Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $320 used
This tent is bomb proof! It is a lightweight, sturdy, spacious, 4-season tent that will keep you comfy. I would recommend this tent to anyone considering camping in cold and vicious weather.
- Lightweight for a 4-season tent
- Very, very sturdy
- Excellent ventilation
- Can be difficult to get the poles into the grommets on the pole-sleeve model in arid conditions
I lived in this tent for 2 months during early spring in the backcountry of Patagonia, and it kept me warm and dry through rain, snow, graupel and fierce winds, even when the ground under my tent turned into a squishy mud puddle it never leaked.
Setup is very intuitive. I have the pole sleeve model, which takes a little more time to set up than the pole clip model, and it can be pretty tough getting the poles into the grommets in very arid conditions (like in Joshua Tree National Park) with only one person setting it up, because the fabric gives less under arid conditions.
The pitch is very taut, and there are lots of guy-out points to help stabilize it. Even the Roaring Forties were no match for this tent! It's very, very stable, and even more stable when properly and completely guyed out. It takes 8 stakes to stake out tent and vestibule, and I almost always guy out 5 additional points — 2 on each side and one at the end opposite the vestibule. This helps keep the fly off the main body to improve ventilation and prevent condensation.
Ventilation is great! Even after days of rain and snow I never found condensation on the inside of the tent walls. I vent the door low and open the high vent at the opposite end and this works really well. It's great in cold weather because there's very little mesh so it stays warm inside. You can actually close it all up and have no mesh, except for venting of course.
I spent the majority of my time in Patagonia solo in this tent, and it's cavernous. I kept all of my gear inside along with my Therm-a-Rest and sleeping bag set up, and still had some room to move around. It's also really spacious for two, with good length and headroom. The 4 side pockets and gear loft hold a lot and keep little stuff organized and easily accessible even in the dark.
The one vestibule is a decent size, and even with 2 people sleeping in the tent, you don't have to climb over each other to get in and out. Two big packs can fit in the vestibule, but you would have to move one to get out. I like the pockets in the vestibule, too — they're great for hanging stinky socks to dry out. In short, this is a very livable tent.
The Fury is really light for a double wall 4-season tent. Minimum weight is only 6 lbs. 2 oz. (packed weight is 7 lbs.) I don't carry the stuff sacks with me except for the stake bag with stakes, repair kit and a few line tensioners. I employ the stuff-it-all-into-the-backpack method of packing it, rather than rolling and trying to fit it into a stuff sack (fewer stuff sacks = less weight).
This tent has held up extremely well under some pretty rough conditions over the past year. I've used it in the Mojave Desert and the Sierras pretty regularly, mostly in colder weather, and lived in it for 2 solid months in Patagonia, and its performance has been consistently excellent.
I did a huge amount of research before buying this tent, and considered many different models. In the end, there were a variety of things that made me decide on this one — weight, interior space, four-season sturdiness — and I definitely made the right decision!
(I am using the upgraded 2010/2011 Fury without the pole sleeves and instead using the pole clips-—much better).
NIGHT FALLS IN THE BLACK CAVE CAMPS
It's a clear night sky with a bright moon overhead and such a night shows the immediate advantage of this tent over the Hilleberg tents I have used in that I'm supine on a pad inside a tent that DOES NOT need to be covered by the double wall of a fly. So, my shelter sits exposed to the dry night air without the addition of a fly to trap condensation.
It feels good to put up half of a tent and have the other half waiting nearby in case of rain. For 25 years I camped this way and remember all the nights I had to get up and scramble at 3am in a sudden rain to put a fly over a tent. But on clear nights with no rain the fly can stay off and sit on the ground outside and be ready just in case, although many nights can sometimes go by when there's no need for it.
THE FURY'S FLY
This fly requires a fourth pole to support a small hoop vestibule and so I have the pole inserted and the fly sitting nearby ready for instant use if need be. If not, morning pack up will be very fast as a flyless tent is easy to pull apart, especially when only using four stakes as the Fury unflyed is self-supporting.
