We were excited to try the Big Agnes Copper Spur 2 Platinum Tent on a 6-day backpacking trip in Montana’s Glacier National Park.  This tent is one of the most popular tents for backpackers, and we have seen lots of backpackers on the John Muir Trail who loved this tent.  We were not disappointed, the Copper Spur 2 Platinum is a great tent!

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The verdict

It’s not cheap, but the Copper Spur 2 Platinum Tent from Big Agnes is easily one of the best backpacking tents we’ve ever used. If you’re focused on shedding weight and keeping things as light as possible, then the Copper Spur 2 Platinum is an ideal tent for you.

Platinum Tent wtih fly on
Platinum Tent wtih fly on
Platinum Tent with Fly open
Platinum Tent with Fly open

Overview

The Big Agnes Copper Spur 2 Platinum is an ultralight, freestanding, 2-person, 3-season tent that manages to be (relatively) spacious and comfortable, lightweight and packable. It’s also easy to setup, with an easy, intuitive pole system.

When to use

Honestly, use this tent for all your backpacking trips during warmer weather.  We’d use it as long as snow/heavy winds aren’t forecast.  You are saving almost 2lbs (~1kg) off of other comparable tents, which is the real draw here.  The two vestibules make it a great tent for backpacking, as two people can have enough space to store their gear inside.

Weight

The Copper Spur 2 Platinum officially weighs 1.19 kg / 2.3 pounds (packed).  Our scale test at home confirmed this weight.

Pros

Ultra-Light + Super Packable. Despite its roomy size, the Copper Spur Platinum is very light – one of the lightest freestanding backpacking tents we’ve found. It weighs 1.19kg packed.

Quick, Freestanding Construction. Since it’s a freestanding tent, you can set this thing up faster and a less selectively than your typical ultra-light tent. Color coding on the web and the poles makes putting each pole into the right spot quickly and easily. While it does come with stakes, you don’t always need to use them.

Ample Living Space + Roominess. The Copper Spur Platinum offers 29 square feet of interior space – not huge, but just big enough for a 2-person tent. There is also another 9 square feet of vestibule space and a high 40” ceiling.   The dual vestibule is a great feature and allows both users to keep their stuff outside the tent.

Cons

Jamming Zippers. The zippers on the front of the mesh tent tend to snag. If the tent gets wet in the rain, the storm flap zippers can be particularly sticky.

Not the Most Durable. We don’t want to say this tent is not durable, but for $600, we think it could be better. Ultimately the reduced durability is the compromise for the lighter weight.  The fabric is easy to rip, and we ripped the tent bag on our first trip without using much force.  Be aware that over time users have shared that the mesh stretches and begins to wear down, and some people have reported broken poles in cold weather.  To solve this, we suggest you bring some gear tape so you can tape up any rips that happen before they expand.

Not Great for Extreme Weather. Being so light, a compromise is that this tent is not built to withstand severe weather.  For example the tent poles caved in multiple times this summer when it was windy, and we learned to tie-off tent toggles to nearby trees to keep the tent upright.  A heavier tent beside us had no issues like this.

Platinum Tent
Platinum Tent

Ultralight weight, packable size

If you’re spending $600 on a tent, you must take something about it seriously; either its ultralight weight or its 4-season build. With the Copper Spur 2 Platinum, ultralightweight is very much the main selling point.

At 1.19 kg / 2.3 pounds all in, the Copper Spur 2 isn’t the lightest tent you can find, but it is one of the lightest, freestanding,2-person tents available. That 1.19kg weight is about 170 grams less than the Copper Spur 2 HV, and 317 grams lighter than the REI Co-Op Quarter Dome, another popular 2-person freestanding tent amongst ultralight backpackers. Big Agnes’ Tiger Wall UL2 weighs about the same – 2.2 pounds – but is only semi-freestanding.

At a length of about 5” x 17” when packed, the Copper Spur 2 Platinum is reasonably sized; not the smallest or most portable, but still compact enough to fit comfortably in the bottom of your pack or strapped securely to the exterior if necessary. Even if you could find a lighter or smaller tent, this one packs a weight-to-space ratio that’s hard to beat.

Platinum setup in Glacier National Park
Platinum setup in Glacier National Park
Looking at a Moose in Glacier National Park
Looking at a Moose in Glacier National Park

Plenty of space + storage

Alongside its great space-to-weight ratio, the Copper Spur 2 packs a decent amount of interior living space – 29 square feet of floor space – we think it’s just big enough for two adults sharing, but there is not a huge amount of extra space inside once occupied.

The interior is comfortably tall, too – 40” tall. Again, not the tallest tent we’ve ever used, but still roomy enough that we don’t feel restricted or feel like we have to stoop and hunch over uncomfortably while digging around inside the tent. A little spacious comfort is always nice.

With the rainfly set up, there are another 9 square feet of vestibule space, which means plenty of room to stash your pack and boots. Big Agnes doesn’t skimp on the storage for your gear, either. They’ve included 4 interior storage pockets for stashing items – two on the ceiling and another on each side of the door. These are perfect for stashing your headlamp or anything else you need within reach (such as a hat or gloves, or a book or tablet – if you like bringing devices into the backcountry).

Tent surprising amount of space
Tent surprising amount of space
Tent using the vestible
Tent using the vestible

Quick, easy setup + freestanding construction

One of the main reasons anybody buys the Copper Spur 2 Platinum is its freestanding design. To clarify, a freestanding tent is one that doesn’t need stakes to stand on its own. The tent poles themselves are enough to support the weight.

Freestanding means quick and easy setup without the need to hammer in stakes. When you want a stable, taut floor – or the winds are howling and you need more support – you can add the stakes at your leisure; Big Agnes includes 8 of them.

The included pole design also makes for easy setup. It’s a DAC Featherlite NSL system, color-coded to match the webbing on tent corners and buckles. Lining them up, finding the right corner with matching color code and buckling them up is quick and easy. If the weather looks rough, throw the rainfly on and call it a night; pre-cut guylines and tensioners make it easy to tighten up the rainfly and keep things dry inside the tent. All the webbing around the corners and the guylines are reflective, too – so you can easily find them in the dark by the light of your headlamp.

Additionally, if you want to leave the tent doors open, Quick Stash pockets on either side (and above the door) let you quickly tuck them away.

How does the Copper Spur 2 Platinum hold up in the rain? Both the tent’s floor and the rain fly are made of durable nylon ripstop, strong enough to last long periods of heavy use. Both have been treated with 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating, which repels water and keeps the rain out. From our experiences in light rain, they do a good job at it. All the tent’s seams are taped with that same waterproof polyurethane, further enhancing its waterproof capabilities.

One thing you do need to be careful about when it rains, however, are the zippers. They tended to stick most when the fabric is wet, and can easily get caught on fabric.

Should you buy the big agnes copper spur platinum 2 tent?

We recommend the Copper Spur 2 Platinum Tent.  It’s a great backpacking tent and a good price point if you’re looking for an ultra-light tent.  The main caveat is that it is more delicate than a regular backpacking tent, so expect some tears and bring some gear tape.