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It’s lightweight and spacious, with fast assembly and great ventilation: the Sierra Designs Summer Moon 3 is a thoughtfully designed three person tent, perfect for car camping and backpacking adventures in the South.

The Sierra Designs Summer Moon 3 has joined us on our camping and backpacking adventures this spring and summer, and we’ve been impressed with its simple, lightweight design and spacious interior. The freestanding, dome-style tent features just over 40 square feet of floor space and a peak height of 43″, while weighing only four pounds. The tent’s combination of ample space, comfort, and minimal weight make it ideal for both car camping trips and backcountry exploring.

Lightweight, roomy, and a great value: the Sierra Designs Summer Moon 3 is one of our favorite backpacking and car camping tents for adventures in the SouthThe Summer Moon 3 with the ultra-comfy Frontcountry Bed
(read our full Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed review)

The Summer Moon’s ample mesh and roomy rain fly help to increase ventilation, making this a fantastic choice for just about any season in the South, including our legendary summertime swelter. From car camping at Vogel State Park to backpacking the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina, the Summer Moon’s quick setup and outstanding features make it fully trail and campsite worthy.

Summer Moon 3 Tent: our campsite-tested review

Designed to be lightweight, Sierra Designs constructed the body of the Summer Moon 3 from a mix of lightweight, breathable mesh along the top and front of the tent, and durable waterproof polyester fabric along the sides and back.

Sierra Designs Summer Moon 3: our campsite-tested review of this lightweight, roomy 3-person backpacking tent

The innovative shape of the removable rain fly reduces the amount of material needed, saving weight. Made from the same waterproof, polyester material as the body, the rain fly covers the mesh portions of the tent, overlapping the fabric sections on the back to keep out the rain. The rain fly creates a large vestibule up front, perfect for storing muddy hiking boots, backpacks, dog gear, and just about anything we want to keep dry but out of the sleeping area.

Sierra Designs Summer Moon 3 review: roomy headroom and a fast-pitch system make this one of our favorite backpacking tents

The Summer Moon’s setup is quick and easy. Two equal-length aluminum pole ends connect easily into corner grommets, creating a stable footprint, and the tent body attaches to the 7001 aluminum poles with plastic clips. Seven reflective guylines and loops help with visibility at night, and the tent’s fully taped PVC-free seams offer fantastic protection from foul weather.

The Sierra Designs Summer Moon 3 tent features a two-pole system that locks into the rainfly easily, allowing for super fast setup at the campsite

Once it’s set up, the Summer Moon provides a spacious interior, designed to sleep three people. We’ve haven’t tested the tent’s ability to hold three adults comfortably, but our camping group has consisted of two adults and large black Labrador Retriever. With the three of us, the fit is snug but comfortable, with enough room to move around during the night. The tent’s ceiling height is very generous and offers plenty of headroom, perfect for hiding out from a rain shower or changing clothes.

Sierra Designs Summer Moon 3 review: one of our favorite, spacious, 3-person tents for car camping and backpacking adventures

The tent offers fantastic ventilation, thanks to the mesh panels on the front and top of the tent – one of our favorite features for summertime camping in the South, and for condensation prevention on chilly nights.

The Sierra Designs Summer Moon 3 tent sleeps three and features a roomy interior and breathable mesh, perfect for warm-weather adventures in the South

The Summer Moon features a large D-shaped door for easy entering and exiting, and tie-off loops to secure the door for easy access. Inside, a large mesh pocket on the back wall is perfect for storing phones, wallets, and other small gear.

The Summer Moon also comes with a fun and functional lighting feature, the Night Glow. It’s a removable white polyester enclosure strung from the ceiling of the tent with a drawstring base. Insert a headlamp, and the Night Glow fills the tent with a beautifully diffused glow.

The Sierra Designs Night Glow system offers beautifully diffused in-tent lighting on the Summer Moon 3 tent

The Summer Moon packs down to 18″ x 7″, surprisingly compact considering its roomy size, and easily finds a home in our backpacks when it’s time to move camp or head home. The tent’s weight is easily dividable between two people for a lighter carry when we’re backpacking. And with an MSRP under $230 for a 3-person tent, we think it’s an exceptional value, especially with its roomy interior and great headspace.

Tent care & maintenance

Proper care and a little TLC keeps our tents waterproof and performing like new. Check out our camping gear cleaning and waterproofing guide for tips on how to keep tents and other outdoor gear clean and maintained.

Sierra Designs Summer Moon 3 Tent review wrap-up

The Sierra Designs Summer Moon 3 Tent rivals the weight of other lightweight backpacking tents while providing a comfortable, spacious interior with ample room for two people and a large dog. The tent’s features, generous comfort, and light weight make it equally at home in the backcountry or at our favorite car camping site.

So where can I find it?

While we received a sample tent to test, all opinions above are our own, and based on our own, camp-tested experience. Some links on Trailful are affiliate links, which means that the merchant might pay us a commission if you purchase a product after clicking our links, at no extra cost to you. We only recommend gear that we personally use and love.
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Rob Sollie

Rob Sollie fell in love with the outdoors while growing up in Montana near Glacier National Park. Since he moved to Atlanta in 2001, he’s made it a mission to find great outdoor adventures in Georgia and throughout the South. Rob’s favorite trails include the Conasauga River Trail in Georgia and the Deep Gap Trail at Mount Mitchell near Asheville.