Good but not perfect
I bought this tent because, quite simply, I was looking for the lightest weight tent out there. I considered several models, such as Henry Shires' tarp-tent and this tent appeared to hang in there, once you consider the weight of a floor and the additional benefit of a double wall tent. I also bought the ground cloth, which does add a bit more weight, and is made of the same thin material.
I've taken the Fly Creek out on a little more than a dozen backpacking and car camping trips, from overnighters to 4 day trips, ranging from 90 degrees to about 25 degrees. It has held up to rain and light snow with no leaks whatsoever.
I like that it is light and small. I recommend that you pack the tent body, fly, and ground-cloth separately from the poles. The fabric in the stuff sack will be the size of a 2 liter bottle, and the poles can be stuck in a corner of your pack, or on the outside of your pack, as they are much longer (over a foot).
I was worried about durability given the light material, but so far with the groundcloth (also a lightweight material) it has stood up to camping in the rocky Arizona terrain. I have no damage or scuff marks that I've noticed.
The tent is the easiest to setup a tent could possibly be, the only issue is that it is so light that you need to get a few stakes in quickly or the wind will take it, so don't leave it alone until you have a few anchors in. I also generally use most or all of the stakes, as otherwise it collapses into itself a bit - it is not truly a free standing tent. Generally I guy at least one side of the tub floor to the fly with the included clips. Those included clips are a poor design in my opinion - tough to clip, almost unusable with gloves on.
The major item that makes this tent less than perfect is that it is a bit cramped. I'm a little more than 6 feet tall and I cannot sit-up straight in the tent, though I can sit up slouched. With one more clip placement designed, they could have easily have added almost 2-3 inches of headroom...but they didn't. Length wise, it could get another inch or two in length, but I just fit in comfortably without really touching the ends. If you are any taller than 6'2", this tent is likely too small. If you are shorter than 5'9" I don't think you will have any problems.
They did save weight by reducing the amount of bug screening on the main body of the tent. Only one trip did I feel this led to a bit more condensation build up than I wanted. It hasn't occurred again, though AZ is a pretty dry climate. The bug netting itself is an improvement over an earlier Big Agnes tent I owned, it doesn't show the scuff marks that it used to.
The vestibule is quite small, but I generally bring my pack into the tent along side me, and only leave my shoes outside. So this doesn't bother me, but this may be important to others.
This is a pretty good tent for those looking for about the lightest weight tent out there, but don't want to go with a floorless tent or just a tarp. I could see them coming out with a new model that adds a little bit of height and length, and gives you better clips for the sides of the tub floor. For that matter, you may be able to find an older Big Agnes Seedhouse UL 1, which is a little more weight, but also a bit bigger.
I have been searching for a well-designed, solo tent under 3 pounds for many years. I have been climbing and backpacking extensively for 35 years. Surprised to finally find specs I have been looking for (incl a weight well under 3 pounds), I bought the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1. I used the Fly Creek solo last week in the Sierra's John Muir Wilderness for a five day trip at 11,000 ft. My search ends! It sets up easily, has free-standing stability and was sufficiently spacious inside for me (I am 6 ft tall). My major concern was the thinner materials, but I saw no compromise during the five days of use. Tent walls seem adequate, though I have no way of knowing the effect of years of use. Probably alright, but therefore good ground protection is even more critical with this ultra light tent. Sans fly, about 18 inches of nylon wall kept the considerable night breeze off me, but allowed good ventilation. Headroom is still lacking, but without fly, I sat up to comfortably read with the tent door opened. Since the door face is angled back, it is also handy for changing clothes while standing inside the tent. I do wish more flat, head space was designed in though, and a side mesh pocket or two. The last night I added the rain fly, which was taut and guyed out easily and well. Though not usually needed for my 3-season use, I expect the door vestibule will be challengingly adequate.
Used this tent on a 22 day JMT hike in 2012 and it worked perfect. I was able to set this tent up, fly and everything, with only 8 stakes. If you use your brain, you will see that you don't need one at the bottom middle when using the two bottom corners, taking one stake off. The other two stakes I shaved off by combining the guy lines on each side of the fly onto one stake. Trust me, 8 stakes works perfect... I had hail and two nights of thunder storm down pours during the trip and stayed bone dry. I can set it up in under 5 minutes every time!! It is light weight so handle it like it is and it will last you. It was the envy of the trail!! Also, people complain about the water getting in when opening the fly in the morning. Again, use your brain... I always set the zippers on the bottom. Slap the fly to get excess water off, then as you unzip, roll the fly door outward to keep water drops from entering. Works like a charm!!
