Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent Review

Featuring impressive livability at just over 3 pounds, Big Agnes' popular ultralight backpacking tent is one of the most compete

Table of Contents

If you’re searching for that elusive one-ski quiver, this is the category to find it. The definition of “all-mountain” varies by manufacturer and retailer but typically includes skis from 80 to 105 millimeters underfoot that can both carve on hardpack and provide float in fresh snow. In general, those who ski primarily on the East Coast or in the Midwest should look in the 80- to 95-millimeter range, and those who ski-out West will want a waist width from 90 to 105 millimeters. It’s a crowded all-mountain field, but below we’ve picked the best models for the 2022 season. For more information on choosing the right ski, see our comparison table and buying advice below the picks.

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29 sq. ft

1P, 2P, 3P, 4P

3 lbs. 1 oz. (2P)

Since its introduction in 2008 The Copper Spur series by Big Agnes has proven to be a reliable leading contender for the ultralight category. We tried the most recent two-person version (which was a little updated in the past few seasons) during a number of backpacking expeditions in Patagonia. All told, the high-quality build, competitive weight, two-door-and-vestibule layout, and open interior make it one of the most complete backpacking tents on the market. We will go over our experience with the renowned Copper Spur. To find out how it compares to its rivals, read our review of the top camping tents for backpacking..

Performance

Weight and Packed Size

On our scale we have it appears that Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 is fully packaged with a capacity of three pounds one 2 ounces (just below its 3lbs. 2 oz. weight (weight listed as). Although it’s technically 1 ounce heavier than previous version, it’s quite a prestigious model: among freestanding models with a light weight such as the NEMO Dagger, which is a cult OSMO 2P (4 pounds. 2 oz.) can be quite more than MSR’s revamped Hubba Hubba 2 comes in slightly higher at 3 pounds and 4 ounces. It’s not quite as light of ultralight designs, such as the NEMO Hornet (2 2 pounds. 6 oz.) as well Big Agnes’ own Fly Creek HV UL2 (2 2 lbs. 4 oz.) in addition to Tiger Wall UL2 (2 lbs. 8 oz. ) However, these tents are a bit limiting in terms of space inside and have only semi-freestanding designs which aren’t as simple to pitch or fast. With its mix of convenience, space and attributes Copper Spur’s weight and size is awe-inspiring.

For packing capacity, it packs down to 6 inches x 19.5 inches. That is equivalent to a slight increment in its diameter when compared with the previous model (length stays exactly the same). The most important thing is that it is a good fit in its bag, and we’ve experienced no problems fitting it into our backpacks. It’s also worth noting that the Copper Spur is still competitive on the market and is priced lower than the REI Co-op Half Dome The SL 2 (7 20 inches x 7 inches.) in size, and NEMO Dagger OSMO 2P (6.5 x 19.5 in.) and is a bit below that of the Tiger Wall UL2 (5.5 x 18 inches.). However, if you’re worried about space it is possible to separate it from remainder of the tent because its pre-bent sections as well as the hubbed system account for much of the weight.

Livability and Interior Space

In its second-generation Copper Spur’s high-volume (for “high-volume”) pole design offers a unique level of quality of life. The completely freestanding structure ensures that the tent’s body stays taut even on rough terrains like rocks. Big Agnes further boosted interior space by incorporating pre-bent pole sections in every corner. When you enter this tent, the wide feel is evident that the inside is rectangular due to the nearly vertical side walls as well as the huge flat roof. The height of the peak is quite high at 40 inches. Additionally, the pole structure is crisscrossing, making it simple to allow two persons to sit together side by side. There is the fact that the tent size decreases towards the foot however, the space is quite spacious. Overall the pole system could add weight however if you’re constantly camping with a friend We believe the cost of space is well worth it.

The pole’s design fulfills its purpose of maximizing the interior space, however it’s important to remember that the footprint of the tent is quite small. Copper Spur Copper Spur measures 52 inches across at the top of the tent. It is slim 42 inches at its feet. Its actual widths are about two inches smaller for each (this is common in tents). This means that you’re able to only rest with your head on the one end. If you’re sharing your space with someone else you should consider using the shape-like mummy sleep pad to maximize space at the foot. With this arrangement, it’s possible to squeeze a wide 25-inch pad in between the regular 20-inch pad, without any overlap (two large pads can be a challenge to squeeze in)..

Durability

To reduce the weight of an outdoor tent is usually done by using lightweight and fragile materials such as this Copper Spur HV UL2 is certainly not an exception. Denier (D) typically is used to determine the thickness of fabric (it actually refers to the weight of the fabric yarn) This Big Agnes tent features fabric that is lightweight and low-denier all over. The floor, rainfly as well as the solid portion of the body of the tent use an x 15D mix nylon. The mesh that covers the body of the tent is also very slim at 15D. To give you an example with it is worth noting that the MSR Hubba hubba features an 20D floor, which provides an improvement in strength (and in weight) in the region that is that is most susceptible to tear. There are also lower-density fabrics available, such as the NEMO Hornet as well as REI’s Co-op’s Flash Air tents, which come with fifteen-degree nylon flooring. We’ve observed that these tents exceed our comfort levels with regard to fabric thickness, however extra attention is required for any modern lightweight tent.

