MSR DragonTail

True all-season performance–without a weight penalty.

Brand: MSR Gear Reviews

Model: DragonTail


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.The lightest all-condition MSR tent provides single-wall protection for two people plus gear in a strong, hooped design. New, zippered closure on the overhead ventilation tunnel seals out spindrift and peaked center helps shed rain and snow. Smaller floor plan increases pitching options and new pole clips ease set up. Waterproof DuraShield coating provides superior resistance to moisture-induced breakdown.

Livable Volume (body + vestibule): 2465 + 396 L / 87 + 14 cu. ft.

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