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Great question! While both tents are a lot alike, there are a few key differences. While they have very similar floor space, the big difference is weight. This is part of the design. The SL1 is designed to be lighter weight...sub 2 lbs trail weight (tent, poles, fly) than the Quarter Dome. This weight savings does come with a caveat...the SL1 is only "semifreestanding," which means that you will need to stake or anchor it to achieve the most stability in wind and rain. While we always recommend staking out or anchoring tents, the Quarter Dome can be pitched without stakes if needed.
So, if you are looking to save as much weight as possible, the SL1 is a good choice as you save about 1/2 lb!
Hope this helps and best of luck in your search for a tent.
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