It’s important to understand that the measurement of denier does not consider the various fabrics technologies. Big Agnes makes use of a special nylon that has the unique double-ripstop weave that is used in the fly and floor as well as the more robust 20D sections delivering greater tear strength. The fabrics are lightweight and thin however they have a good feel and are definitely not different from other brands in this particular category. It’s also important to note that zippers of the body of the tent and the rainfly are noticeably more sturdy and reliable in comparison to the previous model. Most importantly, everything from the fabric to the DAC stakes and poles is sturdy after two hiking journeys.

Weather Protection

While we were in Patagonia in Patagonia, our copper Spur HV UL2 stood up to the elements in conditions that ranged from moderate winds and dust blowing around to the full-on night of rain. The sturdy, fully freestanding structure was extremely sturdy when the weather was a bit rough and the rainfly with full coverage performed admirably in shedding the constant rain. The tent also blocks water splashes and blowing dust with the fly’s position at a low level to an elevated bathtub floor. The Big Agnes includes the guyout points on each corner and guylines to increase the strength of the tent, but you’ll have to carry extra stakes in order to utilize these. As with all three-season tents Copper Spur isn’t built for extreme weather. Copper Spur is not built to withstand the heavy snowfall. It’s ideal to select a secure campsite however, this tent has proven to be a great performer even in the worst weather.

Ventilation

A wide usage of mesh around the body of the tent and a huge, movable vent on uppermost part of the rainfly offer adequate ventilation all around. In contrast to some ultralight tents, which rely on only a single wall construction and a double-wall design, Copper Spur Copper Spur does a great job in keeping air moving, and reducing the risk of condensation building up. It is important to note that there is a good space between the rainfly as well as the body of the tent to allow for airflow. This includes stakeout points in the rainfly’s top and bottom. If the conditions are favorable then you can make the vestibules staked out in an awning style setup to increase the ventilation (more about this later). When temperatures are more extreme–we reached at the mid 70s during the Patagonia trip–a second vent on the roof could be beneficial for venting hot air. However, we were able to stay comfortable with the sun blazing over the tent late in the afternoon.

Vestibules and Storage

We really value the convenience that comes with a two-door-and-vestibule design. The ability to store your equipment on both sides, and not worrying about tripping over your tent mate during the night are worth the extra pounds according to our view. The two vestibules have a total of 9 square feet approximately, which is a good size for a tent that is lightweight and is large enough to accommodate an entire backpacking bag and footwear without tripping the way to get inside. Inside storage is fantastic and includes a large space built into the roof at the head end that can easily stretch to hold something as big as a headlamp. Additionally, two pockets that are located at the height of the head close to the door. Furthermore, Big Agnes added a large pocket on the foot side that extends across the entire width and length of the camper. The hanging mesh, open design has proven ideal for storing big items as well as drying equipment that is wet during the daytime.

Alongside the modifications to the pocket layout an additional feature of the most recent Copper Spur was the addition of a more flexible vestibule. Big Agnes included another zipper on each vestibulethat allows you to open the doors to create an awning-like setting. It requires trekking poles as well as using the guylines included (four sets are included in the tent) However, it’s an excellent feature that improves airflow while still providing sun protection. We’re assuming that the majority of backpackers don’t use an awning. However, the positive thing is that the additional zipper in the vestibule allows you to easily gain access to the inside door.

Set up and Take Down

We tested a variety of lightweight and non-freestanding campers during our travels and their tangled setup procedures made us appreciate the simple and efficient design of Copper Spur. Copper Spur. The freestanding design can be set up with ease by taking off the corner, putting these poles in the colored grommets at either end (the irregular shape means that there’s only one way to put the structure) and then clipping it into. The center hub forms the X-shaped structure. the small ridge pole is attached to the uppermost point of every door. The fly is attached to the top, and buckles easily at every corner, and can be pulled taut using Velcro attachments to the poles and guylines on both sides. It’s not surprising that tear-down is as easy and quick. The whole process took longer than a few minutes on our first attempt, and we also found it fairly easy to set up in the breeze

Other Capacities of the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL

We tested a variety of ultralight and freestanding backpacking. We tested our Copper Spur HV UL2 through its paces in this review. Big Agnes also offers the identical tent in three- and four-person models. The overall design is similar across all three capacities, however the tents differ in price, weight as well as the vestibule and interior space, as well as the height of the peak. As we mentioned above the 2P test tent struggled to fit two large-width sleeping pads, requiring a size up to a three-person version (3 3lbs. 14 oz. and 550) is a great deal of sense for those who have pets or just require more room in which to roam. In the bigger “HV” range and all of which share the hubbed pole system Big Agnes offers MTNGlo versions (1-3P) equipped with string lights, as specific models for bikes (1-3P) with shorter pole segments as well as other features to make it easier to store your items on the go. There are also smaller Platinum (2-3P) along with more powerful ready for mountain riding Expedition (2-3P) variants and both are more specific in comparison to the version we’ve tested.

