Big Agnes Pioneer 2 Tent Review/First Impressions

If you’re looking for the perfect balance between trail weight, price and great build quality check out the Big Agnes Pioneer 2 Tent. The Pioneer 2 was sent out to me to review by Sierra Trading Post. Check out their store for some awesome deals on outdoor gear.

Also, check out their YouTube channel for tons of helpful tips.

There’s no vestibule on this tent. So if you’re like me and gotta have a place to cook in the rain or to store wet gear check out my DIY tent Vestibule from a Poncho/Tarp video here

With a trail weight of about 3 lbs and a cost of $180 to $200 it’s affordable and lightweight. You’ll have plenty of interior space to move around inside, if your sheltering from the rain, with the 34 sq. ft. of floor space and peak height of 43 inches. This tent is very similar the Big Agnes Scout UL2 but with a few differences. The Pioneer is about 1 pound heavier but cost about $80 to $100 less than its ultralight cousin.

This tent can be pitched in less than 3 minutes with a minimum of 6 stakes and 2 trekking poles but requires 12 to 13 stakes to pitch it properly. Make sure you use the rubber boots for the tips of your trekking poles when inserting them into the reinforced pockets to prevent damaging the tent. You can pitch this tent several different ways as I show in this video but you can also use the loops at the top of the 2 peaks to tie the tent off to a tree or to a ridgeline. Sticks could also be used in place of the trekking poles if your poles were lost or damaged.

Pros of the Tent:

I love how easily this tent can be pitched in the rain, keeping the inside dry.

With the 12 stake out points this tent is very stable in inclement weather.

With the huge panels of no see um mesh the tent has excellent ventilation with minimum condensation which is usually a problem in most single wall tents.

I did get a little rain as well and stayed very dry.

The built quality is excellent as every seam is stitched strong and seam taped.

Because the top of the tent is a very light beige color I was able to see in the tent very well at night with partial moon light.

There is plenty of storage space to be had and the tent includes 2 gear pouches and a large gear loft can be purchased separately from Big Agnes and hung in the back of the tent to carry larger items. They even make one specifically for watching your movies on a tablet.

Cons of the Tent:

The 12 or 13 stake out points/guy outs can be excessive and leave you with a lot of guy lines to trip over. Some people have complained about the weight of the extra tent stakes as well.

The zippers seemed to snag very easily every time I tried to open or close the door. This can be easily avoided by holding the storm flaps up while unzipping. But it’s a pain.

My only other con is that there is no vestibule to cook under in the rain or place wet/muddy boots and gear. I address this in my next video by making a DIY tent Vestibule from my Sea To Summit nylon Poncho tarp. Check out that video for a quick, easy and lightweight vestibule idea.

The Full Tent Specs:
• Seasons: 3
• Capacity: 2
• Packed weight: 3 lb. 11 oz.
• Pack size: 8×16″
• Peak height: 43″
• Floor dimensions: 54×90″
• Floor area: 34 sq.ft.
• Tent floor material: 75 denier polyester taffeta
• Number of doors: 1
• Rain fly material: 75 denier polyester taffeta
• Stakes: Aluminum
• Stuff sack: Yes
• Footprint included: Yes
• Recommended use: Mountaineering,Backpacking
• Made in China

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This is KdawgCrazy… See you on the trail!

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Shane Coffey Outdoors says:

This really brings me back to my younger days…growing up I used a boyscout pup tent, I never used a dome style tent until I was in my mid twenties. I really like the look of this tent and it’s classic design. seems, like the cons are the ones common with most tents. I think the pros out weigh the cons here. Thanks for sharing this and…Great Job!

Matt Miller says:

love Sierra Trading Post. Thanks for reviewing Kdawg. I have a cheap 2 man tent that is similar and has an included vestibule, but it’s not nearly as roomy and does not vent well. This looks like it has good venting.

Jim Morrison says:

I grew up using single wall tents and I see some utility in them. They tend to be light weight and are easy to set up. Glad you tried it in the rain and gave us the tips for snugging down the fly. I’m wondering about cost and weight, did I miss something there.?

Polk Native says:

This is the best type of tent if you can find them anymore if your not needing a tent with a kitchen sink.
I found a nylon tent at Walmart or Kmart cant remember which store now.
I got the tent for less than $15 bucks back in 1977.
I was down and out and was hired on as green help with a carnival show and used the tent for a whole season and I love it because it was small and lightweight.
The tent, Army down sleeping bag and my Army back pack with all the stuff I needed for living off grid or homeless it all weighted less than 30 lbs.
This is the tent I’ll get if I can find one that’s made as well as the one I had in 77.

Chris Williams says:

Nice tent maybe the mk2 version should have provision for an extra flysheet

G Henrickson says:

Condensation is relative to the conditions where you use the tent. I have had my Pioneer for two years now, camping in Utah, Oregon, Washington, Missouri, New Mexico and California. I have had NO problems with either condensation or splash-back. I believe it is because his tent has more ventilation than most single wall tents. The big con is a lack of ANY vestibule. Oh well, no matter as the Pioneer is a wonderful basic tent.

Bob808Knight says:


Steve Krewson says:

Nice demonstration of the Pioneer 2. Looks like a nifty little tent.

Viktor Von Riesling says:

Great quality overview. Nicely done.

TomsBackwoods says:

Great job!

Eat Carbs Outdoors says:

Great review..
Thanks for the video.. seems like a nice tent.

shcmoly says:

Great video. Big & light, love Big Agnes tents, this is just not my cup of tea.

Nature Calls Backpacking says:

Love the old school look with the modern materials.

Explorer Mike says:

My friends and I spent hundreds of nights camping in a similar design single wall tent in the 1970’s. Of course, it is not as good as a tent with a full separate rainfly, but it was the best tent of all the tents we used back then and the guys that got to use this tent on a rainy night were considered lucky. This Big Agnes has some design improvements over the tent we used back then. I would say that for economy of weight and space and weather protection, this would be a good tent. Of course, you can always get more space and more protection by adding material, but that means extra weight. You have to find your own happy medium.

Survivalist2008 says:

Good review KDawg.

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