Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 Solution Dye Review
Cons: Odd door configuration, delicate materials, expensive
Manufacturer: Big Agnes
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Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 Solution Dye
|Price||$400 List||$337.46 at Backcountry|
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|$374.96 at Backcountry|
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$329.00 at REI
|Pros||Lightweight, good headroom for its size, double side doors, massive storage pocket||Excellent balance between weight and features, many storage pockets, large vestibules||Two large double doors, good headroom, excellent balance of interior space and weight||Spacious, affordable, included footprint||Lightweight, can be pitched in freestanding mode, large 'rainy day' entryway|
|Cons||Odd door configuration, delicate materials, expensive||Tapered foot, pockets are high up||Expensive, delicate materials||Heavy, bulky poles||Low condensation resistance, small doors, tricky set up|
|Bottom Line||This is a lightweight tent for a long-distance backpacking duo that still wants the comfort of a double-wall shelter||A superior tent that balances light weight with excellent features||This tent balances the key aspects of a backpacking tent and performs admirably in all of our metrics||This inexpensive tent is spacious enough for laid-back car camping and light enough for short to moderate backpacking trips||A good choice for all your light and fast backpacking trips for two|
|Rating Categories||Big Agnes Tiger Wal...||NEMO Dragonfly 2||Big Agnes Copper Sp...||REI Co-op Half Dome...||Tarptent Double Rai...|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Ease of Set-up (10%)|
|Packed Size (10%)|
|Specs||Big Agnes Tiger Wal...||NEMO Dragonfly 2||Big Agnes Copper Sp...||REI Co-op Half Dome...||Tarptent Double Rai...|
|Packaged Weight||2.50 lbs||3.16 lbs||3.09 lbs||4.82 lbs||2.60 lbs|
|Floor Area||28 sq ft||29 sq ft||29 sq ft||35.8 sq ft||30.5 sq ft|
|Packed Size||18 x 5.5 in||19.5 x 4.5 in||19.5 x 6 in||7 x 20.5 in||18 x 4 in|
|Dimensions||86 x 52/42 x 39 in||88 x 50 x 41 in||88 x 52 x 40 in||92 x 56 in||88 x 52 x 42 in|
|Vestibule Area (Total)||16 sq ft||20 sq ft||18 sq. ft||22.5 sq ft||15 sq ft|
|Peak Height||39 in||41 in||40 in||42 in||42 in|
|Number of Doors||2||2||2||2||2|
|Number of Poles||3||3||1||1||2|
|Pole Diameter||8.7 mm||8.7 mm||8.7 mm||2 mm||8.6 mm|
|Number of Pockets||4||3||3||6||2|
|Pole Material||DAC featherlight NFL aluminum||DAC featherlite NFL||DAC featherlite NFL||DAC featherlite NFL aluminum||Easton 7075 E9 aluminum|
|Rain Fly Material||Rip-stop nylon, PU coating (1200 mm)||20D nylon rip-stop||15D 1200mm silicone nylon rip-stop||40D rip-stop nylon/20D nylon mesh||1.3 oz/yd2 (44 g/m2) silnylon|
|Inner Tent Material||Rip-stop nylon, PU coating (1200 mm), polyester mesh||15D nylon rip-stop||[Body] 10D polyester mesh, [Floor] 20D nylon rip-stop||40D taffeta nylon||1.0 oz/yd2 (34 g/m2) no-see-um mesh|
|Type||Two door semi freestanding||Two door freestanding||Two door freestanding||Two door freestanding||Two door semi freestanding|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Though it has smaller-than-average interior dimensions, this tent still comes with many of the creature comforts of roomier models. On paper, it's an underwhelming 86 inches long and has a tapered width (broader at the head than at the foot). However, when compared to other models that are under three pounds, the headroom in this tent is incomparable. The 39-inch peak height doesn't sound exceptional, but the wide pole configuration ensures that both sleepers have maximum headroom.
In addition, this model comes with a pair of side doors, one for each person. The storage pockets are also some of the most robust we have seen — not just for a compact tent but compared to any tent in the category. Specifically, it has two standard side pockets for small items, but it also comes with an overhead media pocket, as well as an absolutely massive "bin" that more or less performs the function of a sold-separately gear loft in other tents.
