Gear Guide 2009: MSR Carbon Reflex 2 Tent Review

Want double walls but low weight? Try the Carbon Reflex 2.


If you want a traditional double-wall shelter for two at the lowest possible weight, damn the price, this is it. Carbon-fiber poles and ultralight fabrics, like 20-denier nylon, make this the first tent we’ve seen in this category that breaks the three-pound barrier. “And it’s built for full-size adults!” exclaimed one 6’1″ tester, who said he and a partner didn’t feel cramped thanks to a 40-inch peak height and 29-square-foot floor.

A non-freestanding design saves a few ounces, and it pitches quickly with one long pole and a short brow pole that stabilizes the crown. You’ll have to make do with a single door, but it comes with a nine-square-foot vestibule; a second, smaller vestibule (accessed via a zipper in the tent’s rear wall) offers additional storage. The featherweight structure withstood moderate winds. Biggest concession is durability: After test trips from Vermont to Colorado, the all-mesh canopy had snags and the carbon pole had a stress fracture (but didn’t break). $500; 2 lbs. 13 oz.

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