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Whatever you do, don't let them pick up your pack.
Tell your buddies that you'll carry the tent if they carry the food. They'll jump on that deal, not knowing that the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL3 3-Person 3-Season Tent (built for those looking to shave serious grams) weighs less than breakfast, courtesy of its ultralight DAC Featherlite hub-style pole system and lightweight but durable nylon fly. The 3-person Fly Creek has one more pole than the smaller models to provide a little bit of extra living space, but still has a trail weight of just three pounds, which is reducible to just 2lb 5oz if you choose to bring just the fly, poles, and footprint (sold separately). The hub system lets you pitch the tent in no time flat, and lightweight DAC Twist Clips make it easy to attach the tent to the poles.
You've also got a fully-featured fly with taped seams, a storm flap, and a roomy vestibule to stash your gear in. When you guy it out, you'll notice that all the lines and pieces of webbing are reflective, saving you the trouble of navigating extra-cautiously when darkness falls. Big Agnes also decked the Fly Creek out with seven (count 'em, seven) mesh pockets to hold more headlamps, glasses, and books that a group of three could reasonably bring with them. Better make sure your buddies are carrying all that, too.
- Ultralight design with nylon/polyester mesh body
- DAC Featherlite hub pole system
- One door and vestibule
- Seven mesh pockets
- Reflective guylines and webbing
- Gear loft and footprint sold separately
- Item #BAG000X
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I purchased this tent and used it for a three week John Muir Trail trek in 2015. Loved it. It was light weight, durable, and had some great features. So why one star? I used it this past summer on a backpack in the Wallowas in East Oregon. All was going great until it rained on our last night and we woke up the next morning with a puddle INSIDE the tent. Water got onto the tent and under the tent in between the tent floor and the ground sheet. When I returned home I called Big Agnes customer service assuming that this great company would fix this problem. Instead I was told that the leak was because the water had to go somewhere so it went into the tent instead of soaking through the ground sheet (this was their groundsheet). In other words they said that it going to leak in this situation. They did offer to take a look at it and found nothing wrong. Then they offered to sell me another one. Not helpful since it would just leak again in a similar circumstance. I would hope that a Big Agnes tent that cost around $400 would be waterproof. Very disappointing in Big Agnes product and customer service who were pretty darn rude to boot.
Ripped Fifth Use
I loved this tent. It's cozy, super water proof, extremely light, spacious for two, and did I mention super light? But the fifth time I set it up it ripped in the mesh on that top seam where everyone else's tents have been ripping too..... It's such a shame, the hole is too big to repair.
Durable For It's Weight
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I was pretty skeptical of the tent, anything this light I assumed couldnt really be that durable. I generally use my Limelight when car camping, or a MSR Twin Sisters tarp for everything else, this was my first foray into a lightweight freestanding tent.
When we first set it up, I couldnt imagine 3 people fitting in this. I know it should be a cramped 3 as shaving weight is the most important feature on this tent but, there was no way. Then as we set it up, and took it down multiple times we learned how to make it a bit more spacious and realistic for three people. We had to stake out one corner in the front, then the other corner in the front had to be pulled pretty hard to stretch the floor out as much as possible, repeat on the other side. Also there are two little clips on the side of the tent, be sure to clip them to the fly. When you guy out the fly, it pulls the side of the body of the tent out providing some more space.
On our trip we saw this tent quite a bit. A few things I noticed. One person had set up this tent but, did not guy it out. If you do not guy out this tent, do not expect to stay dry if it rains. Guying out the tent is essential or the fly will lay on the body of the tent and water will drip right inside. The cords it comes with are awesome, easy to tighten and loosen. I tightened them as much as I could never had a tearing problem.
Another place I saw this tent and was impressed was half way up Rainier. If you guy it out properly, set up some snow walls, I am pretty confident the tent would hold up in some serious wind. It's not a 4 season tent so if its 60 mph winds on a glacier for a week probably not but, one or two nights, you could probably get away with depending on your perception of comfort.
The durability of the tent seems to be the big talking point. We used it more or less car camping. Its light, I know it would be great to split with 3 people backpacking but, car camping tests the durability of a tent better. We set this up and took it down at least 7 times. Slept without a ground tarp, and at Smith Rock's I was sure the sharp basalt would rip the floor but, did not. I did only use the tent for a 10 day trip so cant really speak on the durability over time. If I was going to continue to use this tent car camping I would definitely get a cheap blue tarp to put under it to help keep it from getting holes. I would say you should definitely be careful, no dogs inside without some type of fabric covering the floor, and be sure to check out the area. Something like a small tree could catch the tent and rip it if you just grabbed it and moved it for instance. Where my Limelight would not do that but, remember that tent weighs double this one.
The picture was taken by my climbing partner Jared. He had used the tent a bunch and wanted to see how tough it was for me to set it up alone. I was able to set it up alone but, made one mistake that I hope I can help you not make. When you set up the poles, you will realize one end is bigger than the other. Make sure the bigger end goes on the door side. It is possible to set up on your own though, just put one corner in the catch hole, then walk your hands to the opposite corner and stick that one in there as well, obviously a second person makes it a lot quicker!
I have been able to demo a bunch of tents that we sell. If you have any questions about this one or others on the site dont hesitate to reach out directly!
