User Review: Big Agnes Lynx Pass 4
Design: 4-person three-season freestanding modified dome
Ease of Setup: Not hard, but not the easiest either
Weight: Doesn't matter for me
Price Paid: $345 incl. footprint
I'll be very happy with this tent once I get used to it. I had to replace a big old dome tent destroyed last year by wind in the Dakota Badlands.
First I bought a Marmot Limelight 3, intending to sleep two, but we were cramped with two self-inflating mattresses. For car camping, I conclude that a 2-person tent is good for one person, and it takes a 4-person tent to sleep two people comfortably. IMO, 3-person tents are useless.
After research, I returned the Limelight and bought the Big Agnes Lynx Pass 4 which I've just pitched and took down in my backyard. For car camping, I think this one is the best 4-person on the market now in its price range. For backpacking, I think it's quite large and a bit heavy, although you could split it up on the trail. For car camping, of course, the weight doesn't matter.
Once set up, you'll find this tent to be very spacious, with very large doors on the side and two large vestibules on either side. The tent is symmetrical, so there's no such thing as a front door and back door. Both the doors, the vestibules, and the two parallel zippers to the rainfly openings are the same on both sides, and that's a big plus in my book. Also, the two short poles over the doors substantially increase the interior space in the upper part of the tent. Two people can comfortably read books when trapped in heavy rain.
The long pole assembly seems a bit cumbersome to me, but I'll get used to it. There's a center hub, so you assemble both poles at once, and each long pole has two "joints" used to attach the short poles that go over the doors. Putting the poles together is something of a project, but I did it alone, and it wasn't awful. Besides, these joints serve a purpose. I also thought the pole diameter was a bit large, but it's not a big deal.
The Lynx Pass 4 has four vents built into the rainfly, and that will help combat condensation. And on those hot, humid rainless summer nights, you can roll up the rainfly doors on either side to give you good ventilation, while still protecting you from the dew.
I now have eight tents -- four each in Michigan and California -- and this Lynx Pass 4 will be my Number One Michigan tent for two people car camping in comfort.
EDIT TO ADD: I forgot to add my gripe. The footprint and mesh gear loft for the Big Agnes Lynx Pass 4 are sold separately at outrageous prices, IMO. I rarely use gear lofts anyway, but both the footprint and the mesh gear loft should routinely be included as standard equipment. Many, perhaps most, manufacturers adhere to this separate pricing policy. Just my opinion.