The Big Agnes mtnGLO System
I bought a Big Agnes Rattlesnake SL4 mtnGLO Tent this last spring and it won me over the first night I stayed in it and became my all time favorite by the end of a long night later in the summer. The reason for why it's my "go-to" now we'll soon get to, but it wasn't as if the lighting system was on top of my must-have list. In fact, the mtnGLO light system was kind of like the "sprinkles on top" when I made my purchase. What first brought me to buying the Rattlesnake SL4 from Big Agnes was 1) the reputation BA has, and 2) the structure and layout of the tent.
With two doors and vestibules, "Quick Stash" door flaps and a sturdy nylon rip-stop waterproof rain fly, this family-sized tent had everything I had been looking for. It is light weight for it's size and easy to throw up with or without help. All aspects of a tent that I wanted and perhaps more importantly, needed. Again, the mtnGLO system seemed to be a bonus on this tent but it did quickly become my favorite part of this tent.
You can find the mtnGLO system from Big Agnes in numerous tent models and after using it for the past year, I would say that it is one of camping's best innovations in recent memory. The mtnGLO system is integrated right into the tent seams which means there is nothing hanging loose or over the top of you, the light string doesn’t get tangled up when stuffing it into its stuff sack and it even has two different levels of light depending on what brightness you need. All of these amazing features were put to good use and plenty of strain this last season, especially on my annual fishing trip with my brother and his kids to Ft. Peck Reservoir in Montana.
Our 4-day trip began great and there were no worries whatsoever. In Montana however, the weather is always unpredictable. We watched a giant thunderstorm form all afternoon from our Helinox Chairs (another great purchase we'll feature soon) on our third day but had no idea just how strong it would become. Knowing we had shelter and were not far down the shoreline from a marina, we stayed and enjoyed the rest of our final night. What we didn't know until the next day was that all around NE Montana, tornadoes were forming and reported all around the area. We ourselves ended up with consistent 50+mph winds for most of the night. Not conditions that we would ever recommend being out in, but sometimes Mother Nature has her own plans for your fishing trip.
After my brother and his boy’s tent caved in, they jumped in my Rattlesnake with me and we watched the light show all around us. As the rain dumped harder and harder, we changed our light system to the one inside the tent and played card games using the mtnGLO lights until the kiddos eventually heard the wind, rain and thunder as nature’s sound machine and fall asleep.
The winds made the tent bend in now and then on us, but I never felt worried about the DAC pole system breaking. It was amazingly sturdy throughout the craziness and the waterproof, solvent-free polyurethane tape on all of the seams kept the pelting rain out. Even with as bad as the storm got, we never felt like it was something we wouldn’t get through. In fact, after the rain calmed, my brother and I actually opened one of the side doors back up and enjoyed watching the lightning flash all around us for hours on end.
Come morning we picked up the rest of camp that was scattered all around us, stuffed the tent into its bag and headed home. It was a trip all of us will never forget and a purchase that I would recommend to anyone. Check this, or any other Big Agnes tent, out! You never know when heaven will let her light shine down, or when you prefer that Big Agnes does. Not to mention, right now you can save 20% on all BA tents and gear.