Movin’ on up with Big Agnes

Home on the trail

The theme to The Jeffersons buzzed through my head as I laid back and took in the nylon ceiling. I may not have been moving on up to the East Side, but I was now laying in the tent of my dreams: the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2. One dee-lux tent, if ever I’d had one.

I’m not one to obsess over outdoor gear. I approach gear as I approach cars: give me something reliable, efficient, inexpensive. My auto-biography reads as such: Datsun, Toyota, Datsun, Toyota, Trooper, Outback (alas, apparently the only lemon produced), Honda Civic. A Civic that’s got 277,000 youthful miles and is still rolling. Likewise, my tentography: a series of REI Domes, then the MSR Hubba Hubba, which was as close to the East Side as I thought I’d get. Until late last year, when a rambunctious 5-year-old tumbled into my world and made me realize the right gear is the right gear.

Full disclosure: On occasion, because of my dual vocation of writing about the outdoors and leading people into it, pieces of equipment fall into my possession via means outside normal retail channels. In this case, I was fishing about for a one-person tent that someone might like reviewed. When I contacted my good friends at Great Outdoor Provision Co., the aforementioned 5-year-old had just gone a round with a floor model Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2, the tent emerging with a minor tear. “It’s two-person,” I was told, but it’s lighter than most one-person tents.” Indeed, the tent’s packed weight of 3 pounds 1 ounce was nearly 2 pounds lighter than the current iteration of the tent I’ve spent most of my life in.

So yes, because of her lithe construction — in addition to being lightweight, she packs down nicely — you fall in love with Big Agnes long before slipping inside for the evening. Or, in my case, on our first outing last weekend, mid-afternoon, since I was curious about her napping potential. I was also curious about her interior amenities, especially after enjoying her smart engineering — swervy tent hooks that easily slip onto poles, seemingly magnetic clasps on the cross-beam pole that quickly connect, simple color coding — during set up. When I crawled inside, that’s when The Jeffersons queued up.

Morning? All ready?

First, there was the 40-inch headroom, which a taller sort would likely appreciate more. I doubt, though, that anyone would appreciate the pocketry as much: six mesh pockets (three to the left of my head, three to the right). On each side, there was a pocket just off the floor, then a double pocket about midway up. My glasses, my journal, my space pen, my Farley Mowat reader, my iPhone (for photo and podcast-to-bed purposes only), my ear buds — everything organized and off the floor. (Man, I hate rolling over in then night and hearing a crunch.)

Perhaps most impressive, though, were the dozen or so fairy hooks hanging from various strategic points inside the tent. You could run a paracord clothesline and dry your socks, you could hang a lantern in just the right spot to read by, you could string mood-lighting Luci lamps and have friends over.

But really, I didn’t want to have friends over. I just wanted to zip up and enjoy my cozy new home-away-from home alone.

With Big Agnes, of course.

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For more on the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2, go here.  

Don’t recall The Jeffersons? Here’s an introduction.

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