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MSR Carbon Reflex 2
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Tim Testa
(MichaelRedbeard) - F
Talked to MSR... on 07/14/2009 15:22:01 MDT Print View

They said the the three loops that run along the poles (the two that are at are a quarter of the way up on fly running along the main pole and the one that is in the back arching pole near the storage area) are used to adjust the alignment of the fly over them. In other words, center the seams with the poles by giving them a light tug. The ones on the bottom of the middle main pole areas are as you said, to provide more ventalation. And finally, you guys were correct, the little pole is suppose to be on top. It ended up not slipping around once I attached all the clips to the main pole.

Of course after getting of the phone with them a new problem arises for me. Let me post some pictures to start off with.







To begin with, how does my fly look in the first two pictures? Is it staked out tight enough? I am wondering if I steaked it out too tight because of the creases that you can see in various spots.

Alright now take a look at pictures 3 and 4, and take notice of how the fabric in the corners is loose compared to the pictures in 5 and 6. As it turns out, the pictures in 5 and 6 were taken when the fly was off. You can see that it is staked out pretty nicely, unless I am mistaken. However, when I put the fly on and tighten it with the straps, it loosens up like how you see it in picture 3 and 4. What is up with that? How can I fix that or is that normal?

Edited by MichaelRedbeard on 07/14/2009 15:31:16 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Re: Talked to MSR... on 07/15/2009 15:55:20 MDT Print View

Regarding the loose corners of your tent, what is happening is that when you attach the fly it pulls the corners of the tent up which loosens the body. Without the fly, the stakes are pulling the tent corners straight out. When you attach the fly and pull it tight, this is now pulling upwards on the guylines between the tent and the stake. This lifts the corners and makes them looser. Do you follow?

There are a few approaches you can take to mitigate this:

1) Don't pull the fly as tight. You want the fly generally taut, but there's no need to stretch it so tight you can play a tune on it. Have you noticed the easy tension adjustments on the stake-out lines and on the fly straps? Get your fly acceptably taut, and then tighten up the guylines again to pull the tent body tighter. Tightening the fly less is probably the best approach to minimizing this problem. The tension adjusters on the fly and tent body guylines are really cool and easy to use, but that makes it easy to tighten things more than necessary. I would get the tent body guy lines quite taut, but then tighten the fly ones only as much as needed. When you setup the tent start with all of these cords somewhat slack, and then once you've got the tent setup you can fine tune the tension.

2) Grab 2 extra stakes (plus the 2 extra ones included that you normally don't need) so you have 4 surplus stakes. Now stake down the tent body RIGHT at the corners of the tent (and fully sink the stakes into the ground). This ensures that the tent corners stay on the ground and don't lift upwards and loosen when the fly is attached. The downsides to this approach is that you are carrying a few extra stakes, plus it's a bit harder to stake out the tent because you no longer can use the tension adjustment. If one corner is loose you need to actually pull the stake out and reposition it. This can be a pain in poor soil where it's hard to get a stake in.

Edited by dandydan on 07/15/2009 15:58:50 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Testing on 07/15/2009 16:05:34 MDT Print View

I took my CR2 out camping last night. I experimented with putting the cross pole over and under the main pole. It seemed quite clear to me that it worked better OVER the main pole.

With the cross pole routed under, the pole really didn't bend at all so it pulled the fabric extremely tight. When you put it the cross pole over the main pole that initiates a curve, so the cross pole has a safer amount of tension on the tent body. You might have to actually observe this for yourself for it to make sense because it's hard to explain.

Here's a 2nd piece of evidence that the cross pole goes over:

Recall the velcro flaps/loops that secure the fly to the tent poles. There are three of these. The outer two are obviously meant to grab the main pole as the velcro flaps are parallel to the main pole. However, the center one is perpendicular so you can not attach it to the main pole unless you really twist it. It's clearly meant to attach to a pole running perpendicular to the main pole....which is the cross pole. In order to velco the fly to the cross pole, you need to have the cross pole above the main pole. So really, the only way everything works is if you have the cross pole above the main pole. This settled all doubt in my mind.

