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Need help picking a tent for solo use.

Old 05-25-11, 02:46 PM
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Need help picking a tent for solo use.

Hi everyone,
So I am on the fence about what tent to purchase. I have narrowed it down to the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1 or UL2. I would be using it for just my self but Would like a little room for at least my rear bike bags. I am 6 ft tall and sleep on a thermarest neoair trekker large. I would prefer the smaller pack size and weight of the ul1, but I really want to make sure I have a little room for gear. I have bveen all over town and can only find the ul2 so I haven't been able to compare. Any thoughts?? Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-25-11, 03:28 PM
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My thought is that I would go with the UL2 given how light it is and the added room it would provide. I realize that a pound here and there adds up, but i just think it is important to pick and choose where and when to get picky about saving weight. Looks like the packed weight of the UL2 is less than one lb. more than the UL1. Shelter is something that will have a big impact on how pleasant the overall experience of you trip will be. It may be more than enough room, but better too much than too little
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Old 05-25-11, 04:05 PM
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I have the Copper Spur UL2 and love the tent. I also have the Seedhouse SL1. Both are great tents for sure as is pretty much all Big Agnes stuff.... While the price is pretty high.. well, you can get one at REI at this time with the 20% off anniversary discount if I remember correctly.

Having two doors and vestibules is really nice. It also allows enough room for a touring partner
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Old 05-25-11, 04:36 PM
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One man vs two. Depends on how long your tour is. With short tours, one can put up with nearly anything. But if stuck in the rain, a two man tent is too small too. The CS UL2 was my runner-up tent.
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Old 05-25-11, 04:39 PM
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If you intend to bring the panniers or someone inside, ever, go with the 2. Packing/weight difference is really not enough to matter much. And if you wake up to rain, you'll appreciate the extra room.

I really like the way BA has sized those models. At 22 sq ft, the 1 is big enough to be comfortable as a solo. At 29, the 2 is not too big for a duo. Just right for cycle tourist. My reference is an 18 sq ft job I tour with most of the time, and a 34 sq ft model I use occasionally. Too small and too big.
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Old 05-25-11, 06:34 PM
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I have the BA CS UL1. I'm 5'5" and it leaves me enough room to move around, store a small amount of gear (not including the vestibule areas) and not feel too claustrophobic. With my regular size air pad and sleeping bag, there's just a little space at the top. Since you're so much taller, I'd go with the UL2 to make sure you have the room you want. It's a great tent and I don't regret the expense at all. Like another poster mentioned, I like the side entries. One other nice feature is a small ventilation window (with a bar to keep it propped open) on the fly to help keep the air moving.Hope that helps.
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Old 05-25-11, 07:49 PM
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Another vote for a two man tent. I occasionally tour with a Hennessey Hammock; but on long tours I take a REI Quarter Dome T2+. Being able to keep your panniers inside makes a huge difference to comfort. It's nice to be able to access all your things, especially when it's raining. Don't think the vestibule will protect your gear. I've woken up to find my tent sitting in shallow pools. Had my panniers been sitting in the vestibule, they would have been soaked.
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Old 05-25-11, 09:47 PM
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I use the Copper spur UL2 for my solo trips and it is AMAZING. One of the best purchases I have ever made. It goes up and down so fast. Last year I did a 25 day tour and it rained the first 6 days. I was dry the whole time and the double vestibules were plenty big enough for all my gear. I am 6'3" and I do not feel cramped at all. My wife joined me for a few days and there was room for the two of us for that short period. I can't say enough good things about the CS UL2

CIMG7450 by Tan Slacks, on Flickr
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Old 05-25-11, 10:11 PM
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some 1 person tents you have to get out to put your shoes on,
as they are too low to sit up in.

like sizing a bike by riding it, try the tent set up in the shop,
for feel about the space.
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Old 05-26-11, 05:36 AM
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I am typically in the one man tent camp. If I am in the tent I am either reading, writing in my journal or sleeping. None of those take much space. I find that I really don't need a lot of sprawl space.

That said I never bring much gear in. Everything except what I need to sleep, my clothes for the morning, and my handlebar bag (which contains any electronics or valuables) stays in the panniers and on the bike.

Only you can say it that will work for you or if you need more space.
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Old 05-26-11, 08:03 AM
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My view: go with a small, light, 2-person tent for one person. If you really want to go minimalist, get a bivy sack. Ounces matter, but so does comfort. A little room to move and have stuff in the tent with you is a good thing. Just make sure it doesn't leak in a downpour.
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Old 05-26-11, 10:15 AM
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One thing I definitely would like my next tent to have is a vestibule. That Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 looks great indeed and it's half the weight of my current REI Dome 2 tent.

Is it easy to set up by one person?
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Old 05-26-11, 10:56 AM
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If all you do is sleep,a tarp and bivy.If you want some privacy,a one man tent is fine, privacy and some wiggle room in bad weather,2 man tent.

