MSR Freelite 1 Backpacking Tent

3 Season / 1 Person / Mesh Inner / Height: 96cm, Length 218cm / Single Entrance
Weighs 958g (excl pegs & bags)
Code: SS16203
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The MSR Freelite 1 is a freestanding, lightweight and fully featured 3 season tent designed for backpackers and adventures who pursue all kinds of activities. 

MSR says:

Designed for backpackers and adventurers who want to make the most of their time outdoors, the FreeLite™ 1 offers the comfort of a backpacking tent in an ultralight design that won’t weigh you down or take up much room in your pack. With its unified freestanding frame, it sets up quickly to offer soloists plenty of headroom—great for sitting up and planning the next day’s adventure, whether it’s hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail, mountain biking the Flume Trail, or sport climbing on the South shore. The ventilating micromesh canopy and large, easy-access door are just a few of this liberating tent’s livable features that make you feel free to tackle it all.

When weight is a critical factor but livability also matters in your choice of a tent, the FreeLite tents - the lightest freestanding MSR tents available - are your ideal option for weekend backcountry trips or a two week thru-hike. This free standing, double wall tent provides full protection without a big weight penalty and packs down small so it won't take up much room in your pack.

The Freelite range achieves this low weight by using ultralight fabrics - 15Denier in fact, these fabrics tend to be strong in use but there's a compromise on the overall life of the tent as thinner fabrics breakdown more quickly due to UV light. The weight of the fabrics also means that the Hydrostatic Head figures are low compared to some tents - this shouldn't be a worry though as the tents are fully waterproof and will stand up to any amount of rain, but it does mean a bit more care is required, especially with the groundsheet.

The Freelite 1 features a large door for easy access and a large floor plan which will fit a large camping mat plus your gear. There's plenty of head room too so you can comfortably sit up, making changing a whole lot easier. The porch is a good size for storing bags, boots and anything else dirty you don't want inside. It also features a micromesh canopy which offers maximum ventilation and moisture control along with bug free-protection. 

Freelite 2 and 3 person tents are also available if you're not backpacking alone or if you just want more room for extra gear. The Freelites are an ideal option for Adventure Racing or long distance backpacking where low weight is essential to the success of the trip.

- Reviewed by Ultralight Outdoor Gear

Read reviews here:      
Help and advice:
  • Ultralight Protection: Our lightest freestanding double-wall tents provide full protection without a big weight penalty
  • Easy access: Large door provide easy access to spacious interiors for comfort and convenience on longer backcountry trips
  • Ventilation: micromesh canopies offer maximum ventilation and moisture control along with bug-free protection
  • Floorplan fits large camping pad plus gear
  • Download Freelite 1 Setup Instructions [PDF]
  • Capacity: 1 person
  • Flysheet weighs: 360g
  • Inner tent weighs: 312g
  • Poles weigh: 286g
  • Total weight: 958g
  • Pegs weigh: 90g (9 x needle stakes)
  • Floor area: 1.67 sq m
  • Vestibule area: 0.65 sq m
  • Interior peak height: 96cm
  • Pack size: 46 x 15 cm
  • Poles: 1 7000 series aluminium
  • Fabrics: Rainfly, 15D nylon ripstop, Durashield coated 1200mm HH, Inner, 10D nylon micromesh, Floor, 15D nylon ripstop Durashield coated 1500mm HH
Showing our 2 MSR Freelite 1 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.
November 28, 2017 | Matthew Green
MSR Freelite 1 tent

Super lightweight yet relatively spacious, constructed with durable materials and highly waterproof. Pitching is fast and straight forward and the footprint allows for setup variety. However, not to be used in high winds so I would spec it as a 2/3 season tent. Wild camping at Grisedale Tarn in the aftermath of Storm Brian (30-40mph gusts) resulted in the spinal pole buckling into an S shape and the tent outer resting on my face. On the plus side the pole didn't break and I didn't get wet despite the collapse and the torrential rain. The design could be improved by having a sleeve in the outer to thread the spinal pole through, thus stopping it from buckling into an S shape, and another pegging point on the outer on the opposite side of the tent from the door. In general a great light weight 2/3 season tent.

June 16, 2017 | Scardy
Got me through the Dorset/Devon coast

Purchased this tent to do 120 miles of the south west coast path in May, pitched on cliff sides, on the beach, on hard ground, soaking wet ground, in tick infested grass, through cliff top thunderstorms, gale force winds, night long rain and this tent got me through all of it without a hitch!! The first night I had to use my brain and find a way to pitch this tent outer first while it was pouring down and it took me a few seconds longer and now I pitch this way every time, I don't see what all the fuss is about of this tent being an inner first pitch a bit of common sense and this is an outer first pitch! I'm 6ft 1 and had plenty of room this is a comfy tent, I used this with a thermarest neoair and a nemo siren down quilt and was a great combo. Temperature dropped down to 4 degrees a couple of nights and very windy but this tent even with all the mesh kept me warm and I appreciated the mesh on the warm still nights as it kept the condensation down. Only thing I did have to do was add a bit of line and peg out the opposite side of the door as I was finding in the night I was leaning into the side and pushing the inner onto the wet outer, bit of line and one extra peg and perfect. This tent is a bit heavier than some I looked at but I had some very heavy condensation nights and was soooo chuffed with myself I followed my gut and went for the double skin, those days it didn't stop raining and you got into the tent at night with wet skin, wet shoes and socks in the vestibule, wet gear and you soon get a lot of condensation on the inside so the inner stopped this getting me and most importantly my sleeping bag soaked! I really can't rate this tent highly enough and it will now be coming with me on all adventures until it or me finally breaks down due to over use!!!