Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 Solution Dye Review

Big Agnes’ ultralight backpacking tent stands out for its double-wall construction, relatively easy set up, and competitive price

Table of Contents

Budget

28 sq. ft.

2 lbs. 4 oz. (2P)

1P, 2P

Truly ultralight at a competitive price.

One door/vestibule layout limits practicality; not suitable for very inclement weather.

Many ways the Big Agnes’ Fly Creek was a key component to in bringing ultralight into the mainstream. It weighs less than 2.5 kilograms, the Fly Creek is similar to a bivy bag or hammock, and packs down extremely compactly in a bag. Recently, it was redesigned with solution-dyed fabric, a streamlined the pole clips system higher walls, and a more spacious entryway we put the latest design of the camper to the test over the Colorado’s San Juans and Washington’s Cascade mountains. The conclusion: although it’s still an industry-leading UL design however, the Fly Creek has some notable shortcomings in terms of storage space, interior space, and protection from the weather. Here’s a breakdown of its overall efficiency. To compare it against its competitors read our review on the most comfortable camping tents for backpackers..

Performance

Weight and Size

Tents are among the primary items that backpackers consider in order to decrease weight. it is the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 Solution Dye comes in at 2 pounds and 4 ounces in. For comparison, Big Agnes’ own Tiger Wall UL2 (2 2 lbs. 8 oz. ) Nemo’s Hornet (2 pounds. 6 oz. ) as well as Rei’s Flash Air 2 (2 lbs. 8 oz) clock in slightly heavier, although all three feature two-door-and-vestibule layouts that add a great deal of convenience (the Fly Creek has just one door and vestibule). It’s Nemo’s Hornet Elite (2 lbs. 1 oz.) is among the few ultralight models that can compete with one ounce of the Fly Creek, but the fabric is a bit thin and the tent will not stand up under extreme weather conditions (plus it’s more expensive with a price of $500). Zpacks’ Duplex (1 lb. 3 oz.) is another option that is popular for thru-hikers. However, its trekking pole-supported design isn’t quite as user-friendly and comes with an expensive premium ($649) for Dyneema textiles. In the end, it’s a good choice. Fly Creek is a solid price for a tried and true UL design.

With its weight The Fly Creek’s simple pole structure and the thinner materials allows it to be packed down to a neat form that is easy to stuff into a compact bag. It’s important to note that the most recent Solution Dye model is larger than its predecessor, having an overall 6 7 19.5-inch form that’s bigger than its rivals (the earlier model measured 4 19 inches x 4 inches.). To put it in perspective, it’s heavier than the majority of the above-mentioned competitors that include those like the Big Agnes Tiger Wall (5.5 18″ x 18″), Nemo Hornet (5.5 x 19.5), REI Co-op Flash Air (7 16×16) along with the Nemo Hornet Elite (4.5 19 inches). But , in fairness it’s still a decent size. Fly Creek can still be packed to a rather small size, and backpackers should not have any trouble getting it into their backpacks (you are able to separate it from other parts of the tent to save space inside your backpack).

 

 

LIVABILITY 

as well as Interior Space

Undoubtedly, one of the major issues when selecting this model Large Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 is the interior space. Simply put this way, the UL2 model is ideal in a single tent. You do get decent headroom at 42 inches (2 in. greater than the previous model) because of the tilted hubbed pole over the door, and the steeper wall (hence it being called “HV,” or high-volume of the title). The tapered design means that it’s impossible to accommodate two standard-width (20-in.) mattress pads with no overlap (you’ll need an Mummy-shaped pad) as well as the narrowing at the foot makes it almost impossible to lie head-to-toe with your partner in the tent. Our final conclusion of the Fly Creek is that Fly Creek is a solid set-up for one (provided you’re sleeping at the bottom) however it’s a cramped space that can accommodate two adults.

 

 

Durability

As with many ultralight tents Fly Creek is similar to other ultralight tents. Fly Creek is sacrificing a significant amount of strength in order to keep the weight down. The DAC Featherlite poles aren’t as robust as the heavier ones and the fifteen-denier (D) rainfly is a bit transparent and the floor that’s 20D definitely requires more care ( Big Agnes sells the floor at $75 or opt for a more affordable option using an ordinary polypro groundcloth). However, despite these limitations It’s worth pointing this: the Fly Creek is a decent choice within the UL market. A lot of tents that are in the same weight category use thinner fabrics such as the REI Flash Air with a 15D floor, as well as Nemo’s Elite line that has 10D floors.

To put the durability of the tent to the test I tried to take the Fly Creek to extremely stormy weather in the Washington State Enchantments. There was a point when an intense gust blew into the vestibule that was partially closed which transformed the tent into an open sail, and then broke a pole (which was then followed by a puncture to the fly). This probably wouldn’t have been the case if I sealed the vestibule however a more robust tent would certainly have stood up better under the same conditions. It’s important to mention the fact that we had a great experience Big Agnes the customer service was exceptional: they helped us with the repair of the pole (turnaround time was about two months) and gave us instructions on how to repair the fly. From a sustainability perspective, we are very pleased the fact that they strive to repair instead of replacing tent components, which reduces the needless waste and shipping costs.

