I’ve been backpacking since I was a kid, and I think I’ve tried most every tent and tarp available. I started with pop-up tents from K-mart, graduated to a Clip Flashlight for my first long distance hike, and then got swept up in the ultralight movement. This resulted in cuben fiber tarps, tarp tents, etc. I even gave hammocks a try for a while, but I’m a side sleeper and just could never get comfortable always feeling a little “bent.”
Now I’m old and less patient. I’m tired of looking for rocks to hold down stakes, condensation dripping on my head, and mosquitoes dive bombing the tiny breathing hole in my mummy bag as I sleep. Welcome the Big Agnes Copper Spur 2 Platinum @ slightly under 3 lbs. The biggest draw for me – it is double walled and free standing. I’m not really good at all the gear review technical mumbo jumbo, so as briefly as possible, I’ll describe my first impressions of the tent.
Ripping open the box I looked down at the slightly translucent bundle. I pulled the tent from the box, immediately noting the thinness of the material. Heading to the basement and the “equipment room,” I held the cuben fiber tarp tent in one hand and the Big Agnes (BA) tent and poles in the other. I frowned slightly at the noticeable difference in weight. That was ok though. I was willing to pay for the convenience. I would see how long that lasted once I had been carrying my pack for a few days.
Even though, it was windy out back I found it relatively easy to set the tent up quickly. A few of the things I liked…
I appreciated that the ends of the poles were color coded to match the stake out tabs on the tent. This made setting up the tent very quick – easy to determine back from front.
Along these same lines, having the clips on the fly, color coordinated to match the tabs was also very helpful for a quick set-up.
There was plenty of room for me in the two person tent. It would definitely have been a little tight for two people. The floor material was so thin that I just cautiously slid across the thin slippery floor, leaving my feet poking out the door. I did not get the BA footprint, but will definitely carry a piece of much less expensive tyvek for a footprint. I love tyvek. It is right up there with duct tape – tough, mult-uses, and light.
All in all, I really liked the tent. This next hike will be much more relaxing. None of those 25+ mile days. I’m looking forward to stopping a little earlier, doing a little reading, and just taking my time. It will be nice to have the conveniene and room.
I will say that there was one slight annoyance, and it is probably user erorr. I’m still playing with the new tent. The tent stash attachment for the fly is opposite the side of the door where the tent door zips closed. The fly vestibule has two stakes – one for each side of the vestibule. If I have the fly on, and staked, I have to crawl up under the fly to unzip the door, as the side of the fly vestibule that roles up and stash’s is opposite where the zippers come together on the tent door. It would have been nice to have the zippers on the side that rolled up.
Pre-hike evaluation – TWO THUMBS UP! I’ve attached additional “photos” here if anyone is in the market for a tent and wants to take a closer look.