MSR Carbon Reflex 1 review




Incredibly light, but materials feel fragile and tent is only suitable for backpacking in hot and dry climates.

Pros and Cons

  • Incredibly light
  • Surprisingly roomy inside
  • Easy to pitch
  • Hard to get in and out of
  • Durability of fabrics a concern
  • Closure system a problem

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Camping, Gear reviews, Tents, , , ,

An ultralight and double-walled 1-person backpacking tent for three seasons

Weighing in at 760g, the Carbon Reflex is designed for solo ultra-lightweight backpacking. It provides an alternative to using a tarp, but with the benefits of a tent – complete protection from the elements and the bugs, and for a comparable weight. MSR also produce two- and three-person versions of this design.

The inner tent is pitched first and, because of its single main pole and spreader design, it ideally needs to be pegged down before you start installing the pole. The pegs are of a solid aluminium design and proved to be pretty sturdy. The Easton carbon fibre pole is placed through two eyelets at the head and toes end of the inner tent, with plastic clips used to attach the inner tent to it, and this is very quick to erect, leaving just the short spreader pole to be attached which gives additional space within the tent. The inner tent is constructed from 10-denier polyester micro-mesh, and makes you feel like you are lying inside a mosquito net, because you basically are! The groundsheet is made from 15-denier ripstop nylon that has been treated with a polyurethane coating and DWR finish. This feels light but delicate to touch, and many of the Test Team were concerned about how well it would last. The flysheet feels even more delicate, thanks to the use of 7-denier ripstop nylon. As you would expect, this has been treated with polyurethane and silicone. It is so light that you can practically see your hand through it. The whole Test Team were again worried about durability. Instead of a zip, MSR have used a combination of Velcro as well as hooks and loops. Every member of the Test Team thought that this was a major design fault – no matter how you tried to close the door, there were always gaps that let in the rain. The closure system was very tricky to use, from both the outside and once you were in the tent. Getting in and out of the tent was tricky as well thanks to its low height, a tiny 81cm, meaning that most people won’t even be able to sit up inside it, which is a shame, as when lying down the Reflex felt very roomy compared to other tents.

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