MSR Elixir 2 Backpacking Tent

Photos and specs courtesy of MSR


The MSR Elixir 2 backpacking tent is the entry-level price point 2 person tent from MSR. It features a well constructed and thought out design while offering plenty of space for both 1 or 2 people. Featuring two large doors and vestibules, it is perfect for weekend warriors looking to stay dry and critter-free when in the backcountry.


The MSR Elixir is a well constructed tent with ample space for people and gear. With the rainfly in place, it features two large vestibules for stowing gear or shoes without the fear of things getting wet. It features two large mesh pockets at the head/foot area perfect for stashing cell phones, headlamps or even water bottles for quick and easy access. The rainfly features several tie-down points and adjustable corner straps to ensure rain doesn't pool on top of the tent. The color-coded poles and fast snapping hooks make tent setup a breeze even for one person. The main poles are also connected via 2 swivel brackets that keep them the prefered position when setting up.  The doors and fly zip open very easily, but usually require 2 hands when closing.

The MSR Elixir 2 is constructed with high-grade rip-stop nylon and all the seams were taped to prevent water seeping in. The poles are flexible but strong and bend into position without fear of breaking.


The adjustable vents in the rainfly are nice and the mechanisms that holds the vents open are well designed and easy to use. That being said, the vents could be slightly larger to allow a bit more air to flow through the tent. I had quite a bit of condensation on the rainfly in the morning - although it had rained that night. The second night was rain-free, but there was still a little more condensation than I prefer.

My second nitpick is the overall weight of the tent. All packed together ( tent, fly, poles, stakes and footprint ) the MSR Elixir 2 comes in at just shade over 6 pounds (at least on my admittedly unscientific scale). While that's not too terrible if two people to split the weight, it can be a bit much for one person to lug around. But, that weight is also right in the wheelhouse of tent in this price range. Just like all equipment -if you want to shave weight, you're going to pay for it.


Overall I give the MSR Elixir 2 a solid rating of 4 out of 5. It kept me nice and dry in some pretty heavy rain the first night I used it, and I'm glad I had it. It's spacious and well constructed. And with the deal I got on it from, I really couldn't pass it up. (The street price on this tent is usually $249 but I got it on Moosejaw for $189 and free shipping. I've seen that same deal on other sites as well, so make sure you look around)

MSR has a reputation for making quality gear and having good customer service, so I felt comfortable buying this tent.

Again, the weight is a bit much. But, if you're like me and prefer being solo in a two-person tent (or you occasionally bring the wife along ), you could do much worse that the MSR Elixir 2. If you know for sure you'll never have use for a 2 person tent, I'd recommend finding an appropriate solo backpacking tent. I would also recommend paying close attention to the weather before you head out and see if items such as the footprint or rainfly will be necessary on your trip - or see if the fast and light setup is for you.

Buy MSR Elixir 2

Specs from MSR:

Price (Street) $249 USD
Color Red
Frame Weight (Standard) 1 lbs 6 oz
Capacity 2
Fast & Light® Weight w/ footprint (Standard) 3 lbs 9 oz
Minimum Weight (Standard) 4 lbs 10 oz
Packed Weight (Standard) 5 lbs 13 oz
Floor Area (Standard) 29 sq. ft
Vestibule Area (Standard) 17.5 (8.75 + 8.75) sq. ft
Tent Volume (Standard) 45 cu. ft
Number of Poles 2 7000 series aluminum
Interior Peak Height (Standard) 40 in
Packed Size (Standard) 20 x 7 in
Number of Doors 2
Freestanding yes
Rainfly Fabric 68D ripstop polyester 1500mm Polyurethane & DWR
Canopy Fabric 40D ripstop nylon
Mesh Type 20D nylon micromesh
Floor Fabric 70 taffeta nylon 3000mm Durashield™ polyurethane & DWR
Vestibule Volume (Standard) 18 (9 + 9) cu. ft

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