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Big Agnes Fly Creek HV2 Platinum Review

A super lightweight double-walled pole tent that's best for one person.
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Price:  $550 List | $549.95 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Super lightweight, quality construction, many guy out points, comes with everything needed for setup
Cons:  Pricey, difficult to enter and exit, tight living space for two people
Manufacturer:   Big Agnes
By Amber King & Andy Wellman  ⋅  Oct 29, 2019
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RANKED
#15 of 19
  • Livability - 30% 5
  • Weight - 25% 6
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 7
  • Adaptability - 10% 7
  • Ease of Set-Up - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Big Agnes Fly Creek HV2 Platinum is a double-wall, dedicated pole tent that is very light, weighing in at just 1.75 pounds. It's tough to find a tent with this much coverage at such low weight! We appreciate that it will keep you dry in a rainstorm while protecting you from bugs. It's also easy to set up. Where this tent struggles is in its comfort and livability, as it's a little cramped for two people and much more comfortable for just one. Given that you don't need poles for its set-up, this is an excellent option for those who don't carry poles on their adventures and prefer full-coverage. Bike-packing, rafting adventures, or thru-hikers; this is an excellent option for those seeking a quality and lightweight double-walled tent, but get ready to throw down the big bucks.


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Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $549.95 at REI
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Pros Super lightweight, quality construction, many guy out points, comes with everything needed for setupAmazingly light, four-sided weather protection, ample space for two, double doorsGreat weather protection, lightweight, adaptableRoomy, easy to setup, fully enclosed, affordableUnder a pound, bombproof dyneema construction, ultralight stakes included
Cons Pricey, difficult to enter and exit, tight living space for two peopleExpensive, doesn’t include necessary stakesExpensiveHeavier, design not quite as wind stable as double vestibule optionsExpensive, single pole set-up takes a little practice
Bottom Line A super lightweight double-walled pole tent that's best for one person.Ample space and exceptional performance in all metrics makes this our favorite ultralight shelter.This is the shelter you want when waiting out a storm.An affordable fully enclosed single person shelter that we love.Our favorite ultralight shelter for strictly solo adventures.
Rating Categories Fly Creek HV2 Platinum ZPacks Duplex Flex Upgrade Tarptent StratoSpire Li Gossamer Gear The One Tarptent Aeon Li
Livability (30%)
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8
Weight (25%)
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Weather Resistance (25%)
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Adaptability (10%)
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Ease Of Set Up (10%)
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Specs Fly Creek HV2... ZPacks Duplex Flex... Tarptent... Gossamer Gear The... Tarptent Aeon Li
Type Double wall pole tent Single wall tent w/ sewn in bug mesh and floor Single wall tent w/ removable floor and bug netting Single wall tent w/ sewn in bug mesh and floor Single wall tent w/ sewn in bug mesh and floor
Weight with all components 2.21 lbs 1.8 lbs 1.60 lbs 1.68 lbs 1.09 lbs
Measured Weight of All Included Shelter Parts Total: 2 lb. 3 oz., Tent: 11.3 oz., Fly: 9.0 oz., Poles: 8.4 oz., Stakes: 4.4 oz, Stuff sack: 0.5 oz. Total: 1 lb. 5 oz Tent: 19.7 oz, Guy lines and clips: 1.2 oz, Stuff sack: .3 oz. (Flex upgrade: 11oz) Total: 1 lb.10 oz, Floor and bug net: 11.5 oz, Fly: 14.1 oz Total: 1 lb. 6 oz., Tent: 1 lb. 5.1 oz., Extra tie outs: 0.5 oz., Stuff sack: 0.4 oz., Optional aluminum poles: 5.7 oz. Total: 1 lb. 1 oz., Tent with Bathtub floor and bug net: 15.8 oz., Stakes: 1.7 oz.
Stakes Included? Yes No Yes No Yes
Poles Needed for Set-up? No Yes w/o flex kit
No w/ flex kit
Yes Yes Yes
Capacity 2 person 2 person 2 person 1 person 1 person
Max Floor Dimensions (inches) 86" x 52" 45" x 90" 86" x 45" 88" x 34" 88" x 30"
Peak Height (inches) 38" 48" 45" 46" 47"
Fabric SilNylon & Polyester Mesh .51 oz/sqyd DCF Fabric Dyneema Composite Fabrics 7D high tenacity nylon-blended sil/pu coating Dyneema Composite Fabrics
Packed Size (inches) 5" x 19" 7" x 13" 16" x 4" 6" x 9" 14" x 4"
Floor Area 28 sq ft 28.13 sq ft 26.88 sq ft 19.55 sq ft 18.3 sq ft
Doors 1 2 2 1 1
Interior Pockets 3 2 2 1 1
Number of Poles 1 4 2 trekking poles 2 trekking poles 1 trekking pole
Number of Tie Outs 11 8 8 10 7
1-person version? Yes No No Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Testing the Fly Creek series for many years, we've been able to see the many iterations of this tent. While the Fly Creek HV2 excels in protection from the elements with its double-walled construction, it doesn't offer a whole lot of space for living with two people. Even with its new design elements that make it slightly wider and taller, it's not our favorite free-standing tent option.