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Too flimsy. Ours ripped in the first few nights use in exactly the same place as another online review's ripped: at the center attachment. Did not notice when it happened, so perhaps it came that way. Tent is quite expensive to put up with that.
Still, a very lightweight and roomy 2-man tent.
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I recently was charged with outfitting my group (wife, sister, brother-in-law, brother, sister-in-law) with gear for a week long trip in southern utah canyon country. We got tents, sleeping bags, stoves, backpacks, the whole run. All of our gear held up and served us well.
The Big Agnes Fly Creek Tent was great for two people. The added space kept us from fighting for space after long days on the trail.
I used this tent once and the seam that meets the screen mesh and the material ripped. I sent it to big Agnes for repair for a minimal charge and they claimed they repaired it. I received it back from Big Agnes and it still was torn. I contacted them and had to once again mail it back for repair, I'm still waiting to receive the tent back from the secondary repair. Very frustrated with their slow turn around time and lack of concern. I've been without tent for about a month now and considering the cost of the tent you think the quality and customer service would be superior which is not at all the case. I will not purchase another Big Agnes product.
20D body, 15D fly
Thank you for purchasing by the kindness of the staff could be better
Canyon Rim Camping
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I posted an initial thoughts on this tent after we used it on several trips. This is a follow up review after more extended use.
We took this tent on a variety of trips in the Cascades and most recently on a three-week long backpacking trip of the John Muir trail. During these adventures we encountered large variety of conditions - heavy rain, hail, lightning storms, gusty winds, hot and humid nights.
If staked correctly the Fly Creek handles foul conditions very well. It is important to make the final adjustments and tighten the strings once the tent is set up, especially if you anticipate precipitation. Otherwise the fly will get too close to the tent wall and could possibly dampen the inside of the tent. Between proper set up and using footprint we did not have any water related issues, even after several hours of continuous heavy rain, and on days when the weather did not allow us to completely dry the fly before pitching the next evening.
Proper set up (butt into the wind) and staking also got us through some windy nights. The tent felt steady, the poles held strong without bending.
On the downside, this is not a true 3 person tent. It provides just the perfect amount of space for 2 people. You can place 2 pads next to each other and still have some space on the sides for extra layer or gear you wish to store inside. There is not enough space to fit 3 standard size pads in without significant overlap.
The vestibule has enough space for two backpacks placed one on the top of each other and two set of boots in the opposite corner. With this set up you can still easily enter and exit the tent. I suspect trying to place 3 backpacks and boots in it would make it little too crammed and it would take crawling over gear while getting in or out.
The walls of the vestibule go all the way down and we did not experience any backsplashing during the rainy periods of our trip. The vestibule can easily be zipped and unzipped from either inside or outside of the ten
Can't get enough of this tent
Replaced my Seedhouse UL2 with the UL3 and I couldn't be happier.
Awaiting the storm
Fly Creek UL 3 set up at Garnet Lake, John Muir Trail.
Not truly 3 person
There is not too much space left after placing our 2 standard size pads inside the Fly Creek UL 3. Definitely not enough to fit third pad in without significant overlap.
Fly Creek UL Series Tents
Desert Camping in Eastern WA
Having fun climbing the Feathers in Vantage, WA
Our campsite en route to Ruth Mountain in North Cascades, WA
Excellent working qualities
On northern caucasus I have got to a storm in this tent. It has passed tests, and other tents were blotted also by their owners floated
large built in pockets
these are the smaller side (the other side of the tent has a slightly larger small pocket due to the asymmetry in the tent). There is also a pocket on the top of the tent on both sides.
Tent at Mt. Pierce (Doc approved!)
Here's a photo of the tent set up this past weekend on a platform at Nauman tentsite.
On the left side of the tent in the photo is where Doc slept towards the front of the tent. Our two bags were stored along the same side towards our feet.
Ocasionally Doc walked down towards our feet and slept on our pads, but he spent most of the night on his bed along the side.
Not sure 3 people would work, but perhaps as long as they're willing to be super cozy! But it definitely was nice for 2 people with gear and a dog.
Our bags would have fit under the vestibule if it weren't for the platform but we stored them in the tent instead and kept our boots and other random gear in the vestibule.
Will the BA Fly Creek UL2 inside material stand up to a lab retriever's nails or is it prone to rip?
What is the difference between Packaged Weight, Trail Weight and Fast Pitch Weight (Fast Fly Weight as Big Agnes calls it).
Also what does the footprint weigh?
Here is how Big Agnes defines the different weights for their tents:
This is the heaviest you can expect your tent to weigh, straight out of the box or from the store. This weight refers to all packaging, hang tags, as well as the stuff sacks, fly, body, stakes, poles, and guy lines.
This is the lightest you can expect your tent to weigh, stripped of everything but the essentials. This number reflects the weight of just the fly (no guy lines), body, and poles.
This is the weight of your fly, footprint and poleset only.
Fly Creek UL3 info:
Packed Weight - 3lbs 8 oz (56 oz) or 1590grams
Trail Weight - 3lb 0 oz (48 oz) or 1360grams
Fast Fly Weight - 2lb 5 oz (21oz) or 1050grams
Footprint Weight - 6.5oz or 184grams
Anytime you have a Big Agnes question, shoot me an email and I'll make sure to work with you 1-on-1!