MSR gear reviews

MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-person backpacking tent.

Review: MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Backpacking Tent

Backpacking Tent MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person $450, 3 lbs. 8 oz. In exposed, windy campsites on backpacking trips in Utah’s High Uintas Wilderness, Nevada’s Ruby Mountains, and Hells Canyon, the Hubba Hubba NX 2-person tent not only passed that test of its sturdiness, it displayed the subtle reasons why it’s so comfortably livable for a midweight, three-season, freestanding …

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The MSR Zoic 2 backpacking tent in Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains.

Review: MSR Zoic 2 Backpacking Tent

Backpacking Tent
MSR Zoic 2
$350, 4 lbs. 6 oz.

Everyone wants ultralight backpacking gear—but not everyone wants to live with the sacrifices inherent to ultralight gear. While few pieces of gear can produce as much reduction in the weight of your gear kit as switching from a standard to an ultralight tent, you’ll also notice the tradeoffs in a tent more than with almost any other ultralight gear. With MSR’s Zoic 2, backpackers get the comfort of a tent with good space, along with superior ventilation and good stability, weather performance, and durability.

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MSR DynaLock Ascent Trekking Poles.

Review: MSR DynaLock Ascent Trekking Poles

Trekking PolesMSR DynaLock Ascent Poles$170, 1 lb. 1 oz. (small, 100-120cm, with trekking baskets)Sizes: S (100-120cm), L (120-140cm) When you need trekking poles, you want them to stand up to the hardest use in any season. When you don’t need them, you want them to nestle unobtrusively under pack straps. From a 20-mile, mostly off-trail peaks traverse in Idaho’s Sawtooths …

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Gear Review: MSR Lightning Explore 22-inch Snowshoes

MSR Lightning Explore Snowshoes 22-inch.
MSR Lightning Explore Snowshoes 22-inch.

MSR Lightning Explore 22-inch
$280, 3 lbs. 15 oz. (men’s), 3 lbs. 11 oz. (women’s)
Sizes: men’s and women’s 22-inch and 25-inch, men’s only 30-inch

Here’s the thing about snowshoes: This isn’t rocket science. In fact, it’s not even bicycle science. The basic concept of the snowshoe has been around for at least 4,000 years. But while today’s models essentially resemble the footwear worn by ancient Eurasian hunters and others who were trying to mimic the oversized feet of snowshoe hares, they employ modern materials and designs, and they differ in purpose and details that affect performance noticeably in the backcountry. And that’s exactly where the Lightning Explore 22-inch snowshoes, um, float above the competition.

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The MSR PocketRocket 2 backpacking stove.

Review: MSR PocketRocket 2 Backpacking Stove

Backpacking Stove
MSR PocketRocket 2 stove
$50, 3 oz. (4 oz. with plastic case, included)

On three-season backpacking trips of two days to a week, with one or two companions—especially when you’re oriented toward cooking simple, one-pot meals—a single-burner canister stove offers efficiency and versatility in a very lightweight, compact, affordable, and durable package. On various trips, including an 80-mile, five-day backpacking trip with a friend in the North Cascades National Park Complex, and a three-day, 40-mile hike in Utah’s Dark Canyon Wilderness, the MSR Pocketrocket 2 demonstrated to me why it’s a leading choice in this category of ultralight stoves, on top of representing an improvement over its predecessor.

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