The Carbon Reflex 1 tent, is the lightest, double-wall, single person tent ever made by MSR. The Carbon Reflex crosses the barrier from ultralight to hyper light and utilizes the latest fabrics and cutting edge carbon fiber poles. MSR has engineered this tent to be ideal for any ultralight, 3-season adventure you’re ready to tackle. Even though the MSR Carbon Reflux is small and light, it is still very livable as it contains over 7 ft. (2.2 m) of length, plenty of room to sit up in and a roomy vestibule. MSR is continuing to prove that traveling ultralight should increase your comfort, not compromise it.
I began utilizing the MSR Carbon Reflex 1 tent in the Ozark Mountains of Southwest Missouri and Northern Arkansas and immediately noticed the light weight of the tent, as I packed it into my backpack. Not only did the tent pack up small, allowing me to store it in a corner of the main compartment of my backpack, but the light weight was really nice. This may be the lightest tent I have carried and as every backpacker well knows, light weight is a good thing.
After backpacking all day, I removed the Carbon Reflex 1 tent and began to set it up. The tent essentially comes with 3 main pieces, the tent itself, the fly and one long pole. There is also a shorter pole approximately two feet long. The setup is very easy and literally takes 5 minutes or less. I simply laid the tent out, staked it both ends, placed the main tent pole down the middle, attached it and then staked in the rest of the tent. The rain fly is attached via clipping it in to the tent itself and that’s it.
Once I put the tent together, I crawled inside and began organizing and setting up my sleeping pad, sleeping bag and other items that I would be utilizing later in the evening. While inside the tent, I found it easy to move around and discovered that the tent had ample head height for me to set up without dragging my head on the top of the tent and provided plenty of room for me to even change my clothing.
While sleeping, I found that the tent had plenty of room for me to stretch out my 6′ 2″ frame, roll around and access items inside the tent. The zippers on the tent are easy to use and allow easy access in and out of the tent and even access to the vestibule area. The vestibule itself is plenty large enough to store my boots, large backpack, camp shoes and still provides room for me to move in and out of the tent via the side door. The tent itself comes with attachments for a gear loft, sold separately and has two small mess storage pockets inside the tent. The storage pockets are very small however and really need to be a bit larger.
As I continued to utilize the MSR Carbon Reflex 1 tent, I continued to be impressed with its performance, weight and small packable size. On several occassions, I was unfortunate enough to utilize the Carbon Reflex 1 in various type sof rain and wind and found it to be stable, provide excellent protection from the weather and dry very quickly after the fact. During cold weather pursuits, I found the Carbon Reflex 1 to vent very well. There were times that I did awake to find frost inside my tent due to condensation, it was far less that what is produced in most other tents. I also found that upon taking the tent down, I could simply shake most of the frost off the tent and fly and then hang them up in the sun to dry. By the time I finished packing the remaining items into my backpack, the tent and fly would be dry.
The MSR Carbon Reflex 1 proved to be very durable and tough despite it’s light weight feel. After weeks on the trail, exposed to various weather conditions and terrain, the Carbon Reflex still looked great and showed only minor signs of wear. The Carbon Reflex also proved to be easy to clean. I found that pitching the tent in my backyard allowed me to easily clean the inside and outside of the tent with a clean damp cloth . After allowing the tent to dry, I simply stored it in the provided storage bag and then placed it in my gear closet.
The MSR Carbon Reflex 1 tent is a great choice for the outdoor enthusiast that is looking for an ultra-light tent, that is durable, tough and provides adequate space. At 6′ 2″, I found the headroom to be adequate and the vestible to be large enough for my backpack and all my gear. Although a bit pricey, the MSR Carbon Reflex 1 is a great tent for those looking to cut weight and still have a durable shelter that is still large enough to be comfortable.