MSR Carbon Reflex Ultralight 1 Person Tent Review

MSR Carbon Reflex 1 Review

The MSR Carbon Reflex 1 person backing tent is the perfect addition to your ultralight quiver. Thanks to a somewhat roomy vestibule (for the size of this tent) the Carbon Reflex 1 offers an additional 2 feet of floor space that works perfectly for keeping gear out of the elements like shoes, stove and cooking stuff.

MSR Carbon Reflex 1 Review

The MSR Carbon Reflex 1 Tent remarkably weighs only 1 lb 7 oz, (.66 kg).  Aside from sleeping on a tarp, this is one of the lightest tents for solo camping out there. And when I say solo, that’s exactly what this tent is designed for.  The inside of the Reflex 1 has just enough room for a sleeping pad and not much else. It’s a great lightweight 1 man backpacking tent.

MSR Carbon Reflex Tent Floor

Camping space limited?  This tent can be pitched just about anywhere with one caveat.  MSR’s Carbon Reflex 1 is a non-freestanding design tent.  Once pitched the tent will fall over if not staked into the ground.  For the most part, this had not been an issue, just make sure you camp someplace you can drive a stake into the ground. The plus side is the tents so narrow it can fit in just about any nook and cranny you can find.

MSR Reflex Carbon 1 Solo Tent

What can be Improved?

When sitting inside the Carbon Reflex it was impossible for me to sit up straight without my head hitting the top of the tent. I’m 5’11 and I have a 3″ sleeping pad, which meant I had to crouch down a bit messing with my posture.  If I was camping for a long period of time and planned to be inside my tent a lot this design could present an issue.

MSR Carbon Reflex Sitting Room Tent

The main issue I have with this tent, which surely can be an easy fix is how darn hard it is to get the tent, poles, and stakes back into the stuff sack.  Hopefully, you remember your Boy Scouts training here.  My advice is to fold the tent and rain fly together really tight and then do your best to slide the poles and steaks in without ripping the tent.  Be patient.

Rainstorm Ready

This double-walled solo tent is built to withstand the elements for 3 season camping. The Carbon Reflex 1 Tents rainfly and floor feature a DuraShield waterproof coating, combined with Micromesh canopy that allows for great ventilation without having to worry about moisture pooling inside the tent.

MSR Carbon Reflex Tent Camping

I slept through a few major rainstorms in this tent and awoke completely dry on the inside. The vestibule rain fly is a little different than others on the market, instead of zippers MSR uses a combo of Velcro and a fishing style hook loop to close off the tent. This may take a little bit of getting used to.  One thing I like about this design is it seems more durable in the long run when compared to stretching out a vestibule zipper.

Overall Impression

Are you the sort of person that weights your camping gear in an effort to go light and fast?

If your next adventure happens to include backpacking, bikepacking, ultralight camping, running rivers or just getting outdoors and not wanting to lug a bunch of gear around with you the MSR Carbon Reflex 1 Tent ($449) will be a great addition to your kit.   Just look at how small this tent is when compared to a computer keyboard.

You can truly take this MSR ultralight tent just about anywhere.

Related Articles:

  1. Top 10 Large Family Tents for Camping
  2. Best Ultralight Backpacking Tents
  3. MSR Elixir 3 Review
  4. Kelty Dirt Motel 2 Tent Review

About the Author

Mike Hardaker
Mike Hardaker grew up surfing and snowboarding in Orange County and followed his love of surfing to Hawaii before eventually moving to the mountains to concentrate on snowboarding. He went on to found Mountain Weekly News based in Jackson, Wyoming.

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