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  1. #1
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    Default Big Agnes UL3 :(

    After less then 3 months hiking the A.T. in a new Big Agnes UL3 Copper Spur...........it is being sent back. Nothing but issues from this tent. From the floor soaking up water and getting everything wet, the fly "spitting" water on us at night, HEAVY condensation - with only two people in it, the condensation rips from the fly - then onto the grey nylon - then down to the seem of the tub - then follows the UNSEALED seam at the tub - into the inside of the tent tub! (I used Seam Grip to seal this seam all the way around te tent................. and (even while babying this junk tent) holes forming in the mesh. I can't stand this tent!
    Other hikers have been having the same issues out of their Copper Spur 2 and Fly Creek 2.

    I will save you the long stories, and details. But Big Agnes was contacted, and they tried to help.....but in the end.....the tent needs major improvement.

    In the end, without hesitation, BackCountry.com took back the tent, and are sending a MSR Mutha Hubba NX3 to me. This was the tent I was going to originally buy, but - regretfully - I gave the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 a try.

  2. #2
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    Default

    *drips, not rips

  3. #3
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    I've owned two Kelty tents (Vortex,Gunnisson) and two Big Agnes (Lynx Pass, Copper Spur 2).
    I don't do much hiking in bad weather, so I can't really compare the tents in wet conditions.
    But in general, my Big Agnes tents seem to be way more prone to condensation than the kelty tents. I can't say for sure, but to me, it seems to be something about the material.

    Take, for example, the 1st time I used the Lynx Pass. If you do a google image search, you will see that you can use a pair of poles to make something of a front porch cover with the rain fly. In the morning, the underside of this awning was loaded with condensation. I wiped the condensation off, and 15 minutes later, there was more condensation on it.

    Now just about all my hiking is done in the humid GSMNP. But I generally don't have a condensation issue with my kelty tents, but I seem to ALWAYS wake with condensation on the Big Agnes tents.

  4. #4

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    I think the Copper Spur is overrated and overpriced. I had a Copper Spur 1 which I wound up returning before its first use. My first impression was that it seemed incredibly fragile. What sealed the deal (specifically, the return box) was that the tent was one of the few that was advertised at a 90 inch length. (I'm 6'2"). When I set it was more like 83 inches. I called Big Agnes and was told that the 90 inch length was measured stake point to stake point - that's right, they measure the internal dimensions from outside the tent. I replaced it with a Marmot Pulsar 1P. I paid a weight penalty, but I love the tent. I'm not forced to baby it and thanks to the end wall design, I fit in it. If I wanted to go ultralight, I'd look at some of the smaller manufacturers.

  5. #5
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Default

    I knew there was a reason why BA tents did not sit right with me. I did not like the looks of various bits and pieces. I am glad that I walked past a 25% off sale today.

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  6. #6
    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    I borrowed a friend's Fly Creek UL1 for a few trips and hated the thing. It was flimsy, I got the impression that the floor material wasn't much tougher than the thin side walls of the tent. I also agree that it was smaller than advertised and felt like sleeping in a coffin. Plus the front entry was terrible for a tent with such a low ceiling. I couldn't sit fully upright in it and couldn't get in or out without hitting my head on the ceiling. Objectively it was a passable but very mediocre tent, but what really pisses me off is that it is so overpriced, I am amazed that so many people (like my friend) were actually paying $330 for the thing.

    I ended up picking up a Tarptent for substantially less money that was roomier inside and was just as light.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  7. #7
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore View Post
    What sealed the deal (specifically, the return box) was that the tent was one of the few that was advertised at a 90 inch length. (I'm 6'2"). When I set it was more like 83 inches.
    All the tent manufacturers do that to one extent or another.

    For example, I considered the Mountain Hardware Drifter 3 for me and my boys. It is quoted at 66" wide. I have a 25" wide NeoAir (which many say is actually 23" when inflated) and my boys have ProLite at 20". So the three pads should only be about 64" wide (maybe only 63" if you turn the middle one and take advantage of the mummy shape of all three pads). But when I tried, it was totally impossible to get those three pads inside the tent without MAJOR overlap (even though the spec should have allowed them to be touching and still have 2" to spare).

