MSR Habitude 6P
The MSR Habitude 6 is a family-sized tent that packs a large amount of interior space into a relatively portable package (it is a standing height six-person tent after all). Boasting extra durability (read: kid-friendly), comfortable living space, a large vestibule, and peace-of-mind weatherproofing this tent is a sure winner for me and my family. My only small gripes are the lack of two doors and the small ventilation options.
- Weight-to-size ratio
- Durable enough for kids
- Spacious vestibule
- Interior height
- Easy setup
- Large, smooth zippers
- Tons of pockets for storage
- Only one door
- Minimum Weight (Standard):13 lbs 6 oz
- Packaged Weight (Standard):14 lbs
- Floor Dimensions (Standard) in:120 x 100 in
- Floor Area (Standard):83 sq. ft.
- Vestibule Area (Standard):24.5 sq. ft.
- Number of Poles:3 Aluminum 7000 Series
- Interior Peak Height (Standard):77 in
- Packed Size (Standard):23 x 10 in
- Rainfly Fabric:68D ripstop polyester 1500mm Polyurethane & DWR
- Canopy Fabric:68D taffeta polyester & DWRMesh
- Type:40D nylon micro-mesh
- Floor Fabric:68D taffeta polyester 10,000mm Polyurethane & DWR
The setup of the MSR Habitude is pretty straightforward, especially after a couple of times of repetition.
There are six poles in total, however they are each connected with another making an X, so essentially there are three. Two are the same length and one is larger, making it the main poles which connect to the four corners and the tent largely takes shape already, as it is free-standing at this point.
The other poles (same size) go from each corner up to above the door (or back vent as there is only one door). All the clips are colour-coded so it's pretty simple; it would be easier however if the main poles were different colours then the shorter ones.
WEATHER RESISTANCE / STABILITY
I can say with full confidence that I am happy to bring along this tent. I know that no matter the weather my family has a dry, comfortable place to shelter.
Wind—This is a large, standing height tent, so it goes without saying I wouldn't leave it exposed on a mountain top, however it is both highly durable and weather resistant. The dome shape helps shed wind and the fly can be pitched taut to the ground to minimize air entry on those spring or early summer nights.
Water—I have used this tent in so much rain I can say without question it does not leak a drop. Not through the fly, not through the floor, not through the seams, nothing. It goes without saying that a soggy tent can ruin a family trip faster than almost anything (consideration given to mosquitos/ black flies/ deer flies), but at least I am able to attempt to distract my kids while tent bound in the comfort of dryness. I have sat through hours of rain from a downright monsoon, to light spitting, while remaining comfortable and dry.
Snow—No. Don't do it. This is a three-season tent; it's not designed for any snow loading.
This is one of very few places that I could see room for improvement on the Habitude. There is only one vent on the back of the tent and it is rather small. As I mentioned above I've seen at least five "heavy" days of rain, the type where you can't vent through the vestibule because everything that you need to keep dry is crammed in there, so the vent was the only option of keeping open.
Let's just say on a hot, humid, rainy summer day it can almost rain inside. Now it's a given that those are terrible conditions, and most tents will have some, but I'd love to see at least two more vents added (both sidewalls), as well as the size of them increased. The side walls are mostly solid sil-poly for privacy according to MSR, but I'd rather use the fly when privacy is needed and have the full mesh breathability.
ROOM AND LIVABILITY
Common place tent rules apply here—Stated occupancy -1. For my family of four it is palatial, adding in our dog (who is 135 lbs, so the size of some adults) and it is comfy; any more than that and it begins to feel crammed.
The Habitude is also available in a 4-man size for smaller families or when lighter weight is a plus.
Whoever designed this tent has been camping with their family before. It shows here more than anywhere. There are a total of 11 pockets! Big pockets, little pockets, high pockets, low pockets, Dr. Seuss could write a book about them. My kids love going camping because of all the little trinkets they bring, from a magnifying glass to their own headlamp, pocket knife to stuffed animals. With this tent they each have like three pockets to organize stuff and get it off the floor (and by that I mean, I clean it up before I trip on it), and I still have room for the wallet/keys/camera/cell phone, etc.
For a tent of its size it packs down to a more than respectable size. While it's certainly never going to be confused for UL, a six-person tent that weighs 13.5 pounds and packs into a storage sack roughly two feet by one foot is impressive. I have carried this thing a number of ways—in the massive 135L Dad pack, on its own almost like a duffel, on top of the rolling cooler, and of course if car camping it takes up very little space in the trunk, or a canoe.
The tent comes in a duffel style bag (with instructions printed on the inside). There are two compression straps that run over the top of the bag to decrease the size a little.
The extra guy lines, tent stakes, and poles all go into their own supplied bag and then set on top of the stuffed tent.
CONSTRUCTION AND DURABILITY
This is one of the biggest selling features of the tent in my opinion. Everything is made with the highest quality fabrics and materials recognizing that small children and families are not easy on gear. I can show my kids how to slowly open a zipper, and make sure the fabric doesn't get caught ten thousand times, but they are rarely going to do it. The walls were crashed into and occasionally poked by sticks. The poles weren't gently handled when assembling. I didn't have to worry.
I just don't see a competitor in the "family" style tent segment that matches the design and price point of the Habitude.
There are the cheap low end big box retailer ones (rarely actually waterproof, poorly made, disposable after a few trips). There are a couple reputable companies (Big Agnes, REI, MEC) making okay ones (but the door is rarely covered/looks vulnerable to rain and often boasts only a 1500mm HH on the floor, the MSR is 10,000 HH). And then there are a couple super high end family sized options (Hille, etc) but then you are well over the $1500 mark, which is often unobtainable to families.
The MSR Habitude manages to make a quality, reliable, durable tent at an accessible, family-friendly price point.
The MSR Habitude 6-person is a durable, affordable, reliable option for any family looking to get out in all conditions without worrying about a wet sleeping setup. The weight is reasonable for a tent of this size; it's packable, portable and built to last years of family adventures. I'd like to see an additional door and vent added to improve airflow and ease on entry/exit.
I have been using the MSR Habitude for more than two months now and it has predominantly been a hot, and humid, testing session. It has seen more than its fair share of rain and I can say with confidence that this thing will keep the family safe from three-season weather (no snow loading). I have owned, and used, many family tents over the years, both as a child and as the parent, and have seen the way cheap, box store tents can ruin a family trip. The Habitude has been used for six nights so far (three at a hike-in site, two car camping, and one in the backyard).
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps
(Sample for testing and review provided by MSR)
Where to Buy
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MSR’s Habititude tent is designed for adventurous families who want to explore the outdoors together. It features an interior you can stand up in (77 inches in the 6-person), a giant doorway with integrated porch light, gear pockets and hooks to organize individual clothing and gear. It’s freestanding, has color-coded poles, and can be set up by one person, though small helpers are encouraged.
Current Retail: $699.95
Historic Range: $599.95-$699.95
6.08 kg / 13 lb 6 oz
|Floor and Vestibule Area||
7.71 + 2.27 sq m / 83 + 24.5 sq ft
|Interior Peak Height||
1.95 m / 77 in
3 7000 Series Aluminum
68D ripstop polyester 1,500mm Polyurethane and DWR
68D taffeta polyester and DWR
68D taffeta polyester 10,000mm Polyurethane and DWR