TESTED: BIG AGNES FLY CREEK UL2 TENT

When gearing up for a proper adventure, riders are always fighting weight and limited packing space. It’s seemingly an endless compromise between bringing absolute necessities vs. creature comforts; reducing weight and space of all considered items lessens the concessions the avid adventurer must make. The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 tent provides essential protection without adding unnecessary weight or bulk. 

The most amazing specification of the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 is the weight: 2 lbs., 5 oz. maximum weight! This includes the tent body, fly, poles, 11 stakes, stuff sacks, guylines and instructions (all included.) You can go ultralight and get sub 2 lbs. if you desire. This is an incredible weight for an actual tent; most sleeping bags weigh more. The packed space of the full kit is 4” x 18.5”, equally as impressive. Yet this flyweight and the tiny unit doesn’t skimp on materials or construction. The fly and body floor are silicone-coated ripstop nylon, and the single, hubbed pole is an eco-anodized DAC Featherlite NFL unit, well proven in the industry. The upper tent body is a mixture of breathable ripstop nylon and polyester mesh, aimed at minimizing condensation. All seams are taped with PVC/VOC-free polyurethane. The guylines are also high quality and reflective (along with corner webbing loops) as a bonus. 

Pitching the Fly Creek UL 2 is straightforward and quick, thanks to the single hubbed pole with only three ends and DAC Twist clips used to attach the tent body (no threading of poles through sleeves). The fly anchors to the poles as well, but for better condensation management, it is best to guy out the fly at the sides, and the vestibule requires staking out. The tent is technically free standing, but the rear two corners must be staked out for the floor space to be fully utilized. At a minimum, 6 of the 11 stakes should be used for an efficient pitch.

The Fly Creek UL2 is labeled as a two-person tent; it is a tight fit for two adults. The tent’s floor area is ideal for a single moto-adventurer and gear, allowing ample movement for the fidgety sleeper and changing in and out of gear. The fly forms a vestibule over the single door, allowing a dry area for items such as boots and stove. The peak height of 38” and steep sidewall design allows sitting up, which is nice on long stints of being tent-bound by weather. The light color of both the fly and tent body allows natural light to penetrate, enhancing visibility inside.  Other features that increase livability are a mesh storage pocket above the head and hang loops in the ceiling that accept the Big Agnes Triangle Gear Loft. 

I have used the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 in all conditions short of full winter, and it has never let me down. In humid conditions, condensation can be an issue, but it’s manageable through mindful venting. The included tent stakes, although ultralight, are challenged on hard ground or in high winds; I elected to replace them with slightly beefier units. I carefully choose and inspect the tent site to avoid packing a footprint (available from Big Agnes) and have yet to have anything breach the floor. This shelter is reliable and suited extremely well for the moto-adventurer, and with the incredible weight and packed size, I have yet to find a better alternative.  MSRP: $349.95 Contact: www.bigagnes.com

Chris Glaspell

Upshift, 23986 Aliso Creek Road Suite 450, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

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