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Description

Get serious about going light.

The ridiculously lightweight MSR Carbon Reflex 2 Tent gives you two set-up options, so you can choose the right balance between weight and protection. MSR made this tent for a scant 2lb 13oz, and you can pitch the fly with a footprint (sold separately) for a rain shelter under the two-pound mark. Carbon fiber poles and ultralight nylon fabric help MSR create a lightweight tent that still gives you 29sq feet of living room for stuck-in-camp days.

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MSR Carbon Reflex 2 Tent 2-Person 3-Season

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

The Real Scoop...

It seems there are many confused on exactly what you're getting with the 2011 Carbon Reflex 2 Tent. For starters, this is the 2011 version which has one door and one vestibule, along with a small area in the back of the tent for gear storage. This was initially intended to keep the tent as light as possible. This is the lightest weight 2-man tent MSR has ever produced to date. The 2012 version has 2 doors and 2 vestibules and is a few ounces heavier.

The other point of confusion has to do with the carbon fiber poles. Anyone who thinks these can't take the abuse of wind, rain, and even a bit of snow has no idea what they are talking about. I find it comical that someone would deem them susceptible to breakage just by setting the tent up in their back yard, or worse, by simply pulling them out of the bag. I can assure you that both MSR and Easton has tested these poles way beyond what most people would put them through. There is no way MSR would include a pole section that would 'break over time'. It's not going to happen. These poles are significantly stronger than their aluminum pole equivalents and you can be assured that they will work as promised.

The materials are absolutely the best available! The fly is comprised of a 20 denier, 330 threadcount nylon. It has tremendous tensile strength for a super taught pitch (the tighter the pitch the more wind and weather resistant it is) and all of the guyout points are reinforced with a laminated patch of nylon. The fly can be pitched separately when you use the Carbon Reflex 2 footprint. The floor is a 40 denier, 3,000mm polyurethane coated floor, substantial when compared to other sub 3lb tents on the market. The main body is a 20 denier no-see-um black mesh that disappears when it gets dark. It really feels like you're sleeping under the stars, but with complete bug protection. The details are also worth mentioning. You simply get the best stakes available in any tent. They are a red anodized hi-strength aluminum stake and are nearly unbendable. The tent, pole, and stake bags are also finished complete with taped seams to keep them from fraying. The details are an example of the quality and attention MSR puts into everything they do.

This is intended for those who want livability in a sub 3 lb tent and demand the best quality available. Are there lighter tents? Of course, but not in a double wall tent with the amount of room that the Carbon Reflex 2 has! This is a true 2-man tent (the way MSR determines this is if it can fit two regular size Thermarest mattresses (20in wide X 72in long) side by side with out overlapping the other). It also has enough room for at least 2 people to sit in without touching the walls. You can actually change your clothes in it!

I've included the dimensions.

The Real Scoop...
3 5

Sent It Back

I picked up this tent on SAC for a great price and wanted to love it but couldn't look past it's flaws. It's definitely not a 2 person tent like most of the reviewers have said. The first flaw with this tent is the 2 pole design. I think that it could have worked but there is a great deal of stress on the smaller pole which I think would cause it to break over time. The second flaw is the fact that it only has one door and then some sort of half zip window on the other side; why not just put in 2 doors? Besides these two flaws this tent seems to be a great 1 person tent that is super light. It took me literally no time to set up but because of it's design i don't think that I could trust it in harsh conditions. I had to send this one back.

Responded on

I picked this tent up on SAC and am returning it as well. The 2012 version of this tent has two doors, but the one on SAC last week (also the one here) is the old model with only 1 door. This wasn't made clear and I'm a little annoyed by that (though had I looked closer I could have noticed from the picture).

