This is usually a slower time for backpacking news, as the seasons begin to change people usually start going inside and new products don’t show up as often: but not for me and not for Big Agnes. The Battle Mountain 4, 4 season mountaineering tent just showed up at my door, and I’m incredibly impressed. I couldn’t help but share the beauty of this beast before it’s released.
The tent is a 4 season, mountaineering tent designed for the worst weather. Designed to be impervious to heavy wind and snow. The tent weighed in at 6 lb 14 oz on my scale, including the stuff sacks (pack weight). The materials are light weight, but durable, with a sturdy DAC Featherlite NSL pole system, burly tent stakes, and rugged floor and fly materials.
There are two doors, one primary entrance on the front with a large vestibule, and a smaller rear door with a smaller vestibule.
The tent design utilizes several poles to create uniform tension and rigidity: a wide cross body system, with two poles that go over the top and lock outwards, pointing into the wind for more stability.
Inside, there are 6 pockets sewn directly into the tent to provide plenty of storage options. My tent came with a large gear loft, big enough to hold jackets and cameras, but I’m not clear that these will be included with every tent.
Small vents are located near the head of the tent, and the doors unzip to allow extra ventilation as well, so you can get that blow through cooling and drying effect.
Overall initial impressions are very good. The tent has a unique pole design that locks together to produce force in all directions for increased wind strength and reduced sway. The pole system pitches incredibly stiff for a tent of this weight, and hasn’t budged in any of the wind conditions it’s seen so far.
I’ll be testing this one thoroughly, and as soon as I have a full review I’ll let you know how it performed. Until then, enjoy the photos.
14 thoughts on “Big Agnes Battle Mountain Tent Preview (2015)”
Hello – great review; thanks very much. Could you please clarify if this is a 2 or 3 person tent? In other words, is this tent replacing the Big Agnes String Ridge (2 person tent) or the Royal Flush (3 person)? If the former, do you have any info on the 3 person tent they will be coming out with? Thanks!
Yes, this is replacing the String Ridge 2, and it’s also a two man tent. Keep in mind though, although this is newer, it’s actually a bit heavier than the String ridge 2. That’s something to consider. The String Ridge 2 is a great tent in it’s own.
There is a Battle Mountain 3 coming along, and it’s very similar to the royal flush with far fewer changes, aside from color and a minor weight bump. It weighs 8 lbs 6 oz. A single ounce heavier.
Thanks so much for a great review! Given that this model is now out along with its 3 man counterpart, the String Ridge two I’ve been putting of buying is now seriously reduced! The specs on these new versions are compelling though…EXCEPT…..I’m at a loss as to why Big Agnes has yet to catch on the concept of a side entry vestibule with some actual useable assets. It looks like the vestibule opening continues to play dangerously close to allowing rain and snow into the tent when entering or exiting? The MSR Fury and Marmot Thor seem to be the only players in this range to have made the vestibule a useable extension. What were your thoughts on it?
I’m glad you could make some use out of my review.
The side entries, while very convenient, greatly reduce wind stability. You lose all ability to frame around the sides of the tent if you have an entry way. This is a better design, even if less convenient. If you note the framing system here, you have aluminum support from all directions. I’ve yet to have this tent even wiggle in hard winds, which would never happen with side entries. The front vestibule does have a slight chance of rain hitting the inner wall, but the inner wall actually sheds rain pretty well itself. So unless you’re leaving the front door open for long periods of time you shouldn’t have any issues at all. I never had any issues with it. If you’re curious about side entries, you may want to consider the Foidel Canyon from Big Agnes, but I’ve yet to have a chance to test it. It’s much lighter as it’s built with that side entry in mind, but again you’re sacrificing some stability.
have you tried cooking in the front vestibule? it seems to be large enough to allow that but pictures can be deceiving. thanks for reviewing this model on youtube! this is what sold me on the tent. the big agnes presentation isn’t good because they simply took the 3-p version to show off the spaciousness….
I have indeed. It works, but it’s a little tight. I recommend rolling back the top first. A strong wind could put the fabric pretty close to the cook set. You can also wedge taller items into the end to raise the top up a bit for extra security. But yes, it does work! I’m actually working on expanding my Youtube videos. Once I decide on a good camera, you’ll see much more and more detailed videos. Thanks so much for reading/watching.
thank you michael! i suspect that most times during mountaineering it will either be possible to cook inside the sleeping cabinet, or as you say, in better weather, roll back the vestibule’s ceiling. i’m still thinking about the marmot thor though. as a musician i once bought a HD camera from sony with great optical zoom but was still disappointed afterwards with the sharpness of the images on screen. the resolution of your video of this tent is better then my videos.
Indeed, you should be able to use it most of the time. It’s always worked for me, especially with a good pitch. It’s bigger inside than it looks. I’ve no experience with the Thor, but I’d love to get to test one soon. Wow, that’s good to know. I may have to stay away from Sony for the camera. I’m still looking at my (many) options, and it’s tough to make a decision!
Hi, good review.
Does anybody know how durable and waterproof the fly and floor are? I see they both have quite a low rating in regards to waterproofing (1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating). Is the floor of the tent sufficient to use without a footprint?
I have never used this tent with a footprint, and I’ve had no problems at all. One thing to keep in mind is the material of the floor. It’s naturally thicker and doesn’t require the same thickness of coating for durability as the intrinsic durability of the polyester does most of the work here. With nylon thin nylon, it’s more important as the coating has less to grip too. The fly is Cordura, not your typical fabric either, and holds up fantastically well. I’m yet to have any issues at all with this one.
Quick reply thanks, Can I ask you where and what conditions you have used the tent in so far. I am looking at this tent because of its weight and pack size in relation to other 4 season tents, some of the other well known manufacturers make very nice winter tents and are so called bomb proof however the trade off is the weight, one has to be built like Arnie to carry them.
That’s an excellent question. I’ve used it in many conditions, all cooler conditions as it’s a pretty warm shelter. I’ve had it under ice sheets of about 3 inches thick, light snow loads, really heavy wind and intense rain and hail. As long as it’s guyed out properly and staked down like it should be, it barely moves at all. It is a lighter weight tent, but that’s mostly due to the smaller footprint and the use of higher end materials, like Cordura which can be stronger at a thinner denier. It’s not the strongest on the market, a couple outclass it in wind strength (full sleeve shelters like the NF VE are a bit more stable), but it’s certainly close. It’s strong enough for anything under say 14,000 feet or so and it’s handled the local peaks of about 6,000 feet repeatedly with no problems at all. I use it because of it’s weight as I found it to honestly be more than I need in terms of strength, and I always choose the most exposed peaks I can find (I like a good view!).
When you say smaller footprint, is this an ideal size tent for two. Have you used it for two or did you carry the tent by yourself?
Thanks in advance and for all your help.
Smaller as in it doesn’t spread out far from its base. I use it primarily for two and it’s quite roomy for a couple. Plenty larger than most 3 season tents. I carry it all in my pack though, to save the lady the pack weight.