Big Agnes Sarvis SL1 w/ eVENT
Design: 3+ season freestanding hubbed dome
Ease of Setup: Very easy, 2 minutes
Weight: Listed: 3 lbs, 4 oz, actual 3 lbs 8.5 ozs
Price Paid: $150
The Sarvis is a nice combination of size, weight, strength, and usability. Half of the tent is single wall, with this model using two eVent panels. eVent is a breathable fabric to minimize condensation. The single wall portion of the tent also has a ground facing netted vent at the end of the tent near the ground, and two hooded vents with tabs at the top of the tent.
Set up is easy, using two hubbed pole sets. Once staked out -– more on that later -- this tent is very stable. I haven’t used it in the winter yet, but this tent could definitely do winter work where heavy snow fall is not expected. About the stakes: to get the full space offered by the tent requires a minimum of 11 stakes: 4 corners, 2 vestibule, 2 tent sides on the ground, 2 for guys lines (1 each side), and 1 at the back for the rear vent. 11 stakes is a lot of stakes for a “lightweight” tent, so keep that in mind when considering this tent. It also really undercuts the freestanding claim.
This tent has the same footprint at the corners as the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1. It gets its 3 “extra” square feet by having a marginally wider body through the middle of the tent which must be staked out at both ground and with guy lines to get the benefit of this feature. BA claims this is a 1+ tent, but I don’t think so as a practical matter. The vestibule is just big enough for a pack and boots. There certainly isn’t room for them in the tent. Also, if you are more than 6ft tall, look elsewhere –- the length of this tent includes a triangular foot space which is unusable/used for venting, so this tent is too small for occupants 6ft and over.
One feature I really like is that the fly covering the half of the tent closer to the door is attached/sewn in so that you can easily roll back the fly in good weather and use the included tie backs to stargaze. If the night turns rainy, it takes about 30 seconds to stake out the fly. It also helps having a sewn/attached fly when you’re setting up in windy weather.
On my scale, this tent was 4 oz heavier than BA’s posted weights, so this tent ain't that lightweight for a solo shelter. That said, this tent is sturdy, quiet in a breeze, and easy to use.
Design: three season modified A-frame
Ease of Setup: One of the easiest tents I have ever set up.
Weight: with footprint just north of three pounds
Price Paid: $149.50
I bought this tent directly from Big Agnes when they put all of their tents with eVent on sale for 50% off and have to say that there are absolutely no regrets in doing so.
The tent is a so-called free standing tent, but only if you don't want to expand the middle section or unroll the fly. When I have used it I usually don't waste the time or weight by bringing along the four corner stakes. Two for the mid section, two for the unrolled fly, two for the guy lines, and one for the back is plenty.
I am a big guy, 6'2" and about 250 pounds(kinda round in the middle) and this tent fits me well. I am easily able to sit up in it and change clothes. I own a couple Big Agnes sleeping bags, due to the fact that they make semi rectangular ones that are more roomy than a mummy, but not as bulky as a rectangular bag. The vestibule fits my back and boots, while the interior of the tent is large enough for some extra clothes, jackets, etc.
Without including the stakes, this tent takes me about thirty seconds to set up, due to the two hubbed poles that easily slip together through one sleeve, then clip to the tent on each end. I found that it is easiest to do this first, then pick it up with one hand and lay the footprint out with the other hand. After this I stake it out.
Design: 3 season freestanding single wall
Ease of Setup: Easy to set up
Weight: 3.4 lbs
Price Paid: $169
Great in colder weather, where I've used it a number of times in different environments. It's pretty easy to set up and very spacious for one (probably fit another in an emergency). Great night sleep in the cold but high-profile/single wall got all it could handle inside a serious thunderstorm at altitude (but would other tents act better?). It seemed that the eVent will only handle so much water/condensation, though my water-resitant bag still kept me warm. Had to retreat the next morning, though.
Design: 3 season freestanding dome
Ease of Setup: piece of cake, guys not mandatory
Weight: 3.4 lbs
Price Paid: $179
Roomy for a big guy like me. The eVent fabric does a fabulous jog in keeping moisture from condensing. The design is very clever. No leakage in a driving rain storm. And, I can put my pack and other luxury items in the tent when car camping (battery lantern, pillows, etc).
Where to Buy
The Big Agnes Sarvis SL1 w/ eVENT is not available from the stores we monitor.
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