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Backpacker Magazine – Gear Guide 2014

Gear Review: Big Agnes Super Scout UL2

This non-freestanding shelter blends the best features of tents and tarps, offering bug protection and a ballroom-size vestibule for about a pound per person.

by: Ben Fullerton

Big Agnes Super Scout UL2
Big Agnes Super Scout UL2

Why we like it : This non-freestanding shelter blends the best features of tents and tarps, offering bug protection and a ballroom-size vestibule for about a pound per person.

Livability : A sprawling, 44-square-foot vestibule offers oodles of space for storage, cooking, and lounging—all at the same time. Have a second set of poles? Prop the vestibule door awning-style for even more shelter. The 29-square-foot sleeping space is long (it comfortably fit a 6’7” occupant) but low (sloping walls limit headroom around the 45-inch peak height).

Setup : You need two trekking poles and a bevy of guyouts (10 at minimum, 15 for max stability and ventilation)—but with practice, our tester achieved a drum-taut pitch within four minutes. 

Protection : The Super Scout barely flapped during pushy gusts in North Cascades National Park. And it had zero leaks during rainy nights in Michigan’s Big Island Lake Wilderness. Because the vestibule’s opening sits at a 90-degree angle to the side of the main door, no rain enters during exits.

Fave feature : Two mesh corner storage bins (instead of flat pockets) keep packrats organized.

Downsides : One pole bisects the door, complicating entry. And ventilation is subpar: Walls dampened in all conditions. 

$400; 2 lbs. 3 oz.;

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