High Gear: Battle Mountain 2 person tent review | SummitDaily.com

High Gear: Battle Mountain 2 person tent review

Fritz Sperry
Special to the Daily

One of my favorite things in the entire world is sleeping outside. Give me a good campfire and the stars, and it's like a rest button on life.

Luckily, all the guidebook writing I do comes with plenty of opportunities to do just that. Big Agnes has been with me since our trip to Iceland. On that adventure, we had the Shield 2 prototype. It was a bomber single-wall mountaineering tent. Then, I got the String Ridge, a double-wall, four-season tent. I loved them both.

Lately I've been using the Battle Mountain double-wall, four-season tent and I love it as well. It seems like Big Agnes has managed to combine the best features from my previous two abodes very well.

Field test

I've never been one to read the directions. The first trip out with the Battle Mountain was no different. I got to the campsite late and set it up for the first time in the dark. A tent should be easy to set up — it should be intuitive.

The Battle Mountain is just that — once you understand the clip system that Big Agnes employs. The way the pole structure attaches at the top is very similar to the String Ridge and this makes for easier set up than running the poles through sleeves. Just clip it and it is good to go. The grommets for the poles are also color-coded, so they simplify it for you. Easy set up means more time to chill. It also means that if a storm is brewing, you can get out of the weather quickly.

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The tent is more spacious than the String Ridge and the Shield. There is a decent-sized vestibule when using the fly. It's large enough you'll have plenty of room to keep two packs dry and out of the elements. The vestibule also has a window so you can see what the weather looks like outside. There are two zippers for exiting the vestibule, which is great for getting around your stored gear.

The main room has plenty of pockets for storage, as well as a ceiling gear hammock. There are doors on both sides of the tent. I find this gives me more peace of mind when I'm shut up inside a tent in the wild — if a bear comes for a visit on one side, I can get out the other.

Venting is an essential element of tent function. The tent and fly are both vented very well. There are screens on both doors, as well as side vents. You can control how much cross venting you have by zipping or unzipping the vents. When you need to batten down the hatches, though, the tent gets pretty humid. I like to keep some vents open all the time. This tent doesn't get too hot in the summer and the ample venting is why. I don't think I'd take it to the desert in the heat of July or August, but for all my High Rockies camping needs it fits the bill.

Securing your tent is important. There are plenty of anchor points to secure the tent with stakes, but there is also ample surface area for the wind to send your tent to Kansas if you don't tie it down. A tight, taught tent functions better than a loose tent. The fly needs to float above the main tent to help shed water. The space also allows the moisture from inside the tent to escape, but you will only get the space needed if you tie it down. The shape of the tent, with its steep walls, is ideal for shedding snow during a storm.

As with all Big Agnes tents, this one is tough. I haven't been using a ground pad and it has stood up to camping on rock, dirt and crushed granite. The floor is very durable and has even survived a major no-no when crampons found their way into the tent. Knowing that your gear can survive what you plan to throw at it helps you focus on other details of your mission.

Verdict

I'm looking forward to the fall and waking up to the morning light in the yellow aspens. I'm excited for winter in the alpine meadows, surrounded by snow-caked trees and tracks from the day before. This tent will take me places I want to go, and at the end of the day I look forward to kicking back in my bag and watching the sunset from inside its walls. Get outside, play outside and sleep outside.

Fritz Sperry is the author of: "Makingturns in the Tenmile-Mosquito Range," and "Makingturns in Colorado's Front Range, Vol. 1," both available from his company, Giterdun Publishing.

Battle Mountain 2 | $699.95

Pros Four-season Spacious Vents Divisible (share the load) Durable Easy set-up Large vestibule Storage pockets Two doors

Cons Weight (7 pounds) Two-person only Not a desert ten

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