Responded on

Just wanted to throw my two cents in. This tent works ok for two average sized people if you really like each other ( girl/boyfriend , or spouse). The single door is the main factor, but the floor space isn't the largest it works (big people might disagree on the sizing though). Tons of room for one! As far as the stress on the center pole, in three years of use I have yet to see any wear on either pole, and feel these poles are just as good as aluminum ones. I have used this tent from winter with several inches of snow, to summer thunderstorm with high winds. It has always held strong and never let me down. The only thing I wish mine had was the second door. I like to base my durability answers from someone who has used this tent for several years in all conditions, and not on an opinion based speculation.

Responded on

It is a Two person UL BACKCOUNTRY tent. Bring your 20 Lb Eureka if you have issues about the size ( Or get the 3 person since you might be larger than average. As far as the poles, you are an idiot. Try it first.. The tighter you set this tent up the more weather resistant it is. Your backyard is hardly the test environment to use. This is a great lightweight tent for those trying to move light and fast. Completely solid, don't even acknowledge these morons who obviously are car campers and have never spent a night in the backcountry (aside from this site)

3 5

i'd expect more

it was a toss up for me between this tent and the copper spur UL 2, i went with the copper spur, despite being a half pound heavier, you get 2 doors more useable space, larger vestibules, and a freestanding tent. im sure this does the job, but i feel like the copper spur is a much better tent for 100 dollars less.

2 5

Pole Issues

We have used this tent for 2 months and thought it was great. One of the first nights there was some heavy wind from a thunderstorm and the tent was tested hard. The wind was hard enough to flex the mesh part of the tent into my sleeping bag during the storm and at one point the top cross pole came disconnected from the fly. We reconnected and it didn't happen again. A couple of weeks later we met another avid backpacker on a different trail. There group was using two Carbon Reflex 2 tents in the wind and one cross pole came on one of them and went through the fly tearing a large hole. She said MSR was replacing the fly. We felt lucky this hadn't happened to us when ours came loose.

Secondly two days ago after leaving the tent in the morning and walking away I heard a snap. I looked back toward the tent and thought it was a branch. Upon returning to the tent I realized the snap wasn't a branch it was the cross pole. It had snapped in half where it met the main pole. Disappointed I tried to repair the pole for the last night with the included repair sleeve. I was unable to repair it because it would just snap again where the sleeve met the pole. I ended up propping up the sides with hiking poles.

I haven't contacted MSR yet but I'm sure they with replace the pole. I'm just not confident in the carbon cross pole. It broke when staked out properly, after about 2 months, in calm sunny weather with nobody in it, and it was properly set up and staked according to the instructions.

Responded on

I had my cross pole broken as well. I felt like using aluminum poles only in the crossing between them. Does anybody who owns a Carbon Reflex 2 ever tried that?

By the way, I love the tent. It's (almost) perfect!

Responded on

After having mine and a friend's middle pole broken the same way, we got in touch with Cascade Designs/MSR and they have been very kind with us. They we'll send to us (we're in Rio, Brasil) spare parts to replace the broken ones.

Comfort for 2 males inside. Gear on the vestibule (fits perfectly).

Comfort for 2 males inside. Gear on the vestibule (fits perfectly).

Posted on

It has plenty of room for 2 males to be seated inside. Eating is a good example.

High humidity, high winds, low temperature

High humidity, high winds, low temperature

Posted on

The MSR Carbon Reflex 2 is the top when it takes to weight and size. Despite it's specification of 3 season tent, you can take your Carbon Reflex to low temperatures like around -2 to 5 celsius with high winds without worrying about the inside warmth. You just need to tie it very well on the floor, because it condensates large ammount of water on the external fly, and with the high winds, this condensated water may drop inside the core. From an inside perspective, there is plenty room for two male adults without the gear (put the gear on the vestibule, fits perfectly). It is the one backpackers will love.

Responded on

The other tent is a Azteq Nepal, isn't it?