FLY CREEK UL1
This tent is definitely the bees' knees. I just started backpacking this summer on the Appalachian Trail. 80% of the hikers on the trail I met had this tent and I heard no complaints. When I met them they were 1000 miles in, so this was impressive to me that the tent was doing so well. The first night that I did a test of the tent in my yard, it poured the rain down and lots of wind too. I had no problems. No need to seam any seams. I think the one downfall is trying to open the rain fly when it is soaking wet without getting yourself soaked. Also using Tyvek™ as a ground cloth seems like the thing to do on the trail and it saves you $50 from buying the Big Agnes™ one. As for the comfort issue. I was fine, but I'm a slim 5'10" guy. My bag could fit comfortably inside with me, but if you're any taller than me you might want a different tent. I'm considering getting the UL2, so I can take my dog hiking with me.
Great little tent
Great product. I have used this tent extensively in the backcountry of the Sierra Nevada. Experienced lots of high winds, but no hardcore east coast precip to speak of. The tent is light, sturdy, well constructed. It does not pack down super small, and the "heavy weight" indicated on the site probably does not include stakes or stuff sack (I thought it was heavier than 40 oz or whatever. It is sturdy, dependable, and I have and will trust my life to it in very remote wilderness settings.
With a solo ultralight tent, your probably going to be a little cramped if you're big. I'm 6'1, 170 and I didnt have much trouble. Be sure to stake out the sides for good circulation to prevent condensation. As with all ultralight backpacking, the tent can't do everything at these weights, you must choose the optimal site (it may occasionally take some time) to get the most out of your tent, and get the most comfort.
works well for a small hiker
Bought the BA tent for a 6 night trip in late August through the high peaks in the ADK. I replaced a basic eureka solo tent (poor design, worse in rain).
This tent is not for the tall or dimensionally gifted. At 5'3" I was able to store all my gear inside, sleeping with my head at the tapered end and using the extra room at the door to spread my gear--not for the claustrophobic either! There is just not room in the vestibule for more than a pair of boots and camp shoes. But, the tent was fantastic through 5 nights of heavy rain. Minimal condensation, I stayed completely dry, and the fly pitched taut. On night 3 I had some small creature nestle in between the tent and the fly, taking advantage of some free shelter! Overall, very easy set up, great weather protection, and did not induce insanity when I spent a few hours inside reading.
Great Tent if used properly
I recently went on a backpacking trip to Colorado. We spent one night in Sand Dunes National park and two nights in the mountains around 12000 feet. Prior to this trip I took the Fly Creek UL1 out in Minnesota just as a test run. It rained all night. This was good as it gave me a chance to really test the thing out. I was a bit disappointed in the morning as I got condensation on the inside of the tent. No real leaks. I attributed this to my setting up the tent poorly. If the rain fly would have been set up properly I don't think I would have had any problems. In colorado we had 40 mph gusts and the tent was rock solid. Absolutly no complaints. The lightweight design and the ability to pick the tent up fully assembled made cleaning a breeze. I would highly recommend this tent!
Amazing Light Tent
For a thru hiker or any backpacker that wants to have the best and remain lightweight, this is the perfect tent. Spacious for "normal" sized people. If you stake it down you add a little more room to the inside but it is a tru free standing tent, although a not so open interior when not staked. It holds well up against 30 mi. winds (thats the highest ive experienced yet.) In windy situations i recommend doing a good job at staking the rainfly down so as to not allow any drafts to enter. First night i used it in windy weather i did not stake it down correctly and i had wind coming in. Aside from that it is extremely easy to set up. I would however, before purchasing, recommend you set it up and climb inside see how it fits you.
Never Failed All Over Europe
I backpacked all over europe for a year and a half by myself. Through hot, cold, snow, rain, wind, hail, and sand I never got wet, and never had any issues with the tent or the fly. Big Agnes became a close friend and helped me through some crazy and amazing times. It's super light, and really easy to put together (which really helps in a wind storm). It's perfectly small enough to sleep in, and keep your pack with you, as well as hang your headlamp for complete illumination. If you put a small tarp down under the tent and put the fly on that extends out about a foot and a half from the entrance it creates a sort of front porch area to let shoes and socks air out. I really can't say enough good things about this tent.
BA Fly Creel UL1
I purchased this tent for a week long backpacking trip in the Smokies this spring. So far I have used it a few nights on some short trips. It is very easy to set up. As far as the inside space is concerned its a little tight. I'm 6'0 and a have a little room between my head and feet without touching either end of the tent. I also have a Neo-Air, size reg, that fits in it nicely. My backpack does not fit inside with me but I just put it in the vestibule, upside down with my pack cover on it, I've got an Osprey Atmos 65. Overall I would recommend this tent to someone who is looking to cut weight and doesn't mind it being a little bit cramped.