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  1. #1

    Question Big Agnes Angel Spring UL tents

    Hello all,
    This is my first post so please bear with me.
    I have been looking at the new Big Agnes tents and really like the Angel Spring line. My question is, I am looking for a UL tent that my son and I can use for backpacking and car camping but is also light & small enough that I can also use it on solo backpacking trips. Below are the specs of the 2 & 3 person variations. BA only list a 6oz difference in weight between the two tents but the 3 person gives an additional 11sq ft! From what I have read most any 2 person tents are tight if not uncomfortable for 2 people. Normally a good rule of thumb is a 2 person tent makes a good roomy 1 person tent and a 3 person tent makes a roomy 2 person tent. So with that in mind I am leaning towards the UL3 @ 3lb.6oz and nearly identical pack size. I think with custom stuff sacks, trimmed guidelines & UL tent stakes I could get this close to 3lb. 3lb doesn't seem bad for even a solo tent let alone a 3 person. Can anyone give me any pointers as to any disadvantages to going with a larger tent for solo backpacking? Or any other thoughts you might have with this setup.
    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Tent trail wt packed wt fast fly wt packed size floor area vestibule area head ht price
    Angel Springs UL2

    2lb 10oz 3lb 1lb 14oz 4.5" x 20" 29sq ft 10sq ft 42" $379.95
    Angel Springs UL3

    3lb 3lb 6oz 2lb 1oz 5.5" x 18" 41sq ft 11sq ft 44" $449.95

  2. #2
    T-Rx T-Rx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allshookup View Post
    Hello all,
    This is my first post so please bear with me.
    I have been looking at the new Big Agnes tents and really like the Angel Spring line. My question is, I am looking for a UL tent that my son and I can use for backpacking and car camping but is also light & small enough that I can also use it on solo backpacking trips. Below are the specs of the 2 & 3 person variations. BA only list a 6oz difference in weight between the two tents but the 3 person gives an additional 11sq ft! From what I have read most any 2 person tents are tight if not uncomfortable for 2 people. Normally a good rule of thumb is a 2 person tent makes a good roomy 1 person tent and a 3 person tent makes a roomy 2 person tent. So with that in mind I am leaning towards the UL3 @ 3lb.6oz and nearly identical pack size. I think with custom stuff sacks, trimmed guidelines & UL tent stakes I could get this close to 3lb. 3lb doesn't seem bad for even a solo tent let alone a 3 person. Can anyone give me any pointers as to any disadvantages to going with a larger tent for solo backpacking? Or any other thoughts you might have with this setup.
    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Tent trail wt packed wt fast fly wt packed size floor area vestibule area head ht price
    Angel Springs UL2

    2lb 10oz 3lb 1lb 14oz 4.5" x 20" 29sq ft 10sq ft 42" $379.95
    Angel Springs UL3

    3lb 3lb 6oz 2lb 1oz 5.5" x 18" 41sq ft 11sq ft 44" $449.95
    Very timely post for me also Allshookup, as my wife and I are also considering purchasing this tent. I am a big guy so I need the extra room of a 3 person tent. I have been using a Tarptent Rainshadow 2 but like the idea of a free standing tent and this is interesting and pretty lightweight for a 3 person shelter. Like you, we also looked at the 2 person version of this tent, but for 6oz. we think the extra room is worth the weight considering how much time will be spent in it. I will anxiously await any feedback you get re: this tent.

  3. #3
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    I recently purchased a BA Copper Spur UL2 for solo use, and love it for that. It's a similar weight, and has plenty of room for 1 person. I'm afraid that if I had purchased the UL1, I would not have had any room in the tent for any gear... not even simply my bag of cloths.

    However, my one concern is tearing the floor. The material is uber thin, and I find myself spending much more time making sure every stick (and even some pointy seeds I came across) are out from under the tent. Regardless of the size I were to purchase, I don't think I would be ready to trust my kids using the tent with me even if I had a UL3.

    So here's my personal suggestion:
    Buy the UL2 for use as a solo tent, and buy something else entirely to use as a two man tent for you and your son.

    I've enjoyed Kelty tents and would recommend the Gunnison 2.2. Yes, compared to the UL2, the Gunnison is a very heavy tent. But with different guyline and lighter-weight stakes, you can add the footprint and keep the trail weight to less than 6lb. Yes, that's twice the weight, but then we're talking about a 2-man tent that's a REAL 2 man tent (the Gunnison has 37sqft of floor space compared to the 29sqft of the UL2). And when you consider the per-person weight, the Gunnisson is only 3lbs/person.