  • What We Like About

    • The four-way design of the high-volume pole is great at making the interior more open.
    • Practical despite its 3-pound-2-ounce size: it has two doors, vestibules, ample ventilation, and a fully-coverage rainfly.
    • Many features, such as large interior pockets , as well as flexible vestibules, which can be used to create Awnings.
    • Excellent construction, and easy setup and tear-down.

The Things We Do Not

  • Even with the most advanced fabrics 15D 20D nylon (on the floor, in particular) requires special care.
  • The tapered construction allows you to just sleep one way and it can be difficult to accommodate two large sleeping pads.
  • The price is quite high with a price of $500. UL2 model.

Comparative Table

TENT PRICE WEIGHT FLOOR AREA Height DOOR(S) CAPACITIES
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 $500 3 lbs. 2 oz. 15x20D 29 sq. ft. 40 in. 2 1P, 2P, 3P, 4P
Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 $370 2 lbs. 4 oz. 20D 28 sq. ft. 42 in. 1 1P, 2P
NEMO Hornet 2P $400 2 lbs. 6 oz. 15D 27.5 sq. ft. 39 in. 2 1P, 2P
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 $400 2 lbs. 8 oz. 15D 28 sq. ft. 39 in. 2 1P, 2P, 3P
REI Quarter Dome SL 2 $379 2 lbs. 14 oz. 15D 28.7 sq. ft. 38 in. 2 1P, 2P
NEMO Dagger OSMO 2P $480 4 lbs. 2 oz. Unavail. 31.3 sq. ft. 42 in. 2 2P, 3P
MSR Hubba Hubba 2 $480 3 lbs. 4 oz. 20D 29 sq. ft. 40 in. 2 1P, 2P, 3P

 

Comparative Table

The Contest

Similar to the three previous versions that came out of Copper Spur, the latest model is an absolute standout among the backpacking tent market The Copper Spur can be compared to light and practical designs that backpackers enjoy on weekends as well as ultralight, focused models for minimalists and thru-hikers. We would strongly recommend this model over the Copper Spur HV to Big Agnes’ own Fly Creek HV UL2 that we believe isn’t enough by its one door/vestibule, and the non-freestanding design. However that the Fly Creek is the advantage in weight , at 2 pounds and 4 ounces and is also the cheapest option , at $370. With the added benefit of convenience and overall quality of life we believe Copper Spur is the better choice. Copper Spur is the more complete backpacking model.

The Hornet 2P from NEMO is another ultralight model with 2 doors as well as vestibules. However, just like its predecessor the Fly Creek HV the inside is too cramped for travelers (the two-person model is best for single travelers). However, NEMO did give the tent an increase in its the interior space recently by adding the addition of two “FlyBar” pole clamps that make it more comfortable for two campers to be seated side-by-side in the tent. Also, the NEMO is superior to Copper Spur Copper Spur in both weight and cost at 2 pounds, 6 pounds and $400 and $400, and $400, respectively. In the end we believe that the increase in the interior space and living area is more than the weight disadvantage that you pay for The Big Agnes.

Another ultralight tent by Big Agnes is the Tiger Wall UL2, that blends design elements of The Copper Spur and Fly Creek lines. This Tiger Wall has two doors and vestibules, as well as a central ridge pole similar to it’s counterpart, the Copper Spur, but its semi-freestanding layout reduces weight more. In comparison to it’s counterpart, the Copper Spur, the Tiger Wall is 10 ounces lighter. ounces and costs the same price of $50 (for more details, check out our comprehensive Tiger Wall review) The Copper Spur is the one we would prefer to use in the majority of situations. Its freestanding design makes it easier to install on any surface, its materials are more robust and its pole-shaped design is better at opening the space. The Tiger Wall offers a lot of appeal for single trekkers and thru-hikers. However, we think that the Copper Spur will be the more suitable option for all kinds of terrain, and particularly for backpackers who are more casual.

In contrast to Big Agnes’ lineup, REI’s Quarter Dome SL 2 is a great option for those on a budget. It’s a cheaper alternative to Copper Spur, which costs around $120 less, while beating Big Agnes by a mere Big Agnes in weight by 4 pounds. We also tried the REI during our visit to Patagonia and noticed that it’s smaller inside, and the mesh construction is more susceptible to let in dust blowing through. Additionally that the semi-freestanding structure makes it difficult to put up rough terrain, yet it’s an overall user-friendly design. The Copper Spur’s higher living conditions make it more worth the additional cost and weight however both are balanced lightweight tents for backpacking.

 

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