Last edited by Booger1; 05-26-11 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 05-26-11, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ
Is it easy to set up by one person?
I've never set up a tent before in my life (sheets over the clothesline don't count) and was able to do it in minutes the very first time. The second time I did it in about 3 minutes.
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Old 05-26-11, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by dengidog
I've never set up a tent before in my life (sheets over the clothesline don't count) and was able to do it in minutes the very first time. The second time I did it in about 3 minutes.
Thanks! I might just buy this tent for my next longer tour.
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Old 05-28-11, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Yan
Another vote for a two man tent. I occasionally tour with a Hennessey Hammock; but on long tours I take a REI Quarter Dome T2+. Being able to keep your panniers inside makes a huge difference to comfort. It's nice to be able to access all your things, especially when it's raining. Don't think the vestibule will protect your gear. I've woken up to find my tent sitting in shallow pools. Had my panniers been sitting in the vestibule, they would have been soaked.
Yan - I've really been looking at the Hennessy hammock myself. What kind of downside do you find with a camping hammock, and how does it compare to the tent? I'm just looking at short weekend+ rides(Silver Comet next month, Katy Trail in Sept), and comparing.
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Old 05-28-11, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by seenoweevil
Yan - I've really been looking at the Hennessy hammock myself. What kind of downside do you find with a camping hammock, and how does it compare to the tent? I'm just looking at short weekend+ rides(Silver Comet next month, Katy Trail in Sept), and comparing.
I find my hammock to be extremely comfortable to sleep in; more comfortable than a tent.

A downside is the requirement for trees; though this is made up for by the ability to pitch on unflat ground. I have never failed to find suitable trees for my hammock. My experience is limited to hammock camping in Ontario and New York State, where trees are plentiful.

Rain has never been an issue. Mosquitos can bite you through the fabric. I always use an air mattress to keep my back warm, but sometimes I sleep with my hands behind my head, and have woken up with multiple bites on my fingers. Next time I'm going to treat the hammock with permethrin before I head out.

Another issue is space. There is a small pouch and a few clips on the line inside the hammock, and ofcourse you can hang things directly on the line. These are great for glasses, books, a flashlight, a music player, and a few small articles of clothing. You panniers and other gear have to stay on the bike outside. I leave my shoes on the ground under the hammock, and often they would be wet with dew in the morning. In a two man tent I always hide the shoes under the footprint to avoid this problem.

Setup is very easy and fast. If you use the snakeskin sheath storage accessory, you can keep the fly and the hammock together and prevent the latter from getting wet when setting up in rain. In rainy weather you can take shelter under the fly while performing your camp activities. I recommend bringing a plastic bag to sit on.

The hammock is very light and packs flexibly. When it's inside the snakeskin, it is a long tube. This means I can stuff it inside the same pannier as my winter sleeping bag.

The hammock only holds one person. If you're planning on camping with a loved one, it's not an option. Overall I would say that it makes some concessions to a traditional tent in terms of convenience, but makes up for it with light weight, ease of packing, and ease of setup. I wouldn't hesitate to take it on an extended solo trip, as long as there are no arid regions on the route.
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Old 06-03-11, 04:09 PM
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Thanks everyone for all of the replies. Just one more option to throw out there before I place an order on Monday. What does everyone think about the seedhouse sl2? Almost as roomy as the copper spur ul2 but packs way, way smaller. Any thoughts/anyone have the tent?
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Old 06-03-11, 04:18 PM
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I used the copper spur UL1 for 7 months in South America. I love it. It held up exceptionally well.

I was able to fit all my panniers and my shoes underneath the fly in the vestibule. I am 5' 10". My feet did sometimes hit the walls a bit, so you may find it small. I thought the size was perfect, and I would use it again.
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Old 06-03-11, 04:22 PM
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Personally I would rather have side doors rather than the front door of the seedhouse. Just my two cents.
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Old 06-03-11, 04:27 PM
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A friend of mine has the seedhouse 3. Very good tent, good headroom, light, pretty quick to set up. I have a Sarvis SL2 (no longer made, but similar to the seedhouse and I really like my tent.

I would def recommend a 2 man tent vs the single, especially given your height. The extra room is always nice plus the weight penalty for the 2man vs solo is not much at all.
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Old 06-03-11, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by bigflats
Thanks everyone for all of the replies. Just one more option to throw out there before I place an order on Monday. What does everyone think about the seedhouse sl2? Almost as roomy as the copper spur ul2 but packs way, way smaller. Any thoughts/anyone have the tent?
It's also lighter and cheaper. The Copper Spur has side doors and a bit more shoulder space. I've toured solo with the SL2. It's nice and compact on the bike and roomy enough when set up. Because I'm from Colorado, I prefer a smaller volume on my tents. Less space you have to heat up with your body heat. Nights get very cold at altitude even in the summer. It's extremely easy to set up and handles downpours wonderfully.
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Old 06-03-11, 08:51 PM
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Anyone else have any experience with the seedhouse sl2? I plan on using it mainly solo or with the wife. I am 6 ft with a large thermarest. Choices choices.
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Old 06-03-11, 08:53 PM
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On the seedhouse sl2 hows the head room when sitting up? 6ft Hitting your head on the tent sitting up?
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Old 06-04-11, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by bigflats
On the seedhouse sl2 hows the head room when sitting up? 6ft Hitting your head on the tent sitting up?
I'm 6' tall too. Because the tent is a traditional A-frame, you do brush up against the sides of the tent but at the center there is still plenty of room. Even the single person tents (I've had a Seedhouse and have a FlyCreek UL1) have plenty of head room. They aren't bivy sacks.
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