Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2
The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 is a popular 2-door backpacking tent available in 2-Person and 3-Person variations. It is a high-performance tent and is considered a better option than the Tarptent Double Rainbow and the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 in terms of performance, comfort, and space. With a weight of around 3 pounds, it enjoys an above average space-to-weight ratio. Its sturdy pole construction means it can hold up even in windy weather conditions. Before you make a purchase, let’s consider a few factors first.
- Impressive geometry coupled with excellent fly materials that can withstand powerful winds with ease
- Extremely easy to set it up and taking it down is a breeze as well
- Comes with reflective guy ropes to ensure you don’t trip when moving around in low light conditions
- Equipped with five interior pockets including a ceiling pocket and a couple of large mesh pockets for additional storage
- 20-denier nylon is good but it requires much more care as compared to other advanced fabrics
- Tapered construction means you have to sleep in one direction and you will have issues adjusting wide sleeping pads as well
- May not be as stealthy as some other green and gray tents, and it is a minor issue but may well be a drawback for some
The cheerful orange color makes it look cool although it may not be to everyone’s taste. Some folk like to blend in a bit. Some may have issues with the shape of the doorway, as unlike the usual D shape, this rainbow shape could allow the dirt to find its own way in.
Another issue is that the location of the tiebacks for the door flap does not make any sense. They are a little too close to the ground, which means they fail to keep the doors up effectively. Like a lazy wink, those doors just love to droop half closed, which may be a bit annoying to some.
The claim by the company that there is a generous 20% increase in space seems true and you notice it when two people are side by side in it. It has become possible because of a carefully conceived pole design. The near vertical walls add to the feeling of space as they stretch up and away from you. Almost at the center, there is a peak height of some 40 inches, which is adequate, and the crisscrossing poles stretch the mesh under the hub to create more of a flat roof adding even more space inside.
The Copper Spur HV UL2 is great for lightweight backpacking, but if you are interested in buying something even lighter but maybe slightly less comfortable, try the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV or the Tarptent Double Rainbow. Similarly, you can opt for the REI Half Dome 2 Plus if you're more concerned about space than weight. At 5 lbs. 7 oz., the Half Dome 2 is heavy, but you will enjoy about 38.1 square feet of living space, which is slightly more than the Copper Spur HV UL2.
Each of the vestibules is about 9 square feet and more than capable of holding your backpack and shoes. While you may not be that concerned about the storage options a tent has, the good placement of these pockets certainly makes them a viable selling point for the Copper Spur HV UL2.
Ease of Setup
The pole design is quite similar to the MSR Hubba Hubba NX, which is an interconnected pole with a couple of ends used for additional protection against stronger winds.
With color-coordinated poles, clips, and high-quality reflective guy lines, you will find it even easier to set it up quickly. However, it is worth mentioning that the minimal amount of guy line is attached and may be an issue for some. It would have been better to have more guy line for all the guy points on the tent. Another point is that although the HV UL2 is quite adaptable, you may have to go through some hassle to take the fly off to check out the stars. Buying an expensive footprint may help make things easier though.
There are three guy points right at the head of this tent and then another at the foot. These points work amazingly well to secure the tent. The rainfly is made of 20d silicone impregnated rip-stop nylon. Even though the material seems very light and somewhat flimsy, it has tremendous strength and can deal with strong winds. It is fully waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about getting wet even when there is a heavy rain outside. There is a vent above the head area, which helps prevent condensation.
Overall, the sturdiness is impressive and the tent will certainly be able to handle a light windstorm with ease. Some users have complained that although the tent can withstand heavy rain well, it fails to hold up well when there is snow. Even a few inches of snow can cause it to collapse.
You will also notice ample space between the tent body and rainfly, which allows for improved airflow. However, some people believe that it would have been perfect to have a second roof vent when backpacking in more extreme temperatures. Still, the tent performs reasonably well to keep you comfortable even when the sun is hitting the tent directly.
The fabrics are lightweight but are not as abrasion resistant as we'd like, so you have to take good care of it. You'd want to keep it staked down when leaving it unattended or else you might end up having problems. Moreover, a slight bit of bushwhacking may damage the upper layer, which is why it makes sense to pack it properly well inside the backpack to prevent occasional abrasion. The good thing is that the tent's solid pole construction makes for its fragile fabrics.
Comparison to Other Brands
Again, adaptability is good, but you have to take the fly off for better breathability or to check out the stars on warm summer nights. It can be a cumbersome process to remove it and restore it to the original position. The only way to tackle this is to buy an expensive footprint separately, which actually makes the Anjan and the Hubba Hubba NX more versatile. It is possible to ‘fast pitch’ them without making any additional investment on a footprint. You can certainly put your money on the Copper Spur HV UL2 if you're looking for a lightweight tent, but many people think the fabrics could have been stronger. It may be true to a certain extent, but the HV UL2 is still more durable as compared to the NEMO Dagger 2 and many other popular tents in this category. Moreover, the silicone-treated nylon fabrics you find on the HV UL2 will last longer and perform much better than coated polyester materials, like what you find on the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 2.