The Best Motorcycle Camping Tent: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 Bikepack Review

Copper Spur UL2

As an avid motorcycle camper, having a quality tent that can withstand miles of abuse on the back of my bike, and withstand all sorts of weather conditions off the bike, is ideal. In 2020 I got my hands on the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 Bikepacking tent. An upgrade from my Fly Creek UL1 tent that I had been using prior, the Copper Spur has become my most used tent of all time.

In this blog, I’ll be going over a few key features of the Copper Spur UL2 Bikepacking tent and why it’s become my favorite piece of motorcycle camping gear I’ve ever owned.

Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 Bikepack Overview

  • Total Weight: 3lb 8oz
  • Packed Size: 7″ x 13.5″
  • Floor Area: 29ft²
  • Vestibule Area: 9ft² + 9ft²
  • Head Height: 40″
  • Fast Fly / Shelter Mode Weight: 2lb 9oz
  • Footprint Weight: 9oz (Sold Separately)

Copper Spur UL2 Bikepack Review

Bikepack Tent Pack Size

One of the benefits of purchasing a bikepacking tent is that it uses 12″ Short Stik tent poles. These make this tent extremely compact and favorable for motorcycle travel. At only 3lb, 8oz (roughly 4lb total with the footprint) it’s also pretty lightweight for the quality of a tent that gets packed down into a small stuff sack.

Pack Size of the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 Bikepack Tent on a Motorcycle
Bikepacking tents are designed with bicyclists in mind who spend days or weeks traveling through rugged terrain and camping along the way. Most bikepacking tents have been engineered with tent poles shorter than 12″, making them optimal for handlebar, pannier, or saddlebag storage. PSA: This tent is not being stored on my fender/front of my motorcycle. It was a simple placement to show how compact it is.

Durability

I go motorcycle camping at least 20-30 nights per year. Having a quality tent that can withstand the elements and not experience wear and tear is crucial.

I have used the Copper Spur UL2 Bikepack tent more than any other tent I’ve owned. From torrential downpour to snow, to high winds and zero shade in the dead of summer, me and the ol’ Copper Spur have been through a lot together. 

Other than a few tent stakes being bent and an extremely small tear in the mesh (so small that I haven’t needed to fix it), you’d never be able to tell that this tent has been extensively used over the past 3 years.

I chose to purchase and utilize the tent footprint to help with the life longevity of my tent floor. So far, so good! The tent floor is made of a fancy ultralight nylon fabric that promises to be durable and waterproof. With a 1200mm polyurethane coating, I haven’t had any waterproofing issues, even in heavy downpours.

Motorcycle Camping under a Starry Night Sky
The Copper Spur’s mesh top offers pretty spectacular stargazing at night!

Storage Space & General Comfort

The more you camp, the more you’ll understand that there are different tents for different uses. Turns out, I can be a minimalist at times. At others, I need a little bit more creature comforts, like space and organization.

The Copper Spur features double doors which were a big upgrade from the Fly Creek’s “crawl in” style front door. (This is a feature you may have to use to decide whether or not you like it.) For me, having a single front door (like the Fly Creek) that essentially forces me to crawl in and out of my tent while doing a crab walk isn’t always ideal. Additionally, I just needed more room if I planned to camp with a partner or be stationary for a few days.

Can you fit two people in the Copper Spur UL2 Bikepack tent?

Yes! You and your partner can both sleep on long-wide sleeping pads. However, you won’t have any interior space for your junk. Plan to store your helmets outside the tent, or very close to your feet. You’ll able to use the interior pockets to store some items, but not much.

If you need extra space for two people (ie, you plan to use this tent to be stationary at events for a few days) I’d highly recommend getting the UL3.

PS: I still use my Fly Creek UL1 Bikepacking tent for overnighter trips, or when it’s colder out. It’s still a great, compact tent that you can read more about, here

Motorcycle Camper Setting up a Tent
Each tent door features dual zippers for ease of entry, or quick-reach-through access using only one zipper. You can stow the unzipped door easily with the Quick Stash door-keeper on tent body door

Gear Storage inside the Copper Spur UL2 Bikepack Tent

The other main reason I wanted to upgrade from the Fly Creek was due to a lack of storage space. Once I realized I enjoyed camping in a single location for more than one night, I realized how nice it is to be able to “spread out” and have a bit more room and organization. I felt like I had moved into a little nylon mansion when I got my Copper Spur.

The rainfly features some daisy chain webbing which you can use to dry clothes or towels on. I’ve definitely utilized this to dry my travel towel on numerous occasions! There are also a few elastic daisy chains on the tent itself as it was intended to store bicycle helmets.

Inside the tent, you’ll find an oversized ceiling pocket, in addition to accessory pockets near the head and foot areas of the tent. Interior loops can be used with accessories such as camp lights or gear lofts.

According to Big Agnes, “With a footprint installed, you’ll be able to utilize a dry, dirt-free changing and gear storage area.” Yes, the footprint will give you a dry area to place your gear. If you’re expecting to stand up and change clothes, I hope you’re two feet tall. I have no issues changing in my tent. It is pretty nice to plop your shoes down on a dry surface before crawling into your tent. I actually store my Skyline UL chair inside the vestibule area so that it’s out of sight when I’m away from my campsite.