FERN CAMP FURY
The wonderful tent is set up and I can see no real problems with it yet but time will tell. The only minor negatory is the inner tent's door arch which is too low as it always hits your head when sitting and leaning out or pulling back in. It's a nasty poorly thought out feature on an otherwise well thought out design.
Here are some positives:
- There are four large web pockets with each having a back behind pocket for extra stuff.
- There is a fantastic wedge pocket, a fifth pocket, on the inside by the door zip which is perfect for holding my eyeglasses(though I believe it's meant to store the door when unzipped).
- The fly vestibule has two more wedge mesh pockets and could hold stakes or a spoon or something small like socks or stuff sacs.
- There's a mesh loft on four elastic rings which is great for wet clothing or the headlamp.
- The Fury is very long inside at 94 inches and has plenty of stretch out room to keep the bag foot dry, a bugaboo of the Staika.
- There are no elastic connectors so the inner tent stays rigid and tight no matter what. The three poles with clips see to that as the old Fury tent sleeves are gone which caused some amount of cursing.
- A minor drawback is the fly pole which must be inserted and fumbled with before the fly can be attached. If there's a question of midnight rain just go ahead and put the fly on before retiring.
- The overall tent footprint is very small and yet there's plenty of room inside for all clothing and even the pack.
- The vestibule door zipper is sad, tight and easily stressed when the fly is pulled tight with the two head end stakes. Here the Hillebergs are much better. And the zipper is inverted or upside down so it's more waterproof and it better be as it has no flap like on the Staika or the Keron. A flap is very nice when everything's frozen. Further zipper report pending. BTW, during cooking inside it has three zippers which can easily vent the vestibule. (I do not recommend cooking inside any tent, and probably not even inside a tent's vestibule).
One argument for Hilleberg: The blasted Fury is made in Taiwan and is saturated in outgassing flame retardant which stinks.
THE FURY STUFF SAC
Here's another negatory of the Fury tent in addition to its possible carcinogenic flame retardant coating: the strange and for me useless stuff sac, with its awkward top closure flap, carrying handle and two cinching buckles. Please. So of course, I'm using my Keron tent stuff sac thank you, and I put the Keron into the Fury sac for storage.
PREPPED AND LOADED
The tent is up and ready for the storm, and here's a technique I discovered to have the fly ready to go if it hits: buckle it down in the back and on the two sides, thread the pole into the fly vestibule sleeve, and then pull it all back and drape it over the tent and let the pole hang off the rear of the tent. Then, when the first rain drops hit, all you have to do is pull it over the tent and push the pole tips into the two front grommets and stake it out in front. Voila! Instant protection. No fumbling with a pole or a sleeve or a fly.
TEN HOURS OF RAIN
It has stopped for awhile but will probably kick back in whenever it feels like it and I'll be prepared in this fine little tent. It's like crawling into a gopher burrow, the squeeze in is small but the home-den is large, sort of like an Inuit igloo. So far, the tent inner sanctum is bone dry but the floor hasn't been tested with a one inch pooling "lake effect" yet.
Here's another Hilleberg plus: Their floors do not have perimeter seams—very smart—while the Fury has a seam running all along the bottom, completely around the inner tent. This is stupid. Actually, it has two seams, taped of course, and the top one seam sealed, little help as the bottom one is not sealed, so in a lake, well, we'll see what happens. (Note: It did well in several Mt Rogers rainstorms with "lake effect").
So let's review: CONS
- Floor perimeter seams.
- Low head banging tent entrance.
- Thin low denier floor.
- No flap on vestibule door zipper, so zipper leaks into vestibule---stupid oversight.
- Flame retardant stink.
- Dual end large plastic pole clip-hooks which stay open and sometimes let a crossed-over pole free in a windstorm.
- Lightweight for size, inner is long with a near vertical end wall to keep sleeping bag dry.
- Separate fly and inner, great for rain free nights.
- Rigid poled inner with clips and no sleeves and no Hilleberg elastic holding up the inner, better therefore in the wind. No slapping and deforming.
