To say we enjoyed writing this Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 mtnGLO review would be an understatement. This is truly a cutting edge tent. And while it does have the price tag to match, it will be well worth the money to many of you avid campers, backpackers and hikers.
As with the other models in Big Agnes' mtnGLO range (like the Chimney Creek, for example) this backpacking tent comes with built-in LED lighting, a novel feature that certainly creates a dramatic effect come sundown. But does the Copper Spur UL3 live up to the hype in other key areas? Let’s take a look.
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From the ultra-durable build and its innovative waterproof design, to the wide entrance, roomy interior, and easy setup, the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 mtnGLO has numerous features that really make it stand out in what is a very crowded backpacking tent market.
The upper half of this tent features really neat two-tone mesh. It makes it easy to see the night sky, while also allowing for some really good ventilation. It provides a decent amount of privacy too.
The nylon construction of this tent is reinforced with specially woven fabrics and other materials, making it up to 25% more durable than other tents.
The Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 mtnGLO comes with a huge ceiling pocket to store some of your personal belongings that you don’t want to leave outside. A really simple but great idea.
As we mentioned at the start of this post, like other tents in the Big Agnes mtnGLO (Mountain Glow) range it's fitted with a pretty unique LED lighting system (check out the video below for a demonstration). The lights are quite clevery sewn into the tent's seams.
Now, while these lights do look pretty cool, the brutal truth is they add little to the tents functionality - they're simply not bright enough to really make a difference to the nighttime camping experience. You will find it difficult to read by these lights unless you have very keen eyes, so all in all you're likely to still use a ceiling torch or headlamp.
There are various media pockets located on the interior of this tent so you can easily store phones, tablets, keys, and other such things with ease.
The Copper Spur comes with a specially coated floor to stop moisture from making its way in from the bottom up.
This tent features a good weatherproof fly that is specially coated to keep wind and moisture at bay. The seams of the tent itself and the fly are also reinforced with waterproof materials.
The Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 mtnGLO weighs in at an ultralight 4 pounds, making it one of the more lightweight options out there right now. It is easy to set up, easy to take down, and easy to carry around with you too. Being really light might not help much when it comes to wind, but certainly makes carrying it around much easier.
While this is not the largest tent out there, it should be able to fit 2 people with ease. No, it might not be able to fit 2 extremely large people, but 2 people of average size should be able to fit with no problem. We do like how the Copper Spur UL3 has a fairly high ceiling, which makes it easier to get changed. This tent folds up into a neat little package, something that is always convenient for transportation.
The Copper Spur does feature great weather protection. It comes with a ripstop waterproof and wind-resistant nylon fly that can cover the whole tent when needed; it will not let water or wind into the tent.
Also, the fly attaches right to the poles, which helps to ensure that it doesn’t fly off, plus it helps add some structural integrity to the tent. On that same note, the floor of this tent is also specially coated to keep moisture and cold from coming into the tent from the bottom up, yet another bonus in terms of weather protection.
Overall, we like the design of the Copper Spur UL3. It may not have 2 doors like some other tents, but it has one really large and wide door. This makes it easy to get in and out of the tent without disturbing the other person in it.
Moreover, we like how this tent has plenty of overhead storage space for gear, plus lots of media storage space on the sides too. Being able to store things inside of any tent is always a big deal. Furthermore, this tent is pitch ready, which means that a single person can easily set it up in 10 minutes or less.
When it comes to ventilation, this tent features a mesh upper, with the whole upper half of the tent being made with fairly transparent mesh. It is hard to see in from the outside, but easy to see out, making it great for star gazing. On that same note, the mesh is also really useful for keeping the tent cool during those really hot summer days and nights.
Perhaps one of the best aspects of the Copper Spur UL3 is that it is built to be extremely durable. The whole tent is made with rugged and tough nylon that is designed to be really resistant to wear and tear, plus all kinds of physical damage.
From top to bottom, this tent features a special yarn weave which makes it up to 25% more durable than other tents. Bumping into it or getting a stick caught in it won’t rip it very easily. It’s a good option if you need a tent that can stand up to a harsh weekend backpacking. The poles and zippers on this tent are also specially made to be about as durable as can be.
An alternative tent that's comparable in size and seasonality - but not in price - is the EXIO 4 Person 3.5 Season Backpacking Tent.
This tent is a bit larger given that it's designed for 4 people rather than the 2-3 capacity Copper Spur. Indeed, it has quite a bit more storage space as well. It also has excellent weather protection thanks to the really well-built fly. The ripstop nylon is also quite impressive in terms of durability.
The EXIO is a better option for those on a tighter budget, but it doesn't live up to the Big Agnes in terms of style or build-quality.
All in all, we think this Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 mtnGLO review revealed a very, very good backpacking tent - plain and simple.
It’s the sort of tent you’d be confident taking on a 5 months thru-hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. Just don’t rely on the LED lights for anything more than helping you climb over your sleeping friend without waking them up. =ZIP=