A tent should always be your home away from home. I own expedition tents, bivis and premium one-man tents but it’s the MSR Elixir 2 that I call on for my working tent. I use it out on camps and low-level expeditions here in the UK when out instructing.
When out on expedition its essential you get a good nights sleep and have a secure shelter to store important equipment. The MSR Elixir 2 is a tent I can rely on to protect me as well as provide a very liveable space which can even be used to do photography editing in the field, something I do often.
The tent is a roomy one man and a very comfortable two man. There is plenty of space for two large Neo Air Thermarests.
Pitching the tent is done as an inner first and then putting the flysheet on top second. The inner is pegged to the ground and then the large pole is constructed and slotted into to all 4 corners, now you can raise the inner and via clips attach it to the poles themselves. It works very well and creates a free standing inner which can be used for a midge net only in warmer climates. The second pole goes across the middle of the tent to make the inner totally taught.
The fly goes over the top and again uses clips to attach to all 4 corners. The last step is to drive a couple of pegs into the ground to hold each of the two porch segments under tension.
Pitching on the whole is quick and logical. It’s an inner first tent its weakness is pitching in heavy rain which may result in a wet and soggy inner. The poles and clips are all colour coded which makes pitching very easy. At 2.6kg the tent is light enough to use as a one man or even better when travelling as a pair one can take the inner and pegs while the other takes the poles and the fly. This way the tent becomes very easy to hike with.
The tents liveability which for me includes storage, layout of pockets, venting and usable internal space are all top notch for the Elixir 2. At each end of the tent on the inside there is a large mesh pocket, which is great for phones and head torches etc.
Suspended from the ceiling there is an option to attach another storage solution. As of yet I have not yet purchased this as its an optional extra. I feel it would be a great addition if you wanted to use the tent more as a base camp option as then you could suspend a head torch and have it illuminate the entire internal space.
The walls are very vertical so internal space is large, one of the key reasons this tent is so liveable.
The nylon fabric of the inner is white with plenty of mesh panels for ventilation and the colour lends itself to creating a pleasant atmosphere inside. It helps brighten the interior even on a grey day when not much light from outside is shining through. The interior ventilation is linked to an outside vent on the flysheet at each end. Condensation is very well managed in this tent and I have never had a problem.
I’m 185cm and the tent is tall enough to sit up without hitting my head.
Poles and components are top quality. With 7000 series aluminium being utilised. Yes the same stuff you get in the new iPhone!
Groundsheet is 3000mm hydrostatic head and the fly is 1500mm. These have been enough to see me through very heavy rain in windy conditions with out issue. The coating is polyurethane with rip stop polyester for added protection.
Overall its a very good solid tent that comes in at a very reasonable price.
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