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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

MSR FreeLite 2 Tent Assessment

The MSR FreeLite 2 is one among our favourite light-weight backpacking tents for solo adventures. Photograph credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)

The MSR FreeLite 2 is among the lightest 2-person double-wall tents in the marketplace. It additionally has a roomy, totally rectangular ground, an easy-to-pitch semi-freestanding design, and supplies the superb climate safety we’ve come to depend upon from MSR over time. 

However how does the FreeLite 2 stack up towards the opposite prime tent contenders? Can it really sleep two folks comfortably? Will its light-weight supplies maintain up over time? And finally, is it definitely worth the pretty important funding? 

We put the FreeLite 2 to the check in rugged situations to see how effectively it performs in comparison with the best-selling tents on this standard class.

Fast Specs

MSR FreeLite 2

Good Steadiness of Weight & Livability for Solo Hikers




2 lb. 5 oz.

Dimensions (LxWxH):

84 x 50 x 39 in.



Ground Space:

29 sq. ft.

Vestibule Space:

7.5 + 7.5 sq. ft.



Packed Measurement:

18 x 4.5 in.


  • Ultralight
  • Roomy for one
  • Two doorways/vestibules (a perk for solo hikers)
  • Handy pockets
  • Rainfly gutter prevents drippy entry

Although it’s a good match for 2, the FreeLite is spacious for One. – Photograph credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)



The FreeLite 2 weighs 2 kilos, 5 ounces, making it one of many lightest 2-person double-wall tents in the marketplace. The closest competing ultralight tents within the semi-freestanding class are the Large Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 and NEMO Hornet OSMO 2  – each of which we additionally like. You’ll discover all three tents on our checklist of the Finest Backpacking Tents for barely completely different causes.

The FreeLite 2 is exceptionally simple to hold on path when cut up with a companion, nevertheless it’s additionally an incredible choice for solo hikers since its weight is comparable (if not lighter) to most of the prime one-person tents in the marketplace. For instance, the Large Agnes Copper Spur HV UL1 weighs in at 38 ounces, and the MSR Hubba Hubba 1 ideas the dimensions at 39 ounces. All three of those shelters are comparable in weight and worth, however the FreeLite 2 has far more inner area.
You would go even lighter by choosing a non-freestanding ultralight shelter or tarp, however these sorts of tents have some downsides which are dealbreakers for some backpackers – you’ll need to handle inside condensation and they’re a bit extra cumbersome to pitch.


Saving area is sort of as vital as saving weight while you’re backpacking since a streamlined, non-bulky load is much more snug to hold. With the tent poles stashed in an exterior pocket, the physique and fly of the FreeLite 2 compress down very small. This makes it simple to stow away, even within the environment friendly 40-50 liter backpacks we usually use.

Not solely does the FreeLite pack down small nevertheless it can also match into tight campsites. – Photograph Credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)

Roomy For One

The FreeLite 2 is designed as a two-person tent, nevertheless it actually shines as a solo shelter. This tent has a totally rectangular ground that doesn’t taper on the foot, so there’s loads of area to accommodate a large sleeping pad and any gear you need to stash securely contained in the tent. 

The FreeLite has fairly commonplace dimensions – with an 84-inch size and a peak peak of 39 inches – so it’ll be a cosy match in case you’re taller than 6 toes. However the additional area – a few foot on both sides of your pad – makes this tent really feel surprisingly spacious while you’re flying solo.

The modest forehead pole on the prime creates loads of shoulder and head area for one. – Photograph Credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)

Straightforward to Pitch & Snug

The FreeLite is a semi-freestanding tent, which implies it depends on a easy pole body and 4 stakes on the corners for construction. Semi-freestanding tents are good as a result of they supply an incredible steadiness of weight financial savings, consolation, and ease of use. Not like a totally freestanding tent, you’ll all the time have to stake out the corners of a semi-freestanding tent for a correct pitch, however we all the time stake our tent corners anyway.

With fast capturing pole ends and durable stakes, this tent is simple to pitch. – Photograph Credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)

Two Doorways & Vestibules

One other helpful function of the FreeLite is its twin doorways and vestibules. Having two doorways is just about important in our ebook when sharing a tight-fitting backpacking tent with a companion, nevertheless it’s additionally a perk for solo hikers. Most one-person tents solely have one door and vestibule, however with the FreeLite you’ll get one on both sides of the tent for full air flow, views, and storage.

The tent is small however the two facet doorways are comparatively massive. – Photograph Credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)

Reliable Climate Safety

The FreeLite has not allow us to down throughout testing in harsh climate situations. Even in a torrential multi-day downpour within the Wallowas, we felt assured on this tent because of its totally waterproof, seam-taped fly, double-wall design, and steep dome form that sheds water like a champ.

