MSR Access 2

Shoulder-Season Shelter

Brand: MSR Gear Reviews

Model: Access 2

Our take Backpackers looking to get out earlier in the spring (and stay out later in the fall) need a shelter that stands up to ornery storms. This one delivers while remaining light enough to justify its use on summer outings, too. Composite poles and lightweight fabrics (20-denier nylon on the fly and canopy) cut the overall weight. After a two-day spring storm hammered our testers with 25-mph winds and 3 inches of snow in Alaska’s Chugach Range, they declared the double-wall strong enough for typical storms. (They added a few extra guylines, but said they wouldn’t feel comfortable in truly high winds.) In wet weather, a long brow pole keeps the drip line well away from the interior, even when the fly door is open. Ding: There are no Velcro tabs to attach the fly to the tent poles, which led to flapping in 25-mph wind.

The details A 29-square-foot floor is average for a two-person tent; two doors and vestibules (8.75 square feet each) are a storage dream. Single vents over the doors led to moderate condensation on a still and clear 18°F night, but it immediately disappeared once the wind picked up.

Trail cred “The Access bridges that gap between bombproof mountaineering and three-season camping,” says a longtime Alaska-based tester.

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