MSR, a Seattle-based company, has proven to be reliable and trustworthy in backpacking tents. We have used everything from the iconic Hubba Hubba NX to the Remote to name a few. Although the Elixir is their entry-level tent this tent is just as durable as its more expensive counterparts. It is a bit more bulky than other tents, with large panels of solid fabric that are wind-resistant than mesh and a unique pole structure. This shape, along with the ridge pole, allows for a large amount of headroom, which will be a great benefit when tent-bound during a storm.
There are some compromises to the Elixir’s sturdy design. The first is its 6 pound weight. It’s the largest tent for two people on this list. The MSR has less mesh than other tents on this list, making it less breathable. It also doesn’t have fly vents that are particularly low at the foot and head. The Elixir’s footprint is only 84inches long, which is half the length of tents like the Half Dome 2+. The Elixir is the best choice for those who want to backpack in summer. However, if you need strong protection for severe three-season conditions, we recommend the Half Dome SL 2+.