User Review: Big Agnes Big House 4
Design: 3-Season Frestanding Dome
Ease of Setup: possible with one person, better with two ppl
Weight: 12 lbs
Price Paid: $239
I purchased the Big Agnes Big House 4 because I wanted a tent that was tall enough for me to somewhat stand up in (I'm 6 ft tall), but with a small enough footprint to prevent me being a space hog in a small camp with a number of other campers. In this respect, the Big Agnes was ideal.
Over a ten-day period on the SD prairie, we experienced wind gusts of about 30 mph and intermittent thunder squalls. The rain fly held well and the tent was stable, despite its height. I always stake and tie down everything available when we camp out there.
It probably should go without saying that four normal sized adults would likely find this a tight squeeze, but 1-2 adults would be comfortable. I was quite comfortable with the space.
However, I have two significant problems with this tent. The first is with the large triangle shaped vent in the back of the tent. We were camped on a prow next to a shallow ravine. When the wind first started to blow, it blew the rain up under the rainfly awning in the back, and made a fine, but significant spray on me, my sleeping bag, etc. This naturally increased as the wind picked up.
I sealed the "blow hole" with duct tape and a plastic bag. With all the other screenhouse ventilation in the tent, this vent should be smaller, and positioned on the higher end of the back tent wall. I do a lot of uneven ground camping, often in mountainous areas. So this is a huge issue for me.
The second problem is the fact that despite the fact that my setup was careful (and no kids or pets), and the tent was covered with the rainfly for the duration of my ten day stay, the screens are significantly snagged. The screen on the front door/window is particularly bad, but even the other screens that were continuously under the protection of the rainfly are snagged...soon to be holes.
From my perspective, this is unacceptable after one use. I haven't decided if I am going to return the tent, but I certainly wouldn't purchase another one. It just doesn't hold up.
Another camper who had a tent that cost a fraction of the Big Agnes left camp with no leaks and her screening intact. My other larger old Columbus dome tent that was significantly less investment than this one, has been in use in all kinds of conditions for years and is still in excellent condition(can't find it anymore or I would buy another!). I expected better from Big Agnes.