Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 Review

We tested the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 tent and this is our verdict.

January 18, 2024
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The Big Agnes Tigerwall offers backpackers and thru-hikers a luxurious camping experience while remaining lightweight. The semi-freestanding, double-door design provides extra space and convenience while still being easy to set up.

Product Overview

Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2

big agnes tiger wall ul2
Pros

✅ Easy setup

✅ Storage pockets

✅ Large footprint

✅ Side entrances

✅ Two vestibules/doors

Cons

❌ Short corner guy outs

❌ Fragile fly zippers

❌ Seams wear out

KEY SPECS
  • Capacity: 2 person
  • Packed Weight: 2 lb 3oz
  • Packed Size: 5.5 in x 18 in
  • Dimensions: 86 in x 52 in floor area, 29 in head height, 44 ft² total floor + vestibule area
  • Type: Semi-freestanding, double-walled
  • Materials: Solution-dyed, silicone-treated nylon ripstop and polyester mesh, DAC Featherlite aluminum poles
  • Seams: Waterproof, solvent-free polyurethane taped seams
  • Number of doors: 2
  • Number of vestibules: 2
  • Number of pockets: 4
  • Tent stakes included?: Yes, includes 9x6" Big Agnes Dirt Dagger™ UL tent stakes

To see reviews on other ultralight tents, check out our Best Ultralight Tents post.


Performance Test Results

How We Tested:

I’ve owned my Tiger Wall since 2019 and have used it while thru-hiking a 750-mile route in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, on various backpacking trips in the southwest, and while car camping all over the western US. Conditions have ranged from dry Utah canyons to Colorado alpine tundra to rainy evenings in the Pacific Northwest and everything in between. I have primarily shared this tent with my two dogs, a 65 lb. German Shepherd, and a 10 lb. Border Terrier, but my boyfriend has joined us for a few trips with this tent as well.

Weight

Weighing in at just over 2 pounds, the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 falls squarely into the light-to-ultralight classification of tents. This tent was designed with features that help to reduce its weight but also possess a few luxuries that make it slightly heavier than some of its competitors.

Many of the materials used for this tent are a big player in reducing the overall weight of this shelter. Ripstop nylon is significantly lighter than polyester which is typically used in heavier tents. Along with that, the semi-freestanding design saves weight by streamlining the pole design, and the tent itself is designed to use less fabric.

bigagnestigerwall ul2 outdoor

The Tiger Wall UL2, weighing a little over 2 lbs., is a tent that is classified as light-to-ultralight.

Looking at other 2-person tents in the sub- 3-pound category it becomes apparent that the Tiger Wall is average to slightly heavier than its competitors. There are a few reasons for this such as the number of doors, amount of headspace, and number of features.

Looking at another ultralight Big Agnes shelter, the Fly Creek, it is easily apparent that it sacrifices easy entrance doors for a single front entry approach and uses a more steeple-like ceiling construction to reduce the amount of fabric. Those lost luxuries save about 4 ounces of weight.

On the flip side, Big Agnes’ third ultralight tent, the Copper Spur, offers features such as a true freestanding design as well as an awning that provides an 8-ounce penalty over the Tiger Wall. It’s all about finding the balance between comfort and weight. The Tiger Wall does a fairly good job of this and runs in the middle of the pack for tents of its class when it comes to weight.

Price

When it comes to price, the Tiger Wall is pretty middle-of-the-road all the way around. Compared to tents made with heavier materials and less efficient designs, this tent can be a bit pricey. On the flip side, the Tiger Wall is significantly cheaper than many of the Dyneema trekking pole tents currently on the market.

This means it offers a great middle-ground in that the weight savings per price ratio is a good balance compared to both cheaper and lighter tents. When it comes to other tents in the same material, weight, and design class, the differences are less obvious. The Tiger Wall runs about the middle of the pack so the bigger difference will come down to preferences in features, durability, etc.

big agnes tiger wall ul2 beside a dog

At $449, the tent is far less expensive compared to a lot of the Dyneema trekking pole tents available on the market.

Packability

Compared to other shelters I have used, the Tiger Wall is relatively packable. Some aspects that impact packability include number of parts, amount of fabric, and material type. One con to free and semi free-standing tents is that there are generally more parts to pack due to the poles needed to support the tent. Likewise, double-walled tents include both a mesh tent body plus a rain fly. The Tiger Wall falls into both of these categories.

