Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3



I have a BA Fly Creek 2 and my wife and I tried it…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: Around $340


I have a BA Fly Creek 2 and my wife and I tried it on a backpacking trip. We fit but it's good that we really like one another. We wanted more room and not a lot of weight in a quality tent so we got the BA Copper Spur UL 3.

So far we like it a lot, with one small quibble that will be outlined below.


  • Lightweight
  • Room
  • Quality
  • Solid structure
  • Easy setup


  • Breezy (so says my wife)

As mentioned we got this tent so that my wife and I would have more room than we had in my Fly Creek 2.  This tent provides room in spades. We love it. We've used it in good weather and lousy in various wilderness areas up and down the Cascades in Oregon and Washington as well as an October trip in the high Sierra (east side) out of Bishop, California.  

Somehow we've never been in high winds but my Fly Creek has and I suspect that the Copper Spur would be as resilient as the lighter Fly Creek. (Got caught in a 10-hour thunderstorm in Utah with incredible winds pounding the tent all night but didn't get a drop inside, nor did the tent sag or flap.)

Back to the Copper Spur. Though constructed of very lightweight materials and its stated trail weight only 3 lb. 10 oz. it's obvious that the tent is built with pride and craftsmanship. The actual weight that I carry, with a couple of extra stakes and a footprint, is a little over 4 lb. 4 oz. Plus, because of my wife's problem with breezes I carry a small piece of coated nylon to block wind from passing through the netting at her head. You won't need to do that. (What the heck ... she doesn't like cold but she goes and she enjoys it even when temps are in the teens.)

When we first set it up we had a slight struggle with the cross-pole at the top. Once we figured it out, no problem. This tent is a cinch to set up and stake down. Everything fits and works as I'd expected. The stuff sack fits the parts well. I fold then roll my tent and fly before stuffing it but I think that stuffers will have no problem either.

Inside it's roomy and airy. We can sit up side by side or even facing one another side to side. There's no condensation, though on one cold, wet morning there was a little. But pretty much everything, inside and outside, was soggy. When it rains the very tight fly causes rain to crackle and bounce away. Always makes me smile. The only snow it's been in was a very light fluff.  Not really a test.

There's a lot of netting on the tent body. This leads to air flowing through the tent even when the fly is tight and near to the ground.  Even in her Feathered Friends super bag my wife complains of that air flow. It doesn't bother me at all. So we have that small sheet of ripstop that I clip across the netting at the head end of the tent.  It helps her but it likely unnecessary for 99% of us.

I've had a LOT of tents. I'm an old guy and after retirement I spent 5+ years working at REI. During that time I tried out probably 15-20 tents. Before that I owned 10-12 tents. All this is to say that I do have experience and I'd buy my two Big Agnes tents again.  (My snow camping tent is an REI Arete 2)  I got a prodeal on the Copper Spur 3 so my cost was very small relative to what others might pay.  (I got the Fly Creek 2 at a used gear sale for $82.  It had a 3/4" tear in the tent body.)



Mike, I just saw this review. It's very informative. Glad you like your wife!

2 years ago

A great roomy tent for two people, and all your gear…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new


A great roomy tent for two people, and all your gear can be put inside with you. Sharing the weight between two means the tent is light enough if used when comfort and lots of room is the primary requirement.

Used this tent in many locations, including La Cloche Silhouette Trail, West Coast Trail, Mount Assiniboine Park in Alberta, Canada, and in Iceland. Handles all types of three-season weather conditions, including some snow, extreme winds, and lots and lots of rain.


  • Very roomy if two are using it, but can easily fit three adults
  • Very well built for the weight
  • Breaths very well, no condensation issues
  • Easy to set up


  • A little heavy if you are into ultralight backpacking
  • Find the vestibules are a little small
  • Requires a footprint due to lightweight materials used
  • Would prefer D style inner doors verses the upside down U style. These tend to fall outwards to the vestibule
  • The zippers in the vestibules catch a lot

This tent is easy to set up. It's very stable in all three-season weather conditions. I've never had any moisture issues in any weather conditions, and I've been in some severe wind and rain, some snow, hail, and sleet conditions. Condensation has never been an issue as the tent's outer shell is set back from the inner shell enough to keep it away from you.

