Mom Goes Camping

Naturehike Cloud Up 2 Review (Big Agnes Flycreek HV UL2 Clone)

naturehike cloudup tent

I originally got the Naturehike Cloud Up 2 as a backpacking tent for me and my daughter.  I wanted something lightweight (I’m the one who carries most of our gear!) but didn’t want to spend a fortune.  We’ve since used it on many backcountry trips, including in bad weather. Here’s my honest review of the Naturehike Cloud Up so you can figure out whether it will work for your style of backpacking.

Get it here at Naturehike.com or at Amazon

 

What is Naturehike?

Naturehike is a brand that makes affordable lightweight backpacking gear.  Compared to other cheap Chinese brands, Naturehike gear is actually pretty good.  They’ve developed a bit of a cult following amongst backpackers. I have three of their tents now and am pleased with them.  They sometimes lack extra features which high-end brands have, but they hold up, are light and don’t cost a fortune.

 

Naturehike Cloud Up 2 Specs:

  • Weight:3.4lbs/1.56kg
  • Max headroom: 41″/105cm
  • Sleeping area footprint: 83×49″/210x125cm
  • Available at: Amazon, Naturehike.com

cloud up 2 tent back view

 

Quick Look

The Naturehike Cloud Up is a freestanding 2-layer tent meant for 3-season use. It is available in 1P, 2P and 3P sizes.

  • Pros: Affordable, lightweight, easy setup
  • Cons: Droopy sides, sleep with head towards door
  • Best For: Solo backpacking, backpacking with a kid, or family backpacking in two tents

 

Verdict?

When it comes to weight, price and quality, you really can’t do much better than the Naturehike Cloud Up 2.  However, the tent is definitely cramped inside. If you want something roomier but which is still this light, be prepared to spend a lot more.

Not sure? Check out these other cheap ultralight tents.

 

Cloud Up 2 Weight

The Cloud Up 2 only weighs 3.4lbs (that’s 1.56kg).  This weight includes everything: the tent, rain fly, pegs, rope, and ground sheet.  I tested it on my scale when it arrived.  The weight clocked in at 1.61kg, so it’s on point.

Note that this weight is for the GRAY version of the tent.  There are other versions of the tent made from a different material and weigh more! The newer version of the tent also has an extra pole, which adds a bit of weight.

Note: Naturehike also makes an even lighter version of the Cloud Up 2.  The materials are really thin though: 10D compared to 20D with this version.  It’s also slightly pricier. Check it out here.

The weight of the Cloud Up 2 includes everything, including the ground sheet.

 

Setup

pitching the CloudUp 2 tent

Setting up the tent while my daughter lazily doesn’t help! 😉

The Cloud Up 2 is really easy to set up. I can set it up by myself in about 5 minutes.  I particularly love that the tent uses clips instead of sleeves. It’s a heck of a lot easier to get clips on the poles than shove poles through sleeves.  There are also adjustable buckle clips for securing the fly in place.

There are 4 stakes for the corners and 2 stakes for the vestibule. You also have to stake out the side and back walls. Otherwise the walls will sag a lot.  That comes to 9 stakes total.  In bad weather, there are multiple other places you can stake out.

The video below shows you how to set up the tent.

 

Interior Space

As a general rule, 2-person tents are for 1 person.  The Cloud Up 2 is no exception.  It is going to be a tight fit for two adults.  However, I’m a really small woman.  My tween daughter and I fit in the tent fine, even with gear.   It’s also very roomy for two kids.  If you want to use this tent for two adults though, I’d recommend getting the Cloud Up 3P.  It weighs over 1lb more though.

At 83″ long, the Cloud Up 2 can theoretically fit tall people.  But it’s going to be a tight fit.   You’ll likely need to sleep at a diagonal to avoid hitting your head.  Also don’t expect to sit up comfortably in this tent if you are tall.  It’s only 41″ at the highest point — and most of the tent is lower than this!

The Naturehike P-Series 4P next to the Cloud Up 2.  It’s a LOT smaller!

 

My 11 year old and her friend in the Cloud Up 2 during a recent backpacking trip. It’s the perfect size for 2 big kids or 1 adult with 1 kid.

 

Drooping Walls

The way that the tent is designed means that the walls droop a lot.  The first time I set it up, I had to re-peg the sides to get it more taut.  This made it droop less, but the walls still caved in a bit.  If you are trying to get 2 people into the 2-person tent, then the walls will hit your heads.

Note: I have the older version of the Cloud Up 2.  It only has 3 poles.  The newer version has two poles which fork in the back, so it shouldn’t be as droopy.  If you want a lightweight tent which isn’t as droopy, you can check out the Mongar 2P or Star River 2P by Naturehike.  They are a bit heavier though.

 

Layout

One thing that I really don’t like about the Naturehike Cloud Up is that the back is narrower than the front.  So, you are supposed to sleep with your head towards the door. This simply does not work for me.  I like to have my feet towards the door so I can easily get my boots on/off at the vestibule entrance.

My daughter and I ended up sleeping with our heads towards the back.  My backpack was in the front, partially blocking the tent entrance.  Since we are so small, it was okay.  But I’m not sure how well this would work for taller/larger people.

 

Price

I’m a firm believer that backpacking doesn’t have to be expensive — but most ultralight tents are incredibly pricy.  Yet Naturehike manages to make some really cheap tents that are still good quality.  The Cloud Up 2 costs approximately 1/3 of the price of the Big Agnes Flycreek UL2 — and the tents are almost identical.

 

Weatherproofness

I’ve spent a several nights in the Cloud Up 2 tent while it rained, including a few thunderstorms and one HAIL storm.  The tent itself held up really well.  There was never any leaking from the seams or the floor.   The bathtub floor only goes up about 2 inches, so don’t put this tent anywhere you think it might flood! And definitely use the groundsheet.

