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?
Price, Weight, Comfort Paradox
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.
Fast Fly Setup
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.
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!
And as always, if you like what you found here at Greenwoods Uncharted, follow and/or share us on social media!