We took the Elixir 2 tent on a recent motorbike tour of Spain, and used it for 2 people, for 4 nights in temperatures ranging from 10C to 30C.
The Elixir 2 is part of MSR’s Experience range – aimed at backpackers and travellers who don’t mind a little extra weight if it means more features. And when we say a little extra weight, the Elixir is certainly no fat-boy at 1.6kg.
We pitched the tent in a matter of a couple of minutes. It is super-simple to pitch, with 3-poles – the longer 2 of which are fixed together with a couple of clever hinges. Normally, I’m not a fan of ‘inner first’ tents, because it’s invariably drizzling when I pitch, but the Elixir was so quick to pitch that the mesh inner would only have had minimal wetness from any rain before I could have slung the flysheet over.
The aluminium poles fix easily and securely in to eyelets on each corner, and then the inner clips with plastic C-clips over the poles. The configuration of twin long-poles means you get quite a bit of headroom and it’s easy to sit or kneel in the Elixir to get dressed in the morning.
The design of mesh inner and large doors on both sides of the Elixir mean that in hot weather you get loads of air through the tent and you don’t end up cooking in your sleeping bag.
Despite the Elixir looking pretty darn small, there is a surprising amount of room inside for practical camping. We couple-camped and The Wife exclaimed that “she’d feel claustrophobic” when the Elixir was first pitched, but by day 4 she was a convert. I think that’s helped by plenty of sitting head-room and an airy feeling inside.
All in all the Elixir was a pleasant and well-finished place to be. It’s super-quick pitching and light weight are winning factors in the extremely competitive 2-man tent market, and its aluminium poles and extra groundsheet mean that weather and tough ground won’t be a problem.
I even like MSR’s L-profile tent pegs, which feel odd in the hand, but are really secure and easy to remove even from hard ground.