MSR gear reviews

Gear Review: MSR Freelite 2 Ultralight Tent

 

MSR Freelite 2
MSR Freelite 2

Ultralight Backpacking Tent
MSR Freelite 2
$440, 2 lbs. 7 oz. (not including stuff sacks and stakes)
backcountry.com

How important is low gear weight to you—and what are you willing to sacrifice to hike with a light pack? Your choice of backcountry shelter can achieve the most significant weight savings and entail the greatest compromises. As someone who generally chooses lightweight gear, with its pros and cons, I took MSR’s lightest freestanding tent on a pair of backcountry trips for which tents like this seem well suited: I shared it with my wife on a mid-July rafting and kayaking trip on the Green River through Lodore Canyon in Dinosaur National Monument; and used it by myself for two nights on a mid-August backpacking trip in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains. I found the Freelite 2 has distinct advantages for a tent so light, while making relatively small compromises on space and strength.

Read on

Gear Review: MSR FlyLite Tent

MRS FlyLite
MRS FlyLite

Ultralight Tent
MSR FlyLite
$350, 1 lb. 9 oz. (not including stakes)
moosejaw.com

More backpackers are realizing what tent makers have known for years: The smartest way to reduce pack weight is by trimming the single heaviest item in your backpack—your tent. And you achieve the greatest weight savings there by eliminating or at least greatly reducing the poles and rainfly. The MSR FlyLite does both. On a five-day, late-March backpacking trip with my family in Paria Canyon, in Utah and Arizona, the FlyLite shined for having an outstanding space-to-weight ratio while proving itself stable in strong gusts, and not very susceptible to the bane of most single-wall tents: condensation.

Read on

Gear Review: MSR MicroRocket Backpacking Stove

MSR MicroRocket
MSR MicroRocket

Backpacking Stove
MSR MicroRocket
$60, 3 oz. (4 oz. with case)
cascadedesigns.com/msr

This ultralight burner punches above its weight: Turned up to high, it boiled water fast, even in strong winds at a campsite by Columbine Lake, at 11,000 feet in Sequoia National Park. Excellent flame control allows you to dial it down low for simmering. Fold out its three pot-support arms, screw it onto a fuel canister, fire it up, and you’re cooking in seconds. The stove was stable even beneath a two-liter pot when cooking for four people in Sequoia, Yosemite National Park, and in Washington’s Glacier Peak Wilderness.

Read on