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Review: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL4

If you’ve ever wondered about the orange tent you see in our camping posts, today’s your lucky day!

With the rain fly on

It’s the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL4, a four-person, three-season tent. It was my birthday gift in November, 2012, and it remains, hands-down, my favorite piece of camping equipment.

Living in Texas, I wanted a tent that would allow the breeze to flow and stars to dazzle me. I also wanted a tent that was big enough for my tall husband to sleep in comfortably. With two doors, spacious vestibules and considerable height, this tent has proven absolutely perfect for me.

Rain fly removed

I give the tent a five-star review on Trailspace.com, so be sure to check out all the details there. I talk ease of setup, stability, weather resistance, ventilation, spaciousness, packability and more. I also point out a couple of minor design flaws — nothing is perfect, after all!

Here’s the review:

This lightweight four-person, three-season tent is great for all campers, from families to backpackers. With a durable design, spacious interior and plenty of mesh for ventilation and stargazing, this tent is a solid choice.


  • Lightweight
  • Two entrances
  • Sturdy
  • Spacious vestibules
  • Lots of interior storage


  • Awkward pole design

I bought this tent in November, 2012, hoping it would be my dream tent—and it has not disappointed. The Big Agnes Copper Spur UL4 is a lightweight, three-season, four-person tent that is built to last.


The Copper Spur sets up quickly, if you know what you’re doing. The majority of the tent is held up by a spidery all-in-one double-hub pole system that can get a little confusing. Several times I have assembled it 90 degrees off. Once you’ve practiced, though, putting it together is a cinch.

There are two awkward parts of the design: the contortion required to affix the velcro straps on the bottom of the rain fly to the poles, and the short cross pole on top of the tent. This pole sticks out above the door to create a spacious vestibule, but if you’re not using the rain fly, it’s really easy to stand up and hit your head on the end of this pole. I’m not a tall person, and I’ve done it several times.


This tent has withstood serious wind and a raging thunderstorm with no problem—even without the guy lines staked down. When taut and all flaps are closed, this thing is as tight as a ship. I have never camped with it in the snow, but it has never let me down.


Probably because of all the mesh, I’ve never had any trouble with condensation. If it were to become an issue, the tent has two doors, creating a nice cross-breeze. The mesh and double door setup is the main reason I bought the tent; I live in Texas, so I needed a shelter that would keep me cool in the hot months. It has done just that, while also keeping me warm in the winter.


This tent can sleep four adults relatively comfortably at 96 by 86 inches. The vestibules outside each of the doors total 27 square feet and offer ample space for packs and supplies, and the height of the tent, at 50 inches, provides ample headroom. There are enough interior pockets for all four campers to have two each.


When your camping trip is over and it’s time to put away the Copper Spur, you’ll find that it packs down to the size you’d expect for a lightweight tent — 6.5 x 21.5 inches. It goes easily back into the stuff sack, and the packaged weight is up to 5 lbs 12 oz with a minimum trail weight of 5 lbs 5 oz.

For me, where this tent really shines is in clear weather. The all-mesh ceiling makes for amazing stargazing from the comfort of your sleep sack, and the breeze is able to penetrate enough to keep the air from feeling stale.

If you’re looking for a great, durable, spacious four-person tent that is adjustable to many camping needs, I highly recommend the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL4.

Do you have a favorite piece of equipment? What qualities do you look for in a tent? Let me know in the comments.

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