If you are here, you are in the position I was in 3+ years ago. I was looking for a light backpacking tent that could potentially hold 2 people. I have used the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL3 tent almost exclusively for the past 3 years. Everything from backpack hunting the Rocky Mountains to camping on the shore of Lake Monroe in beautiful southern Indiana. I apologize for that plug of my former stomping grounds.
When I started down this journey to find an affordable backpacking tent, I knew I wanted 3 things. I didn’t specifically mention affordable in my criteria below, but that was a concern. Tents are like anything else in life, you can spend as much or as little as you want.
Bugle, Bark, and Chuckle this to your buddies!
How does this tent stack up to the competition in terms of weight? Let’s look at the table below. Note: I am including the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 in the comparison as it is he tent I started with.
|Tent||Capacity||Season||MSRP||Weight||Pole Mtl.||Floor Area|
|Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL3||3||3||$429.95||2lbs 15oz||Aluminum||39 sqft|
|Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL3||2||3||$349.95||2lbs 5oz||Aluminum||28 sqft|
|Nemo Dagger 3||3||3||$529.95||3lbs 12oz||Aluminum||43.9 sqft|
|MSR Access 3||3||3||$699.95||4lbs 6oz||Composite||41 sqft|
|Eureka Mountain Pass 3||3||3||$369.95||6lbs 13oz||Aluminum||45 sqft|
Comparing the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 / UL3 to the other options listed it is the lightest option by far. When I was deep in the analysis phase, I also investigated floorless shelters or tarps. I really like the idea of a tarp for camping in the mountains, but not as much for shore camping given mosquitos. I found the Big Agnes Fly Creek to be comparable in weight compared to some of the big name floorless shelters.
I have used the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL3 for over 3 years on multiple adventures and it is still going strong. As a matter of fact, I think it will last many more years. The material is thin, but we have pitched it on weed / rock covered ground and have not had issues. If you are remotely careful, these tents will last you a long time.
What we gain in comparison on weight and price in the comparison table, we lose a little bit on floor space. It is slightly smaller than the other options but given the weight and price benefit I will take it every time. I can say, on multiple occasions we have fit two grown men in this tent with backpacks and hunting gear stored under the vestibule. You can fit 2 in the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL3, but the UL2 is far too small for 2 guys and gear. The UL2 would be a great solo tent, or 2 children.
After using the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL3 for multiple backpacking, hunting and shore camping adventures I found a number of features that I really like. These weren’t things specifically on my list when purchasing but are an added bonus.
In my opinion this is a great affordable backpacking tent. I have used this tent exclusively the past 3 years and couldn’t be happier with the purchase. The MSRP is just that, a suggested price. A quick search and you can find multiple companies that are happy to offer you a discount plus a price less than MSRP. This is a great tent, you won’t be sorry.
If there are other tents that I should include send us a note with the contact form. If you liked this refview check out our review of technical hunting pants and mid-layers. Until next time, get outside.