It’s crucial when hunting for camping essentials to look out for the highest quality, and that’s not only because at BuyMeOnce we believe in filling your life with good stuff that will last you for years. Rarely will your comfort and safety rely so heavily on so few purchases as when you’re camping. If you’re planning to brave the great outdoors with nothing but a cleverly constructed bundle of fabric and pegs for shelter, you’re gonna want to make sure that bundle does its job really, really well.
Fortunately, we think we’ve found a brand that can top the fierce competition. Big Agnes excels in three incredibly important core criteria: longevity, sustainability and outstanding aftercare. Read on to find out more about this amazing brand.
Big Agnes burst onto the outdoor scene in 2001, a home-grown brand based only a stone’s throw from the beautiful Continental Divide Trail in Colorado. Since then they’ve won multiple Backpacker Magazine’s Editors’ Choice Awards, the first only three years after their inception. While they’ve since grown rapidly, the primary focus is still putting out gear of exquisite quality and durability. Big Agnes is a brand you can trust, like an older sister looking out for you on the trail.
Of course, as well as quality it’s crucial to consider the kind of experience you want to have. There’s no point having an indestructible tent if it’s so heavy you drop from exhaustion before reaching the top of the mountain, which is why we’ve chosen the Copper Spur UL tent series, which are simultaneously tough and ultra light.
The Copper Spur UL4 won Backpacker Magazine’s Editors' Choice Gold Award in 2017, and trust us when we say this it's one of the most lightweight, durable tents you’re likely to find. Tents in this series are made from an ultra durable double rip-stop pattern nylon fabric, and the fly and floor feature a unique weave made with high tenacity yarn and high filament count. This increases the fabric tear strength by 25% whilst decreasing weight and improving water resistance, achieving maximum performance with minimum weight. Get the Copper Spur HV UL2 for a festival or backpacking solo, or invest in the Copper Spur HV UL3 for a roomier experience.
A good quality sleeping mat and bag is one of the best camping investments you can make. Whether you’re at a festival, on a six day hike or camping out with the kids, you’ll definitely be needing that beauty sleep for energy the next day. Fortunately Big Agnes offer some of the best sleeping mats and sleeping bags around, such as the Q Core SLX Sleeping Pad. This mat has garnered rave reviews for being simultaneously tough, lightweight and ultra comfortable. Cosy up on top of it with a sleeping bag like the Encampment 15, a high-tech bag made out of 97% recycled materials, and you’ll be forgetting you’re outdoors at all.
Big Agnes are big on sustainability, partnering with numerous nonprofits including Leave No Trace, the National Forest Foundation and The Conservation Alliance. However, it’s their amazing repairs culture that we think sets them apart from the crowd.
This brand employs a growing team of repair gurus who will do everything in their power to keep your gear going for as long as it possibly can, which means everything from patching up fabric to replacing zippers and poles.
Big Agnes encourages you to repair your own gear as much as possible, and offer a whole load of advice for patching up your tent in the field. Big Agnes recommends Tear Aid’s Type A Fabric Repair for small rips and tears, and you can watch their handy video tutorial here.
We also love that any usable demo gear, sales samples or repaired tents are never sent to landfill but are offered in outlets at a reduced price, making good gear more affordable. Look out for reduced gear on their sister company BAP, also located in Colorado (although remember this route is a gamble since items will have been used to varying degrees!)
If you’re looking for high quality camping essentials that will become trusty companions on adventure after adventure, you can do no better than Big Agnes. Even if you’re not looking to buy new gear, take some inspiration from this brilliant brand and see if you can give your tent a little TLC before throwing it away.