Logan here with a review of the all new for 2017 Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2.

We recently purchased the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 backpacking tent and had a chance to try it out in Joshua Tree National Park. Our Initial thoughts? We were very impressed. We intend to use it on longer backpacking trips soon, and will update this with any new findings about the tent as they come. In the meantime, here are our thoughts after unboxing and our first use.

What is It?


 

The Copper Spur HV UL 2 is a brand new redesign of Big Agnes’ best selling Copper Spur UL series. An ultralightwieght, double wall, three season tent, the new design features more vertical walls to make a much roomier tent than its predecessor, without adding floorspace. At the same time, the new HV series of the Copper Spur features Big Agnes’  “proprietary patterned double rip-stop nylon fabric,” which makes the tent a hair lighter than the previous version, and claims to do so without sacrificing durability.

Price, Weight, Comfort Paradox


 

When it comes to tents; price, weight, and comfort operate on a sliding scale. You can typically have two, but forget about getting all three. I do think the new Copper Spur strikes a good balance in this department though, with price being the main casualty of the three. It may not set you back the 1,000 dollars that some tents might, but with prices starting between 350 and 400 dollars, it is hardly a budget item.

Weight and Livability


 

As for weight, the Copper Spur HV UL 2 comes in at a lean trail weight of two pounds twelve ounces. This surely qualifies it as an ultralight tent in anyone’s estimation, and it surely does in mine. With that said, the “trail weight” that manufacturers list is typically a misleading number. The tent body, rain fly, and stakes weigh in at 3 lb. If you add in the rain fly to go with it, the total weight is 3 lb. and 6 oz. I would guess that this is more like the actual weight you will be carrying on the trail, and at just over 1.5 lb per person, this is still extremely lightweight. More than likely, you are using this tenet to sleep two, so split the poles and body between the two of you and you will hardly notice it weighing down your pack. Speaking of your pack, the poles break down to just 19 inches, so fitting them in your pack is a cinch. (Weights include all the stuff sacks that come with the tent and rainfly.)

 

While I mentioned earlier that I do consider price to have been something of a casualty in achieving the ultralight weight of this tent, the same cannot be said for livability.  Often times, backpackers opt for a tent that claims to accommodate one more person than they intend to sleep in it, to ensure a comfortable living situation. This is not necessary with the Copper Spur HV UL 2. Indeed, this tent really does live up to the  “high volume” in its name. Michole and I had more than enough room, whether we were settling into our sleeping bags to go to sleep, or just passing time reading. For us, it is important to be able to sleep with our heads at the same end of the tent, and the Copper Spur HV UL 2 easily accommodates this arrangement. There are also a number of pockets to place gear in throughout the tent, as well as places to hang things like lights.

Rain Fly and Doors


 

In our Zero to Outdoors: Complete Gear Guide, I said that livability was more than floor space and headroom. It is also about having enough gear storage so that you are not taking up your precious floor space and headroom with that gear. The Copper Spur HV UL 2 excels here as well, offering a rain fly with two Vestibules: one for each door. Oh yea, did I mention it has two doors? Some might point to a second door as an extra ounce, but I think it is more than worth it. I find this particularly true if you are both sleeping with your heads at the same end of the tent. No one really wants to be crawled over in the middle of the night. But back to the Vestibules: Each one zips down the middle, allowing you to open either half of it, while leaving the other half in place. This feature, and their ample size, allows you to keep your pack, boots, and other gear stored on one side, while you enter and exit through the other, not having to crawl over your gear to get in or out of the tent.

 

The rain fly also sits with plenty of room between itself and the main tent body. This gives plenty of room for condensation to exit the tent at night, and keeps the two tent walls from flapping together in the wind, making for a peaceful dry night.

 

The doors are actually one of my favorite things about the tent. They zippers work well, and the doors are well thought out. For starters they are huge, and open to one side, which works perfectly with the vestibule, allowing you to keep your gear covered while crawling out the other side. Furthermore, this setup does not allow the doors to hang on the ground when unzipped like some tents do: We are looking at you Sierra Designs.

Setup


 

While I could say this about most of its features, the setup is one of my favorite things about the new Copper Spur. Utilizing a 1 pole, hub style system, there is not much guesswork when it comes to setting this up. And to top it off, the poles are even color-coded to match the holes they go in! One person can easily accomplish the entire setup in 2 minutes, allowing your partner to start cooking dinner!

Fast Fly Setup


 

For those in arid climates looking for an ultralight setup, or for those caught in a downpour trying not to get their tent soaking wet, the Copper Spur HV UL 2 offers a fast fly setup. This allows you to pitch the tent using only the rain fly and the footprint.

Final Thoughts and Features


 

Beyond all of the obvious things to love about the Copper Spur HV UL 2, is the way the little details make it feel. Nothing about the tent feels shabby, or flimsy, which I think is quite impressive considering how lightweight the tent is. The poles feel sturdy, the zippers are smooth, and so far the paper thin fabric has lived up to its billing. The fact that most of the main tent body is mesh is great for stargazing when camping on isolated mountain tops, but people using the tent in more crowded confines may see this as a negative. It does allow great ventilation though.

 

Overall, we are extremely happy with our new Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2, and we can’t wait to take it on a very long trip in the future. If we have one gripe about this tent, it is that you have to buy a footprint separate. This isn’t much of a deciding factor, as almost no manufacturer sells includes footprints with tents, but for the price, we think they should.

 

The Obvious question: Is it a worthwhile upgrade over the Original Copper Spur to upgrade? I can’t honestly answer that, as we have never used the older model. I do feel that it is a better all around tent. So if money is no object, then go for it! Otherwise, You will probably be fine in your original Copper Spur for the foreseeable future. While the new HV offers a few improvements, that tent was not ridiculously popular for nothing.

Check back soon to see our video review and setup demonstration. If you would like more information about choosing the tent that is right for you, head over to our Zero to Outdoors: Complete Gear Guide.

Manufacturer Claimed Stats


 

Vestibule Area 9 / 9 sqft / 0.8 / 0.8 sqm
Trail Weight 2lb 12oz / 1.25kg
Packed Weight 3lb 1oz / 1.40kg
Packed Size 4″ x 19.5″ / 10 x 50cm
Number of Seasons 3
Number of Doors 2
Footprint Weight 6oz / 170g
Floor Area 29 sqft / 2.7 sqm
Fast Fly Weight 964g

Did you find this article helpful? Missing information? Do you use a Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 or have additional thoughts on them?  Let us know in the comments below. We can’t wait to hear from you! Otherwise, just stop in and say hi, we can’t wait to hear from you!

 

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