Camping is a great way to reconnect with the family and with the environment. Whether you are planning a summer vacation to a national park or just having fun in the back yard, it is important to select the tent most suited for your needs. One of the greatest challenges when selecting a tent is balancing extra features with an economical cost. That is why we developed this informative article to help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of the Big Agnes tent brand. Pour yourself a cup of campfire coffee, hand the kids some s’mores and read on about selecting and caring for the ideal tent to keep you warm during cold nights and dry during afternoon rainstorms.

Important Features When Selecting a Tent

There are many shapes and designs from which to choose in the outdoor camping tent market of today. Focusing on three criteria helps narrow down the list of tent options. When selecting the best tent for your family, consider features that include the following:



ladies inside a tent

Tents range in sizes suitable for one person and a dog to extravagant tents capable of housing over 10 people. Determine who is going to use the newly purchased tent and then decide if you need a one person- or four person-sized model.


Type of Activity

ladies Building a tent

Some popular activities that require the use of a tent are car camping and backpacking. Tents designed for backpacking are typically lighter and incorporate fewer external accessory features than tents designed for car camping. Distinguishing between the type of activity has implications for the type of tent you select.


Number of Seasons

camping tent in the forest

Are you just going camping in the summer, or do you need a tent ready to defend against snow or cool autumn temperatures? Many tents are categorized according to the number of seasons’ weather they are prepared to withstand. For someone planning a summer vacation, a two- or three-season tent is ideal.

About the Big Agnes Brand

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The Big Agnes brand was established over 15 years ago and is based in northwestern Colorado. The company has a strong reputation for creating outdoor gear such as sleeping pads, sleeping bags, tents, apparel and various outdoor accessories. Their range in gear is suitable for people just beginning to sleep outside to those who may feel like they spend more time in a tent than in a house.

About Big Agnes Tents

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The company has four categories of tents: backpacking, car/base camping, mountaineering and mtnGLO. Each tent type is geared toward a different form of overnight outdoor recreation and has various limitations on size options. For example, the largest backpacking tent is designed for four people, the largest mountaineering tent for three people and the largest car/base camping tent for eight people. The tents also vary in features such as weight and price. They are all made with a polyester material ideal for ventilation and sealed with polyurethane for waterproofing protection.

What We Think

The Big Agnes tent options are designed for quick and easy setup and made with materials perfect for summer-weather camping. When selecting the ideal tent for a family of four going car camping, we chose the Big House 4. It is more expensive than the Rabbit Ears 4, but we think the additional features, such as two doors instead of just one, are worth the price difference. We liked the Big Agnes Deluxe option, but did not feel we would completely utilize all the features. If we want more storage space, we can invest in the Big Agnes vestibule. That might provide the perfect space for someone who needs to get away from the family for a little bit of time or offer a dry location for the dog.

Another camping arrangement we considered is purchasing two tents. Using the Big House 2 model for gear and kids while the parents enjoy the Blacktail 2 or 3 provides an added layer of privacy when spending long periods of time in the wilderness. Both tents are well made and the Blacktail style has a compact design that allows it to share a campsite with the Big House model, thus providing parents with a separate (and perhaps quieter!) place to sleep.

The Big Agnes brand has a variety of tents suited for your camping needs. However, if you are only looking for a simple back yard tent for hosting birthday-party sleepovers, Big Agnes may be a brand that comes with models, price tags and technologies that exceed your needs. Consider when and how you intend to use your tent before purchasing one.

Caring for Your Tent

After purchasing and using your new tent, it is important to establish a cleaning routine to extend its lifespan. On the final morning of a trip, remove everything from the tent and lift the tent by the poles to shake dirt and debris out of the open doors.

It is recommended to remove the poles from the tent before packing up the rest of your gear. This way, you can drape the tent over a picnic table to let moisture and dew evaporate from the bottom of the tent. One of the first things to do when unpacking the car after a trip is to unfold the tent and let it completely dry out in the sun or in a dry room before being tucked away for multiple months of storage. Stuffing and storing a damp tent can lead to negative consequences including the following:

  • Mildew growth
  • Harm to polyurethane waterproofing protection
  • Flaky tent coating
  • Unpleasant odors

A completely dry tent should then be gently rolled and folded into a loose mesh mag or old pillow case instead of a stuff sack. Hang and store it in a dry location away from the risk of pests such as mice chewing holes in the tent.

Cleaning the tent one time each season is recommended. All cleaning must be done by hand and not by a machine. Do not worry about spending excessive amounts of money on cleaners with high levels of chemical cleaning agents. All you needed is some non-abrasive soap, water and a sponge. Seam tape and tubed polyurethane sealants can be used to fix small holes and re-waterproof worn areas of the tent material. Always make sure the sealant you are using is the correct option for the material of your particular tent. Model-specific cleaning details are located in user manuals that come with the tent and can also be found online.

3 Other Options To Consider

1. Footprint

This is a very important additional product to add to the cart when purchasing a tent for the family. A footprint matching the layout of the tent will prolong tent life by protecting the bottom from items such as sticks or stones that could pierce the floor of the tent. It also adds an extra layer of insulation between the cold ground and your back, thus helping promote a better night’s sleep.

2. Big Tube Vestibule

This is a very important additional product to add to the cart when purchasing a tent for the family. A footprint matching the layout of the tent will prolong tent life by protecting the bottom from items such as sticks or stones that could pierce the floor of the tent. It also adds an extra layer of insulation between the cold ground and your back, thus helping promote a better night’s sleep.

3. Big Tube Vestibule

The most important ingredient of a successful trip is a good night’s sleep. Sharing a small space with the entire family may make it more difficult to sleep. Investing in quality sleeping pads to add an extra layer of cushioning between the ground and your body is a way to increase the odds of comfortable sleep and thus being well rested for any adventures planned for the following day.

We enjoy camping on a regular basis and were impressed with the options offered by the Big Agnes brand. Prices are comparable to other wilderness camping brands and our camping friends have been pleased with their Big Agnes models. Now that you know how to select and care for a tent, you are ready to determine the best model and purchase a tent in preparation for the next family adventure.

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