When researching tents, I’m always torn between my love for the outdoors and my love for a stable bank account.
I constantly waver back and forth like there’s a cliched angel and devil on my shoulders.
I wish I had a simple solution to comfort your tent buying woes, but the truth is that everyone’s financial (and outdoor) situation is different.
The most I can do is layout the facts and features and help you decide.
This time we’re looking at one of the more expensive tents that I still think has the best overall value: the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2.
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 Review
Weighing a whopping 2 lbs. 12 oz., the three-season Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 is every backpacker’s dream.
The near-vertical sidewalls allow for plenty of head room for two people to enjoy a weekend getaway (the “HV” in the name stands for high volume while the “UL” stands for ultralight).
Big Agnes touts the Copper Spur as their best-selling tent and even claims that it has received multiple awards.
Let me assure you: Although a little pricey, the Copper Spur HV UL 2 is worth every penny.
But, if you’re not in the market for a lifelong tent and simply want to purchase a cheaper alternative, head over to the Best 2-Person Tents Under $100 for some options that may better suit your needs.
It’s kind of funny talking about architecture when it comes to tents, but Big Agnes has done an amazing job utilizing a cross-bar design to enhance headspace.
Even though the floor area is only 29 sq. ft., it has 40” of maximum ceiling.
Even though the Copper Spur HV UL2 isn’t as tall as tents you can stand up in, there is plenty of room for you and your guest to get a comfortable night’s sleep.
If you plan to spend your time in the outdoors cooped up in the shelter, than you may be disappointed by the lack of space for activities.
But come on, why would you want to spend your hard-earned nature vacation stuck in a tent?
Go for a hike, sit by the campfire, but don’t just hang out in your tent.
Lightweight and Packable
Speaking of hikes, the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 is the quintessential backpacking tent.
As mentioned previously, it has a sub-3 lb. weight and is ideal for anyone trying to lighten the load while they push on for double-digit miles per day.
The shelter packs nicely into a 4” x 19.5” case, making it easy to stow-and-go on the trail.
Yet, the best part about the Copper Spur is that it doesn’t sacrifice weight for strength.
Every aspect of the tent is precisely engineered to ensure that everyone inside is protected from inclement weather conditions.
While you may think that 3 lb. sounds like a feather, there are lighter shelters on the market, but many of them don’t offer the all-around protection and comfort of the Copper Spur.
Like I’ve said before: high price products tend to have better quality construction, and the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 is no different.
Both the rain fly and floor of the tent are ripstop nylon impregnated with silicone, covered in a thin 1200mm polyurethane coating to ensure the shelter is waterproof.
The way these materials are sewn together (a “high filament count” per the Big Agnes website), the tear strength of the fabric is increased 25% as opposed to similar products.
This makes the material more durable and actually, more water resistant.
The tent body itself is a combination of breathable rip-stop nylon and polyester mesh, which is the typical makeup of a high-end shelter.
On top of that, Big Agnes hasn’t ignored the quality of their actual structural supports, as the poles are made up of DAC Featherlite Aluminum.
They are manufactured via Green Anodizing™, and without boring you with the science, the process is highly-touted among outdoor enthusiasts as it reduces waste water and is seen as environmentally-friendly.
All that being said, it’s been noted that the 20-denier nylon floor can be a little thin.
This can be an issue if you are in a particularly rocky or wooded area, as any sharp object can puncture the fabric.
I suggest you purchase the Copper Spur footprint along with the tent to ensure the tent’s longevity.
I’m the type of person that believes everything has a spot, so having an adequate amount of storage space is imperative for me.
The Copper Spur HV UL 2 has a big mesh ceiling pocket to store electronics or even clip in a lantern.
For all you techies, Big Agnes hasn’t forgot about you either as they have added pockets that allow for you to route your headphones or power cord right next to your pillow.
For your gear, there are dual vestibules complete with stormproof flats, covering an area of 9 sq. ft.
While that may not seem like a lot of space, it’s more than enough to throw your backpack and dirty clothes!
