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Reader Reviews

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Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2

in Shelters - Double Wall Tents

Average Rating
4.13 / 5 (8 reviews)

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Johnny Gish
( jtgish )

Coppell, Texas
Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 on 04/06/2007 21:58:07 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

At only 2lbs. 14ozs. this is a very light double wall tent. I loved the all mesh walls which helps with ventilation and I never experienced condensation, but there were a few problems I had.
Unless the fly is on, clipped and guyed out the sidewalls of the tent body hang too narrow(not sure thats the right word) but they are too close to my bag. You can guy out the side walls without the fly but if you need to put the fly on the you have to remove the guylines.
The clips for attaching the fly to the tent body are darn near impossible to attach. I hate them.
Overall, it is one of the best and lightest double wall tents on the market.

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Doug Johnson
( djohnson - M )

Washington State
Big Agnes SL2 on 04/07/2007 00:15:49 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

BPL has the following reviews related to this tent:
* Double Wall Tent Review Summary
*Older model Big Agnes SL2 review
* current model Big Agnes SL3 review

I totally agree with JT that this is a great tent. I also agree about the tent being undersized and having problems with the walls sagging inward a bit. And 28 sq. ft. is about the size of a tight mountaineering tent and I found the saggy walls to make the tent feel very cramped for 2 (but quite comfy for 1).

The tent also has a very small vestibule and no vent at the top. But it is light (although I found the SL3 to be about 3 oz heavier on the trail than the mfr claim). Still, a solid tent and well designed. On the upside, with the fly off the Seedhouse SL tents offer the best views of any tent I've ever used.

If you're looking for more interior space, the ~4 lb SL3 makes a nicely sized 2 person tent (but a cramped 3 person tent). Either way, both the SL2 and SL3 are very light for their class but also very small.

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Kim Grant
( Kimberlymae )
Seehouse SL1 on 05/07/2007 14:03:35 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Should have been posted to SL1 thread. Sorry.

I am a 130lb woman and am forced simply by my stature to keep my pack as light as possible.

Headroom: Excellent. I can sit upright with some extra head clearance.

Interior floor space: Excellent: ample enough for me, my bag & pad, and my pack. In a pinch, this tent sleeps two.

Vestibule: Nearly useless for using as sheltered space for my bag or cooking, let alone at the same time! Only serves as a covered place to put my shoes and to keep out the rain. On balance, vestibule size is not an important feature for me.

Footprint: PITA. Wish I'd gotten a tarp in lieu of.

Venting: Excelent. With all that mesh, it's hard to imagine a place where condensation could build up!

Weight: Excellent. At last check, I think it was the lightest single tent on the market.

Ease of putting up: Excellent. I've used easier, I can't say I have any complaints about this one.

Wind and rain protection: Excellent with the rain fly. NOT a winter tent. Tent is nearly 100% mesh, so it's more like a bivy with a mosquitoe protecting dome. ;-)

Edited by Kimberlymae on 05/07/2007 14:42:03 MDT.

Margaret Snyder
( jetcash )

Southern Arizona
Very good 1st lightweight tent. on 08/21/2008 10:30:25 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I primarily use the body of the seedhouse in fair weather when the mosquitoes are voracious. Recently I used the whole setup in Glacier NP on a windy ridgetop. I employed all the guylines and got it drum tight. Unfortunately my campmate didn't do the same and his flapping tent woke me up repeatedly in fear that my fly was taking to the skies. The seedhouse shed wind and a light thundershower with aplomb and kept 2 of us warm and dry.

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Raymond Estrella
( rayestrella - M )

Northern Minnesota
My all-time favorite tent on 02/16/2009 15:37:40 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I bought one of the first Seedhouse SL2s in 2004. Last year I bought the new, lighter version pairing it with carbon fiber poles and Ti stakes to make a total weight package of 2 lb 15 oz (1.33 kg). I use it as a solo tent. Two people in it is doable but not very fun.

The vestibule is quite small, I just store my boots in it. I can cook in it but have to be very careful. As I use it solo I have plenty of room to bring my pack inside the tent.

