Tag Archives: MSR tent reviews
I read your article about ultra-backpacking and how you did the John Muir Trail in seven days. I am planning on doing it, but would like to know, for an ultralight backpacker, what items did you use for tent, sleeping bag, etc.? And any feedback or thoughts that you have that would be beneficial for me would be much appreciated.
Covina, CA Continue reading →
By Michael Lanza
The best backpacking tents on the market today only superficially resemble the tents most of us pitched in the backcountry just five or 10 years ago. Designers have thrown out ingrained notions of what a backpacking tent is, thinking outside the box to make shelters that are more livable, lighter, stronger, and include features like (of all things) built-in lights. Tents continue evolving and improving because the goal of making gear lighter long ago crossed a threshold from “the new thing” to how everyone thinks. That attitude has transformed the world of backcountry gear, especially tents.
You’ll see that trend in each of the five singularly outstanding tents reviewed below. Continue reading →
Ultralight Backpacking Tent
MSR Freelite 2
$440, 2 lbs. 7 oz. (not including stuff sacks and stakes)
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. Continue reading →
$350, 1 lb. 9 oz. (not including stakes)
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. Continue reading →