The Best Backpacking Tents: MSR Carbon Reflex 2

I'm in the market for a small, light backpacking tent that won't break the bank.

Jun 15, 2012
Outside Magazine

Carbon makes bicycles light and sturdy—and it can do the same for tents. MSR’s Carbon Reflex 2 uses carbon poles for a weight savings of about 30 percent versus traditional poles. Carbon is strong and flexible as well—ideal pole material.

Overall, the Reflex utilizes a popular design employing an end-to-end pole that acts as the “spine” of the tent, with a short transverse pole that holds up the sides of the fly and canopy. The canopy is mostly mesh, but a fly extends all the way to the ground for good rain protection. And the design allows for two doors and two vestibules, so each occupant has space for her boots or other gear left outside. And getting in and out is easy.

Weight is a mere 3 pounds, 9 ounces as packed—you can trim that a little when packing. That’s pretty remarkable. But it's $499, so you have to really want to save that extra pound, because you’re paying about $200 to be rid of it. Still, this is a great investment for weight-conscious late-spring-to-early-fall backpackers.

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