Hands-on Gear Review

MSR Remote 2 Review

Price:  $800 List | $799.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Huge hooped vestibule, one of the lighter double wall options, bomber design, easy to set-up, durable construction, does well in the rain
Cons:  Managed condensation and interior moisture just okay, good-but-not-great headroom, middle-of-the-road weight-wise, small interior doors, vestibule is hard to get taught and proved less useful than other small secondary vestibules
Bottom line:  One of the more versatile 4 season tents. The Remote is a high performing all-arounder that does most things well but isn't the absolute best at anything.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Floor Dimensions (inches):  87" x 55 in.
Peak Height (inches):  43 in.
Measured Weight (tent, stakes, guylines, pole bag):  6.97 lbs
Manufacturer:   MSR

Our Verdict

The MSR Remote 2 is an all-around 4 season tent that is among the more versatile models we tested. It is burly enough for expedition use but light enough to consider taking for summer-time mountaineering adventures or even the occasional backpacking trip. The large vestibule was a reviewer favorite, and the Remote proved to be one of the easiest models to set-up in our review. Despite across the board high performance, this tent didn't quite win any of our awards. That is because this tent is quite good at a lot of things, but it isn't quite the perfect model for any one thing. The Remote has a very stormy-worthy design that you could take to Alaska, and the low-ish weight is reasonable for summertime mountaineering also. The "problem" is there are lighter, less stormy-worthy models that you could take on more moderate adventures, and heavier, roomier and slightly burlier models that might be better on expeditions.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Four Season Tents of 2018


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Ian Nicholson

Last Updated:
Monday
April 9, 2018

Share:
The MSR Remote 2 is a jack-of-all-trades 4 season tent. The Remote was equally at home on extended expeditions and mountain adventures in the summer. While you can buy a model that might do specific activities better, its hard to find a model that does as well at everything.

Performance Comparison


This tent is a versatile option for a variety of seasons and conditions. We love the huge vestibule  which gave us ample storage space and room to cook in bad weather.
This tent is a versatile option for a variety of seasons and conditions. We love the huge vestibule, which gave us ample storage space and room to cook in bad weather.

Ease of Set-up


This is one of the easiest 4 season tents to set up. Save for the vestibule pole, two of the three poles that make up the body of the tent connect via a central hub. This design lets the poles snap together quickly, and then they clip into place using secure plastic taps. The third body pole inserts easily as well. This is one of the least challenging models to set up in a storm. In real-world use, we found this design noticeably easier in windier conditions than other models that utilized pole sleeves, such as The North Face Mountain 25.

We liked how easy the Remote was to pitch  utilizing plastic clips to hold the poles in place. The fly goes all the way to the ground covering the entirety of its inner body and is held down by lightweight (but capable) metal buckles.
We liked how easy the Remote was to pitch, utilizing plastic clips to hold the poles in place. The fly goes all the way to the ground covering the entirety of its inner body and is held down by lightweight (but capable) metal buckles.

Weather and Storm Resistance


The Remote 2 gives you robust four-season protection for mountaineering and winter camping. Since two of the poles are always attached to the central hub at the top of the tent, this tent is significantly stronger than if the poles weren't. For example, we found the Remote was noticeably more bomber in heavy winds than the REI Arete ASL 2 and The North Face Assault 2.

The Remote gets a log of its strength from the material of its poles and their unique design. The two primary poles that form an "X" across the tent attach permanently to the built-in hub. This significantly increases its ability to handle heavy snow loads and strong winds. Their Easton Syclone composite poles are among the strongest in the review.
The Remote gets a log of its strength from the material of its poles and their unique design. The two primary poles that form an "X" across the tent attach permanently to the built-in hub. This significantly increases its ability to handle heavy snow loads and strong winds. Their Easton Syclone composite poles are among the strongest in the review.

The guyline attachment points on the fly are bomber and are reinforced from the inside minimizing the chance that they'll tear during a storm. For genuinely gnarly weather, all the guyline points have a corresponding Velcro flap on the inside of the fly to attach it directly to the poles, which lets the guylines support the poles better. While we rarely used this feature in the lower 48 and southern Canadian ranges, it adds to the versatility of this tent, and it's a feature we'd likely utilize on a peak like Denali and early season or winter ascents of Mt. Rainier.

The guyline attachment points are reinforced for added durability.
The guyline attachment points are reinforced for added durability.

Burying the snow flaps also further increase the tent's storm-worthiness. We used this tent in several fierce storms and were impressed with how well its design held up against wind and snow loading. The Remote is on the higher end of the storm-worthy spectrum and we'd take this model most place. In the end, it's not quite as burly as the Black Diamond Fitzroy, The North Face Mountain 25, or the Mountain Hardwear Trango 2, but it is lighter than those models. We found it pretty comparable to the Hilleberg Jannu, our Editors' Choice Award winner, but thought the Jannu was slightly more wind resistant.

