It feels like summer in western Montana with an expected high today of 87 degrees. It was hot over the weekend, too, so the girls and I pitched our tent in the backyard to make sure our gear is in order for the summer backpack/camping season. Which made me think, I ought to tell you about the tent I have and how it performs in case you’re looking to make a purchase for the summer season.
My tent is made by Big Agnes, a Steamboat Springs, Colorado-based company that ranks high on the list of backpackers and mountaineers. Four or five years ago they sent me a tent to test, a three-person, three-seaonson model. Since that time I’ve pitched it a hundred times or more and aside from a friend ripping the rain fly when he was sucking down whiskey and wandering around our camp on the Smith River, nothing has gone wrong with this bomber tent. I’ve taken it to the top of the Madison Range, to the eastern Washington desert, and even to central Montana where I used it as a base of operation when I competed solo in a 24-hour mountain bike race.
So, if I were in the market for a new tent I would definitely buy another Big Agnes. I was just perusing their new catalogue and here are the models I’d be interested in. First, for those who love fishing high-mountain lakes, I’d go with the superlight Seedhouse SL2, a two-person tent that weighs just 2 pound 9 ounces. For a bit sturdier tent that still is manageable to backpack with, I’d go with the three-person Copper Spur UL3. It weighs 3 pounds 14 ounces and closely resembles the tent I’ve been using. Now, there is some reality I’m dealing with—most of my camping, especially with the girls, is going to be close if not right next to the truck. For that type of camping I’d go with a Big House 4, which is a four-person tent that weighs ten pounds 13 ounces. Not something you’d put in your pack and carry to the top of a mountain.
So, if I choose to update my tent this year, I would go with that Copper Spur UL3. It’s light enough to carry in a pack, but big enough to use next to the vehicle.
Want to know more about Big Agnes? Visit www.bigagnes.com