The setup and take-down is very quick. It fits into…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $330 Canadian
The setup and take-down is very quick. It fits into small awkward tent sites and although seemingly made of light material I found it very sturdy.
It is best for 3-season use, although with a couple of mods it can work well in 3 and 1/2 seasons.
I have no major issues with this tent and would recommend it.
- Compact footprint
- Great detail and workmanship
- Fast no fuss set-up and take-down (just under 5 min with practice)
- No guy-out points on main pole
- No drip-line guy-outs on bottom of fly, at the head and foot ends.
I have always liked this solo tent from its inception years ago, but there were deal breakers. It was too narrow. had too much mesh and had no guy-out points along the main pole. The new 'NX' version has addressed most of this and in addition, has its own unique features.
Wider, lower, lighter, higher solid sidewalls, upper covered vent on rear of fly, rain-gutter door on fly, and with re-configured internal space this is a sweet little tent. The materials, although light, work just fine if handled normally, but be careful with the mesh netting. It is a bit fragile and you could get runs as I've heard in other reviews. I've had no issues as yet. If you are a 'bull in a china shop', don't bother with light-weight or ultra light-weight tents.
Color choice and vestibule zipper location are always personal to the user. If you don't like either or both, don't buy it, quit bitchin, be happy. I happen to like both on this tent, nuff said. Personally I find the red floor and grey fly cheerful on dark, dull and rainy days when one is tent bound. The grey fly, while not 'stealth' blends into the surroundings quite nicely.
I like to use side-zip vestibules as opposed to center-zip, again personal preference after using tents with the center-zip style although my Scarp 1 is center-zip. There is enough room to cook in the vestibule in an emergency. The rain-gutter fly-door works really, really well and the higher cut fly provides excellent flow-thru ventilation in conjunction with the high rear vent. With a little ingenuity you can create a variable sized vent opening with the front zipper on the fly. With all of that, condensation if any, is minimal. Remember, and this is cast in stone, any tent ever made (single wall, double wall, breathable fabric, non breathable fabric, etc,etc) by laws of physics and nature is subject to condensation. The thing is to mitigate it. (many, many, many ways)
The new higher cut sidewalls give protection from breezes blowing thru the tent (dust, snow etc) and is a godsend for people who have to mess with contact lens solutions like me. Does it keep you a little warmer, slightly maybe. The front and rear of the fly have built in guy-outs higher up than the ground level stake-out loops and give more stability in high wind. Vestibule stake-out loops and guy-lines are connected to ground stakes by an elastic tension loop. This always keeps the fly taught as the nylon tends to expand and contract (sagging) when subject to rain, condensation, and humidity/temp. changes. Have been doing this for near 40 years, it works.
Speaking of guy-outs, I have added two to the main pole about a 1/3 of the way up. They also have velcro tabs under the fly for direct connection to the main pole. This will help during more severe weather, in late Fall and early Winter. They have worked great in some high wind and rain conditions this year and when all four are deployed the tent is rock solid with very little movement. I used 1.8mm hi-vis yellow spectra cord (strong, no stretch when wet) and mini line-locs supplied by Z-Pack. All tent stakes have been drilled and a yellow Spectra loop attached for two purposes, easy to extract and easy to locate.
In addition I have two more pull-out loops at the bottom of the fly, head and foot. When deployed they move the drip-line out and away from the exposed floor ends in rainstorms and again, they do work surprisingly well.
The ring and toggle plastic hardware for the door tie-backs are very fussy and awkward to engage/disengage. I cut the hardware off, leaving the red fabric loops. To the inside loops I attached a small hook, roll up the door and hook into the outer loop, all done in a millisecond. I also added a gear loft and a clothesline, all ultralight stuff.
The original weight of only the tent, fly, and poles was 2lbs 7oz right on. The new weight with mods is 2lbs 10oz., not ultralight, but light enough. I didn't include stakes, cord, stuff sacks , etc. as they vary weight- wise from user to user. This is my 3 and 1/2 season tent. (My winter tent is a Tarptent Scarp 1 with the solid interior and the extra crossing poles).
MSR has a greatly improved solo tent now. I do not hesitate to recommend it. The mods I did are not really necessary, but I've been a gear-head for over 40 years and like to modify stuff to stretch the envelope. I will add to and/or modify this review as I get more hours on this tent.
My next mod is to come up with something to help pitch the fly first and hang the inner (like my Scarp 1) without using a floor saver (too heavy). Great for set-up and take-down in bad weather. This is not unique procedure and a few have already done it. I will 'piggy-back' on their ideas and make something up. I have always used ultralight painters drop sheet plastic for my ground sheet, mainly to keep moisture and dirt off the floor bottom, however it is not puncture proof and was never meant to be. Clearing the tent site solves that issue. Have never torn or punctured a tent floor in all my years camping.
Thank you for reading thru' this.
Main pole guy-out