Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 LEGET IT
Easy to set up, extremely lightweight, and robust enough to keep out a driving rain—what else could you ask from an ultralight tent? We took the sub-two pound, two-person Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 LE on an early fall bikepacking trip near coastal Rhode Island. We pulled into camp in the dark, without ever using the tent, and with about 30 minutes before the rain was heading for us, we got the BA situated in about 10 minutes. The tent’s build is so lightweight it almost feels flimsy. But the taped-seam, rip-stop nylon tent and fly, along with the waterproof polyurethane coating on the floor held strong, even a stream formed outside rushing water by the tent.
From the poles to the tent clips, to the fly’s attachment points, BA color codes key parts to make it very intuitive even when all the light you have is from a headlamp. The aluminum-alloy, corded, DAC Featherlite NFL poles almost assemble themselves using gravity once you unfurl them. And they tuck into color-coded grommets. The guy lines are easy to adjust, and have clever locks built-in. The tent is designed to max out space inside with guy lines that, if you have the time and a storm isn’t heading in, you can take the time to adjust.
Inside the tent maxes out at 40-inches of headroom, which is enough to sit up comfortably before it tapers down toward your feet. Overall, you get about 28 square feet of floor space (86×42 inches) and the vestibule adds an additional 7 square feet. While this tent is designed for two people, we think it would be kind of a tight squeeze with two pads, bags, and gear—at least when one of the two is 6’4″ and 270 pounds. So we consider this a splurge for one person, or if your plus-one is a dog.
Inside you get three pockets—one overhead and two flanking the door opening—to stash your gear and they have a very good stretch. If you need more space you can opt for a BA gear loft that connects to loops inside the tent. Really, we only had two issues: The vestibule area, which extends out 28-inches from the door at a steep decline, is kind of awkward to get in and out of if you’re bigger, although it is enough room to tuck in your shoes or a small pack. The zippers on the fly are also finicky to use so you’ll want to take it slow opening and closing to avoid binding up on extra fabric.—Sal Vaglica, Men’s Journal contributor
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