Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2Following Hurricane Florence, one of our GetBackpacking! backpackers wrote to ask: “Why is it that I can spend basically an entire weekend in my tent in the rain and be happy but I am miserable in my house with no electricity for three days?”

I knew just what she meant. I replied: “Part of it is that we look at tents more as shelter, and when they’re doing their job of protecting us from the elements, we feel especially safe, secure and comfy. The lights go out in our house, on the other hand, and we feel abandoned, betrayed. About the most content I get is crawling into the tent after a long day on the trai; and reading a good adventure tale.”

Tents are our outdoors home away from home. Really, though, they are so much more. They were the tiny house before the tiny house, our personal vacation getaways while we’re already getting away. People rhapsodize about rain on a tin roof, and that reassuring patter is nice. But it can’t compare to rain on on a waterproof ripstop nylon polyurethane-coated fly while you’re hunkered down after a 12-mile day reading a Farley Mowat tale about life in the Canadian wild. You in your little cocoon, about as cozy as it gets.

Of course, this idyllic scenario is dependent upon how much confidence you have in your tent.

Confidence = Comfort

Now, you might think your confidence level would increase depending upon how sturdy your tent is, and that makes sense. However, people often assume that sturdiness is a direct function of heavier, bulkier materials. The more your tent weighs, the more durable it is, right? 


What makes a tent durable is smart engineering and design. That’s where Big Agnes tents tend to shine. A good example: the recently redesigned Fly Creek HV UL (for “ultralight”) series.

I’ve been backpacking a Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 for the last couple years, so I’m already familiar with Big Agnes’s base attributes, including tent pole hooks with a cleverly designed swerve that make for quick put up and take down, an abundance of inside gear pockets, and generous vestibules, great for storing dirty gear and stuff you don’t want crowding you in your tent. 

They’re also known for their weight, or lack thereof. Big Agnes makes tents out of lightweight materials, but not at the expense of your confidence on a rainy night. My Copper Spur, for instance, is just 3 pounds 1 ounce. It’s the most compact tent I’ve owned: the tent poles compact to less than 2 feet and the tent and fly bundles up to the size of an Australian Rules Football. Nothing could separate me from this tent.

Roomier, lighter

Except maybe the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2. 

The Fly Creek UL2 (it’s also available in 1 person and 3 person) has been redesigned with steeper wall angles to provide even more headspace (that hasn’t been a problem with my Copper Spur, but hey, I’ll take it). 

The steeper walls also apply to the vestibule, where it may be even more appreciated: in wet weather, that added room makes it easier to get your boots on (you being inside the tent, they being in the vestibule) and to cook. You can also store your pack upright, keeping it cleaner and more accessible. While I once swore I’d never go back to a one-vestibule tent (the Fly Creek only has one door), the size of this vestibule makes a single a viable option. 

It comes with three interior mesh pockets (love the mesh storage pockets), it can accommodate an attic, and the ample mesh in this three-season tent means even on a hot August night you’ll capitalize on even the slightest breeze. And somehow, it’s lighter than my Copper Spur, with a packed weight of 2 pounds, 5 ounces.

When it comes to tents, I’ve always been a bit of a homebody. If it’s comfy and secure, why change things? 

Unless it could be even more comfy and secure.

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 Specs & Sizing

Trail Weight1lb 15oz / 879g
Packed Weight2lb 5oz / 1.05kg
Fast Fly Weight1lb 7oz / 652g
Packed Size4″ x 19″ / 10 x 48cm
Floor Area28sq ft / 2.6m²
Head Height40″ / 102cm
Vestibule Area8sq ft / 0.7m²
Footprint Weight4oz / 113g
Number of Seasons3
Number of Doors1
Intended UseBackpacking

Learn more about the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 here.