• tent, MSR, Access 2, backcountry, all season

    The MSR Access 2 Tent. (Photo: Courtesy MSR)

While packing my gear for a backcountry camping trip in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park this July, it quickly became apparent that my old, heavy three-person tent was no longer going to cut it for myself, my husband and our two ever-growing teenage boys. So, I decided to find a sturdy, easy-to-set-up and lightweight tent for the boys to share. Enter the MS2 Access 2 all-season two-person tent.

Easy to pitch

Though described primarily as a “ski touring” tent, it is meant for four-season camping and, given that we’d be hiking 20 kilometres into the interior of the park and camping along the way, the light packable design and ability to pitch it nearly anywhere made it an attractive item for our summer camping trip.

My boys had no trouble setting this tent up — even when a swarm of ferocious mosquitos decided to attack. All you really have to do is peg the inner tent, unsnap the poles and attach them to the clips. The boys then secured the waterproof, rip-stop nylon fly and they were all set. The poles are made of Easton Syclone and are light yet sturdy enough to bear the weight of a heavy rainfall or, as suggested on MSR's website, overnight snowfall. Teardown is just as quick and the tent packs up easily into the compressible bag, topping out at 46 centimetres by 15 centimeters — small enough to pop into a backpack. 

Lightweight

When you're carrying everything you need on your back, you quickly realize that every ounce of weight counts. The MSR Access 2 weighs in at just under two kilograms. Leave the extra bags and pegs at home, which you don’t need unless you’re in for some wicked storms, and you can save yourself another 0.34 kilograms. 

Conclusion

Overall this was an easy to use, well made, all-weather tent. The boys did find it a bit warm for July in Algonquin Provincial Park (limited mesh on the body of the tent is designed to keep warmth in), but it would be perfect for slightly cooler temperatures as the brand suggests. Maybe a winter camping trip is in order?

—Christine Chatland