Performance Comparison


A leisurely morning is spent lounging near camp high on the Manaslu circuit in Nepal  the night after a long rain storm which dropped snow at higher elevations. These are the Beta Light and the Fly Creek 2 Platinum.
A leisurely morning is spent lounging near camp high on the Manaslu circuit in Nepal, the night after a long rain storm which dropped snow at higher elevations. These are the Beta Light and the Fly Creek 2 Platinum.

Livability


While its fully enclosed double wall design offers privacy, it is pretty cramped for two sleepers and their gear. In construction, it is wider at the shoulders and tapers down at the feet to 42"; this is wide enough for two narrow 20" wide sleeping pads but doesn't work well with pads wider than that, as many are. Despite its higher volume redesign, there is no way that two people can sit up inside this tent together, making waiting out a storm a napping affair.

The increased headroom in the newer model of the Fly Creek HV 2 Platinum was noticeable. This was accomplished with a more vertically oriented front area  where the door is. Regardless  this is a very tight tent for two people  as there would be no way to sit like this with two people inside.
The increased headroom in the newer model of the Fly Creek HV 2 Platinum was noticeable. This was accomplished with a more vertically oriented front area, where the door is. Regardless, this is a very tight tent for two people, as there would be no way to sit like this with two people inside.

A curious new feature is the single front vestibule with a small side entry door. We found this door quite small and awkward for crawling through, in stark contrast to the double side doors on more comfortable tents. While the design is meant to increase the covered vestibule space for storing gear, the fact is that when a fully packed bag is present, its nearly impossible to enter and exit the tent with ease.

A side-by-side comparison of these two dedicated pole tents. The Fly Creek HV 2 Platinum shown here in white was without doubt more spacious than the Solar Photon  but has a much smaller and more cramped entryway.
A side-by-side comparison of these two dedicated pole tents. The Fly Creek HV 2 Platinum shown here in white was without doubt more spacious than the Solar Photon, but has a much smaller and more cramped entryway.

One method to negate this is to release one stake to allow for a bigger opening, but when the vestibule is full of gear, we find it hard to re-stake it at night. This makes bringing a pee bottle crucial, or you'll find yourself waking up your sleeping partner. The take-away? This is a much better tent for single-person use or when you don't have two fully loaded packs and two people.

The new Fly Creek HV 2 Platinum on the right  with the old Fly Creek 2 on the left. As you can see  the front door has been changed  making it smaller  but also offering better coverage for the stored gear inside. The new version is also more vertical up front  meaning that there is slightly more head-room at the front of the tent.
The new Fly Creek HV 2 Platinum on the right, with the old Fly Creek 2 on the left. As you can see, the front door has been changed, making it smaller, but also offering better coverage for the stored gear inside. The new version is also more vertical up front, meaning that there is slightly more head-room at the front of the tent.

Weight


With everything included, this tent weighs 2 pounds 1.7 ounces. This figure includes 11 stakes, which are lightweight and plenty strong. Bringing fewer stakes could lower the trail weight a little bit, but you wouldn't be able to guy this tent out. A bare minimum of four stakes is needed for it to stay erect, but it will be much more solid using eight, or the full 11!

Showing everything that comes included with the Fly Creek HV 2 Platinum. Tent on the left  stuff sack  poles  stakes  and rain fly on the right. This is one of the few shelters in this review that needs no extra components to complete  and is the lightest dedicated pole tent (not including stakes) in this review.
Showing everything that comes included with the Fly Creek HV 2 Platinum. Tent on the left, stuff sack, poles, stakes, and rain fly on the right. This is one of the few shelters in this review that needs no extra components to complete, and is the lightest dedicated pole tent (not including stakes) in this review.

For how complex a tent it is, and how much fabric and poles are needed, it is awe-inspiring that a tent could be this light, and dividing the weight between two people indeed qualifies it as ultralight! It's a great option for those seeking to lower packed weight on the trail.

