The innovative, freestanding Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 is an ultra-light enthusiast's dream. Streamlined to cut unnecessary weight, the Fly Creek UL 2 delivers surprising livability at a trail weight of just 1 pound, 15 ounces!
The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 is a tried and true, ultra lightweight backpacking tent for two backpackers or one backpacker who wants to sprawl out, for that ounce counting backpacker who wants to have interior space, but really is counting those ounces and wants a lightweight and easy to set up tent.
The first thing that stands out to me about this tent is the construction of the poles. It is a really smart design. It is not a true free standing tent. You have a hubbed pole design here. So the hub is right here in the middle and you have got three arms on that pole. So two of them come down to the front door and then one pole goes to the back. So that really cuts down on excess poles needed and cuts down on weight. It also cuts down on pack size, because you don’t have all those poles to pack down.
You do need to stake the four corners of the tent into the ground and right where that pole goes to the back or to the foot area of the tent, you do have another stake that you stake in. And it is extremely easy to set up. So you have got a series of clips here. The clips are really easy to use, couldn’t be any easier to set up that way. And the ... just the construction there gives you enough livable space inside and enough protection from the elements.
You have got a silicon treated nylon rip stop floor. They pull the seam of the floor up and you have got a bathtub style floor here. So that is an intentional purpose. You don’t have that seam touching the ground, so you don’t get any water in through there. But the floor is fully seam taped and fully waterproof.
Above that you have a lighter weight material to provide a little bit of privacy there. And then above that you have got ultra lightweight mesh. All of the mesh here in the top of the tent is going to provide ample breathability. So this is a tent that is meant to be used in warmer conditions. In warmer, humid conditions you are going to have a lot of breathability to cut down on condensation and to keep you nice and comfortable inside.
As you can see, we have got one door right here in the front. So the access is in this way. You have got the door right at your head. So for two backpackers, if they are inside, that actually makes it easy. Instead of having two doors and two vestibules that adds a lot of weight, you have got one door there on the head. So you don’t have to climb over the other person in order to get out of the tent. You have got a really big open door there. And we will go inside and take a look at the features in the tent.
The interior space here is 86 inches long, 52 inches wide and 38 inches at the highest point. Now this is wide enough for two 20 inch wide sleeping mats. So you definitely have enough room side by side. But, as you can see, it is pretty tight in here. I am one person. I am sitting up. I have some headroom here, but this does taper in a little bit toward the feet as well, so it is certainly meant for two backpackers that have small, compact backpacking equipment. If you are one person and you just want a little bit of sprawling room, this tent would still be great as a one person tent, but they... with the ultra lightweight construction they anticipate that you are really just going to be sleeping in the tent. Any time spent inside the tent with two people is going to be a little bit cramped. But they do provide pockets here on the inside. You have got two big pockets on either side here. You have got a nice convenient pocket up here. It would be a great spot for a headlamp. This big D shaped door is easy to get in and out of and it is something that I don’t see on a lot of ultra lightweight backpacking tents where you have that big zipper. A lot of times the opening for the door is very small. But they do have that large open door here.
With the ultra lightweight fabric of the floor of this tent, we do suggest purchasing a custom fit footprint separately. The footprint doesn't come with the tent, but it adds a lot of durability to that lightweight fabric and adds a little bit of extra protection from ground water. The other thing that you can do with your footprint, something that adds a lot of value to this tent is you can have dry pitch design or an ultra, ultra lightweight pitch here. So if you are backpacking during the day and you don’t want to set up the tent if it is raining, you can stake out the footprint and use the poles and the rain fly to create a canopy and then go in and set up your tent body. So that way your tent is nice and dry. You can throw all your gear in there. So that is the dry pitch set up. The other way you can do it is you can actually leave the tent body at home and just use the rain fly, the footprint and the poles for an ultra lightweight set up. And that adds a lot of value and a lot of versatility to the Fly Creek.
We have put the full coverage rain fly on the tent here and you have got protection all around the tent. So what I mean by full coverage is all four corners of the tent are completely protected. You have got a very lightweight nylon rip stop fabric. The polyurethane coating gives it its waterproofness. All the seams are taped and sealed so you are certainly protected there from the elements.
The front vestibule gives you enough space here to tuck away a backpack, some gear, your boots. We have got it zipped open just to show the door and how easy it is to get in and out of that tent, but when you have it zipped close, you have got enough space there. There is a storm flap in front of that zipper so you are protected in a rain storm. And one thing that I really like about this rain fly is it is simple. It is ultra lightweight, but it is very functional.
So there are guy out points that we don’t have staked out right now, because we have got a nice, beautiful day, but you can stake out all the guy out points to get a little bit tighter pitch on the tent and then there is two points on the sides of the tent that actually make the interior a little bit more livable. So there is little hooks on the actual rain fly that attach to tabs on the tent body and pull that side wall out a little bit more. So when you have the rain fly on there, when you have everything pitched and everything staked out, you get a little bit more livability which is very functional. It is a simple feature that makes a really big difference when you are spending time in the tent. So overall you have got extremely lightweight construction. It is a very packable... you throw it in your backpack, take it into the backcountry and know that you are going to be protected from the elements. It is the Fly Creek UL 2 Person Tent by Big Agnes.