Tom Robertson is a freelance photographer, as well as an endurance athlete, outdoor enthusiast and avid adventurer based in Missoula, Montana. He loves being able to incorporate his fitness with his work, keeping up with world-class athletes as he documents their endeavors. Tom has been recognized nationally and internationally for his projects throughout the United States and Europe. Clients include Saucony, Trek, The North Face, Runner’s World, Trail Runner, Bicycling, and Adventure Cyclist.
While I was planning and packing for a bike and ski tour in Oregon, weight was always at the forefront of my mind. We were embarking on a bike tour from Portland to Bend, Oregon, with stops to climb and ski six volcanoes along the way, and gear for multi-sport trips like this has a way of adding up. Having to haul camping gear, cycling gear and full-on ski mountaineering gear meant that things were going to get heavy in a hurry, and the pedal powered spirit of the adventure had us reaching for the lightest stuff we could find.
I’m not always great at traveling light. I’ve been used to traveling solo with a 3-person tent so I’m used to a fair amount of space, but that wasn’t an option on this trip. My tent-mate loves to sleep under the stars, but rain most nights meant that there would be two people in the tent every evening and we’d be testing the capacity of the vestibules.
Going from one person in a 3-person tent to two people in a 2-person tent was certainly going to be an adjustment. And while it was cozy, the steep tent walls and crossover pole setup did make it feel more roomy than the usual two-man configuration. The two interior mesh pockets on each side kept things a little more organized, and the large vestibule and doors on each side allowed both of us to keep four cycling panniers under cover and out of the Oregon dampness.
Since rain did fall most evenings, we got a thorough test of the rain fly, and stayed dry the entire time. We didn’t notice any durability issues over a couple of weeks, but then, we didn’t expect to. The one issue we did have with all of the rain was that the while the storm flaps kept the vestibule zipper covered, after a thorough soaking the flap had a tendency to jam the zipper. This was especially troublesome when opening the tent from the inside, while the storm flap was out of of reach.
We were all impressed by the LEDs that Big Agnes integrated into the tent body. The lights provide plenty of ambient lighting for reading, packing, or the most challenging nighttime obstacle: finding your headlamp. The switch box for the LED lights is located on the ceiling of the tent, so it will never be buried. There are two settings of power for the lights, and a fresh set of AAA batteries yields over 90 hours of light.
- Surprisingly roomy
- MtnGLO is rad
- Rainfly zipper jams when wet
The Cooper Spur MtnGLO is a no brainer if you’re on a trip where light is right. It’s lightweight and lights up, and as long as you’re patient with the zippers in the rain, it’s a no-nonsense performer through and through.