BIG AGNES COPPER SPUR HV UL2 TENT
BY NANCY GRIFFITH
March 14, 2019
Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
126 lb (57.20 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with a co-ed scout group which made a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since college in Pennsylvania. I have hiked 1/4 of the Appalachian Trail and 2/3 of the Pacific Crest Trail. My typical trip is in the Sierra Nevada from a few days to a few weeks long. My base weight is lightweight at 15 lb (6.8 kg) while still using a tent, stove and quilt. Longer mileage summer trips are now stoveless.
Manufacturer: Big Agnes, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.bigagnes.com
Trail Weight: 2 lb 12 oz (1.25 kg) includes tent, fly and poles
Packed Weight: 3 lb 1 oz (1.39 kg) includes trail weight plus stakes, guy lines, packaging, instructions
Fast Fly Weight: 2 lb 2 oz (0.96 kg) includes fly, poles and accessory footprint
Trail Weight: confirmed
My Carry Weight: 2 lb 14 oz (1.3 kg) includes tent, fly, poles. 3 stakes and pole repair sleeve
Colors Available: Olive Green and Orange (mine is Olive)
Made in China
The Copper Spur HV UL2 tent is a 3-season free-standing tent made for two people. The tent body is proprietary patterned random rip-stop nylon at the bottom with polyester mesh at the top. The floor is silicone treated proprietary patterned random rip-stop nylon with 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating. All seams are fully seam-taped and waterproof using solvent-free polyurethane tape.
Inside the tent on each side is a mesh pocket for storing small items. At the top near the head is a large mesh pocket which is designed to hold media players/phones along with room for a lot of other gear. The corners of the pocket are open allowing for cord routing. At the outside corners of the floor there are buckles for attaching the rainfly. There are small gear loops inside the tent at the top for installing the accessory gear loft or for routing cord which is what I did.
The doors are D-shaped with double-ended zippers to allow for venting at the top if needed. There are zipper pulls both inside and out which consist of a large pull loop. The doors can easily be held open with the Quick Stash which is a strip of fabric on the tent body that the mesh door can be pushed underneath.
Outside the tent are ultralight plastic clips spaced out which attach the tent body to the poles.
The rain fly is also silicone treated proprietary patterned random rip-stop nylon with 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating. Attaching the rain fly and staking it out creates a vestibule on each side. The rain fly has a double-ended zipper in the center of each vestibule. The zipper pulls are both inside and out similar to the tent doors.
Rain Fly Vent
There is a storm flap along the length of the zippers which has hook-and-loop closures placed along the length to keep it held down. The storm flap extends over the zipper even further at the very top and bottom of the tent. At the top on the head side of the peak there is an integrated strut which can be folded out and held in place with hook-and-loop to keep the fly storm flap held upward for ventilation.
The underside of the fly has two small pole tip pockets to attach to the sides of the tent and to the head. This pulls out the sides of the tent slightly making more internal space. There are also hook-and-loop tabs underneath the fly to attach to the tent pole creating a more stable pitch when needed. Outside of the fly there are guy lines and tensioners already attached at the pertinent points for easy staking out. The guy lines are reflective as is the webbing on tent corners for good visibility at night.
The tent and fly can be stored in the included stuff sack which closes with a drawstring and cord lock.
The main pole is a 4-way hub pole design with two of the spokes being one section shorter than the other two spokes. The longer sections are colored orange to indicate that they fit into the orange grommets at the foot of the tent. The shorter pole sections fit into the grommets at the head of the tent. There is one short pole that runs across the middle top of the tent to provide support for the sides of the rain fly/vestibule. Both poles are DAC Featherlite NFL and NSL pole system that are aluminum shock-corded poles. A drawstring sack with cord lock is included for storing the poles.
There are eight superlight aluminum J stakes included and a pole repair sleeve which come in their own drawstring sack with cord lock.
With a plan to hike several weeks last summer on the Pacific Crest Trail, my husband and I decided that a new tent would be prudent. We already owned an older Copper Spur and a Tarptent both of which we love. But the Copper Spur provides better storm protection, so after looking at many new tents out there, we decided upon the updated Copper Spur HV UL2. We were not disappointed!