Weather Protection

Its Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 is described as a backpacking tent that can be used in three seasons This technically means that it will be able to perform the task in summer, spring, and autumn conditions. However that, after a long test in the summer, I’m not sure to recommend it in anything else than mild weather. In the first place, it’s a tent that Fly Creek struggles in heavy rain. Although you have a rainfly that covers the entire area and high-quality seam sealing (not often as is the case with ultralight market) The tent is a bit flimsy and isn’t as sturdy or strong. With only one pole that runs along the spine of the fly, it tends to press into walls of the tent that can lead to water be able to seep into it’s mesh walls. To stop this from happening the issue, make sure to totally line to the Fly Creek, including the midpoint section of the fly.

However the wind protection is worse because of the single-pole structure and heavy mesh design. On our night of strong wind in the Enchantments and the Enchantments, the Fly Creek consistently caved in from both sides, and dirt was able to sneak through the space between the body and the rainfly and began to pile onto and accumulating on our camping bags and sleeping pads and our faces. If you are planning on traveling in a storm I would suggest opting for an option with less mesh, higher bathtub floors and an arcing pole structure similar to Big Agnes and Big Agnes’ own Copper Spur (even it’s middle rod of the Tiger Wall could provide certain stability). Single-wall tents are the most effective in this respect, with minimal to no mesh, however there is a trade-off in airflow.

Ventilation

The flip side to the Fly Creek’s weak weather protection is its excellent ventilation. The use of mesh and double wall construction allows air to flow easily between the fly and tent body, reducing the buildup of moisture. It is essential to have a tight and properly guyed-out pitch that prevents the sides from sliding and ensures a separation between the canopy and the fly. We’d like to have Big Agnes include a built-in roof vent to increase airflow, however the Fly Creek nonetheless is a great overall breather, especially considering its ultralight construction, especially in comparison to single-wall competitors.

 

 

Stores, Vestibules and Vestibules

One way Big Agnes reduced weight when they built its Fly Creek HV UL2 was by putting a single entrance and vestibule at the top side of the tent. We would prefer this arrangement to having a single door on the side that can make it difficult to get in or out while camping with a friend. But it’s not our top choice. Placing your backpacking bag on top of the door hinders access and can be difficult to navigate all the different footwear and gear that are in front of you while going in and out of. For backpackers who are single, it’s not a problem the inconvenience, but when traveling on our own we like the ease of having two vestibules, so we can devote one for equipment. The good thing is that the vestibule’s opening is extremely large (and is now taller thanks to the most recent update) as well as rolling the door back an ideal option to let light even in sunny conditions. In addition, the storage inside is adequate: there’s a triangular space by the head on each end and a larger one on the roof. We found the roof to be a bit shallow and often let our phone as well as our headlamp to the mattress below.

Set up and take Down

With just one pole hubbed The Fly Creek’s setup procedure is quite simple to simply slide 3 poles into 2 grommets, one at the top and one on the bottom. Because of the tent’s semi-freestanding style, it’s crucial to stake or put on the corners on the foot. This means that you must put your tent up on a stable surface so that stakes can be securely driven into the ground or carry additional guylines to fix the corners to trees or rocks. Also, as I said above you’ll need to stake out the tent at other locations to ensure maximum ventilation and weather protection. Even with these additional measures the Fly Creek is still a lot much simpler to put up than freestanding UL constructions such as those from the Zpacks Duplex.

Sustainability

Fly Creek HV UL2 Fly Creek HVUL2 is now manufactured using solution dyed fabric that uses less energy and water during manufacturing and is more resistant to UV and less prone to fade with time. Additionally it is also a good idea to know that the DAC poles are able to be reused after their life as well as anodized such a way that reduces energy and fuel consumption. Finally, Big Agnes is now part of the Outdoor Industry Association’s Climate Action Corps, and each of their three U.S. facilities operates via 100-percent-renewable electric energy. The most beneficial option for the environment is to reduce your consumption and make use of the resources you have already We appreciate Big Agnes their efforts to create greener and more sustainable manufacturing.

Other versions of the Big Agnes Fly Creek

We have tested the two-person version that is the Fly Creek HVUL and Big Agnes also offers the tent as a one-person model. Its Fly Creek HVUL1 is a close match to the features of the 2P we tested with a slimmer design and lighter weight (2 pounds). However, with the UL2’s light and compact design it’s our opinion that the extra space is well worth it for those who backpack solo. In addition to the collection, Big Agnes also makes ultralight Platinum and Carbon models available in one and two-person sizes. The Platinum utilizes even more thin nylon, while Carbon models are made of a thicker nylon fabric. Carbon makes use of Dyneema as well as carbon fiber poles to provide the incredibly low weight of 1 pound, 7 ounces on the 2-P (at an astounding $850).

What We Like About

  • Proven ultralight design at a reasonable price.
  • Double-wall construction isn’t commonly seen within the UL world, but it greatly enhances the airflow and reduces condensation within the tent.
  • It is simpler and faster to set up than most non-freestanding ultralights. This includes those with trekking poles. Zpacks Duplex.
  • It comes with a rainfly that is fully covered and a seam seal.