The only annoying thing about the Cloud Up 2 in bad weather is the noise.  Because of the pole structure, a lot of the rain fly isn’t attached to anything.  It will flap around a lot in the wind.

It’s also really important to completely stake out the sides of the tent during bad weather.  Otherwise the rain fly will stick to the inner mesh, causing condensation issues.

The video below shows the Naturehike Cloud Up 2 in really high winds.  It’s not my video, but it gives you a good idea.

Also read: camping in a thunderstorm

 

Materials

As you’d expect with an ultralight tent, the Cloud Up 2 material is really thin.  Mine hasn’t punctured or ripped yet, but I’m always very careful about clearing the pitch space of sharps before setting it up.  And definitely use the ground sheet with the Cloud Up 2!  The lightweight stakes included with the Cloud Up 2 are decent enough, but did eventually bend over time.

I  honestly expected a pole to break by now (my kids are not gentle with tents!).  But the poles are actually quite strong and have withstood my kids leaning on them, gear piled on the tent and some serious winds.

I probably shouldn’t pile towels on a lightweight tent, but I do anyway! 😮

 

Storage

The Naturehike Cloud Up 2 has a decent-sized vestibule which easily fits my 55L pack plus two pairs of boots.  There is a lantern hook inside as well as one small pocket over the door.  However, there are no side pockets in the tent.

I was surprised how much this annoyed me.  I had nowhere to keep TP, my glasses case, and other items we need to access quickly.  The overhead pocket is annoying to reach from outside — you have to crouch into the tent to grab anything from it.

 

Cloud Up 2 vs. FlyCreek HV UL2

The CloudUp 2 is a clone of the FlyCreek HV UL2 tent by Big Agnes.  I personally have never slept in the FlyCreek HV UL2. However, other people (like in this forum) have tried out both of these tents and say that they are comparable in terms of quality and construction.

*You can get the Flycreek HV UL2 here on Amazon or here on REI.com.

Flycreek HV UL2 tent

This is the Flycreek HV UL2 tent by Big Agnes (without rain fly, obviously)

Cloud Up 2 tent

And here’s the Cloud Up 2 tent. Look similar?

 

Weight:

When comparing the weights of these two tents, you’ve got to consider that the FlyCreek UL2 doesn’t come with a ground sheet (which you will need to use because of the thin floor).

The FlyCreek UL2 claims to weigh just 1lb 15oz, but this is without the stakes and a ground sheet.  The stakes are an extra 2.7oz.  The ground sheet (aka footprint) that they recommend costs nearly as much as the Naturehike CloudUp 2 and weighs 4oz.  That brings the total weight of the FlyCreek UL2 to 37.7oz.

  • CloudUp 2: 3.4lbs total weight
  • FlyCreek UL2: 2.3lbs total weight

 

Materials and Construction:

The materials used to make the FlyCreek tent are definitely of a better quality than those of the CloudUp 2.  However, according to what people are saying online, the difference is really negligible (again, I personally haven’t tried out the FlyCreek).

There are some other differences, like that the CloudUp 2 uses seven clips instead of six, doesn’t have guylines attached to the tent body, and has 14 stakes instead of 11.

The FlyCreek does have 3 interior mesh pockets.  And, while I really wish the CloudUp tent had side pockets, I’m not willing to pay an extra $200+ for these.

 

Still not sure which tent to get? Check out these cheap ultralight tents for backpacking.

 

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About the author /


Diane Vukovic grew up camping and backpacking in upstate New York. Now, she takes her own daughters on wilderness adventures so they can connect with nature and learn resiliency. With dozens of trips under her belt, Diane is an expert in minimalist camping, going lightweight, planning, and keeping her kids entertained without screens.

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7 Comments

  1. Tomasz

    Hi Diane, thanks for this fantastic and detailed review. All best in your trips and excursions 🙂

    Btw I am waiting for my NH C2 (with an even thinner 10D fly … I wonder how it works) to arrive next week. This is why I keep reading reviews to persualde myself that it WAS the right thing to pay for this item 🙂

    Best, Tomasz

    • Diane

      I was definitely freaked out the first few times I used the Cloud Up — especially when I heard thunderstorms brewing and worried whether it was going to leak. But the cheap thing has held up surprisingly well. Definitely not perfect but those expensive tents aren’t without flaws either 😀 Hope you enjoy the tent.

  2. camper

    Just bought the upgrade Naturehike Cloud UP 2X
    Newer model. It is different then the video you have. Not much different. But some cool upgrades. It takes over 30 minutes to really set everything up the first time. Highly recommend setting it 2 or 3 times before taking it on the road though. Might bring an extra set of stakes. Overall for 15000 yen ( about 150 bucks ), I guess it is good since it weighs less then my other tent. Wild camping cycling Japan is what I’m doing now.

    • Diane

      I can now set mine up in less than 5 minutes by myself. But I agree- definitely set it up a few times at home before you head out. But that advice applies to ALL gear. I’m still amazed at how many people go on serious journeys without knowing how to use their stoves, tents, water filters… :/

      • Clayton Walsh

        Hi Diane
        I’m about to venture on some bikepacking and deciding on what frame bag to purchase. Would you please tell me the length of the longest pole for the Cloud Up 2.
        I would like to carry the poles of the tent in the frame bag if possible.
        Thanks
        Clayton

        • Diane

          Sorry about the late reply (I was on vacation). The longest pole when folded is just under 40cm. I’ve got the older version of the Cloud Up 2 though, so it might be slightly different with the upgraded version.

        • Clayton Walsh

          Thanks for measuring the pole length Diane.
          That has helped a lot.
          Happy camping from down under.

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