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September 2017 Issue
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MSR Access 2



Our Rating:

The guff: Four-season, 1980g (max)/1640g (trail), 2.69m2, vestibules 1.62m2

The Access 2 is a two-person dome tent designed for all year around use. It’s streamlined and well constructed.

The freestanding skeleton consists of a central support frame that runs lengthways and forks into two poles on either end. On top of this, and perpendicular to it, sits a square frame that provides additional bracing and width in the middle. MSR says the Easton Syclone composite poles are a unique design that provides exceptional resistance to wind and snow loading, though we did not have the opportunity to test the tent in such conditions. However, the poles are highly flexible.

The inner consists of a 3000mm 30D ripstop nylon bathtub base and light nylon walls, and is almost entirely enclosed except for two small triangles of mesh for ventilation. The floor-space is reasonable, but it feels more constricted than similar-sized tents due to the low and narrow ends. The centre, though, is high and spacious.

The fly pegs out into a dome, with vestibules on either side. The vestibules are large enough to house a full kit of gear. They have two-way zippers, which, in the absence of other vents in the fly, can be set to provide some ventilation.

The overall shape is quite tall, but reasonably aerodynamic. I found that the tent buckled in the wind without guys on the upwind side, but it felt solid enough when fully staked out.

Although there are up to 18 fixtures if all guy rope attachments were to be used, only eight pegs are supplied. This is to keep the carried weight down, but it does point to MSR’s recognition that the tent might need additional structure in a blow – and they’ve provided a bunch of guy attachment points for this purpose. The pegs that are supplied are sturdy Y-stakes.

This is a good choice for someone looking for an all-season tent but is a bit on the light side for high and exposed camps.