Product: MSR Elixir 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 8.75/10
The MSR Elixir is an excellent backpacking tent – durable, easy to set up, and not too heavy to pack. This comfortable and spacious shelter will keep you warm and dry almost anywhere.
The MSR Elixir is a workhorse, 3-season tent. I’ve used the Elixir as a backpacking guide throughout the state of Alaska, and it has held up to almost everything the Alaskan wilderness can throw at it.
A standard double wall backpacking tent, the Elixir is quick and easy to set up and break down. The pole design is great, as the main frame poles are connected by a swivel joint, which increases the structural integrity of the tent. Color coded clips and grommets ensure that you know exactly how each piece fits together, and a durable plastic clip holds the corners of the rainfly to the body. The cross pole is a nice touch, as it maximizes head space in the tent. Also, the tent footprint is included and sized perfectly.
So how does the tent hold up to the elements? Everything is well sealed, and won’t leak unless it sees heavy use or UV exposure. Zippers are durable. The only time I’ve seen this tent fail, the wind was blowing upwards of 50 MPH, and the frame bent inwards. The poles suffered some damage from that incident, but once the wind died down, the tent was fine again. Overall, this is a mostly bombproof tent that will keep you warm and cozy in most conditions that you might encounter in the backcountry.
The Elixir is a quality tent, and the materials reflect the purchase price. There is no “weak feature” on the Elixir, and a standard repair kit will keep you prepared for most anything that could possibly fail. My one complaint is the included stakes, which are the standard “hook” design. I would recommend spending a few extra bucks to replace them with quality MSR Groundhog Stakes.
At 5 lbs. 13 oz, the Elixir falls comfortably in the middle of the range for two-person tent weight. Frankly, most anything lighter would be too fragile for long term use – the Elixir is a good balance of durability and packability. Two 10 liter stuff sacks will keep the tent body and fly packaged nice and small for your backpack. You can expect to get two full seasons of heavy use out of the Elixir, or roughly 200 days in the field.
You can certainly splurge on a more expensive tent, but you can certainly be comfortable in the backcountry with a cheaper tent. At the end of the day, ask yourself how much you plan on using the Elixir, and how important of a consideration weight is for you.
Find the MSR Elixir 2 Tent on Amazon.com