The Remote 2, 4-season tent is one of several Mountain Safety Research (MSR) tents we’ve put to the test over the years. If you want to check out some of our other reviews, click away: MSR Nook Tent, MSR Carbon Reflex 3 Tent and the indomitable Mutha Hubba NX 3 Tent. MSR is one of several companies under the Cascade Designs group. To see other product reviews from sister companies, click on through to: WhisperLite Stove, Thermarest, SealLine and the now defunct Hummingbird.
It's no secret, we are fans of MSR. When they asked if we wanted to sample some new items from their new "All Season Tents" category, we said "hells ya." The Remote series is positioned for mountaineering, between their Ski Touring Tents and Expedition Tents. This designation makes perfect sense to us. To find out why read on.
Toughness, Warmth, Comfort, Weight, Security. These are the adjectives that come to mind when I think of winter gear, especially tents. Without just one of these key ingredients, you’re in for some serious trouble and discomfort. The Remote 2 from MSR is trying to tick all those boxes, and, in my opinion (spoiler alert), it passes with flying colours, a high five and a golden star. Why so?
The fly comes stitched with a 68D Ripstop Polyester, which is rated to 1500mm waterproofness, while the floor is 40D Ripstop Poly with a whopping 10,000mm rating--plus the addition of an optional groundsheet. MSR is cutting no corners with these stats. I recently had the pleasure of reviewing another new tent from MSR, the Access 2, a tent has its place and I’m a big fan of, but when you compare the rain-flies you can feel the difference. The tighter fabric weave on the Remote 2 is coarser to the touch and considerably tougher feeling.
Bomber fly with external guy points if the dog is blowing off the chain.
We all need a little space from time to time. Packing well for the backcountry is an art, and so is organization and optimizing space in camp. Anything that can help with that is welcome. The Remote 2 has a 3.1sq. m floor and an impressive 2.04sq. m vestibule. The interior height is 1.09m at its peak. There are 2 doors but only one large vestibule, but it really is quite big. An external pole that feeds through a sleeve on the fly sits over the vestibule creating impressive vertical space, and, if you peg out your doors properly, there really is a lot of room to move around and, if you desire, cook your food.
Internal space is good. Note that many tent manufacturers will advertise their tent as a 2-man but in reality, they feel like a 1 ½-man. The Remote 2 qualifies as a true 2-person tent, with a big enough vestibule to store and protect your winter gear. The MSR designers knew that having a one-man tent made little sense for this type of winter activity--travelling with at least one buddy is the only way to go. And why not make a two-person tent commodious enough to keep two people happy, especially when hunkering down for a few days with winter travel gear.
See here below how two sleeping bags can fit, with a little extra room to spare.
There are lighter winter tents out there; I refer especially to the recently reviewed Access 2, which is postioned as more of a "ski touring" tent. In the bomber/extendo winter camping class, the Remote 2 is lighter than most.
Backcountry skiing is already far from a minimalist endeavour and once you add a few days food on top of your overnight gear you suddenly feel like you’re moving house using only your backpack. The minimum weight of the Remote 2 is 6lb 8oz. While this might seem heavy, it really is quite understandable and justified. The walls are thick and, with the inclusion of an additional pole for the fly, the pounds are bound to add up a bit. I personally don’t have a problem with it, in fact it’s pretty standard weight for a winter tent.
Odds are good you’re going to be going with a partner so, if you learn to share the load, things aren’t looking so bad. The pack-ability of this model is also excellent. MSR, with their climbing-rope style bag, have it dialled. They use the same method across their lines now and with good reason. A simple bag with a drawstring on top and two synching down straps with buckles allow you to get everything squashed in nicely.
See here the climbing-rope style bag now employed by MSR for all their tents. The bottle of Schmeeearnoff (at 3/4 of a litre) is included for perspective.
Rainfly Fabric - 68D ripstop polyester 1800mm polyurethane & DWR
Canopy Fabric - 40D ripstop nylon DWR
Mesh Type - 15D nylon micro-mesh
Floor Fabric - 40D ripstop nylon 10,000mm Durashield™ polyurethane & DWR
Additional Features: DuraShield™-coated fabrics and taped bathtub floor; two internal pockets; multiple reflective guy points.
If you’re the kind of person who is seriously in the market for this style of tent then you are probably going to end up in situations where you need it to genuinely hold up the challenges that it promises to tackle. I have to say that after using it I would feel comfortable spending a few days sitting out a storm in this thing. Yes the tent is fairly heavy but (but not compared with other tents in its class) and with that comes reliability and safety. It’s a small price to pay to be confident that you’re not cutting corners and sitting out the night shivering in the cold or even worse, wet. It is also quite large and after a few days that’s key. Room to move and store your excess crap, especially on a long trip can be priceless.
I can’t really say enough good things about the Remote 2. It’s certainly not for everybody, and it is probably going to be overkill for your lightweight summer trips into the alpine. When you’re feeling confident in the weather holding good for you, you'd take another tent. The price isn’t exactly for everybody either, coming in at $905 CDN. Though when it comes to winter camping I want comfort and I’ll happily pay (literally) for a bomber tent if it means I’m going to be dry and warm and not jammed in like a sardine in a can. If you’re in the market for a solid winter camping tent that doesn’t cut corners then look no further, the Remote 2 kicks ass.
Price: $905 CAN
Min. Weight: 2.95kg / 6lbs 8oz
Packed Weight: 3.16kg / 6lbs 15 oz
Floor/Vestibule: 3.1 + 2.04sq m / 33 + 22 sq ft
Floor Area: 3.1sqm / 33sq ft
Livable Volume: 2108 + 1104L / 77 + 39cu ft
Vestibule Area: 2.04sq m / 22sq ft
Vestibule Volume: 1104L / 39cu ft
Interior Peak Height: 1.09m / 43in
Packed Size: 51 x 17cm / 20 x 7in
Number of Doors: 2
|Interior Space 2/2
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