If you are looking for a reliable and sturdy backpacking shelter, this MSR Elixir 2 Person Tent review is for you. Read here about this great tool from a renown brand.
Bonuses and key features
- Footprint included.
- Easy setup, all color coded.
Elixir 2 tent – description
The floor is a relatively durable 70D taffeta nylon, with Durashield polyurethane & DWR, a bathtub-type construction and fully seam taped. So you have a full protection from the ground water.
The canopy is 40D nylon, still quite durable, and the mesh areas are 20D. The mesh is in the upper sections of the two doors and on the top area of the inner tent.
You have some gear loops for accessory gear loft, and there are a few quite large mesh pockets. The size of the main floor area is 84 x 50 inches (213 x 127 cm), not so bad for two backpackers.
Two regular size sleeping pads, like this Sea to Summit pad, will fit nicely but as you realize, once you put them on the floor, there is no much space on the sides left. The floor plan is shown below.
You have two poles which cross each other twice, plus a smaller cross brow pole on the top which is there to pull the side walls up and to set them in a nearly vertical position. This gives a lot of volume inside. The structure is shown in the picture above.
Such a structure of the main poles makes the construction very stable, the more cross sections the better, such a principle is used also in standard winter tents.
Note that the main poles are color coded, red and gray, and this makes the setup very easy. This means that the tabs on the corners are in the same colors, so you cannot get confused (unless you are doing this in a completely dark environment). The corresponding clips for the tent body attachments to the poles are hard plastic and also color coded.
Each corner of the fly is color coded which helps for the setup. This is a 68D ripstop polyester, fully waterproof and with seams taped. Guyout points and tensioners are reflective. There are two vents on the opposite sides, equipped with Velcro tabs and bars so that you can keep them open, and they are also with loops so you can use cords to keep the open.
In the door area, you have the so-called StayDry design with the rain gutters above the zippers, introduced to direct the water to the ground. This is a smart and useful design.
Vestibules: They are a part of the fly and there are two of them, a quite standard size and shape, and they create a covered surface of 1.63 square meters in total (17.5 sq ft). The zippers on the vestibules are protected with storm flaps, and you also have Velcro tabs along these flaps, so again some small but important details.
Yeah, you are reading correctly, the footprint is included with this tent, and this adds a lot of value here. More precisely, this is $40 of value, not bad in view of the high price of this tent. It is always good to have a footprint, it adds to the durability and it extends the life of the floor and protects it from sharp objects.
The footprint also adds to the versatility of this tent. Namely, you can use it in the fast fly variant with the fly, poles and the footprint only. This variant is shown in the picture above.
Both the fly and the floor are with polyurethane coatings. All seams are taped as usual. With 1300 and 3000 mm waterproofing, for the fly and the floor respectively, this tent is slightly better than the MSR Access 2 tent from their new 2017 series. Note that the Access 2 tent is, in fact, a 4-season tent.
The meaning of the numbers mentioned above is that the fabric can withstand the indicated number of millimeters of a water column for more than one minute. The numbers themselves may not look big, but they claim this is enough to withstand hurricane-force storms.
The two shock-corded poles are, as usual, made of separate segments, and in addition to this, they are interconnected so you cannot lose them. All is color coded, so the setup is easily done by one person, you will see this in the video.
Once you insert the ends of the poles in the grommets on each of the corners, you can move the tent around. This is the advantage of its freestanding nature.
Here is a short promotion video by MSR about their Elixir series, please have a look:
What is in the package
You get the following:
- 10 pegs in their separate sack.
- The set of poles in a separate sack.
- Tent body.
- Guyout lines.
Combination with MSR Gear Shed
This is an extra possible bonus, the MSR has launched their Gear Shed designed specifically for the Elixir series tents, you can see it in the picture. This adds a lot of space in front of the tent, for your gear and for your dog.
Specifications & summary of features
- Type: freestanding 3-season tent. This means the tent can be pitched on any surface, in principle no need to anchor it down, and it is not for winter use.
- 2 person tent.
- Fast-and-light weight with footprint: 1.61 kg (3 lb 9 oz).
