The famous tent Copper Spur from Big Agnes has been around since 2008. Because of its design, which accommodates two people while lightweight, the trail design is ideal for either weekend section hikers or experienced backpackers who may do extended backpacking excursions. They improved on an already well-designed tent and promised new features that would purportedly be even better. I tried the shelter out on five separate hiking excursions in varied situations to determine if they had achieved their goal. This review will take apart all of the features of the tent, along with my own experience.
Table of Contents
A luxury tent, the Copper Spur, is offered at a premium price. However, despite the high price, you should not allow the price to worry you. Investing in camping gear is definitely worthwhile if you use it frequently. See the most up-to-date pricing at REI here.
The enormous quantity of internal space in the Copper Spur HV UL2 contributes to its ability to be lived in. In addition, the vertical shape of the sidewalls and the top crossbar that pushes them out offer additional headroom for two individuals to sit within. It also has enough headroom to sit up within, allowing you to change your clothing or do anything else you need to do.
Additionally, the shelter has sufficient floor space to accommodate two normal sized sleeping mats placed next to each other with an inch or two of space left over. To save weight, Big Agnes begins with the head end width, which is 52 inches, and then gradually tapers down to the foot end, which is 42 inches. Though this is a standard feature on hiking tents, it limits the position that you may sleep in.
In addition to the two big doors, the Copper Spur features two enormous doors that make the shelter more livable. Separate entrances avoid having to clamber over someone in the middle of the night when nature calls.
Protection from Inclement Weather
When subjected to wet weather circumstances, the Copper Spur UL2 functioned admirably. To a tall bathtub floor that avoids splashback from severe rains, you may also add a huge rainfly that comes down low to the ground. In addition, the newly-updated crossbar for this next-generation car lowers the roof angle in rainy conditions, which benefits the rainfly in wintry weather.
Solid freestanding pole construction is what keeps the Copper Spur shelter strong in windy circumstances. To add to that, there are four guy-out points located at each corner of the tent, allowing you to stake out your position in stronger winds. As a result, this tent can withstand most weather. However, the Copper Spur was not built to withstand windy weather, such as powerful gusts. Therefore, it’s usually a good idea to choose an adequately protected one when picking a campground. Check read my blog post, “8 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Backpacking Campsite,” for more information.
A lot of netting is placed on the tent body to provide optimum ventilation. The rainfly also features a big roof vent and low-vent vestibule doors, both of which aid in reducing condensation formation in your shelter. You may even use the vestibules on those hot and muggy days for extra ventilation. If it’s not windy, you can open the vestibules’ awnings in light rain (more on that below).
When backpacking businesses search for methods to make their tents lighter, they will constantly find ways to do so. Unfortunately, this has resulted in people using thinner, weaker fabrics, which are far more likely to tear and rip by utilizing a 20-denier ripstop nylon fabric; Big Agnes flirted with the idea. However, some businesses opt for even thinner-weight textiles, with denier numbers ranging from 10-denier to 7-denier. Though they raised the fabric grade from their current UL2 ripstop mixed denier nylon to a new double ripstop denier nylon fabric, which offers increased tear strength and puncture resistance without adding additional weight, they opted not to utilize the updated material for the 2020 Copper Spur UL2 tent.
The tent’s canvas handled the rigors of the wilderness while in use. He even brought my dog on two of the excursions, and his nails didn’t tear the floor material. The only issue is that I discovered a little pinhole in the tent’s netting after my previous excursion. However, on top of everything else, including the poles and stakes, it appears as though the ground and gear are holding up just fine after five hiking excursions.
It is recommended that you use a tent footprint to enhance the tent’s longevity. Unfortunately, despite the tent fabric being updated to 20-denier, the floor is still only 10-denier cloth. Alternatively, you can buy a Tyvek footprint from eBay or have your own manufactured using Tyvek, which you can get from Enwild.
