Nemo Pentalite 4 vs BA Copper Spur 4

2:15 p.m. on January 7, 2012 (EST)
29 reviewer rep
29 forum posts

I've got some long weekends planned for the Sierra high country this year and am thinking about adding a 4-person tent to the kit. Last year saw us taking several trips with 3 folks (my brother and my adult-size 14 yr old son) and our tent situation included a 3-person tent for my son and I and a small 2-person for my brother. We were obviously overtented, but I feel claustrophobic with 3 in a 3-person, so there we were.

Now that we're getting a bit more serious about this fun stuff, I think a 4 person tent will let us shed some group weight and maybe make for some warmer nights (by bro froze his butt sleeping alone in his tent at 12k on Langley).

My current front runners are: Big Agnes Copper Spur 4: 57 sq. ft. (plus 2 vestibules), just under 6lbs.; and the Nemo Pentalite 4: 77 sq. ft, about 5.5 lbs WITH the mesh nest.

Does anyone have experience and pro/cons for either tent?

The Nemo looks tough and should shed the occasional dusting of snow (this is to be used as a 3-season), but I worry about those walls closing in. Is the center pole intrusive for 3 folks? What's it like setting up in rocky area, the stakes basically erect the tent - any issues?

The Copper Spur is a more familiar construct, but those huge vertical walls look like they could become sails in a wind. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.


6:16 p.m. on January 25, 2012 (EST)
108 reviewer rep
36 forum posts

I don't have any experience specifically with the Pentalite, but I have used pyramids before, so this is based on that experience.

The center pole isn't that big  deal once you get used to it in my 'mid, which is pretty close to the same size as the Pentalite (it's an Oware 9x9).

The requirements for solid guyouts will be very similar wtih both tents you're considering if there's high wind, even though the Copper Spur stands up without them; if you don't guy it out, a strong wind will happily carry it off for you, potentially WITH your gear in it (on Backpackinglight, one poster mentioned seeing a tent that wasn't properly secured get blown away... with a camper inside -- think of how a sailboat works).

If you properly anchor the side tiouts, the sides shouldn't close in. One thing that appeals to me about the Pentalite that doesn't exist on my pyramid is the tieouts that are integrated into the vents; if you stake out the side guys, you'll not only stabilize the tent, you'll also increase the interior volume by pulling the sidewalls out a bit, and also ensure that the vents remain stable. And you can still close them if you need to.

The one user review of the Pentalite that I did find described using it initially without the Wedge in Patagonia in order to save weight and being very happy with it there. That's in spite of Patagonia's high winds. They also said that they used it with the Wedge in less demaning hike where the extra weight wasn't an impediment, and slept 4 people in the Wedge plus one person in the vestibule.

For its weight, the Pentalite is huge. Or conversely, for its space, it's very light. :)

I would guess however that if you don't tie out the side panel guys, the ones on the vent hoods, a strong wind would be... problematic. Tie them out properly, and it should be pretty solid, but without as much space for the weight as the Pentalite has.


June 25, 2018
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