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Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2 Tent Review

Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2 Tent Review

Big Agnes Tiger Wall Ul 2

Comfort
Ease of Setup
Weather Resistance
Durabilty
Weight
Packed Size

Ultralight Two Person Tent

Weighing just 2 lbs, 4 oz, the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2 is a double-wall, dome-style tent for two people that's lightweight enough that it can be also be used for solo trips when you hike alone. Dual doors make it super-convenient for couples to use, while the spacious interior and superior ventilation provide highly livable internal space.

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The Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2 is an ultralight double-wall tent that only weighs 2 lbs 4 oz. It has two doors, making it ultra-convenient for couples, or as a palace for one, with dual vestibules for gear storage. But the star of the show on this tent is the all-mesh inner-tent front wall, making it the most highly ventilated tent in Big Agnes’ line of lightweight tents. However, be advised: the Tiger Wall UL is made with ultralight fabrics and components and must be treated with extra care for long-term durability.

Specs at a Glance

  • Weight (total)
    • Poles 8.8
    • Inner tent 13.8
    • Rain fly 13.3
  • Type: Double-walled; definitely NOT freestanding.
  • Fabric: 15 denier nylon (floor and fly)
  • Minimum stakes to pitch: 4 only 6 is optimal

Inner Tent

The Tiger Wall UL 2 inner tent is held up by a single tent pole and requires at least two tent stakes at the foot end to set up, so it’s not freestanding, despite Big Agnes’ claims that it is. Set up is simple though, with a single collapsible pole that folds up narrowly (suitable for bikepacking) and slots into three color-coded grommets at the base of the tent.

The inner tent of the Tiger Wall UL is mostly mesh, providing excellent ventilation
The inner tent of the Tiger Wall UL is mostly mesh, providing excellent ventilation

In addition to two doors, the Tiger Wall has vertical side walls providing extra space to move around and with 39″ of head room clearance to sit up in. The inner tent width at the head-end is 49″, while the foot-end has a width of 39″, necessitating the use of tapered sleeping pads. None of this is surprising, but it’s detail lost in the specs published by Big Agnes and their online retailers.

The side doors are large and easy to get in and out of, with large zipper pulls so they’re easy to find at night. The inner tent zippers along with those on the fly do have a tendency to snag though since the surround fabric is so light weight, so go slow and be gentle with them. Side pockets at the head-end of the tent provide internal gear storage for small odds and end, while a ceiling pocket can be used with a headlamp to provide ambient light.

One of the reasons, the Tiger Wall UL 2 is so lightweight stems from the use of a 15 denier nylon fabric, which is so thin that’s it virtually transparent. I don’t normally recommend using tents with footprints (they’re usually redundant weight) because tent floor fabrics are often fairly durable. But in this case I’d recommend one if you camp frequently on highly abrasive rock dust or tent sites that have lot of sharp organic matter on them.

The corners of the inner tent form a high bathtub floor
The corners of the inner tent form a high bathtub floor

There’s no need to buy a Big Agnes specific footprint for this and I’d recommend using a lighter weight piece of window insulation wrap instead. Cut it so it’s big enough to fit under the inner tent (under the part where you’ll be lying) and it will help protect the tent fabric from wearing through. I find it ironic that most ultralight cottage-gear manufacturers now have thicker more durable tent floors than Big Agnes, but then they have much more experience at manufacturing hard-wearing ultralight gear.

Rain Fly

The Tiger Wall rain fly, like the inner tent, is easy to set up and clips into the corner grommets used by the inner tent, while the front corners can share the tent stakes used to pitch the inner tent. Interior tabs are available to connect the fly to the pole structure while extra guy-out points can be staked out in more extreme wind or weather conditions for added stability.

While the rain fly is opaque enough for privacy, it lets a lot of light in if you're adversely affected by moonlight or morning light
While the rain fly is opaque enough for privacy, it lets a lot of light in if you’re adversely affected by moonlight or morning light.

The vestibule space is adequate but not overly large, while the door zippers, like those on the inner tent, must be used carefully to avoid snagging the fly fabric. The zippers do have run gutter awnings however, a nice touch, to prevent you from being drenched at night when you unzip the fly. There are also tie-back loops that make it very convenient to roll open the tent doors for maximum ventilation.

The bottoms of the fly doors have short, fixed length guylines, and you’ll want to replace these with adjustable ones in order to get a really taut pitch and to give you more staking flexibility if you discover your tentsite is less than perfect, after you’ve set up the inner tent.

For maximum comfort and cross-ventilation, sleep with the vestibule doors open
For maximum comfort and cross-ventilation, sleep with the vestibule doors open.

