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Sierra Designs Lightning Tent : Super Lightweight, Super Easy

I'm a novice camper and a wimp, so I need a tent that's lightweight and easy to set up. I also thrash around in my sleep, so I need a tent that's spacious enough to accommodate my almost 6' frame and flailing limbs. I've found my ideal tent in the Lightning.

I'm pleased to report that I was able to set up my Lightning tent in 5 min 3 sec without even looking at the instructions. Comparatively, it took me 1 min 51 sec to add the rain fly, and I admit that I had to peek at the instructions. All I had to do was lay the tent on the ground, attach one pole to opposite corners of the tent, attach another pole to the other opposite corners of the tent, and then slip the handy hooks attached to the top and sides of the tent to the poles. Okay, so I might have to add a minute or two to pound in stakes and secure the rain fly to the poles with the velcro tabs. Throw in a few minutes for those tasks, and it's still a ten-minute tent. (By the way, it came down in 2 min 39 sec, not counting the time it would take an organized camper to put all the items into their respective pouches. I just throw it all in the trunk when I'm done and deal with it when I get home...that's the benefit of car camping.)

The Lightning's pole system (Easton FX Carbon poles) makes it much easier to use than my last tent (which I lost in the divorce), which didn't have clips, but sleeves made out of tent material. It's much easier to set up the LIghtning's poles and clip the tent to them (and it creates a nice few inches of space so that the rain fly can rest on the poles, not the tent) than to slide the poles through small sleeves and then bend them into place.

Although this is a two-person tent, I use it alone because I like having the extra space, not to mention a snore-free environment. Since it's a lightweight tent (only 4 lbs., 2 oz packed weight), I can use it for backpacking when I get more experienced.

Bottom Line: This super lightweight three-season tent is Sierra Designs' lightest two-person tent. It's coated to resist water and mold.--E.D. (Sept. '05)

Price: $249.95

Manufacturer's Site:

BUY ONLINE : Generic 88x31, 88x31 REI Logo,

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The first flashlight was invented in 1898. Joshua Lionel Cohen, original owner of the Eveready company developed the concept of using a battery to run a light bulb, which he shared with an Eveready salesman, Conrad Hubert. Hubert then turned the idea into a flashlight.

Source: "Invention of the Flashlight," by Mary Bellis, posted on