The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 is the latest generation in the ultralight Copper Spur line of tents, boasting increased interior volume and livability by integrating steeper sides walls into the inner tent. The result is an outstanding balance of comfort and function in what I consider one of the best three-season lightweight tents available today.
Gear Weight vs Comfort
The Copper Spur HV UL 2 weighs 2 pounds and 12 ounces (minus stakes) making it a good backpacking tent for two people who want to lighten the weight of their gear, but still want a tent with two doors, lots of interior space, and good ventilation to stay cool and condensation free. The Copper Spur HV UL 2 delivers all of these.
If you plan to camp out with a companion at night, having a tent with two doors is a must-have in my book because I don’t want to be woken up every time my partner gets up at night to go to the bathroom. Two doors also means two vestibules, so double the space for gear storage, and more room for you inside the inner tent.
The HV version of the Copper Spur uses a single hub pole structure, with a horizontal cross pole which is different from the previous two hub models like the Copper Spur Platinum UL 2. The new pole architecture creates a boxier inner tent with nearly vertical walls all around, providing more room to sit up or dress without ever touching the mesh inner walls. The new HV UL 2 is so much more spacious than the older Copper Spur models that it feels like an entirely new tent.
The Copper Spur HV UL 2 has excellent ventilation even when the tent is buttoned up in bad weather. In addition to a large protected roof vent, you can stake the front walls (without doors) to promote ventilation under the fly (see center stake above), and there is a large air gap between the inner and outer tents to promote airflow and help reduce internal condensation buildup. Solid fabric on the lower half of the inner tent walls blocks cold breezes and provides increased visual privacy, without compromising on mesh venting higher up, extending the season that the tent can be used in cooler weather.
While I’m impressed by the airflow through the tent, I wish there was a rear roof vent to make pitching the tent less directional. As it is, you have to think which way the wind is blowing when you set the tent up, so you can position it properly if you want to keep the top vent open. A minor point perhaps, but when you’re tired at the end of the day, these things feel insurmountable.
The Copper Spur HV UL 2 has spacious side vestibules that provide plenty of gear storage so you can store your trail shoes, backpack, and wet gear outside of the inner tent, but under cover. The doors of the inner tent are cut large so you can get past gear stored in the vestibules without having to crawl over it and have rain flaps over the zippers to prevent rain from pouring down the roof on to your head when you open the doors in chucking rain (ask me how I know.)
The Copper Spur HV UL 2 is higher volume than its predecessor, most notably at the head and foot ends, and in the corners. The interior is tapered however, so you’ll want to be cognizant of the head and foot ends when setting it up, although being nearly freestanding it’s easy to pick up as a unit and turn around. The tent width at the head end is 49″, narrowing to 39″ at the foot end, but still probably wide enough to fit two 25″ wide pads as long at they have a mummy shape and taper toward the feet.
Each occupant has a mesh pocket by their head for personal items as well as a tent-wide mesh pocket on the ceiling, but not a gear loft. There are numerous hang loops along the ceiling for hanging lights and other items as well.
The Copper Spur HV UL 2 is very easy to set up quickly by one person in 2 minutes, and even faster with two because all of the components are color coded, with jakes feet (see Illustrated Tent Terminology Guide) in the corners, so that the inner tent and rain fly connect to the same corner webbing and buckle assembly.
The tent is virtually freestanding and the only parts that must be staked out are the side vestibules. In other words, you can pick up the assembled tent and reposition it if you like, as long as the vestibule doors aren’t staked out yet. I’d still recommend staking out the corners (4 more stakes). Extra guy lines are also included to stake out the tent in high winds and increase ventilation.
When packing this tent, keep careful track of the horizontal cross-pole because it is very easy to lose or misplace in forest duff. If Big Agnes colored it more loudly, like blaze orange or bright red instead black, it might be harder to lose. You can still pitch the tent without the cross pole if you lose it, but it does help spread out the inner tent walls and raise the height of the tent center.
- Total: 44 oz / 1250 g
- Fly: 16.1 oz / 456 g
- Inner tent: 15.5 oz / 438 g
- Poles (2): 12.5 oz / 356 g
- Inner tent dimensions (actual):
- Length: 84″
- Head end: 49″
- Center: 41″
- Foot end: 39″
- Head end: 21″
- Center: 40″
- Foot end: 14″
- Requires a minimum of 2 stakes for side vestibules
- 8 stakes recommended for taut pitch
- 1-4 additional for extra wind protection
For complete tent specs, visit BigAgnes.com.
*Most manufacturers leave out stake and stuff sack weights under the assumption that you’ll replace the manufacturer supplied stakes and repackage the tent in different sacks. It also makes the tent look likes it’s lighter weight without the crappy stakes they often include.
Comparable Two Person Ultralight Tents and Shelters
|Make / Model||Weight||Doors/Vestibules||Price|
|NEMO Hornet 2P Elite||27 oz||2||$500|
|Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2||35 oz||2||$400|
|Big Agnes Fly Creek HV Platinum||26 oz||1||$550|
|MSR Carbon Reflex 2||29 oz||2||$549|
|Gossamer Gear The Two||31.4 oz||2||$389|
|Tarptent Motrail||36 oz||1||$265|
|Tarptent Stratospire Li (2)||27.7 oz||2||$689|
|NEMO Rocket 2||22 oz||2||$450|
|Zpacks Duplex Tent||19 oz||2||$599|
Weighing 2 pounds 12 oz, the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 is a refined lightweight backpacking tent that’s easy to pitch and loaded with features. The dual doors, large side vestibules, great ventilation, increased head room, and vestibule storage make this a great tent for couples and a palace for one. The inner tent in the high volume (HV) version of the Copper Spur is so different from pre-2017 Copper Spur models, as to be unrecognizable, with loads more interior volume, headroom, and a much different pole architecture. If the shape and livability of the old Copper Spur line were negatives for you, I’d encourage you to take another look at the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2. It’s a great tent for three season use and should be on your short list. Highly recommended.
- Virtually freestanding; just the vestibules require staking
- Easy to set up: color coded jakes feet corners require fewer stakes
- Fantastic ventilation – good separation between fly and inner tent, roof vent, two doors
- Internal pockets and hand loops
- Primary hubbed pole is bulky to pack
- Easy to lose horizontal cross pole
- Tapered floor dimensions may limit use of wide sleeping pads
Disclosure: Big Agnes loaned the author a tent for this review.
Written 2017.Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored gear reviews, articles, and hiking guides.
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