I was recently on the lookout for a new tent for backcountry camping adventures and after some research it came down to the Elixir 2 or Hubba Hubba NX2 from MSR. Both designed as lightweight 2 person tents, they have great reputations amongst other online reviewers and campers but ultimately I chose the Elixir based on price. I picked it up from Atmosphere for $190 on sale with another 10% off from signing up as a member for free online. It was about $200 cheaper than the Hubba Hubba and I was pretty stoked as the same tent goes for $500-600 back in Australia!
So I unpacked and pitched the tent outside my apartment as a practice run. There are step by step instructions printed on the inside of the bag which are easy to follow and the colour coded clips and poles make it super easy to erect the tent and connect the rain fly.
The Elixir 2 comes with a foot print (essentially a tarp that goes under the tent) that can be put down first to provide extra insulation or can be used on its own with the rain fly connected for a light weight backpacking option. I guess ideal for warm nights when you don’t need protection from bugs etc. The great thing is that the footprint is included which is not the case with the Hubba Hubba NX 2 (the upgraded version of the Elixir 2) which is over $200 more expensive and essentially the same tent, just lighter.
On the first attempt I put the tent up in about 5 minutes, fastening it down with the burly tent pegs provided. I hopped in to check out the space provided, I’m about 173cm (5ft 7) and had plenty of room at my feet, enough to fit my pack if needed. There is also plenty of room for the second person so you can roll side to side without hitting each other.
As my first tent purchase that wasn’t a cheap option, I was impressed with some of the features of the tent, namely:
- Double doors: no need to crawl over one another to take a night-time pee.
- Double vestibules: great to store your pack/boots outside whilst keeping them dry.
- Pop out vents: to improve air flow and less condensation inside.
Another point to mention is the tents packability. The bag provided is generously sized so there is no fighting to get all the components back inside, especially if in a rush. I added a couple of black compression straps as they aren’t provided with the bag (they are with the Hubba Hubba). Also as you can see with my professional scale placement, the tent isn’t that much bigger than a size 9 sandal and fit in the main chamber of my 50L Deuter backpack.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the purchase and look forward to putting the tent to use in Mt Robson Provincial Park when myself and a couple of friends hit the Berg Lake trail. On face value it is a great value tent option for the back country, a much cheaper option than the Hubba Hubba and for only about 900 gm more weight (2.64 kg vs 1.72 kg) which I’m happy to sacrifice.
Addition: I’ve noticed a few people have read this blog post recently, maybe you’re thinking of buying the Elixir 2 so I thought I’d update how it’s performed so far.
I’ve used the tent now for about 2 years and have been very happy with it’s performance as a 3 season piece of gear. It’s consistently been easy to pitch in calm and windy conditions and I haven’t noticed any wear/tears/holes in the fabric of the tent walls or fly. I think the addition of the footprint helps with this as I’ve pitched in multiple rocky areas.
From a user perspective, the feature of the double vestibules has been a treat for keeping gear outside the tent whilst staying protected from the elements. The design of the tent also kept me warmer than ones I’ve had in the past, even on cold Fall mornings I’ve felt well insulated inside the walls with the upper mesh roof ensuring that no condensation is forming and dripping back on your head in the early hours of the morning. I’ve also spent multiple nights in the tent during light and heavier rain and haven’t had any water make it’s way inside.
Also a comment on the durability, the tent poles have retained their taught elasticity and snap into place just as early as when I first bought it. The tent pegs have proved super burly and apart from a few chips of paint missing, they haven’t bent or folded in on themselves like cheaper alternatives.
All in all a great product so far. If you can snag one for cheap, go for it!