Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2

8.9
8.9 score
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Editor rating: 8.9 / 10
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Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Review Facts

The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 is a popular 2-door backpacking tent available in 2-Person and 3-Person variations. It is a high-performance tent and is considered a better option than the Tarptent Double Rainbow and the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 in terms of performance, comfort, and space. With a weight of around 3 pounds, it enjoys an above average space-to-weight ratio. Its sturdy pole construction means it can hold up even in windy weather conditions. Before you make a purchase, let’s consider a few factors first.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Impressive geometry coupled with excellent fly materials that can withstand powerful winds with ease
  • Extremely easy to set it up and taking it down is a breeze as well
  • Comes with reflective guy ropes to ensure you don’t trip when moving around in low light conditions
  • Equipped with five interior pockets including a ceiling pocket and a couple of large mesh pockets for additional storage
Cons
  • 20-denier nylon is good but it requires much more care as compared to other advanced fabrics
  • Tapered construction means you have to sleep in one direction and you will have issues adjusting wide sleeping pads as well
  • May not be as stealthy as some other green and gray tents, and it is a minor issue but may well be a drawback for some
Design

Design

The design of the Copper Spur HV UL2 tent is generally good. The two 9 foot square vestibules and double doors give it a luxurious look and the supportive side pockets are a useful feature for storing those nighttime essentials.

The cheerful orange color makes it look cool although it may not be to everyone’s taste. Some folk like to blend in a bit. Some may have issues with the shape of the doorway, as unlike the usual D shape, this rainbow shape could allow the dirt to find its own way in.
Another issue is that the location of the tiebacks for the door flap does not make any sense. They are a little too close to the ground, which means they fail to keep the doors up effectively. Like a lazy wink, those doors just love to droop half closed, which may be a bit annoying to some.
Interior Space

Interior Space

If you have used the old Copper Spur tents, you will notice the Copper Spur HV UL2 is better in many ways, including the interior space. That’s down to the absence of the multi-hub pole. This gives the HV UL2 a clean rectangular shape, which is impressive. The single hub over the head end means more usable space.

The claim by the company that there is a generous 20% increase in space seems true and you notice it when two people are side by side in it. It has become possible because of a carefully conceived pole design. The near vertical walls add to the feeling of space as they stretch up and away from you. Almost at the center, there is a peak height of some 40 inches, which is adequate, and the crisscrossing poles stretch the mesh under the hub to create more of a flat roof adding even more space inside.

Comfort

Comfort

The Copper Spur HV UL2 strives to be spacious and comfortable, and it really does its job nicely. You can put your money on this lightweight and even luxurious 2-person model. The two doors and good headroom make it comfortable. Although you will be comfortable in the HV UL2, it does tapered down at the foot end. Even so, with 29 square feet of roominess there is enough space to spread yourself out. While the HV UL2 is reasonably spacious, you can consider buying the REI Half Dome 2 Plus for even more palatial room. It’s heavier but offers even more home-like comfort.
Weight

Weight

The Copper Spur HV UL2 is lightweight at just over 3 pounds. Even though it is heavy compared to the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV at 2.56 pounds, it feels light and it is stronger than other tents in its category. It is bulking though, considerably more so than the Hilleberg Anjan GT but it does reduce to the size of the MSR Hubba Hubba NX when packed right.

The Copper Spur HV UL2 is great for lightweight backpacking, but if you are interested in buying something even lighter but maybe slightly less comfortable, try the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV or the Tarptent Double Rainbow. Similarly, you can opt for the REI Half Dome 2 Plus if you're more concerned about space than weight. At 5 lbs. 7 oz., the Half Dome 2 is heavy, but you will enjoy about 38.1 square feet of living space, which is slightly more than the Copper Spur HV UL2.
Storage

Storage

For storage, the HV UL2 is actually quite good. No other tent under four pounds offers such impressive storage options. It features three rectangular pockets along each side of the tent. The larger rectangular top pocket is at the head. With its two doors and vestibule, you are able to store gear on both sides, which saves having to crawl over the other person in the tent to find what you need.

Each of the vestibules is about 9 square feet and more than capable of holding your backpack and shoes. While you may not be that concerned about the storage options a tent has, the good placement of these pockets certainly makes them a viable selling point for the Copper Spur HV UL2.
Ease of Setup

Ease of Setup

The HV UL2 is a fully freestanding tent and it is possible to pitch it anywhere you like. This convenient design also makes it quick to set up and saves you a lot of trouble when you have to pitch on solid rock or hard ground.

The pole design is quite similar to the MSR Hubba Hubba NX, which is an interconnected pole with a couple of ends used for additional protection against stronger winds.

