Gear Reviews

MSR Carbon Reflex 3

True all-season performance–without a weight penalty.

Brand: MSR Gear Reviews

Model: Carbon Reflex 3


Specs

Weight

4lbs. 3oz.

[mountaineering]

Many four-season mountain tents are either cramped (using weight-trimming dimensions to counterbalance heavier materials) or so specialized that they’re overkill for anything but winter use. The single-wall DragonTail breaks the mold with a roomy interior and true all-season performance—without a weight penalty. Credit its spaciousness to the three-pole, hoop-style geometry—which, while not freestanding, pitches easily and creates vertical walls with an airy, 41-inch peak.

The 90-inch length ensures ample space for tall hikers, and the enormous, 14-square-foot vestibule allows plenty of room for cold-weather gear and cooking. “It feels more like a three-person tent,” says one tester. And it ably handled standard winter conditions: “During a Sierra snowstorm with 30-mph gusts that dislodged tree branches, it stood firm and shed wet snow,” reports our tester. (Caveat for gear abusers: While we experienced no durability problems, the DragonTail’s 40-denier fabrics are not as heavy-duty as the 70-denier stuff typically used in expedition tents.)

Ventilation is good; only slight condensation built up on nights below 30°F. Drawback: It has just one door. $480; 4 lbs. 12 oz.Providing full-featured room for three at a weight usually packed for two, the free-standing shelter features two doors, two vestibules and ample room for living and storage. With more volume than the MSR Mutha Hubba tent, the Carbon Reflex 3 tent shaves nearly a pound of pack weight at a minimum weight of just 4 lbs. 7 oz. (2 kg). The efficient design includes easy-setup carbon fiber poles, mesh walls for superior ventilation and versatile assembly options.

Livable Volume (body + vestibule): 3530 + 566 L / 124 + 20 cu. ft.