September 20, 2016

Shopping for a tent is overwhelming.  All the companies seem to offer everything you could think of: easy setup, buckles for rainfly, super duper waterproof technology, even color coordination for poles to tent.  But does the tent really execute in the way they claim it does?  What about the things you cannot “think of?”  I have been a victim of this.  I bought the Marmot Pulsar 2P Tent, because it supposedly contained all that I could dream of in a tent.  It has since been discontinued (I am not surprised).  Fortunately, with the RattleSnake SL 3 mtnGlo, Big Agnes has looked past all the glamorous and enticing features of your average tent and taken note of all the times people have said, “I wish this tent had…” Oh, and did I say? It actually performs as claimed!  During the month of August, Devan and I sampled the RattleSnake in the wet climate of Squamish, BC.

Rattlesnake SL 3

First and foremost, the tent held up to the abuse of cramming 8 people into it for card games, wrestle matches, candle lit séances, debates over the best climb, ridiculous amounts of ice cream, and most importantly the gross feet of smelly dirtbags every day… for a month.  On a more serious note, the tent is dummy proof as far as the setup goes.  It sets up like a dream.  There are no questions on what part should go where, or why there are extra parts at the end of the setup.  Nope.  Smooth as butter, or soft serve.  On top of this, the rainfly sits far enough from the mesh that they will not touch under the weight of rain on the tent.  This was my main beef with the Pulsar tent because the condensation on the bottom of the rainfly would proceed to transfer onto the mesh and then drip onto my down sleeping bag.  With the RattleSnake this was never an issue.  The rainfly simply did not touch the mesh.

fish hawk

Did I mention? There are doors on both sides of the tent!  Have you ever had to pee in the middle of the night while camping? If you are a polite person, you probably held it so that you didn’t crawl over your friend to get out of the tent.  If you are like me you probably bombarded through with complete disregard for the joyous dream your friend is experiencing.  Either way, this is not a problem with the RattleSnake because you now have your own entrance/exit.

Rattlesnake SL 3

Last, but not least, there are pockets on all four sides of the tent to aid in organization.  This feature is much appreciated because no matter which way you sleep in the tent, there will always be a pocket right above your head to store your book before you fall asleep.

Rattlesnake SL 3


If you are a list person here are the pros and cons:


  • Durable
  • Rainfly sits far from mesh
  • Doors on both sides
  • Pockets on all four sides
  • Extremely easy to assemble


  • mtnGLO lights are dim even on brightest setting

Photography by Nick Tunnicliffe