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BA tent comparison
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Doug Smith
(Jedi5150) - F

Locale: Central CA
BA tent comparison on 05/26/2012 13:39:20 MDT Print View

Hello all, I'm looking for a comparison of the 1 person tents by Big Agnes (as well as others you might suggest). In specific, I'm concerned about floor material. For a heavier car camping or winter tents I like footprints. I just don't see the point of getting an ultralight tent if it's so light you need an extra layer of cloth under the bottom.

I'm looking for a lightweight tent for 1 person (5'10", 170 lbs) and a dog (60 lbs). It will be for summer use in the Sierras. It needs to be able to handle dog toenails and rough ground without a footprint.

So the specific models I'm comparing are the Lynx Pass 1 and the Copper Spur 1 (not a fan of the Fly Creek head opening and corner staking design). Another tent I'm considering is the REI Passage 1. All three of these appear large enough to barely fit me and my dog. I'm really trying to avoid carrying a 2 person tent. I'd probably be willing to carry the weight of the Copper Spur 2, but I'm still sceptical of the Copper Spur line's floor material for use without a footprint.

I'm interested in other suggestions as well, but please nothing that requires trekking poles (I don't carry them), and I'm mostly interested in "free standing" designs. I like the design of the three tents I've mentioned, but I'd love to hear about experience with the floor material durability in specific.

Edited by Jedi5150 on 05/26/2012 13:41:08 MDT.

Christopher Kuzak
Kilo? on 05/26/2012 18:50:38 MDT Print View

Might be able to fit a dog under the vestibule of the Kilo 1p.

Doug Smith
(Jedi5150) - F

Locale: Central CA
Re: Kilo? on 05/26/2012 18:53:44 MDT Print View

Unfortunately she's spoiled, and refuses to sleep in the vestibule. :) But thanks for the suggestion, I checked it out.

Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Re: BA tent comparison on 05/26/2012 20:22:15 MDT Print View

Will a person and 60lb dog fit in a one person tent? A 60lb dog isn't exactly small!

Doug Smith
(Jedi5150) - F

Locale: Central CA
Re: Re: BA tent comparison on 05/26/2012 20:28:20 MDT Print View

Not in some of them Ben. For instance I tried in my MSR Hubba, and it was a no-go. The Hubba is simply too coffin shaped and narrow. But judging from the dimensions of some of these tents (90" x40"), it should work fine. She curls up in a ball. We've slept often in 2 person tents and it's simply a huge waste of space. For comfort and or warmth, she likes to be touching anyways, so we fill up about 1/2 the tent space.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - F

Locale: Mountains
Copper Spur 1 on 05/26/2012 20:45:53 MDT Print View

The only way my 70lb dog would have fit in the Copper Spur 1 I owned is sleeping in top of me. There's more space than the Hubba, but not that much.

I have taken him in a Copper Spur 3. I wasn't convinced that the floor would withstand his claws, so I added a second layer using hardwood floor underlay.

I switched from BA to a Hilleberg Akto, briefly, and that might have been doable given the non-rectangular footprint of the inner tent, but his legs would have been on top of my bag.

Now my 4-legged backcountry buddy will stay with me in my TrailStar or DuoMid. More space, less weight. You don't have to use trekking poles for these shelters, there are alternatives.

Edited by lotuseater on 05/26/2012 20:52:04 MDT.

Donis Jeffs

Locale: PNW
Re: BA tent comparison on 05/26/2012 21:32:00 MDT Print View

I have a Lynx Pass 1 and the floor material seems pretty durable. I've had my dog sleep with me on multiple occasions and don't notice any damage but he's only 20 lbs. I still bought the footprint so I can always go with the fly/footprint pitch option and leave the tent body at home if I want. Cut's down on weight if you're reasonably sure you won't have bugs...I also have a SMD Skyscape Scout that I use if I want to go a little lighter. I wouldn't want to try to fit a 60 lb dog in that, though.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
l p big dog FS tent on 05/27/2012 12:41:31 MDT Print View

That REI tent is a nice design, similar to its original Quarter Dome, but 4 lbs?
There were 1p FS tents under 4 lbs around 30 years ago.

Figuring that a lighter 2012 model CS 1 floor averages a little under under 3' by 7.5', so is well under 3 sq. yds, you could make a footprint from 3 yds of 3000 mm HH silnylon from T-H, and still be well under 3 lbs. Or you could do the same thing with the 1 oz black or 1.43 oz OD Cuben from Zpacks, only much more expensive, with the same result. Even a footprint from the 2 oz. Tyvek available from Zpacks and other vendors would not take you much over 3 lbs.

