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Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)

While boaters know that there is nothing worse than being up a creek without a paddle, backpackers might find it just as upsetting to be up a Creek without a Fly. Thankfully, the Fly comes with the Creek in Big Agnes' lightest two-person tent ever: the Fly Creek 2.

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by Ray Estrella | 2009-07-24 00:05:00-06

Editor's Note: This article was opened to the public on July 22, 2010. To subscribe and see Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010 articles as they are published, click here.

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009) - 1
The new Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 is their lightest two-person tent ever. Those two people should expect to be pretty cozy inside.

I Am Not a Shill!

Anybody that knows me from my writing or backpacking forums knows of my love for Big Agnes' ( lightweight tents, though, to be fair, I have been harsh when needed. I had a Seedhouse SL2 from one of the first shipments, and I still use a modified newer version when testing obligations permit. So I said "Ooh, ooh, pick me!" when this dispatch needed to be written up. (Maybe I will put it through its paces down the road too. Stay tuned.)

The two-person Fly Creek UL2 is the newest addition to the company's UltraLight line, joining last year's Fly Creek UL1, a single-person version. As with all of their tents, the Fly Creek uses a hub and pole system to shave weight. Three sections of poles meet in a hub to form a Y, the short ends of which go to either side of the door. The long part curves over the tent to anchor in a grommet centered in the back. While it theoretically can be called a free-standing tent, the back corners need to be staked to take full advantage of all the space.

The tent body attaches to the poles with DAC Swift Clips. These newer clips are much faster to deploy and remove than the old style clips. One departure from the common style of BA tents is the use of lightweight breathable nylon on the lower sections of the body, only using the trademark mesh on the top third or so. This change should help reduce blown in debris a lot while hopefully not cutting down on the ability to fight condensation by hindering air movement and ventilation.

A large D-shaped mesh door in the front gives access to the Fly Creek. Inside the tent we find three gear pockets and loops to attach the optional Triangle Gear Loft.

The fully seam-taped fly goes over the poles and body to keep rough conditions at bay. A small vestibule pulls away from the front of the tent, held in place by two stakes. Since Big Agnes sends eleven stakes, there should be plenty to guy the tent out securely with the included, pre-tied reflective guy-lines.

When it comes to weight, the Fly Creek competes with Big Agnes' own offerings quite well, coming in at 42 ounces total. This beats their Seedhouse SL2 by 12 ounces, yet the Fly Creek has more floor space, as it is two inches longer. It is only 4 ounces heavier than the Seedhouse SL1, yet boasts 27% more floor space. And how about outside competition?

The MSR Carbon Reflex 2 is probably the closest comparison. With its 2-inch higher peak height and 1 square foot more floor space, it is slightly roomier than the Fly Creek, though it also weighs 6 ounces more.

Specifications and Features


Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2


Two-person double-wall tent with floor, front entry with vestibule

  Poles and Stakes

DAC Featherlite NSL pole system with press fit connectors and lightweight hubs. Eleven Superlight aluminum J stakes included


Fly and floor: silicone treated nylon rip-stop with a 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating.
Body: ultralight breathable nylon rip-stop and polyester mesh.


Floor 28 sq ft, vestibule 7 sq ft


Length 86 in, head width 52 in, end width 42 in, height 38 in


42 oz (1191 g)


US $349.95


"Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)," by Ray Estrella. (ISSN 1537-0364)., 2009-07-24 00:05:00-06.


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Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009) on 07/24/2009 13:35:48 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Thanks Ray! on 07/24/2009 16:06:56 MDT Print View

Great Write-up. Been waiting to see if they made the FC in a 2 person version. Finally a double wall, two-person tent well under 3 lbs and with an interior composed of more than just mesh (for warmth!). Looks good.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009) on 07/24/2009 16:22:39 MDT Print View

Nice looking tent. I like the fact that it has so much headroom by the head (where I like it most).

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 on 07/24/2009 16:44:16 MDT Print View

I use a SL2 that has CF poles and 12 Ti stakes to get down to 2 lb 15 oz. I am pretty excited about this one as the room that it gives up (as far as cu ft of space) is at the back since it no longer has the two small end poles of the Seedhouse.

Now think about swapping out the poles down the road.

I am giddy...

jeffrey bennett

Locale: Near the bottom
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 on 07/24/2009 16:44:52 MDT Print View

Nice. only 2 ounces more than the double rainbow. Can't wait for the review. Do you know when it will be in the stores.

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 on 07/24/2009 20:05:59 MDT Print View

I do not know that, Will may but he is in transit at this time. I would assume fall as they already have the catalog printed and they usually send them out Spring and Fall.

Clamor for a test. Start an email campaign. Write your congressman. Of course if any of that works I will gladly be you humble public servant...

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Nice on 07/25/2009 00:43:33 MDT Print View

Impressive tent..this is what GoLite should be making.

Edited by dandydan on 07/25/2009 00:44:26 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Weight on 07/28/2009 08:32:22 MDT Print View

Great writeup, Ray!

I assume 42 oz is the minimum weight? If so, then it's just 4 oz. lighter than the venerable SL2.

If memory serves me right, the Fly Creek 1 is significantly lighter than the SL1 correct? If correct, I was hoping that the Fly Creek 2 would be 'significantly' lighter than the SL2 as well...

Edited by ben2world on 07/28/2009 08:34:24 MDT.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009) on 07/30/2009 21:02:21 MDT Print View

Ben - that is packed weight. So it is at least 12 oz lighter than the SL2. Time to trade up.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009) on 07/31/2009 07:03:28 MDT Print View

Now that's better. Thanks.

René Enguehard
(ahugenerd) - MLife

Locale: Newfoundland
Nice on 07/31/2009 19:26:41 MDT Print View

Pretty impressive weight. I'll wait for a couple of trail reviews before jumping the gun though, considering the cost.

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 on 08/05/2009 19:55:09 MDT Print View

Hi Ben,

Welcome back. (And thank you for the help David.) I was gone backpacking in Yosemite and just saw this.

As you know Ben I love my Seedhouse but even with CF poles and Ti stakes it comes in at 47 oz total. And as the Fly Creek is a couple inches longer it may make up for the lower clearance at the back.

I am hoping to do a full review of this tent this early fall. Who knows, I may just give up my SL2.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 on 08/09/2009 23:53:57 MDT Print View

Hey Ray:

If and when you get the FC UL2 in your hot little hands, can you please let me know? We live reasonably close to each other, right? I want to see it, feel it, fondle it...

Barbara Karagosian
(Barbara) - M

Locale: So Cal
BA Fly Creek 2 on 12/06/2009 14:25:12 MST Print View

Sposed to be out 1/1/2010 - whoever gets one first - please please tell us all about it :-)