Black Diamond Firstlight 2 Person Tent Review

Black Diamond Firstlight 2 Person Tent

When the Black Diamond Firstlight Tent first came onto the scene it was heralded as a roomier option than a bivy sack.

For those rugged individualists who wanted a lightweight shelter to take along on steep climbs and long bicycle treks the Firstlight tent was a great option.

This tent's spacious room and lightweight design stirred interested among the hiking and alpine world. But, now after being thoroughly tested in all kinds of weather, just how well does this tent meet the needs of those who venture further afield? Let's find out.

Video Review

Our Tent Review

Overview Of The Black Diamond Firstlight Tent

This tent was one of the first 1 and 2 man tents that was designed specifically for climbers and other rugged campers in mind. It offered them more room than a bivy sack with very little additional weight. The Firstlight has evolved over the years and the latest version pictured here has received overall very favorable marks from the alpine crowd.

This tent has been reviewed countless times both by camping experts and actual users which makes finding information about how this tent functions easier than with most other tents.

This review is an accumulation of many of the reviews with the hope that you will find it easier to decide if this tent is right for your hiking and climbing needs.

Features Of The Firstlight Tent:

The Black Diamond Firstlight tent has some interesting and useful features. Here are some of them.

  • 2 person, 4 season tent
  • Lightweight Nano sheild fabric single wall construction
  • Packed weight approximately 3 pounds 5 ounces
  • Dimensions: 82″ X 48″ X 48″ X 42″
  • One door located in the long end of the tent
  • Small rear window for ventilation

Reviews For The FirstLight

Reviews for the Black Diamond Firstlight Tent seem to be generally positive from those who sought a lightweight all-weather tent.

Nevertheless, with the large number of reviews for this tent and those reviews being so widespread there were plenty of negatives people brought up. The most often occurring negative was regarding the tents small amount of ventilation. While it stands up to storms very well, the lack of ventilation can sometimes cause condensation and necessitated us taking some marks away there.

Advantages Of The Firstlight:

  • Lightweight and easy to carry. Veteran climber Pat Deavoll summed up the tent in these words. “If you are a weight conscious climber….Firstlight is the way to go.”
  • Easy to set up (can be pitched from inside the tent)
  • Stable in high winds
  • Packs small
  • Great craftsmanship
  • Perfect tent for narrow spaces like camping on ledges
  • Good in snowy conditions
  • Versatile “Most useful versatile shelter for the weight.” (Scott Peterson Backpacking light review)

Disadvantages Of The FirstLight:

  • Seams are not factory sealed
  • Could have better ventilation
  • Short in length
  • Some users have experienced leaks

While some reviews stated that this tent was not at all waterproof other reviews disagreed stating that while it may not be the best choice for a rainforest it does stand up well to normal rains and strong windstorms, as you can see from the video above.


The original Black Diamond Firstlight Tent was met with mixed reviews, while the newer versions have received overwhelmingly positive reviews. While some users feel that this is pretty close to the ideal tent for climbers and other campers who prefer a more rugged camping experience others felt disappointed in this tent.

Overall it seems to do what it was designed to do, help a climber camp out on ledges and in harsh climates. However, if you are unsure of this tents ability to hold up then choosing one of the newer generation of Black diamond tents might be your best bet.

More info: To get an idea of what kind of reviews are out there on the original Firstlight you may want to take a look at this one at Alpinist.Com.