Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Big Agnes Copper Spur 3 UL Tent Review

The big Agnes Copper Spur 3 is the ideal tent for us.  We saw this as the Backpacker Magazine tent of the year 2011 and loved its features.   We went to REI in Pittsburgh and with our substantial member rebate purchased our most expensive tent so far.

We have purchased quite a few tents and this is absolutely our "go to" tent for all outings.  It is worth every penny, er, dollar.

See our review after the jump.


  • It is extremely light, sets up and tears down in a flash and can easily be set with just one of us.   Just 4 lbs, 6 oz stuffed and with all the poles and stakes.  Easy to divide and each of us carry. 
  • The vestibules on each side are generous in their size.  Specs say 9 sq ft each, but not shaped for room for a large pack.  When dressing side by side and the door open and the vestibule closed there is a lot of room and i don't feel closed in.
  • The side entry doors are the full length of the side making getting in and out a breeze.
  • The tent is almost all mesh making it both light and giving lots of air flo.  We have used it in 3 seasons and all manner of weather and have stayed dry and have had zero condensation problems
  • The fly is suspended well off the tent mesh. 
  • Head room is very generous, 3 ft. 8 inches at the peak and because of the cross pole construction almost as high over each door.
  • The double hubbed poles make the set up very easy.
  • At 90" long I have had both me (70") on my pad (72") and my pack on its side and room to be comfortable.
  • At 44" wide there is a comfortable amount of room for both of us side by side (on two 20" pads).


  • I did not like the supplied line (black and a trip hazard) and I replaced it with orange line with reflective tape (BlueWater 3mm NiteLine Utility Cord)so the lines will show up in the dark when hit by someone's headlamp.  No trip, no injury, and no lost stakes from the incident.  (Happier campers)
  • The tent as bought was two stakes short.  I use 2 MSR ground hogs for the ends of the vestibule.
  • The doors zip open and then the mesh falls down on the ground.  You have to take a lot of care to keep the mesh clean especially if it muddy or wet.  
  • The tent seems quite durable, but the lightweight fabric always makes me think we have to be very careful with it.  i fear tearing, but absolutely no evidence of that at all.


We bought the footprint and have been glad to have it.  Not only is it excellent protection from the ground, it's tight fit means no accidental leakage from water hitting exposed ground cloth and running under it.  While it adds weight, we think it is worth it to protect our expensive tent.

Can't recommend this tent enough, it is our favorite (of our 6).

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