Forum Index » GEAR » Looking for: Long-Term Durability of the BA Fly Creek UL1


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Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.wordpress.com
Looking for: Long-Term Durability of the BA Fly Creek UL1 on 10/07/2013 20:00:53 MDT Print View

Just found a great deal on a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 Platinum. The only thing keeping me from making it my primary shelter is durability.

How's long-term testing going? I know a lot of people own it.

Obviously, reviews of the lighter fabrics in the Fly Creek UL1 Platinum are more useful to me, but I'd love to hear about the regular Fly Creek as well. Common wear points to be careful with while setting it up would be HUGELY appreciated. Thanks!

-Max

Edited by mdilthey on 10/07/2013 20:01:37 MDT.

Brock Graves
(gravesbrock) - F

Locale: asheville nc
Big agnes on 10/07/2013 20:12:00 MDT Print View

For what is worth I used the big agnes seedhouse 2 for 6 years hundreds of set ups and takedowns. Rewaterproofed every year and sea sealed it after the tape came off and it is now a bak up tent. Still going strong

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.wordpress.com
Great! on 10/07/2013 20:12:40 MDT Print View

What'd you use to re-waterproof it?

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Awesome on 10/07/2013 22:24:51 MDT Print View

My fly creek ul1 regular has seen perhaps 20 trips over 3 years with no issues. No wear at all.

I'm considering moving to a hexamid to save weight, but will be sad to leave my trust fly creek at home.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Looking for: Long-Term Durability of the BA Fly Creek UL1 on 10/07/2013 22:31:49 MDT Print View

Like any UL piece of gear, some care is required.

Aren't you well over six foot tall? If so, you are not going to fit. The Fly Creek is functionally shorter than the Seedhouse.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.wordpress.com
Rubbish on 10/07/2013 22:36:12 MDT Print View

Of course i'll fit! I'll sleep on a diagonal!

You forget, I can sleep well in any conditions, including confined spaces.

I'm concerned about things like the fly rubbing on poles in light wind, or guy-outs tearing the fabric over a year or two of use. Non-careless unavoidable wear.

Edited by mdilthey on 10/07/2013 22:38:20 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Rubbish on 10/07/2013 22:45:06 MDT Print View

LOL, it isn't wide enough to sleep at a diagonal. Maybe curled up like a fetus. Yeah, you'll be just fine.

Recent durability issue here: http://forums.backpacker.com/cgi-bin/forums/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=832107219;t=9991167345

With all due respect to BA Fly Creek owners, I have no idea why anyone would purchase one with the inherent design flaws like rain entering the tent when the door is open, 11 stakes to set up fully, etc. Especially over the offerings from cottage manufacturers.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.wordpress.com
I will say this... on 10/07/2013 23:08:11 MDT Print View

The BA FC UL1 platinum fixed the rain issue. Also, it's 9 stakes if you use 2 stakes for the 4 guylines on the sides. You just put two lines to a stake. TBH, I bet I can do fine with 6, just looking at it.

The weight and price are ( somewhat) comparable to otber cottage offerings for free-standing double wall tents or tarps with inner nets, for me. Mind you, I paid 283, not 449.

I like cottages, but I had to jump on this tent in a zappos exchange for an (unused) Marmot Aura 2.

Charles G.
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
Looking for: Long-Term Durability of the BA Fly Creek UL1 on 10/08/2013 01:01:17 MDT Print View

I've had a Fly Creek for over four years. It has seen hard use including section hikes of the PCT and JMT. I have averaged around 25 nights per year in it since I bought it with no durability issues whatsoever. I have used it on several 4-5 day trips in the Grand Canyon and for numerous trips in the mountains of SE Arizona. It has handled strong wind, sustained heavy rain and light snow without my getting wet and it is still in good, usable condition. In my experience, the purported "design flaws" are more theoretical than they are real. Sure, water can get in the sloped entrance but in practice it s not that much of a problem: it is certainly less a problem than is condensation in single-wall tents. And, I have never needed more than 8 stakes for a solid, quick and easy pitch. If you are much over 6' tall and a back sleeper, you will contact both ends of the tent while sleeping. A side sleeper probably has more latitude. For me, at 5' 9" tall it is about right; I can get me and all of my gear inside and sleep comfortably. If you want a double wall tent and don't want the hassle of dealing with the folks at Big Sky, I'm not sure you can do much better for the weight.

Edited by Rincon on 10/08/2013 01:07:48 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Looking for: Long-Term Durability of the BA Fly Creek UL1 on 10/08/2013 07:48:10 MDT Print View

"If you want a double wall tent and don't want the hassle of dealing with the folks at Big Sky, I'm not sure you can do much better for the weight."

Tarptent DW Moment.

