#1 2011 Gear of the Year: Big Agnes Copper Spur 3

Big Agnes Copper Spur 3
Big Agnes Copper Spur 3

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.

 

Big Agnes Copper Spur 3 with Fly
Big Agnes Copper Spur 3 with Fly

 

Best Gear of 2009: Calipidder’s Top Ten

Scattered Gear, Precipice Lake
Scattered Gear, Precipice Lake

No matter how much gear we collect, no matter how experienced we are, there always seems to be a reason to accumulate more. Some people call it an addiction, an obsession, and others call it wasting money. I call it part necessity, part keeping up, and part, well, yeah it’s an addiction.

2009 was a year of upgrades for me, replacing some of my fleet of aging or obsolete backpacking equipment with the latest and greatest. That said, there is still quite a lot of overlap with my 2008 list. A good piece of equipment is going to last for more than a year, and regardless of my gear addiction, there are several items that will require quite a disruption to be displaced from my Top Ten list. I’ve also included a few honorable mentions – items that are new enough that I’d like some more time to evaluate, though early results are promising.

So, in no particular order, here is my Top 10 Gear of 2009 list (after the jump):

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Best Gear of 2008 (in my pack)

In the spirit of outdoor blogging, I thought I’d make my own ‘best of 2008′ list. The gear in this list isn’t necessarily the newest and shiniest of 2008. Rather, it’s a list of gear that always makes it into my pack for a week on the trail. Some of it is new, some of it is tried and true, not displaced by newer options because they are already perfect at what they do. Maybe this entry would be better titled ‘Best Items in My Pack during 2008, some of which was purchased way back in 2005 and 2006, but Not Necessarily the Best New Gear of 2008′. Or not.

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