Big Agnes Bitter Springs UL1

Reviews

A very lightweight and spacious one-person tent with…

Rating: rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: £150

Summary

A very lightweight and spacious one-person tent with a generous porch. Pack size is very small and makes use of trekking poles to save extra weight.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Spacious
  • Generous porch
  • Sturdy
  • Double walled

Cons

  • Fiddly to erect, especially in the dark or in high winds
  • Has a large footprint
  • Need relatively level ground
  • Porch/vestibule only opens one side
  • Colour not to everyone's taste
  • Flimsy material

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I used this tent when I hiked along the Brecon Beacons Way, in Wales. It is very lightweight and makes use of trekking poles to create a very sturdy and spacious tent with a generous porch/vestibule. This was useful during the walk as Wales is often quite wet so prolonged periods spent in the tent were quite frequent. 

It is very fiddly to pitch and takes some practise to get everything just right, so I would recommend spending some time before a trip perfecting this. Also you will need trekking poles to pitch either end of the tent. The generous porch/vestibule also means the "footprint" is quite long and coupled with the orange colour "stealth camping" was not really an option. I also noticed I needed to find a relatively flat area to enable me to pitch it correctly.

Once pitched, the inside is generous and I was just about able to sit up. The use of a trekking pole to create a generous porch meant I could cook out of the rain and store all my gear without the need to leave it outside in a dry bag. 

The design is a mix of a single hoop and a more traditional triangle shape. The hooped pole creates generous head space and the trekking poles add to the sturdiness of a more traditional triangle design so you get the best of both worlds. Being double walled the tent was warm and there was plenty of ventilation to minimise condensation. 

As always, with ultra lightweight gear there are tradeoffs, and this tent is no exception. The material is very thin and I did put a split in the porch door so great care needs to be taken not to puncture or tear the fabric, especially when pitching it. That said, in rough conditions the tent held up really well and I felt secure inside it. The porch only has one entrance which is a nuisance if the wind changes direction and/or you want to catch sunset and sunrise with the door open. Finally, I prefer my tents to blend in with their natural surroundings so I was not a fan of the colour, which gives the feeling that you are living inside a giant orange. 

Overall, this was a good tent to have with me on the trip as it was very lightweight and has a small pack size, though I had to think carefully about pitching as it needs a lot of room and relatively flat ground and it is fiddly to pitch. 

Experience

Used to hike along the Brecon Beacons Way, in Wales.

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