There is lots and lots of room for two people, and all the gear inside the tent itself. That saves the vestibules for your hiking boots and camp shoes with lots of space to exit and enter the tent from. The tent packs up tightly leaving lots of room in my 75 or 65 litre packs for everything else required for week long backpacking hikes.

I've had this tent now for several years, and have not had any issues with tears or damage to any components yet. In fact everything appears to be in very good shape. I do use a footprimt made for the tent though, which of course adds some weight but also protects the floor from possible damage.

The storage areas inside the tent are plenty, and I also bought a gear loft adding to the various places to put my tent essentials. The gear loft adds very little weight to the tent. I've used the tent with three adults a few times, and we still had no issues with room.

However I still personally prefer three-person tents for two people, two-person tents for one person, and four-person tents for three, just because it provides me with the comfort I like when backpacking. 


Welcome to Trailspace, Brad. Thanks for your helpful BA tent review. Got any pictures of your tent setup you could share in your review?

3 months ago

An awesome ultralight 3-person tent with easy setup…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $319.97


An awesome ultralight 3-person tent with easy setup and great packability. This tent would be perfect for multi-person (2-3 person) backpacking trips, or even a *short* solo backpacking trip in a pinch.


  • Easy setup
  • Ultralight
  • Spacious
  • A true 3-person tent (!)
  • Appears durable despite its thin materials


  • A tad pricey at full price, but can be found on sale

I was attracted to this tent as a lightweight double-wall free-standing option for backpacking that would comfortably fit my 6'4" boyfriend (who uses a 25" wide sleeping pad) and my 5'10" frame (I use a 20" sleeping pad).

I initially purchased the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL3, but decided to exchange it after setting it up in my living room due to the fact that the quoted Fly Creek UL3 dimensions were smaller in reality (both length and width, although it was not staked out) in addition to the fact that the single door option with the rain fly design sans vents did not seem ideal.

The Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 is much truer to the quoted dimensions and fits my boyfriend and I easily, with room to spare, on our 25" and 20" sleeping pads, respectively. His head and feet do not butt up directly against the tent walls, as was the case with the Fly Creek UL3. In fact, I do believe this is truly a 3-person tent, when used with three 20"-wide sleeping pads, and I am looking forward to sharing this with two other girlfriends on future backpacking trips. :)

While a little heavier than the Fly Creek UL3, I'm not a gram counter and the double doors, spacious size, and  better designed rain fly with vents are worth it to me. When split between two people, the weight of this tent (including the footprint) is barely noticeable (to me). Split between three, it would be really lightweight!  

Also notable, but perhaps unexpected, is that the tent packs down nicely. With the tent poles stored separately, it can be packed into a space that occupies about half the tent storage bag it comes with.

The tent is very thin due to its ultralight nature, but does seem durable. Note, I did purchase the Big Agnes footprint to match the tent to help extend its life.

My initial impression of the tent's performance is very favorable. It was extremely easy to set up the first time (less than five minutes!). While I've only used it once (so far) on a short backpacking trip in Opal Creek Ancient Forest, the tent provided good ventilation with no condensation inside the tent with the fly on. There were lots of hand pockets to stash gear in.

While others have commented on the problematic nature of the zippers, I found if I unzipped by the holding the zipper head and not the attached ribbon, less play resulted in no issues. [Second note: I cannot yet speak to the tent performance in poor weather conditions, however.]

All in all, I am very pleased with this tent and look forward to using it on many adventures to come. I got the tent for a good price during a Labor Day Sale!  Cheers!


Welcome to Trailspace, CoCo Kitty. Thanks for sharing your Big Agnes review. I hope you'll keep us posted on how your Copper Spur continues to perform.

2 months ago

This is a great tent! It is surprisingly lightweight…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $435


This is a great tent! It is surprisingly lightweight given how spacious and well-vented it is. Two exits with two vestibules allow plenty of storage and ease of entry/exit.


  • Lightweight yet solid feeling
  • Spacious
  • Well-vented
  • High-quality materials
  • Quick to pitch
  • Vents that open in the rain fly


  • Condensation and rain tend to drip down the edge of the rain fly into the tent.
  • Not cheap


I got this tent for backpacking with my 9 and 12 y.o. sons. Though I wanted the space for three people, I didn't want to carry a massive tent. The Copper Spur UL3 really has absolutely no compromises for the usage that I've intended for it.

