Mira II (photo above), or similar tents, unless you encountered severe wind in a very sandy or dusty locale. As for which tent I still use, I just used the Mira II backpacking in Washington’s Glacier Peak Wilderness because I happen to still have it, while the Flash 2 ended up with another Backpacker magazine tester after I finished with it. If I still had both, I’d use both, choosing between them depending on the trip, as I’ll explain below.

Sierra Designs Flash 2
Sierra Designs Flash 2

For the Wonderland Trail, I guess I would lean toward the Mira II, favoring the greater rainfly coverage and headroom over the Flash 2’s superior ventilation. But I would also suggest you think beyond the Wonderland to future trips and which of those attributes will be more important to you: superior ventilation or the rainfly and headroom.

I hope that’s helpful. Let me know if you have more questions.


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