With color-coordinated poles, clips, and high-quality reflective guy lines, you will find it even easier to set it up quickly. However, it is worth mentioning that the minimal amount of guy line is attached and may be an issue for some. It would have been better to have more guy line for all the guy points on the tent. Another point is that although the HV UL2 is quite adaptable, you may have to go through some hassle to take the fly off to check out the stars. Buying an expensive footprint may help make things easier though.
Weather Resistance

Weather Resistance

Basically, the Copper Spur HV UL2 is a 3-season tent to use without a hitch under summer, spring, and fall backpacking conditions. The use of amazing geometry is the biggest reason why the Copper Spur is capable of producing a tight pitch. It holds steady in strong winds that can bend over lightweight tents, such as the Rattlesnake SL2 MTN GLO.

There are three guy points right at the head of this tent and then another at the foot. These points work amazingly well to secure the tent. The rainfly is made of 20d silicone impregnated rip-stop nylon. Even though the material seems very light and somewhat flimsy, it has tremendous strength and can deal with strong winds. It is fully waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about getting wet even when there is a heavy rain outside. There is a vent above the head area, which helps prevent condensation.
Overall, the sturdiness is impressive and the tent will certainly be able to handle a light windstorm with ease. Some users have complained that although the tent can withstand heavy rain well, it fails to hold up well when there is snow. Even a few inches of snow can cause it to collapse.
Ventilation

Ventilation

You can expect good all-around ventilation, thanks to the use of mesh and a deployable vent. Another thing we like about the HV UL2 is that its double wall build, which works much better than the tents with single wall construction at keeping air moving and lowering the risk of condensation build up.

You will also notice ample space between the tent body and rainfly, which allows for improved airflow. However, some people believe that it would have been perfect to have a second roof vent when backpacking in more extreme temperatures. Still, the tent performs reasonably well to keep you comfortable even when the sun is hitting the tent directly.
Durability

Durability

This double-wall tent is extremely comfortable to set up and it maintains its position even in extreme climatic conditions. Of course, there are limitations, but it will serve you well most of the time. That said, you may not find the HV UL2 to be as durable as some of its predecessors, and that is mainly because the company has tried to reduce the weight a little. Once you use it, you realize that it is a good compromise actually.

The fabrics are lightweight but are not as abrasion resistant as we'd like, so you have to take good care of it. You'd want to keep it staked down when leaving it unattended or else you might end up having problems. Moreover, a slight bit of bushwhacking may damage the upper layer, which is why it makes sense to pack it properly well inside the backpack to prevent occasional abrasion. The good thing is that the tent's solid pole construction makes for its fragile fabrics.
Best Applications

Best Applications

The weight of the Spur HV UL2 is on the lower side that makes it suitable for most of your outings. You can always rely on it for multi-day backpacking, but you can also take it on your paddling expeditions. And of course, it will be your partner on casual camping trips.
Comparison to Other Brands

Comparison to Other Brands

Many people opt for the HV UL2 because it is a fully freestanding tent and prevents you from dealing with any funky stakeout maneuvers. The Tarptent Double Rainbow is another good option but you will have to use a trekking pole to convert it to freestanding.

Again, adaptability is good, but you have to take the fly off for better breathability or to check out the stars on warm summer nights. It can be a cumbersome process to remove it and restore it to the original position. The only way to tackle this is to buy an expensive footprint separately, which actually makes the Anjan and the Hubba Hubba NX more versatile. It is possible to ‘fast pitch’ them without making any additional investment on a footprint. You can certainly put your money on the Copper Spur HV UL2 if you're looking for a lightweight tent, but many people think the fabrics could have been stronger. It may be true to a certain extent, but the HV UL2 is still more durable as compared to the NEMO Dagger 2 and many other popular tents in this category. Moreover, the silicone-treated nylon fabrics you find on the HV UL2 will last longer and perform much better than coated polyester materials, like what you find on the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 2.
Value

Value

The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 certainly has its limitations, but it still offers a good value for money. You cannot call it a cheap tent though, as it does cost much more than other reasonably good tents, such as the NEMO Galaxi and the REI Half Dome 2 Plus. Some people say that the use of a less durable material makes it a less favorable choice, but the good thing is that the company backs its products and offers a lifetime warranty against any material defects. Well, they don’t offer anything for normal wear and tear, but you can still expect good customer service.
The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line

The Copper Spur HV UL2 manages a perfect balance of comfort and weight savings, and the combination makes it a great backpacking tent. It is natural to fall in love with its double doors, ample headroom, and amazing storm protection. All these features and much more come to you without adding up to the overall weight, which is impressive. You can pack it quickly too, which is why you can rely on it from kayaking adventures to regular camping trips. Yes, it could have been more durable, but you have to live with it, considering that it is much more livable than most of its competitors in the industry.