Big Agnes Van Camp SL 3 Person Dome Tent Review

While preparing this review for the Van Camp SL 3, we compared the data against one hundred and sixty-eight other 3 person dome tents, evaluating more than sixty different details. We also checked the total cost including shipping & discounts at thirteen different retailers stores, to source the best bargain for you.

The Van Camp SL Fly Open
Big Agnes's Van Camp SL 3 With the Fly Open
In this report, we will present to you:
  • A recap of the customer reviews we read.
  • A detailed examination of the features, materials and dimensions.
  • The Pros and Cons about the shelter.
  • The Lowest Price that we Found!

Here at our reports are created from our exclusive database of more than one thousand shelters, that are sold in the United States. Our goal is to provide you an honest review and our own exclusive rating based on the statistics, along with the lowest price and best value we found.

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  • Big Agnes Logo
  • Manufacturer: Big Agnes
  • Model: Van Camp SL
  • Sleeping Capacity: 3 Persons
  • Designed For: 3 Seasons
  • Best Use: Backpacking
  • Type: Dome Tent
  • Available in: Other Sizes
  • MSRP: $349.95
  • Other Stores and Suppliers

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  • MORE SELLERS Logo Not found Logo Not found Logo Not found Logo Not found Logo Not found Logo Not found Logo Not found   

    Big Agnes Logo Discontinued   

Van Camp SL 3 Pictures and Videos

Click on an image or video to enlarge them!

The Van Camp SL With the Fly Off

Big Agnes Van Camp SL 3 With the Fly Off
Fly Closed on the on the Van Camp SL 3

Fly Closed on the Van Camp SL 3

A video about the Van Camp SL 3 tent.

Another video about Big Agnes's tents.


Logo Representing the Features Section


  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Color: Gray, Red
  • Number of Rooms: 1
  • Number of Windows: None
  • Number of Doors: 2
  • Zippers: Easy grip zipper pulls
  • Storage Pockets & Gear Loft: Yes, Yes
  • Mesh Roof & Walls: Half, Half
  • Footprint: Not Included
Logo Representing the Materials Section

Materials and Extras

  • Inner Walls: Ripstop Nylon/mesh
  • Full Fly: Ripstop Nylon
  • Floor Materials: Polyester
  • Pole Material: Aluminum
  • Number Of Poles: 3
  • Pole Dimensions: 10.2mm
  • Guy Lines & Guy Outs: Yes, Yes
  • Stakes: Aluminum Hook
Logo Representing the Dimensions Section


  • Floor Area: 42 sq. ft.
  • Center Height: 3 foot. 9 inches.
  • Packed Weight: 6 Lbs 2 Oz
    Trail Weight: 5 Lbs. 9 Oz.
  • Packed Size: 6.5 x 21 inches.
  • Number of Vestibules: 2
    Total Vestibule Area: 18.00 sq. ft.
    (9 sq. ft. and 9 sq.ft.)
  • Screened Areas: None
  • Awnings: None

Tent Set Up

Press-fit connectors and clip construction make setting up the tent fast, easy, and intuitive.

Green Thumbs Up Logo

Summary: Favorable Reviews

Campers who purchased the tent said: They loved having the two doors and two vestibules to store extra gear. It stood up well to heavy rain and strong winds. Great Value, when considering the quality of the materials.

Teal Thumbs Down Logo

Summary: Unfavorable Reviews

People who bought the tent reported: It needs a footprint that is available separately and costs quite a lot. Quite heavy for its size. Once the fly is on, the ventilation is not excellent. Quite tight for three adults.


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The Van Camp SL 3 has two doors and a peak center height of 3' 9, which is a tiny bit less than the average height of the 139 other 3 person tents we have examined With 42 square feet of room inside, it is considerably smaller than some other 3-person tents, and it would be quite tight for you and, up to two other campers during the 3-seasons, this tent is suggested for use in, smaller tents like this one are a great choice for people that appreciate spending lots of time outside their tent getting some air.

A few of the great points about dome tents are, that they are under normal circumstances light, making them simple to carry around. In nearly all instances, tents used for backpacking are of the dome type. They are generally speaking, freestanding and very simple to set up. In good weather, you could do without guy lines and stakes, not that this is recommended.

