MSR Remote 2 Review
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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