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Sierra Designs Lightning XT 4 tent wins Editors' Choice Award

The ultralight, storm-proven Lightning XT 4 honored with Backpacker Magazine's most sought after award

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Sierra Designs is proud to announce the Lightning XT 4 tent has been named a 2009 recipient of Backpacker magazine’s prestigious Editors’ Choice Award in recognition of the tent’s outstanding design and performance.

Providing superior protection from extreme weather during field tests on the wind-lashed coast of Wales, the Lightning XT 4 was honored as one of only 19 new and innovative products selected for a 2009 Editors’ Choice Award.

“When it comes to outdoor gear, the editors at Backpacker Magazine are some of the most knowledgeable and experienced in the industry. We are ecstatic and honored to receive this recognition,” said Kenny Ballard, president of Sierra Designs. “Winning this award showcases Sierra Designs’ continued commitment to innovation.”

Sierra Designs has been creating innovative tents for over 30 years, and the Lightning XT 4 highlights a continuation of that heritage.

Backpacker Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Dorn and his staff of editors presented this award to Sierra Designs during the annual Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show in Salt Lake City, Utah on January 22. On hand to accept the award were Kenny Ballard and Sierra Designs tent product manager Phil Mesdag.

“We had three major design goals in mind when we created the Lightning XT 4,” said Mesdag. “We wanted to build a tent that was roomy enough for four while remaining super light and strong in adverse weather. With plenty of headroom, over 57 square feet of floor space and a total weight of six pounds, thirteen ounces, the Lightning XT 4 accomplishes these goals.”

Backpacker’s Editor-In-Chief Jonathan Dorn agrees.

“This year’s winners withstood the most rigorous testing process yet,” said Dorn. “Our test team started off with over 50 new products, narrowing them down to a final 25 after months of trail-testing. The finalists were then taken on extreme outdoor adventures both in the mountains and on the coast of Wales, enduring a streak of epic weather conditions from wind-whipped days to rain-soaked nights. In fact, three tents alone were destroyed on this trip. Those that survived have earned the distinction of becoming the 2009 Editors’ Choice Award Winners.”

Presented annually since 1993, the Backpacker Editors’ Choice designation is awarded only after a product has successfully passed several months of rigorous testing by some of the industry’s most experienced and demanding hikers, climbers and backpackers. Unconstrained by equipment categories or quotas, these testers are free to present awards to only the most noteworthy products.

Sierra Designs continues to innovate in every series of tent, including 4-Season, Ultralight, 3-Season, and Basecamp. From high altitude mountaineering, to extended backcountry hikes, to camping with fiends and family, Sierra Designs has a tent perfect for any adventure.

About Sierra Designs
Founded in 1965, at the beginning of the golden age of backpacking and climbing, Sierra Designs is one of the original brands for the eco-conscious outdoor enthusiast. We have always had a passion to protect where we play, and our tents, sleeping bags, and apparel have been to every corner of the world, from the highest peaks in Tibet to your local greenway around the corner. We model and design our products for high performance adventurers, but make it attainable for you. Sierra Designs’ gear and apparel fits in with your daily life, no matter where it takes you. Visit us online at or see us on Facebook.

About Backpacker
Backpacker brings the outdoors straight to the reader’s doorstep, inspiring and enabling them to go more places and enjoy nature more often. The authority on active adventure, Backpacker is the world’s first GPS-enabled magazine and website, and the only outdoor media whose editors personally test the hiking trails, camping gear, and survival tips they publish. Backpacker’s Editors’ Choice Awards, an industry honor recognizing design, feature and product innovation, has become the gold standard against which all other outdoor-industry awards are measured. And the magazine recently launched mobile media applications that allow users to text-message hiking maps and directions to their phones. In 2008, Backpacker won the magazine industry highest honor, the National Magazine Award for General Excellence, joining The New Yorker, Mother Jones, GQ, and National Geographic as top winners in their respective size categories. It has won numerous other print, design, and digital awards, and its writers have been recognized in prestigious contests and best-of-the-year anthologies.

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