Big Agnes integrates LED lighting system into camping tents
By C.C. Weiss
July 31, 2014
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