The only modification we made was to route and tie cord along the gear loops inside to create a clothes line for drying laundry.
So far, we have used the tent for over 60 nights of camping and backpacking. Some uses are as follows.
Pacific Crest Trail from Etna Summit, California to Cascade Locks, Oregon: 40 nights; 550 mi (886 km); 170 to 7,676 ft (52 to 2,340 m) elevation with most between 5,000 and 6,000 ft (1,524 to 1,829 m); 39 to 95 F (4 to 35 C)
Green Lake, West Lake, East Lake, Hoover Wilderness, California: 2 nights, 18 mi (29 km); 8,030 to 9,635 ft (2,448 to 2,937 m); 25 to 52 F (-4 to 11 C); clear skies with some moderate wind
Car Camping/Base Camp Backpacking:
Arizona trips ranged from 1,500 to 4,100 ft (457 to 1,250 m) elevation; 38 to 72 F (3 to 22 C) with clear to cloudy conditions.
Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona: 3 nights
Apache Lake, Arizona: 1 night
Oak Flat, Tonto National Forest. Arizona: 1 night
Bulldog Canyon, Tonto National Forest, Arizona: 1 night
Joshua Tree National Park, California: 1 night; 3,000 ft (914 m) elevation; 28 to 52 F (-2 to 11 C); clear conditions
Death Valley National Park, California: 2 nights; 190 ft (58 m) elevation; 32 to 62 F (0 to 17 C); clear to cloudy conditions
Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada: 3 nights; 1,300 ft (396 m) elevation; 50 to 70 F (10 to 21 C); clear to cloudy to rain overnight
The Copper Spur HV UL2 tent was a breeze to set up and use. On the PCT hike, we were on the move every day so it was nice to have a quick and easy time of setting up and breaking down the tent. We often used the tent without the rainfly in nice weather which is cooler and allowed for star gazing through the mesh top. We used the rainfly for privacy in some more popular sites (thru-hikers were coming through at the same time) and for the occasional rain possibility. The fly was easy to pitch with our preferred method being trekking poles to hold out the vestibule allowing for a more porch-like feel by sliding the loop up the pole. Then we would stake out the head and foot. We also used it many times in the 'half-mast' version with rainfly on but with the head half folded over. This allows for cooling, easy access in the doors and a quick way to flip the rain fly over in case of rain.
The storage was great. We used the large media pocket at the head for our sunglasses, phones, a solar lamp and a few other items while using the side pockets for our headlamps, ear plugs and other small essentials. The vestibule provides plenty of room to keep our packs and shoes outside the door while still having room to enter and exit the tent. There was plenty of room at our heads for storing extra clothes, maps, hats, toiletries and other loose items without impeding upon sleeping area.
The cord that we routed inside the gear loops at the attic worked well for drying laundry overnight. We would usually wash during the day and hang clothes on our packs and then finish them off overnight if needed or we would wash in camp, hang them in the tent and finish drying them the next day on our packs. Either way the clothesline was very useful.
The durability of the tent has been great with really no issues to report other than a small hole in the mesh at the top of the tent and a pinched line in the mesh that I'm afraid to mess with for fear of creating a tear. I've washed the tent once (recently) and re-waterproofed the fly but the fabric was still quite water repellent during washing. There are several dark stains particularly on the floor that don't come off with washing so I assume that they are pine sap. I never used a ground sheet under the floor and have had no issues with wear showing.
On the rainfly at the head corner there is printed on 'Architecture by Jake Lah'. While we appreciate the neat design, which creates steep walls for better headroom and interior space, we aren't fans of having someone's name (other than Big Agnes') prominently displayed on the exterior of our tent. It's not a big deal but we'd remove it if we could.
The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 is a lightweight free-standing two-person tent that maximizes inside volume for comfort.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.
Great volume inside for two average-sized people
Easy color-coded set-up
Media pocket (great for lamp too)
Side pockets for both
Vestibule works well with trekking poles
Good rain protection
A few defects in mesh
Someone's name on the outside
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Read more gear reviews by Nancy Griffith