Dome tents are the most commonly seen of all the various types of tents you will find when camping. They tend to fair better in bad weather than other types, allowing water to roll off the slanted sides, unlike cabin tents that have flat roofs, allowing the rain to pool on the roof. The simplest dome tent should have a square floor, sloped walls two or more poles which converge in the center of the roof. Due to the way they are made, it is usually thought of that they are best for up to a maximum of 6 campers.

Underneath you can browse an account of the tent's strongest and weakest points.

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  1. Freestanding. The Van Camp SL can support its own weight on any terrain. It does not even have to be staked down in most cases. But in case of strong winds, it is always best to secure it to the ground with the included steel stakes and guylines.
  2. Vestibules. Having two vestibules. Offers you a place to store shoes and other items that can get dirty, muddy, this is a huge plus.
  3. Has Gear Loft. It is good to see Big Agnes adding a gear loft in the interior to store some of your things.
  4. More than one door. With 2 doors, it is easier to get in and out of the tent, in the middle of the night if needed.
  5. The rainfly completely covers the tent body. The rainfly covers the whole body of the tent from the top to the bottom and has a waterproof rating of 0mm. Meaning it will easily protect you against heavy rain.
  6. Other sizes are available. Big Agnes has also made this model available in Other Sizes.
  7. Low price. It is a great buy for a 3 person dome tent providing this much space. Not many tents available on the market provide this level of quality for only $349.95


  1. Not roomy. With a floor area of 42 square feet, the Van Camp SL 3 is smaller than quite a few of the 139 other 3 person tents we have looked at.
  2. Lacking in Headroom. With 9% less headroom than similar sized tents, one can see how this could be a negative thing for some people.
  3. Footprint not Included. There is no included footprint, The floor may be made of Polyester but it is still best to protect it further with a footprint, more so on rough terrain.
  4. Discontinued: Unfortunately this particular tent has been discontinued on the manufactures website and is no longer available elsewhere, that we know of.
  5. Sloping walls. Even though Dome tents have lots of attributes to rave about. The sloping sides do tend to make it all the more smaller inside.


4.2 Stars Logo

Our Ratings: 4.2 STARS

Big Agnes's Van Camp SL 3 tent is great for backpacking. Here are a few other nice points not noted above which, we noticed and liked, while researching the model: Steep walls create more usable floor space, while double doors allow for easy entry and exit, All seams taped with waterproof, solvent-free polyurethane tape (No PVC or VOCs) and Hook-and-loop tabs connect fly to pole structure, providing perfect pitch and extra stability.

With wonderful ratings, and a minimum headroom of 3' and 42 square feet of space to play with, this tent is like your very own miniature home away from home. It enables you to enjoy some really enjoyable time exploring the great outdoors. We found a decent amount of positive points about the tent that you can look at above.

If you found this website looking for suggestions on this specific tent, our view is, it would make for a great buy. In case you just happened to land on this website while looking for a brand new tent having never heard of this brand or this tent previously, it is perhaps a good thing to check out a few more comparable tents also.

Value for money: When thinking about value for your money, this tent is a lot more competitive than the usual cost of all the one hundred and ninety-three, three-person tents we have taken a look at, this itself does not make it good value for money. We also need to take a look at other areas in-depth, as we do with each tent.

When we tally up the score of a single tent, we reflect upon tons of data points, looking for points where the tent could beat other comparable tents and where it is coming up short. In this case, with a total rating of 4.2 and the price conclusions above, It is simple enough to see that with a ticket price of $349.95 The Van Camp SL 3 is a good buy and fabulously cheap in comparison with similar tents.

Its ratings show that the quality and space the tent gives you were not compromised to get a price tag unquestionably beneath the usual price for comparable tents. It is also worth thinking about the fact that it is marked down by 0% from the manufactures MSRP. It should make a very good choice for most people searching for an adequate three-season backpacking tent to go camping in, that should serve you well for years to come.

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Other Sizes and Variations of the Big Agnes Van Camp SL Model

Model Headroom Sleeping Area

Big Agnes Van Camp SL 2
Van Camp SL 2

3' 5"28 sq ft

Big Agnes Van Camp SL 3
Van Camp SL 3

3' 9"42 sq ft
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