I have two tent doors, I don’t have to crawl in like a crab, and I can put my extra junk out of eyesight?! This is PERFECT” – A thought I probably had after I upgraded to the Copper Spur.

Ventilation

I’ve primarily used this tent in the western half of the United States, where humidity is less prevalent. I have used it in temperatures between 20 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Overall, it’s performed as expected.

The double-wall construction of this tent performs well. The tent itself is made up of mostly mesh sans the tent floor, and the rainfly vents allow extra airflow out of the top of the tent. When it’s really hot out, the Copper Spur UL2 will definitely struggle to ventilate. But that’s to be expected in brutally hot conditions with any tent, in my opinion. Overall I wouldn’t consider this a con, it’s just the reality of a tent baking in the sun on a hot summer day. Once temperatures cool, the tent will do its job and cool down as well.

During rainstorms, my tent has stayed dry and there have been zero “muggy” situations with condensation buildup. I have woken up in colder conditions (below 35 degrees Fahrenheit) with some condensation build-up, but it’s usually my own fault: I forget to prop open the vents on the rain fly.

Setting Up The Copper Spur UL2 Bikepack Tent

This tent can be set up in under 5 minutes. Everything is color-coded and some parts are even reflective to help you set up in the dark.

The Copper Spur UL2 utilizes a two-pole, Short Stik 12” system, which connects to a clip system on the tent and rain fly. (Yay, no annoying pole sleeves!)

DAC Featherlite NSL pole system meets the Big Agnes 12″ Short Stik, featuring 4-way high-volume hub pole design
The TipLok Tent Buckle™ combines three functions: secure pole-tip capture, rainfly attachment and tensioner, and stake-out loop. These work well!

I tend to sleep with the rainfly off when the weather permits. In the event that I have to wake up and throw the rainfly on in a pinch, It can be done in a minute or two, assuming I have the gear nearby and not packed away. Hah! The rainfly has color-coded clips and buckles to help match things up quickly and correctly.

The rainfly does turn into an awning if you purchase and pack proper poles for it, but it’s not a feature that I utilize. Additionally, by utilizing the tent footprint and rainfly’s TipLock Tent Buckle system, you can set up the tent itself under a covered area if it’s raining. I’ve never had to do this, but it is possible.

Yes, you can get the tent back in the bag. Some days I wrestle with it more than others. But everything always makes it back in. Oftentimes I store my tent footprint in the bag as well.

Overall Thoughts & Pricing:

The Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 Bikepack Tent is the perfect motorcycle camping tent for anyone looking for durability, comfort, and a little bit of extra space. Coming in at $599 + $90 for the footprint, you’re probably wondering if it was really worth the investment.

With three years of heavy use thus far and showing minimal wear and tear, I feel that the price is completely justified. I’ve gotten more than my money’s worth from this tent and look forward to many more miles of travel and nights under the stars. I can’t recommend Big Agnes’s bikepacking tents enough to anyone looking to upgrade their motorcycle camping gear.

Which Copper Spur Bikepack Tent is right for you?

You can purchase the Copper Spur Bikepack Tent in a 1-Person, 2-Person, or 3-Person option. Here’s which one I would pick, depending on certain camping preferences/scenarios:

1-Person: You camp alone at all times and tend to pack light, or change campsites daily. Having extra space inside your tent isn’t a major priority.

2-Person: You camp solo and enjoy having extra space in your tent, or camp with a partner on occasion and may need the extra room. If you camp with a partner often, you both can manage having little to no extra space inside the tent beyond room for your camping gear. Also great for solo motorcycle campers who tend to set up a “base camp” in one location for a few days, or are tall and need the extra room to lay “diagonal”.

3-Person: You camp with a partner often, if not always. You enjoy having a bit of space inside the tent to store extra gear, or to give each other a bit of room.

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly tent: the Copper Spur UL2 also comes in a backpacking version. However, you’ll miss out on the upgraded compression stuff-sack and 12″ Short Stik poleset. If you’d like to stick to a bikepack-style tent, check out the Big Agnes Tiger Wall Bikepack Series. The Tiger Wall is essentially a hybrid between the Fly Creek and Copper Spur. You’ll lose some of the premium features of the copper spur, but you’ll also save a little bit of money.

Gear Review | Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 Bikepack Tent
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Staci Wilt

I’m Staci: a freelance journalist, photographer, and marketing consultant. I primarily focus those skills around my passions of motorcycles, travel, and food…and yes, we will count margaritas and craft beer in that last category. Thanks for checking out my blog!
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4 Comments

  1. Charles Bordelon on September 11, 2023 at 2:07 PM

    Hey my friend really enjoy your videos. Especially the ones when you roll through Arkansas. . I never realize there’s so much to see there. Safe travels.

    • Staci Wilt on September 12, 2023 at 1:12 PM

      Thank you!

      • Herb Zack on May 27, 2024 at 12:37 PM

        I have the UL-3 and find it perfect for me and my gear. I’ve never tried it with a second person. I can fit my Mosko Moto Reckless 80 system with all my gear at the foot which leaves a little room for me to move around. Like you, I’ve been through all kinds of weather and came through dry and unscathed.

        • Staci Wilt on May 27, 2024 at 2:29 PM

          Rad! Glad you’re loving it!

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