Content and photos by Alex Roberts The Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 is the perfect two-person bikepacking tent. Searching for a bikepacking tent, I wanted one that is light, packable, easy to set-up, and still has enough space so that my self-described “somewhat claustrophobic” girlfriend could rest comfortably. The Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 checked off all of those.
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The Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2
The tent is ultra-lightweight for its size. The tent body is 13 ounces. The rainfly weighs nearly the same at 14 ounces. The DAC poles weigh just 14.4 ounces. The stakes, pole repair splint, and storage sack weigh 5.1 ounces. The tent sack and pole sack weigh 1.1 ounces. This gives a combined weight of 2.98 pounds (47.6 oz), making the entire tent system weight the same as 1.4 liters of water. The Seedhouse SL2 packs small. Depending on the number of folds, both the tent and the rainfly individually can be packed to just slightly larger than a Nalgene bottle. For loading on the bike, I found that rolling them individually meant I could put them at the bottom of my frame bag near the bottom bracket with one along the down tube and the other along the seat tube. This was a perfect place for the tent and rainfly as it also kept the weight down low. I also found that by packing the tent components separately, the poles fit neatly in the water bladder pouch of the frame bag even with 80 ounces of water.
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There is a tent, rainfly, stakes, and poles hiding in there.
Big Agnes
The Seedhouse SL2 packs quite small.
Though it packs small, the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 offers 28 square feet of floor space over a floor that is 84 inches long and 52 inches wide at the head. The floor tapers to 42 inches wide at the feet. This is plenty of space for me at 5’11” and my girlfriend at 5’5” to sleep comfortably. There is not a lot of extra room, however, so most of your larger gear will stay outside. This isn’t a problem, even in rain, as the rainfly creates an 8 square foot vestibule. This was enough room for my full-frame bag, two large bikepacking saddle bags, a backpack, 2 helmets, two pairs of shoes, 3 top tube food bags, and a dry bag. The space in the vestibule was such that all of these items could be placed to the side without blocking the doorway. Just because the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 can sleep 2, it is still worth your consideration if the majority of your trips are solo. It is drastically more comfortable than a bivy, it packs small, and weighs in at only slightly more than a bivy (actually less than several I have seen). I firmly believe sleep shouldn’t be sacrificed for weight. As a solo tent, there would be more than enough space inside to store all your gear as well. The openness of the Seedhouse SL2 was a big selling point for me when choosing this tent. Without the rainfly, the ample mesh of the tent allows nearly unrestricted views of your surroundings while keeping bugs out. This mesh also allows outstanding ventilation, even when the rainfly is attached. Compared to the other tents I am familiar with from… ummm… let’s call them The South Bottom and Valley Software, the Big Agnes is noticeably better ventilated and less stuffy. Having a little airflow makes a big difference on how well I sleep. The headroom of the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 was another reason I chose this tent. You can comfortably sit up and move around inside the tent thanks to the 43” ceiling height. This was a big consideration as I planned for long-term usage of the tent for tours and thought about the possibility of washed out days with serious time spent awake inside the tent.
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The Seedhouse SL2 Ready for Rain.
At this point, it is impossible for me to think of a negative about the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 as a bikepacking tent. It’s everything and more than I was looking for. It packs small, it’s light, yet it has plenty of space for two. The guy wires are reflective to help prevent stumbling over them at night, the zippers are easy to use and don’t snag, set-up is a breeze, and the tent doesn’t sound like you’re wadding up wax paper every time you move. Overall, it’s just a really comfortable and well-made tent. Big Agnes has created another impressive product.     About Alex Roberts Growing up on several hundred acres of family land, Alex loved riding logging roads on his BMX bike while pretending he was LeMond winning the Tour. His ambitions of standing on the podium in Paris may be gone, but he’s rediscovered his inner child and the joy of back roads exploration on his beloved REEB.

5 Comments

  1. Any thoughts on the suitability of this for winter (snow) trips? With an appropriate sleeping bag and pad of course…

    • See my comment below. It should have been a reply to you. Cheers.

      Alex

      • Hey guys,

        These are both 3 season tents – neither the Flycreek or Seedhouse are designed to bear the weight of snow.

        The closest winter worthy tent from Big Agnes is the String Ridge 2. Note the extra pole, change in pole material/beefyness and the change in fly/inner materials. You’ll be much happier when you get a foot of snow overnight in this tent.

  2. Zach, I’d probably point you towards the Fly Creek UL2 (https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Tent/FlyCreekUL2) for a similar size and weight tent for use in the winter. It seems to not be as ‘airy.’ Also, note how low the mesh comes down on the Seedhouse. I could see this being an issue if you set up in deep powder. In addition, it has to be admitted that the floor is somewhat thin to get the weight down. I would say a footprint is a must for a little extra insulation in the winter.

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