The Copper Spur UL2 tent includes four mesh pockets positioned at various places around the tent, allowing you to keep your stuff well-organized and close at hand. The head-end of the tent has a large, zippered pocket built into the tent’s ceiling. This may be used to store various goods, such as a headlamp and a few other things. The head end of the tent features two little side pockets for storing essentials like your mobile phone. Finally, a huge compartment has been added at the base of the roof to store bulky things, such as a jacket (pictured below).
Pockets in the backcountry come in quite handy while using this tent. However, only light items may be stored in them since they will rip if anything else is placed in them with considerable weight.
Two vestibules, roughly 9 square feet in each, are present in the Copper Spur UL2 tent. It is really great to have two distinct vestibules in this shelter, so each user has their own bag and hiking shoes stored out of sight, yet each vestibule is close enough that no one else will bump into anyone else. In addition, a new version of the Copper Spur tent will give you the option of adding an awning to the vestibules by staking them open and securing guylines to the poles. This is a nice feature that helps shield the skin from the sun while providing a covered area to cook in inclement weather.
It is quite simple to assemble the Copper Spur tent. You only have to stake out the corners and the tent’s fly, as with most freestanding tents. By having color-coordinated pole tips and corner grommets, Big Agnes simplifies things for its customers by making it extremely clear which pole end fits where (one side is orange while the other side is gray). TipLok buckles utilize corner grommets from Big Agnes’ innovative technology, TipLok. The teardrop shape of the pole prevents it from popping out once it’s put into the grommet. When maneuvering the opposite end of the poles into their grommets, the pole tip locks into place. It’s fantastic for solo tent pitching when you have this feature.
To fix the tent, you first insert the poles into the sleeves of the tent body, then snap the tent body to the poles, and last, affix the crossbar to the top. The fly then flies over the top of the tent and connects the side straps of the TipLok system with a buckled strap, which compresses the fly and prevents it from blowing out. Setting up the entire procedure is really simple and takes a few minutes. When it was dark, I still had no trouble setting up my tent.
Pounds and Cubic Inches
My scale at home shows that the Copper Spur UL2 tent weighs 3 lb 2 oz, including everything. This is 1 oz more than the previous model, which means the tent has effectively not changed in weight with all the changes. It’s a step beyond ultralight tents in general livability and features, but it’s not quite lightweight, either.
19.5 x 6 inches inside a stuff sack is a perfect size for the tent’s stuff sack. I was unable to put it horizontally in my 48L pack with that giant bag. When I took the tent out of the bag, I didn’t have any trouble putting it into the backpack itself. If you choose a larger backpack, you may be able to keep your tent and belongings contained within your bag while fitting it vertically. You may easily split up this tent with your spouse if you share it.
- There is a lot of space for two individuals to rest inside the tent.
- several storage alternatives, such as backpack straps, for carrying equipment with 4 interior compartments and 2 vestibules
- Despite its appearance, the 20 denier ripstop fabric is surprisingly robust.
- In rain and mild wind, the shelter works quite well.
- I like that it has the additional benefit of having the vestibules set up as an awning.
- Even if it’s done by only one person, it’s simple to configure
- The build is excellent as you would expect from Big Agnes.
- But the tent’s pricing is very expensive, even if I believe it’s worth the cost.
- Only enabling you to sleep in one direction is the floor’s shape, which is known as a tapering design.
- For a smaller 48L backpack, the pack can’t be stacked vertically. You must break apart the poles and the tent to accommodate it.
On the whole, the Copper Spur UL2 from Big Agnes is a good-looking tent. It surpassed my expectations after going on five separate hiking excursions. I recommend it in my post on the finest hiking tents since that’s why. My own view is that all the changes they made have made the tent better, not hamper it. The design feature that really sold me on this tent was how much inside it offered without weighing too much. Even when I travel with my dog, I never feel as if I am about to suffocate. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t benefit from using this refuge.
I love hiking. From the Camino de Santiago to the West Highland Way in Scotland or simply a great day hike on the weekend. Hiking refreshes me, my mind, and keeps my body reasonably fit. So far I have walked three Camino routes and many other long distance hikes in the UK, Canada, and around the rest of Europe. One of the best was my hike up Ben Nevis.