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Reader Reviews

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Big Agnes SL3

in Shelters - Double Wall Tents

Average Rating
4.50 / 5 (4 reviews)

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evan parsons
( freestyleparsons )

Dowtown LA
Big Agnes SL3 on 02/26/2007 20:56:53 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I love this tent. I have it on the side for those occasions that UL is outweighed by some other deciding factor, such as my girlfriend and her dogs coming along, or perhaps a camping trip thats based around something else like serfing or riding.

It is increadibly versitile and carries no complaints from me. With the inner body being maade completly of mesh, except of course the floor, it is very ventilated. large vestibule and an interesting option that I have not tried yet, the "fast fly" rig, where you leave the body at home and simply pitch the rain fly over the ground sheet.

So if you're looking for a very high performance tent that does it all this is it.

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Doug Johnson
( djohnson - M )

Washington State
Big Agnes SL3 on 02/27/2007 17:25:51 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I'm not so enthusiastic about this tent. Here's my review: Big Agnes SL3 review.

I found the sizing to be comfortable for 2 people but very tight for 3. Also the door is rather low, the vestible is on the small side, and the rain flap was easily damaged. It also lacks a vent which leads to excessive humidity and condensation in the tent.

On the plus side, it has great usable space due to the third pole, is easy to set up, and is a brilliant escape from bugs while still having the best views around.

Good overall but if you want a 3 person tent, you might want something bigger.

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Michael Davis
( mad777 )

South Florida
Perfect summer dbl. wall tent on 09/18/2008 19:47:10 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

While there's no tent that works for all purposes in all environments, IMO this is the perfect tent for summer, or year round in Florida. It's a free standing, double wall tent, but the inner tent is 100% noseeum mesh; perfect for stargazing on those still humid nights. The outer fly can be set up to provide ventilation almost all around the perimeter and the top of the door can be left cracked open, in all but driving rain, to create a top vent.

While this is advertised by Big Agnes as a 3 person tent, forget it unless it's one adult and two small kids. However, at this weight, 4 lbs, 2.4 oz including stuff sacks (no stakes), this is a very lightweight 2 person tent that is full featured.

The floor dimensions, as measured by me, are 87" length by 49" wide at rear, 71" wide at middle and 57" wide at front. It is 46" tall. This is a very roomy tent. The vestibule is just big enough for a couple of packs and shoes but tightly. However, with so much room inside, your gear can be brought in with you. The walls on the Seedhouse SL3 are nearly vertical, making that large floor area really usable.

Three stakes will secure this tent but to open up the bottom for ventilation you need 7. The tent has 11 tie-out points in the fly if the weather requires it. It sheds wind well. The inner net tent has 6 additional stake points. The tent comes with 13 aluminum stakes, which I replaced with titanium ones (hopeless gear-head). Again, I never use more than 7 stakes.

I am 6'2" tall and this tent allows me to stretch out with a long size sleeping bag. I can get a pull-over on while sitting up without touching the ceiling. It is luxurious!

Another characteristic of this tent that I like is that it's overall footprint isn't overly large for it's floor area. The measured floor area is 37 sq. ft. with an additional 10 sq. ft. vestibule for a total footprint of 47 sq. ft. This is an advantage when camping in heavily forrested areas.

There are many two person backpacking tents on the market but my research shows that most of them that approach this floor area, have a footprint upwards of 60 sq. ft. and the ones with footprints comparable to the Seedhouse SL3, won't fit two people comfortably nor accomodate my long body. As a bonus, most free standing, two person backpacking tents weigh at least a pound more.

The only negative thing I have to say about this tent is that it takes up a lot of room in your pack (21"x7"). Don't get me wrong, it's not a tent for an expedition up Everest nor is it as light as a tarp & bivy, but benefits per pound of this tent are hard to match!

I give it an unreserved 5.

Edited by mad777 on 09/23/2008 04:17:40 MDT.

Paul Morrison
( 8632paul )
Luxury for Two on 07/15/2010 13:54:32 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

The Big Agnes SL3 has been a great addition to the tent collection. I agree with what others have said, it is not a tent for three adults, but would work with a couple and a younger child for sure. We use it for a two person and have room to bring some gear like extra clothes and my cameras, inside. The vestibule could be larger but at this low weight and large interior size, I guess something had to give a little. Once we have the food bag stored a safe distance from the tent, the extra things inside, there really isn't much left in our packs, so they easily fit in the vestibule anyway. So far the lightweight fabric has been fine with no damage after nearly two summers. The tent is VERY easy to set up and does so in about two or three minutes. Packed size isn't a small as it might be but splitting the tent between two works nicely. Although I wish the tent had a vent up high you can open the top of the vestibule door to allow moisture to escape. If there is any breeze at all, the mesh tent body gives excellent ventilation. The tent is extremely stable in high winds, vastly more so than most other tents this light. I like the reflecting material in the guy lines and tie down points for nighttime viz. The pegs are super strong and effective, but I live in fear of stubbing a toe on one! Sharp corners. All in all, the Big Agnes SL3 has been a revelation for us. I am very close to buying the Fly Creek UL2 based on our positive experiences with the Seedhouse SL3.

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