There are as many camping destinations as there are camping tents you can buy, and the different styles of tents are as diverse as the destinations in which they get set up. Summer is coming on, and camping equipment is appearing in all the stores as summer vacation gets closer and closer. If you’re looking for a tent that will be durable in harsh weather conditions and last more than one summer, the Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 could be the right tent for you.
We’ll go through what sets this tent apart, its specs and features, what other users and customers have said about it, pros and cons, and our final word about it in this review. We aim to give you an authentic, honest breakdown to make your decision better informed as you go forward.
Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 Review
What Is It?
The Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 is a large, free-standing tent that can sleep up to 8 people. It has plenty of space for just about anything, from being a spacious two-room tent for a few people, or a great shelter for a group.
But more than that, this tent is made to be strong and to last. This kind of tent is for more extreme outdoor enthusiasts who spend a great deal of time in tents and need something that won’t fall apart easily. Mountain climbers on Mount Everest have even used this brand for base camp tents, so you know they can take a beating and still be dependable, particularly in rough weather.
Specs and Features:
- Weight: 22 lbs. / 10.04 kg
- Floor area: 123 sq. feet / 11.4 sq. meters
- Capacity: Sleeps up to 8
- Head height: 72” / 183 cm
- Packed size: 12 x 14 x 25 in / 31 x 36 x 64 cm
- Fabric wall that can separate the tent into two rooms or be tied back
- 16 mesh pockets in the interior
- 20 lightweight aluminum hook stakes
- Full-size rain fly with multiple tie-down points
- 4 DAC combination poles with press fit connectors
- Check CircleBriefcase-style bag with shoulder straps and organizational pockets
- Check CircleGear loft loops (for large trapezoid gear loft, sold separately)
- Number of seasons: 3+
- Doors: Two (with vestibules), to allow for ventilation and a choice of entry during high winds
- Non-standard shape (one larger section, one smaller)
- Intended use: Car or base camping, mountaineering and high altitude
- Color-coded pole ends, webbing, and buckles for easier setup
- Six fly vents for ventilation
- Doors have separately zippered layers, mesh for ventilation, and polyester for full protection
- Reflective webbing on corners and guy lines
- Vestibules can be staked out as shades using trekking poles (not included)
- Sleeves and plastic clips securely attach the tent to pole frame
- Vestibules have storm flaps on zippers
- Guy lines and tensioners already attached to fly
- Taped seams with solvent-free polyurethane coating (free of PVCs or VOCs) for waterproofing
- Easy-grip zipper pulls
- Tent fabric is breathable polyester and polyester mesh
- Floor is made of polyester
- Rain fly is made of rip-stop polyester
- Check CircleFloor and rain fly are coated with 1500mm polyurethane
What Makes the Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 Unique?
Big Agnes is a popular outdoor company that focuses on making their tents as strong, spacious and light as possible. Their Flying Diamond line of tents, in particular, are made for comfort and livability, with steeply angled vertical walls to make them as roomy as possible.
All the Big Agnes tents are highly rated, and the Flying Diamond 8 is no exception to what customers have come to expect from the brand. It lives up to the name and brand backing it up.
Big Agnes tents are made to be able to withstand harsher conditions than many other tents, which is why they are a popular choice as Everest base camp tents. They are listed as 3+ seasons, meaning that they should be able to last through three seasons worth of use and abuse.
Several customer reviews and testimonials have described situations in which the Flying Diamond 8 withstood winds or storms, and remained perfectly strong and intact throughout.
The fabric wall that can be either tied back or stretched across to separate the tent into two “rooms” gives this tent a versatility that other tents often don’t have. Having the option to split the space or leave it open gives you more options for your bedding and gear, or even for using the tent as something other than a sleeping area, such as a dining hall.
Privacy is another asset to the versatile option for a set of “rooms” rather than a shared space. Especially if you’ve got a mixed crowd, you can afford a closed-off area for whatever needs people to have, such as changing clothes.
Ease of Setup
The Flying Diamond 8 only takes two people to set it up, and one could manage alone if he or she had to. There are only four poles to deal with, and they are color-coded to match the webbing and buckles that anchor each one.
