The first thing you’ll notice about the Big Agnes Scout series is that these tents somehow manage to look both funkily retro and sleekly modern simultaneously. This is thanks to the 21st century update of the classic two-pole boy scout pup tent design. This single-wall shelter is extremely lightweight (under 2 lbs. trail weight), very roomy, has a large vestibule, and is well-designed to withstand high winds and heavy rains if need be. The Scout Plus UL2 is not without its compromises, but they are compromises I’m more than happy to make given the excellent weight-to-roominess ratio. Let’s get into the details, starting with the main specs: (Note: I have no affiliation with Big Agnes or any retailers mentioned here. This tent was purchased as regular consumer.)
- Packaged Weight: 2 lb., 5 oz.
- Trail Weight: 1 lb., 14 oz.
- Packed Size: 6.5” x 13”
- Floor Area: 29 sq. ft.
- Vestibule Area: 14 sq. ft.
- Head Height: 45”
- Foot Height: 33”
- Doors: 1
- Material: Silnylon (single wall design)
- Poles: Uses trekking poles (not included)
As you can see, this tent is VERY light and packs VERY small for a two-person shelter. At 29 square feet, it is a tad on the small side for what is listed as a two-person shelter. However, for one person and a 60 lb. dog (my experience), it is practically a palace considering how lightweight it is.
|Photo taken along Caney Fork River from my overnighter at Scott's Gulf, TN.|
I’ve had the Scout Plus out for two separate overnight trips in the misty-mountain Cumberland Plateau region of Tennessee. The following is based on those trips where I found the Scout Plus to be a very solid performer and comfortable shelter.
|Supports can be placed outside of tent. |
A stick can be used in lieu of trekking pole if need be.
Because this tent provides a band of mesh along the entire perimeter, the ventilation is pretty good. It also offers a vent in the vestibule, the top of the front door, and in the peak of the foot area. That said, this tent is a bit stuffy in the high heat of a Tennessee summer. This is the price one pays for a lightweight single wall shelter. Big Agnes was wise to design the rain fly a light, creamy beige color to reflect light (and heat) rather than absorb it.
The vestibule is very roomy and is the reason this tent was chosen rather than the basic Scout model. I was easily able to store my full pack and boots under the vestibule with room to spare. The half pyramid vestibule can be rolled up and tucked away either completely (to mimic the standard Scout model) or with just one plane pulled down.
I have not had the opportunity to test this tent in either high winds or heavy rain. Other reviews seem to praise its ability to withstand both, and I have no reason to doubt that. With a good, taut pith, the Scout Plus appears very, very stable thanks to nine guyline points. The silnylon is thin but appears very durable. I would definitely use a footprint of some sort, as with any lightweight tent. I did not spring for the $70 silnylon version offered by BA. Instead, I made a DIY footprint from Tyvek - click here for a tutorial on that project. While I'm sure the official BA footprint is more durable and packs smaller, I'm happy with my Tyvek for now.
- Exceptionally good weight-to-roominess ratio – only 2 lbs
- Very small packed size
- Versatile trekking pole design (can use sticks in a pinch)
- Large vestibule
- Very stable/sturdy
- Not free standing – requires 12-13 stakes.
- Difficult to pitch on hard, rocky surfaces
- Single wall design limits ventilation and negates star gazing
- Single door
Takeaway: I love this tent. For one-person use, if you use trekking poles, this one is hard to beat given the huge roominess and low weight. It also appears to be very sturdy and able to withstand difficult weather. For two people, like any ultalight shelter, it might be a bit snug but only a tad. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in rocky areas, a tent requiring 12 to 13 stakes may not be a great option.
Where to buy (no affiliation with this site):