Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 Review – Ultimate Ultralight Backpacking Tent?

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 Review: Ultralight, durable, and perfect for backpacking. Discover if it’s worth the investment!
Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2

Experience Ultralight Comfort and Durability on Your Next Adventure
The Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 impresses with its ultralight design and solid performance, ideal for serious backpackers looking to minimize weight without sacrificing reliability or comfort.


Weather Resistance
Space & Livability
Weight & Packability
Durability & Build Quality
Ventilation & Condensation Management


  • Ultralight weight
  • High-volume hub design
  • Durability
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Quick setup
  • Compact pack size
  • Good weather resistance


  • Snug fit for two
  • Limited vestibule space
  • Three-season limitation
  • Higher price


Brief Overview

The Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 is a highly regarded ultralight backpacking tent designed for outdoor enthusiasts who prioritize weight savings without compromising on essential features. This two-person tent is ideal for long-distance hikers, climbers, and campers who need a reliable shelter that won’t weigh them down. Key features that stand out at first glance include its impressive lightweight design, easy setup, and robust weather resistance. It is specifically crafted for backpacking trips where every ounce counts, making it a top choice for those who embark on challenging trails and need to pack light.

Initial Impressions and Context of Testing

Upon unboxing the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2, the first impression is one of surprise at its minimal weight and compact packaging. The tent materials feel high-quality and durable despite the ultralight nature. The setup instructions are clear, and the tent can be pitched quickly, which is a crucial factor when arriving at camp after a long day on the trail.

Testing the tent in various conditions provided a comprehensive understanding of its performance. The tent was evaluated during a multi-day backpacking trip in the Rocky Mountains, experiencing everything from sunny days to heavy rain and gusty winds. This diverse range of weather conditions allowed for a thorough assessment of the tent’s capabilities and reliability.

Overall, the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 impresses with its blend of lightweight construction and sturdy performance, promising a dependable shelter for adventurous backpackers.

Technical Specifications

Key Features and Technology

The Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 incorporates several innovative technologies and key features that enhance its performance and user experience:

  • High-Volume Hub Design: This technology increases the tent’s usable interior space without adding extra weight.
  • Ultralight Fabric: The tent utilizes advanced ultralight materials, including a silicone-treated nylon rip-stop with a 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating.
  • DAC Featherlite NFL Poles: These poles are made from TH72M aluminum, which is known for its lightweight and durability, contributing to the tent’s overall light weight.
  • Single-pole architecture: Simplifies setup and reduces the time required to pitch the tent.
  • Quick Stash Door Keeper: Allows for easy entry and exit without the door getting in the way.
  • 3-Season Design: Designed for spring, summer, and fall use, providing versatility for a range of outdoor activities.

Design and Materials

The design philosophy behind the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 focuses on maximizing space and comfort while minimizing weight. The materials used in this tent are chosen for their strength, durability, and lightweight properties.

  • Fly and Floor Fabric: Both are made from silicone-treated nylon rip-stop with a 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating, ensuring the tent remains dry in wet conditions.
  • Mesh Body: The tent body consists of breathable nylon and polyester mesh, which provides excellent ventilation and reduces condensation inside the tent.
  • Environmental Considerations: Big Agnes is known for its commitment to sustainability. The Fly Creek HV UL2 features eco-friendly anodized poles and a solution-dyed fabric that reduces water consumption and energy use during production.

Dimensions and Weight

  • Trail Weight: 1 lb 15 oz (879g)
  • Packed Weight: 2 lbs 5 oz (1,041g)
  • Packed Size: 19.5″ x 4″ (50 x 10 cm)
  • Floor Area: 28 sq ft (2.6 sq m)
  • Vestibule Area: 7 sq ft (0.7 sq m)
  • Head Height: 39″ (99 cm)

Practical Features

  • Pockets: Includes mesh pockets for small gear organization and a gear loft for additional storage options.
  • Zippers: Equipped with smooth-operating zippers that are easy to use, even with gloves.
  • Guy Lines and Stakes: Comes with reflective guy lines and lightweight aluminum stakes for secure pitching.

The Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2’s technical specifications highlight its thoughtful design and advanced features, making it a standout choice for backpackers seeking an ultralight yet reliable shelter.

Performance Evaluation

Fabric Performance


The Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 excels in breathability, primarily due to its extensive use of mesh fabric. The tent body’s combination of nylon and polyester mesh promotes excellent airflow, reducing condensation buildup, which is a common issue in lightweight tents. During testing in humid conditions, the tent remained well-ventilated, ensuring a comfortable sleeping environment.


