Lighter than MSR's freestanding backpacking tents, the Carbon Reflex tents offer backpackers double-wall protection, 3-season livability and superior packability. Weight-saving fabrics and features, including a zipper-less vestibule entry, make these tents as light as a tarp.
The non-freestanding Carbon Reflex™ 3 backpacking tent is designed for adventurers who like to travel ultralight but want more protection than a tarp can offer. Built for three, the tent delivers the full protection, durability and simple setup of a tent. Carbon fiber poles, lightweight fabrics and zipper-free vestibules make the tent weigh as little as a tarp and pack up just as small. It won’t weigh you down, whether you’re route finding in the Rockies, or losing yourself in old-growth rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. Twin doors, a spacious interior, and roomy vestibules make life on the trail more comfortable.
The Carbon Reflex tents have been revamped and made even lighter! They have for years offered backpackers double-wall protection, 3 season livability and maximum interior space for minimal weight. This updated version has been made even lighter with weight saving fabrics and features including lightweight Easton carbon fibre poles and a zipper-less vestibule entry. We think the zipperless fly access is probably a step too far - secured by velcro it just isn't as secure.
As well as being extremely light, the Carbon Reflex 1 packs down incredibly small so it doesn't take up much room in your pack. It features a roomy interior with internal mesh storage pockets and enough room to sit up comfortably without your head touching the top (unless your incredibly tall that is). It also features a good size vestibule for storing your pack, boots and anything else dirty you don't want inside.
The Carbon Reflex series of tents achieves such awesome weight figures in part because of the lightweight fabrics used, the flysheet is made from 7Denier fabric which is very light and only seen on the lightest possible tents. This doesn't mean its not strong though, modern fabrics are very strong even though they are lightweight, though there is a compromise on the lifetime of the tent. Lighter fabrics break down more quickly due to UV light.
The internal height of the Carbon Reflex tents are among the smallest you'll find in tents of this type reflecting the fanatical way MSR have gone about savings weight, the other internal dimensions are comparable. Note almost all the inner tent is mesh - this allows a lot of ventilation when its hot but it also means the air blows all the way through the inner when its windy and the tents aren't as warm in colder conditions.
In the right environment though the Carbon Reflex series are amazing, ideal for mountain marathon events or long distance backpacking where weight is critical and conditions will be strictly 3 season. For added versatility on lighter trips, all the Carbon Reflex tents allow for a Fast & Light set up option with an optional footprint (sold separately).
If you would like a footprint for this tent you will need the MSR Universal 3 Large Footprint (sold separately).
- Reviewed by Ultralight Outdoor Gear
MSR's Xtreme Shield Fabric Coating
- Ultralight: Lightweight fabrics, Easton® carbon ION poles, and zipper-free vestibule minimize weight.
- Fast & Light Setup: For added versatility on lighter trips, all tent models allow for Fast & Light setup option with a Fast & Light Body (sold separately).
- Weather Protection: DuraShield™ waterproof rainfly; Xtreme Shield™ waterproof floor
- Capacity: 3 person
- Floor & Vestibule area: 3.58 + 130 sq m (38.5 + 14 sq ft)
- Livable volume: 1444 + 425 L (51 + 15 cu ft)
- Interior peak height: 1.01m (40 in)
- Poles: 2 x Easton Carbon 6.3 ION
- Packed size: 46 x 15 cm
- Flysheet weighs: 318g
- Inner weighs: 446g
- Poles weigh: 242g
- Total weight: 1006g (excludes pegs & bags)
- Pegs x10 weigh: 88g
- Flysheet: 7D ripstop nylon DuraShield coated 1200mm silicone
- Inner Tent: 10D nylon micromesh
- Floor: 15D nylon Xtreme Shield coated 1200mm & DWR