Oct 7, 2013 at 7:00 pm #1308454
Just found a great deal on a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 Platinum. The only thing keeping me from making it my primary shelter is durability.
How's long-term testing going? I know a lot of people own it.
Obviously, reviews of the lighter fabrics in the Fly Creek UL1 Platinum are more useful to me, but I'd love to hear about the regular Fly Creek as well. Common wear points to be careful with while setting it up would be HUGELY appreciated. Thanks!
-MaxOct 7, 2013 at 7:12 pm #2031683
@gravesbrockLocale: asheville nc
For what is worth I used the big agnes seedhouse 2 for 6 years hundreds of set ups and takedowns. Rewaterproofed every year and sea sealed it after the tape came off and it is now a bak up tent. Still going strongOct 7, 2013 at 7:12 pm #2031684
What'd you use to re-waterproof it?Oct 7, 2013 at 9:24 pm #2031732
christopher smeadBPL Member
My fly creek ul1 regular has seen perhaps 20 trips over 3 years with no issues. No wear at all.
I'm considering moving to a hexamid to save weight, but will be sad to leave my trust fly creek at home.Oct 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm #2031733
Like any UL piece of gear, some care is required.
Aren't you well over six foot tall? If so, you are not going to fit. The Fly Creek is functionally shorter than the Seedhouse.Oct 7, 2013 at 9:36 pm #2031735
Of course i'll fit! I'll sleep on a diagonal!
You forget, I can sleep well in any conditions, including confined spaces.
I'm concerned about things like the fly rubbing on poles in light wind, or guy-outs tearing the fabric over a year or two of use. Non-careless unavoidable wear.Oct 7, 2013 at 9:45 pm #2031739
LOL, it isn't wide enough to sleep at a diagonal. Maybe curled up like a fetus. Yeah, you'll be just fine.
Recent durability issue here: http://forums.backpacker.com/cgi-bin/forums/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=832107219;t=9991167345
With all due respect to BA Fly Creek owners, I have no idea why anyone would purchase one with the inherent design flaws like rain entering the tent when the door is open, 11 stakes to set up fully, etc. Especially over the offerings from cottage manufacturers.Oct 7, 2013 at 10:08 pm #2031744
The BA FC UL1 platinum fixed the rain issue. Also, it's 9 stakes if you use 2 stakes for the 4 guylines on the sides. You just put two lines to a stake. TBH, I bet I can do fine with 6, just looking at it.
The weight and price are ( somewhat) comparable to otber cottage offerings for free-standing double wall tents or tarps with inner nets, for me. Mind you, I paid 283, not 449.
I like cottages, but I had to jump on this tent in a zappos exchange for an (unused) Marmot Aura 2.Oct 8, 2013 at 12:01 am #2031757
Charles GrierBPL Member
@rinconLocale: Desert Southwest
I've had a Fly Creek for over four years. It has seen hard use including section hikes of the PCT and JMT. I have averaged around 25 nights per year in it since I bought it with no durability issues whatsoever. I have used it on several 4-5 day trips in the Grand Canyon and for numerous trips in the mountains of SE Arizona. It has handled strong wind, sustained heavy rain and light snow without my getting wet and it is still in good, usable condition. In my experience, the purported "design flaws" are more theoretical than they are real. Sure, water can get in the sloped entrance but in practice it s not that much of a problem: it is certainly less a problem than is condensation in single-wall tents. And, I have never needed more than 8 stakes for a solid, quick and easy pitch. If you are much over 6' tall and a back sleeper, you will contact both ends of the tent while sleeping. A side sleeper probably has more latitude. For me, at 5' 9" tall it is about right; I can get me and all of my gear inside and sleep comfortably. If you want a double wall tent and don't want the hassle of dealing with the folks at Big Sky, I'm not sure you can do much better for the weight.Oct 8, 2013 at 6:48 am #2031791
"If you want a double wall tent and don't want the hassle of dealing with the folks at Big Sky, I'm not sure you can do much better for the weight."
Tarptent DW Moment.
Max, let us know how it works out for you. I used a Fly Creek (non Platinum) a few times and found it a bugger to set up in the rain and as well, inherently I got rain inside every time I opened the door. Maybe I am unlucky. I also didn't fit with my long bag and just over 6 foot tall. I couldn't sit up without brushing my head. I also found that if you didn't use the full 11 stakes, you sacrificed room by not pulling the sides of the inner out and wind shedding ability of the fly.