Click here to get your own Copper Spur today…
Is It Too Expensive?
Okay, so by now you are probably realizing that I’m loving the Copper Spur HV UL 2.
But, despite my infatuation with the tent, I had to comb through the depths of the internet to see if other users agree with my conclusions.
All in all, the pros and cons tend to be the same. Everyone loves the lightweight, roomy features of the tent, but size can be an issue.
I do believe that you get what you pay for, and although this tent is a little pricey, based off of other campers experiences, you will get plenty of use out of the Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 for years to come.
“Approaching six years of regular use (over 120 nights) in the Copper Spur backpacking, bike camping, and car camping. Everything; zippers, vestibules and waterproofness works like the day I bought it. With care, very durable.”
“Kept me bone dry in an all day downpour. Double vestibules keep you dry getting in and out and provide good storage for packs. Zippers are good and haven’t had any snag problems. I also like the option to only set it up with half the fly folded over. Makes for good star gazing while waiting to go to sleep!”
“Loved it! However I’m 6’2″ and it gets just a bit cramped with another normal sized man. Returned and got the 3-person.”
Closest Alternatives to the Copper Spur HV UL2
If you’re not completely sold on the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2, but still like what you’ve read so far – consider a few similar alternatives that may fit your outdoor needs.
NEMO Hornet Elite
While it’s not the roomiest alternative, the Hornet Elite elite offers plenty of sleeping space with it’s tapered “Y” pole design and weighing under 2 lbs.
Pitching the tent can be a little tricky as you will have to use the appropriate amount of guylines and stakes (and sometimes trekking poles) to ensure that the shelter is properly secure.
If dropping the weight is your main concern, then you may want to opt for the NEMO Hornet Elite over the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2.
MSR Hubba Hubba NX
Weighing in at 3.8 lbs., provides ample amount of headspace, without sacrificing quality.
This gives you a unique combination of spacious livability and versatility of use.
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX is composed of ripstop nylon and polyester mesh, yet comes in at slightly cheaper price, although users have noted that the structural poles can be difficult to handle.
MSR Hubba Hubba NX
Finally, the king of tents: the Hillberg Anjan 2 GT.
Almost double the price of the Copper Spur HV UL 2, this tent is specifically made for ultra-outdoor adventures.
Due to it’s unique tube-like design, there is plenty of interior space for you and your partner.
The large extended vestibule also offers plenty of space to store any of your equipment.
The Anjan 2 GT is heavier than some of it’s competitors, weighing in at 4 lbs. 10z., but what it lacks in weight, it carries in warmth.
With Hilleberg typically focused on shelters for exploration expeditions in the arctic, this marketed three-season tent can be used in almost any conditions.
Unfortunately, there can be a lack of ventilation throughout the shelter if pitched improperly, so be sure to follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you truly want to invest in a backpacking tent made for royalty, Hilleberg’s Anjan 2 GT might be for you.
Don’t Be Cheap
In this day and age, you can get a perfectly decent tent for under $100. Why would you ever spend any more than that?
Purchasing a cheap tent may sound like the obvious choice financially, but it comes with other hidden costs.
Maybe one of the fiberglass poles snaps, shattering your shelter and your hopes for adventure.
Perhaps the poorly designed rainfly collects water and greets you with a nice shower when you open the door in the morning.
Most of the time you’ll be perfectly fine and for most people, that’s good enough.
But if you want to be SURE your shelter won’t let you down, you will want to invest in a top-of-the-line tent.
More money tends to get you higher quality fabrics, better build quality and a design optimized for a specific purpose.
Overall this tends to result in:
- Increased durability and reliability
- Improved weather protection
- Less weight without a loss in living space
In other words – more money tends to get you a tent that does its job better.
Wrapping It Up…
Despite the expensive price, the spacious Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 meets all my desires: the ultralight features, the long-lasting durability, and the overall quality.
Not to mention their company headquarters are in my favorite Colorado mountain town Steamboat Springs.
No matter what you decide, always know that nature is calling your name!