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We test MSR's Elixir 2 backpacking tent to see if it can deliver on its 'most liveable two-person backing tent' claims

msr elixir 2 tent
Overall Score
Great room and love the fly and groundsheet only Fast & Light option
A few complain of lack of spares - but you probably won't need them!

The Elixir 2 calls itself 'the most liveable 2-person backpacking tent in its class', and after our testing we wouldn't argue. First it's a decent weight, coming in at a total 2.64 kg, which, when split between you and a companion equates to just over a bottle of water each.

If you want to go even lighter, and don't mind a draught, the Elixir 2 has its Fast & Light configuration up its sleeve. With this you take just the poles, rainfly and pegs, plus the included extra groundsheet, paring the weight down to an impressive 1.61kg.

But take the full tent, including inner (and leave the extra groundsheet at home), and what you get is a strong, freestanding, roomy tent, that is big enough for two sleeping mats, which can be accessed from both sides of the tent - so no need to climb over each other anymore.

The clever design uses two 7000 series aluminium poles between the four corners, combined with a single pole across the roof to hold out the sides at head level, giving that excellent roominess inside.

Extending beyond the door panels on each side of the tent this third pole spanning the roof creates a sheltered vestibule for storing gear on each side of the tent.

Putting up the Elixir 2 is a doddle, taking less than ten minutes, with the poles colour-matched to their fixing points in both Regular and Fast & Light modes.

The solid canopy clips to each corner of either the inner or the groundsheet, and is then pinned out wide at the sides to create the vestibules, or can be tied back to enjoy the view from each big door.

The roominess really is impressive, especially at sitting shoulder height and above, with two adults able to sit up and get changed at the same time (albeit head to toe) without elbowing each other in the face.

This inner combines meshed panels across either end as well as in the tops of the doors, and in the ceiling to avoid condensation, with breathable white panels for privacy and a lower waterproof skirt to keep out any rain that gets blown in under the fly.

In conclusion, the Elixir is a roomy, well-designed, free-standing, two-person tent which more than lives up to its 'liveable' claim, and even has a Fast & Light mode for the more adventurous.

All our reviews are independent and unbiased. We may earn a commission when you buy from links to Amazon and other affiliates on this page.