As with many outdoor products, the trend in backpacking tents is to go as minimalist as possible without sacrificing on comfort or weather protection. For 2015, MSR took a creative design approach to give ultralighters exactly what they are looking for with the FlyLite two-person tent. At 1 lb. 9 oz. (710 g), it’s the lightest full-protection shelter MSR has ever made.
To cut out a large chunk of weight, MSR ditched the traditional tent pole structure and instead used two standard trekking poles for support in the single-wall tent design. A single ultra-light mini-pole adds structure to the rear of the tent, but can also be swapped out for a trekking pole if you are traveling with another person.
Despite the FlyLite’s minimalist construction, the vertical side walls of the canopy and the 29-square-foot floor space mean two people have ample space to sit and sleep comfortably.
For bad weather, a large attached awning on the FlyLite provides extra rain protection over the door without blocking your view outside and also offers just enough protection to cook. Awning-covered vents on all four sides minimize condensation by increasing air circulation, while the strong, DuraShield-coated nylon fabrics (10D on the walls and 20D on the floor) are lightweight by normal tent standards (average is 70D on the floor and 40D on the canopy) but still durable. Taped seams and reinforced stress points help with waterproofing and long lasting durability.
The MSR FlyLite tent ($350) will be available starting March 2015—perfect timing for those of you planning a thru-hike or multi-day backpacking adventure next spring/summer.