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Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Review

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Stavman
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Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Review

Post by Stavman » Feb 24 2016 11:36 am

So I have been struggling, kinda, to lighten my load
My Original Tent, REI Nightlite, Ive had for years is just too heavy. 3lb 10oz with no Fly.. almost 5lbs with it. Great Tent.. lots of room
So tried a Winterial 1 person Tent. Small... and Light for $70, 2lb 2oz no fly.. 2lb 10oz with fly.. Was just to small. Im 6'2" and couldnt do anything in it but sleep... it did have room ta place my Backpack at my feet.. But was just to small..

So been looking at reviews for weeks.. Tarp Tents with Bug Screens.. where nice.. but not free standing at all.. and with adding Poles, i dont use Trekkers, was still at about 2lbs

So this led me to the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 . Its a Free standing without the Fly, But with a few stakes it widens out a lot and has a Nice Front Vestibule as well. It has plenty of room for me and my Pack inside it.. or myself and my wife.

It weights in at my House at 2lbs 2oz complete.. Stakes... Poles.. Fly... just add a light weight footprint, Ill use some 1mil plastic to just keep moisture out.
Another option is with the UL2 Footprint. It weights 5oz and makes it usable in a fastfly setup. Basicaly not using the main tent and total weight is 1lb 10oz. May look at getting this down the road...

Just did a Full setup... here are some Pics

Everything.. including my 2.7oz ground cloth packed inside
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all unpacked
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Tent laid out... with cloth... no Stakes.. and Poles Upright
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Tent clipped to Poles.. fully Free standing... no stakes
Rear Not Staked
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Rear Staked
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Fly on... just Vestibule is Staked
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From Rear.. Before the Side (left as viewed) guy Lines added
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Added Guy Line Stake.. they clip to Tent wall and pulls the inside out even more.. Very Nice
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View Looking inside
You can kinda tell with Guy Line (right side) and none on left, how it widens out the area. also keeps Fly off the Tent walls for Condensation
Image

It really Does have a Lot of Room for 1 person and all My gear, Pack inside. would be tight with 2 but it would be my Wife and she is 5'3" ;)
I like the Front entry... is what Im used to and has a very tall inside height so is easy ta sit down, take off shoes, and spin inside.

Final Trail weight is just under 2lbs 5oz.

Real happy so far... now for a Trail test next Month

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jonathanpatt
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Re: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Review

Post by jonathanpatt » Feb 24 2016 12:02 pm

I have the UL1, have been using it for the past 4 years, and still absolutely love it. If I'm not in the mood to be super minimalist, this is my go to tent. The UL2 is just a slightly enlarged version of the same design, which seems to work very well.

My only complaint is that in high wind situations you need to be very careful about how you orient it (the door end needs to face into the wind) for maximum stability or it can shift from side to side and briefly collapse in high wind situations. Using your pack inside to support the windward side can also help. But I'm talking extreme wind gusts here, and I've only had this issue in a notoriously windy spot. I've never attempted it, but I think adding some velcro to the fly to secure the central tent pole to the fly as well would minimize this issue.

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tibber
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Re: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Review

Post by tibber » Feb 24 2016 12:08 pm

Guy Line Stake..they clip to Tent wall and pulls the inside out even more
has a very tall inside height so is easy ta sit down, take off shoes, and spin inside.
Final Trail weight is just under 2lbs 5oz.
:app:

Thx for pics and review. Keep us posted after using it.

.
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.

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friendofThundergod
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Re: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Review

Post by friendofThundergod » Feb 24 2016 1:38 pm

@Stavman
It has plenty of room for me and my Pack inside it
I like your enthusiasm for new gear, I share a similar affinity. :)
I think I read that you are either starting out backpacking for your first time, or you are starting up again after a long break. That got me wondering if someone had told you to keep your pack in the tent with you, or if it was something you came up with on your own?

The reason I ask, is I think most seasoned backpackers would say, 'hang the pack." Keeping that pack inside your tent not only eats space, but it can lead to unintended consequences. For example, even if there is no food in that pack, it still smells like old wrappers, salty-sweat, sweet smelling bug sprays and sun screens. All of these things are capable of enticing a small rodent to chew through the side wall of your tent to investigate, or in some cases a bear :o

I have probably logged close to 1500 miles backpacking over the last few years and I tried, but could not think of more than a handful of occasions when I slept with my backpack in side my tent. Likewise, on the majority of group trips I take, I would say nearly 99 percent of the people I go with hang their packs, rather than sleep with them...If you notice in this picture, apart from all the other gear hanging, nearly everyone has their pack hung outside of tent and not stored in tent..
http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=529402

Everyone has their own way of doing things, but I might reconsider your strategy of storing the pack inside the tent with you..It was one of the first lessons I learned from a more experienced backpacker, as I started to get out more and more...

