BIG AGNES COP­PER SPUR HV UL3

Live large in this lightweight, ul­tra­comfy three-per­son tent.

Backpacker - - Fıeld Test -

WHEN THE COP­PER SPUR DE­BUTED IN 2008, it changed the for­mula we used to choose a shel­ter. In the decade since, Big Agnes both tweaked the de­sign and ex­panded the line, re­sult­ing in what we now con­sider the peak of weight sav­ings and liv­abil­ity: The HV UL3.

At just 3.5 pounds, this tent is plenty light for two campers, but the 41-square-foot floor and near-ver­ti­cal walls make it le­git for three. It’s like get­ting two tents in one, and with specs like that, we were happy to size up even if we were shop­ping for a duo (it’s 11 ounces and $50 more than the two-per­son ver­sion).

One tester used the HV UL3 on a trip in Yosemite and said, “Even with cold-weather bags and gear, it was plenty liv­able for our trio of full-grown adults.” (The Cop­per Spur’s 90-inch length is ad­e­quate for even the tallest campers.)

The key in­gre­di­ents? Big Agnes uses a pro­pri­etary 20-de­nier rip­stop ny­lon for the floor and fly; its weave and high fil­a­ment count in­crease dura­bil­ity with­out adding weight. Hubbed pole ge­om­e­try also boosts strength and vol­ume, and al­lows for easy setup.

And you don’t give up fea­tures to save ounces: The Cop­per Spur has five stor­age pock­ets, in­clud­ing a spa­cious one on the ceil­ing. Dual 9-square-foot vestibules let our tester fire up two stoves for break­fast and cof­fee—one on each side—on a cold morn­ing in Yosemite. In canopy­only mode, lots of mesh means great stargaz­ing. Tech­ni­cally it’s a three-sea­son tent, but we’ve seen the taut pitch shed enough rain, wind, and snow that we’ll push it into mod­er­ate win­ter con­di­tions. Bonus: In bug-free en­vi­ron­ments, you can pitch it fly-only to save 11 ounces.

There are other op­tions to con­sider if you want ei­ther a two-per­son or a three-per­son tent. But if you want both, this is your shel­ter.

$500; 3 lbs. 7 oz.; bi­gagnes.com

House-proud in Co­conino Na­tional For­est, Ari­zona

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