The 1 Person Ultralight Backpacking Tent Is Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL 1 Tent

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL 1 Tent
7.6

Size and Comfort

7.0/10

Weather Proof

7.0/10

Weight

9.0/10

Ease of Set Up

8.0/10

Dismantling

8.0/10

Features

7.0/10

Durability & Quality

7.0/10

Pros

  • The new HV design is a big improvement on the original
  • Super lightweight that is tough to beat
  • Redesigned clips for greater stability and ease of setup
  • A near vertical front door and panel add to the usable space and make for an easier entry

Cons

  • A tall Y-shaped design makes it highly susceptible to strong winds
  • For anyone taller than 6’3” it may be a bit small
  • With a price range that can run up to $450, the Fly Creek HV UL1 is certainly not cheap
  • Like most other lightweight tents, durability has been sacrificed for reduced weight.

Big Agnes returns once again, this time with an updated version of their Fly Creek UL 1 person ultralight backpacking tent. The new HV model has significant upgrades and improvements on the original, not the least of which is improved comfort and durability. However, it’s extreme lightweight still comes with a few trade offs that always have to be weighed against reduced weight. Still, if lightweight and mobility is your prime concern in finding the best single person tent then you’ll find a lot to love about this newly improved version of the Fly Creek.

Size and comfort

Weight: 2lb 1oz
Color: Yellow/Silver
Center Height: 42in
Base Size: 86 x 30in

The key difference in design for the HV compared to its predecessor is a steeper wall. A big problem with the older version of the Fly Creek was that its walls tended to sag, causing the space inside to feel more restricted. The new design in the HV allows you to maximize the usable floor space and headroom without adding anything to the weight. This is achieved through a redesigned pole structure that adds an angled segment at the foot end of the tent. Longer poles at the head make the door panel almost completely vertical allowing for an easier entry and exit.

Another thing they’ve changed is more mesh on the sidewalls. This cuts down on weight, allows greater ventilation and contributes to the new versions roomier feel. Another interesting addition is the patented mtnGLO system by Big Agnes. This version costs about $50 more but for what it does it’s a worthwhile investment.

What it is essentially is a lighting system that provides optimal lighting in your tent at the push of a button. This may seem overly extravagant at first but it’s surprisingly minimalistic, a single wire with about the width of a toothpick runs in an arc around the doorway with a series of LED nodes spaced along it. It adds only 1 ounce to the weight and is really useful when you need to get up in the night.

Weight

The Fly Creek HV UL1 still maintains it’s incredibly lightweight of only 2lb 1oz. When packed up for the trail you can still get that down to 1lb 11oz with clever packing and distributing the weight around your pack. As with its slightly larger brother, the Ul2, the HV UL1 score tops marks for weight.

Ease of Setup

For ease of setup, the UL1 carries on the record all tents in the Fly Creek series have for easy setup and take down. The HV comes with a few extra steps compared to its earlier version but the new hook and latch system makes it faster and easier in the long run.

Something else that adds to the ease of setup is the inclusion of an adjustable slide cord lock on each side of the rainfly. This makes it much easier to stake down and ensure you’ve got it as taut as you possibly can. One customer got there’s up for the first time in only 3.5 minutes. It’s a freestanding design and it does work alright but you’re at a severe disadvantage in floor space without any stakes in place.

Dismantling

Packing it up is also just as hassle-free and it fits snugly into the given cylinder sack. Although it tends to run a bit wide when fitting horizontally in the bottom of a narrow backpack it shouldn’t be a storage problem for most backpacks.

1 Person Ultralight Backpacking Tent

Durability and Quality

As mentioned, Big Agnes has made small improvements in overall design that add up to noticeable differences when tested in the field. If you’ve used the older version of the UL1 before the first thing that will stand out with the HV is the different design structure.

There is significantly more headroom and the steeper walls allow for a roomier feel. This is surprising considering that the usable floor space has been reduced by 2-sq ft. compared with the previous version. The front is now 4” narrow while the back has been reduced by 2 inches.