Get some rope, tie a rock around one end, find a sturdy branch and hoist, 8-10 feet up, five or so feet away from trunk, although, in most cases a simple branch at eye level works too..

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Stavman
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Re: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Review

Post by Stavman » Feb 24 2016 1:56 pm

friendofThundergod wrote:Everyone has their own way of doing things, but I might reconsider your strategy of storing the pack inside the tent with you..It was one of the first lessons I learned from a more experienced backpacker, as I started to get out more and more...

Get some rope, tie a rock around one end, find a sturdy branch and hoist, 8-10 feet up, five or so feet away from trunk, although, in most cases a simple branch at eye level works too..
I usually do Just That... or at a minimum Hang my food/stove bags. I started hiking 100yrs ago ISH in OR/WA so have had to be very Bear Friendly indeed over the years
In AZ it seems mostly bugs and such around.. or a Coati or two, so have just been hanging my Food/Cooking Bags

The Main Point is the room it gives and allows me to be, well, cluttered if needed...LOL

But I do appreciate the tips... always good ta learn stuff us old peeps may have forgoten


P.S

That quite the Motley Crew in that Pic.. I see the Dogs, as always, are keeping everyone in line :D

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flagscott
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Re: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Review

Post by flagscott » Feb 24 2016 2:16 pm

friendofThundergod wrote:@StavmanThe reason I ask, is I think most seasoned backpackers would say, 'hang the pack." Keeping that pack inside your tent not only eats space, but it can lead to unintended consequences. For example, even if there is no food in that pack, it still smells like old wrappers, salty-sweat, sweet smelling bug sprays and sun screens. All of these things are capable of enticing a small rodent to chew through the side wall of your tent to investigate, or in some cases a bear :o
This seasoned backpacker has never hung a pack in 7000ish miles of backpacking and has no plans to do so. In fact, I've only seen backpackers hanging their packs once, and that was in the Smokies (and those guys were definitely amateurs).

If food safety is an issue, by all means hang your food and smelly stuff. But hanging your pack is just inconvenient, especially since I may want stuff in my pack during the night. Plus, I use a short sleeping pad, so my feet rest on my pack (usually with dirty clothes and a few other things inside).

Also, I really doubt that hanging your pack makes you much safer. Any smells in your pack will also transfer to your clothes and sleeping bag and tent. I recall reading somewhere that bears can tell the difference between items that were near food and the actual location of your food. The only time I've ever had mice get into my food or gear was in a food bag that was hung up in a tree. On the off chance that you run into a predatory bear, the location of your pack is not going to change his behavior since he's after you, not your gear.

Anyway, I'm going to keep sleeping snugly with my pack (and even my food) right near me. The only place I really worry about food issues is areas with problem black bears (like the Sierra Nevada) and grizz country. And even then, my pack stays with me.

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friendofThundergod
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Re: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Review

Post by friendofThundergod » Feb 24 2016 3:21 pm

@flagscott
Well like I told Stavman, everyone has their own ways of doing things. You keep sleeping with that food next to your head at night and lurking/trolling on the HAZ forums. Meanwhile, I will continue to hang my food away from where I sleep and strive to provide sound, widely accepted advice on the forums when I can, along with triplogs, routes and hike descrptions to serve the HAZ community...

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flagscott
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Re: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Review

Post by flagscott » Feb 24 2016 3:47 pm

friendofThundergod wrote:@flagscott
Well like I told Stavman, everyone has their own ways of doing things. You keep sleeping with that food next to your head at night and lurking/trolling on the HAZ forums. Meanwhile, I will continue to hang my food away from where I sleep and strive to provide sound, widely accepted advice on the forums when I can, along with triplogs, routes and hike descrptions to serve the HAZ community...
Well, since I have about 5 times as much backpacking experience as you do, I felt that it was useful to have another opinion on this thread. Is that trolling? I gave several reasons why I (and most others) do what we do.

Also, is there requirement to post triplogs in order to use the forums?

Anyway, I've said my piece. Good luck to the OP with the new tent. Shedding pack weight is a great thing.

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joebartels
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Re: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Review

Post by joebartels » Feb 24 2016 4:10 pm

there is no requirement to post
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!

