In many ways, this is a dream tent, and has many of the features that I listed in a previous post about what a dream tent would be. Sleeps two comfortably and has plenty of space to get in out of the rain, or keep your bicycle safe from the elements.
There’s enough space in the giant vestibule to act as a drying room (get out of the rain, and hang wet clothes in the vestibule), and still have plenty of space in the that area to have a chair, and a small stove to heat up some tea or stew while watching the rain outside.
One annoyance is that the base of the tent doesn’t touch the ground. Which means that in mosquito season, it’s great for a summer shower, but it’s terrible for bug protection. A tent like this, where you have a useful vestibule for spending time in, the reasons would include getting away from mosquito craziness, as well as rain. So, at the very least, a bug net skirt that goes down to the floor would have been nice.
Also, in a breezy area, you have to stake the tent to the ground. The design of the tent allows a great deal of wind to come in from the bottom and lift the tent, while wind buttresses against one of the outer walls, ensuring a “capsize” event, if the tent isn’t properly staked out.
With the separately sold footprint, you don’t need the straps built into the inner tent to setup the rainfly, which means you could have a giant rain covered area for a few people to sit in when the weather gets a little rough.
All this makes the Big Agnes Wyoming Trail SL2 ideal for motorcycle or bicycle trips, and pretty useful even for car camping trips.
But….you’d have to REALLY want that vestibule bad to take it backpacking, and the rest of your gear better be insanely small and light. Because this tent is large even when packed away.
To give a sense of just how big this tent is, it basically fits vertically in a 75 Liter Gregory Pack Baltoro, one of the larger frame packs out there, and takes up half the width of that inner, leaving you with maybe 30-35 liters of space in the main compartment. Not a huge amount of space for a sleeping pad, bag, cooking gear, spare clothes, and any other gear you might want to take along.
It’d probably be a little heavy for bicycle touring as well, as there are plenty of other great tents out there (though none this small has a vestibule that big, I don’t think)
The SL version here is lighter than the original trail version, but that doesn’t make much of a difference. The poles make up a good portion of the weight as well.
All in all, as a car camping tent, this one does an admirable job as one of the smaller, more compact large tents out there. As a motorcycle trip tent, it might be ideal. As a bicycle tent, a little resource management would be required, and as mentioned, you’d have to be desperate for that vestibule to take it backpacking.