Are you looking for a backpacking tent for the entire family? The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL4 provides space for your whole crew and has extra features that you don’t usually find in a backpacking tent. We love this tent!
Product: Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL4
Price: $899.00 CAD / $649.95 USD / £599.99
Pros: Family can sleep all in one tent, ultralight, easy setup, withstands rain, lots of pockets
Cons: Vestibule a bit small, poor ventilation
Worth it? Yes
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Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL4: The Verdict
We recently tested the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL4 tent and found that it’s an excellent option for family backpacking when you all want to sleep under the same roof. Even though it’s a 4-person tent, our testing family of 5 (3 children ages 5, 7, and 9) was able to fit comfortably each night we used it. Overall, we think this is a great option for a family backpacking tent.
Overview of Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL4
This backpacking tent was designed with your family in mind. It’s easy to set up with light and strong poles and gives ample space for 4 people (or 5, like our testing family). The vestibules on either end provide space to store gear, giving more space inside. Inside, the tent is designed to keep your small valuables organized in any of its many pockets. For such an ultralight backpacking tent, you get more sleep space than expected. Durable material and hardware ensure a sturdy structure in unpredictable conditions.
When to use
This tent is suitable for spring, summer, or fall when you and your family want to go into the backcountry. You’re going to need a reliable home to keep you dry and protected from the elements. The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL4 performs well in three seasons and is built with rain in mind—the vestibules keep your gear covered.
Weight + size
When packed properly, the weight of this tent can get down to 5 lbs 4 oz (2.38kg). So when you split that between the backpacks in your crew, that’s not much! Light weight is the goal, and Big Agnes delivers. You’ll have to consider the additional weight of a footprint if you take one. A footprint is not included with this tent, but we bought one to promote longevity.
Now for the measurements that you’ve been waiting for! How spacious is this tent? From its packed size of 18 x 56 cm / 7 x 22 in, we were pleased that the floor area extends to 5.3 square meters / 57 square feet. Near the middle of the tent, the peak height reaches 127 cm / 50 in. Add to that each vestibule’s area of 1.3 square meters / 14 square feet, and you’ve got a nicely-sized backpacking tent.
Super easy to set up. We were impressed with the tent’s thoughtful design with two poles that cross over and one shorter pole to maintain height through the middle. Set up was a breeze, and very fast with this tent.
Lightweight. This ultralight tent is an excellent choice for backpacking trips—divide the tent parts among your crew and keep your weight down easily.
Vestibules. We didn’t use these, however the vestibules can be turned into awnings by using your tent poles, great if you want to wait out a rainstorm or get some shade.
Withstands rainy conditions. Don’t worry about a getting caught in the rain when you’re sleeping in this tent. The vestibules give protection for your gear and the rainfly did its job and kept everybody inside dry. We got caught in some wet conditions on our trip, and this tent performed well and kept us and our gear dry.
Small vestibule. Not a barrier necessarily, but the vestibules could be slightly larger to accommodate at least two people hanging out underneath.
Mediocre ventilation. We noticed a significant accumulation of condensation in the tent, more so then we expected. While we unzipped the top of the zippers at night to promote air circulation, we still had condensation. This is not a deal-breaker for us, and on nice evenings we leave one vestibule unzipped to solve this issue.
Structure + stability
The Big Agnes HV UL4 is built to withstand tough backcountry conditions. With its freestanding design and sturdy materials, you can trust this tent’s structure in three-season conditions. It kept us dry during some unexpected showers. The rainfly attachment fastens securely to the tent with its TipLok Tent Buckle™ system. The fabric used for the Big Agnes HV UL4 is waterproof and puncture-resistant nylon with added reflective features to help you find it in the dark. It includes 10 aluminum J stakes, but we purchased extra pegs to secure it on our Rockies backpacking trip. If you’re heading out somewhere quite windy, consider getting more stakes for some extra security.
Storage + internal attachments
Pockets are arguably one of the greatest inventions in fashion, and this applies to tents as well. It’s a nuisance when you don’t have a place to stash the small stuff, and it ends up lost in the tent’s corners, and it will likely be dewy in the morning. That’s not the case with the Big Agnes HV UL4. We were pleasantly surprised by the number of pockets! Find several places to stash your belongings in the lifted pocket, which creates off-the-floor storage. A large ceiling pocket offers more storage space, and the tent is equipped with media pockets with routing for your headphones. Several interior loops give you options to attach accessories like camp lights or headlamp.
Vestibule shelter + function
One of the downsides to camping in the backcountry is wet conditions—but we all know how unpredictable mountain weather can be. The Big Agnes HV UL4 solves these trying times with its vestibule features. Prop the vestibules up with the included poles to expand the covered living space, protecting you and your gear from rain, or even use it as a shady respite on a hot day. We liked this function and ended up using one vestibule to stash our gear and the other as the main tent door. In our opinion, the vestibules could be slightly bigger, but the size was definitely not a deal-breaker. The dual zippers make entry and exit a breeze, and the vestibules performed well in the rain. Big Agnes has fashioned the tent with waterproof seams to ensure you and your gear always stay dry.
Should you buy the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL4?
Our testing family was very happy with the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL4, and also use it for shorter car camping trips, when they want a fast setup and small packed size.
If you’re in the market for a stable tent that can house your family of 4 (or 5, like ours), we recommend this backpacking tent. You can use it for three seasons and trust its protection from rainy or windy conditions. The vestibules are an awesome feature that not many backpacking tents have. Once you experience backcountry life with vestibules, you won’t want to go back!