Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2

7.5
7.5 score
[Editors rating (7.5)] = (TheGearHunt) score (7.5)/10


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Editor rating: 7.5 / 10
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Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 Review Facts

Tents come in all shapes and sizes. We have found them to cover multiple areas as well, from the ground to trees, which has us all the more curious what each one will have to offer as a way to keep up with the competition. After all, not everyone’s needs will be the same, but we all look to see whether the tent we want does cover what we need it to.

So, what is it that would set the UL2 apart when you look into everything? Will this tent have enough to offer to keep it in the running with all the newer tents out there? That’s what we set out to find out with this article.

We know sometimes you get it right earlier than everyone else, and that’s what we want to find out- what did this tent get right? Were there a lot, or not many areas of improvement to make at all? Let’s dig into what we found and see if you agree with our final word.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Extremely lightweight

Small when packed

Attached guylines

Easy to carry

Inner pockets

Price

Double-walled

Cons

Weak materials

Hard set up

Can’t handle high winds

Small interior

Accessories

Accessories

The accessories for this tent are relatively limited in number, but then, it is meant to be an ultralight tent for backpacking and adding extra’s will mean adding weight. The obvious extra’s you can purchase that many do to be prepared for emergencies are extra poles and stakes. This is not only a great idea to do but can prevent you from having to end your trip early.

You can also purchase a footprint for this tent to give you that extra padding and help you to set up your tent once you reach the spot you want to rest at. For the best and most enjoyable use, this is probably the one thing you would want with any ground tent.

Unfortunately, there are no other add-ons, however, but as mentioned, it is intended to make it easier on backpackers and climbers by lowering weight capacity and even the footprint is only 3 ounces to add into the weight of the tent as a whole.
Materials

Materials

Unfortunately, when you check-in for lightweight and decide that is the most important aspect of your tent, you are going to find sacrifices made with other areas. This is the main complaint of many who purchased the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 - its materials are only durable if you take extreme care with them. The lightweight sacrifices on heavier and more durable fabric and instead you are given two layers of lighter and thinner fabric.

It is made of a silicone treated nylon which is also designed to try and be rip-proof, but the actual material is extremely thin, and a wrong move can result in a tear. This is the most noticeable when you try to pack the tent. If you aren’t careful about how and where you slide the poles in with the fabric, you can end up with a bad tear. This also doesn’t bode well against other debris like sharp rocks, twigs or branches.

The other issue is that this thin of the fabric means it is pretty flimsy, and it can make things difficult when you are trying to just set the tent up and get the poles and guy lines down to make it so the walls don’t sink in on you.
Capacity

Capacity

The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 is technically meant to be a two-person version of the original design, and, as long as you don’t mind practically snuggling with your tent partner, it can fit two adults inside. Of course, the design is a little odd, requiring a feet first approach to get inside and it doesn’t really give much room for sitting either. As a single person tent, there is a noticeable difference in the room, and many prefer to continue using it as such.

The full measurement for it gives you 28 square feet of floor space, with a 40-inch height in the front (door) that tapers down to around 18 inches in the back where your feet are intended to be. This means you could feasibly sit in the front end if you don’t mind the flimsy wall fabric most likely brushing against you. It also has built-in pockets for some of your smaller items, but nothing really big to use.
Waterproofing

Waterproofing

This tent has decent water-proofing, it is, after all, a three-season tent supposedly. Many have found it isn’t the best under extreme circumstances however, and a larger rain or thunderstorm might actually tear it apart. So, while you might be able to use it during cooler temperatures, it’s a good idea to make sure that if there is to be heavy winds or downpour, you may want to find a different tent to camp with.

One major concern, however, is the way the bottom sits if it is pulled tight. There is very little resistance to the backsplash, even with the rainfly fully in place. In the end, the redesign may help a little, but the experiences so far have been that it is better in calmer, clearer weather, especially if you intend to share with a second person.

The rainfly is your only real protection against rain when you take a full look at this tent, as well, so if the double layer has you considering it better protected than we are pointing out, we did look into it. The majority of this tent appears to actually be netting- so again this is best in calmer weather.
Style

Style

If the style is what drives you when it comes to tents, and you want variety, this may not be what you were looking for. This design is as compact and yet usable as one can manage without adding a lot of weight. While colors may make this particular tent more appealing, we were not able to find anything but an olive-green appearance being sold.

