One of the lakes on the Yellow Aster Butte hike at sunrise.

Copper Spur or Hubba Hubba: A Big Agnes vs MSR Backpacking Tent Comparison Guide

There are many backpacking tent brands out there. You have MSR, Big Anges, NEMO, Sea to Summit, The North Face, REI, Marmot, and others. They are all somewhat in the same ballpark, though when it comes down to it, I think Big Agnes vs MSR for the top two spots. 

Now, I’m sure a sizeable segment is ready to yell/laugh at me, but over my six-plus years backpacking in MSR and Big Agnes tents, I’ve had zero issues that were not self-owns. 

Additionally, these two tents are of better quality and lighter, and when I’m carrying a lot of photography gear, I’m always looking for ways to cut pounds and ounces. 

Big Agnes vs. MSR: The Hubba Hubba and Copper Spur Debate

Technical Specs of Big Agnes vs. MSR Backpacking Tents

Both of these are three-season tents, and while you could go camping in the winter in them, it won’t go well if you have heavy snow or wind.

A MSR Tent sits in the larch fields
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

1 Person Tent – Hubba Hubba vs Copper Spur

Both of these tents are pretty similar. Both weigh the same, but the interesting feature is that the Big Agnes one has slightly more floor space. The other difference between all these tents is that Big Agnes tapers its tents to have less room at the toes and more room at the shoulders and head area. 

Big Agnes vs MSRCopper Spur 1Hubba Hubba 1
Sleeping Capacity11
Min Trail Weight2 lbs 2 oz2 lbs 2 oz
Packaged Weight2 lbs 6oz2 lbs 7oz
Floor Dimensions88×38/2885 x 30
Floor Area20 sq ft18 sq ft
Number of Doors11
Number of Poles12
Design TypeFreestandingFreestanding
Created by Alec Sills-Trausch

Check out the MSR Hubba Hubba 1
Check out the Copper Spur 1

2 Person Tent

For the Big Agnes vs. MSR two-person tent comparison, only ounces separate their weights, and their floor areas are the exact same. However, the Copper Spur is longer by four inches but has considerably less room at the feet.

Big Agnes vs MSRCopper Spur 2Hubba Hubba 2
Sleeping Capacity22
Min Trail Weight2 lbs. 11 oz.2 lbs. 14 oz.
Packaged Weight3 lbs. 2 oz.3 lbs. 4 oz.
Floor Dimensions88 x 52/4284 x 50
Floor Area29 sq ft29 sq ft
Number of Doors22
Number of Poles12
Design TypeFreestandingFreestanding
Created by Alec Sills-Trausch

See the Hubb Hubba 2
Check out the Copper Spur

a big agnes copper spur UL3 tent with hiking boots in front
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch/ @Alecoutside

3 Person Tent

Lastly, the differences are hardly noticeable. That said, if you’re looking for a slightly bigger floor space, the Big Anges Copper Spur 3 beats out the MSR by 1.5 square feet. It’s half a foot longer, which would be better for taller individuals.

Big Agnes vs MSRCopper Spur 3Hubba Hubba 3
Sleeping Capacity33
Min Trail Weight3 lbs. 8 oz.3 lbs 7 oz
Packaged Weight3 lbs. 14 oz.
3 lbs 13 oz
Floor Dimensions90 x 70/6284 x 68
Floor Area41 sq ft39.5 sq ft
Number of Doors22
Number of Poles22
Design TypeFreestandingFreestanding
Created by Alec Sills-Trausch

See the Hubba Hubba 3
See the Copper Spur 3

Why can I be trusted?

Well, I own the Copper Spur 3-Person.

I bought the Copper Spur UL 3 in the summer of 2023. I had the Big Agnes Happy Hooligan 2P tent starting in 2018, but when my partner and I had wide sleeping bags, it was a bit too cramped for our liking. 

So we upgraded, and it’s been perfect since then.

I still have the 2P tent that I’ll bring if it’s just me, though I did test out the Copper Spur on a solo trip and get photos of it. As you probably know, it barely weighs anything, and I didn’t notice the weight on my back. 

Thankfully, I haven’t had any inclement weather issues so far, but I did in my past tent life, and the Big Agnes kept me dry. 

Spent Summer 2020 in the MSR Hubba Hubba 2-Person 

Another reason I think I can speak on this Big Agnes vs MSR topic is that I spent the summer of 2020 backpacking and traveling with my brother, and we spent a lot of nights in his tent. It was a little bigger than my Happy Hooligan and allowed two grown men to sleep side by side. 

If I had stuck with a 2P tent, I think I would have gotten the MSR, as it’s a little more cozy. 

backpacking summiting mt daniel tent views
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Is there really a difference?

Honestly, there is not much of a difference when it comes down to it. The biggest thing to note in the Big Agnes vs MSR debate is whether you want less toe space and more headspace or a more standard rectangle design. 

Additionally, if you’re taller, I think the Big Agnes is the better choice. At four inches longer in the 2-person and six inches longer in the 3-person, it’s a sizeable difference, especially if you’re over six feet tall.

Both companies probably have their reasons for the design, and it is ultimately up to you to decide how to spend your money. 

See All the Big Agnes and MSR Tents

What do I recommend?

The question I’ve been trying to avoid. 

Honestly, I think either one is a damn good option, and you can’t go wrong. I chose Big Agnes for my tent because the price point was there, I’m six feet, and my experiences with Big Agnes (sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and tent) have all been good. I didn’t want to rock the boat. 

I would say find the tent that you can afford and go from there! In the end, you’ll be happy with your selection.

FAQ: Backpacking Tents and Big Agnes vs MSR

Is 4 lbs too heavy for a backpacking tent?

I personally would not break the four-pound mark for any three-season tent. And when it comes to two-person tents, I’m not sure if I would go past what these two offer at basically three pounds even. 

Should I do Freestanding or Semi-Freestanding?

For the most part, this doesn’t affect most hikers. 

A freestanding tent can stand upright on its own, usually thanks to poles covering all four sides. A semi-freestanding tent requires a rope to be pulled and then staked to secure one side.

This will only affect you if you go someplace that is super windy OR if you’re camping in a place with a platform to set your tent. Usually, these semi-freestanding tents weigh a bit less and cost less because they have fewer or smaller poles.

I personally go with freestanding options as they are more sturdy. 

A big agnes copper spur sits in front of a mountain in washington
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Is an ultralight tent worth it?

I know the prices on these might be a bit of a shocker, but trust me, you want a quality tent that will last years and years. Take my Happy Hooligan one; it lasted me five years and hundreds of miles on the trail. 

If you consider these an investment and treat them well, they will last a while. 

Final Thoughts on Big Agnes vs MSR Backpacking Tents

Ultimately, the Big Agnes and MSR tents are about the same in weight, floor space, and quality. I would definitely recommend doing your due diligence before purchasing, but in the end, you can’t go wrong. 

Both places make high-quality gear, and you should get years and years out of your backpacking gear

Thanks for taking the time to read my Big Agnes vs MSR comparison guide, and happy trails!

Until next time, adventurers, take care and be safe.

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Author: Alec Sills-Trausch

Title: Founder of Explore with Alec

Expertise: Hiking, Backpacking, Photography, and Road Trips

Alec Sills-Trausch is a hiker, backpacker, landscape photographer, and syndicated travel writer. He enjoys showing off the beauty of the world through his photos, videos, and written work on Alec is also a 2x cancer survivor and bone marrow transplant recipient, showing the world that there is a future from this terrible disease.

He lives in Washington, where he gets to enjoy the stunning PNW mountains in addition to all the other places he attempts to visit each year! You can see more work on IG at @AlecOutside