The Copper Spur tent series from Big Agnes is one of their best sellers, and for good reason. These tents have the reputation of being tough and lightweight.. The quality is good, something the company is known for. Big Agnes is based out of Steamboat Springs, Colorado and has been making award-winning gear for nearly twenty years.
The series comes in a few different models to choose from. There is the Copper Spur HV UL, which comes in a 1 person, 2 person, 3 person, and 4 person. For those looking for a more serious weather tent, there is the Copper Spur HV Expedition, which comes in a 2 person and 3 person. For those who like the mtnGLO® technology that is intergrated with some of their other tents, Big Agnes makes the Copper Spur mtnGlo® which comes in a 1 person, 2 person, and 3 person. Big Agnes also makes the Copper Spur Bikepack, which comes in a 1 person and 2 person. And for those looking for even lighter with the same design, there is the Copper Spur Platinum which comes in a 2 person and 3 person.
This review covers the Copper Spur HV UL2 mtnGLO® tent. This freestanding tent is a lightweight backpacking tent that is rated for 3 season use.
- Packed Weight: 3lbs. 1 oz.
- Minimum Trail Weight: 2lbs. 12 oz.
- Fast-Pitch Weight: 2lbs. 1 oz.
- Footprint Weight: 5oz.
- Fly: Ripstop Nylon with PU coating
- Body: Nylon, Polyester Mesh
- Floor: Nylon Ripstop with PU coating
- Packed: 4 x 19.5 in.
- Floor Area: 29 sq. feet
- Head Height: 40 inches
- Vestibule Area: 9 sq. feet
This tent is packed with features including:
- Fully Taped Seams for waterproofing
- 2 Doors with Dual-Zippers allowing for smooth opening and closing.
- 2 Vestibules with Storm Flaps on Zippers
- Reflective Guylines and Webbing on Corners to help spot at night.
- Quick Stash Door Keepers
- Color-Coded Webbing and Buckles
- Fast Fly Setup with Footprint (Footprint sold separately)
- Comes with 2 mesh pockets, 1 large mesh pocket, 2 cord routing portals, gear loft loops, and 8 aluminum stakes.
- Integrated LED Light Strands
Testing the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 in the Field:
I took this tent backpacking on quite a few trips, and it has been a great addition to my non free-standing one. Some highlights have been backpacking in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area outside Nederland, Colorado in the summer and late fall, and camping outside of Crested Butte. I’ve tested it solo backpacking, solo backpacking with a dog, and with backpacking two people. I used this tent under clear skies, during rain storms, and through high winds.
Pros of the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2:
There is a lot I really like about this tent. It is extremely easy to use and takes very little time to set up. This was especially helpful in less than ideal conditions, when I needed shelter fast. The tent clips and poles are color coded, making it easy to know what side goes where. Coming from other tents where you have to flip everything around until you find the right side, this was an easy solution that I loved.
The Copper Spur UL2 comes with dual doors and vestibules. This allowed for ample space when there were two people using the tent, especially in the middle of the night when someone has to get up. It also came in handy during inclement weather. There is plenty of room inside the tent to sit up and it is a tent I don’t mind spending a lot of time inside. The new 2020 version includes a way to set up the vestibule as an awning with trekking poles too, a cool feature that I’m definitely envious of.
Being on the shorter side, at 5’5″, I could fit my backpack at my feet while still having room to spread out. The vestibules give enough space though that I can fit my 65L backpack under without an issue. For those who want even more space, there is the Hotel HV Rainfly add on which extends the vestibule area.
I was also surprised at the longevity of the tent. Even after multiple uses, the tent still looks hardly used. I did use the compatible footprint to help protect the bottom of the tent, which I recommend doing for any tent to help protect it. The dog had sharp claws when we went and she didn’t puncture the floor, something I was concerned with at first.
The reflective webbing makes it easy to find at night. I did not use the mtnGLO technology much, but it was useful at night when getting settled in. It was bright enough I could read or play cards under without being blinding. I also appreciated the weather proofing of the tent. One of my trips experienced high winds, which I hardly noticed once inside. The tent held up well throughout the night. It also kept me warm in my late fall trips, when I was experiencing nights temperatures that reached 20°F. It breathes well though and didn’t get stuffy on the warm nights either.
I haven’t used the Fast Fly option yet, other than setting it up. This uses the rain fly and the footprint without the tent body. It was easy to do and seems like a great alternative for warm nights in the desert.
Cons of the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2:
While this tent is very lightweight, I personally found it to be slightly on the heavier side to be considered ultralight as advertised. Split between people, it certainly would fall under the category, but even the one person Copper Spur is a little heavy. Still, it is a very lightweight tent compared to others on the market. For the size and durability of the tent, it was a small sacrifice.
Good quality does come at a cost with the tent. At $450.00 USD, the cost is a little steep, but it was a price I didn’t mind paying for when getting a decent tent. I also wish the footprint had been included, but it’s not that that much more as an add on and definitely recommended.
Big Agnes’ Copper Spur UL2 tent is a classic for a reason. This tent is a top tier backpacking one and I have raved it about it to many of my friends.
It doesn’t hurt that Big Agnes provides amazing customer service and stands fully behind their products. They have an amazing exchange program where they will buy back your used tent for up to 80% (depending on use, of course) for a credit that can be applied to another piece of gear from them. If anything happens to the tent, Big Agnes will also repair it for you. Cost of this depends on the damage the tent incurs, but for a lot of the repairs, it just costs you shipping.
In the end, would I recommend this tent? Without a doubt.
Would I buy this tent again? Absolutely, though that time will be far off.