Jul 4, 2012 at 9:27 am #1291654
Help me decide: Tarptent Hogback vs Big Agnes Copper Spur UL4?
The tent will be used for two small adults, one kid (now a baby but I'll use this tent for years), and a 60 lb dog. Could add another kid eventually.
My current analysis is:
Hogback: light (4 lbs), roomy enough (86" x86"), tiny vestibules, not free-standing (98% of the time this is fine), one piece pitch, might be able to fold back half of rainfly for star gazing and extra ventilation (Franco posted a photo once of this).
Copper Spur UL4: heavier (5.25 lb), a bit roomier (96" x 86"), useful sized vestibules (for packs and/or cooking in rain), free standing (occasionally helpful), two piece pitch, can be pitched inner only for warm nights and star gazing.
Cost is similar between the two ($50 difference), so not an issue.
Anyone use both and have an opinion?
Also open to other suggestions, but tent must have: two doors, two vestibules, at least as much room as the hogback, floor and full bug netting, light weight, not significantly more than $450.
Thanks!Jul 4, 2012 at 11:48 am #1892230
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
The Hogback does have two vestibules large enough to accomodate packs off to one side, away from the door.
To make the Hogback frestanding I'd rig crossing poles INSIDE the fly with the ends in triangular pockets just above the corner CF pole triangles. (Requires cutting two pole ends to the correct length.)This would give much more canopy support. I did a similar mod with my TT Moment, sewing Velcro computer cable wraps inside to stabilize the poles and keep them in position in high winds. Seam sesl on both sides after sewing, of course.
"Freestanding" is not necesarily a requirement for a good tent. It CAN give more resistance to snow and wind loads. Generally, as in your comparo, freestanding tents are heavier.Jul 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm #1892255
Both are great tents and I was going to pull the trigger on the hogback, but snagged a Copper Spur UL4 for <$200 brand new at a REI garage sale and couldn't pass up the deal. Only spent 4 nights in it so far, but a great tent for a family and very easy to set up. One caution though, it does not stand up to the wind very well and has some pretty serious deflection.
So if you cant find one on sale, and you live in a windier place I would suggest the Hogback. Otherwise, you'll most likely be happier with either.Jul 4, 2012 at 4:02 pm #1892275
A couple of nice features on the Hogback are the very small footprint for a tent that can genuinely take 4 people and the all in one (dry) set up.
I would not recommend attempting to put cross poles in that because they would be too long.
After a certain length they twist and permanently bend.
So not freestanding but once you have the pole in the sleeve it is very fast to pick up and set up in another spot.
here is my video on the Hogback :
Hogback set up and tour
( I am hoping to go over 100k views for my channell by this w/e)
FrancoJul 7, 2012 at 9:27 am #1892825
Thanks for the comments everyone. Very helpful video Franco! The quick conversion to half bug mode may have sold me on the Hogback.
I have a Lunar Duo my wife and I have used for years. So I realize that non-freestanding tents are generally fine, but once in a while (loose or rocky soils) I have wished it was freestanding. Obviously you still need to stake a freestanding tent securely, but at the least the tension on the tent fly isn't dependent on the staking. The other feature I wish the Lunar Duo had is the ability to set it up netting only in good weather like a typical double wall tent for general views and star gazing. The Hogback's half bug mode is a great compromise.Jul 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm #1892916
Thanks for that.
You can set up the Hogback mesh inner only, I did the half version because that gives you some shade/privacy and it is fast to stake the fly down if it start raining or gets windy.
To set the inner by itself is easier with the extra pole as seen here :
but I can do it with just one pole too…
(that extra pole (for the fly) is handy with heavy rain, strong winds or a couple of inches of snow)
FrancoJan 10, 2016 at 6:34 am #3374855
I tend to start threads with questions, but not follow up on the final conclusion….time to change that habit.
I’ve been using a Tarptent Hogback for 3 years or so now. It is a great family tent, fitting two adults, two small children, and a 60lb mutt comfortably. Has only seen severe weather once, the first night I had it out with a 6 month old son, when we had an hour long monsoon with high winds by a lake. It rattled in the wind a bit, but stayed up and we stayed dry. Its durable, still in great shape. My dog did run right thru the screen one night in the backyard (test run of camping with a baby), when she went after a critter who came into the yard. The netting had a clean 3 foot long rip that sewed back together easily.
As expected from my first post, the vestibules are tiny and borderline useless. Leaving shoes or a pack there makes me nervous of getting them wet being close to the drip lines. I typically just leave my pack outside, using my trash compactor bag rain liner on the outside of the pack as a storage rain cover.
The tent sets up easy, and the footprint is as small as some 2 person tents (that have big vestibules).
I’m glad I didn’t go for the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL4. Carrying gear for two adults, two kids, and a dog means my pack is heavy enough. I don’t want a tent that weighs any more or packs any larger.
In 3 years, I haven’t seen any new tent developments that have made me want to switch. Other potential 4 person or more options either don’t meet all my requirements for kid camping in the east (full bug netting and floor), aren’t as light, or are too expensive (cubin mids with netting/floor inserts).Jan 10, 2016 at 9:25 am #3374875
@gmacLocale: PNW, Seattle
Good to hear your conclusion. Having gone from Big Agnes Copper SpuUL4 to a tarptent hogback I am sure you made the right choice. The one issue you didn’t mention in comparing the two is durability. The Big Agnes uses super light (10 or 15D fabric for the floor. I could see through it. It’s not very durable at all. I have been very happy with the switch.
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