Weather Resistance


The Polyurethane treated ripstop SilNylon featured in the construction of the rainfly on this tent does an effective job of keeping its inhabitants dry during a storm. It's super lightweight construction isn't best for the snow but does well in the rain.

High on the Larkya La Pass in the Himalaya of Nepal  we didn't realize it was going to snow. Unfortunately  this was only the beginning  as there was another foot still to come over the next eight hours. The Fly Creek 2 withstood admirably  although had to be dug out constantly or it would collapse.
High on the Larkya La Pass in the Himalaya of Nepal, we didn't realize it was going to snow. Unfortunately, this was only the beginning, as there was another foot still to come over the next eight hours. The Fly Creek 2 withstood admirably, although had to be dug out constantly or it would collapse.

When camping at 15,000ft. in the Himalayas during testing, this tent and managed to stay dry through the night. On the other hand, this tent was not as well equipped to handle high winds. The single ridgepole design leaves two wide flat faces on either side of the tent that are like giant sails if the wind hits broadside. For that reason, there are dual guy lines already in place on each broadside, as well as guy-out lines on either pole next to the door.

While they add stability, we found that the main lines attach to each side are a bit short, and couldn't be stretched out as far as we would have liked. Don't get us wrong, this tent can undoubtedly handle its share of bad weather, but is more prone to being deformed by wind than most others in this review. As a result, take the time to find a protected spot if you know bad weather is going to hit.

Adaptability


Like most double-wall tents, it can be set up either with the rain fly on or without on nights with clear weather, as we often did. Used this way, we like how the whole inside the tent is just mesh, which allows us great views before falling. As we discovered in Nepal, you will certainly survive a night out in the snow in this tent. However, it is necessary to constantly bang at the sides to shed snow, as too much of a load will cause the triangular pole system to torque, and the tent will collapse. This scenario could mean that you may not get much sleep!

Spreading out and drying out  as well as reading a bit in the sun  on a chilly morning after a long rain storm on the Manaslu Circuit.
Spreading out and drying out, as well as reading a bit in the sun, on a chilly morning after a long rain storm on the Manaslu Circuit.

If you purchase the footprint, you can set it up in "fast fly" mode, which is the rain fly over the top of the poles, in the manner of a single wall tarp, and leave the inner tent at home. This arrangement reduces the weight to one pound! It adds another level of versatility. You just need a set of poles for this design.

On a super warm but buggy night in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison  the only thing needed was the inner mesh of the Fly Creek HV 2 Platinum.
On a super warm but buggy night in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, the only thing needed was the inner mesh of the Fly Creek HV 2 Platinum.

Ease of Setup


This tent is intuitive and easy to set up. Users familiar with backpacking tents will find a familiar set up pattern: assemble the poles, put the pole ends in the grommets at the corners and back of the tent, clip up the tent body to the poles, and stake out the corners. Finally, throw on the rainfly, fasten it to the corners, and stake out the vestibule. If it is breezy, it is easier to stake out the main tent body before trying to attach the poles, thereby holding the tent in place.

While it is not super difficult to set up alone  there is no doubt that it will take a few minutes. Here setting up the Fly Creek HV 2 Platinum in the San Juan Mountains.
While it is not super difficult to set up alone, there is no doubt that it will take a few minutes. Here setting up the Fly Creek HV 2 Platinum in the San Juan Mountains.

Value


This is an expensive double wall dedicated pole tent that is going to dent the wallet. Although it does shave a few ounces from the less expensive tents of similar design, it is considerably more expensive. In our opinion, the design and materials do not necessarily warrant the high price tag, especially with higher value options out there.

The Fly Creek HV 2 Platinum has just recently had changes made to its overall shape  as well as the type of vestibule and size of the door. It is still an excellent dedicated double-wall pole tent.
The Fly Creek HV 2 Platinum has just recently had changes made to its overall shape, as well as the type of vestibule and size of the door. It is still an excellent dedicated double-wall pole tent.

Conclusion


The Big Agnes Fly Creek HV2 Platinum is an extremely light free-standing tent. For those who don't carry trekking poles on their adventures and want the lightest freestanding tent money can buy, this is your pick. That said, it does not come cheap, and we think there are higher performing models given its lack of livable room and questionable performance in super heavy snow conditions.

Testing the Fly Creek 2 and the Beta Light on the Manaslu Circuit of Nepal. It was nice to have the comparison between the dedicated pole tent  versus the pyramid that needed trekking poles.
Testing the Fly Creek 2 and the Beta Light on the Manaslu Circuit of Nepal. It was nice to have the comparison between the dedicated pole tent, versus the pyramid that needed trekking poles.


Amber King & Andy Wellman