The fly itself is made with a thin translucent fabric that lets a lot of light into the tent each morning and on bright moonlit nights. While the fabric is opaque enough to provide privacy, I recommend getting a darker colored tent if light keeps you up at a night or wakes you up too early in the morning. This isn’t a show stopper for many people, but it can annoying if you camp or backpack in the higher latitudes where the days are super long.

Recommendation

The Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2 is a double-wall, dome-style tent for two people that’s lightweight enough that it can be also be used as a palace for one, with a canine friend if you have one. Dual doors make it super-convenient for couples to use, while the spacious interior and superior ventilation provide highly livable internal space. As with all ultralight shelters, durability is a heightened concern, so you’ll want to use the Tiger Wall gently for fast and light trips instead of bachelor parties or scout jamborees.

How’s the Tiger Wall UL 2 compare to the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL 2? The Tiger Wall has two doors and is far more convenient for two people to use, even though it’s 5 oz. heavier. What about the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2? The Copper Spur is 8 oz heavier than the Tiger Wall, but is closer to freestanding because it is a four pole structure rather than a three one and it’s more expensive. If you trying to decide between the three, I’d choose the Tiger Wall, but if you already own a Fly Creek or a Copper Spur, I wouldn’t bother upgrading.

Disclosure: Big Agnes provided the author with a sample tent for this review.

Written 2018.

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28 comments

  1. Is that a Y pole configuration?

  2. How would you compare this to the Nemo Hornet 2P? Seems like a very similar set up.

    • It’s obviously Big Agnes’ competitive offer against the wildly popular NEMO Hornet 2P.
      https://sectionhiker.com/nemo-hornet-2p-ultralight-tent-review/

      The Tiger Wall has steeper side walls and about 3 more inches of interior headroom, but the Hornet 2P is about 5-6 ounces lighter weight.
      Functionally, they’re pretty equivalent. Although I prefer the darker Hornet coloring because I thin k it provides more privacy and I’m very sensitive to exterior light bleeding through the walls.

      • Hornet 2P is NOT 5-6 oz lighter. You are thinking of hornet 2P ELITE, which is made of even thinner materials (7 denier fly and 10 denier body). The regular Hornet is 2 lb 5 oz. Additionally, all Hornets has noticeably less shoulder room with its pyramid roof, while BA has a wide flat roof. This means only one person can sit up at a time in the Hornet, and even then their shoulder will tough the walls. BA also has more floor and vestibule area. My main gripe with the Hornet, however, is that the doors do not zip back far enough. You cannot sit up and swing your legs out through the door to put on the dirty shoes that you left outside. You have do get out of the tent head first and stand on the ground in order to get dressed. BA’s Wall however has much bigger doors that let you pivot on your butt and put your feet outside first, put your shoes on, and then simply stand up out of the tent.

  3. Do you like this or Nemo’s Hornet 2 better? They seem to be pretty direct competitors.

  4. I am a scout leader. I’m looking to upgrade for a trip to New Mexico in 2019. I am considering this tent. Any additional thoughts with New Mexico terrain in mind?
    Thank you Phil

    • I’m sure it will be fine for Philmont. Why don’t you ask your peers though if they think you’d be better off with a more freestanding tent like the BA Copper Spur.

    • Philmont Ranger here, unless you’ll be doing a long distance itinerary (>#25), I’d get something bigger, more comfortable, more durable, and a little heavier. I think the copper spur will serve you better.

  5. I gave my son my BA Fly Creek a couple years ago and purchased a BA Copper Spur ( old style- not HV) , looking to shave a few ounces- narrowed it down to the Tiger Wall or Nemo 2p- what would you pick

  6. I’m trying to confirm the fabric denier of the Tiger Wall floor. You mention it’s 15D, but Skurka previously reported it as 20D:

    https://andrewskurka.com/2018/preview-big-agnes-tiger-wall-2-3-tent/

    I can’t find any official info from the company anywhere. Did you get your information from BA directly?

    I’m torn between this tent and the Hornet. I agree with you about the darker fly on the Hornet. The tent walls of this tent are more vertical, though, which is an upgrade in my mind. Should allow for fly opening in the rain without as much risk of water getting into the inner tent. Not sure how the 1200mm hydrostatic head will hold up long term though.

  7. Bill in Roswell, GA

    Living in north Georgia with AT thru-hiker start time in vogue, my thoughts often turn to the hikers via weather forecast which this year have been very wet and above 3500 ft, often in the form of snow. Having lived in the west and hiked the Rockies for 20 years, I think of the winds above treeline. As Phillip says, the White Mtns. encompass both kinds of weather (re-hiked the Presi Range last summer, but used the huts – still one is very exposed to weather there). Throw in kayak camping with 40-50 mph winds from summer thunderstorms along lake shoreline. I’m not a snow country camper, but my shelters are put to the test otherwise.

