Review: MSR FreeLite 2 Tent
My first impression of the MSR FreeLite tent was how small and packable it was. Weighing in at just 2 lbs 2 oz (although I think that’s an optimistic measurement), it fit seamlessly in my pack. We were off to a good start. The first time I set it up, however, the wind was howling and I wasn’t convinced she would hold up. The “semi-freestanding” is a little misleading — in conditions like the ones I was in, I absolutely had to stake down both the inner tent and the rainfly. The tent’s structure also requires you to steak the two front corners of the inner tent. Still, pitching the tent was straightforward albeit difficult in the wind, and once it was set up it stayed put. Overall, it was quick and convenient and protected us from the elements, which is really all you can ask for in a tent of its class.
Design and Aesthetic ★★★★
The two doors on the tent are essential to comfortable and peaceful cohabitation. They allow both people to enter and exit the tent without disturbing the other. The inside of the tent was surprisingly spacious thanks to its single 3-armed aluminum pole. It measures 38 inches tall and has a total surface area of 17.5 square feet. I’ve shared it with friends and lovers alike, and we had the freedom to get cozy if we wanted and keep our distance if we chose. It’s complete with a gear pocket and gear loops for keeping your things close. Personally, I was also a fan of the subtle red.
The FreeLite sacrifices a little bit of durability for the sake of weight, as evidenced by our first windy night, but is overall sturdy and reliable. You also have to be careful zipping it, as the zipper snagged on the nylon a few times.
$439.85 is on the steep end of the spectrum for tents of its class. Still, it is simultaneously lightweight and durable, so you’re sure to get your money’s worth of adventures out of it.
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