3 5

Great Material....Poor Pole Design

I got this tent about a year ago and have used it on at least a dozen outtings. I absolutely love the material MSR uses for their tents. It is very durable and dependable against harsh conditions. What is not dependable and was a deal breaker for me was the pole design. The design is a single pole going over the top and another pole extending across the middle. While the pole are made of carbon fiber, which is nice and light, the single pole going over the top does not provide a lot of stability. Even with the rain cover on, I found the tent shifting around a lot in very the slightest of winds. I wouldn't dare depend on this pole design in very harsh and windy conditions. What I can depend on is the new pole design on the Hubba tents. It's a quick set up, all-in-one pole design that has poles extending down to each corner, instead of being just in the middle like the Carbon Reflex tents. It also provides more head room and inside manuverability. The Hubbas are a little heavier however, but the stability of the pole design makes up for it. If I were you, I would go with the Hubba series. I went with the Hubba Hubba, and have never looked back.

5 5

One word: Epic!

I'm 6'3 240 lbs, i use a 25" wide neoair, and like my elbow room ... With that said, i'm amazed how much room i got in this bad boy, a good 2 inches at the head and foot area when stretched out ... dimensions do inch closer towards the middle but using it as a solo tent, isn't an issue for me ... The mesh is holding up well, its so silky and breathes well, least it has on the windy march days .... 4 internal mesh pockets are great! The zipper that allows access to the rear vestibule is great for us men in the middle of the night ... Reduced noise door zippers are also nice ... not so ZIIIP in the middle of the night ... carbon poles are so light its rediculous, non freestanding but that means nothing ... stake out the corner's an your good to go .. like charlie sheen would say, this tent is pure WIN.

4 5

Great Tent - NOT FREESTANDING

This is a great tent, well constructed and incredibly light. My one complaint is that this tent is not freestanding at all and needs to be guyed out/staked in order to pitch. The stakes are great and work in a variety of ground conditions, but the majority of packing I do is in very mountainous terrain and I often find myself on a granite slab without many options for guying a tent. If I'm lucking enough to have some boulders nearby I can tie off, but this can be a pain especially if your options consist of a few large boulders. At the end of a hard hike/climb, the last thing I want to do is move some huge ass rocks. Overall a great tent, but it didn't meet my needs. One reviewer mentioned that this tent is "partially freestanding", which is not true. There is one pole that stretches the length of the tent and unless you can balance that arc perfectly, it won't stand. The description is absolutely correct: Freestanding: No.

Responded on

Mike, is this something that can be rectified by looping a trekking pole through the stake loops?

Looks like a "Hubba Hubba" though fewer...

Posted on

Looks like a "Hubba Hubba" though fewer poles (not freestanding) and the poles are carbon fiber instead of aluminum. Also one less door. Same size floor space and vestibules. Hence a little lighter. Other differences??? I like my Hubba Hubba, son carries poles and I carry tent and fly. He usually sleeps in his hammock, but doesn't mind carrying poles just in case he wants to share my tent. I don't think it's worth the upgrade,

Best Answer Responded on

True...there are not many dimension differences between the Hubba Hubba and the Carbon Reflex 2. In fact, the Hubba Hubba is arguably more livable based on the fact that it has two doors and two equally sized vestibules, and it's freestanding (more convenient not necessarily more weatherproof). However, the huge benefit that the Carbon Reflex offers is in it's incredibly low weight. Whenever you can save pounds in carrying weight, not simply ounces by cutting your toothbrush in half or trimming the labels off your clothes, and not sacrifice livability, it is worth the upgrade. The Carbon Reflex's weight is almost 1 1/2 lbs lighter than the Hubba Hubba while giving the user or users the same protection and livability. This does come at a cost, but the end result is a lighter weight and smaller pack. In the end this ultimately means a more enjoyable trip.

I often recommend that the best weight is saved through the 'essentials' in general backpacking (sleeping bag, tent, sleeping pad, and backpack). The best part is that in our day and age we have so many choices based on cost, weight, comfort level, etc. There are three realities in purchasing new gear; high durability, low weight, and low cost. Unfortunately you can only have two...

Is the fly seam sealed?