The Things We Do Not

  • With its single-pole spine as well as the mesh-heavy design The Fly Creek does not hold up to strong wind or constant rainfall.
  • Only one entrance and vestibule make getting in and out of the tent difficult, and also limits storage space for equipment.
  • It was a camper’s dream to have two. It is difficult to fit two standard-width (20-in. sleeping pads) with no overlap.
  • A 15D or 20D floor is common in the light tent market, however, they require extra attention to prevent the possibility of tears or snags.

Comparative Table

TENTPRICEWEIGHTAREAFLOORHeightDOOR(S)CAPACITIES
Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2$3702 lbs. 4 oz.28 sq. ft.20D42 in.11P, 2P
Nemo Hornet 2P$3702 lbs. 6 oz.27.5 sq. ft.15D39 in.21P, 2P
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2$4002 lbs. 8 oz.28 sq. ft.15D39 in.22P, 3P
REI Co-op Flash Air 2$2992 lbs. 8 oz.28.7 sq. ft.15D42 in.21P, 2P
Tarptent Triple Rainbow$3192 lbs. 10 oz.30.6 sq. ft.30D40 in.21P, 2P
Zpacks Duplex$6491 lb. 3 oz.28 sq. ft.1 oz./sqyd48 in.21P, 2P, 3P

The Contest

Big Agnes Big Agnes’ Fly Creek HV is an ultralight camping tent because of its light weight construction as well as its double-wall construction. It also comes at a an affordable cost. The closest rival within the UL category is Nemo’s Hornet 2P. The two tents are almost identical in terms of weight (the Fly Creek wins out by 2 ounces. ) as well as the durability (the Nemo uses 10 and 15D fabrics whereas Big Agnes uses 15 and 20D fabrics Big Agnes uses 15 and 20D) as well as build quality and similar tight interiors. Both are also great for backpackers who are solo despite having two-person designations. However that Hornet is better for solo backpackers. Hornet will be the practical alternative due to its two doors and a vestibule, making it less claustrophobic in general. In the end, considering the similarities in weight and the same price We give the edge to the Hornet because of its less compromising design.

Big Agnes’ own Tiger Wall is an intriguing alternative to look at, combining the elements of design from its predecessor, the Fly Creek and the more spacious and feature-rich Copper Spur. Similar to it’s counterpart, the Fly Creek, the Tiger Wall UL2 now utilizes a solution dyed fabric and is semi-freestanding. However, it has an angled ridge pole in the center and two doors/vestibules that significantly increases the livability and stability during high winds. The Tiger Wall remains comfortable inside, despite the additions (it is the same size as the Fly Creek area) but it’s able to accommodate two backpackers far better in comparison to Fly Creek. Overall The Tiger Wall strikes us as the more balanced model, particularly considering that it only weighs 4 ounces.

REI Co-op jumped into the UL tent market using its Flash Air, which features a unique, non-freestanding construction that utilizes two poles (swapping the trekking poles for them will save another 3.4 pounds.) for its construction. Its structure is based on the Fly Creek. Fly Creek beats it in weight by 4 ounces , and is also a little faster to install due to its semi-freestanding design. Flash Air 2 is Flash Air 2 remains surprisingly fast and user-friendly. Plus, it has a slightly larger interior by having 28.7 sq. feet of floor space (compared with the 28 square. ft.). Overall it’s clear that The Flash Air is the much more suitable option for backpackers who have two. And we believe anyone who is a single traveler will love the REI’s 2-door/vestibule design and the larger dimensions inside (not to mention that you’ll save $70 when you buy this model). Flash Air).

As we move into the world of cottage tents and the Tarptent Double Rainbow is yet another high-quality UL design worth considering. As stacked as an extent of the Fly Creek, the Tarptent is less expensive at $319, however it weighs more at 2 pounds and 10 pounds all in (including stakes, poles, along with the stuff sack) and has the non-freestanding design. The Tarptent’s single-wall construction is also more prone to moisture buildup. Additionally, the Double Rainbow doesn’t have sealed seams. Double Rainbow doesn’t come with sealed seams (you are able to purchase this option by purchasing it from Tarptent for an additional fee of $35). The end result is that Double Rainbow is Double Rainbow is cheaper, more durable and more stable in the wind over Fly Creek. Fly Creek, but the Big Agnes wins out in nearly every other aspect.

Another competitor is among the few that can beat that of the Fly Creek in weight: the Zpacks Duplex. The tent that’s supported by trekking poles weighs just 1 3 lbs (not with stakes) and is well-loved by those who hike thru. Its single-wall construction is more susceptible to humidity than Fly Creek, and the fully Dyneema design comes at the price of ($649 for the tent, not including stakes for trekking poles or tent poles.). Due to its layout it’s no surprise that the Duplex will require longer and more effort to achieve a decent pitch, compared to the more comfortable Fly Creek, although it’s more spacious inside and is beating it in weight. In all it’s not suitable for everyone, but its ratio of weight to space is difficult to beat.