Seedhouse 1 vs Fly Creek - comparison
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Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Seedhouse 1 vs Fly Creek - comparison on 08/10/2009 12:30:32 MDT Print View

I’ve been a fan of the Big Agnes Seedhouse series, so when the Fly Creek came out I starting looking at it as a lighter alternative to my Seedhouse 1. From the specs listed on Big Agnes’s site the Fly Creek appears to be just a lighter weight version of the Seedhouse 1 but this is not the whole story. Since it’s been hard to find detailed info on the Fly Creek (other than a really good video done by another BPL’er), I thought I’d do a comparison to help out others that may be looking at the Fly Creek. The comparison I did was between my Seedhouse 1 (not the SL) but the dimensions of my Seedhouse 1 are the same as the Seedhouse SL 1 so the size comparison is relevant for that tent as well.

The two tents measured as follows (interior measurements):
Length –
Seedhouse 1 = 90 inches
Fly Creek = 86 inches

Width (corner to corner at door end) –
Seedhouse 1 = 43 inches
Fly Creek = 42.5 inches

Mid Width (measured at side tie-out)
Seedhouse 1 = 36 inches
Fly Creek = 32 inches

Foot end Width --
Seedhouse 1 = 28 inches
Fly Creek = 28 inches

Height (max) --
Seedhouse 1 = 39 inches
Fly Creek = 36 inches

Height nearest the door:
Seedhouse 1 = 36 inches
Fly Creek = 32 inches

The total weight of my Fly Creek is 31 oz (tent, fly, poles – no stuff sacks or tent pegs) which is 1 ounce over the advertised weight. The supplied tent pegs (11) weigh 4.3 ounces.

The biggest difference between the two tents is the head room. The height of the Fly Creek is not 38 inches as listed on the Big Agnes site it is 36 inches at the highest point. This is not the whole story though, the Fly Creek has been cut down on the peak and this in effect eliminates the available headroom significantly (something I really appreciated in the Seedhouse).

Sitting up in the Fly Creek reminds me very much of my Lunar Solo, where you have to position your head in the high spot to avoid hitting the tent. The width at the shoulders (when sitting up)has also been reduced significantly so it is virtually impossible to sit up without touching the mesh sides with your shoulders (this didn’t happen in my Seedhouse). I don’t see this as a big issue since it is mesh (I won’t get wet) but it is something that the tent specs don’t show because the bottom width appears to be the same as the Seedhouse 1.

I tested the length (pictures below) with a 6’ 6” (long) mummy bag on top of a regular Neoair and pulled on the hood to show the worst case scenario. The length of the Fly Creek is fine for me at 6’ tall but I am filling the length completely. The Seedhouse 1 provides another 2 inches of useable length so touching the ends of the Seedhouse wasn’t an issue for me. I would guess that 6” 2” would be the max height for anybody considering the Fly Creek but if you are over 6 feet tall you will be stretching the mesh a little (I don’t think it would harm the tent).

The Width of the Fly Creek is almost exactly the same as the Seedhouse 1 and that is what makes this tent a keeper in my opinion. It has nice overhead space when you are lying down and lots of space on the sides of the sleep mat to store stuff. The floor does not have a defined seam like the Seedhouse 1 so even though the centre width measure was less than the Seedhouse 1 it actually seemed to be wider when staked out.

My son is sitting cross legged in the pictures below and he is 6’ 1” tall.

I purchased the tent at MEC because they have a return policy much like REI’s and I thought I might want to return it. I’ve decided to keep the tent because it packs small and is very light for a double wall (semi) free standing tent.

Seed house and Fly Creek

Seedhouse 1 and FC

side view

fc headroom

head room

length

with neoair

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Seedhouse 1 vs Fly Creek - comparison on 08/10/2009 13:06:21 MDT Print View

Thanks for a great comparitive report.

I'm 6'0". In my really puffy 15F degree bag, I'm fine in my Seedhouse 1 SL, but it seems like if the tent were any shorter that I might be compressing the down around my feet.

Did you try out the Fly Creek with a really puffy bag? Did you experience any down compression around your feet?

