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Besides Big Agnes, Any Other Tent Brands With Short-Section Poleset?

As an occasional pannier-using bicycle camping tourist (but not a "bikepacker"), and as a short person with a correspondingly small backpack :), I was intrigued enough by the short packed length of the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Bikepacking Tent to get one, sight unseen. I've used it a few times now, and for the most part, it's a great tent . . . but . . . {if anyone is interested in how I came to decide I need a different tent, let me know, I'm happy to spill.}

But to keep this short for the moment -- I could have sworn that somewhere along the way I read about another brand of tent that also uses a poleset with shorter-than-normal sections, but now I can't find it.  Does anyone know of such a thing?  Thanks!

"You can't win until you're not afraid to lose"
2 Replies

I think it is a BA specialty. They offer shorther polesets for 4 different tent lines. Copper Spur, Tiger Wall, Fly Creek and Blacktail.

Nemo has a version of the Dragonfly with a shorter poleset for bike packing.

Of course we are interested to know why the CS did not work for you.


Thanks!  I thought the brand that I had thought I had read about was one that I hadn't really heard of (so, not Nemo), but I could be way off base there. I'll check out the Dragonfly.


The saga of my Copper, Spur bikepack version:    🙂  Again, the feature that piqued my interest was the short-section poleset. The CS also promotes the rainfly "awning" feature, wherein you can use a pair of trekking poles (and extra guylines/stakes) to create a little "roof" over part of the vestibule when you have the fly open. I did not think I would use that feature much, if ever.

(As an aside, I always kind of side-eye those lovely advertising photos of peeps lounging about in the doorways of their wide-open tents. I guess that's great for those living in the Land of No Flying/Biting/Bloodsucking Insect Pests  😄  but here in the buggy mid-Atlantic (unless you're cold-weather camping), we have perfected the art of unzipping the tent, flinging ourselves into/out of it and then re-zipping it, in 5 milliseconds or less. Nobody just sits around with their tent mesh hanging open.) 

So -- I didn't have any real interest in the "awning" feature of the CS.  And the awning feature makes for an odd zipper arrangement, if you just want to use the fly door like a normal fly door. Unlike a "D"-shaped fly door, where you can just unzip the fly and sort of drape it off to one side (if you don't want to permanently roll it and toggle/loop it open), the CS door has two zippers that are vertical only, and do not meet at the top. To open the fly door, you have to unzip both zippers and then roll the resulting rectangle of loose fabric, in between the two zippers, up to the top of the door opening and secure it with two toggles/loops. It's much more fiddly than the typical single-zipper "D" opening.

This was a minor irritation, but not a deal killer. Until I had the tent out for a rainy three-night trip. Opening the drenched fly door from the inside without getting some amount of water either on myself or inside the tent proved nearly impossible, despite my Olympics-worthy contortions and gyrations.  🙂  With the D-shaped door, you just unzip with one hand while sort of rolling the fabric back with the other, wet side out, until you can drape the fabric along the back side of the tent and scoot out. With the CS two vertical zippers, you have to unzip one partially, hold onto it so the fabric doesn't sag forward and drip, while reaching over and unzipping the other zipper, and then continue unzipping both sides . . . and then what? Now you're sitting half out of your tent, trying to hold the flap of fabric wet side out, and where are you going to put it? I guess you could just use the two toggles/loops at the top to secure it, like normal, but that's not a quick process.  You can't just temporarily drape the fabric along the back of the tent, again, because of the shape. By the end of the trip I got somewhat adept at just flinging the whole affair up and over the top of the tent, but that didn't always work out.  🙂 

The other rain-related issue: I have the ground cover that is peculiar to the CS bikepack tent. It's not just your basic rectangle: it has a triangle-shaped side that matches the triangle shape of the vestibule area. Initially, that seems kind of cool, like a little doormat for your tent!  🙂  So, yeah, that *is* cool, until it rains, and then you remember why it is that you're not supposed to have your ground cover extend beyond the perimeter of your tent . . .

I will say, though, that none of that water ever seeped through the floor of the tent to the inside, and no water ever got into the tent except for what dripped off of the fly as I was wrestling it open (and me out of it.) And I *love* that "mezzanine" mesh pouch that BA uses -- that is simply a brilliant use of otherwise-underutilized space. And the tent is light, and the short poleset is great. But the awning door (which I will likely almost never actually use as an awning) is just too much of a pain in the neck, particularly in the rain.

"You can't win until you're not afraid to lose"