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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
msr remote 2 4 season tent review
Credit: MSR
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Price:  $750 List | $749.95 at REI
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
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 17
  • Weight - 27% 5.0
  • Weather/Storm Resistance - 25% 8.0
  • Livability - 18% 8.0
  • Ease of Set-up - 10% 9.0
  • Durability - 10% 8.0
  • Versatility - 10% 8.0

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

 
msr remote 2 4 season tent review
This Product
MSR Remote 2
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $750 List
$749.95 at REI
$900 List$660 List$800 List$449 List
$449.00 at REI
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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 balance of strength, weight, and livability, ample guy pointsVersatile, lightweight, double wall design works far better in rain than single wall models, handles condensation well, big vestibules, easy to pitchIncluded removable hooped vestibule, above average breathability among single wall tents, excellent ventilation, good headroom, compressible, robustLightweight for a double wall tent, inexpensive, versatile, easy set-up, interior fabric handles condensation well, and longer-than-average dimensions make this a better option for taller people
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 guy lines includedIsn't as strong as other 4-season models, offers a good but not excellent packed sizeGuylines are light duty, not quite as storm worthy as other models, fabric is less resistant to tearing and long term exposure to UVTiny vestibule, one of the weakest 3(.5)-pole designs in our review, only one door
Bottom Line A high performing all-arounder that does most things well but isn't the absolute best at anythingAll-around uses are this model's forte, but it's still robust enough for when the weather turns gnarThe ski and summer mountaineering focused design perfect for almost any trip you can dream upA versatile single wall tent that works well for a greater range of conditions than most other 2-pole bivy-tent modelsA solid 4-season shelter at an excellent price. Great for summertime mountaineering or winter camping near treeline
Rating Categories MSR Remote 2 Black Diamond Eldorado MSR Access 2 The North Face Assa... REI Arete ASL 2
Weight (27%)
5.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
Weather/Storm Resistance (25%)
8.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Livability (18%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Ease of Set-up (10%)
9.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
9.0
Durability (10%)
8.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Versatility (10%)
8.0
7.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
Specs MSR Remote 2 Black Diamond Eldorado MSR Access 2 The North Face Assa... REI Arete ASL 2
Minimum Weight (only tent, fly & poles) 6.97 lbs 4.5 lbs 3.80 lbs 3.5 lbs (no vestibule) 5.75 lbs
Floor Dimensions 87" x 55 in. 87" x 51 in 84 x 50 in 82 48 in 88 x 57/60/44 in
Peak Height 43 in 43 in 42 in 42 in 43 in
Measured Weight, with tent, stakes, guylines, pole bag 6.50 lbs 4.9 lbs 4.1 lbs 5.44 lbs 6.25 lbs
Type Double Wall Single Wall Double Wall Single Wall Double Wall
Packed Size 7" x 20 in. 7" x 19 in 18 x 6 in 7 x 22 in 6 x 6 x 20 in
Floor Area 33 sq. ft. 31 sq ft 29 sq ft 27.3 sq ft 32.9 sq ft
Vestibule Area 22 sq. ft. 9 sq ft (optional) 17.5 sq ft 10 sq ft 8.7 sq ft
Number of Doors 0.3 in. 1 2 1 1
Number of Poles 2 2 2 4 4
Pole Diameter 9.3 8 mm 9.3 mm 9.3 mm
Number of Pockets Side: 2 Ceiling: 0 Side: 4 Ceiling: 0 Side: 2 Ceiling: 0 Side: 2 Ceiling: 0 Side: 2 Ceiling: 2
Pole Material Easton Syclone Easton Aluminum 7075-E9 Easton Syclone DAC Featherlite NSL Aluminum
Rainfly Fabric 68D ripstop polyester 1800mm polyurethane & DWR 3 layer ToddTex 20D nylon ripstop FUTERLIGHT Nylon ripstop
Floor Fabric 40D ripstop nylon 10,000mm Durashield polyurethane & DWR Unknown 30D nylon ripstop 40D ripstop nylon w/3,000mm PUR/silicone coating Nylon taffeta

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


msr remote 2 4 season tent review - this tent is a versatile option for a variety of seasons and...
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.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

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.
msr remote 2 4 season tent review - we liked how easy the remote was to pitch, utilizing plastic clips...
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.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

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.

msr remote 2 4 season tent review - the remote gets a log of its strength from the material of its poles...
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.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

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.

msr remote 2 4 season tent review - the guyline attachment points are reinforced for added durability.
The guyline attachment points are reinforced for added durability.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

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.

msr remote 2 4 season tent review - the remote 2 has 33 square feet of interior space and a massive 22...
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.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

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.

msr remote 2 4 season tent review - the remote does have above-average peak height and is the lightest...
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.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

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.

msr remote 2 4 season tent review - there are two mesh windows - one on each door - to help with air...
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.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

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.

msr remote 2 4 season tent review - the remote 2 has snow flaps on both the front and rear vestibules...
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.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

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
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