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
really helpful on 08/10/2009 14:59:09 MDT Print View

hey man that's a great comparison! i would love to see more of that in the future. would've been extremely helpful when i was picking out my shelter and sleepgin bag

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Seedhouse 1 vs Fly Creek - comparison on 08/10/2009 15:58:54 MDT Print View

It would be nice if BPL.com did one as well....;)

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Seedhouse 1 vs Fly Creek - comparison on 08/10/2009 17:24:21 MDT Print View

I couldn't agree more. If BPL had done a detailed review when they first announced the Fly Creek (and maybe a comparison with the Seedhouse SL1) I would have bought one a while back. It wasn't until I saw it on MEC's site that I felt I could check it out without a considerable financial risk (MEC's return policy eased my mind).

Jim - I don't think you could put enough pressure on the head or foot of the tent to cause the bag to lose it's insulating properties... maybe if you were 6' 6".

At 6' tall and in a 26 F bag with the hood on, I just clear the ends. The mesh at the door and foot is quite flexible so your not going to get much pressure from it and down can take a bit of compression anyway.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Seedhouse 1 vs Fly Creek - comparison on 08/10/2009 17:36:15 MDT Print View

> Jim - I don't think you could put enough pressure on the head or foot of the tent to cause the bag to lose it's insulating properties... maybe if you were 6' 6".
Great, good to know. I was just speculating because my Seedhouse SL1 doesn't have a lot of room to spare down at the foot when I use my 15F Phantom which is really puffy.

I really like my S'house SL1, but I might have checked out the Fly Creek if it had been available at the time I made the purchase.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
fly creek review on 08/10/2009 18:06:53 MDT Print View

thanks for the comparo- the fly ck is on my short list for a solo tent

I'm 6' so I shouldn't have any problems w/ length

your impression of the vestibule- I see the MSR Reflex has almost double the vestibule (9.5 vs 5.5 for the Fly Ck)- maybe that's overkill for a average size pack and boots?

it comes w/ 11 stakes, how many in your opinion are really needed (I'm assuming some are for guy lines)?

thanks

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Seedhouse 1 vs Fly Creek - comparison on 08/10/2009 18:43:07 MDT Print View

A big vestibule is nice. The thing about the MSR is that one can have gear in the vestibule and still enter and exit at will from the tent. If the Carbon Reflex were cheaper it would be more of a direct competitor to the the Fly Creek.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: fly creek review on 08/10/2009 19:23:15 MDT Print View

Assuming that the Fly Creek operates along the lines of the SH SL1 (which I believe it does), you can generally leave out two of the stakes except in very windy weather.

Essential Stakes:
Door/end of vestibule: two, one on each side.
Front end of tent: two, one on each side.
Middle of tent: two, one on each side.
Rear of tent: three, one on each side, and another at the the point of the very end of the tent.

Optional stakes:
Stakes to guy out the front of the tent.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Seedhouse 1 vs Fly Creek - comparison on 08/10/2009 19:42:19 MDT Print View

Since I've used a Seedhouse 1 since 2006, I've gotten used to the small vestibule. Besides, I don't really have any gear to put in the vestibule except for rain gear and sometimes my shoes if they are wet. Everything else is up a tree, under my feet or stashed along the side of my sleep mat as this tent (and the SL1) are fairly wide for one person. My extra clothes are my pillow.

I went with the Fly Creek over the roomier Seedhouse SL 1 because I really like the way Big Agnes has enclosed a bit more of the tent instead of making it all mesh. I like this about my Copper Spur UL2 and when I saw that they had done this with the Fly Creek as well, I had to try it out. I think it will eliminate much of the breeze in cool weather camping and allow me to extend the use of my lighter down bag.

I won't know for sure until I get some cooler weather in the fall but I think it's going to help. Probably would be a negative point if you do a lot of camping in very hot climates but that's not a problem for me.

Edited by skopeo on 08/10/2009 19:46:36 MDT.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
more on 08/11/2009 08:06:03 MDT Print View

please! i'd really like to see owners of multiple shelters do this. perhaps throw them all into a seperate forum section. i really wish i had those views when buying my 1st couple of tents...

again, i'd like to see the same thing done w/ sleeping bags/quilts

Travis Naibert
(tnaibert) - F
stakes for seedhouse SL1 and another question on 09/12/2009 18:35:43 MDT Print View

I have used the Seedhouse SL1 for my entire PCT Thru-hike this summer and I have found that you really only need 6 stakes:

2 for back side corners, 2 for mid-side guylines, 2 for front vestibule corners.