The tent’s waterproofing capabilities are impressive, thanks to its silicone-treated nylon rip-stop fly and floor, both with a 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating. During heavy rain, the Fly Creek HV UL2 effectively kept water out, maintaining a dry interior. The seams are fully taped, further enhancing its waterproof performance.


Despite its ultralight construction, the Fly Creek HV UL2 proves to be quite durable. The silicone-treated nylon rip-stop fabric resists tears and abrasions well, and the DAC Featherlite NFL poles provide a sturdy frame that withstands strong winds. Extended use and exposure to rough terrain did not significantly degrade the tent’s materials or performance.

Weather Resistance

In various weather conditions, the Fly Creek HV UL2 performs admirably. It handles rain, wind, and moderate cold with ease. The tent’s low-profile design and taut setup make it stable in gusty winds, while the waterproof materials keep the interior dry during downpours. However, its three-season design means it is not suited for heavy snow or extreme winter conditions.

Practical Features

Vestibule and Storage

The Fly Creek HV UL2 features a small vestibule area of 7 sq ft, providing adequate space for storing gear outside the sleeping area. This is particularly useful for keeping muddy boots and wet gear separate from the interior. Inside the tent, mesh pockets and a gear loft offer convenient storage solutions for small items like headlamps, maps, and phones.

Ease of Setup

One of the standout features of the Fly Creek HV UL2 is its ease of setup. The single-pole architecture simplifies the pitching process, allowing for quick and straightforward assembly. Color-coded webbing and buckles further assist in ensuring the correct orientation and secure setup, making it possible to pitch the tent in under five minutes, even in less-than-ideal conditions.

Weight and Packability

Weighing in at just 1 lb 15 oz (trail weight) and packing down to a compact size of 19.5″ x 4″, the Fly Creek HV UL2 is exceptionally easy to carry. Its lightweight nature makes it an excellent choice for backpackers who need to minimize their pack weight without sacrificing shelter quality.

Additional Features

Reflective Elements

The tent includes reflective guy lines and webbing, which enhance visibility in low-light conditions. This is particularly beneficial for night-time setup or when returning to camp after dark, reducing the risk of tripping over lines or missing the tent location.

Ventilation Options

The tent’s dual-zipper door design allows for versatile ventilation options. You can partially unzip the door to increase airflow while keeping bugs out, enhancing comfort in warmer weather.

Overall, the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 offers outstanding performance in terms of breathability, waterproofing, durability, and ease of use. Its practical features, coupled with its ultralight weight, make it a top choice for serious backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Space and Comfort

Interior Space and Layout

The Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 is designed with a focus on maximizing interior space while maintaining an ultralight weight. The high-volume hub design significantly increases the tent’s internal livable space, offering more headroom and elbow room compared to other ultralight tents.

  • Sleeping Area: The tent’s floor area of 28 sq ft comfortably accommodates two people, though for taller individuals or those who prefer extra space, it might feel a bit snug. The 39-inch peak height allows for sitting up and moving around with relative ease.
  • Vestibule Area: The vestibule provides an additional 7 sq ft of storage space, perfect for stowing gear like backpacks and boots outside the main sleeping area. This helps keep the interior clean and free of clutter.

Ventilation and Airflow

Ventilation is a crucial aspect of tent comfort, and the Fly Creek HV UL2 excels in this area:

  • Mesh Panels: Extensive use of mesh in the tent body enhances airflow, reducing the likelihood of condensation buildup. This is particularly beneficial in humid conditions, where moisture management is critical.
  • Dual Zipper Door: The dual zipper door allows for flexible ventilation options. You can partially unzip the door to increase airflow while keeping insects out, which is especially useful in warm weather.

Weather Protection

The Fly Creek HV UL2 provides excellent weather protection without compromising comfort:

  • Waterproofing: The tent’s waterproof materials and fully taped seams ensure that the interior remains dry during rain. This is essential for maintaining comfort and preventing damp sleeping bags and gear.
  • Wind Resistance: The tent’s aerodynamic shape and sturdy DAC Featherlite NFL poles provide robust wind resistance. During testing in windy conditions, the Fly Creek HV UL2 remained stable and secure, offering a sense of safety and comfort.

Ease of Use

The ease of setting up and breaking down a tent can significantly impact overall comfort:

  • Quick Setup: The single-pole architecture and color-coded webbing make for an intuitive and rapid setup process. This is particularly beneficial after a long day of hiking when a quick and hassle-free setup is desired.
  • Compact Packing: The tent packs down to a compact size, making it easy to carry and store in a backpack. Its lightweight nature means it doesn’t add much burden to your overall pack weight, contributing to a more comfortable hiking experience.

