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MSR Remote 2 Review

A high performing all-arounder that does most things well but isn't the absolute best at anything.
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Price:  $800 List | $599.95 at Amazon
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
Manufacturer:   MSR
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 31, 2019
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 20
  • Weight - 27% 5
  • Weather/Storm Resistance - 25% 8
  • Livability - 18% 8
  • Ease of Set-up - 10% 9
  • Durability - 10% 8
  • Versatility - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The MSR Remote 2 is an all-around 4 season tent that 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 it proved to be one of the easiest models to set-up. It has a very stormy-worthy design that you could take to Alaska, and its somewhat low weight is reasonable for summertime mountaineering. While it's a decent tent, there are lighter, less stormworthy models that you could take on more moderate adventures, and heavier, roomier, and slightly burlier models that would perform better for expeditions.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
MSR Remote 2
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price $599.95 at Amazon
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$729.99 at Backcountry
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$990 List$449.96 at Backcountry
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$524.96 at Backcountry
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Pros Huge hooped vestibule, one of the lighter double wall options, bomber design, easy to set-up, durable construction, does well in the rainBomber, great durability, compact footprint, lighter than average weight, fantastic overall balance of strength, weight, and livability, best two pole model to get rained or stormed on in, ample guy pointsStormworthy, highly resistant to snow loading, pitches quick from outside, great ventilation, multiple setup configurationsVersatile, lightweight, double wall design works far better in rain than single wall models, handles condensation well, big vestibules, easy to pitchIncluded removable vestibule, ventilation system, innovative anchor point, robust, external poles clips are quick and easy to set up
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 vestibulesPoor ventilation, slightly tricky setup, insufficient guylines includedZippers are small and slightly harder to grab, less headroom than other modelsIsn't as strong as other 4-season models, offers a good but not excellent packed sizeHeavy, ventilation system is sweet but the canopy fabric itself is not as breathable as other models, okay internal dimensions, average price
Bottom Line A high performing all-arounder that does most things well but isn't the absolute best at anything.All-around uses are this model's forte, but it's still robust enough for when the weather turns gnar.Built for the worst conditions but still light and packable enough to consider for summer mountaineering.This ski and summer mountaineering focused design isn't quite burly enough for full on expedition use but is perfect for any other trip you can dream up.A solid, lightweight model that offers more versatility than a majority of other 2-pole bivy-style shelters.
Rating Categories MSR Remote 2 Black Diamond Eldorado Hilleberg Jannu MSR Access 2 Nemo Tenshi
Weight (27%)
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7
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5
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8
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8
Weather Storm Resistance (25%)
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7
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8
Livability (18%)
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6
Ease Of Set Up (10%)
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9
Durability (10%)
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7
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7
Versatility (10%)
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6
Specs MSR Remote 2 Black Diamond... Hilleberg Jannu MSR Access 2 Nemo Tenshi
Minimum Weight (only tent & poles) 6.50 lbs 4.5 lbs 6.17 lbs 3.80 lbs 3.9 lbs (no vestibule)
Floor Dimensions (inches) 87" x 55 in. 87" x 51 in. 93" x 57 in. 84 x 50 in. 85.1 x 48.1in
Peak Height (inches) 43 in. 43 in. 40 in. 42 in. 42.6 in
Measured Weight (tent, stakes, guylines, pole bag) 6.97 lbs 4.9 lbs 6.87 lbs 4.1 lbs 5.88 lbs
Type Double Wall Single Wall Double Wall Double Wall Single Wall
Packed Size (inches) 7" x 20 in. 7" x 19 in. 6" x 20 in. 18 x 6 in 16.2 x 9.1in
Floor Area (sq ft.) 33 sq. ft. 31 sq. ft. 34.5 sq. ft. 29 sq ft. 28.4 sq ft
Vestibule Area (sq ft.) 22 sq. ft. 9 sq. ft. (optional) 13 sq. ft. 17.5 sq. ft. 10.5 sq ft
Space-Weight Ratio (inches) 0.3 in. 0.38 in. 0.31 in.
Number of Doors 2 1 1 2 1
Number of Poles 3 2 3 2 3
Pole Diameter (mm) 9.3 8 mm 9 mm 9.3 8.84 mm
Number of Pockets Side: 2 Ceiling: 0 Side: 4 Ceiling: 0 Side: 4 Ceiling: 0 Side: 2 Ceiling: 0 Side: 2 Ceiling: 1
Pole Material Easton Syclone Easton Aluminum 7075-E9 DAC Featherlite NSL Green Easton Syclone aluminum DAC Featherlite
Rainfly Fabric 68D ripstop polyester 1800mm polyurethane & DWR 3 layer ToddTex Kerlon 1200 20D nylon ripstop
Floor Fabric 40D ripstop nylon 10,000mm Durashield polyurethane & DWR Unknown 70D PU coated nylon 30D nylon ripstop 40D OSMO waterproof/breathable nylon ripstop

Our Analysis and Test Results

The MSR Remote 2 is a jack-of-all-trades 4 season tent that's equally at home on extended expeditions as it is on weekend summer mountain adventures closer to home. While you can buy a model that will perform better for any one thing, it's hard to find a model that does as well at everything as this one.

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 pitch, even in bad weather. 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 clip into place using secure plastic taps. The third body pole inserts easily, as well.
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 attached.

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. It's on the higher end of the stormworthy spectrum, and we'd take this model most places in the world.

Weight and Packed Size


The Remote 2's minimum weight is 6 pounds 8 ounces (just the fly, body, and poles) and was 6 pounds 15 ounces packed weight with what most people would likely actually bring, which includes things like guylines, stakes, and the pole bag. The packed weight isn't too bad for a tent of this size with a massive vestibule.

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. It's decently wide and has room to accommodate equipment inside.

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 it apart from other models is its massive hooped vestibule, which is supported by a fourth pole and helps this tent feel huge.

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.

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 rarely had any issues with snow and spindrift combing into the main body of the tent.

The Remote 2 is 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.

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


The Remote 2 is one of the more expensive double-wall tents in our review, but does include a vestibule. It is built to last and has several notable features, but it's a lot more expensive than some of its closest competition. Since it includes a vestibule, you'll want to keep that in mind when comparing prices.

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 stormyworthy 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 it with a direct savings 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