I'm sure it's happened to you before that you found a product that the manufacturer said was intended for bikepacking and that wasn't quite true? I do. I was all the more curious when the Bikepacking subcategory appeared on the website of the American outdoorsy equipment manufacturer Big Agnes. And I was even more curious when the Czech distributor supplied us with the first piece of the Fly Creek HV UL2 Bikepack tent.
If ever I looked forward to writing a review, this is the case. I haven’t come across a product in a long time, especially a tent, where the manufacturer says it’s primarily for bikepackers and it really is. This tent shows right after it’s unpacked that a bikepacker did it for us. And it really is an excellent piece for our kit. Fly Creek has made several trips with me. Weekend, but longer, and he succeeded at all of them. I’ve always told myself that writing only positive reviews is not good, but in this case I can’t help it. And I could end there, or do you want to know more?
I’ve known Big Agnes a long time. Already from stays behind the big puddle, but only last year I bought their tent marked Fly Creek HV UL1 and was happy with it. I was all the more surprised by the performance of the same tent, except with the adjective Bikepack. After my experience with the standard version, I never hesitated to accept the offer of testing just the bikepacking version.
Let’s look at the weight first, because this is where you might get caught off guard by a slight difference in each other’s masses. He’s a bikepack heavier than his normal brother. It’s not a drastic difference, but the weight gain is there. This is mainly due to the waterproof cover and the shorter rods, which are slightly heavier in length. This is a difference of about 150 grams. The total weight of the whole tent, including the cover, is 1.190 grams, and that for a two-person tent is good.
So what makes it different, apart from the length of the sticks, from the normal version? The first thing that catches your eye is the cover. The compression casing consists of two parts. The larger one is for storing the trophy, the bedroom and the pegs. The other to store the sticks. Both are connected by compression straps. In addition, the cover is fitted with two straps which are used to attach the tent to the handlebars or the frame of the wheel. Four Velcro zippers in two sizes are attached to the pins to attach to the frame. The folded tent is roughly 14×32 centimeters in size in its packaging, but I discovered on first packaging that the packaging was over-sized and the size could be reduced a few more centimeters. There are plenty of variations on how to attach a tent to a wheel, and there are no limits to imagination. Although the cover is lined with seams and looks waterproof, it’s not likely to be 100 percent with this feature. Because the packaging is retractable and so there will always be a risk of water intrusion.
Tent construction is quick and simple. There’s nothing you need a manual for. You attach the bedroom with four pegs, then fold one of the sticks into a T-shape and, very simply, attach the bedroom to the stick with a pair of pressure hooks. After the position of the bedroom, you will find an elastic strap over the entrance in the roof section of the first catch, which is the elastic strap to attach the helmet. There are sizable pockets on the inner sides, a small shelf overhead with a pictogram of a phone and headphones, which I used to place my phone and powerbank. And last but not least, there’s an extra large shelf in the legs on the ceiling where you can store your clothes for the morning. Just enough storage space. After building the bedroom, you just throw the tropico over it, which you attach with three clips and the rest of the pegs. To ensure the exact position of the tropico, three Velcro fastenings on the inside are attached to the rod.
The foyer has an area of less than one square metre and is large enough to house dry bags, cooking, shoes and the like. The bedroom itself is about two and a half square metres in height, one metre in height, and this will give you a comfortable perch in the tent. You’ll appreciate that on long journeys. It’s no problem at all to pack up all the peace and quiet in the tent in the morning. And that’s handy in case of bad weather.
Although the manufacturer states that the tent is for two people, for longer journeys, when you do need some freedom, it is more than enough for one person. You’re squeezing enough in two, and since the tent is trapezoidal in shape, there’s a problem with the placement of two rectangular carts. What I would fault the tent for is the absence of ventilation. This is quite absent, and it is necessary to think about opening the tropic in case of an overnight drop in temperatures, yet you can’t prevent a little condensation. What I have to pick up again is the rate of drying. Assuming it doesn’t rain during the day, that is. On my way across Scotland, I always knocked out the tropics in the morning, packed the damp ones, dried them out in the wind or sun during the day, and it was all the work of the moment.
In case you don’t want to carry the whole tent, it’s possible to buy a floorboard and build a shelter without a bedroom. I’ve tried it and it works like a charm.
There’s still a version of the side-entrance tent on the Big Agnes menu, and I hope we’ll also have the honor of trying it out, because after a long time, I really tested something with a lot of flair, and I had a hard time finding negatives on Fly Creek. Though I have found some flaws, this tent is still my faithful companion, and unless I get my hands on something better, it will stay for a long time.
Finally, a breakdown of the weights:
Tent weight complete with floor 1425g
Tent weight complete without floor 1220g
Weight of tropico, floor, pegs, sticks and packaging 1030g
Weight of tropico, floor, pins and sticks 925g
Tent weight without cover 1125g
amount of storage
build speed and composition
for two for sleepovers only
- 9.580 Kč
- 1.220 g