Personally I believe the design to be poor unless you are shorter and backpack in relatively dry conditions, price be damned. But that is just my opinion.Oct 8, 2013 at 9:10 am #2031842
I've used a BA fly creek ul1 for years. I really like this tent; easy to set up and bombproof. If for some reason a stake were to come out in high winds–never happened to me–the tent will still function just fine. I agree that the 'rain comes in when you enter through the vestibule' problem is greatly exaggerated. However, I've had problems with the zippers on two of my tents. I seem to be the only one reporting this, however, so maybe it's me! (I baby those zippers too…). Other than that, the tent is durable indeed. (I use a polycryo groundsheet.)Oct 8, 2013 at 3:38 pm #2032015
I'll report back with how it goes! My main worry was the rainfly blowing around and wearing holes where it contacts the poles, but I can't find any reports of this.
Will be living out of this for the next few weeks.Oct 8, 2013 at 5:25 pm #2032056
"rainfly wearing holes where it contacts the poles": not a problem with this tent. the rainfly will definitely not blow around.Oct 8, 2013 at 8:38 pm #2032143
Mike WBPL Member
@skopeoLocale: British Columbia
I've had my Fly Creek UL1 for 4 years and have not seen any abnormal wear.
I have never used more than 6 stakes to set mine up.
I have never had any issue with rain getting in but I am also smart enough not to unzip the vestibule all the way when it's raining. I'm getting on in years and aren't that nimble anymore but can still easily crawl out through a partially opened vestibule.
I'm six feet tall and haven't had any issues with the length of the Fly Creek although I wouldn't want to be any taller in this tent.
The issues I do have with this tent are:
Getting sand in the buckles that hold on the fly can lock them up tight. On one occasion, after 10 minutes of trying to get the buckle undone, I was about to smash it with a rock when it came loose.
The zippers snag very easily.
When wet, windy and cold, the fly will sag and stick to the mesh inner tent. It doesn't matter how you guy it out this will happen if the conditions are right. It hasn't caused me to get wet but it's annoying.
This year I've been using a Tarp Tent Notch. I like it but I also miss the Fly Creek. I may eventually go back to the Seedhouse SL1 as it has more room than the Fly Creek and is only a few ounces heavier. The Notch is great when on the move but I base camp and day hike/fish quite a bit so I have to carry the extra poles which makes the Fly Creek and TT Notch almost identical in weight.Oct 9, 2013 at 8:46 pm #2032547
Update coming to you live from the tent. I must be 6'1 instead of 6'2" because i'm stretched out and feeling fine. What a cool house.
As a hammock camper, the space is luxurious.Oct 9, 2013 at 9:34 pm #2032566
Backyard testing is fun.Oct 9, 2013 at 9:58 pm #2032570
"the space is luxurious". Yeah, I came to the Sl1 and then the fly creek from using a very much smaller "tent" for several years. To me, these tents were palatial. They still seem palatial, or at least comfortably cozy. (O.K. I'd like a bigger vestibule.)
There's a Monty Python bit where two guys talk about their homes growing up. One says that his family of six was housed in a bathtub. "Luxury!" says the other: my family of ten lived together in a shoe box!" And so on.Oct 10, 2013 at 6:16 am #2032614
Great night's sleep. Tents are always so much warmer than hammocks. Lots of condensation, though; I'll have to make a habit of leaving the door open a bit.Oct 10, 2013 at 6:47 am #2032623
You certainly won't be able to leave that door open on that design in the rain.
Use all the pegs supplied and condensation should be reduced.
Or get a Tarptent Notch.Oct 10, 2013 at 6:50 am #2032625
From looking at it, I can leave the door open at least ten inches at the bottom without getting wet. I sacrifice the vestibule, but that doesn't matter to me.
Also, I got like, a little bit of condensation when I was in the tent. Then I pulled up my stakes and the fly soaked the netting.Oct 10, 2013 at 7:06 am #2032633
Did you use all the available pegs? Was there a lot of sag to the fly?
You could always hold your breath…;)Oct 10, 2013 at 7:15 am #2032636
I used 6 stakes. I put 2 to stake out the vestibule, 2 to stake out the corners near my feet, and 2 to stake out the sides of the fly.
Using those 6 stakes, I was moisture-free all night and woke up with a dry sleeping bag. While trying to put on pants, I did get a little bit of condensation dripping through as the fly touched the net.
Then, I got out of my tent and removed the stakes from the ground, and the fly touched the net everywhere, and the netting picked up all the water. I took the fly to my porch to dry and I left the net tent in the backyard to dry.
But don't misinterpret this as a critique. I've done enough winter camping to know how condensation forms in a tent, and it got down to the 30's last night. I'm thrilled with the tent; I think it's great.
I also want three more stakes, but MSR Mini Groundhogs come in packs of 6… so I'll do it later.Oct 10, 2013 at 8:45 am #2032668
Yeah stake it out at all points, including the sides. This tent wants to breathe! This will help with condensation. Also: I unzip a portion of the TOP of the fly (warm air rises) and then of course zip up the netting. On rainless nights you can unzip quite a bit, and this helps with circulation.
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