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Big Agnes Tents - Why I'll be a customer for life

Big Agnes Tents - Why I'll be a customer for life

Note: Big Agnes has done nothing other than provide me with excellent customer service.

Some companies get it. They have class and approach their customers as valuable assets. They know that the experience of the customer is just as good as the quality of their products. Columbia Sportswear is one. They’ve always treated me very well. Another company that truly excels at what they do is Big Agnes.

In 2009, before 100 Peaks was even a blog, I was in the market for a new tent. I had been using an old REI Half Dome 2 tent that was over 17 years old and was relatively heavy and getting worn out.

Shaking sand out of my early 1990s REI Half Dome 2 at Joshua Tree National Monument

Shaking sand out of my early 1990s REI Half Dome 2 at Joshua Tree National Monument

A Great Product

I am not sure how I even heard of Big Agnes. I seem to remember knowing them as a premium brand that was likely out of my price range. However, after some research, I soon found that they had plenty of great reviews out there.

Looking at their specs, I was amazed at how light their tents were. Being disappointed with the room in some of the 2-person tents out there, I opted for a 3-person tent, so that the PD and I could sleep comfortably in the backcountry. I ordered a Copper Spur UL3, on a website with a pretty good discount.

Over the next 9 years, I spent many happy, comfortable nights in that tent. It was well-made, easy to set up, and, best of all, very light. From heavy hail in the shadow of Mount Whitney, to the blazing heat of the San Diego backcountry, it keep me safe and dry.

Comfortable at Williams Lake in New Mexico, before summiting Wheeler Peak in 2012

Comfortable at Williams Lake in New Mexico, before summiting Wheeler Peak in 2012

My daughter and I spent many adventurous nights in it, making a lot of great memories. From her first backpacking trip in Santa Barbara at age 4, to a recent night in Cleveland National Forest, where we played Dungeons and Dragons until the wee hours, the Copper Spur UL3 served us well.

Sunrise after a warm evening of playing D&D in the backcountry. CNF, 2018

Sunrise after a warm evening of playing D&D in the backcountry. CNF, 2018

Sophia’s first backpacking trip, 2013

Sophia’s first backpacking trip, 2013

The First “Wow” Moment

After about 4-5 years, I called Big Agnes, as my tent’s stuff sack was starting to tear. They sent me a new sack for free. Sure it was for a different tent, but it fit and I’ve been using it ever since. They also threw in some new stakes for me, since I had mentioned that I had lost a couple over the years.

In 2016, I started also using a one-person Copper Spur on my solo trips to Dusy Basin and Mount Langley.

The one-person Copper Spur is also comfortable and very light. Long Lake, Sierra Nevada, 2018

The one-person Copper Spur is also comfortable and very light. Long Lake, Sierra Nevada, 2018

Customer for Life

After standing up to years of wind, and rain, however, on a trip to Treasure Lakes in 2018 with my daughter, my 9-year-old Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3 tent started to leak during a 3-hour rain and hail thunderstorm. We huddled in our tent, putting our waterproof jackets and items over our sleeping bags, waiting it out.

At the Treasure Lakes in the Sierra, 2018. My 9-year-old tent would leak in a few hours

At the Treasure Lakes in the Sierra, 2018. My 9-year-old tent would leak in a few hours

After considering buying some new waterproofing supplies, I set up the tent in my backyard to dry. The tapes on the seams were all peeling off. This was to be fixed by more than some sealant.

I reached out to Big Agnes to see if I could get it repaired. They asked me to send it in and said it might cost $15 to repair, but they will assess it when they received it. That was completely reasonable and I was already very pleased.

After they received my highly-used tent, they responded:

I can either send a new upgraded Copper Spur HV UL 3 tent and footprint under warranty at no cost or if you're able to provide a receipt for your purchase, I'll match what you paid for the original tent in Big Agnes credit. You can use that in-house credit towards the purchase of any item in our current product line.

I was amazed. After 9 years of using my tent to its fullest, they stood behind their product and offered to send me a brand new tent.

I opted for the new Copper Spur HV UL 3, which was even lighter than my current tent. I was able to use it in the Mojave Desert this winter and the quality of their design is even better.

Shiny new tent in the Mojave Desert, 2019

Shiny new tent in the Mojave Desert, 2019

For this excellent service, I will be a customer for life. I’ll be using my Big Agnes tents several times this summer and it’s nice to know I am going to be comfortable, no matter what Mother Nature throws at me.





100 Peaks Turns 10 - What an adventure it's been!

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Eagle Rock - Peak 72 - A pleasant stroll through the grasslands

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