Usage & Conditions:  I've used the tent for about six backpacking trips totaling about 16 days. Typical usage has been dry summer conditions in the Pacific Northwest.

Setup: Setup is super easy with clips to attach the tent body to the poles. My two kids can do it without my help.

Stability: It does pitch tautly and is relatively stable, though not a winter tent by any means.

Weather Resistance: The only issue with moisture that I've experienced so far is that condensation or rain tends to drip down the rainfly opening above the vestibule.

Ventilation: The tent vents well and condensation is typically not an issue. Vents in the rainfly that can be propped open definitely help airflow.

Room & Storage: These is a great amount of floor space and headroom in this tent. It would be a good size even for 4 adults to sit inside to play cards.

Packability: It packs down surprisingly small. This likely due to the thin, but high quality, tent body and fly materials.

Ease of Use: Yes, all parts feel high quality and durable.

Features: Y-joint poles allow super fast setup. Openable rainfly vents help ventilation.

Construction & Durability: No issues with the tent construction or materials so far.


Thanks for the review, Spectre.

5 months ago

Extremely lightweight for such a roomy and comfortable…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 499$


Extremely lightweight for such a roomy and comfortable tent. Excellent durability, really easy and fast pitching.


  • Lightweight
  • Small packing volume yet such a roomy tent
  • Fast pitching/unpitching
  • Practical for two people two-door tent
  • Good ventilation

I used my Big Agnes Copper Spur Ul3 while backpacking and camping through Europe for three months. I was moving a lot so I was pitching and unpitching it every two days or so. I was amazed every time about how practical this tent is that makes pitching and unpitching it so easy and fast. It was so lightweight that I never regretted the money I paid as I was carrying it on my back for the entire summer and it was worth its money for being so extremely light.

Despite its light weight and small packing volume, it is so roomy that I didn't feel sad at all on rainy days while staying in my tent and playing cards with one or even two more people. It is tall enough and roomy. The tent will sleep two people with great comfort and there will still be room for gear and backpacks inside the tent.

The fly offered me great help during rainy days as it is possible to pitch the fly and poles first and then shelter underneath and go on pitching the rest of your tent while being protected from the rain under the tents fly.

I used this tent from up the amazing beloved Norway and all the way down to sandy warm Greece so I got to see how it works to multiple climates. Never had a complain. Great water resistance, ever through the long never ending water pourings of Germany's back forest. Great protection from the cold wind at some cold nights in North Scaninavia. And yet, good ventilation and ease at the warm sunny Spanish Granada and a shady cool shelter for the Greek sunny beaches.

I used the fly alone as a beach shelter for shade several times. So thin and lightweight and yet so shady and water resistant. Overall it is an amazing tent, a great product. It has become my favourite piece of gear and even when car camping I would prefer my Big Agnes over my Coleman Trailblazer 5 just because it is so practical and makes it all so easy and definitely prefer it over my 5 kg Eureka K2 XT as it is almost as roomy and offers the same comfort with half the packing size and way more lighter.

I would suggest to use an extra lightweight fly like Kelty Noah's Tarp just to protect this baby from birds or trees staining the tents fly. Would definitely recommend this to a friend. Best gear I even owned.


Stella, welcome to Trailspace! Reading your review makes me want to quit my job and go hike through Europe! Thanks for posting it.

2 years ago

Best tent on the market! I've had this tent now for…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 379.99 USD


Best tent on the market!


  • Light
  • Durable
  • Spacious
  • Easy to set up
  • Waterproof
  • Windproof


  • Gear loft not included

I've had this tent now for a year, so figured it was time to write a review. I've used this tent on tons of backpacking trips, in pretty much all weather conditions except snow. When properly staked out, this tent is bombproof. Wind/rain are not a problem at all. It also breathes really well, so condensation is never an issue.

I use it as a solo tent because it's so light but have also had another person in it with me with lots of room left over. I figure it could sleep three average sized humans comfortably, and the twin doors and vestibules are awesome for easy access, day or night.

Super easy to set up, take down and stow. As I said above, the tent is super light on the trail and can easily be distributed between two with no idea it's even in your pack. I carry it solo. I never notice the weight because I pack out around 30-35 lbs with all gear, including food. If anything, you can't help but not notice an orange stuff sack in your pack but you'll never feel the weight unless you'rr a minimalist.

