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Big Agnes Seedhouse SL3

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  • Big Agnes Seedhouse SL3

    It is finally looking as though I have my new tent situation figured out.

    This is a continuation from the Slater UL2+ thread and this post:

    Product Tested: Big Agnes Seedhouse SL3

    Price paid, where purchased: $400 w/ free footprint,

    Size/Weight: 3 person/3lb 15oz

    Similar products tried: BA Slater UL2+

    Rating: 4.5/5

    I received this bad boy today and I am very happy with it. I didn't set it up outside yet because it looks as though it is going to storm and I will be using it tomorrow. Setup seems pretty straightforward.

    Design, fabric, feel, everything is the same as the Slater I tried. This is just a bit bigger. It is a roomy two person tent that can squeeze three in a pinch. Or two and a dog. The walls are near vertical thanks to cross support at the top of the tent. The poles and stakes are the same high quality DAC type that all BA's come with.

    I opted for the Seedhouse over the Fly Creek 3 for a couple reasons. First was the cost. The SH is $50 cheaper. The weight difference is in the ounce range and the SH has nice mesh all around and IMO a nicer clip system. The Fly Creek and Slater have a chinsy feeling pole clip system. It looks to be lighter but also feels like it could break easier.

    I'm packing up for a trip this weekend so I decided I would see what the volume and weight were.

    To minimize pack space I usually separate the poles from tent.

    Here is the tent, fly, stakes and footprint in the main bag compared to a 1L Nalgene:

    Not exactly tiny but not bad. Now to see the weight:

    That reads 3lbs and 9/10 oz. Lets call it 3lbs 1oz

    Then the poles. Some extra weight on this tent over the fly creek 3 person comes from the top spreader bar. The 3 person BA tents also are truly free standing and have support at all 4 corners. I suspect they are more resistant to wind loads as well.

    Here are the poles next to the Nalgene:

    Again a bit more bulk than the Slater but being able to sleep well will be worth it. I usually stash these vertically on the outside of my bag in the side pocket/compression straps.

    On the scale:

    That reads 1lb 1.75oz - lets call it 1lb 2oz.

    So the total weight with the footprint is 4lb 3oz.

    BA states the 3lb 15oz and 7oz for the footprint. I'm never really sure how they come up with these numbers but what I weighed is close enough for me.

    Overall I am happy with the tent. Is it as compact as the Slater? No way! That things packs TINY and was truly feather light.

    This is still 2/3 of what most other 2 person tents weigh. I wish BA would make a true 2 person tent that had the floor space of the 2+ with the spreader bar like this. That would be ideal. But I'm glad I errored on the side of comfort. It also looks like I picked up a little sturdiness as well. All the fabric coatings are the same though, so I'm not expecting any difference in durability from this tent. The other good news is it was only $10 more than the Slater!

    Update after use.

    This tent continues to impress. The roominess, lightness, and compactness are the best I have ever experienced.

    The tent is a breeze to set up and is incredibly stable. One person can set this tent up no problem. Here is photo of it setup in the field:

    I used it two nights this weekend and I only have a couple small issues with this tent:

    1) The guy wires are easy to trip on. You have to be mindful of these when walking around the camp because they are hard to see. They have reflective material on the rope so at night with your headlamp on it is no issue though.

    2) The fly catches the wind. It isn't a big deal but it was windy this weekend and it does make a lot of noise and move the structure around a bit. Staked down I don't think it would blow down but you never know. As a plus the cross ventilation is excellent.

    I found the floor with the footprint to be adequate at keeping moisture out. Both places I set up the ground was wet and the inside stayed dry. No rain yet so I can't say how dry it really is but I have no worries.

    Overall an excellent tent. Well worth the money.
    Last edited by l'oiseau; 05-26-2013, 07:04 PM. Reason: Update

  • #2
    Curious to see what it looks like setup.. my budget 2 person is coming in at 6lbish. Granted it has the tarptubstyle floor so I can forego the footprint


    • #3


      • #4
        More of long term update on this tent. I don't think I have a decent picture of it setup in the field so you will have to take my word.

        It's true test was wet weather, which it hadn't encountered in the previous outings, occurred when it was taken to the Adirondacks. We encountered a good solid 5 or 6 hours of continuous rain one night (I know because it kept waking me up). It stayed bone dry inside. Also due to the way the fly is pulled tight out and away from the floor, the puddling and underside leakage was minimal. This can sometimes be an issue in a heavy downpour and provide rivers under the tent floor.

        It's yet to see a true Adirondack 'Thunderbusrt' wind and rain shower yet but I feel confident it will be worthy of the task. At this point I'd be more concerned of a tree blowing down on us than the shelter failing to keep us dry.


        • #5
          Thanks for the update