Which tent - MSR Carbon Reflex 3 or Big Agnes Copper Spur 3??

1:50 p.m. on July 26, 2010 (EDT)
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2 forum posts

Hello there,

I need to make a decision between the MSR Carbon Reflex 3 or Big Agnes Copper Spur 3.

The Big Agnes has got great reviews but there aren't many reviews on the MSR (as it's fairly new I guess). Has anyone seen or better still used both of these tents and might be able to offer some advice on which to buy?

I'll be using it on a year's holiday through Africa with friends, where it's likely to be hot and humid most of the time, but there may well be some tropical storms to contend with as well.

Any opinions on comparisons between the two on ventilation, strength, rain-resistance, general design or build quality would be much appreciated (they're both around the same price so that's not really a factor in this decision).

Thanks very much!


9:58 p.m. on July 26, 2010 (EDT)
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1,344 forum posts

I just went thru the same decision process, but for the 1-person (UL) version. In that version there's a different comparison because there's a $100 price difference. I ended up buying the Big Agnes Copper Spur for the following reasons:

- I wanted a free standing tent... may or may not be a factor for you. But I've camped in lots of spots where it was difficult to use stakes. While you do need to use some stakes to properly guy out the fly on the Copper Spur, you can certainly setup the base tent without stakes... as long as you stay inside so it doesn't blow away :).

- Price: $450 for a 1person tent is wayyyyyy too much!

- I prefer a more subdued color for the fly... like the one on the Copper Spur ... the bright yellow of the MSR is a bit too gaudy for my preferences. Until someone tells me that bright colors scare away bears, I prefer that my campsite blend into the surroundings a bit.

BTW, I hope it's OK to say this here, but when you're ready to buy, check out Mountains Plus (mpgear.com). You might find a coupon online, and if you don't, they include a free footprint (though mine is back ordered :(). So that saves you ~$50 right there. They were responsive to email inquiries, and shipped my order so I received it my my requested delivery date.

Anyway, I've only used the tent for 1 night so far, so it's too early for a real review. But I'm happy with the build quality, the design, etc, so far... keeping in mind that it is a super-light tent, so of course the material is very thin.

9:49 p.m. on July 27, 2010 (EDT)
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62 forum posts

Not sure you can go wrong with either. I'd probably go for the 'cheaper' one since the Copper Spur has been around longer and already won numerous awards for the 'Best Ultralight 3-man'!

12:43 a.m. on July 28, 2010 (EDT)
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712 forum posts

I work part time at a local outfitter that sells both MSR and BA. Sadly, we have had more returns than I can count on the BA Copper Spur for poles snapping at the hub. Very poor design. We have yet to have a return on the MSR Carbon Reflex line despite the carbon fibre poles.

On another note, the Carbon Reflex 3 is substantially bigger and can hold 3 large adults with a bit of room to spare. The BA Copper Spur really feels like a 2 person tent. YMMV.

Pay a little extra for the durability and performance, not to mention considerably more space per weight.

7:18 a.m. on July 28, 2010 (EDT)
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Done - the MSR it is then.

Thanks very much for the advice - really appreciate it!


May 22, 2018
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