Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: $550 | Compare prices at 7 resellers
Pros: Extremely light, easy to set up, clips separate the inner and outer tents.
Cons: Not strong, not durable, rear walls cave in during high winds, small vestibule, expensive, not adaptable.
Best Uses: Lightweight three-season trips.
Manufacturer: Big Agnes
At 31 ounces without stakes the Fly Creek Platinum is the lightest dedicated pole double wall tent we've ever tested. We measured a 3.6 ounce difference between this tent and the standard version Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2. The Platinum shaves a bit of weight by using a lighter fly and floor fabric and by reducing the water and wind resistance of the inner tent walls. Despite the slight reduction in weather resistance, the Platinum is one of our highest rated backpacking tents.
Check out our full Backpacking Tent Review to see how this compares to standard version and to other top tents.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Fly Creek 2 Platinum is the lighter version of the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2, which weighs 3.6 ounces more. The Platinum uses a lighter floor and fly material and has all mesh walls instead of partial solid nylon walls.
Weight and Packed Size
The Platinum is the lightest tent included in our Backpacking Tent Review. It narrowly beats the Terra Nova Solar Photon 2, its closest competitor, by two ounces, excluding stakes. The Platinum is the second most compact tent, beaten only by the Terra Nova Solar Photon 2. The models in our Ultralight Tent Review are far lighter and more compact than either the Platinum or Solar Photon. If you're really after weight savings we recommend considering one of the shelters tested in that review.
The standard and platinum versions of the Fly Creek 2 offer excellent weather protection. Their slim design cuts through high winds well, especially when the rear end faces into the wind. Clips on both sides connect the inner tent to the outer tent, which helps to pull the inner tent walls out, increasing strength and interior space slightly. This is a common feature on tents with similar designs; the Mountain Hardwear SuperMega, Brooks Range Foray, and others do the same. Our testers primarily used the Fly Creek Platinum in the Sierra Nevada, enduring several large summer hail storms, and for a trip in Alaska's Brooks Range, where campsites often have little protection from high winds.
Both versions of the Fly Creek use an excellent pole design that's surprisingly livable for its weight. Two of our six-foot-tall testers sleep comfortably inside. Two slim pockets store nighttime essentials and a tiny vestibule offers enough storage space to stash a pair of shoes and a wet rain jacket.
Like all ultralight double wall tents, the Fly Creek is not durable. It uses an ultralight ripstop nylon that's coated with silicone on the outside and polyurethane on the inside. Although the Platinum's material is high quality, fabrics coated with silicone on both sides are generally much stronger and more durable. This author can rip the Platinum's floor and fly fabric with his bare hands, something that's only possible with two of the 24 tents tested. The Platinum's material is weak compared to the silnyons and cuben fibers found on ultralight tents.
Lightweight bike touring and backpacking.
The Platinum is a poor value (see our Price versus Value Chart). Spending $230 (more than the standard Fly Creek) to save 3.6 ounces is a very expensive way to save weight. Even though this is the lightest double wall tent we've tested we believe the standard Tarptent Double Rainbow and the Terra Nova Solar Photon 2 are better values. If your objective is ultralight backpacking consider an ultralight tent.
Other versions and accessories
The Fly Creek 1 Platinum, $450, is the one person version of this tent. The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 retails for $330 and is the little brother of the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2, which we did a hands-on review, and the smallest of the four tents in this series. The UL2 got our Top Pick award because it is one of the lightest tents out there.
— Chris McNamara and Max Neale
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Most recent review: September 13, 2013
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