Max, let us know how it works out for you. I used a Fly Creek (non Platinum) a few times and found it a bugger to set up in the rain and as well, inherently I got rain inside every time I opened the door. Maybe I am unlucky. I also didn't fit with my long bag and just over 6 foot tall. I couldn't sit up without brushing my head. I also found that if you didn't use the full 11 stakes, you sacrificed room by not pulling the sides of the inner out and wind shedding ability of the fly.

Personally I believe the design to be poor unless you are shorter and backpack in relatively dry conditions, price be damned. But that is just my opinion.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Looking for: Long-Term Durability of the BA Fly Creek on 10/08/2013 10:10:52 MDT Print View

I've used a BA fly creek ul1 for years. I really like this tent; easy to set up and bombproof. If for some reason a stake were to come out in high winds--never happened to me--the tent will still function just fine. I agree that the 'rain comes in when you enter through the vestibule' problem is greatly exaggerated. However, I've had problems with the zippers on two of my tents. I seem to be the only one reporting this, however, so maybe it's me! (I baby those zippers too...). Other than that, the tent is durable indeed. (I use a polycryo groundsheet.)

Edited by book on 10/08/2013 10:11:51 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.wordpress.com
Well, great info! on 10/08/2013 16:38:03 MDT Print View

I'll report back with how it goes! My main worry was the rainfly blowing around and wearing holes where it contacts the poles, but I can't find any reports of this.

Will be living out of this for the next few weeks.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Looking for: Long-Term Durability of the BA Fly Creek on 10/08/2013 18:25:07 MDT Print View

"rainfly wearing holes where it contacts the poles": not a problem with this tent. the rainfly will definitely not blow around.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F - M

Locale: British Columbia
Looking for: Long-Term Durability of the BA Fly Creek UL1 on 10/08/2013 21:38:31 MDT Print View

I've had my Fly Creek UL1 for 4 years and have not seen any abnormal wear.

I have never used more than 6 stakes to set mine up.

I have never had any issue with rain getting in but I am also smart enough not to unzip the vestibule all the way when it's raining. I'm getting on in years and aren't that nimble anymore but can still easily crawl out through a partially opened vestibule.

I'm six feet tall and haven't had any issues with the length of the Fly Creek although I wouldn't want to be any taller in this tent.

The issues I do have with this tent are:

Getting sand in the buckles that hold on the fly can lock them up tight. On one occasion, after 10 minutes of trying to get the buckle undone, I was about to smash it with a rock when it came loose.

The zippers snag very easily.

When wet, windy and cold, the fly will sag and stick to the mesh inner tent. It doesn't matter how you guy it out this will happen if the conditions are right. It hasn't caused me to get wet but it's annoying.

This year I've been using a Tarp Tent Notch. I like it but I also miss the Fly Creek. I may eventually go back to the Seedhouse SL1 as it has more room than the Fly Creek and is only a few ounces heavier. The Notch is great when on the move but I base camp and day hike/fish quite a bit so I have to carry the extra poles which makes the Fly Creek and TT Notch almost identical in weight.

Edited by skopeo on 10/08/2013 21:39:11 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.wordpress.com
Night 1 on 10/09/2013 21:46:50 MDT Print View

Update coming to you live from the tent. I must be 6'1 instead of 6'2" because i'm stretched out and feeling fine. What a cool house.

As a hammock camper, the space is luxurious.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Night 1 on 10/09/2013 22:34:45 MDT Print View

Backyard testing is fun.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
: "Looking for: Long-Term Durability of the BA Fly Creek on 10/09/2013 22:58:22 MDT Print View

"the space is luxurious". Yeah, I came to the Sl1 and then the fly creek from using a very much smaller "tent" for several years. To me, these tents were palatial. They still seem palatial, or at least comfortably cozy. (O.K. I'd like a bigger vestibule.)

There's a Monty Python bit where two guys talk about their homes growing up. One says that his family of six was housed in a bathtub. "Luxury!" says the other: my family of ten lived together in a shoe box!" And so on.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.wordpress.com
Woke Up, Sat Up, Soaked on 10/10/2013 07:16:36 MDT Print View

Great night's sleep. Tents are always so much warmer than hammocks. Lots of condensation, though; I'll have to make a habit of leaving the door open a bit.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Woke Up, Sat Up, Soaked on 10/10/2013 07:47:20 MDT Print View

You certainly won't be able to leave that door open on that design in the rain.

Use all the pegs supplied and condensation should be reduced.

Or get a Tarptent Notch.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.wordpress.com
I can see it now! on 10/10/2013 07:50:40 MDT Print View

From looking at it, I can leave the door open at least ten inches at the bottom without getting wet. I sacrifice the vestibule, but that doesn't matter to me.

Also, I got like, a little bit of condensation when I was in the tent. Then I pulled up my stakes and the fly soaked the netting.