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MSR FreeLite 2 Tent Evaluation

The MSR FreeLite 2 is one in every of our favourite light-weight backpacking tents for solo adventures. Photograph credit score: Dave Collins (

The MSR FreeLite 2 is without doubt one of the lightest 2-person double-wall tents available on the market. It additionally has a roomy, absolutely rectangular flooring, an easy-to-pitch semi-freestanding design, and supplies the superb climate safety we’ve come to depend upon from MSR through the years. 

However how does the FreeLite 2 stack up in opposition to 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 well worth the pretty important funding? 

We put the FreeLite 2 to the check in rugged circumstances to see how nicely it performs in comparison with the best-selling tents on this fashionable class.

Fast Specs

MSR FreeLite 2

Good Stability 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 Dimension:

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 decent match for 2, the FreeLite is spacious for One. – Photograph credit score: Dave Collins (



The FreeLite 2 weighs 2 kilos, 5 ounces, making it one of many lightest 2-person double-wall tents available on the market. 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 Greatest Backpacking Tents for barely totally different causes.

The FreeLite 2 is exceptionally straightforward to hold on path when cut up with a accomplice, nevertheless it’s additionally an ideal choice for solo hikers since its weight is comparable (if not lighter) to lots of the prime one-person tents available on the market. For instance, the Large Agnes Copper Spur HV UL1 weighs in at 38 ounces, and the MSR Hubba Hubba 1 suggestions the size at 39 ounces. All three of those shelters are comparable in weight and value, however the FreeLite 2 has far more inside house.
You could possibly go even lighter by choosing a non-freestanding ultralight shelter or tarp, however these forms of tents have some downsides which might be dealbreakers for some backpackers – you’ll need to handle inside condensation and they’re a bit extra cumbersome to pitch.


Saving house is almost as vital as saving weight whenever 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 straightforward to stow away, even within the environment friendly 40-50 liter backpacks we sometimes use.

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

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 flooring that doesn’t taper on the foot, so there’s loads of house to accommodate a large sleeping pad and any gear you wish to stash securely contained in the tent. 

The FreeLite has fairly commonplace dimensions – with an 84-inch size and a peak top of 39 inches – so it’ll be a cosy match for those who’re taller than 6 ft. However the further house – a few foot on both sides of your pad – makes this tent really feel surprisingly spacious whenever you’re flying solo.

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

Simple to Pitch & Comfy

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 ideal steadiness of weight financial savings, consolation, and ease of use. Not like a totally freestanding tent, you’ll at all times have to stake out the corners of a semi-freestanding tent for a correct pitch, however we at all times stake our tent corners anyway.

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

Two Doorways & Vestibules

One other helpful characteristic of the FreeLite is its twin doorways and vestibules. Having two doorways is just about important in our e book when sharing a tight-fitting backpacking tent with a accomplice, 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 aspect doorways are comparatively giant. – Photograph Credit score: Dave Collins (

Reliable Climate Safety

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

Take into account that the FreeLite is an ultralight shelter made for three-season circumstances and at all times do your finest to pitch it on excessive floor in fairly sheltered websites. In the event you try this, you’ll be pleased with its efficiency.

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

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 getting into and exiting the tent. Small particulars like this really matter within the backcountry when it’s essential to maintain your camp garments and sleeping bag dry.

Good Worth

The FreeLite 2 at the moment retails for $450, which is aggressive with the equally geared up NEMO Hornet 2 and Large Agnes Tiger Wall UL2. In the event you’ll put it to good use, a high-quality tent just like the FreeLite is nicely well 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 (


Tight for Two

The FreeLite 2 will work advantageous 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 equipment space for storing.

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

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

Pitch Wants Consideration

Semi-freestanding fashions just like the FreeLite 2 perform finest with a taut pitch. As a result of nylon tent materials stretch out a bit when chilly and moist, you’ll wish to make certain to re-tighten your guylines in adversarial climate circumstances. And not using a 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 (

Heavier than Some

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

Storage Pockets Missing

The pockets within the FreeLite are pretty fundamental, 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 many others., however they’re fairly minimal. We’d desire 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 will’t knock it an excessive amount of since these issues would all add weight to the design.

With only a few small pockets, we want there was extra storage on this tent. – Photograph Credit score: Dave Collins (


The FreeLite is a minimalist tent and its rainfly lacks strutted air flow ports to scale 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 superb selection for anybody seeking 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 in every of our favourite 1-person tent decisions. The FreeLite’s specs are aggressive with among the hottest 1-person tent choices, nevertheless it has much more room for sleeping and equipment storage. 

We really feel that the FreeLite 2 shall be a bit cosy for a lot of mountain climbing pairs as a result of steep slant of its sidewalls. That stated, for those who’re okay with extra restricted headroom, the absolutely rectangular flooring house of the FreeLite supplies sufficient room for 2 to lie down and sleep comfortably.

The FreeLite ticks plenty of bins for us: It’s versatile sufficient for all types of journeys and presents an ideal combo of consolation, weight, ease of use, and reliable climate safety. Total, we view this as a high-quality choice. If it’s the suitable match for the kind of backpacking shelter you’re searching for, we expect you’ll adore it.

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