Edited by dandydan on 07/15/2009 16:08:32 MDT.

Tim Testa
(MichaelRedbeard) - F
Brilliant Logic :o) on 07/15/2009 22:25:54 MDT Print View

Guy-out lines and stake-out lines; they are the same thing, correct?


"Grab 2 extra stakes (plus the 2 extra ones included that you normally don't need) so you have 4 surplus stakes."

Im going to use the other method like you said, but you made me wonder about something. Did you get 8 stakes with your tent? I only got 7 with mine. 4 for the corners, 1 for the storage part of the fly, 1 for the front fly door, and 1 extra one ("extra" after I realized that I was a moron for staking both of my fly doors down.) I will have to get in contact with MSR if I did not get the correct amount of stakes.


"In order to velco the fly to the cross pole, you need to have the cross pole above the main pole. So really, the only way everything works is if you have the cross pole above the main pole. This settled all doubt in my mind."

I am on the same page Dan. It makes perfect sense! Excellent logic on your part. Speaking of twisting, do you have to push away the loop on the tent near the arching pole when you put the the pole through the grommet of the fly?


Do you ever use your tent for two people? I am having a debate on whether or not it suits my needs. I cannot decide if I am forcing myself to think that it will or if it is actually possible. When my girlfriend and I get into it we are extremely close together. However, that is not to say that we are overlapping each other by any means. We are basically shoulder to shoulder though, luckily enough this is because we are small. I am 5'7 and she is 5'4. We fit pretty well if she sleeps one way and I sleep the other way, but of cpurse that isnt exactly the way we want to sleep at night. Long story short, I do not mind the available space. The only thing I am concerned about is putting to much tension on the outside length of the tent. The part where our outside shoulders will be resting. It is not like we are hammocking our bodies over the sides of the tent, but our weight does cause the side of tent body that has risen due to the tension of the steaks to collapse downwards. I could ease up on the tension of the stakes so there is a little more give if necessary, but I am not sure if this would be a smart thing to do. What are your thoughts? I really love this tent!

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Re: Brilliant Logic :o) on 07/15/2009 23:56:14 MDT Print View

"Guy-out lines and stake-out lines; they are the same thing, correct?"

Yes, at least when I use those terms they are.


"Did you get 8 stakes with your tent?"

Yes, I believe MSRs intentions are:
- 4 for corners
- 1 for vestibule
- 1 for door
- 2 for either ventilation loops, extra guy outs

I think MSR sells these stakes seperately but I'm not sure.


"Speaking of twisting, do you have to push away the loop on the tent near the arching pole when you put the the pole through the grommet of the fly?"

Yes, this is slightly annoying but pretty minor really.


"Do you ever use your tent for two people?"

Yes, I've been on three 1 night trips with this tent and 2 of them were with my wife. I am 6'0" and 165lbs and she is about 5'6 and 125lbs. I haven't mentioned the slightly small size of the tent and she hasn't brought it up or complained at all. I actually find it a really nice size for two. We both sleep with our heads at the same end. It's small enough that things are cozy without being cramped. I like it.

Regarding strain on the tent....I haven't noticed mine pulling too hard. Maybe it just takes a few nights to stretch the fabric a bit? Loosening up the tension isn't a bad idea. The only thing you need to be careful of (that I can think of) is that you don't want the fly hitting the tent body if it's raining (since that contact can cause leakage) and you also don't want the noise and wear of the tent flapping in the wind if it's really loose and quite windy.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
danke on 07/16/2009 08:20:17 MDT Print View

I'm glad I bumped into this thread as I've been eyeing the Reflex since it was released. I got to "play" w/ one @ REI when I visited Seattle and was then even more anxious. The price however was a MAJOR barrier. The lowest I was able to find it was in the $400-ish range- still too high. I almost settled for a less costly tent, until I bumped into this thread. I too went to Backpackeredge and signed up for the 1st time buyer coupon and as stated it knocked the price down to $307 :)

I opted for the footprint (they had them in stock) and 12% was knocked off that as well.

