Black Diamond Firstlight


Black Diamond Firstlight
Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Black Diamond Firstlight
Manufacturer Black Diamond
Page By MCGusto
Page Type Feb 7, 2007 / Feb 7, 2007
Object ID 2535
Hits 9380

Product Description

From the BD Website:


A compact two-person, three-season tent built for weight-conscious climbers, the Firstlight is based on the I-Tent’s expedition-specific design with steep walls and a simple floor shape to optimize living space and increase headroom. For durability, all seams are double sewn and the stress points are reinforced. With two equal length DAC Featherlite poles that fit inside the tent with hook-and-loop wraps, it’s easy to set up—even from inside. For cross ventilation, both the small rear window and the door are covered with no-see-um mesh. The canopy is contructed with water resistant, breathable Epic fabric. For interior organization, the Firstlight has two interior net pockets.


2.5 m2 (27.3 sq ft)
0.8 m2 (9 sq ft)
1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz)
1.22 kg (2 lb 11 oz)
275 g (9.7 oz)
208 X 123 X 107 cm
(82 x 48 x 42")
15 X 23 cm
(6 x 9")


Can you say, "I have a freestanding 2 person tent that weighs 2lbs 11oz with the poles?" Well, if you own this tent, you can. This tent packs to to the size of a chubby loaf of bread. If you like ultralight, then you'll like this tent.

Impressions: First off, YES, the material is very ultralight. That said, it's durable enough. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to scrape it over a bunch of branches, thorns, etc., but why would you want to that anyway?

If you're really scraping ounces, this is an ideal tent for two people, even though it's light enough to use solo. In my opinion, the Firstlight is a little tight for for 2 person winter use, and is more well suited for 3 season because you have a lot less bulkier clothing (vs. 4 season). I have this tent and the Lighthouse, and the Lighthouse is noticably larger, without adding too much more weight.

Pitching the tent is done from the inside. I kind of have mixed impressions on this, because if you're trying to pitch the tent in a storm than you have to have the door open and the inside of the tent is going to get wet. I guess you take the poles inside the tent and close the door, but that could be kind of akward because the poles (obviously) when folded out stick out of the door. There are 4 metal placements (one in each corner of the tent where a circular type grommet holds the tent poles in place. Then you line up the poles with the multiple velcro straps on the ceiling. When using the guyline attachments, the tent is very sturdy.

Breathability: This is a single wall tent, and I have had good luck with it's breathability. I've read numerous reports that because of the breathability of the fabric, it's been used in desert like, and in the mountains during winter. Although I've heard mixed reviews about classifying this tent as a "4 Season Tent," that's primarily why I got it.

Material: The material that makes up the majority of the tent is NOT classified as waterproof, rathe water resistant. That said, I've read numerous reviews stating how in all but the most rediculous of downpours (think worst rain weather of the Cascades), the tent has done weathered well. The reason I mention the Cascades is because I read a review where someone had taken the tent somewhere into the Cascades and it downpoured for 11 or so hours straight. When the reviewer awoke, he found about a 1/2 inch of water on the bottom of the tent. To me, this is amazing. For a tent to be this light, single wall, and NOT be considered waterproof, I find this to be pretty inspiring. That said, if you plan on heading out into heavy downpours, maybe this isn't the tent for you.

Lastly, if you're the kind of person who loves to head out into storms when the wind is blowing like crazy and the weather is thrashing, maybe this isn't the tent for you. Remember, it is an ultralight tent, so with that comes a certain decrease in overal durability. However, if you usually head out in good weather and are looking for a really lightweight tent for one or two people, this tent might suit you well.



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Rick Huff - Aug 15, 2007 7:08 pm - Hasn't voted

I Love This Tent!
I've had this tent for about a year and really like it. It is super light, compact, and easy to set up. After seam sealing, it has kept out steady rain in the Olympics and didn't collect much condensation on the Tahoma Glacier route on Rainier. It's snug for two, but I didn't get it planning to wait out long storms in.

asmrz - Aug 28, 2007 4:59 pm - Voted 5/5

Great tent
I have several tents already and they are all for different uses. Four seasons BC tent VE24 by TNF, Goretex Taku by Marmot (22 years old, 4.5 lbs, 4 season bomber), Bibler Eldorado (4 seasons, even better bomber), TNF Tadpole (used for camping). After spending years of summers in the Sierra without a tent, in 2004 I got caught by a horrific 3 hour thunderstorm with downpour at Mt. Whitney's Iceberg Lake, got completely soaked and concluded that a very light, easy to set, bivouac type tent would propably be a good thing to have. Hence this Firstlight tent. I bought it in January 2005 and love it. If you are like me and leave the tent at home most of the time, because the thing is just too heavy for a quick weekend trip to the mountains, this tent weights about as much as two bivi sacks and provides much better shelter. Yes, it is oriented for fast and light trips, and might not do anything superbly (that's just a guess, it didn't failed me yet), but since we all want the lightest gear possible for our adventures, this tent is the ticket. I'm 6'1", my partner 5'5", we sleep in it just fine and the shape (if you use the guy lines) works very well in the winds. I would recommend it for lightweight trips in the three seasons just about anywhere.

Alex Wood - Sep 3, 2009 1:31 am - Hasn't voted

Great little tent
I love the fact that its so lightweight. It does performs very well in wind...certainly a plus...I was disappointed with the way it handled a downpour...It can easily hold off the afternoon storm...but one summer day in Northern New Mexico, it rained for about 10 hours straight....that was no bueno...We were very wet...I'll try it in snow this winter...overall, its a great tent and I love it.

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