MSR athlete Eric Larsen took our Remote series tent to the heart of Chamonix’s backcountry, and was eager to share his professional insight.
“I have literally spent years of my life in a tent on one adventure or another. I’ve spent so much time in tents that they feel like home to me. On an expedition, a tent is many things: dining room, sleeping area, gear storage, logistics hub… Most importantly, a good tent is integral to your safety, and even survival – the first line of defense against extreme temperatures, gale force winds, and more. That’s why I love, MSR’s new Remote series tents. In redesigning their mountaineering tents, MSR has combined the perfect trifecta of features, lightweight, roomy and strong.
After so much time in tents, I can honestly say that not all tents are created equal. Especially when it comes to mountaineering tents.
The Remote is a stable and sturdy base camp tent that is equally at home higher up on the mountain. From 8,000 meter peaks to Mt. Rainier and everything in between, if you’re only going to have one mountaineering tent in your quiver then this is definitely your choice.
This is one of my favorite pictures from the photo shoot I did in Chamonix for MSR because it shows how remote you can get in the Remote. I also like this picture because it’s so typical of camp set up. I’ve been in this same situation hundreds of time all over the globe.”
“When it’s nuking and you need to get your tent up fast. Having a reliable easy to-set-up shelter is the backbone of mountaineering expeditions. I really like the MSR Remote easy-to-use pole clips and common sense pole configuration. The poles are crazy light… and strong – a rare combo.
On a more somber note, I’ve known of expeditions that have come to an untimely end where people have gotten seriously injured, simply because they couldn’t get their tent up and were left exposed to the elements. I really like that the main two poles are configured in an ‘x’. After all, I am a ‘Keep It Simple Silly’ advocate. The two cross poles allow for a more vertical door as well. Together, the frame is super sturdy which is key for snow loads and high winds.
When I guide, I often have tent races where we practice setting up our tents again and again. This ensures that no matter the conditions we can get our shelter up in a matter of minutes. In using MSR’s Remote tent, I’ve found that the set up is very intuitive as well which only makes us that much more safe.”
“The bottom line is that a good mountaineering tent needs a good vestibule. A vestibule is a storage and staging area that is also equal parts dining room and entry way. When consulting with the MSR designers, I tried to emphasize the importance of including snow flaps (valances) on the vestibule as well. Snow flaps add an extra level of overall security and stability to the tent, but equally important, seal out bad weather (spindrift, cold, etc). I’m also not a huge fan of vestibules where the pole is threaded underneath the fly. Threading a pole in this manner is cumbersome and time consuming. On the Remote, the pole sleeve is located on top of the fly which is infinitely more practical. Side access on the vestibule is also important, this minimizes the amount of wind or snow blowing directly into the tent when entering or exiting.
Obviously, there’s more to the Remote than just the vestibule but it’s such an important part of the tent that many designers overlook. MSR’s Remote vestibule has it all and more. It’s roomy, sturdy and well featured.”
“I’m reworking some of the Aerosmith “Living on the Edge” lyrics to better suit my expedition lifestyle. “LIVING IN A TENT…”
It’s not always as easy life. Transitioning from brutal conditions outside to the relative comfort inside your tent. Trying to stay organized, dry, sleep comfortably, plan, relax… all these things become more difficult when squeezed into a small space carved into the side of some remote mountain. The MSR Remote has a spacious foot print which means you can comfortably fit three people inside a 3-person tent (a novel idea, I know).
It’s also got two big doors that are easy to get in and out. The pole configuration allows for a lot of head room as well. Personally, I love the variety of pockets and drying line options. Keeping gear organized and dry is paramount for me.
Getting back to the tent at the end of a hard day, waiting out weather or just a rest day, life on an expedition is basically living in a tent and as much as I can sometimes complain about it, I also can’t wait for the next time I’m out in the mountains. With MSR’s new Remote tent, I am already planning several mountaineering trips as well. Stay tuned for some pretty epic pictures of this incredible tent (it just makes the mountains look better.)”