I think the idea of a small piece of duct tape where the two poles might rub sounds like pretty good insurance.

thanks for all the questions (and answers!), I'm sure I would have had many of the same and now I'm in the know.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Rubbing on 07/16/2009 21:49:09 MDT Print View

Regarding the rubbing....I want to be clear that I haven't noticed any actual rubbing occurring. I was simply worried that it MIGHT occur and if it did, that MIGHT cause damage.

The main pole and cross pole simply are simply pressed against one another (when you route the cross pole above the main pole) so it's possible they could rub if there was a force shaking the tent. It seems they are pressed together somewhat snugly, so if any rubbing does occur it would likely be in unusually extreme conditions. I do agree that a small piece of duct tape is likely a wise precaution, but I don't think I can bring myself to slap some on top of this beautiful carbon fibre.

Tim Testa
(MichaelRedbeard) - F
No kidding... on 07/17/2009 14:17:10 MDT Print View

I cant bare to think putting duct tape on mine and then having it get that sticky residue around the edge of the tape over time. Ill cross the road when I get to it if there ends up being a problem. In other words, Ill call up MSR and be like, "GIVE ME NEW POLES!!!" Just Kidding =)

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

New Poles on 07/17/2009 16:34:56 MDT Print View

Supposedly MSR is really good about giving out new poles if you have trouble with yours. I think there's a lifetime warranty on them so we may as well see if this is really a problem before we take steps to address it.

Estaban F
(estabanKY) - F
Re: Touching on 07/24/2009 09:18:46 MDT Print View

So how goes it with one door and 2 people. I currently have a Zoid2 and love double doors but sometimes need a freestanding.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Re: Re: Touching on 07/30/2009 23:23:53 MDT Print View

The single door hasn't been a problem. Sure 2 doors would be nice, but it's not really necessary. When you are getting ready for bed, it's very easy to let the other person past. It's only harder when you are actually laying down.

Regarding freestanding.....the CR2 only needs the 4 corners staked/tied out to be freestanding. Are there times you don't stake/tie your tent?

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
freestanding on 07/30/2009 23:41:50 MDT Print View

the CR2 only needs the 4 corners staked/tied out to be freestanding

A tent that falls over when the corners are not staked/tied is not free-standing is it? =-)

A free-standing tent, in a pinch, can be placed on a slab of rock and is still usable without stakes.

Edited by ashleyb on 07/30/2009 23:42:21 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Weight on 07/30/2009 23:49:07 MDT Print View

So I finally got my new scale and weighed my CR2.

As background, MSR claims:

Minimum Weight: 1270g
Packaged Weight: 1490g

On my scale, I weighed the entire package at 1499g. That breaks down as follows:

Fly: 501g
Tent Body: 580g
Poles: 220g
Main Stuff Sack: 46g
Peg Sack: 7g
Pole Sack: 17g
Pegs: 8 x 10g
Guy Lines: 2 x 20
Pole Repair Tube: 8g

To get on the trail at under 3lbs, you'd have to drop that 1499g down to 1361g.

Here's how I carry the tent:

1) Leave the pole sack at home and instead use the poles to roll up the tent body and fly. With the poles wrapped in the body and fly, they will be safer plus you save 17g.

2) Leave 2 pegs at home in nice weather. In nice weather you just need 6 poles (4 corners, 2 vestibules) because you don't really need the extra guy lines. Result: 20g saved

3) Leave the two guy lines at home (if I'm going as light as possible in an area I know stakes will be fine. Result 40g saved

Total Result: 77g saved, total weight: 1422g

That's obviously over 3lbs, but you drop another 46g if you left the main stuff sack at home. If I was really trying to lose weight I'd do that, but normally I prefer the convenience of the stuff sack. Losing it would get you very close (15g over) to 3lbs. If you left the peg sack (7g) and the pole repair sleeve (8g) you would be at 3lbs and you'd still have everything you need.