On the flip side, Silnylon tends to pack down tighter than DCF so it is easier to shove the materials into a stuff sack or pack. I have found that the fabric parts of the tent take up about the same amount of space as one of my DCF shelters which has less fabric overall when both are stuffed. It should be noted that how the shelter is packed (i.e. stuffed vs folded, use of stuff sacks, etc.) can also impact packability. Overall, this tent is at least as packable, if not more so, than other competitors.

hiker setting up big agnes tiger wall ul2

Design

The Tiger Wall is considered a semi-freestanding tent which means that the tent can be used without tent stakes, but there are two corners that will not be fully extended without stakes or rocks.

This type of design aims to strike a balance between using poles to keep the tent erect regardless of the ability to use stakes while minimizing weight by streamlining the pole design. This design is typically more user-friendly for beginners than that of a non-freestanding tent which tends to require more practice to set up correctly.

Likewise, the double-walled cut with a bathtub offers both pros and cons when it comes to campsite selection. Users need to be careful to clear rocks and other sharp objects from the campsite before pitching to reduce wear and tear on the bottom of the tent. The flip side is that this shelter is relatively flood-resistant and does well in areas with condensation.

big agnes tiger wall ul2 closeup feature

Rain fly

Having a rain fly that is separate from the tent body also offers some flexibility when setting up in the buggy, dry areas, and other scenarios. This tent also works with Big Agnes’ fast fly system for users who own the corresponding footprint. In rainy conditions, the fly can be set up with the footprint allowing the user to either save weight by leaving the body at home or by setting the inner part of the tent under the protection of the fly to stay dry.

When it comes to the actual cut of this tent compared to other similar tents the Tiger Wall performs very well. The rectangular floor offers a large amount of space and the length of the tent is long enough for taller people to fit comfortably. When using this tent with my boyfriend who is 6’ 2”, he was able to stretch out comfortably inside the tent. We were also able to fit two sleeping pads inside the tent without any trouble.

hiker setting up big agnes tiger wall ul2 rain fly

A separate rain fly from the tent body provides flexibility for setting up in buggy or dry areas.

Vestibule

Outside the main footprint of the tent, the rainfly offers a modestly sized vestibule. When using this tent with company we were able to fit both of our packs inside one vestibule and my German Shepherd Dog slept comfortably in the other, even on a rainy evening. It wasn’t the most comfortable setup in inclement weather for long-term use, but doable in that situation and more than enough on fine evenings.

One thing that I really appreciate about this tent is the two-door and two-vestibule design. There is no need to crawl in and out of the tent on hands and knees. The door openings on each side are wide and zip open in such a way that they do not get stepped on going in and out. There is even a door holder to keep the fabric out of the way.

I found that the design of the tent made it a bit more cumbersome to keep the excess rainfly fabric out of the way when the vestibule was open. The ties can take a little finagling and the upper part of the fabric sticks out from the tent a bit making it easy to catch your head on when getting in and out of the tent.

The plus side is that there are fabric holders on all four corners of the tent providing multiple setup options depending on the weather and user preference. All in all, I found the design and cut of this tent to be ideal for use by one or two people and in various kinds of conditions.

big agnes tiger wall ul2 vestibule

Material

When it comes to choosing a tent there are two main fabrics that steal the show: Silnylon and Dyneema. Both have their pros and cons depending on the hiker's goals. The Big Agnes Tiger Wall is primarily made of silnylon with some ripstop nylon mesh and aluminum poles.

Some things I like about using a silnylon shelter are that it is easier to stuff into a compact space and it is much more economical. Silnylon fibers also do not catch on pokey objects and rip away from the rest of the fabric the way Dyneema does, so it doesn’t tend to get micro holes in the fabric. On the flip side, Dyneema is lighter weight and has more strength in areas such as tent corners.

big agnes tiger wall ul2 closeup feature

In the field, I have found Tiger Wall’s Silnylon fabric to perform just fine. I have gotten one puncture in the bottom of the tent, but that was due to not properly clearing the campsite of a large, sharp rock. Otherwise, I have shared the tent countless nights with my two oblivious dogs with no visible wear or tear on the bottom.