- Minimum weight: 2.1 kg (4 lb 10 oz). This is combined weight of the tent body, rain fly, and tent poles.
- Packed weight: 2.64 kg (5 lb 13 oz).
- Floor area: 2.69 sq m (29 sq ft).
- Vestibule area total: 1.63 (0.82 + 0.82) sq m; 17.5 (8.75 + 8.75) sq ft.
- Tent volume: 1274 liters (45 cu ft).
- Vestibule volume: 510 (255 + 255) liters; 18 (9 + 9) cu ft.
- Poles: 2 plus a short pole.
- Interior peak height: 102 cm (40 in).
- Doors: 2.
- Packed size: 51 x 17 cm (20 x 7 in).
– Poles: 7000 series aluminum.
– Rainfly: 68D ripstop polyester, 1500 mm polyurethane & DWR.
– Canopy: 40D ripstop nylon.
– Mesh: 20D nylon micromesh.
– Floor: 70 taffeta nylon 3000 mm Durashield polyurethane & DWR.
- Color: red.
Pros & Cons
My short summary is as follows:
In the description in the MSR site, they write that the Elixir 2 is “the most livable 2-person backpacking tent in its class”. I think this is a bit too strong statement, this is a great tent but definitely not the most livable, see the comparison table below as one example only.
Obviously, the MSR Elixir 2 tent is an expensive tool, and it is not the lightest option on the market. But it has received great reviews in various sites. See below the breakdown of my rating through several features:
Rating of MSR Elixir 2 Person Tent
Comparison with competitors
In the table below, I compare the Elixir 2 tent with the Mountainsmith Morrison 2, an award-winning tent. They both share the same basic features, freestanding, 2 doors, 2 vestibules, 3-season tools. See how they compare:
|MSR Elixir 2||Mountainsmith Morrison 2|
|Surface (sq m)||2.69||3.25|
|Vestibule surface (sq m)||1.6||1.63|
ratio (sq m/kg)
*Note, this is the packed weight which includes the footprint as well.
At the moment of writing this text, the prices of the two tents are, respectively, $250, 126. Now, if you compare the parameters in the table, you realize that the Morrison 2 tent is better in several of them.
About the MSR Elixir tents series
So far, MSR has launched 3 tents in this Elixir series. Here are all of them side by side:
Obviously, these tents are not the lightest on the market, but note again, the weight here includes the footprint. Here are a few things to consider:
- The weight per person is bigger for the Elixir 2 tent than for the larger tents.
- Note that they all come with two vestibules, and those are practically the same size for all tents. So you have far less effective space per person for larger tents.
- The prices are visible in the links below, the smallest is usually the most expensive per person.
MSR Elixir 2 Tent vs Hubba Hubba NX Tent
See how the Elixir 2 tent compares with yet another celebrated MSR tent, the famous Hubba Hubba NX presented in my separate text:
Hubba Hubba 2
|Surface (sq m)||2.7||2.69|
|Fabric D floor/fly/body||30/20/20||70/68/40|
|Vestibule surface (sq m)||1.62||1.6|
|Gear shed combination***||yes||yes|
**There is no footprint here.
***Both tents allow for combination with their corresponding gear sheds which can be ordered separately.
From this, you realize the reasons for the weight of the Elixir 2 tent, much thicker materials are used, plus it includes the footprint. All other parameters are nearly the same. But see the prices: $400 for the Hubba Hubba tent as compared with $250 for the Elixir tent. So if you are about to choose between the two, I think the choice should be easy.
So to conclude this MSR Elixir 2 Person Tent review, this is again a nice tool from MSR, reliable, with the bonus footprint and with extra possible bonuses if used with the Gear Shed. It is not the lightest option on the market, but the pieces of the package can be shared among the users so this is not such a big deal. I can fully recommend this tent. Note that it is sold at several departments on Amazon, and the prices can be very different, so check carefully. If you need a solo tent, check their Elixir 1 tent 2018 version.
If you want something in classic style, do not miss to see this The North Face Tuolumne 2 tent. Thank you for reading. Please let me know what you think, there is a comment box below. I wish you a nice day.