Gear Reviews

Editors' Choice 2009 Green Award: Big Agnes Salt Creek Recycled Tent

"Habitat for humanity" gets a new meaning with this eco-friendly tent.

White is the new green. This three-season tent is made with 100-percent-recycled materials–fabrics, plastic pole clips, even the guylines. And the distinctive white fly and canopy? It’s the result of dispensing with toxic dyes. Big Agnes had to start from scratch to build the Salt Creek–pioneering the materials needed to build a sustainable double-wall shelter–but eco-innovation is only one half of the story. This tent also works.

Wind and rain whipped the Salt Creek on trips from high-alpine Colorado to the peaks of northern Wales, and everywhere the green construction proved both durable and weatherproof. And while it’s no lightweight for a two-person tent–the recycled fabric isn’t ultralight (yet)–the large 36-square-foot floor, near-vertical walls (think tons of headroom), and spacious 17-square-foot vestibule mitigate the extra ounces. The white fabric is a shocker at first, but testers dubbed the Salt Creek the “happy room” after taking refuge in it during a gray, soggy trip in Brecon Beacons. Bonus: The vestibule converts to a flat-roofed awning when staked out with two trekking poles. Bummer: The door is large, but there’s only one. $350; 90-by-58-inch floor; 6 lbs.;