The Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1 tent is freestanding, with a single hub-jointed pole system. This is simple to set up and throw the flysheet over to keep the rain off if you’re in a hurry. The first time I pitched it was in the dark with no instructions, and it looked fine in the morning. Inside there’s plenty of room for you and your gear, so it’s no hardship to sit out a shower before breaking camp. I can sit up at the door and cook in the porch, and there’s a pocket just above the door that is great for a tent light. The inner and outer doors are angled so you can open them, lie on your back and gaze straight up at the stars. It takes rough weather very well and has reflective guys and detailing for night-time safety. But the porch is not big enough for all my gear, so some goes inside (it’s only a big issue if the gear’s wet as there’s plenty of room). The fabrics are light and don’t have the best waterproofness, so long-term durability might be an issue. The all-mesh inner is cool in summer but cold in winter, and as it’s inner-pitched-first some may prefer others.
Design tapered ridge
Poles shock-corded alloy
Inner 20D nylon mesh
Flysheet silicon-treated nylon with PU coating, 1200mm hydrostatic head
Groundsheet silicon-treated PU-coated nylon ripstop, 1200mm hydrostatic head
Internal dimensions length 230cm; width 110cm; height 90cm
Packed size 39x14cm
Packed weight 1340g
Made in Far East
Stores in UK 12
Big Agnes – tel. (0131) 668 4171; www.bigagnes.co.uk
Verdict: The Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1 is a great lightweight tent with a strong design that’s easy to pitch while being comfortable. But it may not be ideal for the cold and wet British winter.
Review by Peter Macfarlane
First published in Trail magazine March 2009