- Twelve great mesh pockets (counting four back panels and the top mesh loft).
- Vestibule door hook at the bottom pulling the thing tight and making zipping it easier. Great idea.
- Plenty of headroom once you're inside.
- Pole clips and no pole sleeves making for easy setup.
- Ample and overkill guyouts for true kick ass windstorms, although MSR failed miserably on supplying adequate attached guylines with decent runners (a la Hilleberg). Total pegs needed are 21 for a serious blow.
- Foot end closeable mesh with zipper for outside opening, allowing trapped bugs to get out thru the back "door". And the back has a vent that can be propped open.
- Fair sized vestibule for boot, stove and food storage, while the pack and gear can be stowed inside the tent.
- Small footprint as compared to the Hilleberg Staika or Keron.
The Fury is a simple wedge tent with a middle pole pull out although the wedge is not your conventional two pole top crossover as the two poles crossover in two separate places fore and aft, and the third pole links thru these two poles for a bombproof setup. The clips pull the canopy tight and voila, you have a rigid non-sagging inner.
The third pole pulls the middle part of the inner tent many inches away on both sides giving you a lot of extra inner space for storage and living, and the two wedge poles are plenty high for headroom. The fourth pole is only used to make the vestibule for the stoutly thick and guyed and coated fly and the fly attaches around the six corners with plastic clips on webbing that can be of course tightened.
Two stakes are required to pull out the fly on the vestibule end after the pole has been put thru the sleeve and tensioned into the bottom stake loop inner tent's grommet. So when setting up the inner tent it's important to remember to put the two front poles into the back grommet so the fly pole can sit in the front two grommets. Easily done, no sweat.
This tent review can't be complete until I get a real gully washer in a low sump camp "mud pit", the kind of campsite so common in heavily used areas. When you're camped in a one inch lake, well, then you'll know the true quality of this tent's floor.
CLOUDS AND WINDS END DAY 7
My backpacking day ends with something afoot and certainly rain. Maybe more, maybe much more. This tent doesn't budge and rarely flaps, the inner is like a rigid umbrella and the fly is bolted down presently with seven pegs not counting the six buckle down points to the six tent pole grommet points.
In addition, there are eight mid high guylines attached and running off the tent but so far hang lose and unneeded. These would be needed in a serious blow---a very serious blow when the rigid shell begins to sway and give, not likely in my present circumstance. Here are the complete peg numbers:
- The inner tent can take six stakes but get by with four (to keep it from blowing away).
- The fly has room for five: seven low pullouts and eight high guys.
- A total of twenty one! This is a lot. Total Keron is 18. All this sounds like sanskrit to the Seedhouse and TarpTent users out there, so disregard and turn the page.
- The first is the white three poled inner set up with six stakes (or just four).
- The second level is the fly hooked on the back and the sides with the pole inserted in the vestibule and the whole of this flung back to rest atop the rear of the tent, ready for level three:
- A fully flyed tent with seven pegs.
- Level four is with all eight guyouts pegged as in a Bob blizzard hellstorm. Or that Snake Mt storm I got on my last trip in the Keron on the North Fork.
With three poles crossing at four different places, this is a very rigid tent, although there is a slight defect they missed when going to clips from the sleeves. It concerns the four big black plastic clips---one on each end and two in the middle.
The end clips do not close with a gate like on some Mt Hardwear tents, and so occasionally the crossing poles pull out or at least one of them does, and instead of staying inside the clip and crossing the other pole, it jumps out and stays parallel. Careful adjustment before putting on the fly can fix this, I think, but these two clips need pressure release gates, otherwise I have to tie the poles together using cordage.
Price Paid: Sale
Fury Mark II, edited version, see below in bold font.
Updated once again by MSR's design dept., who never seem to find time to leave the desk and put one of their tents up.
Originally a Moss design (along with a few others that MSR bought around 2004), this tent has gone from mid-weight to lightweight materials and the inner pole sleeving has been changed gradually, right up to the current 2011 clips-only model.
