Gear Review: Big Agnes Copper Spur 2 Platinum

Big Agnes Copper Spur 2 Platinum Tent

Includes: Tent body, rain fly, DAC pole system, stakes, guy lines, stuff sack
Weight: 2.3 pounds
Capacity: Two-person
Floor Area: 29 square feet
Vestibule Area: 9 x 9 feet
Peak Height: 40 inches
MSRP: $600

Overview

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.

Assembly

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.

Color-coded buckle closure detail

Livable Space

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.

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.

Trying to show the increasing water levels in my apparent bowl of a campsite.

Pros

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.

Do I look haggard in this picture? I felt haggard. Regardless, here’s how roomy this tent is. Sorry, no pic of myself and my hiking partner in it. Someone had to take this flattering photo.

Cons

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.

Overall

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.

Shop the Copper Spur 2 Platinum Here

Disclosure: This item was donated for the purpose of review

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Comments 9

  • Bart : Nov 7th

    Thanks for the thorough review! I am considering buying this tent. I didn’t quite understand the issue about the stakes and the zippers, with stakes inevitable pulling out if you fully staked everything. Can you please elaborate?

    Reply
    • Bart : Nov 7th

      Could you please also tell me the length of the folded poles?

      Reply
    • Maggie Slepian : Nov 9th

      Hi Bart- Good question. I had trouble describing the zipper setup. Basically, on other tents I’ve had (like the NEMO Dagger 3P for instance) the fly is staked in two places, and it’s set up almost like a triangle. One stake is right at the zipper. The other stake is about two feet away, so the fly pulls out with a flap in the middle for easy entry/exit. On this tent, the fly is staked right next to the zipper, on both sides of the zipper. So if you have two stakes in the ground and unzip it, the bottom is still pretty much attached together, instead of leaving that space between wider-set stakes. Is this still confusing? It’s hard to describe! And the poles are about 18 inches folded up.

      Reply
  • Jenna : Dec 19th

    I am considering buying this as well. I had read a review saying the tent is see through to an extent even with the fly on. Did you find this to be true? Also is durability an issue?

    Reply
    • Maggie Slepian : Jan 15th

      Hi Jenna,

      I don’t find this tent to have issues with transparency any more than a tent of a similar size-to-weight ratio would. Durability is the only thing I’d call into question, as I am constantly getting the zipper stuck in the fly. I haven’t torn it yet (mesh or fly) but I’m super careful with it, as the material is durable, but thin. If you’re concerned about durability, I might go with a heftier model. This one will work well, but you have to be careful with it!

      Reply
  • Richard Green : Feb 6th

    Hi Maggie, thanks for your comprehensive review. It’s very helpful as there are lots of choices. My wife & I live in Ireland. We sometimes go backpacking, but our current eurohike tent weighs over 4kg! Last July we did the Rockwall Trail in the Rockies near Banff, which was magnificent. But we’re grandparents now and definitely need something lighter. We may well go for one of the Big Agnes Copper series. But although we like the look of this one & the Copper Hotel, both only seem to be in gray/orange whereas we’d prefer a more discreet green. But we’d probably go for the 3-person for extra room. Do you know if the Copper Spur 3 Platinum has the same issues with the stakes and the zippers as the Copper Spur 2 Platinum? Thanks

    Reply
    • Maggie Slepian : Feb 7th

      Hi Richard (again!),

      The CS Platinum 3 does look like it has the same zipper set up and materials as the CS Platinum 2. If you are splitting the weight of a tent, you might want to choose something a little burlier and avoid any snagging issues over long periods of time. It is only offered in this white/orange, but I didn’t find it to be too outlandish! I’ve definitely had brighter shelters. Your hikes and adventures sound wonderful, best of luck to you.

      Reply
  • Richard Green : Feb 6th

    Also, you don’t mention using a footprint, & the photos don’t seem to show one. What’s your opinion of using a footprint, especially if backpacking?

    Reply
    • Maggie Slepian : Feb 7th

      Hi Richard,

      I didn’t use a footprint for the trip during which I took photos, but overall I would recommend it. The CS Platinum is so lightweight that having a protective ground cloth will do wonders for its durability, especially on rocky or rough campsite terrain. Alternately, I usually use a sheet of Tyvek (cut to size) which is cheaper, lighter weight, and just as durable as a footprint. Let me know if you have any more questions, but yes—I would recommend a footprint or ground cloth for extended use with this tent.

      Reply

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