Editor’s Note: This article was opened to the public on July 22, 2010. To subscribe and see Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010 articles as they are published, click here.
The new Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 is their lightest two-person tent ever. Those two people should expect to be pretty cozy inside.
I Am Not a Shill!
Anybody that knows me from my writing or backpacking forums knows of my love for Big Agnes’ (www.bigagnes.com) lightweight tents, though, to be fair, I have been harsh when needed. I had a Seedhouse SL2 from one of the first shipments, and I still use a modified newer version when testing obligations permit. So I said "Ooh, ooh, pick me!" when this dispatch needed to be written up. (Maybe I will put it through its paces down the road too. Stay tuned.)
The two-person Fly Creek UL2 is the newest addition to the company’s UltraLight line, joining last year’s Fly Creek UL1, a single-person version. As with all of their tents, the Fly Creek uses a hub and pole system to shave weight. Three sections of poles meet in a hub to form a Y, the short ends of which go to either side of the door. The long part curves over the tent to anchor in a grommet centered in the back. While it theoretically can be called a free-standing tent, the back corners need to be staked to take full advantage of all the space.
The tent body attaches to the poles with DAC Swift Clips. These newer clips are much faster to deploy and remove than the old style clips. One departure from the common style of BA tents is the use of lightweight breathable nylon on the lower sections of the body, only using the trademark mesh on the top third or so. This change should help reduce blown in debris a lot while hopefully not cutting down on the ability to fight condensation by hindering air movement and ventilation.
A large D-shaped mesh door in the front gives access to the Fly Creek. Inside the tent we find three gear pockets and loops to attach the optional Triangle Gear Loft.
The fully seam-taped fly goes over the poles and body to keep rough conditions at bay. A small vestibule pulls away from the front of the tent, held in place by two stakes. Since Big Agnes sends eleven stakes, there should be plenty to guy the tent out securely with the included, pre-tied reflective guy-lines.
When it comes to weight, the Fly Creek competes with Big Agnes’ own offerings quite well, coming in at 42 ounces total. This beats their Seedhouse SL2 by 12 ounces, yet the Fly Creek has more floor space, as it is two inches longer. It is only 4 ounces heavier than the Seedhouse SL1, yet boasts 27% more floor space. And how about outside competition?
The MSR Carbon Reflex 2 is probably the closest comparison. With its 2-inch higher peak height and 1 square foot more floor space, it is slightly roomier than the Fly Creek, though it also weighs 6 ounces more.
Specifications and Features
|Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2|
|Two-person double-wall tent with floor, front entry with vestibule|
Poles and Stakes
|DAC Featherlite NSL pole system with press fit connectors and lightweight hubs. Eleven Superlight aluminum J stakes included|
|Fly and floor: silicone treated nylon rip-stop with a 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating.|
Body: ultralight breathable nylon rip-stop and polyester mesh.
|Floor 28 sq ft, vestibule 7 sq ft|
|Length 86 in, head width 52 in, end width 42 in, height 38 in|
|42 oz (1191 g)|