(Advances by the people who make tent fabrics allowed MSR to easily render the Moss designs more efficient by simply using new fabrics.) The tent was originally designed to have open-ended sleeves all round (and even a sleeveless center cross-section) with grommets at each pole end but around 2007 it was switched to an occluded sleeve design, a blanket change that affected all of the expedition series.
BUT THE INSTRUCTIONS REMAINED THE SAME, save for a small sentence about which end of the new unidirectional pole to thread first. So a high-tension design became an extreme, dangerous-tension design if and only if one was to follow the instructions provided by MSR online and, importantly, inside the tent bag.
These instructions are wrong and they should be ignored, as they have been for four whole years by MSR themselves. How wrong they are can only be appreciated by anyone unfortunate enough to put their faith in them, on the mountain or off.
Here is (what may be) the best way to erect this excellent tent, especially for one person:
0) Open the door!
1) Thread the middle cross pole fully into the sleeve end.
2) Thread the two long poles fully into the sleeve ends.
3) Fully erect only one of the long poles into the grommet.
4) Fully erect the middle cross pole into the grommet.
5) Fully erect the remaining long pole into the grommet.
There is no need to stake out the inner tent unless it is windy - you need to be able to reach across and grab the entire tent in order to help the sleeves around the poles. Some people find staking out the grommet ends easier when it comes to forcing the poles into the holes, as it uses tension against the pegs.
The poles themselves will catch inside the sleeves due to their having been engineered in a backwards, anti-streamlined fashion. There could be a reason for the backwards design of poles that are unidirectional (giving you no option, unlike open-ended sleeves, of how to thread them) but having thought about the way in which MSR proceeded to 'improve' these tents over the years, I doubt it; it is more likely an administrative error that wasn't worth correcting with DAC, and less likely a design choice, such as reducing the sections' chances of catching when the poles retreat in their sleeves during set up.
So the irony in a company called Mountain Safety Research, selling a mountain tent with false and harmful instructions, appears quite bitter. They took some great tent designs and proceeded to mess them up, especially this one, right until the present.
They could have made just the two long sleeves in the inner with new, occluded, pocket designs and left the cross pole alone. The earlier, open-ended sleeve actually gave you more options with tension as it allowed for four grommets vs. two. The cross pole is in fact under more tension than the rest and open-ended sleeves would have been fine and who knows, maybe the 'instructions' would have worked with such a hybrid 'improvement'. Had they tested their 'improved' design in 2007, the instructions would have looked more like what I have written. Had they cared.
Such is progress. Now the Moss-derived tents look like all the other 'mountain' tents: easy to put up, even if you have never practiced; easy to sew for less skilled workers who can be paid less working for customers who want to pay less; more tension on the clips, less stability overall; looks NEW! for 2011.
Two stars for MSR, who seem to have inherited the Soviet Union's central planning methods and paired it with the West's desire for novelty-driven consumption/production. Five stars for Moss' tent designs. I have no confidence in any MSR-originating-designs or at least not for a while, anyway. RIP Moss.
PS: I am not Furious, just disappointed, especially considering the fact that MSR will have us advertising their name in giant letters for the life of our equipment.
We continue to enjoy this tent; however, it is a bastard to set up. Something I noticed is that leaving the door open helps a great deal with getting the pole ends into the grommets (except the middle one, that's still a bastard and will never go into the second grommet). If you don't open the door first, it can be almost impossible in freezing temperatures---you will need either silicone grip gloves or bare hands.
I suppose coming from outer-first-pitching Hillebergs, where one has to keep the door closed on erection to prevent distortion, that this would have made things easier in the beginning for us.
I also just realised that camping in Scotland when it is not winter means you develop the habit of never leaving open the inner tent door. Leaving the rear mesh vent door open would reduce tension as well, in winter of course. The importance of 'leaving the door open' is yet another problem with the sewn-in instructions, all things considered.
