Big Agnes Foidel Canyon 2 Review

The term “3+ season” tent isn’t something you hear very often. There are summer tents, and there are winter tents. So what does 3+ even mean? With the Foidel Canyon from Big Agnes, that means a tent that you can use in nearly every situation, in nearly every season. Rain, snow, wind, heat, humidity, it’s ready for all but the absolute worsts of conditions.

Big Agnes Foidel Canyon 2

The Foidel Canyon 2 achieves this 3+ season status by being built differently than a 3 or 4 season tent. It’s light weight, at just 4 lbs 14 oz, but it’s also built very, very well. Constructed with an incredibly durable yet lightweight Dyneema Fabric fly and floor, paired with  an unusually burly DAC symmetrical pole system, the Foidel Canyon is built to withstand some abuse.

The tent has two doors, two vestibules, and two vents. Additional cold weather and sand protection is provided by dual layer doors (half mesh, half breathable nylon) which allows you to unzip the nylon layer, revealing a drafty mesh walls when the temperatures rise or more ventilation is needed. The tent retails for $649.95

Big Agnes Foidel Canyon 2

What I liked

The Foidel Canyon holds up great to strong, otherwise damaging winds. Camping high atop my favorite proving grounds (which have routinely crushed 4 season tents due to wind) the tent stood strong, without buckling or losing any internal volume. The stout frame held the tent upright with little movement even during a developing super cell. Multiple guy out points aided in the stability, with a series of J-Stakes to provide quality anchoring. The tent remained quiet, without creaking, groaning, or flapping in the wind. The framing is strong enough to hold up to most winter conditions, short of hurricane winds and large snow dumps. Excellent for those high elevation, exposed camp sites.

Big Agnes Foidel Canyon 2

 

Overall build quality is fantastic. The impressive Dyneema fabric performs much better than most fabrics I’ve tested, resisting stretching and tearing. I never once had to get up and re-tension the tent after the wind picked up. The tent pitches taut, and stays taut. The floor is built well enough that carrying a footprint was never once considered.

Big Agnes Foidel Canyon 2 9

Livability is impressive. Ample internal space and very generous headroom provides a large, open, inviting cabin for those long, never ending storms. I never once found myself struggling for more room, or rubbing against the wall or towering ceiling. Entry and exit is simple and painless thanks to the large open doorways. The double layer doors allow for a huge range of comfortable temperatures, sealing up to block wind and heat when it’s cold and opening up for a breeze when it’s hot or humid. Top vents only enhance the airflow, creating a real current through the tent when needed. The colors, orange interior with grays on the outside, create a soft warm glow inside that doesn’t get too dark or too bright.

Big Agnes Foidel Canyon 2

 

Pockets. Pockets everywhere. I was able to stash phones, headlamps, cookies, tablets, and much more in the large assortment of pockets located around the head of the tent and along the roof. Organization is king.

Cookie storage? They thought about me.

Cookie storage? They thought about me.

For the durability, it’s very lightweight. Under 5 pounds puts it’s square in the middle of backpacking territory, but beefy enough to be a base camp tent.

An ingenious modification to the way the inside door ties back allows you to instantly get the door out of the way, without dealing with clips or toggles. Simply tuck the door into a long band of fabric, and it’s done. All tents should have this.

A clever change to the toggle system on the door restraint.

A clever change to the typical toggle system on the door restraint.

Setup is as easy as it gets, even in howling winds. Symmetrical poles and a clip on rain fly expedites the pitching process. Just make sure your hub is pointing down and you’re good to go. The fly is also color coded.

Big Agnes Foidel Canyon 2

What I didn’t like

The tent leaves very little to be desired. All around, the Foidel is meticulously designed and considers all situations. My only complaint? Performance comes at a premium.

Big Agnes Foidel Canyon 2

Overall

Built to impress and protect, the Foidel Canyon 2 is an incredible tent. The light weight Dyneema fabric and rigid DAC aluminum frame molds together into a very durable, shockingly light weight tent, all while being comfortable and inviting. The harshest of winds and the coldest of nights proved to be of little significance. Large open interiors and a huge range of use produces a tent that you can take with you in nearly every condition without fear that it will be flattened by the circumstances. The quiet build, warm interior colors, and plethora of storage options only sweeten the deal. If you demand performance, and don’t mind the price, it’s an excellent solution.

The Highest of Recommendations

Big Agnes Foidel Canyon 2

 

For more information, check out www.bigagnes.com

Huge thanks to BA for providing this tent for review. Our disclosure is up on our contact us page. Thanks for your support!

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “Big Agnes Foidel Canyon 2 Review

  1. Pingback: Big Agnes 2015 tents preview | TreeLineBackpacker

  2. cannot wait to get my hands on one from REI, I have had on backorder since April and I am still waiting for shipment.