Posted on

Is the fly seam sealed?

Best Answer Responded on

Absolutely! The MSR Carbon Reflex represents the best workmanship available in backpacking tents. Many buy this tent based on it's weight and livability, but later cherish it due to it's best-in-class quality. The materials used are premium making it durable, weatherproof, and incredibly light. The lap-felled seams (strongest seam available and an example of the extreme detail used in it's construction) are immaculate and the seam-taping is near perfect with absolutely zero bubbling, often found in the competition's seam-taping. You would be hard pressed to find the same combination of absolute quality and attention to detail which has resulted in the finest ultralight tent money can buy. There is no doubt that you get your money's worth with the MSR Carbon Reflex Series of tents.

Can the outer fly hold up on the poles...

Posted on

Can the outer fly hold up on the poles without the tent?

Can you use the outer fly and poles (without internal tent) as an ultra light shelter?

Can you pack up the tent in the rain (unclip it from the pole) under the cover of the fly while the fly remains standing?

Normally you can do this with clip-on tents (tents don't have sleeves for the poles, but rather clips, like this one), but being that this tent is not freestanding, I'm not sure how this would work. What exactly needs to be pegged for the tent to stay up?

Best Answer Responded on

Actually the answers are: yes (with a footprint), yes (with a footprint), and no (if you want to save your sanity). The reason is when the fly is set up with the tent, the fly is actually clipped into the tent, and the smaller pole that's positioned just above the door (crosses the main, larger pole) is placed in the grommet of the tent, not fly (although both can be placed into this grommet, the tent must be where the fly isn't required to be). This grommet is fairly difficult to remove the pole from due to the tension of the pole. There probably is a way, but that way wouldn't be easy or practical. It simply wasn't designed to do this. I think you would find trying it would be far more hassle than it's worth...there is absolutely no way without a footprint.

The Carbon Reflex 2 has subtle differences when compared to the Hubba Hubba which could probably be taken down while the fly remains pitched. Due to the clips in the corner of the Carbon Reflex 2 and the grommets above the door (which also make doing this difficult on the Hubba Hubba), it might be an exercise in frustration. In the case of the Carbon Reflex 2, you must use a footprint to keep the fly pitched, whereas the Hubba Hubba doesn't need one.

Responded on

Just a follow-up to my own question now that I bought the tent. And thanks Jason for a very accurate reply. Your response helped me make up my mind about buying this tent.
As Jason mentioned, it's not easy to take down the tent from the inside-out (fly last), and it is wholly impossible without a footprint. I did find, after some experimenting, a procedure that works well enough and does not require exiting the tent at all.
0) To begin with, when setting up the ten, you must attach the velcro tabs underneath the fly to the poles. This is usually optional, to center the fly, but the fly won’t hold up on its own once you remove the tent if you don’t. You should also have both the four tent corners and the four footprint corners staked out (can use the same stakes).
To take the tent down in the rain:
1) Put on your rain jacket. Your’ back will be rubbing against the fly and it’ll get wet.
2) Through the front door, remove pull the outer fly grommet out of the short cross-pole (a thumb-sized strap loop is provided exactly for that), and pull the tent grommet out as well. The tent and fly shouldn’t collapse at this if everything else is still staked in, but don’t delay: put the fly grommet back in without the tent’s.
3) Step into the vestibule (your back is now rubbing the fly). Pick an adjacent corner. From the inside, unclip the fly from the tent, and clip it into the footprint. They may not be at the same distance, but the clip on the fly is adjustable, so they don’t need to be.
4) The stake is holding both the footprint and the tent. Leave it in the ground and slip the tent wire out of the stake from above (this works regardless of whether the tent wire is above or below the footprint’s).
5) Do the same of the other corner that is accessible from the vestibule.
The vestibule-side of the tent is now collapsing a bit. Close the tent door and unclip the tent from the long pole.
6) Take the long pole out of the side grommets of the tent, and let it rest on the ground. It should hold fine, although go easy on the fly from now on as it has a bit less stability.
6) Repeat the procedure for unclipping the corner (steps 4-5) for one of the remaining corners.
7) Repeat the procedure for removing the tent grommet (step 2) for the grommet on the far side of the short cross pole.
8) Repeat the procedure for unclipping the corner (steps 4-5) for the last remaining corner.
9) Roll up your dry tent and put it in a waterproof/dry place. Your wet fly can go in a separate bag.
Ta-da. Your tent, still dry, is packed and you’re under the shelter. You can go on with your hike, knowing that you don’t need to sleep in a wet tent tonight.

