Wow, tents are such a difficult thing to figure out when venturing out into the wilderness. It needs to fit you (and whoever you are travelling with) comfortably. It definitely needs to withstand the wind and be dry in the rain. It’s nice if it’s big enough that you can sit up in it – but at the same time it needs to be light. But not so light that it is fragile and the fabric rips or the poles break.
Ack, how to choose!
Well Dave and I actually did a whole pile of this research a year and a half ago when I was heading down to Patagonia on a month-long solo trip. Patagonia summer starts in January, so we researched great one-person tents and Dave bought me the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV Ul1 for Christmas. (Or maybe it was actually Santa who gave it to me – I forget).
Anyway, that tent totally performed. Yes, the fabric is delicate so you need to be careful (don’t set it up in a blackberry thicket or anything). But it does everything you want, balancing the needs for sturdiness and being lighweight as best as absolutely possible (considering that every move in one direction is a sacrifice in the other).
So – we DID look at a lot of other brands when getting ourselves outfitted for The Secret Coast. Reviewed a lot of specs and read even more reviews. And once again – Big Agnes was the only choice. Especially when we saw the “hotel” option for the fly! Dave had wanted us to get a 3-person, so we could keep our packs inside – but I did not want the extra weight of a 3p tent. This “hotel” design means you have a 2-person tent for sleeping, but the giant vestibule (yes, a door on each side – but one of them has a huge living area) means we can keep our packs under cover when we sleep – AND have the option of cooking our meals under the fly if the weather gets a bit uncooperative.
So here are some pix of our trial test set-up of the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Hotel tent! We have yet to sleep in it – but for ease of set-up and for packability it is already scoring really well!