According to my scale, MSRs claim of a 1270g minimum weight is not possible. The tent body, fly and poles combine for a weight of 1301g. Since the tent isn't free standing, you really need to bring 6 poles too (60g), so I would say 1361g (or exactly 3lbs) is really the minimum weight.

Edited by dandydan on 07/30/2009 23:53:33 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Re: freestanding on 07/30/2009 23:52:21 MDT Print View

@ Ashley:'re right I mis-used the term freestanding. I should have said the CR2 'only needs the 4 corners staked to stand.'

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Weight on 07/31/2009 00:00:37 MDT Print View

Minimum weight of 1.3kg not including stakes is pretty good! Some manufacturers don't include the weight of stakes in the weight of their tents (since people often swap them out anyway). So the minimum possible weight specified by MSR might be not including the stakes. 30g over spec in this department isn't too bad considering what some manufacturers get away with.

Edited by ashleyb on 07/31/2009 00:01:34 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

CR2 vs. Hubba Hubba on 07/31/2009 00:40:34 MDT Print View

It is impressive that MSR managed to drop the weight by about 600g (vs. Hubba Hubba) without compromising very much. Interior space, waterproofing and durability is all pretty much the same.

Basically, you give up the freestanding nature of the Hubba Hubba and 1 door and you save almost 1.5lbs.....oh and there's the little difference of paying a few extra Benny's for it.

Tim Testa
(MichaelRedbeard) - F
Recommendations on Where to Get.... on 07/31/2009 02:07:57 MDT Print View

a scale that measures grams at least as high as 5 pounds or higher or whatever you think would be good to start with. Id like to invest in one and I dont know what brand names are good, where to go to get a good price on one, and all that fun stuff. Also Id like to get one that can measure larger items, say like a backpack or something like that. Therefore, I can't have a punnie little scale that only has a weighing surface the size of a mug. Thanks!

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Scales on 07/31/2009 12:00:10 MDT Print View

Check out the thread I just started in the gear deals section. My scale reads to 2000g (4.4lbs) and it was $3.99 Buy It Now on eBay. I was worried it wouldn't be accurate, but after comparing the readings to an expensive digital scale at work I've been very impressed. It's been accurate to the gram on everything.

The weighing surface is small (coffee mug size), but I just hang a clothes hanger on the scale and then hang stuff like a pack, sleeping bag etc on the hanger. You can just hold the scale by hand when you do this, and once the numbers stabilize you know you've got an accurate reading. It's actually quite easy to do. You can zero the scale with the hanger on it so you just get the weight of the item.

You can also elevate the weighing surface by putting something like a Nalgene bottle on the scale and zeroing it. Then you can set stuff like clothes (or your tent in it's stuff sack) on the bottle. Either method works good for weighing larger stuff.

There is probably versions of this scale that read higher than 2000g. I just searched on eBay for '2000g digital pocket scales'. I know there is smaller versions (500g, 1000g)

Update: Here is a 3000g version (6.6 lbs), but it costs a bit more ($15) and it appears a bit larger:

Edited by dandydan on 07/31/2009 12:05:04 MDT.

Tim Testa
(MichaelRedbeard) - F
How about this one? on 07/31/2009 12:59:52 MDT Print View

Ha Ha Ha...looks kind of big but at least you have the option to take the bowl out. But yea, what do you think?

With that thrown out there, I must say Dan I have had some debates about the MSR C2. As you have probably read hear and there, I have been having some serious thoughts about getting a tarp tent. Here is the thing though. Most of them weight just about 2lbs 8ozs. With that said, Id be willing to sacrific enough things to get the Carbon Reflex 2 down to 3lbs 1 oz. Therefore, this about a half a pound difference, 9 ozs if you would like to be precise.