The poles are very long, which can make it tricky for just one person to manage, but it is possible. Two people are plenty, and it will take a minimum of time to get this tent up and ready, including the separately sold footprint (ground cover for under the tent) and full-size rain fly.
If you’re going to be backpacking or hauling camping gear in a small car, this tent was made with easier transportation in mind. It’s very lightweight for its size, only 22 pounds, and comes with a handily organized bag to pack it in.
The aluminum stakes, poles, tent, and fly can all be tucked into their own pockets (very handy if you have a wet fly and a dry tent and don’t want them packed together) and zipped securely into the briefcase-style bag with shoulder straps. The packed size is 9 x 16 x 24 inches / 23 x 41 x 61 cm, making it easier to wiggle into small storage spaces.
Weathers the Weather
The poles used for this tent are incredibly flexible, meaning that even during high winds that can easily destroy other structures, this tent will bend, but not break. They have even proven their worth in Vedauwoo, Wyoming, an incredibly windy area popular with campers.
This tent is also amazing at staying completely dry in big rainstorms and maintaining that waterproofing over several years. Customers often leave rave reviews commending this tent for having a dry interior no matter how wet and wild the conditions are outside.
The height in the larger section is a full six feet, making it comfortable for all but the extra-tall campers. Changing or moving around isn’t hampered by having to hunch over constantly.
The rain fly does an amazing job of keeping rain off the tent in general, while the taped seams and water-resistance of the tent itself keep the inside of it very dry. Even with the wind blowing the rain, the interior still stays dry as a bone, without even any condensation in foggy areas.
The square footage is great for multiple cots or beds, with the smaller section very well suited for either small children or as a luggage and gear storage spot.
Some tents can take a whole crew of people to set up, but two people, or even one in a pinch, can raise this tent easily. It also stows back away without trouble, no fighting to get it back inside the bag. The bag itself was also praised for having different storage compartments for the different parts of the tent.
How It Compares: The Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8
There are a lot of other brands and tents on the market that sell tents of similar size to the Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8. The North Face, Marmot, and NEMO all offer tents that are meant to be used for mountaineering or rougher weather, for about the same price, weight, and size as the Flying Diamond 8. Browning and CORE also pop up on lists for good tents to have in bad weather.
In the size comparison market, there are lots of lower-cost options, like Coleman, Wenzel, Kodiak Canvas, and Ozark, but these aren’t built to the same strength and durability standards as a mountaineering tent. These brands are better for casual campers, not outdoors people dedicated to long camping trips or destinations with rougher weather.
Things to Consider When Buying The Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8
The tent is quite long, and the doors are on opposite ends. Therefore, a fairly long camping site will be necessary in order to fit the tent and still have space to actually enter and exit.
What We Think of The Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8
This tent is perfect for outdoorsmen, for people who spend a lot of time in tents and need to be able to rely on their shelters for protection. For this purpose, the Big Agnes Flying Diamond 8 is a good buy. Especially if you can find it on sale. It’s a tent that will be reliable and sturdy for a length of time. And can be taken into harsh weather without compromising your comfort. You’ll want to make sure to get the separately sold footprint as well. As it’s key for the tent function at peak weather-protection performance.
To Use Over a Weekend
If you’re just looking for a tent to use over a weekend as a casual camper? It’s probably not for you, as it’s quite expensive. Compared to other sizes that is built to handle gentler conditions. It’s not a great value for the money. Unless you plan on really using it to its full potential. Finding something else that is cheaper will probably serve you better than the Flying Diamond 8.
When doing your research and picking out options for your tent. Keep your individual needs in mind to make the best decision for you.
- Big Agnes tents are known for their strength and durability and will last in any kind of weather
- The tent is light when packed up, making it easier to transport
- Solid structure that holds up against harsh weather conditions, especially wind and rain
- Easy setup that takes only two people
- The Flying Diamond 8 is more expensive than other big tents
- Lower ceiling in the smaller section can make it feel cramped
- The footprint, which is made specifically to protect against inclement weather, is sold separately
- Some customers had issues with the zippers being difficult to work