Last year I was in the market for a new tent to replace my trusty old Vango Banshee 200. The Banshee is a great tent but I’ve always felt cramped inside, I wanted something with a bit more useable room and head height, as trying to sit up in it or getting changed can be awkward.
Then I came across the MSR Elixir 2 and thought it looked good and ticked all the boxes for space. The people at MSR seem to be pushing the boundaries and coming up with innovative designs with every product they produce. This shows in how the poles are connected at two places with a swivel type connector. This is something I’ve never seen before so I was interested to see how it would perform.
The weight isn’t going to break your back at 2.6KG and the price isn’t going to break the bank at a reasonable £225. The biggest negative for me was the packed size but for that extra room I was willing to compromise so I took the plunge, made the purchase and I’m glad I did. Continue reading for a more in-depth break down.
Weight: 2.1KG (as reported by retailer) I have it weighing 2.6KG on my luggage scales.
Price (Bought at): £225
Pack size: 51 x 17cm
Internal Dimensions: 1.27m x2.13m
Highest Point: 1.02M
The Elixir can be setup with just the ground sheet and fly for fast and light trips. Or as a whole with the inner. You can also just pitch the inner on its own if you’re somewhere hot/dry and need protection from insects.
The Elixir comes with 10 pegs, 4 guy lines and a ground sheet.
The Elixir is an inner pitch first tent, I like this style of setup as I think it gives the tent good wind stability because the wind can flow over the material easily without catching on any raised pole sleeves. The downside is if you’re putting the tent up in a downpour the inside can get wet.
Pitching the Elixir is fairly straight forward once you get the hang of it. The double pole is colour coded and each pole fits into its corresponding colour coded corner.
The double pole is fixed together at two places by a swivel, this helps give the tent a roomy interior. I have concerns over the swivel breaking and have noticed it has slightly cut into the poles that could cause a potential weakness over time.
That being said, I’ve had the tent out a few times in very windy conditions and the Elixir as shrugged the beating off without any bother.
The inner is then clipped to the poles and a second short pole is fitted over the top maximising the head space. The Fly sheet is then fitted over the top, fitted to the short pole with eyelets and clipped into the corners. Each clip has a tensioner that can be pulled to tighten the fly over the poles which stops the fly from flapping about. Next the two doors are pegged out these also have the tensioners. If it’s windy or you’re expecting bad weather there are 4 guy lines that can be pegged out.
The interior of the Elixir doesn’t disappoint, it’s the roomiest 2 man tent I’ve used. There’s easily plenty of room for one person and all their gear or shared with gear stored in the porches. The sides are almost vertical and the headroom is great.
Being 6’2” I can sit up or kneel without any problems which is great when just chilling or packing up my gear. Spud and I, both being bigger than normal, used the Elixir during Mourne Mountain Marathon last year and found it to be cosy without being uncomfortable.
The inner material is nylon with mesh panels for plenty of ventilation. There’s pockets at each end for stowing light weight items and attachment points for an overhead gear loft (Optional Extra). Lying down I just about fit in without touching the ends and if I’m by myself I usually lie diagonally.
The Elixir 2 is a nice shape and looks great, I got the green one and find this blends in well with the surroundings. The Fly sheet fabric is 68D ripstop polyester with PU and silicone coated, Hydrostatic head 1,500mm, I’ve been out in the rain a few times now and haven’t had any leaks.
The two doors are easy to get in and out of and point in the same direction, I would have preferred it if the doors opened in opposite directions because I think this would give more options cooking when it’s windy. The doors have a “StayDry” rain gutter that stops the rain from running into the tent, I didn’t notice any rain running into the tent when I’ve been using it, so I guess this works.
With the inner being pitched first, it’s not overly obvious which way the doors will open and sometimes I have to turn the tent round because I haven’t realised I pitched the doors facing away from the view. If the doors opened in opposite directions this wouldn’t be a problem.
The floor is bathtub style and the material is 70D taffeta nylon with a Hydrostatic head: 3,000mm, I’ve always used the tent with the ground sheet as well, mainly for added protection when using my Thermarest X-therm sleeping mat.
So far I’m really happy with the Elixir 2, it’s a very spacious 1 man tent and a true 2 man tent. The first setup can be a bit tricky but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy. Although I have concerns about the swivel breaking I think it would take very strong winds for it to happen and I have always found the tent to be very study in windy conditions. The price is reasonable for the excellent quality you expect when buying MSR products.
Overall it’s a great tent and a joy to use.
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