Sounds like you just don't like footprints, regardless of weight. You could use the above materials to make a floor cover to go inside the tent. The best way to make it stay in place without permanent bonding - that would take some thought. Maybe some stick-on thin Velcro patches. The Cuben or the Tyvek would be less likely to bunch up. If you choose the heavier weight Cuben (heavy only in terms of Cuben), would love to know how it holds up to Fido.

Caveat: In the past, BA weights given for tents have been lower than actual. Don't know if they've gotten over that or not.

Edited by scfhome on 05/27/2012 12:43:57 MDT.

Doug Smith
(Jedi5150) - F

Locale: Central CA
RE: BA tents on 05/27/2012 14:36:32 MDT Print View

Thanks for the continued feedback guys. Samuel, you make a good point that footprints don't have to be heavy. Maybe I'm sweating over the light floor+ footprint issue too much.

Stuart, I'm aware that you can use replacement poles instead of trekking poles with those styles of shelters. But to my way of thinking (perhaps I'm way off base), by the time you get a duomid, plus inner tent (full bug and creepycrawlie protection is a must for me), and replacement poles, you are getting pretty darn close to the UL 2 person tent weight. And the traditional UL tents seem much easier to set up...

Jennifer McFarlane
(JennyMcFarlane) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
BA tents on 05/27/2012 14:50:10 MDT Print View

I used to be concerned about that too.
We've used a couple of BA tents without the footprints. We have them, we just don't backpack with them.
The Copper Spur and the newer Flycreek 3 have not had any floor issues.
We have switched to two Tarptent tents- a 4 person Hogback if the dog is coming and the smaller Rainshadow if it is just my husband, son and me. No issues with those floors either.

Andy Chasse'

Locale: The Front Range
Seedhouse on 05/27/2012 14:53:04 MDT Print View

I know this isn't one of the tents you're asking about, but it being BA I assume the floor is of similar durability. My Seedhouse SL1 floor has held up fine on the sometimes rough southwest ground with a 50lb border collie that's always moving around. I don't see any need to use a footprint. It's a little tight inside, but otherwise works fine for us.

Doug Smith
(Jedi5150) - F

Locale: Central CA
Re: Seedhouse on 05/27/2012 17:40:00 MDT Print View

Jennifer and Andy, thanks for the updates. That increases my confidence in the floor material. I really like the looks, weight and stats of the Copper Spur tents (1 and 2). The floor was the biggest thing holding me back.

This tent will serve the role of a summer tent. I have other tents that are much better at cold weather, so to be honest, a few small holes or minor damage in the floor would not be a big deal even if it did happen. If the weather doesn't look great, I won't be using this tent anyways. In fact, I doubt I'll hardly ever even pack the fly with me.

Edited by Jedi5150 on 05/27/2012 17:42:25 MDT.

Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
just a thought on 05/27/2012 20:19:07 MDT Print View

You could grab a eureka spitfire 1 for under 100 bucks, it weighs less than the CS at a fraction of the price. Plenty of room for a dog to curl up, plus gear storage in the nose and vestibule.

David Affleck
BA published weight vs actual... on 05/28/2012 09:29:14 MDT Print View

"Caveat: In the past, BA weights given for tents have been lower than actual. Don't know if they've gotten over that or not."

FWIW... I just got a new Copper Spur UL2, the package was waiting on the porch when I got home last night.

Every published spec I had seen on the CS UL2 had the packed weight listed at 3lb 13oz. But, the hang tag on my new tent, which has all the CS models listed, shows the packed weight at 3lb 7oz. I put it on my certified digital postal scale and it does in fact weigh only 3lb 7.5oz - with everything that came with it including all the cardboard tags, instructions etc. A nice surprise!

Haven't had a chance to even open the stuff sack to look at it yet. Hoping to find time to set it up in the backyard later today though and put two sleeping pads inside for a look see.

- Dave

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
tent floors and dogs on 05/28/2012 09:40:24 MDT Print View

I have had no problems with silnylon tent floors (mostly in Tarptents) and my dog (70-lb. mostly Lab). I never have used a footprint, either. I do keep my dog's claws cut as short as possible, trimming them every 2 weeks. Even during the year and a half in which I tried to squeeze the two of us into a Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo with the lighter weight floor, I never had an issue with the floor. My main issue is keeping him off my insulated air pad and my pricey down sleeping bag!

The main problem with squeezing the equivalent of two people into a one person tent is condensation. The ventilation of any solo tent is designed for one person, not two, so it's going to be wetter inside. That's why I prefer a two-person tent for my dog and me.