Pros – Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 mtnGLO
When we first received our tent I picked it up and said, “This can’t be it! Where’s the rest? It’s SO light!” But that’s the thing that makes this tent so awesome and sets it apart from other three-season free-standing tents; It really is that light! Weighing in at 2 lbs 6 oz, the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 mtnGLO tent is a backpacker’s dream! (HV stands for High Volume and UL2 stands for Ultra Light Two Person)
And speaking of light, this tent has a flexible yet durable LED light strand integrated into the tent seams. The strand illuminates the interior with enough light to sort gear, change, and read without blinding each other. A simple push button controller with three settings – on, off and 50% brightness – controls the mtnGLO® lights. It does require three AAA batteries to operate the mtnGLO® light controller, but it can also be powered by any USB source. Basically this technology makes for much happier campers and better on-the-trail relationships. I can’t count the times a head lamp has blinded me and I’ve wanted to toss it out of the tent!
One person can easily set up the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 mtnGLO in just a few minutes. It has ultralight plastic clips that attach the tent body to the pole frame. Many times I start dinner while my husband starts setting up the tent. Usually he has the tent up before the water starts boiling. No more fumbling around in the dark with low blood sugar trying to control the urge to scream and abuse poorly designed tent poles!
Even though this tent is a free standing tent you will need to stake out the back of the tent on both sides as well as the rain fly front vestibule. It will also work better to stake out the sides of the rain fly as well. You’ll make quick work of this however, as the tent stakes are extremely durable and don’t bend in hard soil.
This tent features the DAC Angle SF Hub, a lightweight technology unique to Fly Creek HV tents. The hub is made with an eco-friendly anodizing process that increases space without increasing weight. How cool is that?
An ultralight nylon rip-stop floor and fly have a 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating. The mesh body offers excellent ventilation. However, be warned! It offers excellent ventilation only with the rain fly OFF. As the tent has a fairly low ceiling it can get a bit stuffy with the fly on. But hey, this is camping not the Ritz Carlton! Just leave the rain fly off in nice weather and watch the stars while enjoying the fresh night air. Now that’s luxury!
Another great feature is the rain fly dry entry vestibule that keeps the interior of your tent dry as you enter and exit. Since this is a rather small tent the vestibule works great for storing your pack, shoes and other gear while keeping it dry and close. One disclaimer is that it works well if you are a minimalist backpacker. Remember that this is an ultra light tent and pairs nicely with other minimalist equipment. However, if you take your 65 lb pack overstuffed with every backpacking luxury, you’ll find the vestibule too small.
Although extremely light, Big Agnes did not skimp on quality construction. My husband and I recently weathered a rainstorm; the inside and all our belongings remained dry. I have to say the vestibule really saved the day as we stored both backpacks in it during the storm.
More recently the tent withstood a Michigan snowstorm and held up great! With steep sides the snow did not accumulate on the tent and the little amount that did stick easily slid off with a simple shake. Note that this tent is marketed as a three season tent and is not intended for winter elements. I just wanted to test it out to see how it would do in the snow.
Awards – Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 mtnGLO
2015 – Outside Magazine’s Gear of the Year issue. Big Agnes won Gear of the Year for integrating LED lights into a superb backpacking tent, improving on an already industry leading tent!
2014 – Big Agnes stole the show at the OutDoor Trade Show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, winning a coveted INDUSTRY AWARD for its Fly Creek UL2 tent. This award is a globally acknowledged award for innovative outdoor products. According to the OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD jury, “The Fly Creek UL2 is the lightest double walled, freestanding tent to weigh in at only 879g and has been completely redesigned. The best tent on the market today for backpacking and lightweight trekking anywhere in the world.”
2011 – Backpacker Magazine’s Gear of the Year Award and Top Pick from the Outdoor Gear Lab.
2010 – Backpacker Magazine’s Editors’ Choice Award.
Cons – Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 mtnGLO
Overall I love the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 mtnGLO tent and don’t have much negative to say about it. However, there are a few things that you need to understand before making the purchase as it may not be the right tent for you.
Big Agnes definitely took spacing vs. weight into consideration when designing the Fly Creek HV UL2 mtnGLO. However, it’s still small for two people and there’s not much wiggle room. Can two people fit in the tent? Yes, but if these two people wish to stay married or remain friends it is probably best to get a tent with more space. We found ourselves stuck in a rainstorm for hours and although the tent kept us dry, it was cramped. With two people there’s also no extra room inside the tent for backpacks so it’s good there is a vestibule where you can store gear and keep it out of the weather. Note that with two backpacks in the vestibule it is harder to exit and enter the tent.
I prefer two side doors for a two person tent as I find myself having to get up multiple times in the night. Climbing over my snoring husband without stepping on his face or other body parts while trying to squeeze out the front door can prove difficult.
This really isn’t a ding against the tent, but as always, what you give up with ultralight construction is durability. The fabric is thinner than materials used on heavier duty tents so you’ll need to take extra care when putting it up that there are no rocks, sticks or sharp objects. I recommend always using the footprint. So far we haven’t had any durability issues but we are always extra careful.
Because of the low ceiling it can get stuffy if you have the rain fly on.
You can’t go wrong with the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 mtnGLO tent. It is one of the best three-season, free-standing tents on the market. Perfect for solo campers, it is lightweight, easy to setup, and has ample room for sleeping and storing gear. Yes there are lighter tents, but for ease of use and weight it can’t be beat! Buy this tent and you won’t regret it!
Go with the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 mtnGLO. It weighs in at just six ounces more than the Fly Creek HV UL2 at 2 lbs. 12 oz. However, it has more head room, two side doors, and more than one extra square foot of vestibule and floor area.
*Author purchased the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 mtnGLO tent and was not paid or provided with any goods or services for writing this review. Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. I have experienced all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something through my links. Thanks for your support!