How do MSR tents like the Carbon Reflex 2...

Posted on

How do MSR tents like the Carbon Reflex 2 compare to tents like Big Andes?

Responded on

MSR tents and Big Agnes tents are pretty comparable. Similar ones from BA would be the Fly Creek UL 2, Copper Spur UL 2, or Seedhouse SL 2. In relation to this tent,
Fly Creek 2: Lighter, doesn't need to be staked out, less living space, more durable poles.
Copper Spur 2: Heavier, completely freestanding (only need to stake out vestibules), same living space/more vestibule space, more durable poles.
Seedhouse SL 2: Same weight (BC.com is wrong), completely freestanding (only need to stake out vestibules), little less living space/vestibule space, more durable poles.

Hope this helps!

Responded on

I agree with what Steve Masters has said about comapring the Carbon Reflex with BA tents. I would like to add that the BA tents are made with less durable fabrics, and they have less waterproof coating than the MSR. I have owned the BA Seedhouse and the Carbon Reflex, and I prefer the MSR. It isn't because the Seedhouse isn't a good tent. I didn't like the fact that the fly will drip into the tent when you open the door, and the front entrance is a pain when you have gear in it. The Fly creek seems to be a simular design to the Seedhouse, and probably will have the same issues. The Copper Spur on the other had is an outstanding tent. A friend of mine has it and it solves the problems of the Seedhouse with a side entrance, and an overhanging fly above the door. It also has two doors which is better than the Carbon Reflex, but as I said above the material and waterproofing aren't as good as the MSR.

What's the packed size? I found it on the...

Posted on

What's the packed size? I found it on the Hubba as 20x6 but wanted to compare this one and that.

what do you mean by not free standing

Posted on

what do you mean by not free standing

Best Answer Responded on

The initial picture is wrong. The 4 detailed pictures are the correct tent. If you'll notice, the detailed pictures show only two poles that intersect at the top. There is no 'hub' on this tent, only two carbon fiber poles. Thus it is not freestanding because it has to be staked out in order for it to stay upright.

Having said that, I've used this tent in some pretty severe conditions. The most severe was at Ticomb Basin in the Wind Rivers. Here it blew on average of about 30 miles an hour and snowed on us as well. However, when this tent is staked out, it is almost immovable. The carbon fiber poles are stiffer than aluminum and the materials are similar to those used by both the standard Hubba Hubba and Hubba Hubba HP. For the weight, there isn't a better tent that is as weather proof nor as roomy.

I call this tent a 'semi-freestanding tent' because I believe the best features of a freestanding tent is that you can shake it out before packing it up and move it to the best campsite after setting it up. All tents need to be staked, period. Most non-freestanding tents collapse onto themselves making it hard to move once set up and shake out after when needing to pack it up. The Carbon Reflex 2 Tent can be shook before packing and moved once set up. However it has to be staked out to be useable...

This is a an excellent tent, super lightweight, very weatherproof, easy to set up, and very durable for as light as it is (has a 10,000mm coated floor). No compromises here...

Responded on

Just wondering, if the initial picture is wrong, what is it a picture of? That tent looks almost identical to the carbon reflex 2 (lightweight?), but slightly more practical.

Responded on

Nevermind, I think I found it. It seems to be the hubba hubba, which is half a kilo heavier. Too bad.