    I was recently reminded of how much I love my Kelty tents when hiking with my boys a week ago... the camp site was very rocky, and I would have been a nervous-nelly setting a Copper Spur down on top of rocks with kids in the tent. But with the Kelty, I didn't have worries.

    The other option beside the Kelty Gunnisson (which has plenty of room for two large adults) is to get something smaller like the Kelty Salida 2. It's shaped similar to the BA UL2 tents and saves about a pound compared to the Gunnisson.

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    Looking at the specifications again, I don't really understand the purpose for the BA Angle Springs UL2... unless you're a gram wennie... in which case I would think you would look at things like the Scout UL2.

    Basically, from what I can tell, the Angle Springs has the same footprint as the Copper Spur but only has one door and one vestibule. The Copper Spur gives you two doors, two vestibules, and more rain coverage for a weight penalty of only 2 to 3 oz.

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    I have a Stratospire 2 (Tarptent) that I take when I go camping with my daughter. It can truly fit 2 adults. (Notably it's also lighter and cheaper than the tents you listed.)

    I find the disadvantage when taking it solo is: even though it's light, it's nearly pound heavier than a comparable single person tent (like the Notch). Also, its footprint is much larger which limits site selection somewhat. Granted, I can set it up over some rocks and just sleep on the rock-free side.

  6. #6
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    Big Agnes cons:
    Single door/single vestibule
    Heavier
    More expensive
    TarpTent
    StratSpire 2/Cloudburst3
    Double doors/vestibules
    More covered space
    Lighter
    Rectangular, non-tapered floor area
    Made in the U.S.A.
    I know where I will spend my money.
    http://www.tarptent.com/cloudburst3.html
    http://www.tarptent.com/stratospire2.html

    Wayne
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    ps:
    My current tent inventory is (1) 2 person & (1) solo tent. My next tent will be a 2 or 3 person tent for my solo use and so I can include one or more of my grandchildren.
    Yes, people do carry larger tents to use solo. Ask Tipi Walter about carrying a large tent for individual use. Scroll down to photos of his Keron 3 tent in the snow.
    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/show...now&highlight=

    Wayne
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  8. #8

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    UL3 seems like an easy decision, youre not breaking your back with the weight if you decide to backpack. Plus extra space regardless is great

  9. #9
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    You might want to take a look at the new Tarp Tent Cloudburst 3. Three lbs. And has optional insert for full double wall functionality. Just a thought....

  10. #10

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    Well I took the plunge and ordered the BA Angel Springs UL3. I found it on sale online for $359 with a free footprint. Looking forward to trying this out with the kido and wife.

  11. #11
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    Keep us posted.

    Wayne


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  12. #12
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    Just used my angel springs for the first time this week. Pretty sweet tent. Everything is color coated making set up a breeze. Excellent ventilation with the roof vents which can be opened or closed. The vestibule is good size for 2 people and the tent has lots of netted pockets inside to store smaller gear which is nice. It only rained one night so cant say much about that other than i didnt get wet, However on the back of the fly if you have the fly guided out to far i would imagine rain could blow in with a good wind blowing. With the fly only going half way down basically the ventilation was excellent, 2 people and the dog with not a lick of condensation. Held up just fine in winds around 20-30. The material is pretty thin. I put a piece of tyvek down for the dog to sleep on so she didnt tear a hole in it. (80lb bloodhound) Overall a very well designed, functional tent. Glad to have it.

  13. #13

    Thumbs up

    Here is my follow up review of the Angel Spring UL3 that I picked up back in March of 2014. After two weekend camping trips this summer I have to say the tent has been near perfect. Let me start off by saying this thing is huge (43sqft floor space) for a tent that packs down to the size of a small cantaloupe (w/o the poles) and weighs just over 3lb total. Setup is simple but you must get the poles in the proper corners (silver to silver & gold to gold) and the center pole hub must be facing down otherwise you will have to start over (yes I started over). Practice in the backyard a time or two and you will be fine. It is completely freestanding but staking it down is recommended. There was plenty of room for two people and gear inside, you could sleep 3 but it would be tight and gear would have to be left outside. It has pockets everywhere to maximize storage options and to keep thing within reach. With the center height of 44" there was no problem sitting up or even squatting / hunching inside the tent.

