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Best Sleeping Gear: 2017 Digital Trends Outdoor Awards

best sleeping gear 2017 digital trends outdoor awards

All season long, we camped, backpacked, paddle boarded, and hiked our way through the Pacific Northwest to find the best new outdoor gear for the first annual Digital Trends Outdoor Awards. After pushing each contender to the limit, we crowned our favorite products for Cooking, Sleeping, Trekking, Recreation, Unwinding, and a special award for Innovation. And we’re giving away one of every winning product, so enter our contest!


When you’re camping, a tent is your literal home away from home. It keeps out the rain, sun, and bugs, and gives you a comfy place to lay your head at the end of the day. A proper tent should be easy to set up and break down, provide enough space for your crew and your gear, and do it all without weighing you down.

Modern fabrics and smarter construction have made today’s sleeping gear vastly lighter and connected to your tech lifestyle — think smart tents to pair with today’s smarthomes, smartphones, and smart apartments. As tent makers continue to innovate the construction and design of their portable abodes, some have found new and inventive ways to make setup take a mere matter of minutes while others have piled tents with built-in tech. But why choose? Big Agnes makes a tent that does both with flying colors.


Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 mtnGLO Tent

At just over 3 pounds, the three-season Copper Spur HV UL2 mtnGLO not only works for weight-conscious backpackers, it’s also an easy-to-set-up car camping tent for those nights you roll into camp late and just want to catch some Zs. That part isn’t a marketing gimmick; we were able to put the Copper Spur up in no more than four or five minutes — rain fly included.

Saving time is nice, but the literal stars here are the LED lights strung across the interior roof like a constellation. Unlike the harsh focus of a flashlight or headlamp, the LEDs softly illuminate the entire tent, providing the perfect amount of light for a late night game of poker or when you just can’t find the zipper on your sleeping bag. With a control located near the entrance, turning on the lights is as easy as flicking on the lights when you enter a room. Don’t worry about it bothering a neighbor, either, as the lights are hardly noticeable from outside and feature three brightness settings.

The Tech: Big Agnes built the Copper Spur from its proprietary 120mm waterproof double ripstop nylon fabric, which is capable of taking an utter beating on the trail while remaining completely breathable and lightweight. High-tenacity yarn on the fly and tent floor improve tear strength by 25 percent over last year’s model, to help shrug off that pointy stick you didn’t see when you were setting up. The efficient LED light strip in the roof only takes two AAA batteries and runs for hours.

Our tests hardly scratched the surface in terms of wear and tear, even though it joined us on rafting trips, weekends spent camping, and a week-long getaway on Mt. Hood. Backed by its durable ripstop nylon, the Copper Spur seems built to last, and even if you manage to break it, Big Agnes has a solid warranty that we’ve put to the test before with other products.

Big Agnes Copper Spur UL 2 mtnGLO Tent
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Inside, the tent features a large, mesh ceiling pocket we used for storing the next day’s clothes (sometimes the current day’s dirty clothes), and the smaller side pockets near where we laid our head proved perfect for stashing a smartphone. It’s admittedly snug for two people, but we were able to really sprawl out camping solo. Once it was time to pack up, the tent rolled up nicely, fitting into a small companion bag that was easy to transport whether we camped right off a trail or hiked into our spot.

Big Agnes’ $450 Copper Spur HV UL 2 let us spend less time fumbling with tent poles and rain flys and more time enjoying the great outdoors.

Runners up

Make sure to check out all the winning products for Cooking, Sleeping, Trekking, Recreation, Unwinding, and a special award for Innovation. And we’re giving away one of every winning product, so enter our contest!

Videos and photography by Dan Baker/Digitaltrends

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