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  1. #1
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    Default UL tent's, which is most durable?

    I currently use a tarp, and for march and april on the A.T. I want some walls. I have it down to the fly creek UL1, or UL2, If anyone has experience with these, which is more durable in wind and rain. I assume the UL1, being smaller, is better in wind. What are your experiences?

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    If you're carrying trekking poles anyways and not inclined to carry more poles just for your tent, or if you are okay with finding two trees to camp between that you can use instead, you might also consider the Scout. It would be huge for a solo hiker, but at only a pound and a half, it's hard to complain about that. We used ours in light wind and rain but nothing major, however since putting it up requires all 4 corners of the floor to be staked down, plus the ends to be staked out, plus guy lines from at least the 4 corners to be staked out (with 2 more at midpoints that aren't so important), it ends up extremely well-tethered and feels very secure to be in. Of course you need to use stakes that are appropriate for the ground you're camping on, but I found the ultralight titanium shepherd hook pegs from Toaks to work well at established campsites, while the V-pegs are better for softer damp soil.

    You end up with enough floor space for two full-size sleeping mats (54" wide), and room for all your gear down at the foot end (88" long), with a total of 33 square feet, ample ventilation with mesh vents running up and down the full length of each side, and an additional vent at the top of the foot end. I switched to a double-wall tent but for an ultralight single-wall tent, the Scout is *great*. Of course I imagine the Fly Creek are great tents too, but they weigh more and have less interior space.

    As for the Fly Creek UL1 versus UL2 question - the UL2 should be more stable in wind, since they are the same height but the UL2 is wider, meaning the sides will not be as steep and therefore will deflect wind better.

    IMG_0018.jpg

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    i have a UL2 now..............had a UL1 but sold it.......

    and to be honest, i really didnt noticed too much difference in size----maybe a few inches or so......

    to me---the UL2 is more like a 1.5 person tent...............i use it solo and find it just enough room for me and my gear.......

    i havent had it in a terrible windstorm, but have had it in a few downpours and it kept me dry..........no leaks, no nothing kinda dry.......


    but, to be honest-----id rather have a side entry tent but cant necessarily afford one right now.......

    i hate the front entry of the tent........

    also, the UL2 is not free standing so you have to use stakes to get everything down....

  4. #4
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    I have used the UL2 for several years and in many different conditions. Has always held up well, if properly staked and guyed, in some pretty ferocious wind storms. It has a guy line near the head of the tent along the poles on each side. I normally don't have to use them but if I am expecting serious wind I stake them out. In this configuration it is very sound. I have to assume that the UL1 would be as good a tent.
    Lonehiker

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    Registered User The Cleaner's Avatar
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    Well FWIW most UL tents are just a tarp with some mesh attached or a mesh inner tent with a bathtub floor and a solid fly for rain protection.The choice is limited for true double wall tents.I sold my drafty MSR Hubba and got a TarpTent Moment DW (double wall).It still is lightweight and is much warmer than most single wall tents.Also the solid inner then provides protection from condensation, wind blown rain or frost build up.it comes with 2 doors and vestibules also.If you need any customer service,often Henry Shires answers the phone. 047.JPG009.JPG033.JPG
    Sleep on the ground, rise with the sun and hike with the wind....

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    I'm not against using tarp tents, but I have carbon fiber trekking poles, which I like. I've heard that carbon fiber poles don't mix well with tarp tents. I'm interested in the tarp tent Notch. I can always switch trek poles if i need to.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by HikerJ View Post
    I currently use a tarp, and for march and april on the A.T. I want some walls. I have it down to the fly creek UL1, or UL2, If anyone has experience with these, which is more durable in wind and rain. I assume the UL1, being smaller, is better in wind. What are your experiences?
    Durability and the Fly Creek tents are usually not used in the same sentence. My backpacking buddy Patman had to send his Fly Creek tent back at least 3 times for floor holes and fly rips so I would not consider it to be a "durable" tent. Plus, any tent with a 20 to 30 denier floor and/or fly I would not consider durable or have a record for longevity.

