Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2 Tent Review


Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2 Tent Review

Comfort

Ease of Setup

Weather Resistance

Durabilty

Weight

Packed Size

Ultralight Two Person Tent

Weighing just 2 lbs, 4 oz, the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2 is a double-wall, dome-style tent for two people that’s lightweight enough that it can be also be used for solo trips when you hike alone. Dual doors make it super-convenient for couples to use, while the spacious interior and superior ventilation provide highly livable internal space.

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The Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2 is an ultralight double-wall tent that only weighs 2 lbs 4 oz. It has two doors, making it ultra-convenient for couples, or as a palace for one, with dual vestibules for gear storage. But the star of the show on this tent is the all-mesh inner-tent front wall, making it the most highly ventilated tent in Big Agnes’ line of lightweight tents. However, be advised: the Tiger Wall UL is made with ultralight fabrics and components and must be treated with extra care for long-term durability.

Specs at a Glance

  • Weight (total)
    • Poles 8.8
    • Inner tent 13.8
    • Rain fly 13.3
  • Type: Double-walled; definitely NOT freestanding.
  • Fabric: 15 denier nylon (floor and fly)
  • Minimum stakes to pitch: 4 only 6 is optimal

Inner Tent

The Tiger Wall UL 2 inner tent is held up by a single tent pole and requires at least two tent stakes at the foot end to set up, so it’s not freestanding, despite Big Agnes’ claims that it is. Set up is simple though, with a single collapsible pole that folds up narrowly (suitable for bikepacking) and slots into three color-coded grommets at the base of the tent.

The inner tent of the Tiger Wall UL is mostly mesh, providing excellent ventilation
The inner tent of the Tiger Wall UL is mostly mesh, providing excellent ventilation

In addition to two doors, the Tiger Wall has vertical side walls providing extra space to move around and with 39″ of head room clearance to sit up in. The inner tent width at the head-end is 49″, while the foot-end has a width of 39″, necessitating the use of tapered sleeping pads. None of this is surprising, but it’s detail lost in the specs published by Big Agnes and their online retailers.

The side doors are large and easy to get in and out of, with large zipper pulls so they’re easy to find at night. The inner tent zippers along with those on the fly do have a tendency to snag though since the surround fabric is so light weight, so go slow and be gentle with them. Side pockets at the head-end of the tent provide internal gear storage for small odds and end, while a ceiling pocket can be used with a headlamp to provide ambient light.

One of the reasons, the Tiger Wall UL 2 is so lightweight stems from the use of a 15 denier nylon fabric, which is so thin that’s it virtually transparent. I don’t normally recommend using tents with footprints (they’re usually redundant weight) because tent floor fabrics are often fairly durable. But in this case I’d recommend one if you camp frequently on highly abrasive rock dust or tent sites that have lot of sharp organic matter on them.

The corners of the inner tent form a high bathtub floor
The corners of the inner tent form a high bathtub floor

There’s no need to buy a Big Agnes specific footprint for this and I’d recommend using a lighter weight piece of window insulation wrap instead. Cut it so it’s big enough to fit under the inner tent (under the part where you’ll be lying) and it will help protect the tent fabric from wearing through. I find it ironic that most ultralight cottage-gear manufacturers now have thicker more durable tent floors than Big Agnes, but then they have much more experience at manufacturing hard-wearing ultralight gear.

Rain Fly

The Tiger Wall rain fly, like the inner tent, is easy to set up and clips into the corner grommets used by the inner tent, while the front corners can share the tent stakes used to pitch the inner tent. Interior tabs are available to connect the fly to the pole structure while extra guy-out points can be staked out in more extreme wind or weather conditions for added stability.

While the rain fly is opaque enough for privacy, it lets a lot of light in if you're adversely affected by moonlight or morning light
While the rain fly is opaque enough for privacy, it lets a lot of light in if you’re adversely affected by moonlight or morning light.

The vestibule space is adequate but not overly large, while the door zippers, like those on the inner tent, must be used carefully to avoid snagging the fly fabric. The zippers do have run gutter awnings however, a nice touch, to prevent you from being drenched at night when you unzip the fly. There are also tie-back loops that make it very convenient to roll open the tent doors for maximum ventilation.

The bottoms of the fly doors have short, fixed length guylines, and you’ll want to replace these with adjustable ones in order to get a really taut pitch and to give you more staking flexibility if you discover your tentsite is less than perfect, after you’ve set up the inner tent.

For maximum comfort and cross-ventilation, sleep with the vestibule doors open
For maximum comfort and cross-ventilation, sleep with the vestibule doors open.

The fly itself is made with a thin translucent fabric that lets a lot of light into the tent each morning and on bright moonlit nights. While the fabric is opaque enough to provide privacy, I recommend getting a darker colored tent if light keeps you up at a night or wakes you up too early in the morning. This isn’t a show stopper for many people, but it can annoying if you camp or backpack in the higher latitudes where the days are super long.

Recommendation

The Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2 is a double-wall, dome-style tent for two people that’s lightweight enough that it can be also be used as a palace for one, with a canine friend if you have one. Dual doors make it super-convenient for couples to use, while the spacious interior and superior ventilation provide highly livable internal space. As with all ultralight shelters, durability is a heightened concern, so you’ll want to use the Tiger Wall gently for fast and light trips instead of bachelor parties or scout jamborees.

How’s the Tiger Wall UL 2 compare to the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL 2? The Tiger Wall has two doors and is far more convenient for two people to use, even though it’s 5 oz. heavier. What about the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2? The Copper Spur is 8 oz heavier than the Tiger Wall, but is closer to freestanding because it is a four pole structure rather than a three one and it’s more expensive. If you trying to decide between the three, I’d choose the Tiger Wall, but if you already own a Fly Creek or a Copper Spur, I wouldn’t bother upgrading.

Disclosure: Big Agnes provided the author with a sample tent for this review.

Written 2018.

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