User Review: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $369
For Ultralight backpackers who want the security of a "critter-proof" tent, this is a good choice.
- Small pack size
- Cramped for 2 people
- Not quite "free standing"
Select this tent if light weight and quality materials is your main requirement. The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 is marketed as a 2-person tent, but is very cramped for 2 people. I selected this as a one-person tent because I like room to keep my boots, and sometimes my pack, inside my tent.
A lot of my backpacking is in deserts of the Southwest, so keeping "critters" such as spiders and scorpions away from my boots and sleeping bag is paramount, so I use a tent rather than a tarp or rainfly as a shelter, even as an ultralighter. This tent, with footprint, weighs in at 3 pounds, and you can cut the weight by 7 oz. if you don't use a footprint (groundcloth).
It is rated as a 3-season tent, but I have camped in sleet and snow in temps below 20 degrees high above timberline, and it keeps the wind out just fine, so a properly rated sleeping bag makes this a 4-season tent under winter conditions not including winter storms. No experience there, but I suspect that the material is too light to withstand really high winter storm winds and snow weight. The tent is almost free-standing in that it can be moved around after erecting, but must be staked out at the rear in two places to be fully extended.
The vestibule is adequate for boots and a backpack, but requires that you climb over them to get in and out. I usually keep my boots inside and put my backpack under the rainfly on the side with part of it exposed and covered by a pack cover so it's out of the way. There are ample tie-downs on the fly to keep it away from the tent body in wind and rain, and after many rainstorms it is intact with no signs of tears or stitching failures at any stress points.
If you're looking for a top quality, ultralight tent for one person, or for 2 very cozy campers, this is a good choice that I highly recommend.