Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL1 Tent | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL1 Tent | Review

An ultra-light, minimalist one-person tent that’s surprisingly spacious

Why We Chose It:  Ultra-light, superb price, great headroom, clever design

This tent is a bona fide bargain. For the weight, features, design and liveability, we’d expect a much higher asking price – so if you’re looking for an affordable but high-end shelter, look no further. The Big Agnes Tiger UL1 is ultralight (852g), spacious, waterproof and packed full of features including a good vestibule, internal storage, ventilation and much more.

Photo: Chris Johnson

Who Is The Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL1 For?

The Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL1 is suitable for wild campers, long-distance walkers, bikepackers and anyone who needs a lightweight shelter in the great outdoors at the lowest possible weight. It is suitable for three-season use in most conditions and environments, but for winter expeditions or exceptionally hostile terrain a stronger and sturdier tent will be required.

Materials and Construction

The flysheet and groundsheet are made from a silicone-treated ripstop nylon with a 1,200mm hydrostatic head rating and an additional PU coating, while the tent inner is a breathable ripstop nylon with polyester mesh. All seams are taped with a waterproof, solvent free PU tape and the poles are DAC Featherlite.

This one person tent features a cleverly-designed, hub-connected, all-in-one skeletal pole, which forms the main structure. A smaller transverse pole then slots across the apex of this structure stretching out the peak to maximise headroom. The inner, which is pitched first, clips tightly to this skeletal pole – and the result is a shelter with near-vertical walls and maximum head and elbow room. A decent-sized side porch and minimally-tapered floor add to the sense of spaciousness.

“If you’re looking for an affordable but high-end shelter, look no further.”

The inner is freestanding and can be easily repositioned to ensure you’re camping on the flattest, softest spot. It has a bathtub-style floor, with the waterproof material extending up the side wall for a few inches, and a mesh upper for good ventilation (and stargazing on clear nights when the fly isn’t required). The flysheet, which is thrown over the main structure and secured into place, has a large door and provides three-season rated protection against wind and rain, while tension straps ensure the fly stays taut.

Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson

Features

There are a lot of great features with this tent including: double sliders on the vestibule zippers allows for venting from the top or bottom; mini slats in the structured foot-end corners to create more usable space between your feet and tent wall; ceiling pockets for great storage space (including an awesome pocket for stashing your phone, so you can lie back and watch Netflix to your heart’s content without having to hold your phone); a vent on the vestibule door; and multiple interior loops for attaching gear such as a headtorch.

Weight and Packed Size

The Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL1 weighs 852g, excluding carry bag and pegs. Big Agnes also stated a fast fly weight of 652g and a fully packed weight of 992g. For this minimal weight, you get a 1.8m² floor space, with a 218cm floor length, 71-97cm floor width and 99cm head height. The vestibule area is 0.7m².

An Environmental Upgrade

Brand new for 2021, the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL1 has been redesigned using a solution-dyed fabric that is highly resistant to UV fade and drastically reduces energy consumption and water use during manufacturing, a process that is better for the environment and that “improves the quality of the tent fabric”, according to the brand.

You can still buy the original version in the UK, but the newer, more eco-friendly version has clear benefits in the manufacturing process. There is a 50% reduction in the water required (nearly 5 gallons of water saved per tent produced), an 80% reduction in energy use (thus significantly reducing carbon emissions) and a further 80% reduction in the use of chemicals (for a cleaner, safer dyeing and finishing process). Impressive stuff – well done Big Agnes.

Tester’s Verdict

James Forrest

“I used to exclusively use single hoop tents for my solo, ultralight adventures – two-skin tents like the Terra Nova Laser Competition and Nordisk Telemark 1 ULW – but now I’ve completely switched to a different style. Why? Because the tapered walls of single hoop tents make the coffin-like interior too cramped, and condensation can be very difficult to avoid.

“My new favourite type of tent uses a hub-connected pole structure with a cross pole at the centre – an approach that creates far more vertical walls, improved liveability and way better headroom. The MSR Hubba NX and NEMO Hornet 1 use this design and I love them both, and the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 1 fits into this category too. It’s super light at just 852g (excluding bag and pegs), the 99cm headroom provides great clearance (sitting up is easy), and the overall internal space is spacious. It comes in a great price too.”

Photo: Chris Johnson

“I slept in this tent overnight in the Rhinogydd of Snowdonia, on a night that ended up extremely windy with hail storms (classic Welsh weather in late May!). The Tiger Wall UL 1 held strong against the wind, which was really positive to experience (a common drawback of this type of tent is that they’re not particularly streamlined and the high walls can catch the wind like a sail), and it kept out the rain and hail really well. The hydrostatic head ratings aren’t particularly impressive, but – as with other US tent brands – I’ve never experienced any leakage. US tents tend to have good weatherproof coatings and the angle and shape of the walls always seem to shed water really well.”

Photo: Chris Johnson

Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL1

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