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Gear Review: Big Agnes Scout UL2 Ultralight Tent
Outfit

Gear Review: Big Agnes Scout UL2 Ultralight Tent

Gear Review: Big Agnes Scout UL2 Ultralight Tent

Ultra-light and ultra-compact, yet quite roomy inside, the sleek Scout UL 2 Tent from Big Agnes is a great way to lighten your load on the trail.
Weighing under two pounds, the Scout UL 2 saves weight by using trekking poles (that you provide) to set it up.  It is single-walled, but well-ventilated with polyester mesh along the sides.
The tent's footprint is a spacious 54" x 90", and there's 43 inches of headroom.
 

Big Agnes Scout UL2 tent at Round Lake campsite

It's almost too good to be true. This freakish combination of interior volume with ultra-light weight does have some compromises to consider:
It is not a free-standing tent.  It requires 12 stakes to erect properly.  It has a single door.  There is no vestibule, and the poles are inside the tent.

This is not the tent for everyone.  Staking it out a dozen times, poles in the middle of the floor, single-wall condensation potential, and lack of a vestibule could be deal-breakers for those desiring more simplicity in setting up camp.

However, if you are looking for a lightweight tarp shelter with a floor and a door that sets up with your trekking poles, then this is a tent to consider.

Next Adventure Big Agnes Scout UL2 tent at round lake

I got my Scout UL 2 to replace a tarp shelter that had served me well for many hundreds of miles along the trail.  My old the MSR Trekker Tarp set up with poles, but had no floor and no mesh to keep out the creepy crawlies and the flying bities.  I'm used to having two trekking poles in the middle of the floor, so I did not have a problem with the poles inside the Scout UL2.

Next Adventure Big Agnes Scout UL2 tent Oregon Coast

I've taken my Scout UL2 out on a few trips now.  It kept me dry in the rain along the Salmon River in May, and kept the mosquitoes out while camping at Round Lake in June. In July, it kept the fog off my gear on the Oregon Coast, and was cool and well-ventilated on a hot night at Hawk Mountain.

Next Adventure Big Agnes Scout UL2 tent foggy coast

Even though it is roomy enough for 2 people, I like using mine as a one person shelter.  I can drag my gear inside to make up for the lack of a vestibule.  The wing flaps on the side act as a mini-vestibule to stash shoes and some gear.

Next Adventure Big Agnes Scout UL2 tent interior view   Next Adventure Big Agnes Scout UL2 tent view out door

SET-UP INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Stake the 4 corners (4 stakes)
2. Crawl inside and insert the poles tips up into black patches
3. Adjust poles to proper height
4. Stake and tension ridgelines (2 stakes)
5. Stake out "Fly" wings (6 stakes)
6. Tension all lines and balance out sides
7. Restake and readjust lines until tent is taught (as necessary)

The photos below show several of the steps in setting up the Scout UL2 tent while camping by the Salmon River. Another nice feature of the tent is that the floor is always covered.  It was raining as I set up the tent, but once it was staked out, I could crawl inside to set up the poles. 

Next Adventure Big Agnes Scout UL2 tent set up   Next Adventure Big Agnes Scout UL2 tent set up in rain

One of the hardest things I had to do to set up the tent was insert my trekking poles handle-down and tip-up.  I feared poking a carbide tip through the fabric.  But there are super-reinforced black patches that really do the trick.

 
Next Adventure Big Agnes Scout UL2 tent inserting poles   Next Adventure Big Agnes Scout UL2 tent staking out

The door zipper can catch and snag quite easily on the ultra-thin fabric if the tent isn't staked and tensioned perfectly, but the silicone treated nylon ripstop material is really tough and has survived the abuse I have given it.

I am very happy with my purchase of a Big Agnes Scout UL2 tent, and I recommend it to anyone wanting a lot of tent in a tiny package.

Next Adventure Big Agnes Scout UL2 tent

 

Buy it now!

 

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