A few months back, I picked up the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 tent (see video of it next to my ZPacks Hexamid Tent HERE). I actually replaced my Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo with the Copper Spur to use as my 2 person tent. Why would I do this, you may ask? Well, here are (my) 3 reasons:
- Free standing.
- Double wall.
- A staked down floor.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Lunar Duo, more specifically the amount of interior room it has (it is a palace, even for 2), and of course the lighter overall weight. However, if I had to pick one thing that I just didn’t like about the Lunar Duo, it is the floating floor. If we weren’t on a totally flat surface, we knew it because the floor would slowly slide. I put some silnylon on the bottom of the floor, which did cling to the tyvek ground sheet and helped a bit though.
So, I decided to look for another 2 person tent. And to be honest, I missed the “free-standing” aspect of our previous 2 person tent (the Kelty Grand Mesa 2), so I decided to look at more mainstream tents. I really focused on Big Agnes, but still considered other options, such as MSR, Marmot and even REI branded tents, among others.
Two tents that I narrowed it down to was the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 and the MSR Carbon Reflex 2. In my opinion, both tents are very similar, but there are still a few minor details that set the two apart.
Check out this video to see some of the differences, as well as the similarities:
Without going into a lot of detail here (since I did a bit of that in the video) I will recap some of my personal opinions of the two tents:
- Cost: The Carbon Reflex costs $100 more, however, both tents can often be found for less than MSRP. My buddy got his Carbon Reflex 2 off of Steep & Cheap for only $250!
- Weight: The Carbon Reflex’s “trail weight” is listed (according to REI’s specs) as being 1 oz lighter than the Copper Spur UL2. In my opinion, this was not really a deciding factor being that they were so close, and that 1 oz can be evened out easily by the stakes one carries.
- Set-up: Both tents are simple to set up, even with one person. Stake out the floor. Insert the poles into the appropriate grommets. Clip the tent body to the pole. Done.
- Living Space: The Copper Spur UL2 has listed specs that would make one think the interior space is larger than the Carbon Reflex. However, the Copper Spur’s side walls really squeeze inward, reducing some of that space, and in my opinion, despite what the listed specs say, I feel like there is more room inside the Carbon Reflex. The side walls on the Carbon Reflex are actually completely vertical, with no squeeze. As well, the head & foot end are pretty close to being vertical too. This really makes the inside feel larger, more open… at least in my opinion.
- Entry: The Copper Spur has 2 large doors, one on each side, where as the Carbon Reflex has a door on one side, and a zippered slit on the other; which could be used as a door way if need be, but I would not call it that. This is merely a way to access the vestibule on that side of the tent when the rain fly is pitched over the body. As well, the fly only opens on one side as well.
So, why did I go with the Copper Spur over the Carbon Reflex?
At the time, I was able to pick up the Copper Spur for a less expensive price, so while this was not my main reason, this did help influence the decision. What really decided it for me was the fact that the Copper Spur does indeed have 2 full doors, one on each side, and the fly has the same. This means that no one has to crawl over the other person to get in and out. However, I will admit, I wish that the doors opened in a different manner. These open up in a way that the door will fall to the ground when completely unzipped. I wish that they would open and fold to the side instead of this, but this is how they are, so I will live with it. I think it will be ok though…
Also, concerning weight, the Copper Spur is about 10 oz heavier than my Lunar Duo was. However, in actuality, I could split the weight of the Copper Spur up by letting the second person carry the fly and the stakes, while I carried the tent body and the poles. By doing this, my tent weight inside my pack would actually be lighter than when I carried the Lunar Duo since it cannot be split up like this. However, to be honest, being that this tent is used with my wife or son, I just carry the entire tent so that their packs are lighter.
One other thing that I would like to point out that I did not realize until Hiking Shoes brought his Carbon Reflex 2 tent over, is that MSR uses a thicker material for the floor material for the Carbon Reflex than the Copper Spur uses. Quickly looking around, I could not find what denier material is used in the Copper Spur, but MSR list that the floor in the Carbon Reflex is a 40D ripstop nylon. In comparison, the Copper Spurs is thinner.
Either way, it was a tough decision between the 2 tents for me, but in the end, I went with the Copper Spur UL2, and I am happy I did. Although, to be honest, I believe I would have been happy with either. Both companies make quality products, have excellent customer service, and after hands on with both, can say that they are both great tents. But, it just so happened that the doors on the Copper Spur won me out over the Carbon Reflex…
Thanks for stopping by!
Disclaimer: I paid for my Copper Spur with my own, hard-earned money. The Carbon Reflex was my buddies, which he paid for with his own, hard-earned monies. Neither of us are affiliated with either companies, nor required to write about these tents. The opinions in this write-up and in the video are our own, and were formed after personally spending time with the shelters.