Coming in at the #1 spot: The Big Agnes Copper Spur 3.
This is the second of the two new 2011 purchases to make the list. Many of you are familiar with my love for my solo tent, the Tarptent Rainbow. Because I love that tent so much I purchased the Double Rainbow for the times when MrC is backpacking with me. But that tent has never been comfortable for us – there are a lot of issues with the 2 person version that I simply don’t have with the single version. So before our longer backpack this summer I decided I wanted to replace it. After a lot of research I settled on a favorite brand of many of my backpacking friends, Big Agnes. We chose the larger 3 person version for the space and comfort and it was a great choice.
Of all the items on this year’s list this probably has the least use, but I’ve been so happy with it that I had to include it. The reasons I love it?
- Super quick to set up and take down
- Breaks down into multiple pieces (body, fly, poles, stakes) so it is easy to split up into relatively even loads
- The interior space is huge. We can both fit in there with all of our gear with plenty of room to spare. We can sit up, play cards, and move around without annoying each other. It’s a tent that I would be comfortable in for a long time, which is nice when you have to wait out storms.
- The side walls are high enough to keep out blowing dust, rain, or snow.
- Sleeping without the fly is possible and the mesh ceiling of the inner part is fine enough to allow for star gazing.
- We have had little to no condensation issues
- It has doors and vestibules on both sides so we don’t have to crawl over each other to get in.
- It weighs about 4.5 lbs. That’s 2 lb heavier than the Double Rainbow but in our opinion it’s worth it. It’s one of the few sub-5 lb double walled 3 person tents on the market.