MSR Carbon Reflex 2 Tent Review

July 3, 2023

By Nate


Are you looking for more details about the msr carbon reflex 2? If so, welcome to Trad Climbers. I am so glad you have made it here. I hope this post and our resources will be of assistance to you.

MSR's “hyperlight” Carbon Reflex 2 tent weighs only two pounds and thirteen ounces and provides two people with shelter that meets most standards for functional shelter.

Built from premium ultralight materials and designed to be strong yet easy to use, it features an efficient design that stands up against multiple user tests. Unfortunately, however, it cannot stand on its own so will need to be secured down by using stakes.


MSR is well known for producing sturdy tents that don't break the bank – this ultralight version of their Carbon Reflex tent pushes weight-cutting to new levels. They have managed to shave off several ounces from its design without compromising durability or functionality in any way.

At just two pounds and thirteen ounces, the MSR Carbon Reflex 2 tent is extremely light for its class of double wall shelters. Weighing less than three pounds combined – including rainfly and optional footprint – it stands as one of a select few tents which might more closely resemble tarps than functional shelters.

This non-freestanding tent was created for adventurers who prefer traveling light but still desire the protection provided by a tent. Designed for two, it can quickly be pitched anywhere in any wilderness area using lightweight fabrics, Easton carbon fiber poles and zipper-free vestibule entry to minimize weight compared to standard tarps; yet offers durability, simplicity and space of an actual tent.

The MSR Carbon Reflex 2 tent is an extremely lightweight tent, yet packs down small and fits conveniently into most backpacks – an invaluable feature when hiking, biking, backpacking or bikepacking – or other activities where camping in remote locations may be involved.

MSR designed this tent so it has an asymmetrical body and fly, in order to reduce weight. However, this has had the side-effect of restricting storage space on one end of the tent; though there is a small vestibule there which might prove useful for smaller backpacks.

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If you want to reduce weight even further, an alternative way of setting up the tent would be just using its body and fly. While this will only weigh slightly less, this arrangement won't provide as much stability. Hubbed pole architecture offers greater support.


Fast Setup

The Carbon Reflex 2 tent is an ideal choice for backpackers seeking double-wall protection and 3-season livability in an ultralight 2-person shelter that weighs less than a tarp. As MSR's lightest tent available and one of several ultralight 2-person shelters from major manufacturers available today, its impressive achievement comes from lightweight fabrics and mesh, carbon fiber poles and its innovative one-plus pole design with one hoop plus top strut – an amazing feat indeed!

At just under two pounds, the Carbon Reflex 2 tent is remarkably light for a double-wall tent and packs down into your backpack quickly and compactly. Furthermore, its comfortable living arrangements include two doors with dual entrances, large vestibules and plenty of interior space suitable for two people.

MSR tents are tailored to meet the demands of hikers undertaking physically-demanding treks, providing reliable shelter that will withstand all elements while still fitting comfortably into their packs. The Carbon Reflex 2 tent is an excellent choice; featuring ultralight fabrics, Easton carbon ION poles, and zipper-free vestibule design that reduce weight without compromising durability or livability; its asymmetrical front vestibule offers ample storage space while restricting ventilation by only opening on one side.

MSR recently raised the peak height 3 inches to make this tent more spacious for tall hikers who tend to reach for the top when sitting up straight without touching the tent's walls, yet most find it comfortable enough. Two vestibules provide storage of approximately 7.5 square feet each that will fit most backpacks and hiking gear comfortably.

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Setting up the tent is also easy, thanks to clips and pins that secure its fly and tent body in place, plus guylines and stakes for added wind protection. In just two steps you will have it up and ready for a relaxing backcountry experience!


The Carbon Reflex 2 tent provides backpackers with double-wall protection and three season livability for minimal weight, using ultralight materials such as carbon nanotubes to achieve its incredible lightness. When space is at a premium, its packable size makes for easy carrying when every gram counts! Plus it packs down easily into any rucksack to save precious grams!

The tent's dome shape creates ample front vestibule space, comfortably fitting a sleeping bag, two backpacks and personal possessions when pitched. Furthermore, when unzipped without its fly covering it can also generate cross breezes through its open sides allowing airflow.

MSR stands out as one of the few tent manufacturers still producing tents in a “real world” wind tunnel – so they're perfectly tailored for backpacker conditions. So far we've pitched the Carbon Reflex 2 tent in constant drizzle as well as one heavy downpour, and found it performs admirably in both situations. Fabric choices provide a balance between weight and durability with lighter materials being reinforced at strain-taking points for maximum strength and comfort.

To reduce weight, this tent doesn't stand on its own and relies on long longitudinal poles and short crosspoles to create an awning – meaning you must be able to secure its body with stakes into the ground or pitch it with its fly removed entirely. Furthermore, its design makes it suitable for snow conditions only if pitched as part of a snow cave environment or pitched without its fly attached.

Comparative to its MSR Hubba Hubba counterpart, the Carbon Reflex 2 weighs nearly one pound less. This can be attributed to its simplified pole design and use of Easton carbon ION poles; plus its zipper-free vestibule entrance and weight saving fabrics.

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MSR Carbon Reflex 2 tent is an excellent lightweight tent option for backpacking adventures that demand ultralight weight. At only 840 g (1 lb 13 oz), its ultralight construction with carbon fiber poles and lightweight fabric ensures it weighs only 1 pound 13 oz – thanks to a lightweight yet strong combination. Easily pitched thanks to carbon fiber poles and lightweight fabric construction. Large vestibule provides storage for gear or boots. Though not freestanding tent, its non-freestanding nature means that additional stability can be provided by anchoring its non-freestanding nature to the ground for extra stability if required.

MSR's Carbon Reflex tent stands out as being one of the lightest double-wall tents available, providing plenty of livability for two. Weighing less than its counterpart Hubba Hubba tent and with an unrivaled trail weight under three pounds it truly represents remarkable efficiency from any major manufacturer – a testament to its design and use of premium materials.

Closing Thoughts

Similar to its sister tent, the Carbon Reflex requires both longitudinal and cross poles for support to create its awning, creating potential problems on steep trails where tents could tip over. Therefore, you should pitch it somewhere flat where there's enough ground cover and stakes available to secure it properly.

The Carbon Reflex 2 tent from MSR stands out from other mesh tents by featuring an opening front door and zippered rear window to let in air and provide ventilation, while its ventilation system helps control moisture and prevent mold growth. Ideal for anyone looking for a durable yet comfortable tent at an economical price point.

This MSR non-freestanding tent is the epitome of ultralight backpacking, weighing only 840g (1lb 13oz). As light as a tarp, its weight makes it suitable for mountain backpacking trips with two doors and spacious interior, perfect for both backpackers and hikers alike. Furthermore, this MSR tent also comes equipped with an innovative vestibule.


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