It has seen plenty of Sierra afternoon thunderstorms and a few snow storms. It has never leaked. Condensation is not usually a problem in the tent. But I have had heavy condensation build up on the inside of the fly that was then knocked free by wind or falling pine cones and twigs. The falling drops will hit the mesh and push through, falling on me as tiny droplets, much like a fine mist.

But I really like leaving the fly off and being able to look at the stars at night. It is almost as nice as the sleep-on-the-ground days of my youth without the bugs and creepy-crawlies. I used it this way on every night but one this year. I do always keep the fly ready for a fast deployment though.

I have learned to use the extra guy-out points as they add a lot of strength to the tent. With the way the center ridge pole runs it leaves the tent susceptible to winds that come in from the sides. It is best to always set the Seedhouse with the foot placed into the wind but sometimes the wind will shift on me. When it hits the flat side it can cave the side in if the wind is heavy enough. I spent one very windy November night at about 10,000 ft (3048 m) holding the side up with my knees as the wind was so strong that it kept pulling my stakes out of the rocky ground I was set up on. Then the entire side would collapse and hit me as I was sleeping. To its credit the Seedhouse SL2 weathered the storm with no broken or bent poles.

I use the tent in the Fast-Fly configuration sometimes in winter once the bugs are gone. I only do this when I am not expecting bad weather.

I test and use a lot of different tents and this is the one I take the most.

Michael Neal
( michaeltn2 )

Northern Virginia
large coffin on 08/06/2009 14:48:18 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I picked this tent up for my wife and I as a last minute purchase after a cat urinated inside my tarptent.

The tent was easy to set up and felt light to carry.

However we felt very cramped inside, I could not sit up inside which made me feel extra claustrophobic. It was hard for 2 people to move inside. I don't plan on using the tent again even for a 1 person shelter.

Kari Post
( karipost )

New Hampshire
A Bit Small, but Good on 05/17/2011 09:15:29 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I don't own this tent but camped in it with a friend while backpacking through Rocky Mountain National Park in May. We went on a 3 day/2 night trip that started on a 65 degree and sunny day and ended with 7+ inches of snow that got very wet and slushy by the time we packed out.

I like this tent. It's lightweight and incredibly easy and intuitive to set up. As others have commented, the walls hang a little narrow, and this tent requires a lot of stakes to pitch correctly. The footprint is a good three to four inches smaller on each side than the tent floor, meaning there's no chance of it peaking out but also that it doesn't offer as much protection. This tent has no ventilation and condensation can be a problem - our tent was drippy. The vestibule is also really small and its nearly impossible to open the door without exposing the inside of the tent to drips, snow, and rain.

Having said that, the tent is pretty light, looks to be well made, and handled the snow pretty well (although we never let more than an inch or two accumulate on top). Wind was not an issue on the trip, so I can't comment on wind resistance. The included stakes were easy to use.

Summary of Pros
- lightweight
- easy to set up
- includes footprint and stakes

- not enough vestibule space
- lack of ventilation
- can be a bit cramped

For reference, other UL 2 person tents I have used include the MSR Hubba Hubba and Tarptent Scarp 2.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
MSR Footprint priced at: $29.95 - $39.95
MSR Hubba priced at: $246.95 - $329.99
Michael Baker
( mcpacker )

Severe Thunderstorm tough on 07/22/2012 20:59:21 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This was my first lightweight backpacking tent. I purchased this tent back in 2006 and it is still in good shape. I use it has a solo shelter but I have used it with another person.

As a solo shelter it is great. I can bring in all my gear and still have room to stretch out. Great for when I want to use a tent.

I'm 5'9" and about 215lbs with broad shoulders. On one weekend trip I had one of my buddies sleeping with me in this tent. He is 6'2" and 220. We were able to sleep fine but we were touching the whole time. Thankfully we had good weather because if we had to wait out a storm we would have not been comfortable but it wouldn't have been terribly bad.

Weather wise when properly pitched using all the guy outs it is VERY storm worthy. It has survived 2 severe thunderstorms with no damage and did not leak.

The vestibule is not very big but for me that doesn't matter when used as a solo shelter. One issue though is if it is raining and you open the door the inside can get wet. If you do it fast the water that gets inside is negligible.

Overall this is a great tent. I highly recommend it!!

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