Staking the back center corner is redundant with two other stakes so close buy. Ditto for the front corners of the tent if the vestibule is staked. I have been in some strong winds numerous times, I would guess 40+ mph, and nights of continuous rain in Oregon. I would think that six stakes would also be enough for the Fly Creek and the original seedhouse 1 (not SL).

I haven't used the Fly Creek UL1, but I am thinking of switching to it to shed some weight for future trips. I am only 5'6", so I am not too worried about the slightly smaller size. I am wondering if anybody has had condensation issues with the added non-mesh sides or if the ventilation is still adequate with the fly on? And also, if anybody has used both the Seedhouse SL1 and the Fly Creek UL1, is the Fly Creek any warmer due to the higher non-mesh side-walls? This could be a bonus for shoulder season.

>> Bender <<
(Bender) - MLife

Locale: NEO
Thanks Mike! on 09/14/2009 09:40:50 MDT Print View

Mike I just wanted to thank you for posting the side by side comparison of these BA tents! I just purchased a Fly Creek but have been a little worried about the size. I'm 6'1" and quite skinny so I just barely fit length wise. Since the tent is wide enough I am also able to fit my High Sierra Summit 45 bag on its side next to my sleeping pad. I have only set the tent up indoors using weights in place of stakes. It looks a little wider in your pictures so I think I'm going to be quite happy with it. In about a week I'll be using this in the Smokey Mountains!

I like numbers so here are the actual specs:

Tent with fly, body, poles, all bags, and 9 stakes weighs 2 pounds 3.6oz on my digital scale. You can add about an ounce for 2 extra stakes and the guy lines which are also included. BA lists this packed at 19" Long but if you fold the poles correctly its only 17.5". I can fit the tent nicely in the outer mesh pocket of my Camel Back MULE full with 100oz water!

Edited by Bender on 09/14/2009 13:18:57 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
weight on 09/14/2009 12:47:46 MDT Print View

that's 2 lbs 3 oz correct?

>> Bender <<
(Bender) - MLife

Locale: NEO
2 pounds 3.6oz correct ;) on 09/14/2009 13:19:43 MDT Print View

Yes that was a typo the actual weight as listed is 2 pounds 3.6oz.

John Smith
(mojo1819) - F
Re: Seedhouse 1 vs Fly Creek - comparison on 04/10/2011 14:51:33 MDT Print View

Mike, Just wanted to thank you for posting this comparison, I've been trying to decide between the two myself.

kevperro .
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
My thoughts... on 04/10/2011 17:47:03 MDT Print View

The Fly Creek UL2 is about the same weight as the Seedhouse UL1. Much more space too but an extra $100 retail. The extra fabric does seem like it would help with cool breezes and if cost isn't an issue the UL2 looks worth the marginal 4-5 oz. weight penalty over the UL1.

Ken K
(TheFatBoy) - F

Locale: St. Louis
I want one! on 04/10/2011 22:49:03 MDT Print View

The Fly Creek UL2 is on my "gee I wish I was rich" list (right behind the Mont Bell SS Hugger #1). At 2lb 2oz (plus 2 ounces worth of titanium stakes & triptease), it's barely any heavier than a tarp/bivy/head net combo and would be close to palatial as a solo tent.

Some day...

kevperro .
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
Pick your poison... on 04/11/2011 10:24:45 MDT Print View

They are all a trade-off. Any of them are an improvement over civilized living and waking up in my bedroom.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Fly Creek UL1... on 04/12/2011 01:56:52 MDT Print View

I'm still liking mine.

I would still pick the UL1 over the UL2 because it's reasonably roomy and mine only weighs 33.2 ozs and that includes the stock guy-outs and 6 stock stakes (the minimum required for a decent setup) and no stuff sacks (I don't use them unless I attach the FC1 to the outside of my pack... which is rare).

One consideration for me is that the UL1 fits in very narrow spaces which allows for more site selection options than the larger models. The picture below (which I posted elsewhere on this site) is a good example of FC UL1 in a tight spot that would be tough for the larger shelters.

Fly Creek UL1