Big Agnes integrates LED lighting system into camping tents


July 31, 2014

Big Agnes Tumble 2 mtnGLO features built-in LED lighting

Big Agnes Tumble 2 mtnGLO features built-in LED lighting

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Flashlights, lanterns, headlamps, tent lights … there are a lot of different ways to light up a campsite. Colorado-based outdoor specialist Big Agnes adds one more: the tent. More specifically, the company's mtnGLO tent range, which feature built-in LED lighting so there's no more fidgeting around for a flashlight that has rolled into a dark, cold corner.

We witnessed tents getting a little smarter at last year's Outdoor Retailer show, and Big Agnes' product announcement shows that they won't slow up this year. The mtnGLO line of tents employs LEDs integrated directly into the construction. The AAA battery-powered lights can be turned on and off at the flick of a switch, making it easier to get a little light when you wake up in the pitch black wilderness.

"We’ve wanted to integrate tents and lighting for a long time, but it wasn’t until now that the technology had progressed enough for us to provide an effective, lightweight solution with minimal cost increases,” explains Bill Gamber, Big Agnes co-founder and president. "By adding lighting and power to our products, we’re bringing technology into the outdoors to deliver a whole new level of functionality, convenience and comfort."

Big Agnes' photos suggest that the specific lighting layout will vary based on the individual models, with the company saying that the mtnGLO line will encompass a number of different products, including complete tents ranging from ultralight backpacking models to base camp tents as well as an LED add-on kit.

The mtnGLO collection isn't the first tent design to incorporate LEDs, but it's notable that Big Agnes is confident enough in the technology to offer it in a range of tents, including backpacking tents. These lightweight tents usually see manufacturers eliminating every possible fraction of an ounce, so it will be interesting to see how much weight the technology adds when Big Agnes releases full model specs.

LED tent lights are also fairly common, and we've seen LEDs integrated into tent stakes and guy lines. One technology we'd love to see implemented into the mtnGLO tents is a remote control, like the one on Eureka's Warrior 230 lantern. This way when you're struggling to find your tent after dark, you can flash the lights like you do with your car when you're lost in the parking lot. A smartphone app with the same function would be even better.

Big Agnes revealed the mtnGLO line in Europe at the recent Outdoor Friedrichshafen Show in July and will show it in North America at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market next week. It plans to begin selling the tents early next year, with the Gilpin Falls 4 mtnGLO, which appears to be the flagship of the lineup, to retail for US$599.95 and include a Joey T55 Powercase. This portable, lithium-polymer power pack provides enough juice to charge tablets and can recharge a smartphone three times. The mtnGLO lighting accessory kit will be offered for $39.95

Source: Big Agnes

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

And yet another joy of my youth goes down the tubes. It seem that there will be no 'interesting' shadows cast upon the walls of these tents as their occupants get ready for bed. Progress, eh?

Mel Tisdale

Do people really have this problem?

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