Review: Cascade Designs Carbon Reflex 1

For many years, if a backpacker wanted a solo shelter under three pounds, he or she had to choose between a two-pole tunnel tent, a hooped bivy sack, or a tarp-style shelter. All of these left either livable space or weather-proofing to the imagination. Thankfully, MSR has set out to break this trend. Using carbon fiber poles, they created the Carbon Reflex 1. This tent tips the scales at around 2.5 pounds while allowing enough space to sit up comfortably, a ton of space in the vestibule, and full double-wall weather-proof comfort. The simple two-pole system allows me to have this tent up and staked out in consistently less than a minute, and with the fast-pack footprint and a little trickery, you can actually deploy the fly and footprint first and then pitch the tent body inside—which is quite a slick system in heavy rain. This tent is an exciting innovation, allowing minimal weight without much sacrifice. Available at Northern Lights, Barrel Mountaineering, and Prolite Gear. $450;