Garry’s latest acquisition to his kit is the Big Agnes Blacktail Hotel 2, a lightweight three-season two-person tent. And although he’s only taken it on a few trips, it’s already becoming his go-to tent when heading off on his bicycle. Over the years, Garry’s had several tents, some good, some not-so-good. But the Big Agnes Blacktail Hotel 2 is one of the better ones.
It reminds Garry of the first tent he used when he first started cycle touring, the MSR Velo. It should have been the design MSR stuck with, but that’s a different story, which you can read about here.
The Big Agnes
Garry has one or two reservations about the Big Agnes Blacktail Hotel 2. The materials seem a little less superior to some of his other tents. And the zips don’t fill him with confidence that they will last. But time will tell on those. The pegs that came with the tent were cheap and nasty and were discarded immediately, replaced with Groundhog pegs. The top vents on the tent are also a bit of a concern. And Garry’s not too sure how good they would be at keeping out rain in a strong wind.
The inner tent walls are predominantly mesh, which might be a problem when the temperature drops. And there is a significant gap between the sides of the outer tent and the ground. But that, along with the upper vents, allows for plenty of ventilation. Keeping condensation down to a minimum.
It sounds like Garry isn’t too impressed with the tent, but nothing could be further from the truth. Garry loves its roominess and excellent headroom. The large vestibule allows Garry to store all his gear inside the tent. The vestibule also allows Garry to cook in if it’s wet. And if it’s been a wet ride, he can change out of his wet gear without getting the inner tent wet.
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