Bought one recently. Have to say I think it's a great tent for the money (so far).
Did you happen to get a gear loft with yours? Not the built in storage, one of these...
I didn't and was wondering if I was missing something.
Do you know what the packed length of the poles are? This looks like a good bike packing tent. I did look on their web site, but couldn't see anything related to the folded length of the poles.
Rough measurements, but poles are 45 cms and the whole tent bag with everything in it is about 50 cms. For bikepacking I've tended to always use a tarp and the bike to hold it up, so 2 kgs seems quite heavy for me, but on a big multi day tour I could definitely see the attraction of having that comfy a tent to retire to each night, particularly if the weather isn't great.
Ha, got to love a bit of UKC passive aggressive posting.
Cheers for the review Toby. I had dismissed MSR tents a bit “lightweight” for general UK ming but this seems like a good option. Not sure i’m getting out enough to justify a new tent at the moment though!
Really helpful review, thanks. Looks like a good option. Is it possible to pitch it flysheet first (eg when it’s raining)? And does the footprint extend under the porch or only under the inner?
I’ve found both these pretty useful features in the inevitable U.K. wet camping experience, though for some reason a lot of otherwise good tents don’t seem to have them.
Sure I read it! I got confused when I started to buy it from some local vendor and read on their page that the tent is not for winter and it is pretty drafty. But you seem to indicate that it isn’t so bad. Did you test in real winter temperatures below zero?
> Is that a rhetorical question?
No it was a genuine question. I had thought that wild camping was not permitted in The Peak but your picture in the article seems to imply that it's okay.
Yep, I slept in it below zero a couple of times, but not in snow. In comparison to the Hubba which (at least my original one) had an inner made solely of mesh and a not particularly low cut fly, the Elixir is much better suited for UK conditions. The fly seems lower cut and most of the inner is nylon. I'm not sure why someone would find it drafty - possibly because it has quite a lot of internal space so that's going to warm up less quickly than a tiny tent, but that's not really the same as drafty. Tents aren't really about giving insulation anyway, once you are in your sleeping bag all tents are going cool down to the ambient air temperature (or rather close to it) quickly.
As everywhere in England and Wales, you should have the landowners permission to sleep (actually it may only be to put a tent up, I don't think anyone really knows if sleeping on, for example, a public footpath in a bivvy bag would be considered trespass or not). But it seems that actually as long as you're not taking the p*** in some way, very few land owners or managers have a problem with wild camping/low profile bivvying
In the case of the Peak much of the high ground is National Trust managed, or Eastern Moor partnership managed. I've spoken to rangers and representatives from both who have said they have no problem with 'leave no trace' wild camping away from the roads. In fact it seems the only thing they are bothered by is people car camping and leaving rubbish, starting fires etc. I often don't go out until mid evening, so normally pitch my tent or role out my bivvy bag around midnight and then I'm up and away early morning. No one has ever had a problem with this. My understanding is this is a matter of civil law only, not of criminal law, so all a land owner can do is ask you to move on, so at worst you need to pack up and move on.]
It's a shame we can't have the same laws as Scotland south of the border, I got woken up by the most polite farmer ever back in August somewhere of the motorway in the Southern Uplands. He just said if we were going to camp on that spot of land for a few days would we park our car a bit differently so he could get up a track on to the moor. I explained we had stopped at midnight on our way down from Ben Nevis back to England and we would pack and be gone shortly. He said there was no rush at all and we should enjoy our breakfast! It was an immensely civilised interaction and really showed how well the Scottish outdoor code can work.
> Really helpful review, thanks. Looks like a good option. Is it possible to pitch it flysheet first (eg when it’s raining)?
Possibly but I think it would be a total faff. I've put the tent up in the rain a few times and once you know how to put it up, it really isn't an issue. If its not windy you can chuck the fly over the un-erected tent and sort of get under it as you put the poles up etc. but really I find it's just a few minute job to the point where your chuck the fly over that the inner getting a big of rain on it isn't a big issue.
> And does the footprint extend under the porch or only under the inner?
No. I know some people like that, but to me it just seems to mean you need to take your boots off outside in the rain, not in the porch out of the rain!
For comfort the Elixir is really nice although MSR have definitely be trying to flog their Hubba Tour tents as great for bikepackers - I guess you can maybe fit the bike in the porch? The Hubba Tour 1 is about the same weight as the Elixir 1 with that massive porch but more than twice the cost. https://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/equipment-c3/tents-shelters-c25/one-person-tents-c74/msr-hubba-tour-1-person-tent-p6462
> Thanks. I like my creature comforts, so don't mind carrying a tent. Weight isn't too important: 2kg is two water bottles.
2kg is 1/3 of the weight of my bag on a solo overnight jaunt. It's heavy.
> It's a shame we can't have the same laws as Scotland south of the border, I got woken up by the most polite farmer ever back in August somewhere of the motorway in the Southern Uplands. He just said if we were going to camp on that spot of land for a few days would we park our car a bit differently so he could get up a track on to the moor. I explained we had stopped at midnight on our way down from Ben Nevis back to England and we would pack and be gone shortly. He said there was no rush at all and we should enjoy our breakfast! It was an immensely civilised interaction and really showed how well the Scottish outdoor code can work.
Marvelous! If only it was like that everywhere.
Thanks for your in depth answer. Si.
> "It might not be light but I think the Elixir 1 is bloody great" says Toby Archer, "a clever, tough and spacious solo tent that doesn't cost silly money"
Interesting review, and thank you for it.
I hope you won't mind me making a more general observation about tent reviews, in the light of your review and the other current thread about contemporary tent quality (https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/gear/tents_aint_what_they_used_to_be-695170). It's this: it'd be really useful to have an article about why it is that some tents cost so much more than others that are (superficially) very similar.
The key features of tents, the things that cause them to "cost silly money" seem often to be hidden from view, even the view of reasonably informed readers of spec sheets. Fabrics, and their proofing are an obvious example. Perhaps a tent is half the price of another apparently comparable one because the fabric will last half as long. Another factor, possibly unexplored in relation to tents, is the kind of employment conditions and rights that the people who actually make the tents are granted in, say, Estonia vs Vietnam.
I have made this suggestion because there seems to be a market for good quality, long lasting gear, and the more informed we punters are, the better it is for the manufacturers trying to buck the pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap trends.
Cheers, thanks. I suspect it's a bit of a nest of worms but if UKC/UKH is at all about even semi-serious journalism, then there are probably some interesting things to unearth that could well serve the climbing/walking public, not to mention innovative would-be gear manufacturers.
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