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Thursday, August 19, 2021

Review: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1

 After I killed my Stephenson Warmlite last year, I was forced to look into a tent that could replace it, or at the very least allow the entire family to go backcountry camping together. Here's the deal, my MSR Freelite could sleep 3 of us, but for the fourth person, I'd either have to use a hammock if the weather was good and there were trees, or a single person tent. I decided that the Warmlite was too heavy and too expensive for a single person, and that modern solutions were actually better designed.

During memorial day, I scored a Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL1 single person tent for about $286 (including taxes and shipping). I didn't end up using it on the Chiluana Falls backpacking trip because Xiaoqin got food poisoning.

At Glacier National Park, I could have used the hammock, but the rangers discouraged me from doing so. Knowing what I know now, I would have preferred to bring the hammock with the bug net rather than a second tent, but that couldn't be help.

The tent is light, and the single pole design meant that it's easy to setup. It's not easy to set up without a fly, however, since the tent design depends on the fly being present to stiffen up the shape. Xiaoqin sleeps cold anyway, so having both fly and tent would keep her warmer. I did bend some stakes because invariably Boen tripped over one of the stakes and crashed. But the tent had no condensation because of the warm dry conditions, and kept the bugs out.

The floor of the tent looked really flimsy. Despite being used only by an adult, I could see stones, etc through the tent floor. I no longer consider a tent footprint optional for this tent. But seriously? A 2 pound tent that's easy to setup, spacious for one person? It's more than good enough. I could only have dreamed of tents this light in 1993 when I first set off on my very first bicycle tour.


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