About | Blog | Forums | People | Free Newsletter
Trailspace is a product review site for outdoor enthusiasts. Use it to find and share great gear.

MSR Carbon Reflex 2

5 reviews
5-star:   2
4-star:   3
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0
3

i've had this tent for almost four years and have…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $450

i've had this tent for almost four years and have used it all over the place.

recently spent 8 night camping on the north shore of oahu.  it really didn't stop raining the entire time.  flash floods everywhere. roads were closed.  lots of people without power because of utility poles washing away.  emergency vehicles all over the place.  the inside of our tent was always nice and dry. 

we had a few days that had steady 30mph winds with pretty frequent gusts of over 45.  tent stood like a champ.  had it guyed down in every way imaginable and it was very solid. 

some days the rain was just steady monsoon style all day long with no wind.  just rain. and more rain.  and more rain.  we would take day trips to different parts of the island just to try and find areas that weren't drenched.  each night when we would get back to our site and everything in the tent would be bone dry.  everything under the vestibules was bone dry.  no footprint.

no condensation issues whatsoever.  ever.

far more liveable after 8 ultra rainy days than imagined with myself and my girlfriend - who wasn't very happy about the rain - but was being a good sport considering the situation.

the stash pockets in the tent aren't huge, but there are four of them and they hold a lot more than they look like they do.

the zipper in the tent to the doorless second vestibule is cool, but it would be cooler if it were just another door instead.

the easton poles are ridiculously light.  they still look brand new & it's been camped in well over 100 nights.

i'm 6' and can easily sit up.  there's lots of extra room at my head and my feet when laying down.

this is also a great solo tent.  quick set up and take down. very light.  lots of room for anything you'd be backpacking with.

i really can't say enough good things about this tent.  i was pretty blown away at how well it handled the constant wind & rain.  i've always known it was a nice tent.  it's now clear that it's a great tent that has exceeded my expectations in multiple ways and has proven worth the expensive price tag.

if you're hesitant about getting a non-freestanding tent.  so was i - everything will be OK.

0

An expensive tent and really sized for one with gear.

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $499 plus additional for ground sheet

Summary

An expensive tent and really sized for one with gear. Have had it out three weekends with Boy Scouts.

Pros

  • Very light
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Unknown durability and lifespan of the carbon fiber poles
  • Cost

I used this tent for the first time in Apr 12 during a wet weekend with Boys Scouts.  I purchased the seperate ground sheet at an additional cost. For the price paid for the tent, this should have been included. 

The corners of the tent were setting up off the ground, which allowed some rain to get between the tent and ground sheet. Had some moisture come through the bottom of the tent. Not what I expect to see from a tent with a price above $500. 

Could not see any evidence of a hole in the material. Have treated the bottom of the tent with a can of Tectron. If it leaks again, REI will be getting this tent back. Have been out twice more in dry conditions.

1

Expensive, but... AWESOME. Extremely well thought-out…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: 3 season not-freestanding
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: very easy
Weight: 2 lbs 13 oz
Price Paid: full

Expensive, but... AWESOME. Extremely well thought-out tent, great for summer camping when it's warm (completely mesh sidewalls are awesome), still works well in the cold wind/rain/snow/apocalypse. OK, I've never actually camped out in an apocalypse, but I'm sure it would probably do better than most tents.

Easy to set up but won't stand without being staked down. Have used it throughout southern Appalachia and the Pacific Northwest in all conditions except blizzard to great satisfaction.

Did I mention the whole thing with rainfly & footprint compresses into a 6 inch cube? I have sat 3 people in my tent during the rain and all of us had enough headroom.

This is a great tent for somebody interested in a lightweight tent that can withstand more extreme conditions. The price is high but the quality does not fall short.

0

This a nice little 3 season tent. Be forewarned it…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Design: 3-season two walled, non freestanding
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: easy/fast
Weight: 2 lbs 15 oz (w/ some of the non-essentials left behins)
Price Paid: $400

This a nice little 3 season tent. Be forewarned it is on the small side. I'm 6' and have more than adequate head/foot room, the tent has plenty of headroom (for a small tent). Where it's small is in width.

My wife and I fit fine w/ two 20" pads, but there isn't a whole lot of room to spare after that- the 50" shown on the MSR diagram is a little misleading- there is a taper in the middle of the tent and it's closer to 46" there. Some folks might be a little uncomfortable that close to each other.

the tent pitches quickly and easily, you'll especially like the snap in corners for the fly- very nice touch, the stake tensioners are also very nicely designed.

the stakes are very well designed and beefy (while still being light).

I've used the tent in both windy (35-40mph gusts) and wet (short heavy rain and longer moderate rain)- the tent is very stable (this is w/o the optional guy lines) in the wind and left us completely dry in rainy conditions.

the tent ventilates well and even with the "hatches fully battened down" it had very little moisture under the fly, w/ the vestibule even slightly opened no moisture.

it has two vestibules- a small one away from the door that accessed by zipper and a larger on in front of the door- the rear one is suitable for boots or other smaller items- the front protects two medium sized packs nicely.

the tent weighs 2 lbs 15 oz if you leave the main stuff sack, two of the stakes (they're used for the optional guy lines) and guy lines home.

buy the optional footprint and when there are no bugs you can pitch it w/ just the footprint and fly (stake and poles too) for a under 2 lb shelter.

All in all a very nice tent. The only reason not a 5 is it is a little tight on the width.

-2

OK, I checked out the reviews on every site I could…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Price Paid: $500

OK, I checked out the reviews on every site I could find and I saved up the 500 dollars for this baby, then had to wait for REI to get it in stock before I could get it. So I take it out for my long 80-mile hike and it breaks.

This is like the fourth MSR tent I have owned and I so wanted it to work. I liked the door, the rectangle floor design, the weight, everything about this tent I thought was great. Then on the seventh night the long carbon fiber pole breaks on me and the repair part duct taped into the broken section is too long and can't bend at the correct angle, hence the tent will not setup right and the fly wall touches the inner tent and condensation wets my sleeping bag.

I end up finishing my hike a day early because of it. So the tent went back and I now own a Big Agnes. I wish someone could combine the best of these tents. 

Update: December 21, 2011

Well I found the tent at the REI scratch and dent sale so I bought it back and sent the pole off for repair and now am very happy with the tent and MSR.

Know someone who might be interested in this?
Share it on email, Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.
If you've owned or used a MSR Carbon Reflex 2, please share your experience.