    The ventilation on the tent is amazing with the two roof vents and the unique rear high wall rain fly. I never had any condensation inside the tent. The zippers run very smooth, I only had a couple of times that they got caught up (most likely my fault from a loose pitch). I feel if the tent is pitched taunt then you can operate the zippers one handed.

    Now how does it handle the rain? Well on my last trip it rained nearly the whole time. We had it all sprinkles, thunderstorms, flash flooding and 40-50mph winds. At one point there was 4" to 6" of water running around and under my tent. To my amazement nothing inside was wet. I didn't even have all the guidelines staked down.

    Picture before storm.
    Angel-Springs-UL3-1.jpg
    Picture during storm.
    Angel-Springs-UL3-2.jpg

    If you're in the market for a light weight 2 or 3 person tent give the Angel Spring UL series a hard look.

  14. #14
    Registered User Duramax22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allshookup View Post
    Here is my follow up review of the Angel Spring UL3 that I picked up back in March of 2014. After two weekend camping trips this summer I have to say the tent has been near perfect. Let me start off by saying this thing is huge (43sqft floor space) for a tent that packs down to the size of a small cantaloupe (w/o the poles) and weighs just over 3lb total. Setup is simple but you must get the poles in the proper corners (silver to silver & gold to gold) and the center pole hub must be facing down otherwise you will have to start over (yes I started over). Practice in the backyard a time or two and you will be fine. It is completely freestanding but staking it down is recommended. There was plenty of room for two people and gear inside, you could sleep 3 but it would be tight and gear would have to be left outside. It has pockets everywhere to maximize storage options and to keep thing within reach. With the center height of 44" there was no problem sitting up or even squatting / hunching inside the tent.

    The ventilation on the tent is amazing with the two roof vents and the unique rear high wall rain fly. I never had any condensation inside the tent. The zippers run very smooth, I only had a couple of times that they got caught up (most likely my fault from a loose pitch). I feel if the tent is pitched taunt then you can operate the zippers one handed.

    Now how does it handle the rain? Well on my last trip it rained nearly the whole time. We had it all sprinkles, thunderstorms, flash flooding and 40-50mph winds. At one point there was 4" to 6" of water running around and under my tent. To my amazement nothing inside was wet. I didn't even have all the guidelines staked down.

    Picture before storm.
    Angel-Springs-UL3-1.jpg
    Picture during storm.
    Angel-Springs-UL3-2.jpg

    If you're in the market for a light weight 2 or 3 person tent give the Angel Spring UL series a hard look.
    Ill second this!! I have had mine since april and its an awesome tent. No condensation or rain problems. Plenty of space and very fast and simple to set up

  15. #15
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    I now am the owner of a Copper Spur UL3 and am very pleased. I went with the copper spur because of the 2 door/ 2 vestibule design. I have used the tent on two trips now with the latest one involving 2 wet nights. I stayed dry and love the tents ease of set up and take down. So far I am very happy with this tent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Rx View Post
    I now am the owner of a Copper Spur UL3 and am very pleased. I went with the copper spur because of the 2 door/ 2 vestibule design. I have used the tent on two trips now with the latest one involving 2 wet nights. I stayed dry and love the tents ease of set up and take down. So far I am very happy with this tent.
    Do you find the floor of the Spur with attached footprint sturdy?


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    So far it has performed well and it seems to be as sturdy as any 3 person tent of comparable weight. I am careful with my site selection and I use the footprint for added protection. The footprint also doubles as protection under our neo-air pads when sleeping in a shelter. I used a Tarptent (great tent also) for a while but I do prefer the ease of set up of a free standing tent like the Copper Spur.

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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Rx View Post
    So far it has performed well and it seems to be as sturdy as any 3 person tent of comparable weight. I am careful with my site selection and I use the footprint for added protection. The footprint also doubles as protection under our neo-air pads when sleeping in a shelter. I used a Tarptent (great tent also) for a while but I do prefer the ease of set up of a free standing tent like the Copper Spur.
    Thanks for this info. Always great to hear real world use and not just reviews from The internet :-)


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  19. #19

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    Nice reviews.... I have the Copper Spur UL2 That I take with my two Australian shepherds.
    The one thing I dislike about it is the way the doors open, they fall to the ground and sort of pain to make sure they don't get stepped on by the dogs.

    I am thinking the Angel Spring UL3 might work better could use the extra room with the dogs and like the D door better one door would not be and issue and without to much of a weight penalty.

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