User Review: MSR Elbow Room 3P
Price Paid: $259
I bought this tent on sale and was hard pressed to find much in the way of reviews so thought I would throw up my thoughts after the living room setup and outdoor trial in hopes it might help others.
First of all, for me getting this tent for 250$ I was hard pressed to find the quality of construction and materials for that price in another tent. The bathtub bottom, seams, stitching, zippers, and even the included stakes all seemed to me to be a superior quality to what I could get on a 'under 300' budget.
The other huge factor that brought me to make the purchase was the headroom. I am a tall person with a longer torso. The thing that really makes a difference is the bow design. I am able to sit up in the middle part of the tent... end to end. Compared to other tents that may have a higher peak height... I can only comfortably sit in the center but have to lean over towards the sides and/or ends.
Similarly, I learned while trying a lot of different tents floor plan dimensions can be deceiving. You may be able to find a tent with a wider floor, but how usable is that space. I sat in many tents that were wider in specs but felt smaller inside.
Setup is easy even with the sleeve design and bow ... doesn't take but 5-10 minutes. Did it in the rain/snow storm pretty fast. I bought 4 extra msr ground hog stakes and guy line material to full guy it out if needed.
I really liked the design around the vestibules which ensured when opening the vestibule no water would drip into the tent because the bow points over the end of the tent providing rain fly coverage for the opening. The vestibules are ok, a touch small but will do the job.
After purchasing I set it up outside the last few days during rain/snow storm. Slept in it during wind/rain storm. I even saw it take snow load of about 6" of wet heavy snow. I love how sturdy this tent pitches. The ripstop to mesh ratio seems good to me. We were a touch drafty in the winds but not overly so (it's not a 4 season tent). I had zero condensation.
One thing I don't really like is when you open the vents on the top it pushes the fly fabric close to the top mesh windows .. if they were to touch it provides a great drip point. When fully guyed out it was fine.
With all the poles and fabric the tent is going to be a little heavier than other 3p tents I looked at. I personally will take the extra weight to have the room inside and sturdiness, but everyone has their point of balance that works.