Backpacker ’09 Gear Guide Touts Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 Tent

Most ultralight tents are pretty durable, so I look at weight, roominess and price in deciding whether I think a tent is in my ultralight backpacking ballpark. The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 gets Backpacker Magazine’s top rating in its annual gear guide as best all-around. My take: Big Agnes is $300 (pricey), 2 pounds, 3 ounces with everything (stakes, poles, fly, tent, sack, instructions – under my 3-pound limit), has a 38-inch high pitch (you can sit up) and a fly that allows space for boots, pack, etc. I’m not crazy about the front entrance, mainly because  side entrances allow you to easily “roll” into the tent. Add 4 ounces for a footprint ground cover.  If you have the money, I give this thumbs up. A word about price. In my experience, the lighter the equipment the more it costs. For example, my Sierra Design Light Year is about 3.5 pounds and cost (five years ago) about $149. To get titanium poles, instead of anodized aluminum, that knock off another eight ounces, the tent cost would have been $349: $25 an ounce or $100 per pole. But if light is what you want and you can afford it, why not get the best and lightest. Chances are, you’ll have it a long time.

Be light. Be safe. Be one with the pack.

2 thoughts on “Backpacker ’09 Gear Guide Touts Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 Tent

  1. This is a great tent and I really like that when you don’t need the fly you have a clear view of the sky. I got say though, I think the standard for what qualifies as “ultralight” needs to be updated. At about 2 1/2 lbs pack weight I don’t really think this is “ultra” light. Not comparied to a six moons design or Gossamer “the one” or AGG “tarptent” or Tarptent’s “sublite”, etc…

    I think Backpacker magazine favors the larger companies that are paying of the advertisments. The true ultralight makers bearly get talked about in that magazine.


    BackpackBaseCamp .com

  2. I bought this thing. It’s an aesthetically pleasing design, but doesn’t work well in practice.

    It’s small. Did I say it’s small? It’s really small.

    The first night out it rained hard. Water leaked in through the fly zipper and then drips right on my head. Don’t open that zip — the rest of the water comes in right in the sleeping area.

    It needs a lot of stakes. The floor corners floats off frustratingly. Etc.

    I returned it.

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