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outdoor_lover
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Re: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Review

Post by outdoor_lover » Feb 24 2016 4:11 pm

@flagscott
Thank you for your Input...It is appreciated...Although I have yet to Backpack with a Tent, I already know that I will have a Split Decision when I get one this Year. I too, have been looking at the Big Agnes. And with Luck, I might actually get a Tent this Year. If I have a Tent and the Weather is Fair, I will hang my Pack. I usually hang it within easy Reach until Bedtime and then I hoist it a tad bit higher. If the Weather is Lousy or there is a Chance of Rain, then just the Food Bag will get Hung, and the Pack will be in the Tent with me... :) Right now, everything is Outside except the Camera, because all I have is a Bivy...It can be a Real Pain in the gluteus pin cushion when the Weather is bad, trying to keep everything Dry and Accessible....But, that's my Fault because I've never taken the Time to get a Decent Tarp Set-Up going....
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"

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te_wa
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Re: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Review

Post by te_wa » Feb 24 2016 5:41 pm

Pam, you should look into the TarpTent "Rainbow". if i were to get out of a hammock and back in to a tent for any reason, that'd be the one.
:D

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RedRoxx44
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Re: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Review

Post by RedRoxx44 » Feb 24 2016 6:05 pm

I've looked at that tent, almost pulled the trigger on it but ended up with a Nemo Obi Elite 1 p, about same weight with the lighter poles. I do like side opening versus one end but that is just me. I do have a larger copper creek for Brian me and the dog and we have used it and it is roomy and light for what it is.
I've had the Nemo in thunderstorms and wind and it has done okay. The fly coverage is a little skimpy for my liking but it has done the job. It is mostly free standing, another thing I like, although the foot portion has to be staked out.
I like my Black Diamond bivy the best, and pair it with a sil tarp which doubles as a rain poncho. I use it as a shade awning and as a prep area if raining for cooking. It is the most versatile for most challenging campsite selection.

I normally have my pack in the tent or near the head of the bivy. I do like some convenience. And sometimes I use the pack to supplement a pillow.I don't worry too much about bears if you keep a clean camp. I use I think they are called ALOKSAK for my food storage, sort of like a super heavy duty ziplock. Supposed to keep food odors in. I must say when I have stored food in them, then open the sack in the morning I can now smell the food, where I could not when sealed and yes, I have slept at times with those storage sacks right by my head. I use those in griz country, and I have not had any problems so far. Probably jinxed myself, oh well.

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chumley
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Re: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Review

Post by chumley » Feb 26 2016 12:28 pm

I have the Fly Creek UL 2 and know a few others who have it as well.

I will add to this discussion that I'm on my THIRD tent since 2012. The first two both ended up with inoperable zippers after just a few uses. Here's where I get to plug Big Agnes for there top notch customer service and satisfaction guarantee. Both times they provided me with a new tent with no hassle whatsoever. This third one has not had any zipper problems, so my fears of a potential design flaw with the tent have eased somewhat.
3-minute master!

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ALMAL
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Re: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Review

Post by ALMAL » Feb 26 2016 1:35 pm

@chumley
Do you "soap" your zippers?

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chumley
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Re: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Review

Post by chumley » Feb 26 2016 1:52 pm

ALMAL wrote:@chumley
Do you "soap" your zippers?
I don't. During the second tent malfunction, I was able to apply some lip balm to get it to work again for another trip or two before it ultimately and irreparably failed again.

BA indicated that keeping the zipper clean of dust and sand is obviously part of common care, but that I should not have had the issues I was having based on my user experiences.

My personal preference is to keep a zipper clean with canned air. I feel like once you apply "product" to the zipper, it works great for a short time and then attracts more crap than would have ever happened if you just kept the schmutz off it to begin with!
3-minute master!

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friendofThundergod
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Re: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Review

Post by friendofThundergod » Feb 26 2016 1:59 pm

@chumley
plug Big Agnes for there top notch customer service and satisfaction
Yup top notch, They replaced a pole segment for free including shipping and I was the dummy who broke it. Great on the phone and easy to contact...Now if only they made better air mattresses :?

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Stavman
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Re: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Review

Post by Stavman » Nov 14 2016 12:43 pm

Just wanted to Update this after using the tent on 3 trips so far.

Really do love it. so easy to setup and tear down. Is Nice to be able to sit up inside it when getting dressed or undressed, and at 6'2" I can stretch out very nicely in any way I want.

I hope to test it with 2 people very soon and see how it is then, I assume it will be great.

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