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Tent Advice - 5/6 Days in the Atlas Mountains

Hello all.  I'm about to go to Morocco with a mate for 7 days.  We're planning a 5 day loop from Imlil, ending with the summit of Mt Toubkal and a descent back down into Imlil before exploring Marrakech for a day or two and going home.

I'm currently looking at buying a new tent for the trip and think I have narrowed the choice down to either a Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1 or UL2.

The thinking behind the UL2 is honestly just the ability to keep my pack inside the tent (bugs aren't usually an issue where I live in the UK and for wider European trekking, but Morocco is home to a good number of scorpions and other nasty creatures that would be good to keep out of my pack I think).

I am also used to a larger tent, my mate and I having shared a 3 person tent (read 2.5 person tent) for all of our adventures so far.  That tent was rather heavy (>3kg) and we have decided to carry our own solo tents for this trip in an effort to save a bit of weight and have a bit of quiet when we go to sleep in the evenings.

I have no experience of using smaller one man tents, but having had a look on YouTube and other places they look very narrow.  I am a side sleeper, so that doesn't necessarily mean a deal breaker, but it does look very small.  Then again, what do I need the extra room for?

Given the nature of the Atlas mountains, I will probably look to get the footprint for whichever tent too.

Is there a considerable difference in real-world packing size for these two items when it comes to stuffing them in the backpack?  I use a 65l pack (Osprey Atmos AG).

Any advice/experience is welcome.  I am currently suffering from analysis paralysis!

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I own the UL2 and my partner and I fit in it just fine.  It's on the roomier side as far as backpacking tent go.  Ditching the stuff sacks and carrying the poles attached outside our packs have made space never an issue.  That being said if you aren't stuck on keeping your pack being inside your tent the vestibules are quite large and should fit your stuff pretty easily. So the UL1 would save some weight and space.  Also however if you plan to backpack with another in the future the UL2 would be a wiser investment so 2 of you could enjoy the one tent together.  

"I hate People". John Muir
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A UL2 is generally more livable than a UL1 and if you are only going to own one tent the BA CS is a good choice.

Apart from the obvious weight and packed bulk savings, an advantage of UL1 tents is the ability to set up in smaller spaces so that may be a consideration for your destination.

I tried the previous model CS UL1 in the store and I found it a bit confining. You definitely can't stretch out sideways.

Overall I think you won't regret the CS UL2 (if you can afford to import it) but you may regret the CS UL1 unless you know that is what you want.

A few potential negatives of the CS UL2.

It has a head and a foot end so you need to take that into account when you pitch it particularly if the site is not dead flat.

It's floor is tapered so you can't fit two rectangular 25 inch sleeping pads. Two  25 inch mummy style pads probably works.  20's work.

The floor material is very thin and really designed to be use with a footprint in most circumstances. This adds ~5 oz to the carried weight depending what you use. I recommend the factory one but it is relatively expensive. (Applies to all BA UL tents)

I used to own the original CS UL2 (still in use).  I later changed it for a TW UL2 semi-freestanding to save weight which I still own.  Both have been used by two people comfortably (20 inch X-lite pads) but I have only used them solo.  Now I mostly use a Luna Solo trekking pole tent for summer.  It is a single walled 1.5 person tent.  I like it but it has some drawbacks (It must be seam sealed.  I did it but... Setup can be a pain in rocky areas, Can be drafty.  Not fond of the color choices...I chose grey over green.  Green is better if you like a dark tent interior.  Quality is good but not excellent. I have had to make repairs...the main guy snapped setting up the first time in the wild).

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Thanks for the replies both.

I will be going with the UL2, I think, unless anyone can recommend an alternative in the same price range.  In the UK there is nowhere I am aware of that stocks these tents in a way I can check them out prior to buying.  So, I am buying purely based upon their reputation.

In reality, although I would love to be able to do something like the PCT or AT some day, it realistically won't happen and so with the 7-8 day hikes I do as a maximum an extra 300g for the UL2 over the UL1 really isn't anything to worry about.  That said, I have seen the UL2 is a fairly popular tent for the PCT anyway. 

I like the idea of getting the UL1 in theory, but in practice I may end up regretting not being able to store my pack inside the tent in Morocco if something nasty decides the pockets are a good place to squeeze into while I am there.  I also tend to change position while sleeping and am a side sleeper anyway (hence my Nemo Disco 15) so I think the extra room will do me well in any event.

Thanks for the help all!

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Morocco? Man that sounds sweet! Just fyi there's a level 2 travel advisory out, (2 out of 4) 4 being the highest.

Please don't forget to post pics when you get back!

have fun, stay safe!

REI Member Since 1979 YouTube.com/philreedshikes
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