Personal Experience

In practical use, the Fly Creek HV UL2 provides a comfortable shelter for extended trips. During a multi-day hike in the Rocky Mountains, the tent’s ventilation kept the interior cool and dry, even on humid nights. The vestibule was particularly useful for storing wet gear, and the quick setup allowed more time to relax after a day of trekking.

Overall, the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 strikes a balance between ultralight weight and comfort, making it an excellent choice for backpackers who need reliable, comfortable shelter without the extra weight.

Pros and Cons


  • Ultralight Weight: At just 1 lb 15 oz (trail weight), the Fly Creek HV UL2 is one of the lightest two-person tents on the market, making it ideal for weight-conscious backpackers.
  • High-Volume Hub Design: This design maximizes interior space, providing more headroom and overall livability compared to other ultralight tents.
  • Durability: Despite its lightweight nature, the tent’s silicone-treated nylon rip-stop fabric and DAC Featherlite NFL poles offer impressive durability and resistance to wear and tear.
  • Excellent Ventilation: The extensive use of mesh and dual zipper door enhances airflow, significantly reducing condensation and maintaining a comfortable interior climate.
  • Quick and Easy Setup: The single-pole architecture, along with color-coded webbing, simplifies the setup process, allowing the tent to be pitched in under five minutes.
  • Weather Resistance: The tent performs well in various weather conditions, with effective waterproofing and strong wind resistance thanks to its low-profile design and sturdy pole structure.
  • Compact Pack Size: Packs down to a compact size of 19.5″ x 4″, making it easy to stow in a backpack and carry during long hikes.


  • Snug Fit for Two: While it is marketed as a two-person tent, the Fly Creek HV UL2 can feel cramped for two larger individuals or for those who prefer more space. It is more comfortably suited for solo hikers who enjoy extra room.
  • Limited Vestibule Space: The 7 sq ft vestibule provides some gear storage, but it may not be sufficient for larger backpacks or extensive gear, potentially causing clutter inside the tent.
  • Three-Season Limitation: Designed for three-season use, this tent is not suitable for extreme winter conditions or heavy snow loads, limiting its versatility for year-round adventurers.
  • Price Point: The advanced materials and ultralight design come at a premium price, which may be a consideration for budget-conscious hikers.

Overall, the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 offers a compelling combination of ultralight weight, durability, and weather resistance, making it an excellent choice for dedicated backpackers. However, potential buyers should consider its snug fit and price when making a decision.

Comparative Analysis

When comparing the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 to the Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P and the MSR Hubba Hubba 2P, a few key distinctions emerge that can help potential buyers decide which tent best suits their needs.

Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P

The Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P, like the Fly Creek HV UL2, focuses on ultralight performance, making it another excellent choice for weight-conscious backpackers. The Hornet Elite Osmo 2P is slightly lighter, weighing in at 1 lb 11 oz (trail weight), and offers similar high-quality materials and ventilation features. However, the Hornet Elite Osmo 2P provides a bit more interior space with a more accommodating headroom, which may be a deciding factor for those who find the Fly Creek’s space too limited. The trade-off is a higher price point, reflecting its premium ultralight construction.

MSR Hubba Hubba 2P

The MSR Hubba Hubba 2P is a popular choice among backpackers for its balance of weight, durability, and livability. Weighing more at 3 lbs 8 oz, it is significantly heavier than the Fly Creek HV UL2 but offers a more spacious interior and two large vestibules, which provide ample storage space for gear. This tent excels in terms of comfort and ease of use, with a freestanding design that is quick to set up. It also boasts excellent weather resistance, making it suitable for a broader range of conditions. For those who prioritize comfort and space over ultralight weight, the Hubba Hubba 2P may be the better option.

In conclusion, while the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 is the go-to choice for ultralight enthusiasts, the Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P and the MSR Hubba Hubba 2P offer compelling alternatives with their own unique strengths, catering to different priorities in weight, space, and overall comfort.


The Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 stands out as a premier ultralight tent, offering an excellent balance of weight, durability, and weather resistance. Ideal for weight-conscious backpackers, it impresses with its high-volume design, quick setup, and reliable performance across three seasons. While it may feel snug for two larger individuals and offers limited vestibule space, its compact pack size and ease of use make it a top choice for solo adventurers or pairs who prioritize minimal weight. The premium price reflects its advanced materials and design, delivering value for those who seek a high-performance, ultralight shelter. Overall, the Fly Creek HV UL2 is best suited for dedicated backpackers looking for a reliable, lightweight tent that doesn’t compromise on essential features and comfort.

Further reading