Unlike most single hoop tents the main pole on the Carbon Reflex 1 runs the length of the tent rather than across it, which means that end poles aren’t needed as this design allows for good headroom anyway. Older backpackers will recognise the design as the same as the superb Phoenix Phreeranger tent that was popular some 20-25 years ago (I used the Phreeranger on my length of the Canadian Rockies and Yukon south to north walks). However the Carbon Reflex lacks the complex guying system of the Phreeranger and therefore is nothing like as stable in strong winds. I would add guylines for use on exposed sites.
The Carbon Reflex pitches inner first, which can be done quickly though a wet groundsheet is still likely in heavy rain. There’s a short ridge pole that adds to the headroom in the inner and holds the flysheet away from it. The porch is roomy and the inner easily big enough for one. The mesh inner makes for better air flow, though condensation can still form, but isn’t as warm as solid fabric.
The weight of this tent is very low, partly due to the use of carbon fibre poles, which MSR says are 30 per cent lighter than aluminium and also stronger. The cost is on the high side.
First published: May 2013