  3. Great review. I own a couple of BA 3 season tents and am impressed by their quality. Do you recall how the fly attaches to the DAC poles? I ask because this is a weak point of some lightweight 4 season tents. The guy lines help the tent poles maintain structural integrity of the tent in the face of high winds. If there are just one or two velcro straps, the connection of the fly to the pole is likely to slip if not fail. Hence most 4 season tents have “sleeves” for the poles.

    • That’s a great question.
      The only connection points from the fly to the poles themselves are a few Velcro straps that attach to them, other than a couple of clips that snug in the top brow. This, paired with the 4 clips and numerious guy lines has been pretty stout, and I’ve not heard so much as creaking from the fly.
      I’m still using this tent one my rougher weather trips, and it’s holding up great. I don’t think it will be a problem.

  4. Nice review – thanks. You didn’t find the black fly too depressing and dark? Black is an unusual color for a tent fly. Thanks….

    • Thanks for reading! Actually no, not a bit. Combined with the yellow internals, it makes a very comforting warm glow actually. Plus the gray patches and doors let in plenty of light, sort of like ambient lighting. You could always throw in some MtnGlo lights, when reflect very well off the materials.

  5. I have the Foidel Canyon 2 being delivered today. I have several tents and continue my search for an all around perfect tent. Although the FC2 is a bit heavy, it seems like it might be just about the best tent available to day that meets my needs. I was able to order the FC2 at 25% off that I’ll use when with my dog, car and light winter camping, etc. I’ve read a few reviews about the tent’s dimensions being smaller than claimed by BA. Did you happen to make any measurements and confirm the L/W/H? Thanks in advance for your comments.

    • Hi Tom!

      The Foidel is an amazing tent. It’s the one tent that I constantly go back to when it’s cold or windy. It’s a solid choice.
      The way BA usually does their dimensions is from the outside of their tent (eg pole tips/rain fly being the dimension guides) instead of the inner floor plan. I guess this is done to standardize the dimensions, as some of their tents do not show accurate floor space until fully pitched (inner body guy points and such). This throws a lot of people off, but they’re generally pretty close. I only measure if I find the dimensions to be a problem, which I never did with the Foidel Canyon. I think you’ll be quite happy with it. Let me know what you think when you get it out.

      • I just finished setting up the Foidel Canyon 2. My initial impressions are that this is a substantial piece of gear and one that I’ll be keeping for a very long time. By “substantial” I mean this is a quality piece of equipment, very well thought out and made from some of the best materials available, The Foidel Canyon 2 is a balance between strength, stability and weight while meeting the 3+ season requirement in a self-supporting tent. I’m an AT section hiker and have “evolved” my gear over several years. I’ve gone from low-end tents, to tarps, tarptents and now to the Foidel Canyon 2. Although I’ll keep my two tarptents for ultralight backpacking, I like the strength and stability provided by the Foidel Canyon 2 and will use it when hiking with a friend, my dog and during winter months. The self-supporting structure and high, strong bathtub floor will provide excellent protection from the elements. I had been studying 3+ and 4 season tents for several months and found your review by accident. It helped me make my decision for this tent. Thanks for a fair and honest review.

      • Hi Tom! I’m glad you’re enjoying it. There really aren’t any other tents out there that does what this shelter does, so it’s good to see it getting some attention! I think you’ve chosen it for all the right reasons. Thanks for reading, and do let me know if I can be of assistance!
        Congrats on the awesome tent. It’s one of the best.

    • I think you are seeing “marketing math” at work here. If you take the stated dimensions for the Foidel 2 from the BA web site, the top width (measured from the outside of the inner tent) is 52 inches, bottom 42 inches, and length 92 inches and floor square feet 35. Even if we assume the floor is square (which it is not), I get 4784 sq inches or 33.2 sq feet, which apparently BA rounds up to 35.
      I could go back and use my high school algebra, but I would guess the interior square footage is closer to 30 sq feet.
      I own the BA String Ridge 2 tent, the predecessor of the Battle Mtn 2. I really wanted a Hilleberg, but for only 2 or 3 snow camping outings a year, I could not justify the expense. The SR 2 is a palace for 2 and snug for two and has room enough in the vestibule for cooking in a storm.

      • That’s probably a bit to do with it to. Most companies exaggerate their specs, just a bit. I’m yet to find a product that was 100% at spec. Sadly, there is no regulation for these things.
        I’m a big fan of the String Ridge. Honestly, I would choose it over most Hilleberg tents. They just always seem cramped and noisy in the wind (the fabric type and long tubular walls).

    • Thanks Mike!

      The tent is designed to handle light snow loads, and it does so pretty well. It has nice sloped angles all around, which helps keep most of it off in the first place, and if some does build up (a few inches) it’s going to be find. If you get huge dumps of snow it could be an issue (never been a problem with mine), but as long as you keep it shook off it will be good to go. If you’re planning on camping during large snow storms, you might consider the Battle Mountain instead (it’s a beast), but for light snows this is a great option.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s