The style is more about being easily carried without weighing you down. The fact is that this tent is crazy lightweight, small and still able to provide necessary shelter while on a trail or mountain. While extra’s could have added to its attractiveness, even these would have ended up defeating its purpose of being the easiest travel tent on the market.
Durability

Durability

Unfortunately, as we mentioned earlier, you make sacrifices when you are wanting to get lighter weight. In this case, the sacrifice was in the durability of the materials in that they are much thinner and more prone to both tears and aren’t as sturdy as some other tents. Of course, if you take proper care of your tent and don’t rush, you can still have it las a long time as a great lightweight way to be ready for your long trip adventures.

The main bit of advice is to make sure that when you pack up you take the time to properly fold and maintain your tent. Instead of just quickly trying to cram everything into the carrying bag, actually take sure everything is neatly stored and you don’t just shove the poles into the bag without the forethought of the materials inside. Also, when you are setting up, make sure the area you decide to put your tent in has good clearance and no sharp debris around that could end up tearing a hole into the fabric.

Set your tent up tight to avoid it billowing in, but not so tight that you are putting unneeded strain on the fabric. Assure that your tent is staked down good because heavier winds can pummel the sides and cause discomfort but pulling it too tight means that same wind could actually damage your tent, and the same can be said for heavier rain.

Another thing that can help to maintain the longevity of your tent is to purchase the correct footprint to place under it. This will give the bottom of the tent less of a chance of getting tears or holes from things you may have missed on the ground. Make sure when you go to put it away, that you also check everything to make sure it remains debris-free when you place it back in its pack. By following all of this, and occasionally taking the time to wipe it down, you will find that, despite its thin fabric, this tent can last you a while.

Making sure you set up appropriately as well as taking it down with your tent’s durability in mind, is a great habit to form. The only thing you can add to this is to check the weather. If it is going to be rough going, you may just need a heavier tent to go with you.
Protection

Protection

Although this is technically a three-season tent, it does have its downsides when it comes to protection. The thinner fabric and lighter weight make it a bad idea if you are going to be facing heavy winds and/or rain. It does have waterproofing seals on it, but because of how thin it is, and because it is lighter, you will find that it can get easily blown around if you don’t set up properly. Heavier rain can also cause undue stress, and you never know what debris you will end up facing either.

For better weather, the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 can be the ultimate in camping expeditions since it won’t bog you down and cause you to wear out. In the end, it is a matter of deciding what you need versus what you want and weighing your options. This can be a great first choice, but it can also be a good secondary emergency tent.
Weather Resistance

Weather Resistance

The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 is built to handle the less extreme weather for three seasons of camping, however, due to its design, it does have some issues with being utilized well should the weather turn on you. It has waterproofing on the rainfly, but according to those who have bought it, there is a concern on the splashback due to how low the interior floor actually lifts from the ground. The lighter and, thus, more flimsy material, is also a cause for concern in heavier rain and winds if it isn’t staked down and tied down tightly and well enough.

Many find that this tent is great if you know you are headed out for a long trip during milder weather but do advise that you may want to pick up a second and sturdier tent if there is a risk to it getting rough. The fabric will billow some, regardless, if you are staking it down properly and aren’t putting too much stress onto the tent when setting up. You’ll find it holds up well against light rain at keeping you dry, but you may want to pack warm if it is going to be a chilly night.
Price

Price

Considering everything, many would feel this tent is overpriced for what it actually offers, however, we choose to look at it objectively. If you look at the goals in mind for this tent, it actually meets everything it was aiming for. You would be hard-pressed to find a lighter tent to take with you on your journey, and it is as compact as they promised it would be.

Is it worth the $338 that is being asked for it though? We feel that between the fact that it did everything that it was meant to do, and the fact that it does have a warranty which will replace your tent if it has defects, or refund you if the model is no longer available, that it is worth the cost.
Key Features

Key Features

- Extremely lightweight
- Compact
- Warranty
- Guy lines attached to the tent
- Double-walled
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

While we don’t feel the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 is marketed in the way it should be, we admit this is perfect for those looking for a tent that won’t cause extra stress when shooting for long distances. Perhaps if it could have been stated as a ‘mild-weather’ tent instead we would not feel the need to be so harsh when looking over the finer points. So, our final thoughts?

If you are focused on an easy to carry, easy to pack the tent, this is most definitely going to have you covered in every way. But, if you need something to be sturdy without having to be extra gentle with it, you may want to look elsewhere despite the extreme lightweight design- after all, you can’t get less weight on an item like this without sacrificing in areas you may not want to.