Big Agnes

The lovely people at Big Agnes have given me some kit to test and write up. It’s all a bit different, but it addresses some issues I have currently and brings more questions at the same time.

Regular listeners may know of my love of the Terra Nova Laserlite/Comp, it has served me well and will continue to do so no doubt. But it has it’s limits in the wind, and as we’re into winter it’s been on my mind about my summit camps and the possibility of using something with a smaller footprint and something not so high either, giving me a chance of getting a better pitch and a better nights sleep. It was looking like a hooped bivy of some sort.

So the timing was spot on, the Three Wire Bivy Sack is what I’ll be testing over the winter. Inside there’s more room than I was expecting, it has guy points, a clever zip arrangement,  and the two most important features? The poles round your head and the eVent fabric.

Inside it I’ll be using Zirkel sleeping bag and a Two Track Pad. It’s different to what I’ve been used to, this top-bag system. I’m looking forward to finding what the application is like, and indeed it’s limits. I’ve had it pitched and tried it all on for size, feels good so far.

I’ll be adding 1000m of altiutude onto that wee shot at home shortly and I’ll be looking at stability, breathability, warmth, camp living comfort and usability. And as I’ll be cooking outside, I’m thinking that building a small snow windbreak for cooking will cover any issues.

So, new lightweight snow shovel?

It’s going to be interesting, informative and bloody good fun.

16 thoughts on “Big Agnes”

  1. Ooooo, nice. And look at those prices! Although not in your case, Mr Jammy. Cooking outside sounds like a good excuse to buy a Snowclaw, if you ask me. Here, I went raking in my loft the other day for an ice axe and found a snow shovel that I’d bought for OM Winter Skills 2006. Great when that happens eh? :o)

  2. I had a snow shovel about ten years ago and if you offered me money I couldn’t tell you where it is now.
    I think I like your loft better than mine.

  3. I’ve just got a Laser comp, and was wondering about pitching it in the wind. The manual says the pole should be in the direction of the wind, but pics I’ve seen seem to have the pole at right angles to wind direction. Which way is best, pole parallel or perpendicular to the wind?


  4. I always put mine pointy end into the wind. I find it takes the wind very well this way. The foot end is best so that the inner doesn’t keep touching the outer if it’s a really strong wind and dropping your condensed breath back onto you!
    I suppose having the door side away from the wind could be handy, but I’m quite happy cooking with the porch zipped shut anyway.
    The guys on the Lasercomp are good and I still use the original carbon pegs, but I use a large aluminium stake at either end to tie it all together. A few pitches and you get used to it and it’s a tight wee tent.

    Thanks for checking in :o)

  5. :o)

    I always pitch my Laser, or any tent, end on to the wind. I went with the Alpkit Tikes (Titan pegs) tho’. I’ll give the original Carbon ones a go at some point.

    I’m in the market for a new sleeping pad btw so I’ll be interested to hear how you get on with the BA one.

  6. I had a look at a few of their mat and went for the dark blue one you see in the link. It’s rated, well imperially so I need to use my sliderule, but basically it’s okay for sleeping on snow.
    It’s nice to see something completely different.

    I sometimes use the same Alpkit pegs as you as well, and their aluminium stakes…shhh…..:o)

  7. Cheers, pointy end to the wind certainly looks the more ‘natural’ way to put it up. If you’ve used it on mountain tops, then I’m sure it’ll take much more than what I’m planning on doing with it anyway, but need to know, just in case!

  8. shuttleworth, another good point is that if you keep the black pole cover on (I do) make sure it’s as taught as you can get it. I know many folk don’t agree with me here, but it does add a little stability and tension to the outer. Besides if it’s not tight it rattles like a bastard in the wind :o)

    It’s a great tent, really lets you push your boundaries with it’s weight, packability and camp comfort.

  9. I’ve got a BA Air Core Pad on the way. I suspect it might be a bit on the bulky side but as I’m currently stuffed on the sleeping-on-frozen-ground front, I’m willing to try anything :o)

  10. Good lad :o)
    The mats are good, I’ve slept on mine a few times and I like it.
    Better than Thermarest? Might be, the only trouble I have with my winter weight one is pack size, the weight is good though.

  11. It’s arrived. Lighter than I’d imagined and no’ as bulky; maybe the size of a loaf. Warburtons that is, rather than the Scottish Plain variety. Length is pretty good too. I’m happy :o)

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