The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 is part of Big Agnes’ ultra light backpacking series of tents. The Fly Creek UL 1, is a single person, 3 season, free standing tent, which uses the latest technology to keep weight down and still be tough and durable. The body of the tent is manufactured from ultra light breathable nylon rip stop and polyester mesh, which provides excellent ventilation. The DAC tent poles are manufactured from TH72M aluminum, which represents the latest technology in pole construction. This technology allows for superior durability, with a light weight. The single hub-pole design also makes set up quick and easy. The floor and the tent fly use ultra light, silicone treated, nylon rip stop, which provides a waterproof rating of 1200mm. The seams are then taped using only solvent free polyurethane tape, which increases the waterproof efficiency of the tent. The Fly Creek UL 1 comes with a single front door, single vestibule and an interior tent pocket. The Fly Creek also come with interior gear loft loops, (gear loft sold separately) and reflective guy lines and webbing on the tent corners, which helps with night time use.
Upon receipt of the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 tent, I decided to put it to use, while backpacking in the Ozark Mountains of Southwest Missouri and Northern Arkansas. I was immediately impressed with the light weight of the tent and the small packable size. This small size allowed me to make use of space in my backpack that had previously been utilized by other tents. The tent comes with a nylon storage bag and separate storage bags for both tent stakes and tent poles, which helps keep things organized.
Setup of the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 tent, is both easy and very quick. The tent comes with a single hub-pole design, which is Y shaped. This single pole design allows for a super quick and easy setup. Since the tent is freestanding, stakes are not needed for the setup, but are used to secure the tent and fly. Once the single pole is secured along the spine of the tent, the rain fly is easily placed over the tent and clips into all four corners of the tent. The tent stakes can then be used to secure the tent and fly to provide maximum weather protection and stability. The tent vestibule is of adequate size for a large pack, boots and other gear, but a large framed person might find it more difficult to enter the tent without having to crawl over one’s gear.
The inside of the tent provides good storage and the triangle shaped gear loft (sold separately) provides numerous storage options to dry wet clothing or simply to store items for easy access. The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 tent provides plenty of room for sleeping and did not give me the cramped feeling that some one person tents can provide. At 6’ 2” and 200 pounds, I found the inside of the tent to be comfortable and provide adequate room for sleeping, reading and even changing clothes.
After using the tent in a variety of weather conditions, I discovered the tent to be very breathable and provide excellent ventilation and also be very waterproof. In colder temperatures, I found that the tent was breathable enough to fight condensation and prevented most ice from forming inside the tent from condensation. I also found that while the tent provided excellent waterproof protection, the tent also dried extremely quickly, allowing me to shake off the tent and fly, hang for a few minutes and then repack the tent. This proved to be extremely helpful on multi-day trips, when none of us want to pack or carry a wet tent all day in our backpacks, only to have to set up the wet tent later the same day. This tent performed so well in the Ozark Mountains, I decided to really put it to the test and utilize it on an expedition to Iceland.
During the expedition to Iceland, the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 tent continued to perform well and impress. The first two days of the Iceland expedition was met by heavy rain and this tent continued to perform well. During the remaining days of the expedition, the infamous Iceland wind proved to be an excellent testing ground. This freestanding tent continued to provide an easy set up and proved to be stable and secure. The guy lines provided the extra support needed from the harsh wind and when teamed with a secure pole system and strong materials, provided a secure sleeping environment. While this is a three season tent, it easily withstood winds in excess of 30 to 40 miles per hour. These high winds did however force me to set large rocks on the tent stakes to keep them from working loose, but this is not uncommon in any tent during high winds and extreme weather.
Caring for the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 tent also proved to be quick and easy. Upon breaking down the tent, I simply shook off any debris from the tent. If the tent was dirty I simply used a clean wet cloth to wipe off any mud, dirt or debris and then let dry. This always proved to be adequate, but Big Agnes advises that you can also clean and or soak the tent in a cleaner like Tech Wash from Nikwax for a deep cleaning. A toothbrush can also be used to clean the zippers of dirt and grit.
When not in use, I stored the Big Agnes Fly Creek tent in the provided storage bag in my gear closet, which is a temperature controlled environment. While Big Agnes states that the optimum storage arrangement would be to drape the tent in a room or closet, this is not always possible. I found that if the tent is both dry and clean, storing it in the storage sack worked fine for short periods of time. If you do not use the tent often, I would recommend removing it from the storage bag every 3 to 4 months, as this will help prevent mildew and damage to the coated materials.
The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 tent proved to meet all my expectations in a one person tent. This tent is super light, easy to set up and provided adequate room for sleeping. The tent also proved to be very stable and secure in a variety of weather conditions, be very breathable and was easy to clean and store. After months of use and having been exposed to some extreme weather conditions, this tent showed no damage and little signs of wear. I was impressed with all aspects of this tents performance and would call it the perfect one man tent if it had a side door.