It is important to take the weight of your tent into consideration when you are backpacking. The FlyLite weighs just 904g, which makes it the the lightest full shelter that has ever been produced by MSR, yet still provides plenty of space to comfortably sleep two campers.

The FlyLite has been designed for hikers on trails like the USA’s Pacific Crest Trail. However, it can be useful for walkers in the UK as well who want to travel light in favourable weather.

The manufacturer states that this tent weighs 710g. However, the sample that was supplied to us, including all of the stuffsacks, shows a weight of 904g on the scale, which is still just 425g per person when you consider it is a two-person tent. The first way that weight is saved is through employing a set of trekking poles that are used by the camper during the day. It is also only a single-skin design that features an abundance of mesh. So a number of compromises have been made before the tent gets to the hill.


A stuffsack comes with the MSR FlyLite which measures only 34 x 13cm. It includes some guy lines, some pegs, and a short two-section pole that goes in the rear of the tent. Pitching is very easy to do as you just peg the four corners out, insert the pole in the rear, and then raise the front up by simply inserting the two trekking poles on both sides of the entrance. The pitch is completed by the guy lines. There were only seven pegs included in the sample, but there are nine that come with the production model. Two spare guy lines came with the tent, but I would like to have an additional set since on the hillside the tent was unstable. The alternative would be to pitch the tent in an area that is very sheltered where the pegs and guy lines that are supplied would be adequate for the job.

The tent does not have a porch, so entrance is through one door, and that opens up the tent’s entire front end to provide access to a very roomy interior. It has a very impressive 112cm headroom, and you are able to sit up inside quite easily. The walls are practically vertical, so two individuals have lots of room in the front. The measurements of the MSR FlyLite are 208cm long and 140cm width.

Mesh panels are featured at the foot and on the sides of the tent, but you might still get condensation. Another thing that is important to note is that the hydrostatic head figure on the outer is just 1200mm – which means that it isn’t potentially as durably waterproof compared to some of MSR’s heavier tents, whose figures are higher (although only time will tell and will greatly depend on the quality of the waterproof coating itself and the UV inhibitors).

Final Verdict

The MSR FlyLite is definitely lightweight, and when pitched in an area that is relatively sheltered and you aren’t expecting the worst weather then this is an ideal tent for two. However, in more challenging weather conditions, many mountain hikers in the UK will find it valuable to use a heavier shelter that comes with porches since they tend to provide greater weather protection.