    I want a shelter that will keep me and my gear dry. I recall Phillip talking about a Scottish highlands worthy tent a few years ago. Having a setup that keeps the interior dry is crucial.

    Due to my situation in the outdoor industry, I can get a BA Tiger Wall near half price. It’s hard to not consider that. But given where I like to be outdoors (with Patagonia and Iceland on the horizon, Peru and Belize in the past), a tent that can’t be pitched dry in nasty weather makes no sense, whatever the cost. Thus, the Tarptent Bowfin (near same weight as Tiger Wall), TT Notch and other dry-pitch shelters make more sense in the $300 range. Note that TT has sold out of the Bowfin 1 at this time due beginning of thru-hiker season for the long trails.

    The downside to silnylon is fabric sag in wet and cold weather. But unless you can justify the cost of CDF (Cuben) shelters, there are no other viable choices. However, silnylon (as used by Tarptent, 3000 weight cloth vs the 1200 weight cloth BA and Nemo use) is very durable. My TT Cloudburst is now 11 years old and still going strong (as is misting during heavy rain)! From experience, I learned to use shock cord loops at the ground apex tension points (and replace each year) which keeps the material taut enough to keep wind and water at bay.

    If I were thru-hiking today on limited funds, I would choose the Bowfin 1 though it’s hard to ignore the Notch at nearly 10 ounces less not to mention use of hiking poles. If I had the coin, the Notch Li (also currently out of stock thanks to thru-hikers) would be the choice. Perhaps a few will popup for sale come next fall!

    Cheers,
    Bill in Roswell, GA

  8. Bill in Roswell, GA

    Many pardons; my bad. DCF is the proper moniker for the fabric formerly called Cuben. CDF is due to my error.
    Cheers,
    Bill in Roswell, GA

  9. I’m curious about a direct comparison between the Copper Spur and the Tiger Wall. I would be getting a 3p for 2p and a dog for all the obvious reasons. It will be more of a family tent then the zpacks duplex I carry when alone. I had a copper spur ul3 and loved it for the JMT with my hiking partner (that I was NOT in a relationship with) so the extra space was perfect. I felt that tent was VERY weather worthy. I won’t even consider a fly creek bc they are way to small and that one door is just not my style. Not worth saving 4 ounces. Anywhooo… I’m looking for a specific comparison to the CS. I don’t mind that it’s only semi freestanding, more so in weather worthy ness, durability, size, etc. Is the Copper Spur that much more burly to justify the extra pound? Will this blow in like so many other UL tents when not guided out? Just look for some more specifics on this vs a CS. Thanks!

    • The copper spur is more freestanding with four vertical pole segments not three. But I’d be worried about the floor in the tiger wall the most. Your dogs claws will probably rip it up faster than the CS floor.

      • Is the only real difference that it’s only semi-freestanding? That doesn’t worry me at all. More so I’m trying to find out if it’s less storm worthy then the CS? Or they seem to be on par?

  10. Kleenex thin, almost disposable tent.
    I would be interested in a scientific multiple variable calculation that gives a range of… this tent can last 45 days in summer sun, or 18 days of rain before it disintegrates.

  11. Hi, how do you think it will hold in a windy weather, i heard opinions that it will perform badly – is not not sturdy enoughand quickly become a pancake in moderate wind. Do you share these opinions?

    • I don’t know what moderate winds are? You’ll have to be more specific. But no, I don’t think the poles wil break in 20 mph winds. But if it’s a concern buy a hilleberg tent. There’s a point where campers need to take responsibility for their campsite selection and choose a more-protected campsite if they’re concerned about their tents wind performance. If you need a bomber wind-proof, because you HAVE to camp in hurricane force winds, well buy one.

  12. Thanks for the great review Philip!

    How would you compare the Tiger Wall to the Slingfin 2Lite and the Nemo Hornet Elite 2p? (weight differences aside)

    • The Tiger wall is the least durable. The sling fin the most. the Nemo in the middle. The tiger wall is not bad, but not super weather worthy.

      • Thank you for the very quick response! How do you think they compare when it comes to interior comfort/space and ventilation?

  13. I use a long neoair mummy pad (I’m 6’3″), does the tiger wall or hornet have a noticeable difference in length? Going to be used a single man tent for myself, would like to grab the Nemo hornet, but am slightly worried about the overall floor length. I have a copper spur hv ul2 that I have a couple of inches left over when laying down.

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