    See his tent review here---
    http://www.trailspace.com/gear/big-a...2/#review24531

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    Quote Originally Posted by HikerJ View Post
    I'm not against using tarp tents, but I have carbon fiber trekking poles, which I like. I've heard that carbon fiber poles don't mix well with tarp tents. I'm interested in the tarp tent Notch. I can always switch trek poles if i need to.
    I'm not sure where you heard that or what the reasoning is, but my poles are carbon fiber and I can't imagine why they wouldn't "mix well". All the pressure of the tent is directly down on them, it's not as though it's flexing the poles sideways. Carbon fiber is not as strong of a material as aluminum for tent poles that bend, because the lateral flexing is carbon fiber's weak point. That said, my favorite method of pitching the Scout was discovered during a foray in which we forgot our trekking poles. Instead of using poles on the ends, we pitched the tent to two trees, and the two guylines that you normally stake to the ground, we instead tied up to the trees (using a bit of paracord for extra distance). This was amazing because it provided every bit as much support as poles would have if not more, but then there were no poles to worry about at all. If it had got really insanely windy in this setup, where a front or rear guyline stake might have pulled out of the ground from the tension, the tree would not have failed.

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    Durability and the Fly Creek tents are usually not used in the same sentence


    i've used mine for roughly 50 nights and havent had any problems with holes in floor or anything like that......i do use a footprint with it..............

    the only issue i had is with zipper and that was from a previous owner........

    noticed that pat's is from 2011------mine is from 2013 or so............maybe they switched material? not sure on that.....

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    Some people must be rough on gear, but I've slept in my FC UL2 at least 100 nights, probably 120. Half of an AT (~50 nights), a complete JMT (17 nights) and countless shorter trips over about 4-5 years. The floor is still sans-holes and I've never used a footprint. I think my fly is starting to get a bit "worn" and flimsy from UV (extremely high her in CO, of course), so it might just about be time to replace it though. It is cozy, but my wife and I do use it together without any significant issues (we take turns getting in and out, of course!).

    But yeah, especially durable and UL don't generally apply to the same product. But the FC is certainly durable enough for a lot of use. I cannot imagine why the UL1 would be any different than the UL2.

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    I cannot imagine why the UL1 would be any different than the UL2.


    ive set up a UL1 next to a UL2 and the only difference i noticed was that the 1 was more of a coffin than the 2.........

    other than that, its the same tent.......

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by HikerJ View Post
    I currently use a tarp, and for march and april on the A.T. I want some walls. I have it down to the fly creek UL1, or UL2, If anyone has experience with these, which is more durable in wind and rain. I assume the UL1, being smaller, is better in wind. What are your experiences?
    I can't compare the two sizes because I have not spent time in the UL1, but they are basically the same tent. One is just slightly smaller than the other.

    I got my UL2 in 2012 and have used it in all kinds of weather, have carried it over many miles, and on many different trails. I am still a very satisfied Big Agnes customer. In spite of the use, it is still not ready to be retired. It has withstood windstorms, sandstorms, rain, hail, snow, sunshine... I do use a footprint with it and the floor is still in great condition - I have not yet inspected it for extremely tiny holes. And my dogs (black lab-golden retriever mix) have yet to go through the screen, or wreck the floor. This tent has worked out extremely well for me. Like any other piece of gear, it isn't for everyone.

    If you are unsure of the tent, I would suggest buying it from LL Bean, or REI. Both will allow you to return the tent if it does not work out for you, or turns out to not be what you want.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Durability and the Fly Creek tents are usually not used in the same sentence. My backpacking buddy Patman had to send his Fly Creek tent back at least 3 times for floor holes and fly rips so I would not consider it to be a "durable" tent. Plus, any tent with a 20 to 30 denier floor and/or fly I would not consider durable or have a record for longevity.

    See his tent review here---
    http://www.trailspace.com/gear/big-a...2/#review24531
    I got a great deal on the Scout I have, but one look at that thin floor, and I spent the full retail price on a footprint before I dared use it. The footprint is just as thin, but at least it doubles the protection from the ground. You do have to be careful with these tents to avoid any sharp rocks or sticks under the tent, or at least I presume you should. That said, I think that goes with the territory in ultralight-land, and for an ultralight tent, the Big Agnes offerings seem like good choices. This is one area where I am happy to pay a little weight penalty for increased durability, personally.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    ive set up a UL1 next to a UL2 and the only difference i noticed was that the 1 was more of a coffin than the 2.........

    other than that, its the same tent.......
    Same impression I had, I set them both up at REI and the UL2 does seem to have a bigger door and it was easier to get into and out of at least in the store.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  15. #15
    Registered User evyck da fleet's Avatar
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    My only tent is a UL1. For the AT, it was fine. On the JMT, when camped above treeline in windy conditions, the UL2 would have been better since its more domed than triangular. I used a footprint with it and never had a problem except the zipper started to separate from the fabric after the second hike. I sent it back to them to repair, which they couldn't, but they did replace it with a new one free of charge. Stupidly, I mailed them the fly first and instead of sending it back with my tent, they sent me a new fly too....so you won't hear me say anything bad about the company.

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