MSR Carbon Reflex 2 Backpacking Tent

3 Season / 2 Person / Mesh Inner / Height: 91cm, Length 213cm / 2 Entrances
Weighs 844g (excl pegs & bags)
Code: SS16208
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The MSR Carbon Reflex 2 is an ultralight, fully featured and ultra livable 3 season tent designed for backpackers and adventures who pursue all kinds of activities.   

MSR says:

Now even lighter, the non-freestanding Carbon Reflex 2 backpacking tent is designed for adventurers who like to travel ultralight but want more protection than a tarp can offer.

Built for two, the tent delivers the full protection, durability and simple setup of a tent with a minimum weight of .84 (1 lb 13 oz). 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.

Lighter than the MSR freestanding backpacking tents, the ultralight Carbon Reflex tents 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 room 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 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).

- Reviewed by Ultralight Outdoor Gear

Help and advice:
  • Ultralight: Lightweight fabrics, Easton carbon fiber poles, and a zipper-free vestibule minimize weight.
  • Fast & Light Setup: Pitches with rainfly and optional footprint (sold separately) for versatility on lighter trips.
  • Ventilation: Micromesh canopy offers maximum ventilation and moisture control.
  • Weather Protection: Seam-taped rainfly and floor with DuraShield™ waterproof coatings.
  • The weight of a tarp with the protection and ease of setup of a tent
  • Simple, non-freestanding design with weight-saving, zipper-free vestibule
  • Simple, non-freestanding design
  • Unique pole geometry optimizes headroom
  • Weight-saving, zipper-free vestibule
  • Fast & Light setup with optional footprint
  • Large doors provide easy entry and exit
  • Micromesh canopy
  • Waterproof, taped-seam rainfly and bathtub-style floor
  • Reinforced stress points for durability
  • Internal mesh storage pockets
  • Download Carbon Reflex 2 Setup Instructions [PDF]
  • Capacity: 2 person
  • Flysheet weighs: 340g
  • Inner tent weighs: 364g
  • Poles weigh: 176g
  • Total weight: 844g
  • Pegs weigh: 100g
  • Floor space: 2.7 sq m
  • Vestibule space: 1.3 sq m
  • Interior peak height: 91cm
  • Packed size: 43 x 13 cm
  • Poles: 2 x Easton Carbon ION
  • Pegs: 10 x Needle stakes
  • Fabrics: Flysheet: 7D nylon ripstop Polyurethane coated 1200mm HH, Inner tent: 10D nylon micromesh, Floor: 15D nylon polyurethane coated 1500mm HH
Showing our 2 MSR Carbon Reflex 2 Backpacking Tent reviews with an average rating of Excellent. Would you like to write a review?
Review Summary - 5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings.
July 11, 2018 | Amy
Great tent requires somewhat careful use.

I recently purchased the MSR Carbon Reflex 2 to use on a trip to complete the Fisherfield Five in Scotland. Overall, I was very pleased with this tent, which I used with the optional footprint from MSR. The tent is of course exceptionally light and takes up very little space in the rucksack, which made it a pleasure to carry. I found the tent quick to set up, despite taking extra care not to damage the carbon-fibre poles.
The vertical side walls and steep angle of the sloping ends of the tent inner result in much more usable internal space than I have been used to with other tents, although using the internal pockets does unfortunately cause sagging. I offset this problem by using the MSR Dryline accessory to rig up an overhead storage line on which to dry a few items of clothing and to hang a few bits and bobs from, which is made easy by the loops in the ceiling of the inner. Because the inner is entirely mesh except for the floor of the tent, I had no problems with condensation even though I was sharing the tent with my friend. It was possible for us both to sit cross-legged facing each other in the tent, but neither of us is very tall at about 5’ 6’’. There was adequate room for our two sleeping mats to fit side by side, and usable space at both our head and foot ends even when lay down. The vestibules of the tent do not feature zips in order to achieve the low weight, and are closed with hook and loop fasteners and Velcro sections. I found that after I’d initially pitched the tent that the vestibule fabric was pulled too tight, and that the Velcro sections would spring open after a short time. Reducing the tensioners on the rainfly made it possible to use the Velcro properly, but it was very difficult to completely eradicate the gap between the vestibule ‘doors’. I think it would be inevitable that some rain would drip onto any gear directly underneath the vestibule entrance, but there was still plenty of space for my 55L bag, boots, and cookset in the space that I would be confident of remaining dry. I encountered only light winds and rain during the trip, but was pleased with the performance of the tent to the extent that it was tested. The low profile of the tent meant that it did not catch much of the wind.
It is worth noting that the optional footprint does not extend into the vestibule, which I prefer because it means that I can cook with confidence that any spillages will soak into the ground. Because the fabric of both the inner and rainfly are so light, my main concern with this tent would be tearing it. I actually moved the tent to another location after the first pitch, because despite the footprint I became concerned about some sharp material which I could see digging into the floor. My impression of the pegs was that they were very durable despite their low weight and slim profile. I am very pleased with my purchase. I would recommend it also for solo campers who would like a little more space, as it is easy to pack, carry, and put up alone.

May 5, 2017 | Simon Wood
All you need from a UL tent (apart from zips!!)

I've used the tent for the last week with my partner, overall we both love it.
When packed I have to have it vertically in my pack rather than horizontal.
We can both sit up and eat/dress without touching sides or roof.
Although, as you'd expect, the inner of flysheet has collected condensation no water has entered the tent.
The footprint is essential due to lightweight fabrics used.
It's easy to set up and pack away (5 minutes or less).
We have a door and porch area each, each porch is large enough to store 60ltr pack whilst still allowing you to get in/out.
Great for wild camping, due to green color and low lying profile you barely notice it.
I'd give it a 5 star rating apart from one small flaw, the flysheet doors close by using velcro and 2 metal clips, I assume this is to save weight, fine in normal conditions but if there is a combination of strong wind and rain it's possible for gaps to appear and small amounts of water to blow through and drip onto what you're storing in porch areas, therefore we leave rain covers on the packs.