Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011: MSR Storm King Tent

An ultralight shelter for four.

Palatial barely describes this double-wall, dual-vestibule expedition tent. “There’s so much space, you could sardine a few NBA centers,” says one tester. “We could have fit six people if we got creative with positioning.” It’s also a fortress. Credit the five-pole geodesic design, and no less than 17 guy-out points. When fully battened down, it “eliminated all but a whisper of noise when winds came down off Iceland’s fjordlands snowfields,” says one tester. And when buffeted by winds gusting to 45 mph and piled with a few inches of snow above St. Mary’s Glacier in Colorado, the StormKing lived up to its name: It didn’t even sag. However, without all guy outs secured (pack 30’ of cord), the fly flaps in wind as low as 10 mph.

The color-coded, clip-style setup is easy enough to do solo. And there’s plenty of space to cook and hang out in the 26-square-foot, porch-style vestibule (door doesn’t roll away). The StormKing achieves its comparatively low weight by using a 40-denier fly (we experienced no problems, but we plan to test durability under long-term exposure to high-altitude UV).

Biggest bummer: lack of vents. There’s only one (accessible from the outside), and even with fewer than five bodies inside, testers reported condensation.

$1,000

13 lbs. 7 oz

www.msrgear.com