Gear Review: Big Agnes Copper Spur 2 Platinum
Includes: Tent body, rain fly, DAC pole system, stakes, guy lines, stuff sack
Weight: 2.3 pounds
Floor Area: 29 square feet
Vestibule Area: 9 x 9 feet
Peak Height: 40 inches
The Copper Spur UL2 Platinum is one of the lightest freestanding two-person tents on the market. With two doors, smart use of pole setup, and the lightest materials available, this is an ideal tent for hikers looking for an easy freestanding tent without sacrificing weight or livable space. This tent is easy to set up and pull tight, with large vestibules and ample shoulder room. Many of the features (buckles closures for tightening, spacious pole set up, dual entries) are typically only found in heavier tents, but the CS Platinum is proof that sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too.
Note: The original Copper Spur is also available for $450. I have the “Platinum” edition, which weighs seven ounces less and is two inches longer.
Dimensions & Details
Floor Area: 29 square feet (90 inches long, 52 inches wide at widest point)
Vestibule Area: 9×9 feet
Peak Height: 40 inches
Doors: Two. One on either side
Poles: Two. One main pole system, one separate spreader pole
Material: Tent is polyester mesh, fly is ripstop nylon, poles are DAC Featherlite Aluminum
Circumstances of Use
Multiple overnight and backpacking trips in Montana, Wyoming, and the Sierra, in moderate conditions.
The tent is easy to assemble (even for me!) thanks to a classic shape and color-coding on the webbing and poles. Ok, mostly thanks to the color coding. It was raining when I first set it up (of course) and I was worried about the inside getting wet, but the fly is easy to throw over the tent body, and it all comes together seamlessly.
The tent body and fly connect with color-coded buckle closures (below). It’s super secure, and the tough webbing means the fly is idiot-proof to tighten. These are probably my favorite attachment systems of any tents I’ve tested.
I spent half my trips solo in this tent, and half with a hiking partner. I usually feel that a two-person tent is for one person, and a three-person tent is for two people. The CS Platinum might be an exception though—it’s wide and tall, and when we both sat up, we didn’t hit the tent walls or have to take turns shrugging in and out of clothes. And since the fly is so easy to tighten, we didn’t have major issues with condensation.
The pockets are roomy, and I stuck my headlamp, earplugs, and Kindle (always) without an issue. It has a “quick stash” area to tuck the tent doors up and out of the way for relaxing at camp, which was nice for days I got to camp early and wanted to relax without being zipped in.
I’m not sure about the zipper locations on the fly. Both sides are staked at the zipper, which made it challenging to clamber in and out of. In other tents I’ve used and tested, one side is staked at the zipper, and the other is in the middle of the fly, creating a triangular flap to crawl in and out of. The first few times I staked both sides to keep it taut, but kept popping the stake out during entry/exit. I eventually just staked one side of the fly, which worked fine, but meant the fly was less taut than it could have been.
Once year into using it, the durability has proven an issue. The lightweight mesh has torn in several spots, and on my 2nd trip of the season, the fly snagged on a twig, and when I went to flick it off, the fly ripped 18 inches from the bottom towards the zipper. If you choose an item with this much weight savings, definitely be super careful to avoid snags and abrupt movements. It’s a tradeoff, for sure.
Weatherproof as Heck
A few nights in the Sierra just dumped rain, with absolutely no soil drainage to be found. I was floating around in six inches of water, but the floor stayed entirely dry. Even though the fly was slamming into the tent body from rain/hail (nice!), it never saturated. The tent dried quickly the next day, which was also a blessing. Be aware though, when the fly gets wet, it’s really easy to get the zipper caught.
The space-to-weight ratio on this tent is pretty epic. Big Agnes has pared down the freestanding tent model and done an impeccable job utilizing the materials to give this tent the most livable space for the weight. The poles are light and strong, and the stakes are so light I didn’t realize they were in the bag. It’s durable, weather-proof, and easy as heck to set up and break down.
The lightweight fabric snags in the zipper when it gets wet, and the location of the zipper/stakes on the fly mean an awkward entry and exit from the tent. It’s also a higher price-point, which might be a turnoff for some people. The durability is an issue as well, but that’s to be expected with such a lightweight piece of gear.
For people looking for lighter gear, but still craving space and comfort, this tent is a terrific option. At 2.3 pounds, this is something I would carry on my own, but it’s also easy to split up and between two people. With the roomy interior, two doors, and sleek design, this is a tent that will live on in popularity and continue to hold Big Agnes’s corner of the market for long-distance backpacking tents.
Disclosure: This item was donated for the purpose of review
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