Now opening the door will probably still not let you get the poles into the second grommet/eyelet things. I trimmed about 7mm off all the pole ends, near the blunt end cap, and it now goes up no problemo! I only meant to trim 5mm but I am pretty crap with a pipe cutter and the pipe cutter was pretty crap as well. So be careful, especially if you try a hacksaw.
Now, even with the shortened poles and door open, I can only just get the long poles into the tighter second grommet/eyelets; the middle pole: no chance! But the door will not zip around properly and is likely to split the zip if you have the tightest configuration on the two long poles! With the middle pole, I could probably have trimmed up to 1cm but even then it would pull up the floor as this design tends.
Another thing: guy out or stake out the 5 or 6 bottom tabs that run along the edge of the fly, as the fly is much too close to the inner (another reason they switched to clips perhaps in the Mark III?). Thin cord on a thin peg is probably all you need but some kind of thin webbing with eyelets cut into it might be simple and fast.
Since this review I have seen two other similar complaints about dangerous tension in the Mark II design. If you are having problems, try the door open and if that does not work maybe risk trimming the poles yourself (and tidy them up!).
In all, I like the cozy yet cramped aspect of this tent, though it is not for muddy exiting as you are on your hands and knees getting in and out. And as TipiWalter points out, the doorway is not for sitting in. In my opinion, MSR should have just stuck to the Mark I design (Moss with vents) and used lighter materials and streamlined poles (forget these stupid DAC featherlites, Easton or DAC NSL are needed); they should have kept the Sentinel in their line up as well.
Lord knows what they are doing--people are ready to pay higher prices and now that they have gotten used to euro tents like Hillebergs, they could easily upgrade and expand the Moss legacy as premium tents if they went about it the right way.
TL;DR: As the song says, "Open the door, Richard!" Peg out the bottom tabs. Trim the poles as a last resort. On yer knees.
Design: four-season freestanding dome
Ease of Setup: terrible
Price Paid: $500
This tent is difficult to set up in ideal circumstances (my living room) and one succeeds 2/3 times. On the mountain it is extremely difficult to set up and nearly killed my partner and I on a February ascent of Long's Peak. One has to pull the poles through sleeves and they get caught up with one another, bunching and not coming together.
Otherwise it's a great tent, especially the vestibule. It is bombproof and looks cool. I returned mine after hours of attempting to master the skill of consistently setting it up.
Design: 4 season 4 poles extended dome
Ease of Setup: Pushing the poles though tunnels can be difficult at night
Weight: 3.50 kg
Price Paid: 575 CAD
Quite light tent well suited for long hiking. Though we usually prefer hiking in mountains we have had so far the chance to test it only in the area of Great Lakes. The tent can be set-up and taken down in 5-10 minutes. Four extandable poles are required and must be pushed through tunnels in the fly. This makes the set-up a bit more difficult but ensures a very good wind stability.
The only problem we encountered is the moisture precipitation on the inside of the fly which is especially problem near the Lakes where humidity remains constantly high. Therefore we spent two hours every morning drying out the tent and tropico. Luckily it didn't rain. I hope we will get better performance in the mountains.
Design: 4-season dome
Ease of Setup: pretty easy once the poles got broken in(warped a little)
Weight: 6 pounds
Price Paid: $380
For a four-season tent I can't see you doing much better than this one. I am in the SouthEast where humidity rules supreme, but in the winter time this tent got me through two inches of rain in one night. No leaks or condensation! After that it snowed on us and no worries. The tent stayed exceptionally warm inside, about 10 degrees warmer than outside the tent. I am not sure I would recommend this tent for warm weather, but it rules supreme in the winter.
Design: four-season free standing, three pole tent
Ease of Setup: needs some practice with the middle pole
Weight: can't remember.
Price Paid: $315
I bought this tent just before Xmas day 2007, for my climbing trip to Mount Whitney. On Xmas night we had an incredible windy night, like I've never had before. The tent stood perfectly (I had some snow pads for the vents, you can't trust the stakes that come with the tent in relatively soft snow).