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Gear Review: MSR Elixir 2 Tent

10.18.18

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Gear Review: MSR Elixir 2 Tent

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MSR Elixir 2 Tent specs

  • Dimensions: 84 x 50 x 40 inches
  • Minimum weight: 4 lbs 10 oz (2.10 kg)
  • Fast and light weight: 3 lbs 9 oz (1.61 kg)
  • Packed weight: 5 lbs 13 oz (2.64 kg)
  • Floor area: 29 sq ft + 17.5 sq ft (vestibules)
  • Stuff sack size: 20 x 7 inches (51 x 17 cm)
  • Poles: Three 7000 series aluminum
  • Materials: 68D ripstop polyester 1500 mm polyurethane and DWR (rainfly), 40D ripstop nylon (canopy), 20D nylon micromesh (mesh), 70 taffeta nylon 3000mm Durashield™ polyurethane and DWR (floor)
  • Includes footprint

The Bottom Line: The Elixir 2 is the best bang for your buck tent on the market for the all around enthusiasts. It's durable, but not still lightweight, and it's a great design overall. For the budget minded backpacker who wants a capable tent for camping in the alpine, or anywhere for that matter, this is a superb tent. 

The MSR Elixir 2. Photo by Tam McTavish.

I have used the Elixir 2 on several trips. I like it so much it's actually what I got my sister for Christmas last year because I knew she needed a good tent, doesn't take care of her gear, and might do the occasional winter camp. 

The Elixir is MSR's entry level tent, but it is so full of well-designed features that the term really doesn't apply. The first thing I love is the pole structure. It looks a bit weird unless you happen to have the best mountaineering tent ever, the MSR Fury. The Elixir borrows this innovative pole structure, which makes the tent incredibly durable and wind resistant. There is a third pole that sits at the top to provide a bit of extra head space. The included footprint is a nice touch as well. 

The interior is pretty darn big. Last year on a family camping trip, I opted to stay in a bivy bag while my sister and brother stayed in the Elixir. Due to the bugs, we all crawled into my sister's tent to eat dinner. It was so spacious and comfortable, despite my brother's 6-foot 3-inch frame, that we all ended just sleeping in the tent. Yes, three people. We bulged the sides a bit, but this provides a pretty good idea of just how spacious this two-person tent is. The vestibules are good enough. I always like them a bit bigger, but you can get the MSR Gear Shed if you really need that extra space. The one time it's been snowed on, it handled that very well. No visible bowing. 

Waterproofing hasn't been a problem, and awful winds don't seem to phase this tent. There was one on the BCMC 2018 Intro to Mountaineering course when we camped on a exposed ridge in 65 km/h gusts. With windwalls, all the tents did fine. 

If I had to pick a gripe about this tent I would say that it's a little toasty on really hot days. It has less mesh then most tents, so when it's really hot and sticky, the airflow doesn't work quite as well as the Hubba Hubba. 

For the budget minded backpacker who wants a capable tent for camping, this is a superb tent.

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