Weight and packed size


The Remote 2's minimum weight is 6 lbs 8 oz (just the fly, body, and poles) and was 6 lbs 15 oz packed weight with what most people would likely actually bring, which includes things like guylines, stakes, and the pole bag. A 6 lbs 15 oz packed weight isn't too bad for a tent of this size with a massive vestibule. The Remote is slightly heavier than the Hilleberg Jannu, but also had more headroom and floor space. The Remote is notably lighter than its marginally more expedition worthy competition, like TNF Mountain 25 (8 lbs 8 oz packed weight) or the Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 (8 lb. 15 oz minimum weight and 9 lbs 13 oz packed weight).

The Remote 2 has 33 square feet of interior space and a massive 22 square foot vestibule area. This tent is long enough for 6' tall folks  but we wider rather than longer when compared to other models.
The Remote 2 has 33 square feet of interior space and a massive 22 square foot vestibule area. This tent is long enough for 6' tall folks, but we wider rather than longer when compared to other models.

Livability and Comfort


The Remote 2 has 33 square feet of interior space and a massive 22 square foot vestibule area. TNF Mountain 25 also has 33 square feet of interior space, but is a little longer and better for taller people. The Remote is a little wider and had more room for keeping equipment inside the tent.

The Remote does have above-average peak height and is the lightest double wall model we tested with two doors. Still  this model does not feature as much headroom as some others  like TNF Mountain 25 or MH Trango 2.
The Remote does have above-average peak height and is the lightest double wall model we tested with two doors. Still, this model does not feature as much headroom as some others, like TNF Mountain 25 or MH Trango 2.

While hardly a necessity, it is nice to have two doors, and the Remote 2 was the lightest double wall tent have them. What sets the Remote 2 apart from most other models is its massive hooped vestibule, which is supported by a fourth pole and helps this tent feel huge.

The Remote had good headroom, but not the best. It had noticeably more headroom than the Hilleberg Jannu and MSR Arete ASL 2, but nearly as much as the Moutain Hardwear Trango 2 or Black Diamond Ahwahnee.

Adaptability and Versatility


This is a fairly versatile 4 season tent, and because of its double-wall design, it could also work for occasional three season use. The interior fabric offered okay breathability, slightly better than the Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 and similar, but maybe not quite as good as TNF Mountain 25.

There are two mesh windows - one on each door - to help with air circulation and condensation. Overall  this model dealt with condensation fairly well (and certainly better than any single wall tent) but was just average compared to other double walled shelters.
There are two mesh windows - one on each door - to help with air circulation and condensation. Overall, this model dealt with condensation fairly well (and certainly better than any single wall tent) but was just average compared to other double walled shelters.

To help manage moisture there is a zippered mesh panel featured on each of the two doors. This panel has a flap that is roughly half the size of each door. This helped some but overall this tent managed condensation just so-so for a double wall tent. This is another time where we felt the huge vestibule was nice because in stormier weather we would leave the vestibule-side door entirely open to help better manage moisture and condensation build-up. The vestibule is so big and has storm flaps, and we almost never had any issues with snow and spindrift combing into the main body of the tent.

Overall, the Remote 2 was one of the more versatile 4 season models. It's light enough for many summertime mountaineering adventures, and burly enough for winter camping. It's likely a little too heavy and bulky for ski touring and carry-over alpine climbs.

Best Applications


The Remote 2 is a more traditional 4 season tent that is still not super heavy and will handle rain and stormy conditions better than any of its single-wall counterparts. It's plenty burly for mountaineering in the lower 48, and we'd certainly consider taking this tent to some place like Denali or Aconcagua. It's not quite spacious enough for expedition use though.

The Remote 2 has snow flaps on both the front and rear vestibules. This is a useful feature any time you are camped on snow because it lets you seal in this area. It also increases the overall strength of the tent as it anchors it to the ground in more places.
The Remote 2 has snow flaps on both the front and rear vestibules. This is a useful feature any time you are camped on snow because it lets you seal in this area. It also increases the overall strength of the tent as it anchors it to the ground in more places.

Value


At $800, this is one of the more expensive double wall tents in our review. It is built to last and has several notable features, but it's a lot more expensive than some of its closest competition, like TNF Mountain 25 ($589), or the Trango 2 ($650). It is still less than the Hilleberg Jannu ($935) and Hilleberg Tarra ($1095). Since it includes a vestibule, keep that in mind when comparing this model to the Black Diamond Fitzroy ($800) and Eldorado ($700), which don't (it's an additional $160).

Conclusion


The MSR Remote 2 is a versatile 4 season tent that is a little less expedition focused and more of an all-around option. It is stormy-worthy enough to take to remote and harsh environments, but it isn't quite as spacious as a true expedition tent. What it gives up in spaciousness it makes up for in weight and packed volume. This makes it more practical to take on shorter duration mountaineering adventures in the lower-48 or similar destinations.
Ian Nicholson

You Might Also Like

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: April 9, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


Have you used this product?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...