Big Agnes C Bar 2 Backpacking Tent is a lightweight high-quality freestanding 3-season tent with an easy setup and a reasonable price tag. Read more here.
Key features & benefits
- 3-season tent.
- 2-person tent.
- Single door.
- Dual hub design.
C Bar 2 – What this is about
This is a tent from a brand new series the Big Agnes launched a few months ago. So you have this 2-person tent and yet another C Bar 3 tent for 3-people. Both are available in the same link given above.
This is a freestanding tent and a double-hub design. This means that you have the central ridge pole that splits on both ends creating Y-shape profiles. So as soon as you connect the poles to the corners, it becomes self-supporting. Though as usual, you have the vestibule which must be staked down to be functional; but even if you cannot do this you can still use the tent and stay the night safe and secure.
I am not completely sure why they use the words C Bar in the name, perhaps because of the shape of the main ridge pole when you look at it from the side.
This is a single-door and single vestibule design, but in this particular case this is not so bad because the door is on the narrow front side so that both users have the same access to the door. Please see the floor plan to understand what I mean:
The tent is with a full coverage fly and the picture below shows how it looks with the fly on. As you see, the door rolls to the side:
Who is it for
Capacity-wise, you have 28 ft² (2.6 m²) of the inner floor area, plus a single vestibule, so if used by 2 people, the total protected area per person is 17.5 ft² (1.65 m²). This is not exactly a hotel, but for a backpacking purpose, it is enough. You will see below how this compares with some of its competitors.
Seasons-wise, they declare it as a 3-season tent and I would take it for granted. Though the waterproof rating is quite modest (more below) but you might not need more.
Climate-wise, I would not use it in a very cold environment. The upper section of the tent is practically all mesh so this will not keep the warmth. For such a use, better check their Big Agnes Copper Spur HV Expedition Tent or Eureka Mountain Pass 2 Backpacking Tent.
Weight-wise, with 4 lb (1.81 kg) this is a lightweight tent but far from the lightest on the market. So if the weight is your main concern, check their Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 Platinum HV Tent which is among the lightest on the market and it weighs only half of the weight of this tent.
They give the trail weight and the packed weight. These terms are described in detail in my separate text. With the trail weight, they imply “the weight of the tent components necessary for setup and function”. By the packed weight they imply “everything included with purchase”.
The packed size is very good, it reduces to 19 x 6 inches (48 x 15 cm). So all in all, this is indeed a versatile backpacking tent, but it can also be used as a solo tool for camping and any other situation where you would not carry it as a solo user.
Materials & construction
The poles & stakes
The poles are DAC, so you have the best here; this is a Pressfit system and the frame is permanently attached to two hub elements so the setup is easy and self-evident, the color coding is in place as well. There is an extra brow pole for the side walls to get some extra volume. You also have 8 lightweight aluminum hook stakes included in the package.
The fly and the floor are polyester taffeta and the waterproof rating is 1500 mm; you have a polyurethane coating for this purpose. This is a modest value but this is quite enough for the fly, I would love to have more on the floor. The inner tent is a breathable polyester plus a polyester mesh. The seams are taped with waterproof polyurethane tapes.
I could not miss mentioning that there are no vents on the fly. So you can be sure this will cause condensation issues in a cold environment. This is inevitable even if a tent is with vents. Also, the taffeta on the inner tent is rather high so when you are on the floor, you might miss some airflow in a very warm environment. But if you have to keep the vestibule closed, you can still keep the inner door unzipped and have enough air circulation.
- 3 interior mesh pockets.
- Gear loft loops are available.
- Quick Stash doorkeeper on the tent body.
- Oversized ceiling pocket.
- Reflective guy lines.
Please see more in this short video by Big Agnes:
Good and less good features
Here is my short summary:
- Very reasonable price.
- Good packed size.
- Easy setup with the double hub design.
- A bit small for two users.
- Single vestibule.
- No vents on the fly.
The tent is rather narrow in the feet area, only 42 inches (107 cm) so two users can have only very narrow pads. The single vestibule is hardly big enough for boots only, not to speak about backpacks. This is a great tent but better suited for a solo use.
The price & rating
They describe it as a “high quality, technical tent without breaking the bank” and I think they are right. The tent costs around $200 so for such a quality this is a good price. See how I rate it for several parameters:
My rating breakdown of the Big Agnes C Bar 2 Tent
- Type: freestanding 3-season tent.
- Capacity: 2 people.
- Trail weight: 3 lb 9 oz (1.62 kg).
- Packed weight: 4 lb (1.81 kg).
- Fast-fly weight: 2 lb 12 oz (1.25 kg) – if the footprint is ordered separately.
- Inner floor area: 28 ft² (2.6 m²).
- Inner area per person: 14 ft² (1.3 m²).
- Vestibule area: 7 ft² (0.7 m²).
- Total area per person: 17.5 ft² (1.65 m²).
- Packed size (L x D): 19 x 6 in (48 x 15 cm).
- Peak height: 41 in (104 cm).
- Doors: 1
Big Agnes C Bar 2 vs Competitors
As usual, the best way to understand the features of such a tent is to put it side by side with other similar tents and compare all the basic parameters. Here I give two of them and I chose only the tents that are in the same weight and size range. Please have a look and follow the links for more.
COMPARE PACKAGE FEATURES
Weight, lb (kg)
Floor size, sq ft (sq m)
Peak height, in (cm)
Packed size, in (cm)
C Bar 2
Payable Every Month
19 x 6
(48 x 15)
Sweet Suite 2
Payable Every Year
16.5 x 6.5
(42 x 16.5)
Payable Every Year
18 x 6.7
(46 x 17)
In the summary of this Big Agnes C Bar 2 Backpacking Tent review, I would stress the quality of this tent and the reasonable price. But bear in mind its dimensions and its single vestibule. You will not have much space for all your gear when it rains heavily during the night, though it is quite long and perhaps you can store some items in the feet area.
It is perfect as a solo tent assuming you would transport it somehow to your camping place, but perhaps it is not the best choice for two hikers or backpackers in an area where you would expect lots of rain and have to keep all the stuff inside. I have included this tent in my list of best lightweight 2 person backpacking tents.
You have a couple of alternatives in the comparison table above. If you need more options, please visit my page with tents. You might want to compare this tent with this Kelty Late Start 2 Tent from a completely new series, which is also with a single door.
If you want something ultra-lightweight then check this Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 Tent. See also my list with the best 2-person camping tents. Thank you for reading and please use the comment box below in the case of questions or comments. Have a nice day.