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MSR Camping Tent Reviews 2016 – Lightweight Backpacking Tents

MSR Tent Reviews

Backpacking tents are usually classified by several measures, such as seasonality, readiness to withstand severe climatic conditions, and sleeping capacity.

The best backpacking tents achieve a good balance between space and weight, meaning they must be lightweight for carrying with other supplies over long distances, yet roomy and comfortable enough to allow you to get a good rest after a long and exhausting trek. Your tent is a refuge during adverse weather conditions, a shelter against the elements, insects, and other creatures, and a private place to rest amidst other campers.

These MSR tent reviews present three excellent tents for backpacking, each combining space with portability. MSR (Mountain Safety Research) specializes in lightweight hiking and camping gear, so you will most likely find a backpacking tent that features the qualities that you are looking for.​

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent has a roomy 29 square foot interior space that comfortably accommodates two persons. It is extremely portable at 1.54 kg, and folds into a compact 18 x 6 inches that easily fits into your pack. The two-door tent design keeps the tent well ventilated while the roll-up vestibule and optional stargazer view give it a spacious and airy feel.

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight at 1.54 Kg
  • 2 fast and light options (with and without the footprint)
  • Easy setup from unified hub and pole system with color-coded clips
  • Compact size of 18 x 6 inches that easily packs into a compression stuff sack with pull handle
  • Adjustable rainfly with optional stargazer view and roll-up vestibule
  • Durable 20-denier/30-denier ripstop nylon for the canopy and floor
  • Spacious tent interior with two side-entry vestibules for storing gear

Cons

  • Can tear down in moderate winds
  • Not super durable according to reviews found online
  • Some people find it too small for 2 persons

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 backpacking tent remains snug and dry even during a rainstorm. The rainfly and the canopy are constructed from 20DS ripstop nylon, while the floor fabric is 30D ripstop nylon with 3000mm DuraShield polyurethane. The adjustable stakeout loops, color-coded clips, and unified hub and pole system make setup and packing easy.

The tent is adaptable, with two fast-and-light pitch modes with or without the footprints for protecting the tent floor, and pitching modes with or without the rainfly.

The MSR Elixir 2-Person Tent has a floor area of 29 square feet, two easy entry doors, two vestibules for stacking camping gear, and optimized headroom thanks to the unique pole geometry. Its design and construction materials keep the tent well-ventilated, snug, and comfortable for two persons. It features a star-patterned skylight for excellent views and waterproof, taped-seam rainfly that will keep occupants dry even in rainstorms.

Pros

  • Optimized headroom from the unique pole geometry
  • Constructed from durable 20-denier micromesh/40-denier ripstop nylon
  • Stress points reinforced with bar tack
  • Lightweight at 2.1 kg, or 1.61 kg in Fast & Light mode
  • Easy and fast setup from color-coded poles, webbing, and clips
  • Cross-ventilation from dual rainfly vents
  • Storage pockets on tent sides for organizing supplies

Cons

  • Guy ropes not provided
  • Poor quality construction for some parts, like the rainfly zipper and pole end plug
  • Lightweight metal tent pegs

The MSR Elixir is a versatile tent made from a combination of solid canopy and breathable mesh fabrics for ventilation and warmth. The canopy is made from 40D ripstop and the mesh from 20D-nylon micromesh, while the floor fabric is 70D taffeta nylon with 3000mm Durashield polyurethane. It is lightweight and easy to set up, with color-coded poles, clips and webbing, and packs into a compact 20 x 7 inch-size that easily fits into a backpack.

It ships with the MSR footprint that allows multiple setup options, including the Fast & Light pitch with rainfly.

With a floor area of 29 square feet, the MSR Flylite 2-Person Shelter is extremely lightweight, easy to set up and pack, and has a roomy, well-ventilated interior that remains snug and dry even during rainy weather. Minimally built from two trekking poles and a single wall, it gives ample headroom for stretching out and storing gear. It features a large awning with side wings that keep the rain out, and a large door equipped with a vent to reduce condensation.

Pros

  • Optimized headroom from the unique pole geometry
  • Constructed from durable 20-denier micromesh/40-denier ripstop nylon
  • Stress points reinforced with bar tack
  • Lightweight at 2.1 kg, or 1.61 kg in Fast & Light mode
  • Easy and fast setup from color-coded poles, webbing, and clips
  • Cross-ventilation from dual rainfly vents
  • Storage pockets on tent sides for organizing supplies

Cons

  • Cannot withstand strong wind gusts
  • No ample protection against heavy rain
  • No space for storing gear

The MSR Flylite is the ideal backpacking tent for trekkers who prefer a lightweight tent with ample headroom. It is simply constructed from two standard trekking poles and lightweight materials, such as 10D ripstop nylon for the rainfly, 10D micro mesh, and 20D ripstop nylon with 1200mm polyurethane and silicone for the floor fabric. It is quick to set up and easy to pack into a compact size of 18 x 6 inches that readily fits into a backpack.

Conclusion

These Mountain Safety Research tent reviews considered three excellent tents for backpacking, each with a notable feature that makes it different from the other. With ample room and lightweight construction, backpackers will find any one of these tents suitable for their treks.

The MSR Hubba Hubba is the top choice out of these MSR tent reviews for durability and all-weather suitability. It is very versatile, easy to set up, and extremely lightweight. It is good for all-season backpacking, combining durable materials with lightweight construction to create an airy and spacious interior. Outstanding features include the StayDry doors with built-in rain gutters, the cross-ventilating rainfly, two side vestibules for storing gear, and the symmetrical construction with non-tapered floors that optimize space for a roomy interior.

The MSR Elixir 2-Person tent is a good alternative for backpackers who prefer a lightweight, easy-to-assemble, versatile tent with different setup options. It can be a freestanding tent with all its components, a tent with just the mesh top, flysheet and tent, or flysheet and footprint. It has the capability to withstand strong winds gusts, and features an adaptable rainfly for excellent views

Finally, the MSR Flylite 2-Person Shelter is a good choice for mild weather treks. This full-protection shelter combines extremely lightweight materials with roomy interiors. Protection comes from the use of strong, coated fabric, taped seams, and reinforced corners and peak patches.

MSR Camping Tent Reviews 2016 – Lightweight Backpacking Tents
4.8 (96%) 5 votes

Mark Jonson
Mark Jonson
Outdoor enthusiast and rafting addict. From Cleveland Ohio born and raised (GO CAVS). Working for a professional kayaking company located in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Ohio. I am a huge NBA fan and spend the rest of my spare time djing as a hobby.

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