Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 Review

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

Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 Outdoors

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

Big Agnes Outdoors

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.

Weight

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.

Value

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.

Conclusion

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.

YOU CAN BUY THE BIG AGNES COPPER SPUR UL2 HERE

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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.

Why I Will Not Be Using My Vango Tent for the Pacific Crest Trail

I genuinely love this tent but allow me to explain why I will not be using my Vango Banshee tent for th Pacific Crest Trail.

You see, I am a sucker when it comes to romanticizing over my outdoor gear. For example, I bought my Vango Banshee 200 several years ago for one reason – it was cheap. As you might expect from the pictures, it was also quite small for carrying around which also appealed but honestly, I bought the tent because it was one of the cheapest I could find.

Storms and Wild Camping in Africa

Serengeti Tours

Since then, I have taken the tent into many wilderness areas but most notably, I have used this backpacking tent in the wilds of Africa. Why is this important? Well, you come face to face with every terrain and logistical matter when you go camping in places like the Serengeti. Terrain is rugged and unspoiled in these areas but the weather is also particularly unpredictable.

On one occasion, I was stood in the middle of a rain storm holding the corner or two tents in each hand while the occupants took shelter under a nearby tree. Seriously, I was pretty much flying two kites as the weather attempted to claim these two tents and send them flying into the wilderness. In case you might be asking yourself, I was leading an adventure tour at that time and fully responsible for the safety of my clients. In hindsight, this was an extremely dangerous as the Serengeti is home to some of the most spectacular lightning storms you are likely to encounter.

Anyway, throughout this episode, my Vango Banshee sat quietly in the corner and let out little more than a whimper as a storm raged around us. In fact, I remember looking back to see how it was doing and laughing at the resilience of my “cheap tent”. After all, the two tents I was holding had a combined value of more than $1500.

Why I Cannot Use My Vango Tent for the Pacific Crest Trail

Best Tents for Microadventures

You see, I am very attached to my outdoor gear and eventually, each piece becomes what seems like an important part of a story. From wildlife corridors and immense volcanoes to deserts, mountains and abandoned buildings; the Vango Banshee was with me for so many outdoor adventures and never let me down.

Alas, I am taking a long distance trek next month from Mexico to Canada and as you will probably see on my Pacific Crest Trail Blog, the weight and size of every item counts. In the case of the tent, my Vango weighs almost 2lb more than the one I have my eye on and this is quite a lot on a long distance hike. In fact, as far as weight goes, this would be considered quite a heavy backpacking tent for the Pacific Crest Trail.

More importantly, the inside of a Vango Banshee is very compact and confined. If you are looking for the best tent for microadventures, this is definitely a good shout in my option, and cheap too. However, while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2018, there are likely to be times when I will need to wait out storms or rest up for the day in the tent and simply put, this is when space will matter.

For this reason, I will be leaving my Vango Banshee somewhere safe and purchasing a new home made of fabric. No mortgages here, my friends.

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Do you have a favorite backpacking tent? Let me know in the comments – I love to hear about other peoples experiences with their outdoor gear!

5 Best Tents for Microadventures

Are you looking for the best tents for Microadventures? When I embarked on my very first outdoor adventure, it would be a first in every sense. After all, I decided to ride a bicycle through Africa without any prior cycling experience. At the same time, I was also extremely inexperienced when it came to camping or choosing the most reliable and adequate outdoor gear.

You may have noticed, for the past two years, I have been carrying a small green Vango Banshee 200 as my shelter. Although it was never the case that this Vango was the best tent for Microadventures. In fact, I just knew very little regarding alternatives. However, I have spent the past twelve months researching the best ultralight backpacking tents and there have been many on my radar in this respect. That being said, there are very few which can rival the following options which I believe to be a good shout for the best backpacking tent for Microadventures:

Best Backpacking Tents for Microadventures

MSR Hubba Hubba NX Tent

MSR Hubba TentMSR have finally created an ultralight tent which is not red, luminous orange or any other colour that looks rather bizarre in the midst of nature. Either way, this is also an extremely smart tent which weighs just over 3lbs. It features plenty of space for sleeping inside and two large vestibules on either side for your backpack or outdoor gear. This particular tent is also one of the best reviewed you will find online and a safe option for a long term tent for Microadventures.

Read more about the MSR Hubba Hubba NX here

 


Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2

Big Agnes Tent in IrelandThe Big Agnes Copper Spur is one of the most popular tents for long distance thru-hikers in the United States. Why is this important? It’s not but I thought you might be wondering why you never heard of it. While there is a lighter version (Fly Creek), the Copper Spur UL2 is a nice spacious option for the solo hiker. Yes, it was originally designed for two people. However, this is a tight squeeze which is why I recommend it as an excellent option regarding solo backpacking tents for Microadventures. Featuring durable material, lightweight poles, and ample space inside, this is my dream ultralight backpacking tent on the market.

Find out more about the Copper Spur HV UL2 here


Vango Banshee 200

Vango TentWhen compared to other backpacking tents for Microadventures on this list, it must be said that the Vango Banshee 200 is a bit behind. While reasonably lightweight and compact, the Banshee 200 is very small in terms of the interior and the side vestibule is also quite small. That being said, the tent has a low centre of gravity. This feature enables it to withstand windy or rainy conditions, while the material is solid and the set up is extremely fast.

Read more about the Vango Banshee 200

 


Naturehike Double-layer Backpacking Tent

Again, this may not be a long-term option or a tent for a long distance thru-hike. However, it is certainly a great choice regarding a backpacking tent for Microadventures. Weighing just 3lbs 7 ounces, the lightweight nature is a big plus for hikers. Furthermore, it can also fit two people a lot better than the previously mentioned Vango. Either way, as far as lightweight and affordable tents for Microadventures are concerned, this is right up there with the best options.

Just a side note, I had a lightweight Naturehike sleeping bag for two years. It was certainly not suitable for cold seasons or outdoor adventures where conditions are likely to change. Yet, it was perfect for the hot climate in which I was sleeping at the time.

Read more about the Naturehike Backpacking Tent here

 


Z Packs Duplex 2 Person Tent

Backpacking tent for MicroadventuresArguably the most popular ultralight backpacking tent for Microadventures and long distance thru-hikes is the Z Packs Duplex Person Tent. While you will need two hiking poles to set this one up, take comfort in the fact that this tent weighs in at just 1.25lb. Yes, you read that right. Featuring an extremely easy setup and a very watertight design, this is the lightest and most adaptable tent I have ever come across. It just depends on whether you use trekking poles or not.

Find out more about the Z Packs Duplex 2 Person Tent here

 

 

Have I missed anything? Do you have a favourite backpacking tent for Microadventures? Please let me know in the comments!

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 these tents and I purchased my own tents. I am also without obligation to leave positive reviews for the product, I just know that these tents work really well for other outdoor adventurers and so they are 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.