Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 review

The Fly Creek UL 2 is designed to be a minimalist, ultralight backpacking tent. At two pounds two ounces (trail weight), I would say it accomplishes this quite well. But is it worth the cash?

About the tent

When viewing the Fly Creek, it’s important to keep in mind that this tent is designed to be as light as possible. Big Agnes uses their most advanced materials for this tent. You’ll get Featherlight DAC aluminium poles, super thin and light floor and sidewall materials, and sturdy weatherproofing thanks to the polyurethane and silicone treated nylon. With this in mind, you’ll have some sacrifices to manage that tiny pack weight. It’s a three pole, hubbed design. You’ll have to stake this tent out for proper usage as the foot of the tent only has a single pole.

How to pitch a tent

Fly is clipped on, vestibule is stated out tight, and finally, tension is applied to the tensioners.

What I liked

2 pounds, two ounces. Seriously. This thing is light. Many tarp setups weigh more than that. It’s impressive. The tent holds strong in tough winds, barely fluttering with 30 mph winds on the ocean front of Georgia, and shedding rain for nearly 12 hours straight without a drop of leakage. The Fly Creek comes with a high bathtub floor to keep out rain and splashes, and utilized a light weight, but breathable nylon like material to help keep out dust, sand, wind, and rain, high up on the tent walls. This improves ventilation, while also protecting you from the elements. The tent is well ventilated, with a straight shot air tunnel like design and a double zippered from door to allow for extra ventilation. The tent battled condensation like a champ, even beach side and in the Smokey Mountains. The tent comes with solid lightweight tent stakes. Despite the thin size, the tent has held up very well. The tent uses a clever method of connecting the walls to guy out points to help stake out the walls for extra room. When you get that perfect pitch, it’s tight, and quite in long hard gusts. It looks great in a sunset. Light enough to be a roomy solo tent. Small side pockets and small overhead pocket add some organization.

How to pitch tent

Tent body, pitched tight, with decent tension against the stakes.

What I didn’t like

This guy is a little cramped for two. You’ll have enough room for sleeping for sure, but when you’re inside and trying to get things done like changing, it’s a challenge. My head pretty much always touches the mesh when sitting up(I’m 5’8”), and it’s not really possible for two to comfortably sit up at the same time. If you plan on spending a lot of down time in you  tent, this may not be your best option. Getting that perfect pitch seemed to be a little tricky, utilizing at least 11 stakes to get everything guyed out. You’ll have to follow the instructions exactly to get it right. You’ll want to practice before going into the wilderness. If you just slap it together it’s going to flap in the wind. You’re going to want a footprint to protect your investment. The same tent floor that is thin to cut weight should also be protected from sticks. Given, I haven’t had any issues (even with my year old Copper Spur 2 at this point), but better play it safe. The vestibule is a bit small, but big enough for a stack of two backpacks and some gear.

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 set up for a good nights sleep.

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 set up for a good nights sleep.

Overall

I like this tent. For high mileage, ultra lighters, or fast paced weekend trips this is a great tent to pack along. Also, this would be a fantastically roomy solo tent. For two, if you’re a couple or comfortable with your tent mate, this is good option. If you plan a lot of time moving in your tent, you may want something roomier such as the Copper Spur 2. It’s weatherproof, and holds up in high winds like a champ. It’s incredibly light, but expensive. At a MSRP of right at 370, only those truly committed to cutting weight should apply. Great included tent stakes, but lack of included footprint is a regular disappointment. It’s reliable, and after a few days you’ll feel right at home.

Recommended, For some. 

Man Chef? Yes sir.

Man Chef? Yes sir.

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