MSR Elixir 2 Backpacking Tent Review 2018
Over the years MSR have consistently used precision engineering to create kit that is a pleasure to use and lasts. They have maintained this heritage with the Elixir range of backpacking tents. Offering a spacious home from home in a sleek, lightweight package, the Elixir 2 Tent is ideal for wild camps and multi-day treks where the importance of striking the right balance of weight, protection, and durability is vital.
Generous 2 Person Capacity
With a floor area of 29sq. ft inside the inner tent there is plenty of space to fit two sleeping mats without being too cosy with your camping buddy. The unique pole geometry optimises headroom for more liveable space so you can both sit up and enjoy a quick game of cards before winding down for the evening.
With a rainfly made of 68D ripstop polyester with a PU coating and durable water repellent finish you get excellent performance and a hydrostatic head of 1500mm. The inner canopy is a combination of 40D ripstop nylon with a durable water repellent finish and 20D nylon micro mesh. The floor boasts a hydrostatic head of 3000mm and is made with 70D nylon taffeta again with a durable water repellent finish.
The combination of these fabrics creates an excellent barrier against the elements while also maintaining a degree of breathability and ventilation so as to avoid a build-up of condensation. All this in a lightweight, durable package that won’t weigh you down.
7000 Aluminium Series Poles
Aluminium in the 7000 series category can be hardened to the highest strengths of any aluminium alloy. It is frequently used in aerospace engineering because it can withstand great forces. MSR have used it in the tent poles because in difficult weather conditions it’s important to be able to trust that your tent can remain sturdy and intact.
2 Large StayDry Doors with Generous Vestibules
A large door on each side allows easy access and can be gathered back and secured with a clip to keep it open. The StayDry feature consists of discreet protruding seam just above the zip baffle which will catch any excess water and guide it down the seam of the tent rather than it dripping on you as you get in or out of the tent.
The generous vestibule areas on each side of the tent allow enough space to stash a wet rucksack and a pair of muddy boots without completely blocking the access in or out of the tent.
2 Built-In Gear Lofts
The built-in gear lofts inside the tent offer a safe space to stash smaller items, such as your head torch, that you might need access to in the night or in the morning. There are other pockets on the inside of the tent for stashing a map and guidebook along with other essentials.
I was lucky enough to try this tent out on an overnight wild camp in the Lake District.
When packing the tent in my 45L pack I was impressed at how small it packed up. Although the tent bag is relatively long I could roll up the inner and outer together and put it back inside the tent bag easily so that it took up less than a third of the space. I then put the pegs and poles down the side of the rucksack, I was able to pack this way on the side of the hill too, although the weather conditions were very generous.
Putting the Tent Up: 8/10
Putting the tent up was quick and easy, I choose to put it up inner first but I could see how easy it would be to put it up outer first if the conditions were wet. This kind of versatility on other tents usually involves some fiddly adjustments but I couldn’t see how any would arise on this tent. The only part I could see people finding odd is the way the poles bend into each other, hence the 8.
Inside the Tent: 10/10
Once inside the tent, I was surprised at how much headspace there was. Two people could easily be sat up inside the tent without a problem and without blocking the doors. The gear lofts are small but stay out of the way and are perfectly sized for my glasses and my headtorch, two things I might need access to in the night. The large mesh pockets at each end of the inner tent are not only handy but are also easy to see through when you are doing your final checks to make sure everything is out before putting the tent down, I know I can’t be the only one that has left smaller items in the corner pockets of tents when packing only to find that I need them later in the day.
The vestibules on each side are the same and very spacious, they offered a great place to stash a rucksack and pair of boots to keep them out of the way. The one thing I would have liked is for the door zip to carry on a little further down the other side, this would allow you to keep the door closed in bad weather conditions but you could open a little section at the top to be able to see the view and keep an eye on conditions without constantly having to move to look outside. The StayDry function is genius, so simple but will be great at catching rain and guiding it down the tent instead of leaving you wet when getting in and out of the tent.
The ventilation worked a treat at keeping a flow of air and a relatively pleasant temperature inside the tent during the night and in the morning, I was quite impressed with this because it was particularly warm on my trip, however, it makes me question if I would be warm enough in this tent on nights when it isn’t so unusually warm.
Although the fabrics are very thin they feel quite sturdy so I didn’t hesitate in laying it on the ground to roll it up. I noticed that most, if not all, the seams on the tent were neat and double stitched which suggested quality and durability. The poles seemed strong and slick and locked together easily while the pole ends slotted into the grommets on the fabric with absolute ease. Due to the sunny weather conditions on my trip, I couldn’t comment on how it performs in rain or wind.
I really liked this tent and think it’s a great price for the obvious craftsmanship and quality of fabrics that has gone into the design. As it packs down so small it’s a great option for backpacking for one or two people but the volume inside the tent makes it an equally great option for weekend getaways in the car. I have over 10 years’ experience working with tents in outdoor retail and over 15 years of personal camping experience in which time I have spent many hours teaching people how to put up different types of tents in a huge range of weather conditions.
About the Author:
Charlotte Fish - Outdoor Expert
Charlotte discovered her passion for the outdoors in her early teens and has never looked back since. Her pursuit of outdoor activities has taken her all over the world but she truly believes there is no place like home.