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Trail Runner November 21, 2011 TWEET COMMENTS 0

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 tent

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 Tent

$350, 2 lbs 10 oz (inc. stuff sack and stakes), www.bigagnes.com

While some rabid fastpackers swear by the supreme lightness of a bivy sack, others prefer to avoid a claustrophia attack induced by enduring a all-night thunderstorm cowering in a dank bag. A tarp or tarp-bivy-bag combo are fair compromises to a bivy sack, but the former shows it pitfalls during bug season and the latter weighs as much as the highly packable Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 double-wall tent featured here.

Featuring a single-hub-Y-pole system, the semi-free-standing Fly Creek, with 28 square feet of floor space, accommodates two (cozily), and offers decent max head height of 38 inches (you can sit up at the peak but there is not much "shoulder room"). Guying out the sidewalls and foot maximizes the interior space. Other pluses include three internal mesh pockets and factory-taped seams. The front-entry single door saves weight, but opening the fly during a rainstorm allows in moisture. The vestibule is small (five square feet) and is a tight fit for two packs.

The Fly Creek's hyperlight weight is accomplished, of course, by using hyperlight materials. We experienced no durability issues with the tent and is kept us dry in some steady rains, but recommend that you handle the paper-thin ripstop material with care. The five-ounce ($55) footprint is probably worth the added protection/investment.

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