If you look at these pictures and especially the video link on the 13th post of the page, you see how the Double Rainbow faired against the extremest of weather. It is starting to become my opinion that the DR and the CR2 are very similar in design. Therefore, I wonder hot the CR2 would handle these conditions. Will the structure be able to with take this? (not a question to you, just one I am asking out loud, as I am sure you have no experience with the tent in extreme weather like this) Personally, Im not sure it would. For one it has Carbon Fiber poles, they may not be able to take that kind of stress. Two, there are only 6 stake out points. Three on each width and 1 on the front and the back. If there was three on the front and three on the back maybe it would do a little better. I really cant tell for you.

So with my curiousity of whether or not the tent will have the same faith at the DR out of the way, Im starting to think that perhaps caring the 9 ozs is worth it if I decide that this tent is a keeper. I mean we all know that it has a thick floor and more durable materials which wont allow for "misting" so maybe the half pound and odd ounce is worth it. If the two person tart tents were half the weight of the C2R then wed be talking. Even if they were 1lb less, we'd be in business. While I know there are some that are, for instance like the squall series and a couple of other, Im worried about the whole "wind tunnel" effect with them and how well they will be able to handle forceful winds.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Re: How about this one? on 07/31/2009 15:03:42 MDT Print View

That scale looks good.....although if you are going that big you might want to get one slightly bigger that can weigh your entire pack as you're on the way out the door.

Regarding your concerns with handling extreme weather....this is not an issue that concerns me. From the BPL review:

"Although I was not able to test the tent in winds stronger than 20 miles per hour, I at least found that the Carbon Reflex 2 is stable in moderate winds. The tent is basically a dome shape which helps it shed wind."

"we were frankly quite surprised and impressed with the tent's storm and condensation resistance."

"The MSR Carbon Reflex will handle a coating of snow"

Overall, I think the tent is a sturdy enough for a 3 season unit. I think it can handle pretty stiff winds and it would shed snow pretty well.

I do not think the carbon fibre poles are going to be what fails (if something does). I think the poles are quite strong and if they were to break it would likely because of a sharp focused impact force (which cracks the carbon) like stepping on the pole.

If something were to fail, I think the first thing to go would be the poles tearing out of the dirt in extreme winds. If you had poor soil and extreme winds this might be a concern. If you were on sandy soil you might want to tie it off instead.

Besides that, I think a heavy snow load (ie. +6") could take the tent down, but that's not this tents intended purpose and besides, you likely wouldn't accumulate this much snow because the tents shape would shed it well. You'd probably need to get a foot of snow on the ground to get 6" on the tent. I'm just speculating here.

If you are going to ditch the CR2 for a different tent, I would say the two best reasons are:

1) You want something roomier
2) You want something lighter

A single wall tent will generally be roomier (because they need to be so you don't get covered in condensation). If you went with a single wall, you'd save about 1/2lbs and get a roomier tent, but you'd have the condensation and misting issues, plus you'd have less versatility if you want to use a fly/footprint/poles setup or if you want to use it without the fly to see the stars etc. I like how with a double wall you can leave the doors open in the evening and sit inside the bug free area with a nice view still.

If you went with a double wall, you'd be buying a roomier one that would also weigh more....probably at least 1/2lbs more for a roomier 2 person.

So really it's a 1/2lbs heavier but roomier double wall or a 1/2 lbs lighter and roomier single wall. A double wall that is a roomy as the double rainbow will probably be a full pound heavier than the DR.

I would decide on the single wall vs. double wall issue first. If you are okay with going single wall then you've got some nice options. If you don't want to go single wall, then it's a question of weather you want to add weight for a bit more space.

Edited by dandydan on 07/31/2009 15:08:54 MDT.