Needless to say the FreeLite is an ultralight shelter made for three-season situations and all the time do your greatest to pitch it on excessive floor in moderately sheltered websites. Should you do this, you’ll be pleased with its efficiency.

This tent didn’t allow us to down in moist climate when it mattered essentially the most. – Photograph Credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)

Rainfly Gutters

The FreeLite’s vestibule doorways have small channels to direct rain away from entry factors. This helps forestall water from dripping onto you and your gear when coming into and exiting the tent. Small particulars like this actually matter within the backcountry when it’s crucial to maintain your camp garments and sleeping bag dry.

Good Worth

The FreeLite 2 presently retails for $450, which is aggressive with the equally geared up NEMO Hornet 2 and Large Agnes Tiger Wall UL2. Should you’ll put it to good use, a high-quality tent just like the FreeLite is effectively definitely worth the funding because it’ll final for years of journey.

The Freelite is priced competitively when in comparison with comparable tents in its class. – Photograph Credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)


Tight for Two

The FreeLite 2 will work fantastic for 2 individuals who don’t thoughts getting up shut and private, however we like extra space in our 2-person tents. Many hikers even bump as much as a light-weight three-person tent for the additional sleeping pad and kit cupboard space.

Tents with longer forehead poles throughout the highest really feel extra spacious for 2 hikers sitting facet by facet for the reason that sidewalls are extra vertical, much less slanted, and maximize area on the head and shoulders. The FreeLite has a comparatively quick forehead pole, which is why we prefer it higher for solo use. Should you principally plan to sleep two folks in your tent and also you’re in search of a bit extra headroom, the Tiger Wall UL2 is an efficient choice, as is the very spacious NEMO Hornet OSMO 3.

There’s loads of room for one plus a ton of drugs however two folks side-by-side is a good match. – Photograph Credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Pitch Wants Consideration

Semi-freestanding fashions just like the FreeLite 2 operate greatest with a taut pitch. As a result of nylon tent materials stretch out a bit when chilly and moist, you’ll need to make sure that to re-tighten your guylines in adversarial climate situations. With no taut pitch, semi-freestanding tents usually tend to blow round within the wind.

Like different comparable tents, the FreeLite can sag and look sloppy with snow, ice, and Rain. – Photograph Credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)

Heavier than Some

The FreeLite is an extremely light-weight backpacking tent nevertheless it’s heavier than among the main non-freestanding shelters. An excellent streamlined tent just like the Zpacks Duplex weighs solely 18.5 ounces (not together with trekking poles and stakes). For some hikers, it’s effectively value coping with the drawbacks of a non-freestanding tent to cut back pack weight by over a pound. Nonetheless, the FreeLite is an efficient steadiness for individuals who prize comfort and weight financial savings equally.

Storage Pockets Missing

The pockets within the FreeLite are pretty primary, which is fairly typical for ultralight tents. There are triangular pockets on the head and a small gear loft on the prime of the tent. They’re satisfactory, and provide some group for a telephone, headlamp, and so on., however they’re fairly minimal. We’d want a big prime pocket just like the one on the Tiger Wall to stuff extra clothes or gear and stick with it off of the ground. Although we want the FreeLite had barely higher pockets, we are able to’t knock it an excessive amount of since these issues would all add weight to the design.

With just some small pockets, we want there was extra storage on this tent. – Photograph Credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)


The FreeLite is a minimalist tent and its rainfly lacks strutted air flow ports to cut back weight. Not having built-in vents restricts the tent’s condensation management capabilities. The rainfly doorways unzip from the highest and backside which helps flow into air, nevertheless, such vents aren’t optimum throughout heavy rainfall.

The MSR FreeLite 2 is a strong light-weight one-person choice. – PHOTO CREDIT: Heather Eldridge (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

Backside Line

The MSR FreeLite 2 is a wonderful selection for anybody trying to scale back their pack weight with out sacrificing the conveniences and climate safety of a semi-freestanding double-wall tent.

We actually like this mannequin to be used on solo adventures, and it’s one among our favourite 1-person tent selections. The FreeLite’s specs are aggressive with among the hottest 1-person tent choices, nevertheless it has way more room for sleeping and kit storage. 

We really feel that the FreeLite 2 might be a bit cosy for a lot of mountain climbing pairs because of the steep slant of its sidewalls. That stated, in case you’re okay with extra restricted headroom, the totally rectangular ground area of the FreeLite supplies sufficient room for 2 to lie down and sleep comfortably.

The FreeLite ticks a variety of bins for us: It’s versatile sufficient for every kind of journeys and provides an incredible combo of consolation, weight, ease of use, and reliable climate safety. Total, we view this as a high-quality choice. If it’s the correct match for the kind of backpacking shelter you’re in search of, we expect you’ll find it irresistible.

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