Wander in style and comfort with the Sierra Designs Nomad 4, a freestanding tent at the ready to shelter a tribe of four

Sierra Designs has been around since 1965, so whenever it launches a new tent you know it is designed with experience and quality construction. And the Nomad 4 does not disappoint.

The Nomad 4 is a three-season dome tent that sleeps four. It has two doors, two vestibules for ample gear storage, a full-coverage fly and a fly vent, numerous pockets and an integrated solid window. Out of the box you notice that there is something special about the design.

Aerodynamic shape
Sierra Designs Nomad 4
The Sierra Designs Nomad 4 provides three-season performance, is roomy enough for up to four sleepers and is easy to set up. Jan Nesset

That something special is found in the unique aerodynamic shape of the tent and how the poles are configured. In summary, the particular design provides more volume inside than the usual dome tent. The dimensions of the Nomad 4 are 110 x 92 inches.

When you are ready to set up the tent, read the instructions. The configuration of the poles is unlike any that you may be used to — a new design has a learning curve — so be open to learning something new. We did not read the instructions in our initial test, thinking setup would be intuitive, and now we’re recommending them. It’s a clue.

Before you head out

It also helps to set up the tent at home. In the comfort of a backyard, you can identify the tent’s distinct characteristics, including the color-coded system, the how and why of the two crossed poles, and how the poles and hex peg stakes fit into the aluminum grommets at the corners.

Once pitched, the tent stands at a height of 54 inches, which is roomy but not high enough to flatten in the wind if you’re stuck out in the open or alpine. Two of the three poles are fit through long sleeves, which helps to distribute tension in strong winds. The poles are top-quality DAC Pressfit 6061 aluminum.

Constructed tough
Sierra Designs Nomad 4
The Nomad 4 is constructed with 5D nylon No-See-Um mesh for airflow while the rainfly and floor are built of PU-coated 68D polyester taffeta for keeping the tent’s interior dry. The fly also has an integrated window for views even with the fly on. Jan Nesset

The tent’s fly and floor is a durable 68D taffeta. A solid window is built into the fly for views even when the vestibules are closed. All seams are taped. It is impressive how the design and construction of the Nomad 4 conspire to prove the reliability and durability of the tent even before it gets put to use.

The Nomad 4 weighs 9 pounds, 15 ounces, which is lightweight but at the upper end of weight for a long-distance backpacking tent. We recommend this durable and reliable tent on float trips, short backpacking trips and for car camping. www.sierradesigns.com