The differences in design don’t end here, the tapered shape of the footprint of the UL1 has been removed but it still keeps the same length. This makes the HV side walls a few inches longer than the UL1. Even with 2-sq ft. less of floor space it doesn’t feel this way thanks to the longer side walls and increased pitch at the foot.  

Another improvement they’ve added is the addition of a double cord system at the rear corners. These pull outward on the walls of the tent and help give the HV a more square footprint which is a big improvement for tall hikers.

Camping Situations for Best Use

Its extreme lightweight makes the Big Agnes HV Fly Creek UL1 best suited for biking trips and extended backpacking trips in the spring and summer. Although it will take a good punishing from the rain the low thickness of the materials makes it ill-suited for rough conditions. In addition, the Y-shaped pole design and high head height make it very susceptible to being toppled in strong winds.

For best use, it should only be used in good conditions like in the spring or summer when biking or backpacking. If you’re looking for a lightweight tent that doesn’t compromise on durability then we recommend the Hillberg Akto.

Customer Experiences

First-hand customer experience is a bit hard to come by as this is a relatively new model of the Fly Creek. One customer who used the previous version of the UL1 was very impressed with the improvements in the HV. At first, these improvements might seem inconsequential but they add up a lot to comfort in the end. The increased headspace and usable floor space mean you won’t feel as constricted as you did before. Along with that, the easier setup means you’ll be able to get it up sooner in a hurry.

Customers that have tried it were very happy with the improvements but the Fly Creek still has the same problems in durability and weatherproofing as its predecessors.

          

Manufacturer

With 17 years’ experience in the outdoors industry, Big Agnes has managed to churn out an impressive selection of gear for any kind of outdoors trip. This includes sleeping bags, tents, clothing and furniture so suit those on a low to moderate budget. The Fly Creek HV UL1 is just the latest in their range of redesigned products that seek an improved design.

Accessories to Consider

Planning a big trip? Consider including these products to go along with your Fly Creek for added comfort and flexibility.

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Footprint

Unfortunately, the Fly Creek HV UL1 does not come with its own footprint which must be purchased separately. The Big Agnes Copper Spur Footprint is designed perfectly to go with your HV UL1 for added protection, comfort, and durability.

Outdoor Vitals Ultralight Tarp for Hammock

                   

This handy piece of kit can come in use for more than just hammocks. The Outdoor Vitals Ultralight Tarp can also serve as a six-sided rainfly for giving your Fly Creek added protection. Weighing just over 1 pound and made with 75D Polyurethane coated ripstop this will give you the extra protected needed when on the trail.

Features

  • 1 door design
  • 3 session tent
  • freestanding
  • 25% more space in the head and shoulders and 10% more in the foot box compared with its predecessor.
  • Incredible lightweight of only 2lb 1oz
  • Well thought out construction that improves on the old design while adding some new features for better usability.

Pros

  • The new HV design is a big improvement on the original
  • Super lightweight that is tough to beat
  • Redesigned clips for greater stability and ease of setup
  • A near vertical front door and panel add to the usable space and make for an easier entry

Cons

  • A tall Y-shaped design makes it highly susceptible to strong winds
  • For anyone taller than 6’3” it may be a bit small
  • With a price range that can run up to $450, the Fly Creek HV UL1 is certainly not cheap
  • Like most other lightweight tents, durability has been sacrificed for reduced weight.

Conclusion

Compared to its predecessor, the HV UL1 provides some impressive improvements that make for a more comfortable trip and greater ease of use. When a model goes through an upgrade it’s nearly always for the better at that is no exception with the Fly Creek HV UL1.  

For those tempted to go with the mtnGLO version you think you’re being a bit frivolous at first but once tested out you’ll see just how useful and low key it really is. With the simple push of a button, you can have perfect ambient light without having to fumble around for a flashlight. When you’ve been on the trail for days, a bit of comfort like that can make the trip go that much easier.

Overall, this is a great tent for those looking for something dependable in the spring and summer months that won’t weight a ton when going solo. For those who expect to go through more adverse conditions, you might be better to get something more durable like the Hilberg Akto. If your old Fly Creek UL1 is getting a bit worn out then it might be time to upgrade and see what the newer model can do. Happy trails!

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