5 5

Ultralight Doesn't Mean You Have To Give Up Comfort

The MSR Carbon Reflex 2 is an ultralight tent that will cut weight from your pack, but doesn't mean you have to give up comfort! It is a two man tent that weighs as much as most solo tents. With two people the floor space is cramped, but has ample head room. For one it is like having a double wide trailer in your pack. While not freestanding it is just as stable as any tent I've ever tested. The poles are carbon fiber so they require more care when handling them, but if cared for they will last forever. This tent is expensive, but has a level of craftsmanship unlike any other tent on the market. Details like 10,000mm coating on the floor is unheard of, and dual coatings on the fly mean this may be the last tent you buy! While only having one door can be a challeng with two people, but the zippered access to the rear vestibule is a very usefull feature. Also for the guys out there the rear door is an excellent place to relieve yourself in bad weather. If you can get this tent on sale you can't go wrong, but it is worth the regular full price.

Ultralight Doesn't Mean You Have To Give Up Comfort
Responded on

Updated Review:

I used this tent to camp at the 5,842' summit of Mount Sterling in the Smoky Mountains. The wind was howling, the temperatured dropped to 0 degrees, and there was 1-2 feet of snow. In those conditions it wasn't the most desirable tent, but it was more than adiquate. It shed the wind, kept us dry, it was a little cramped for two with winter gear(1 would be perfect),and as one would expect it doesn't hold heat in well. I wouln't feel safe with more than 4 inches of snow load. A serious three season tent that can handle the accasional freak snow storm, but could be used in winter is some milder climates

Responded on

Just about a year into this tent, and I have to say that it has held up well. No problems with durability. the tent itself is in like new condition, and the poles have showed no signs of porblems. I was worried when I bought this tent that the poles wouldn't hold up, but after a year of hard use they are in perfect condition. I now feel that carbon fiber poles are perfectly safe, and will last just as long a aluminum ones. You still don't want to step on them or through them down on a rock, but I would want to do that to any tent pole.

5 5

Killer 1 1/2 person tent

OK, it could be a 2 person tent, if the people are small and don't mind being close. But, really, it's a comfortable 1-person tent, with room for some of your gear. Obviously, it's ridiculously light, and this makes it much easier to justify having a 2-person tent for just one person. It is not free-standing, but is quite sturdy (even without being guyed out) and easy to pitch. At first, I wasn't sure about the vertical zippered access to the rear vestibule, but found that it provides decent access. It has ample headroom, and generally feels about as roomy as my older Hubba Hubba (except there's not as much elevation in the corners, which is not a problem unless you're trying to sleep two people side-by-side). If you want to try to shed some pounds (yet still have a roomy, double wall tent), and you have some cash to spare, this would be a hard tent to beat.

Killer 1 1/2 person tent
Responded on

I agree - it's really a 1.5 person tent (or very cosy 2 man for smaller folks)

Only having one door is awkward. We tried to use it for a long cycling tour, but it was diffucult to pack the panniers in the vestibule opposite the door and there was very little space for valuables in the inner tent. Positives were that the tent's weight was fantastic and the construction robust. It was very easy to pitch and pack down.

Shame that the footprint is an extra cost as I think that it is needed in most situation other than lovely soft grass.

As we had the Reflex 2 tent stolen, we have now decided to change to the Carbon Reflex 3. (but again, I resent having to pay the extra for a footprint)

Responded on

Strongly disagree. In this picture, the tent is not well tied as you can see in cad3040163 photo. When you mount it the correct way, there is enough room for 2 males inside. Obviously your backpack must be on the vestibule. The tent is not for your gear. The "window" is perfect to stash your boots and/or other gear that can relay on the external area. One big door is all you need. This is the perfect choice for backpackers.

4 5

Review Title

I carried this tent for our backpacking trip and everyone else was jealous. It is so light! It was easy to put up and cozy inside. If you plan to spend more time in tent except your sleep hours, it is a little tight. Card playing was done in our other tent.

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