Big Agnes makes a variety of camping essentials in different shapes, sizes & weights. So weather you are camping in the backcountry, high alpine or out of your car, Big Angus will have something tailored to your specific needs. They are a small company, based out of Colorado where backcountry wilderness is plentiful. Big Agnes got their name from a Mountain outside of Steamboat Springs and all of their products are named after local mountains, rivers, trails and wilderness in their local area. They support a number of non-profit organizations in and around their home state and believe highly in using recycled materials in all their products from tents to catalogues. Their offices and warehouse are powered by wind; this is all thanks to the founder of Big Agnes, Bill Gamber, who has been living off the grid for over a decade.
The Slater UL2+ packs down small in a stuff sack that encases the tent, fly and pole pouch with 11 aluminum J stakes to keep the tents & fly secured to the ground. Footprint sold separately.
Big Agnes tents come in many categories from lightweight to mountaineering and camping out of your car. There are over two-dozen models and many are available in sizes from one to four-person and ready for all seasons. This review will focus on the Slater UL2+.
The Slater UL2+ is named after Slater Creek where a number of kayakers made the first descent on the falls in 2007. The tent is an evolved version of the Fly Creek and offers more privacy, added floor space and extra head and toe loft with minimal increase in size/weight keeping it in the Ultra-Light category. It is a three-season, freestanding tent with removable fly. Guy lines and aluminum J stakes are included and recommended to maximize floor space and keep walls taut during wind events. Guy lines are also reflective to help you from tripping over them in the dark. The single door, single vestibule tent is well ventilated and made of rip-stop nylon and polyester mesh. The fly and floor are silicone treated rip-stop nylon and have 1200mm of waterproof polyurethane coating. All seams are taped and waterproof and there are storm flaps on the vestibule zipper to keep you and your gear dry in heavy rains.
The Big Angus Slater UL2+ featured here without the fly, is a spacious two-man tent with one door at the front and mesh window at the rear for ventilation.
DAC Featherlite NSL poles are arranged in a fixed Y shape and DAC Twist Clips attach the body to the poles making the pitch and fast fly setup quick and easy. The opening to the tent, at it’s tallest is 40” with a large C-shaped zipper. The rear or foothold height is still only 26” making interior space a commodity. Inside are three mesh pockets and loops for a gear loft (sold separately). A mesh window at your feet provides airflow through a mesh door, or close polyester flap for protection or privacy. The Fly adds another layer to protect rear window from rain, and an additional door and 34” x 24” vestibule for exterior storage.
DAC Twist Clips attach the tent body to the poles. They are attached at the fully taped, polyurethane seams of the rip-stop nylon fabric for a durable constriction.
The Slater UL2+ versus the UL1+ is only five ounces more weight and adds nine square feet of floor space. Head and floor heights remain the same but with only two more square feet of vestibule, so protected outside space is limited. The Slater UL1+ costs $339.95 but for only $50 more you could pickup the UL2+. The UL3 costs nearly $300 more but is constructed differently with added doors, vestibules and features that call it up to the big league.
The Yellow Fly adds extra protection against the elements and adds a vestibule in front of the door for added gear storage.
- Single door and vestibule.
- Door has two closing options: Zip up mesh door only for ventilation or zip up the - polyester layer for full protection.
- Storm flaps on vestibule zipper.
- Reflective guy lines and webbing on tent corners
- Fly and floor are silicone treated nylon rip-stop
- Fly and floor have 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating
- Rip-stop nylon and polyester mesh vent
- All seams taped with waterproof, solvent-free polyurethane tape (No PVC or VOC's)
- DAC Featherlite NSL pole system with press fit connectors and lightweight hubs
- DAC Twist Clips attach tent body to pole frame
- 11 Superlight aluminum J stakes
- Three interior mesh pockets
- Gear Loft loops included. Fits Triangle gear loft sold separately for $22
- Fast-Fly setup available with Footprint (sold separately)
- Emergency field repair splint
Guy lines and clips allow the tent to be pulled taut to maximize interior floor space and secure the walls during wind events.
The fly fits over the tent body and has clips for added security.
The Slater is freestanding (less the pegs required for the two back corners), so after you are set up you may move the tent around to accommodate a blowing wind or, in this case, a proper view. Below you can see it with and with-out the fly on.
Tents utilizing a Y shaped, single door design have many pros and cons. They are generally more lightweight and pack smaller than others but sacrifice interior space and living comfort. Depending on your relationship with your camping partner and how long you might be weathered in, this may or may not be the tent for you. The construction of this tent is solid, and will keep you warm in colder temperatures and well ventilated without the fly under a warm summer sky. I feel as thought Big Agnes could have included a built in gear loft and also included the footprint for the price they are asking. Regardless, Big Agnes makes quality products you can trust to get the job done, so do your homework and research the tent that is right for you.
If you are interested in looking at other two person ultra light tents give the Mountain Hardwear Supermega UL 2 a look-see.
Price: $389.95 (USD)
Trail Weight 1162g / 2lb 9oz
Packed Weight 1333g / 2lb 15oz
Footprint Weight 170g / 6oz
Fast Fly Weight 850g / 1lb 14oz
Packed Size 12.7cm x 48cm / 5” x 19"
Floor Area 3.44sq m / 37sq ft
Vestibule Area 0.74sq m / 8sq ft
Head Height 101cm / 40”
Foot Height 66cm / 26”
- Reflective guy lines will help you from tripping when navigating around the tent at night.
- Lightweight & packs down small.
- Well ventilated.
- Added privacy without the fly.
- Small vestibule but a reasonably sized living space for a 2 person ultralight tent.
- One-way sleeping option.
- Gear loft and footprint sold separately (required for fast fly setup).
- Tent must be pegged out in order to pitch it properly.
Interior Space 1.5/2
This is only our opinion. Do you disagree? Did we miss something? Are we totally out to lunch? Join the discussion in the forums here, and let us know what you think. People like/dislike gear for different reasons so chime in and we'll get a well-rounded evaluation.
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