Tumble3

Big Agnes Tumble 3 mtnGLOW tent

(bigagnes.com, $329.95)

Could there be a better tent to give (or receive) for the holidays? Big Agnes turned heads this year when it released its mtnGLOW series of tents—backcountry shelters with an inconspicuous string of tiny LED bulbs sewn into the rafters. I’ll be honest: I was amongst the doubters. I wondered how tent lighting could improve upon time-tested headlamps and candle lanterns. But Big Agnes’ innovation is impressive. With a minimal addition of weight and bulk, mtnGLOW sets a festive mood for a cozy night. It makes every night feel like Christmas Eve.

We tested the Tumble 3, a simple, three-person, three-season dome with an impressive amount of floor space. I spend a lot of time in hoop- and wedge tents—bombproof designs with restricted headroom. More vertical walls and a whopping 47-square-foot footprint impart the Tumble 3 with a refreshing sense of airiness. This is an honest three-person tent. Of course, the two-pole design isn’t suited use above the treeline, but it’s perfect for the moderate conditions of a typical summer canoe or sea kayak trip. The Tumble 3 weighs in a barely six pounds.

Besides the AAA battery-powered LEDs, which afford enough light to read by, other favorite features include an array of interior pockets and clever, closable “eyebrow” vents in the fly. Gripes? The vestibules are small and the fly can channel rainwater into the tent door if you’re not quick and careful upon entry.

–Check out MORE TENT REVIEWS on CanoeKayak.com