Fantastic tent from a fantastic company.


Light and easy to set up w/ lots of room inside. My…

Rating: rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Design: three season freestanding
Sleeps: 3
Ease of Setup: very easy
Weight: 4 lbs 12 oz packed
Price Paid: $499.95

Light and easy to set up w/ lots of room inside.

My only beef is the tent opening doesn't match up with the rain fly making it awkward to climb in and out of. And I kind of wish they used a the dry entry/exit design. The rain fly has soaked my arm every morning I've used it.


This tent exceeded our expectations. At 7200' we experienced…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: three-season freestanding dome
Sleeps: 3
Ease of Setup: very easy
Weight: 4.7 pounds
Price Paid: $386.00

This tent exceeded our expectations. At 7200' we experienced a hail and rain storm that left 4" of hail that gathered at the bottom of our tent and we did not get a single leak.

The vestibules are big enough to protect our large packs and our boots. The tent is extremely easy to put up and the quality is outstanding. To all this add the lightest carry weight we've ever had and you see why we feel that this is the best tent we have ever owned and used.

We used this tent in the Pasayten Wilderness with confidence and highly recommend it. Thanks, Big Agnes!


This tent is awesome! Had to replace the old 2 person…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Design: freestanding
Sleeps: 3
Ease of Setup: set up in less than 5 mins
Weight: under 5 lbs
Price Paid: less than retail

This tent is awesome! Had to replace the old 2 person walrus that is about 10 years old so the cost wasn't an issue as I take care of my gear. It actually weighs less than the tent it replaced! The full packed weight by my digital scale puts it at 4lbs 8oz. And that's perfect for us.

The floorspace is great, room enough for 3 average people. I am not a minimalist so a tarp was out of the question. This light weight could be used by 2 people with no extra bulk issues to pack as it packs down small with its ultra light fabric.

The tent hub/pole system can be a little bulky unless you collapse it perfect. The foot print is a must in any hard or rocky areas and it doesn't add much weight. 5oz I believe. Still a 5lb 3 man 3 season tent.


Great tent. Needed a tent that could handle 3 people…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: Three season free standing
Sleeps: 3
Ease of Setup: Very easy
Weight: 5 lbs

Great tent. Needed a tent that could handle 3 people backpacking. had done a lot of backpacking years ago as a teen, Now have two boys soon to be teens and wanted to get them some backpacking experience now that they have been camping since born.

While tight, it does work for 3 people, but must have 20 inch pads, no larger. Have used it 4 times to date, all in Florida, ranging from hot, to rainy, to a very windy trip. The tent handled it all very well.

The set up is easy, the tent is obviously very light for a 3 person tent. The last trip had winds over 30 mph coming right against the tent off the river, there was no shelter from it. Staked it and used the guy lines and had no problem throughout the night.

Only issue is limited airflow/ventilation when fly is completely set up, even with the fly vents opened; it can get warm inside. This is a positive issue on a cold night, after years camping in a large Eureka family tent with my wife and kids, this tent is at least 10 degrees warmer on a cold night than the large one.

Easy to pack and seems very strong so far. No relationship to company, really impressed with product.


Really great tent. Weight is very low, space is high,…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Sleeps: 3
Ease of Setup: Breezy easy
Weight: 4lb 3oz + 6 oz for footprint
Price Paid: $499

Really great tent. Weight is very low, space is high, and it's a snap to set up. Lots of space inside for two and doable for three. Plenty of ventilation and, on a clear night with low light pollution, is that mesh roof nice!

The tent came seam sealed and we put it to the test in the North Maine Woods. Through a three hour deluge at Allagash lake the tent remained almost perfectly dry inside, with only meager dampness inside the fly due to the sheer force of the rain. Haven't experienced any condensation problems. Haven't subjected it to high winds yet (i.e. 30 knots+), but the material and pole setup appear to have quite a bit of strength. I'd be comfortable giving it a go.

Only complaint is the vestibule flaps don't seem to have quite the right cut. No matter how far in or out you place the stake, there is either slight droop or an unnatural bend to the tent. Nitpicky, but seems weird on a $500 tent. (Obviously the footprint of a 3 person tent can be problematic on hillsides or where there are lots of rocks, but that's manufacturer independent:-)

Overall very happy and would recommend this tent for any weight conscious, backpacking couple with the money to burn.