Big Agnes® Blacktail 3 Tent Review

Editor: Mark

Just the Facts:
Big Agnes Blacktail 3 tent has the following specs:

Here is a quick list of specs and features for the Big Agnes Blacktail 3 tent review:
• Features two doors and two ample vestibules
• Quick Stash on tent body door makes stowing unzipped door simple and easy
• Storm flaps on vestibule zippers
• Media pockets located above sleeping area enable clean ear bud cord routing from phones or other devices
• Reflective guylines and webbing on tent corners
• Fly is polyester rip-stop and floor is polyester, both have 1500mm waterproof polyurethane coating.
• Tent body is polyester rip-stop and polyester mesh
• All seams taped with waterproof, solvent-free polyurethane tape (No PVC or VOC’s)
• Symmetrical pole structure simplifies set up
• Lightweight aluminum pole system with press fit connectors; plastic clips attach tent body to pole frame.
• 12 lightweight aluminum hook stakes.
• Four interior mesh pockets and two internal media pockets.
• Gear loft loops included. Fits large wall gear – Large wall gear loft and footprint sold separately
• Weight as reviewed – 6 lbs.
• Price as reviewed $352 (Blacktail 3 with gear loft and footprint

black tail big agnes tent

My Story:
There is a lot to talk about with the Big Agnes Blacktail 3 tent. First of all, Big Agnes is designing tents that look good. The Blacktail 3 was a lime green on light grey color and it just looks sharp. There are fluorescent guy lines and webbing on the tent corners. Just flash your headlamp across that tent in the middle of a starry night! You will congratulate yourself as the proud owner.
Big Agnes has given attention to details. The zippers are high quality. The webbing for the stakes is sewn it tight and meant to last. The conveniences, such as the gear loft and the door stays are just what the avid camper ordered. I set up this tent for the first time in just a couple of minutes and everything was just where I wanted it and just how I wanted it. The poles and press fit connectors just flowed together and I had this thing up in no time without consulting a diagram.
The tent stakes are a bit flimsy. You can upgrade them from the Big Agnes website. I didn’t get to try out the rain fly much in my week-long trip. We chose the perfect week. Aside from a few sprinkles, we didn’t really get tested in that department. But I can tell you that the tent is well vented with the fly on. Use the guy lines as designed because I found out the hard way that condensation will make the tent sides wet if you don’t keep the fly off of the outer wall.
At 6 lbs, I can’t say that this was the lightest option I’ve ever assembled. But understand that I wanted to take the tent in with a full complement of articles so I could review the gear loft and the footprint as well. The large wall gear loft weighs nothing and you can fit half the camp into all the pockets. Plenty of space!
I like to take in a footprint to protect the bottom of the tent from Mother Nature. On this particular trip the tent fared well for the first couple of nights, but we evidently set the tent upon a sharp and undetected stick. When I took the tent down I was bummed out to find a decent-sized hole in the footprint and a small penetration in the tent floor itself. I won’t hold Big Agnes accountable for that. We should have been more careful.
We slept two people in this tent for a week. There was lots of space inside the tent. The access through either door meant each guy could keep his own side clean and not crawl over the other. The vestibules on either side are spacious and amply covered our gear. The design aided getting in quickly and out quickly—and that little detail was bigger than you might think when the mosquitos are swarming.
There In summary, I give the Big Agnes Blacktail 3 tent the following marks (of a possible 5):
Quality – 4
Comfort – 4
Design Features 4.5
Weight 3.5
Overall 4

What They Could Do Better
I really like this tent. Big Agnes makes great gear. They have done their due diligence in design and features. You should feel comfortable spending the money on this Blacktail 3 tent because it is going to serve you well for a long time to come. This is the sort of tent that you buy because you want to have a reliable solution for your outdoors adventures and you don’t want to have to reinvest year after year because things just don’t hold up.
I have used many Big Agnes products and I have yet to find ignorance in design or flaws in commitment or quality. I like this company and recommend them to you.

  • Functionality
  • Value
  • Ergonomics
  • Durability