The other main fabric found on the Tiger Wall is the ripstop nylon mesh netting. Like any mesh netting, it can be prone to small holes forming if not careful; however, it has held up relatively well over the years even when accidentally packed with small twigs or the dogs stepping on it during setup. I’ve also found that the mesh is thick enough to keep drops of condensation from falling into the tent from the inside of the fly and it also adds a bit of warmth on cold nights.

a view of big agnes tiger wall ul2 outdoor

Durability & Weather Resistance

When investing in a tent, durability is an important consideration, particularly on more remote trips or a thru-hike. I have found that the Tiger Wall is a durable tent overall, but there are some areas to keep in mind. The silnylon fly and body of the tent stand up well to general use as long as it does not receive a direct puncture.

Like other silnylon tents, the fabric does sag when it gets wet, but I have never had an issue with the material itself letting moisture in. I have found that the seam wears out faster than the tent fabric and water does drip in from certain seams after several years of use.

The Tiger Wall does well in other weather conditions besides rain. I have had this shelter out in several hailstorms without any problems and it does well in moderate wind. One thing that I wish Big Agnes would modify is the guy out material. The thin, thread-like rope was one of the first things to wear out on this tent. I have had two of the fly lines snap and because they were already short, now it is more difficult to pitch the fly properly.

big agnes tiger wall ul2 zipper closeup

Tiger Wall's fly zippers are known for catching on the rain guard, causing fabric or zipper damage.

Another area to watch is the zippers. While zippers on any piece of gear are prone to being a weak point, the zippers on the fly of the Tiger Wall are notorious for catching on the rain guard and either ripping the fabric or ruining the zipper. As long as the user stays calm and eases the fabric out it shouldn’t cause damage, but this is a design flaw that is concerning. 

The zippers on the body of the tent also wear out and after several years of use one of mine no longer zips properly. The good news is that the cut of the tent does not put much strain on the zippers and they have lasted longer than those found on other pieces of gear and shelters that I own. Cleaning them with zipper lube regularly may help to extend the life of the tent.

At the end of the day, the Tiger Wall is an ultralight tent which means that some care should be taken when using it. There are a few items that Big Agnes could address to make the tent more durable and more weather resistant, but in general, this tent is trustworthy in various weather conditions and stands up to regular use.

Other Features

Ease of setup

There are several features added by Big Agnes that add to the ease of setup and overall livability of this tent. These include two zippers on each vestibule, shock cords in the poles, slide locks on the guy lines, interior mesh pockets, and loops for hanging small objects inside the tent.

The Tiger Wall offers additional guyline points on each side where there is a pole. These guylines add extra wind resistance during storms but are not necessary to use in good weather. Big Agnes has made them simpler to use by adding a plastic slider so that users do not need to know or use any knots to tension them out.

They also save time and stress when trying to quickly pitch the tent before a storm, even for those who do know their knots. Another time-saving feature for setup is the shock cord system inside the poles which makes putting the poles together a snap when new, though they do stretch out over time.

hiker setting up big agnes tiger wall ul2 outdoor
Setting up my Tiger Wall UL2 tent.

Interior Pockets

Inside the tent, the current model offers four different mesh pockets for organization. Two pockets are low down next to where the door closes and I have found this to be the perfect spot for storing important items such as glasses or keys overnight. If two people are using the tent, each person has their own pocket.

The third pocket is up above the head near the ceiling of the tent. This pocket is larger than the side pockets and has small openings in the corners for charging cables to snake through if storing a power bank up above. The final pocket, which is found on newer models, is on the ceiling over where the feet stretch out and is the largest of the pockets.

big agnes tiger wall ul2 interior pocket closeup

One of the mesh pockets inside that’s a perfect spot for me to store my important items.

In addition to the pockets, there are also two small loops near the highest point of the ceiling. These are ideal for hanging a small backpacking lamp or other similar items. Overall, the Tiger Wall strikes a balance between adding features that are useful without adding a significant amount of weight.


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Bailey Bremner photo

About Bailey Bremner

Bailey (aka "PseudoSloth") is a Colorado based thru hiker and adventurer. She has thru-hiked several thousand miles including the Continental Divide Trail, Great Divide Trail, Pinhoti Trail, and several self made routes among others.

About Greenbelly

After thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Chris Cage created Greenbelly to provide fast, filling and balanced meals to backpackers. Chris also wrote How to Hike the Appalachian Trail.

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