  8. #8
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    Gotta love Backcountry.com

  9. #9
    Registered User Solitude501's Avatar
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    I have this tent and have been pleased with its performance. Yes, it will condensate on the outside layer, but I haven't had the drip or leak problems. I found that if you use all the tie outs to keep the outer layer from touching the inner layer and you open the vents with a stick, it helps with the condensation. I also purchased the ground tarp and have had no water leakage. It is an ultralight tent, which means to save weight it will be allittle more fragile than heavier Kelty Tents. Sorry, you didn't like yours.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore View Post
    I think the Copper Spur is overrated and overpriced. I had a Copper Spur 1 which I wound up returning before its first use. My first impression was that it seemed incredibly fragile. What sealed the deal (specifically, the return box) was that the tent was one of the few that was advertised at a 90 inch length. (I'm 6'2"). When I set it was more like 83 inches. I called Big Agnes and was told that the 90 inch length was measured stake point to stake point - that's right, they measure the internal dimensions from outside the tent. I replaced it with a Marmot Pulsar 1P. I paid a weight penalty, but I love the tent. I'm not forced to baby it and thanks to the end wall design, I fit in it. If I wanted to go ultralight, I'd look at some of the smaller manufacturers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    I borrowed a friend's Fly Creek UL1 for a few trips and hated the thing. It was flimsy, I got the impression that the floor material wasn't much tougher than the thin side walls of the tent. I also agree that it was smaller than advertised and felt like sleeping in a coffin. Plus the front entry was terrible for a tent with such a low ceiling. I couldn't sit fully upright in it and couldn't get in or out without hitting my head on the ceiling. Objectively it was a passable but very mediocre tent, but what really pisses me off is that it is so overpriced, I am amazed that so many people (like my friend) were actually paying $330 for the thing.

    I ended up picking up a Tarptent for substantially less money that was roomier inside and was just as light.
    I agree with the over pricing of this item, and the only thing I can think of driving this is supply and demand, of which I added to...so far happy with my copper spur UL1. I think the big appeal for many has been it's weight, and that it's free standing. Ultra light doesn't just mean ultra light weight, it means ultra thin/light gauge materials respectively, you can't have one without the other.

  11. #11

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    Oops...forgot to say. If the prices don't come down on this item in the future and if and when I'm ready to buy another tent...I'll likely not duplicate this purchase, I think there's better options for the money.

  12. #12
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongway_08 View Post
    After less then 3 months hiking the A.T. in a new Big Agnes UL3 Copper Spur...........it is being sent back. Nothing but issues from this tent. From the floor soaking up water and getting everything wet, the fly "spitting" water on us at night, HEAVY condensation - with only two people in it, the condensation rips from the fly - then onto the grey nylon - then down to the seem of the tub - then follows the UNSEALED seam at the tub - into the inside of the tent tub! (I used Seam Grip to seal this seam all the way around te tent................. and (even while babying this junk tent) holes forming in the mesh. I can't stand this tent!
    Other hikers have been having the same issues out of their Copper Spur 2 and Fly Creek 2.
    Funny, in my circle of experienced hikers, about a dozen folks, all but a couple/few of us own and use BA tents and none of us have any of those problems. Or course, we're talking out west in my case, but my BA Fly Creek UL2 performed perfectly for me in 1350 AT miles, and it's "flimsy" construction is going strong after at least 100 nights use. It's all about expectations and experience maybe.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Funny, in my circle of experienced hikers, about a dozen folks, all but a couple/few of us own and use BA tents and none of us have any of those problems. Or course, we're talking out west in my case, but my BA Fly Creek UL2 performed perfectly for me in 1350 AT miles, and it's "flimsy" construction is going strong after at least 100 nights use. It's all about expectations and experience maybe.
    You wouldnt happen to be the Rob that works in BA Cust Service would you?

    Haha. I have a Fly Creek UL2 and the platinum, no complaints so far although I prefer my Tarptent or one of my Hillebergs.
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  14. #14
    Registered User Ktaadn's Avatar
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    I own 3 Big Agnes tents and don't have a complaint about any of them. Sure, the UL tent is made of thinner/weaker materials, but that has to be assumed.

  15. #15

    Default I have had great luck with the Angel Spring UL3

    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 & fall here in Texas 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.
    Attachment 28621
    Picture during storm.
    Attachment 28623

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

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