You can't totally escape the tight sleeping quarters. It is, after all, still an ultralight tent. We found most times that someone ended up pressed against the sidewall in the morning. However, it is still possible for two people to sit up simultaneously, which is more than can be said for other similar models.
It's still a strong contender here, but we are least convinced by the weather resistance. The side walls rise only a few inches above the ground. This makes it more likely for the outside to find its way inside your tent. Whether it is kicking up some soil as you get into the tent or watching some splashback from the rain make its way through the mesh. We also found mixed results in strong winds. The extra guypoints with included line are helpful in securing the tent, but the pole structure, especially the single attachment point at the foot-end doesn't fare as well when it being broadsided. We didn't experience any outright collapsing, but there is still a fair amount of flex to be found in a thunderstorm.
On the plus side, the tent body is mostly mesh, which improves airflow, however, there is no additional dedicated vent system beyond the double-zippers on the fly doors. With that in mind, we found this tent was best when we were able to roll back the doors completely. In addition, the fly door tieback is in an odd spot that we found to be a little too low, meaning that the door is liable to unravel and hang down, which is a little bit annoying.
We do, however, appreciate the double vestibules. For a tent in this weight range, it's nice to have the extra space to keep boots and pack outside of the tent but still decently protected.
With everything else it is bringing to the table, this tent is one of the lightest around. At two and a half pounds, it is a breeze to carry for two people. It is one of the few models in the category that comes in below three pounds, and ounce for ounce is the best of that bunch.
Its weight is exactly what makes it ideal for covering long distances. With superlight stakes and a minimal number of pole segments, it's the best in its class while maintaining the security and protection that comes with a double-wall shelter.
The solution dye process makes for a longer-lasting tent, but the Tiger Wall still requires a little bit of care on trail. The material is resistant to UV fade, which happens to almost every tent over time. However, it is still a thin fabric that is susceptible to abrasion from sandy or gravel surfaces. We strongly recommend using a ground cloth or footprint underneath the tent.
On the other hand, the clips and buckles are small and sturdy enough that we don't have any concerns about stepping on and inadvertently cracking pieces. The DAC Featherlite poles are sturdy and flexible if they are snapped together securely. One note is that the end of any segment will bear unnecessarily high stress and could snap if it is not completely connected to the adjacent pole segments. If this happens in the backcountry, the Tiger Wall does come with a splint for emergency repair.
Ease of Set-up
This tent is simple to pitch. The body has unique pole capture feet that are relatively easy to work with. All pole segments are connected with an elastic cord, making it really easy to snap each one into place. Two segments at the head are also color-coded to make it clear how to appropriately orient it to the tent. We found it was possible for one person to set up in just a few minutes.
The stakes are a nice deep red, which makes them easier to spot in the ground when it is time to pack up. They also have a bit of reflective cord, so you can see them at night with a headlamp. Tensioning the tent and fly is simple.
With a packed size of 5.5" x 18", this is one of the smallest tents in the category. Though the thin fabric is somewhat of a durability liability, it is especially compressible, and the hardware (i.e., clips and buckles) also doesn't take up a lot of space. The poles and stakes can fit easily down the side of a backpack or in an external water bottle pocket.
We don't necessarily recommend actually carrying it this way, but the tent (or fly) packs down small enough that it can fit into an average-sized brain of a hiking backpack.
For those who are willing to take good care of their equipment, the heftier price tag is certainly worth the investment. Though it's not the most durable tent in the category, it offers the versatility as both a one or two-person shelter. It is on par with what we would expect a tent of this type and quality to cost. If you are planning to go on multiple week-long (or longer) hikes, it's hard to beat this tent's combination of weight and comfort.
Several features set this tent apart. In addition to its light weight and comfort features, it is also easy to set up and (as its name suggests) is manufactured using a solution dying process that results in a more durable and environmentally-friendly product. The Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 Solution Dye is one of our favorites for its lightweight design and comfort features. It's great for a solo hiker or close couple that prioritizes cutting down ounces for longer trips.
— Ben Applebaum-Bauch
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