I wanted to publish a Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 review – my tent for the Pacific Crest Trail.
You may not have heard about Big Agnes, unless you live the United States and camping or hiking is your cup of tea. That is to say, this hugely popular brand of backpacking tent is largely unknown in Europe and I can only suspect that this is due to the fact that established brands do not want you to know about it. Why? Because it’s amazing.
Anyway, while I do like the MSR Hubba Hubba NX, I much prefer the design, color and features of the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2. Hence, this was my choice in terms of the best tent for the Pacific Crest Trail and I also believe this is the ultimate tent for Microadventures or multi-day hikes in general.
However, I would like to be more specific so here is an outline as to why I believe this is the best tent for hiking the PCT:
Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 Review
Needless to say, when you see the weight of the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2, you can appreciate why this is an incredibly popular tent for the PCT. In fact, this is the lightest two person tent on the market – that I know about.
In case you might be asking yourself, taking a two person tent on a long distance adventure is extremely common. In short, one person tents are often too small and most thruhikers grow tired of such a confined space. Furthermore, two person tents provide enough room to store your backpack and when it comes to sitting out the storms – there is just enough room so as not to feel cramped.
Comfort of the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2
As already mentioned, this is a spacious option but certain features also make this a very convenient tent for microadventures. For example, there are two entrances to the tent and large vestibules on both sides. If you wish to leave shoes, bags or items outside, this will help but the overall benefit is extra space.
Further, two mesh pockets are located far enough away from the fly sheet so as to keep items safe from harm. Up above, there are also several places to hang a headlamp while the rectangular size is highly practical for keeping everything organized inside.
Simply put, the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 is the most comfortable tent in which I have ever spent the night.
Setting Up the Big Agnes
As you may know, the Big Agnes comes with a hubbed design pole system which means that the poles are attached to each other. Unlike other tents, these poles are rather simple to pull apart and slot seamlessly together. A small pole also attaches easily to the top which acts as support for the flysheet. I can put this tent up in just a few minutes and the fly sheet clips into place using a colour coded system. Again, this is the easiest tent I have ever attempted to pitch. My only issue, Big Agnes should provide at least four more stakes to tie down the fly sheet guy ropes.
Performance in Weather
After taking the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 through some fairly extreme weather, it showed no signs of weakness. Also, in particularly cold weather, aside from droplets on the mesh, there were no leaks or issues with moisture inside. What I will say for anyone considering the Big Agnes, this is not intended as an extreme weather option but it still qualifies as an ideal tent for long distance adventures or microadventures. In the wake of some very wet evenings, the tent also dried out incredibly fast with just a few minutes of sun.
Durability of the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2
I would say that the lightweight nature of the Big Agnes is the most attractive quality for hikers but at the same time, this is also the potential downside. After all, this light material also means that it can tear or damage a lot easier than standard material. I believe this should be expected and purchasing a groundsheet is a good idea to reduce the risk of stones or debris damaging the underside. On the Pacific Crest Trail, I had a sheet of tyvek as a groundsheet and the tent did not incur a single tear or damage of any kind for the duration.
All considered, this is the one area in which the MSR Hubba Hubba NX can possibly claim a slight advantage over the Big Agnes, for the material is slightly more durable.
With a weight of 2 lbs. & 12 oz., this ultralight two person tent has no rival. Indeed, the MSR Hubba Hubba NX comes close but every ounce counts on a long distance adventure and the Big Agnes is certainly lighter. Also, the tent packs down to a very small size and can be easily compressed into a relatively small backpack.
If you plan on heading out camping for the first time, this may not be the right tent given the price point. However, if you take outdoor adventures often or intend on hiking the Wicklow Way anytime soon, I really like the idea of taking a Big Agnes along for the ride. Sure, this is one of the pricier tents on the market but in truth, ultra light tents come with a cost and this beautiful tent has a proven reputation on the trail. Although you will not find this baby in any outdoor stores in Ireland, you can easily order the tent online and rest easy in the knowledge that you picked a solid backpacking tent.
I have hiked the Pacific Crest Trail and can see why this is often considered the best tent for long distance adventures. It is extremely easy to set up and pack down but more importantly, it provided a safe and spacious shelter in challenging weather conditions. Finally, with such an incredibly small size and lightweight frame, I can safely recommend the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 as an ideal tent for microadventures or long distance treks.
Disclosure: Please note the trust my audience has for my advice is of utmost importance to me. Hence, I will only recommend equipment I love from brands that I trust. I was not paid to review this item and I purchased this tent myself. I am also without obligation to leave positive reviews for the product, I just know that this tent works for me and it is likely to work for you too. This page contains affiliate links meaning I might receive a small amount from the supplier should you decide to purchase an item through one of my links. Thank you for supporting me.