Over the next several weeks, I will be looking at some of the best tents on the market, for family camping. First up, this week, is Big Agnes in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Big Agnes is known for quality tents featuring easy-to-assemble clip-style construction and lightweight hub-style frames. In addition, these tents all feature aluminum poles, which are superior to the more common fiberglass poles that come with cheaper tents. Big Agnes tents are more expensive than many others, but they will last for years and their no-nonsense 100% guarantee can’t be beat.
The Big House comes in 4-person ($299.95 – shown) and 6-person ($359.95) models. The $50 footprint is available separately, as is a huge (52sq. ft.) front vestibule for $100. These nice, tall, tents provide plenty of room for family camping. In fact, the 6-person model features a center-height of 6’ 3”. The center-height of the Big House 4 is just under 6-feet, at 68-inches.
The Lynx Pass 4 ($299.95) is a lower-profile tent than the Big House and light enough for backpacking, at 7lb. 9oz (tent, fly and poles). The integrated vestibule provides 17sq. ft. of storage space for shoes and other small items. For summertime use, you can use just the footprint (sold separately) with the frame and fly for a 5lb. 10oz. backpacking solution.
The Jupiter’s Cabin 4 ($289.95) line is new for 2010 and is a bit of a cross between the Big House and Lynx Pass models. The Jupiter’s Cabin line is relatively heavy, at 11lb., 6oz. (tent, fly and poles), which is indicative of the heavier polyester fly and less mesh venting. The center-height of the Jupiter’s Cabin is 66-inches and, while the footprint (sold separately) and fly can be used independently of the tent body, for lightweight summertime use, this combination still tips the scales at 9lb. 14oz. so the utility of this feature in the Jupiter’s Cabin line is of marginal benefit.