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Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 Review

   
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  • Currently 4.4/5
Overall avg rating 4.4 of 5 based on 3 reviews. Most recent review: July 22, 2014
Street Price:   $670 | Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Huge versatile vestibule, zippered internal door, easy to store in bag, great ventilation, good in wind, lightweight poles.
Cons:  Small tent stakes bend easily, carrying bag material could be more reinforced where tent poles rub against it.
Best Uses:  Camping with big groups in spring, summer and fall.
User Rating:     
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 (5.0 of 5) based on 2 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (2/2) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Big Agnes
Review by: Devin Chance ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ September 16, 2012  
Overview
If you are looking for a tent that will keep you comfortable all year long, then the four-season Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 is for you. This tent allows you to go camping whenever you want, regardless of what the weather might be. Its dome shape and pole structure make it ideal for windy conditions while the huge rain fly and vestibule handle the rain and snow.

Another huge plus with this tent is the carrying bag that conveniently separates the rain fly from the tent body and poles. It also has big pockets that allow you stuff the material, unlike most tents that require meticulous folding and rolling. The bag saves you time and your sanity; no more wrestling your tent into a stuff bag that it barely fit into when it was factory packed.

Big Agnes put a lot of workmanship into this tent, from the ripstop polyester to the awesome rain fly and vestibule. The one thing we don't like about the rain fly is the color scheme, but that's not really a big deal. If you are wondering why Big Agnes named this tent the Flying Diamond, then here's why:

“The Flying Diamond Ranch is the largest remaining ranch in Routt County. In 2009, ranch owners sold their development rights to a ranch closer to Steamboat Springs, securing the area’s status as a nature preserve for at least another generation.”

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Comfort
The Flying Diamond 8 scored fairly well for comfort. It doesn't have the most standing room and you often have to crouch to open one of the doors. The top is designed so that with the rain fly off you can see the stars through cool mesh windows.

This tent has the best vestibule of all the tents tested. We loved how much extra space they gave us for gear, and in the heat of the day we could pitch up the vestibule to create a sun shade in front of the doors.
Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 camping tent with vestibule propped up with...
Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 camping tent with vestibule propped up with trekking poles
Credit: Big Agnes
The rainfly also has six vents that are key to its breathability and allow all the moisture to escape without a problem.

If you are looking for a tent that doesn't compromise comfort for too much storm resistance, then check out our Editors' Choice award-winning REI Kingdom 8. The Kingdom 8 didn't perform as well in bad weather but it was the most comfortable tent and was still decently storm resistant.

Storm Resistance
Out of all the camping tents we tested, the Flying Diamond 8 is the most storm resistant. Now it's not a hardcore four-season tent like one of the $5000 Mountain Hardwear Space Station, but it will get you through snow and high winds better any of the other family camping tents we tested. If you are looking for the best four-season tent, check out our review: The Best 4 Season Tent Review

This and the Kodiak Canvas 6-Person Flex-Bow Canvas Tent are the only four-season camping tents we tested, but we like to call them 3.5 season tents since they can't handle heavy snow loads. This tent will get you through just about any rain or wind storm you encounter, and will keep your friends and family dry.

Workmanship
Great workmanship goes hand-in-hand with this tent's elite storm resistance. It uses DAC featherlite poles, along with a breathable ripstop polyester tent body and a polyester PU coated floor. The floor is not as durable as some of the the other tents we tested such as the Kodiak Canvas 6-Person Flex-Bow Canvas Tent, therefore we recommend that you buy a footprint for it, since it doesn't come with one.

This tent has two doors, each with their own vestibule. It also has plenty of pockets and an internal divider, which gives you the option to have two rooms. We liked to either use the smaller room for our extra gear to keep it clean inside the tent, or as a private changing area.

This tent is also freestanding. which makes it a little more versatile, but we recommend staking it down and keeping it taut for optimal storm resistance and comfort. It has multiple reflective attachment points on the rain fly, making it easy to spot at night.

We do wish that Big Agnes put more sturdy tent stakes in with this tent, since the little hook ones bend easily. We suggest investing in some bigger tent stakes.

Overall this is a very sound and well made tent

Ease of Setup
This tent is confusing to set up at first and a little overwhelming due to its size. But the job can be done with two people if you follow the directions conveniently located inside the bag. The poles and webbing are color coded, which helps, too. We tried setting this up without the instructions the first time and it took 25+ minutes. After practice and following the instructions, we halved our time. With two people it took us 13 minutes to set it up and 12 minutes to take it down and put it away in its bag.

Packing Size
The Flying Diamond comes in an awesome folding bag with separate compartments for the tent body, rain fly, and poles. We would love this bag even more if they added backpack straps like the REI Kingdom 8, but nonetheless this bag makes the otherwise dreadful task of taking down and putting away a tent a lot easier.

The bag has two big elastic pockets that you can stuff the tent into, a pole bag built into the middle, and a mesh pocket on the outside of one of the compartments for the guy lines and stakes.
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Super easy carrying bag for Flying Diamond
Credit: Devin Chance

Other Versions
Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6

Devin Chance

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: July 22, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (5.0)

100% of 2 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 67%  (2)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 2 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Jul 22, 2014 - 09:44pm
hammerheadny · Camper · Nyack, New York
Great tent, easy set up and awesome customer service. The tent is super easy to assemble and the bag which holds it has very easy to understand instructions (everything is color coded). Took under 15 minutes to put up by myself. Bag is huge and unlike most tent bags easily accommodates everything. After set up time to enjoy the tent. It's huge and has two rooms separated by a zippered divider great for families like us who have a dog. The tent will easily accommodate a large dog and it's den (if needed), a baby's play-yard, and mom and dad's sleeping bags and gear. Lots of overhead pockets for storage too. Tent is rock solid in wind and rain and absolutely no leaks or mosquitos, even no seams. Many guy line points to tie out fly. Fly is also very easy to attach and works super well with built-in window latches which provide for even more air movement (there's alot anyway). Big Agnes customer service is best in the business with quick, polite and knowledgeable answers and help (had a couple of pre-order questions and concerns). Overall, the best value in a family tent I could imagine and would highly recommend this tent. You get what you pay for and I imagine that this tent will last us a good 16 years with proper care.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Apr 18, 2013 - 02:41pm
Bedz · Hiker · Canton
I purchased a Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 (HumbleOutdoors $580 w/free footprint) last year. This tent serves as my car camp base. I did alot of research for a well made tent from a established company. This tent is big enough to hold our gear such as bicycles,..etc when we are away. It's dry,well vented, and great in a stiff breeze. Very Happy… not cheap, but you get what you pay for.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 camping tent
Credit: Big Agnes
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